Your bridal survival kit - Your most essential wedding day items to have at hand

April 2020

Five minutes until the ceremony, and we cannot get the tag off the dress, and not a single pair of scissors at hand! The bridesmaid helped the bride into her dress and because of the buttons, she broke a fingernail. And when tensions run high, just before the ceremony - having some Paracetamol handy can be a good thing. I have also witnessed a bride with hay fever and thankfully she had some antihistamine ready. These are just a few examples of what can happen and it's best to be prepared.

When you plan your wedding day, the last thing that is on your mind is to prepare a bridal emergency survival bag for your wedding day. But this is one instance where being prepared for some mild calamities is the best form of insurance. If you know you have a fix at hand, then any troublesome incident can easily be solved, and everything can get back to plan as if nothing had happened at all.

So what do you need in this magic bridal emergency survival bag? Apart from a good multi-compartment bag, the following are a recommended list of the items to ensure that your day runs smoothly and that you have a perfect wedding.

The girls taking photos of the bride, bridal survival kit
The girls taking photos of the bride.

Bridal Survival Kit - Hair Essentials

No matter how well put together a hairdo is, it might need fixing at some point later in the day. In-and-out of cars, photos, meet-and-greets, adjusting veils and headpieces will all take their toll – so be ready to have a quick fix when the need arises.

  • Kirby Grips (Bobby Pins).
  • Hair Ties.
  • Hairbrush or comb.
  • Hairspray.
  • Hair straightener (if required).
  • Additional earring backs.
The bridesmaid is helping the bride into her dress with a crochet hook, which is super efficient for these style of buttons, bridal survival kit
The bridesmaid is helping the bride into her dress with a crochet hook, which is super efficient for these style of buttons.

Bridal Survival Kit - Make-up Essentials

Like your hair, your make-up might suffer from the continual action, hugs and kisses, wind, rain and the general hustle and bustle of the day. So a small mirror is your best friend, and little touch-ups are easier to manage than a full redo.

  • Small mirror.
  • Mascara.
  • Eyeliner.
  • Eye Shadow.
  • Foundation.
  • Blusher.
  • Lip balm.
  • Lipstick.
  • Lip pencil.
  • Concealer.
  • Finishing Powder.
  • Tweezers.
  • Cotton Pads.
  • Makeup remover.
  • Wipes.
  • Pencil sharpener.
  • Eyelash glue.
Accurately penciling the lip line, bridal survival kit
Accurately penciling the lip line.

Bridal Survival Kit - Essentials for your nails (or your bridesmaids)

I get goose bumps when I get a raggedy nail and it gets stuck on my clothing. A quick file and a dab of polish can save the day. Clear nail polish can be a quick fix for many things, from an emergency glue in jewellery repair, to dabbing it on tights tear to stop a ladder.

  • Nail polish (in the shade you are wearing).
  • Nail File or emery board.
  • Hand lotion.
  • Clear nail polish (to prevent tights from laddering further, and as an emergency glue).
Casting an eye over the fine details, bridal survival kit
Casting an eye over the fine details.

Bridal Survival Kit - Toiletries Essentials

Your wedding day will be a busy day, lots of people to meet and greet and hug. So you may feel the need to freshen up regularly. Also, something most people won’t be brave enough to tell you, if you don’t keep yourself hydrated your perspiration and all other bodily fluids will become more concentrated and will smell more, so be forewarned.

  • Body Spray/Deodorant.
  • Perfume.
  • Sunscreen (if required).
  • Face Mist (if required).
  • Tissues.
  • Hand sanitiser.
  • Sanitary products.
  • Razor.
  • Shaving Cream.

Bridal Survival Kit - Teeth

Check your teeth for lip stick or stains before the ceremony. During the day, you may want to check after meals. You will be in a lot of photographs, and you don't want to be self-conscious about your teeth. Therefore, the following will ensure your teeth are pearly white and you have a fresh breath throughout the day:

  • Toothpaste.
  • Toothbrush.
  • Floss.
  • Mouth Wash.
  • Chewing Gum
  • Fresh Mints

Bridal Survival Kit - Shoes & Feet Essentials

The real toll of a wedding is on your feet, you will never be more glad of a seat. So make sure before your day shoes are worn-in, and even then be prepared for red skin and blisters, and if ever there is a day when your groom will break a shoelace it will be on the day.

  • Blister Plasters.
  • Gel inlays.
  • Insoles.
  • Shoe polish.
  • Additional shoe laces.
  • Flat shoes (if required).
  • Additional tights.
Ensuring your shoes are ready for action, bridal survival kit
Ensuring your shoes are ready for action.

Bridal Survival Kit - Sewing Kit

A stitch in time will save the day. There is barely a wedding where an emergency bit of needle work doesn't need done, so having these bits and bobs at hand is handy, also if you have a lot of buttons or hook and eye fastenings in your outfit then a Crochet Hook can make light work of securing them.

  • Sewing needles.
  • Thread (which matches the bride/ bridesmaids dresses).
  • Additional buttons.
  • Safety pins.
  • Hemming tape.
  • Fashion tape (to ensure clothing stays in place).
  • Scissors.
  • Crochet hook (if there is a lot of buttons on your dress).

Bridal Survival Kit - Stain and Fixing Accessories

Weddings are places where outfits can suffer, and will have to be put right or - if not - disguised. So, outside of stitch, glue and mend, be prepared to camouflage, hide and disguise.

  • Sellotape (to put at the back of a long cloth tear).
  • Super glue (to mend broken shoes, jewellery and other accessories).
  • White chalk or talcum powder (to mask stains on a white dress).
  • Lint roller.
  • Stain remover wipes.

Bridal Survival Kit - Mini First Aid Kit

Headaches and other body aches are not unknown as there is a lot of physical and mental stress that can creep up unawares, as can slips, trips and falls amongst the younger wedding guests. Insect bites are best avoided too. Also, in a room full of other peoples perfumes and sprays, eyes can dry out and become itchy.  

  • Plasters.
  • Painkillers.
  • Antihistamine tablets.
  • Insect repellent (if required).
  • Eye drops.
Don't forget any charms you wanted to have with you on your wedding day, such as these that were added to the bouquet, bridal survival kit
Don't forget any charms you wanted to have with you on your wedding day, such as these that were added to the bouquet.

Bridal Survival Kit - Food

You may not think on a day where you may have a wedding breakfast, buffet and multi-course dinner, that you may need a snack, but your day will burn off more calories than you can imagine. Make sure you have a decent breakfast, even if you don't feel too hungry in the morning. So have some snacks at hand, possibly best are breakfast type bars. You also need to keep an eye on how hydrated you are, so have water and or energy drinks at hand – but remember to use a straw where you can as it will remove less lipstick from your lips.

  • Snacks (such as granola or protein bars).
  • Water.
  • Energy drinks.
  • Chewing gum.
  • Breath mints.
  • Drinking straws.
Don't forget to have that extra special treat, bridal survival kit
Don't forget to have that extra special treat.

Bridal Survival Kit - Other Must-haves

There are some key items that you really need to have that are not covered in the lists above, but can literally save the day by allowing you to get things back on track.

  • Wedding day itinerary.
  • Phone charger (and extension cord if required).
  • Contact details of suppliers.
  • Good old fashioned hard cash.
  • Pen and paper (for last minute reminders).

Bridal Survival Kit - Nice-to-haves

Now depending on the size of your bag there are a couple of other items than can be very useful, if not essential.

  • Large umbrella (if it may rain), but most venues and your photographer will usually have umbrellas.
  • Iron or hand-held steamer (encase of wrinkles in your dress). But speak to your venue, they may have these items.


Download free bridal survival emergency kit pdf

Who is Nadin Dunnigan - Wedding Photographer in Edinburgh

Hey, I am Nadin! (same as "Nadine" - just without the "e"). I am a wedding photographer in Edinburgh, Scotland, specialising in big family weddings in Edinburgh, Scotland, and internationally. I have photographed so many weddings, and it is my mission to help couples with planning their dream wedding. Any questions I come across repeatedly - either in person or online, I will pop in here and provide more insight.

I hope you will find them useful :)

Nadin Dunnigan Photographer