Oh my goodness! As busy wedding photographers, we **love** this post from Megan Kuethen! She has made up a list of tricks and items you should definitely consider adding into your so-called “back pocket” or emergency bag for wedding days. As the saying goes, “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.” Now go get ’em, wedding photogs! 😉
11 Wedding Day Must-Haves for Photographers
There’s nothing more wonderful than getting to be the hero on your bride’s wedding day. Not only does it help her have a stress-free time, but it can be the greatest marketing out there. After 12 years behind the camera, here are the top 10 things I must bring to every wedding, just in case the opportunity presents itself for me to wow my couple and their guests.
If your bride is wearing a button-up gown, chances are good that she doesn’t know what she’s in for when it comes to buttoning up that dress. You can buy inexpensive crochet hooks on Amazon and keep them in your bag. Nothing makes it easier to get that dress closed up! Bonus: The crochet hooks will totally speed up the process, which keeps everything on schedule.
This app is a total lifesaver. Even though I’m in California and I’ve only needed it a few times, I can directly attribute this single app with the booking of three weddings. Why, you ask? How could any one app be so magnificent? This app has saved more than one ceremony from being moved indoors on a rainy day. One of my brides in particular really had her heart set on an outdoor wedding. She’d picked a ceremony venue with a great overlook, but on the day of, it was grey skies and forecasts of rain. Half an hour before the ceremony, when the coordinator wanted to move everything inside, Dark Sky promised me it wouldn’t rain for a few more hours, so we held off… And sure enough, the rain waited until just after everyone was inside. My bride and her family were so impressed, they told everyone about how I’d saved the day!
- Safety Pins
If I had a dollar for every time a bride’s bustle ripped, I’d be retired…ish. These heavy-duty safety pins come to the rescue at just about every wedding, whether it’s a problem with the bride’s gown, somebody’s strap (I’m looking at you, drunk sister-in-law of the bride), or even a bouquet with ribbon issues.
- Straight Pins
… which brings me to to these wonderful straight pins. Only a groomsman would be able to lose a pin that is stuck through his suit in two places, and I definitely just need all the guys to be wearing them for one photo. Just one. Is that too much to ask?! In all seriousness, it seems inevitable that the florist doesn’t pack enough, the some boutonnieres just need more than one, the a groomsman or dad will lose one, that a pin will break… Murphy’s Law was pretty much invented at a wedding. Save everyone a headache and bring a few straight pins to save your own sanity.
Ten out of ten times I pull out my Tide Pen, it’s because of the bride. To be fair, she’s a giant ball of stainable fabric. I have tried Tide Pens on many different fabric types (bridesmaids are always super concerned about it leaving a stain) and ten out of ten times, if there is a stain from the Tide Pen, it is less noticeable than the grass stain/wine stain/mud stain/ring bearer’s grubby finger stain that was there before. Also, so much easier to Photoshop out.
I lose this every time I use it, and it’s still worth it. Having this Command Hook in my bag means that I can hang a wedding dress anywhere. All I need is a chair or a tall person to stick this on the prettiest wall/above the neatest doorway/on the coolest barn I can find. I think one time my assistant remembered to go back and get it. Another time, it was still there when I shot at the venue again two months later. Even when it’s forgotten and lost forever, it’s like… $5, and it makes the dress shot.
For obvious reasons called bride’s hair, mother-of-the-bride hair, mother-of-the-groom hair, bridesmaid hair, flower girl hair, and anyone else who is going to be in photos hair. (Yes, I’ve pinned a groomsman’s hair before.) I usually buy the multi-colour pack so I’m prepared for everything.
- Extra Large Band-Aids
Up until now, everything in my emergency pack has been to take care of everyone else, but these extra large Band-Aids are all about me. I change shoes multiple times during the wedding day to prevent blisters, but I still get them. So I keep these in my bag and sometimes I even double them up for a little extra cushion, ensuring that I can stay on my feet for 8, 10, or even 14-hour wedding days. My couples love that I boogie with them until the end of the night.
You always hope and pray this is the one thing you’ll never have to reach into your bag for. And I have a theory about that: If I come prepared, I don’t have to call on my preparation skills. Sometimes, my theory even proves true. I buy these organic cotton non-toxic tampons because they’re small and not chock full of bad stuff. When I hand them over to bridesmaids or my second shooter, they always bring a smile. Guys probably couldn’t get away with this… but let me know if you try.
This sweet baby is all mine. On a wedding day, I’m on my phone practically all day: calling the coordinator, mapping the next venue, looking up the MOH’s number, trying to call the florist, texting my second shooter about getting detail shots, and using my camera’s built-in WiFi to send photos to my phone so I can do a quick dinnertime edit and text them to my couple. My battery is almost as exhausted as I am by all the activity, and this charger makes sure we both make it through the day.
- Facial Wipes & Wet Ones
Before I get into my car at the end of the night, I like to tell myself that I’m going to go home, carry in all my gear, take a hot shower, and have a small snack before starting my backup process. In reality, I sit in my driveway and try to convince myself it’s worth it to get out and walk to my bed. So as soon as I get in my car, I wipe my hands, feet, and legs with Wet Ones to get the dust off (trust me, don’t look at your wipe afterward), and then give myself a mini facial with these wipes. I still struggle to bring in my gear and make it up the stairs to my house, but it’s a lot easier to make it through my post-wedding routine of dumping cards, backing things up, making notes for my blog post, and cleaning my gear. Someday, maybe I will get that hot shower in, but for now, this is just how it is, and this small thing makes sure I take care of my couples’ photos like the treasures they are.
What are your wedding day necessities?