All the planning in the world can't guarantee that you won't have the occasional mishap on your wedding day. Don't fret, we've got you covered. Check out our wedding day survival kit below. It's got everything you need to ensure small accidents don't become wedding day emergencies.
First thing's first, you're going to need a bag. Now is not the time to drag out your trusty backpack, it may have served you well that summer you went interrailing around Europe but it's got no place at your wedding. The same goes for your best man's gym bag, your spare shirt doesn't need the pungent aroma of week-old gym socks before you even put it on. You're getting married, you're an adult now (or at least dipping your toe into adulting) and as such, you should have a decent leather holdall. They're perfect for weekend getaways and far more sophisticated than ubiquitous Ryanair-approved rolling carry-on bags. A quality leather holdall will serve you for many years or even decades if you look after it. If you need help finding one, check out our range personalised Italian leather holdalls.
What goes into the wedding survival kit?
Well, just about everything you can think of. I've broken it up into three groups:
- Personal Products – everything that would/should be in your regular shaving kit
- Clothing & Accessories – spare shirt, shoe polish, sewing kit, etc.
- Everything Else – hopefully you won't need it but…
Think of it as a complete shaving/grooming kit for you and your groomsmen. You'll need all the following items:
- Deodorant – spray-on is best for topping up during the day. Leave the Lynx Africa in the 90s and go for something neutral. You don't want it to be competing with your cologne
- Toothpaste and brushes – at least for the groom.
- Breath mints – your bride will be grateful during the first kiss. Bonus tip, make sure the best man has a pack on him as well.
- Travel first aid kit – throw in some clear or skin-tone bandages. A small cut on a finger might normally be nothing but your bride is wearing the most expensive dress she will probably ever own and it's white.
- Painkillers – just in case.
- Eye drops/antihistamine/insect repellent – like the old gym bag, puffy eyes, sneezing fits and mosquito bites have no place at your wedding.
- Sunglasses and sunscreen – Yes, yes, I'm fully aware that we're in Ireland but the sun does shine occasionally. If you're going to be outside taking pictures for one to two hours, it's wise to have some protection even if it's not sunny. A dry and windy day can leave you red and chapped.
- Wet wipes – there are so many uses, from freshening up to stain removal. Make sure you have a pack.
You've spent time, energy and money getting your outfit looking just right for the big day. Don't let it fall apart at the last minute.
- Lint brush or lint roller – crumbs, confetti and weird uncle Johnny's dandruff will all conspire to ruin your look.
- Sewing kit – sometimes buttons fall off. At this stage in your life, you should know how to sew on a button.
- Hem tape – if your suits have been adjusted there is always a risk of the hem (end of the trouser leg or sleeve) coming loose. A little hem tape on the inside and the problem is solved. You don't need to be a tailor, just be prepared.
- Shoeshine – Before the wedding you should polish your shoes properly, using a real wax polish but on the day they might just need a quick top up. This is about the only time I would say ‘go with the clear silicone style shoe shine'. You don't need to be messing with wax and definitely not with the coloured shoeshine that you get in a bottle with a sponge on top. You're almost guaranteed to get that all over yourself and anyone near you.
- Cufflinks – have a couple of spare pairs handy. There will be quite a few close-up shots of your hands (rings, cake cutting, etc).
- Shirt and socks – I'm a fan of having a second shirt ready to go after the ceremony. You'll have been wearing the shirt since early morning and the most nerve-racking part of the day is over. A fresh shirt and clean socks can make you feel brand new. Depending on the best man you may want to wait for the shirt change until after the speeches.
- Some spare cash – you never know what you'll need it for but it's handy to have some nearby (tips, taxis, cigars, etc.)
- Paperwork – have copies of any contracts you signed with wedding supplies (videographer, photographer, celebrant, caterer, etc).
- Spare key for your accommodation – at the end of the night you don't want to find yourself standing at a hotel reception with your new wife trying to get the night porter to programme you a new key card (yep, I made that mistake).
There you have it, 18 essentials for your wedding day survival kit (the bag is number one).
If you need help planning any other aspects of your wedding, check out our men's wedding planning section.