How to Create the Ultimate Bridal Emergency Bag – Guest Blog by Claire-the-Intern

After spending months interning with Weddings in Vieques, there is one thing I have learned we cannot forget when we are running to a wedding—the bridal emergency bag. It’s always on our list of things to bring and it’s something we use every single wedding.

Every bride likes to think that every single second of the big day has been pre-arranged. Well, guess what? Your wedding itinerary is not “oops” proof, and nobody wants a crisis on his or her wedding day. What is the solution? Prepare for the unexpected by having a bridal emergency bag. A really well-constructed one!

Whether you’re a DIY bride or someone who hires a wedding planner to execute your big day, you should be prepared! After working with Sandy Malone for over a month, I have seen several instances where the WIV team thanked the heavens for having our bridal emergency kit on hand. Over the years our bridal emergency kit—well if were being honest the bridal emergency duffle bag—has grown and has seen several additions. One example is how safety pins later transitioned to multi-sized pins. Learn from our experiences and expertise! This is truly critical.

This bridal emergency bad used to be Sandy's husband gun range bag when he was a police captain. All the different ammo pockets are PERFECT for storing the various supplies.

This bridal emergency bag used to be Sandy’s husband gun range bag when he was a police captain. All the different ammo pockets are PERFECT for storing the various supplies.

On the Weddings in Vieques original list for contents of the kit (Sandy still has all her notes from when she started the business), safety pins were very high priority. After years of experience and expertise, Sandy learned that sometimes average safety pins don’t get the job done (especially when dealing with heavy wedding gown trains). When you’re getting married on a beach or have a reception outside a villa around a pool deck or even if you just get caught in the rain, you better prepare for the bottom of the dress to get wet. I’m sure most of you can do the math—a very heavy bottom of the dress will cause malfunctions when it comes to the bustle when you start dancing. Chances are your seamstress did not install a bustle that can hold the weight of a wet train. In fact, some of the bustles we’ve seen weren’t even designed for the bride to dance. The minute a guest accidentally steps on the dress, the ribbons, buttons or loops holding it up will tear and cannot be fixed. This is when the emergency kit—diaper pins specifically—comes in handy!

Let me tell you a story about how the bridal emergency bag recently saved the day at a wedding I helped plan.

One of our June bride’s bustles came undone, and she began stepping on the dress (and so did the guests) during the reception. She couldn’t dance. She couldn’t easily walk. And the bustle structure itself was kaput. So what did she do? She came running to the wedding planners to fix it!

What’s the solution? The weight of the dress determines what size pin you use. The bigger the dress, the bigger the pin. Sandy worked her wedding planner magic and created a bustle out of two pins that got the dress out of the way for the bride. More importantly, it still looked like the dress was bustled for the pictures. The end result was a happy dancing bride who thinks her wedding planner is magic, and a wedding planning intern that learned a serious lesson in bustle triage.

But pins (safety, diaper and bobby pins, too) aren’t the only crucial items that belong in bridal emergency kit. Another important component of the bridal emergency kit is stain remover! Whether it’s a wedding guest, a bridesmaid, or God forbid the bride—stain removal is a necessity. In multiple forms. Shout wipes. Stain sticks. Wine remover. Trust me and learn from what I’ve seen in only two months—somebody at your wedding is going to spill on themselves, and will most likely ask the wedding planner for help. If there isn’t a planner, they’ll ask the bride.

If we’re specifically talking about the wedding gown—and God forbid something happens to her white or ivory gown—and stain remover isn’t doing the trick (or the gown is silk and you can’t use those products on it) and all else fails, chalk and Wite Out are the secret weapons. It’s obviously a last resort, but it’s better than walking around with lipstick on the front of your gown all night. A good drycleaner can remove the chalk or Wite Out after the wedding. Good luck getting the lipstick out of that fabric though. By the way, Wite Out does come in ivory as well as regular white, so be sure to get the closest color possible for your dress.

You also may want to include the following things we have in our bridal emergency bag:

Oh yes, you DO need all these things in your bridal emergency bag!!!

Oh yes, you DO need all these things in your bridal emergency bag!!!

  • Portable hand steamer
  • Curling iron
  • Umbrella
  • Rain poncho
  • Wipes (for hands and face)
  • Cotton pads
  • Sewing kit
  • Lint roller
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
  • Bug repellant
  • Bobby pins
  • Eyelashes & eyelash glue
  • Chalk (white and ivory)
  • Tissues (small packs)
  • Hair brush and comb
  • Hair spray
  • Deodorant
  • Fashion tape (otherwise known as “boob tape”)
  • First aid kit with basics
  • Anti-itch ointment
  • Safety pins in a variety of sizes
  • Diaper pins
  • Static guard
  • Clear nail polish
  • Nail polish remover
  • Sunscreen
  • Perfume
  • Body lotion
  • Stain remover products mentioned above
  • Super glue
  • Baby powder
  • Tampons/panty liners
  • Cosmetic sponges
  • Backup makeup and brushes
  • Wite Out (white and ivory)
  • Q tips
  • Batteries (one pack of each size)
  • Bottles of water (just in case)
  • Fabric hand towel
  • Fabric scissors (you can’t trim something delicate on a dress with kitchen shears)

Really, the list of things you could put in the bridal emergency kit is endless. If you’re DIYing and will be dressing in the same place as the wedding, you probably already have your makeup and hair dryer, etc. on hand and won’t need to put a second set in the emergency bag. Personalize it as you see fit. If you receive a cutesy kit as a bridal shower gift, don’t count on it to actually have the things you need. Consider it a jumping off point for creating your own emergency bag.

Claire-the-Intern, from University of Arizona, is a summer intern at Weddings in Vieques

Claire-the-Intern, from University of Arizona, is a summer intern at Weddings in Vieques

Whether you create one yourself, buy on online, or hire an event planner that comes prepared with a bag, you always want to be prepared for the unexpected on your big day. Learn from our personal experiences as professional wedding planners and prioritize the items we’ve suggested above when you’re making your own. And good luck! Maybe you won’t need anything in the bag!

Claire McCarthy, Intern at Weddings in Vieques





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