What I Pack For Every Wedding (Besides My Gear)

August 9th, 2023

Every photographer has their must-have gear that never leaves their camera bag. But wedding photographers usually have to style flat lays showcasing special details, step in to help pin boutonnières on the correct side (they go on the left), place veils, light candles, the list goes on. I’m there to help you have the best day possible, and I always want to make sure I’m prepared for whatever happens.

Here’s a breakdown of everything I bring to a wedding day besides my gear. I carry everything in this Herschel duffle bag and categorize items in these zip-up pouches so I don’t have to dig around in my bag to find things in a hurry.

 

The “Oh Sh*t Kit”

I’ve filled a few pouches with all kinds of essentials that could be needed during the day. Bridal parties usually have this sorted, but I like to have this kit as a back-up. It’s also good if I need something.

 

Super glue

I once had a bride’s veil start to come away from the comb, and some glue was needed to keep it in place. At the time we only had eyelash glue (which did the trick), so I made a mental note to add super glue to my kit. It’s also great if shoes need a quick fix.

 

Eyelash glue

Makeup artists are pros at making false eyelashes stay put for hours, but I like to have this on-hand just in case. If someone cries and wipes their eye too hard it can dislodge an eyelash. Remember: Dab, don’t rub.

 

Aquaphor

This product is multipurpose and I use it all the time. If your eyes have a tendency to water outside, it will stop them from tearing too much. Rubbing tears away repeatedly can irritate your skin and make your eyes water more, and Aquaphor creates a barrier. Shout out to Amber Prepchuk, my good friend and one of my go-to makeup artists, for this tip (Vaseline or lotion works too). It also makes a great lip balm.

 

Sunscreen

I’m a ginger, enough said. I have a couple of different kinds, so take your pick. And you can always count on them being high SPF.

 

Hair products

The elements can wreak havoc on meticulous hairstyles, so I like to have extra bobby pins, hairspray, dry shampoo, and elastics around for quick fixes.

 

Spray deodorants

I always have a femme scent and a more masculine scent in my kit. Alberta is warm in the summer, and it’s one of the sunniest spots in the entire country. Sweat happens.

 

Lint roller

Retouching lint off suit jackets is time-consuming and unnecessary. A little lint roll goes a long way!

 

Scissors

I usually use these to cut flowers for flat lays—someone once told me I was giving strong Wednesday Addams vibes as I stood there cutting tops off roses while dressed head to toe in black—but it never hurts to have these handy for snipping tags, hanger straps, etc.

 

Sewing kit

Just in case you pop a button or if a hem needs mending.

 

Tide-to-Go pen

No one needs a stain on their outfit before the ceremony even happens.

 

Period products

Because you never know!

 

Mints and gum

Fresh breath is always appreciated, especially for the couple getting married.

 

Band-aids

Cuts and scapes happen, and so do blisters. Wear your shoes a few times before the big day, but I’ve got you covered if they start to hurt your feet.

 

Lighter

I have this electric, rechargeable lighter from Amazon. I’ve had to step in and help light candles at receptions before, and lighting tons of candles with a simple Bic lighter leads to burned fingers.

 

A styled wedding flat lay with an invitation, rings, jewelry and flowers

This is a recent flat lay that used a few things from my kit, like the jewelry dish, and the invitation and RSVP card were propped up with acrylic blocks.

 

Flat Lay Styling Kit

Wedding detail flat lays can range from simple to incredibly elaborate. How they look depends on your photographer’s approach to capturing weddings and your taste. If you don’t want a super-curated flat lay, that’s ok—just talk to your photographer about your wishes beforehand so they know what you like.

 

Styling mat

I love this mat from Olive & Oak (the travel tube is a bonus to keep it from getting wrinkled). Styling mats aren’t cheap, but you’ll get your money’s worth. It’s a helpful item to bring along so you’re not left trying to work with multicoloured hotel carpet or limited to whatever surface is in the good light. Choose a neutral colour that goes with any decor. The colour I chose can be warmed up or cooled down during retouching, depending on the look I’m after.

 

Acrylic styling blocks

I thought styling blocks were a bit unnecessary until recently. They add dimension to flay lays and allow you to place objects at different levels. I’m a convert now that I’ve actually tried them out.

 

Jewelry dish

I have this one, and I’d like to add a couple of other options to my collection. I use it to lay out earrings, necklaces, and other pieces of jewelry in a more interesting way.

 

Ring box

Most people have their own ring box that I use in flat lays, but I like to have some options as a back-up. I’ve stuck to neutral colours so far, but I’m going to add some darker hues, like green or navy, to my kit.

I have these boxes so far:

Blush (it's less pink in-person)

Gray

Beige

 

Assorted ribbon

Rolls of ribbon can be used to tie elements together or it can be laid in an artistic way to fill space within the flat lay. I have this set of three.

 

Dental wax

This sounds really strange, but hear me out. Dental wax can be used to make rings and other pieces of jewelry (like earrings) stand up and stay in place. It cleans off jewelry and surfaces very easily too.

The ring with the blue stone wouldn’t stand up on its own, so I put a small dot of dental wax on the bottom and it stayed in place.

 

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