The Uh-Oh Wedding Kit

June 16, 2014


Jed Smith

As wedding photographers we all know that things don't always go according to plan. In fact, they rarely do. While some things aren't easily solved, some are and I've spent quite a while compiling a collection of things that have proven themselves indispensible. I like to call it the ‘uh-oh kit.' I keep everything separated by category in plastic bags. I know that this may seem like overkill, but I like to be prepared for just about anything. It's not just about taking care of myself, it's also about taking care of the clients. The last thing I want is a bride worrying about a pimple on her wedding day or a member of the bridal party having to leave to get someone allergy medication.

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So the first thing you probably noticed was the rain boots. You're probably wondering why in the world I would carry a pair of rain boots around on a wedding day. I don't, but I do keep them in my car. While they can obviously be used for rainy days, they're also useful in case you're shooting in mud or near water. I'm not really a textbook girly girl, but I don't want to be stuck with wet or muddy shoes for the rest of the day. I usually shove a few plastic grocery or trash bags in one of the boots to use to keep my gear dry if I end up having to shoot in the rain.

I always take a wooden hanger with me to weddings, as well as a command hook (Thanks to Justin & Mary Marantz). Brides don't always remember to replace the plastic hanger their dress came on, and a nice wooden hanger can really save that iconic dress shot. I've actually started looking for a prettier alternative to the Command hook, but haven't found anything I'm absolutely in love with yet.

Tip: Don't cheap out on the hanger. Wedding dresses are HEAVY and those metal hooks will bend.

How many times have you gotten to a wedding, asked for the rings, and had the bride tell you that she forgot to clean them? That purple stuff is the best ring cleaner I've EVER used. It's not cheap, but it is amazing. A Touch of Purple sells travel size bottles, or you buy the big one and pour it into a smaller spray bottle like I do.

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I wear contact lenses on wedding days because I hate shooting while wearing glasses. I always carry a spare pair of contacts, a NEW case and solution with me. I emphasize the new case because there's a chance that someone in the wedding party may need one at some point and I would never give them one that I had been using. The most important item in the above photo is the bottle of Opti-Free Pure Moist Rewetting Drops. If you wear contacts, these will save your eyes. They moisturize your contacts and help to keep your eyes from getting too tired. I actually carry these in my pocket because I like to keep them handy. I usually find that I need to use them around the beginning of the reception.

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This is the ‘general care' part of the kit. Listerine strips are pretty obvious, and I usually offer one to the groom before the first look or ceremony. I also use them before shooting close ups because I really want my brides to stay friends with me. You're probably wondering why I have two ring cleaners in this kit. I include this because the Diamond Dazzle Stik is sometimes more convenient. It's more affordable and easy to get. If you get one of the two, get this one.

Next up is Davines Universal Polishing Coat for Wizards. There's a reason for the name; this stuff is magic. It's just enough hold to tame a bride's fly aways, it comes in a compact little canister and it smells AMAZING. It's a little bit pricey, but I've had this tub for a year and haven't even made a dent in the amount of product.

The lip balm and fingernail clippers really don't need any explanation. I keep the Duo Eyelash Adhesive in the bag in case a few tears knock any false eyelashes loose, and Murad Acne Spot Treatment can clear up a wedding day pimple in no time.

Tip:If you get there too close to picture time, cut an Advil Liqui-gel in half and have the bride dab the liquid on the blemish. It reduces the swelling and redness.

Not pictured: Gatorade. Never forget the Gatorade. It will help ease the wedding day hangover so that you can enjoy the rest of your weekend.

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Band-Aid Friction Block Stick. Use it and you will never have a blister again (and neither will your bride!) Just don't leave it in your car because it WILL melt.

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Now on to the first aid part of the kit. I always keep a few essentials on hand. Band-aids, Advil, Excedrine Migraine, Pepto Chewables, Claritin and Tums. Somebody will need one of these, I promise.

What are some things you have in your “uh-oh kit” that I don't? I'd love to hear from you, so please leave your comments below so we can all benefit from your go to items.

Below you will find the product reference links. Happy shopping and here is being prepared for those wedding day “uh-oh's”.

1. Davines No 10 Universal Polishing Coat for Wizards

2. Touch of Purple

3. Murad Acne Spot Treatment

4. Opti-Free Rewetting Drops

5. Band-Aid Friction Block Stick

6. Connoisseurs Diamond Dazzle Stik

7. Band-Aid Advanced Healing Blister Bandages

8. Duo Eyelash Adhesive

9. EOS Lip Balm

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