Chicago Wedding Planners Reveal the 10 Essentials in their Wedding Day Emergency Kit

A client recently mentioned that she and her mom were curious when they saw that we have more than 150 items in our Wedding Planner Emergency Kit. Admittedly, were trying to figure what that could possibly included.  We thought it would be fun to write a post about the top 10 things we use from our kits. Bonus — our Chicago wedding planners will let you in on our SECRET WEAPON for ripped wedding dress bustles.”

What you should have in your wedding day emergency kit
Our team of wedding planners utilize two rolling bags for all our wedding day emergency essentials.

Counting Down the Most-Used Contents in Our Wedding Day Emergency Bags

We carry two emergency bags which our clients have fondly come to call our “Magic Bag” or our “Mary Poppins Bag.”   The pink one is all the “décor” stuff we carry in case of a decoration mishap. This includes things like zip ties, string, batteries, staple guns and various fasteners. The black bag contains all the personal care items like Shout Wipes, lint brush, fashion tape and deodorant.    

The One Item from Our Wedding Planner Emergency Kit We’ve Never Needed

The “Ordained Minister Certificate” is the one thing in our emergency kit which we’ve never had to use. Each of our U.S.-based and Chicago wedding planners is a proud card-carrying member of the American Marriage Ministries. We are prepared if there is a snafu on the wedding day with an officiant not showing or a friend bowing out or becoming ill.

Ordained Minster
The most important thing about your wedding day is that you can actually get married. Each wedding planner on our team is an ordained minister in case we ever need to step into that role.

The top ten most frequently used items in our Chicago wedding planners emergency bags…

10. Crowning Glory Flower Wilt

Flower Wilt for Wedding Day Emergency Kit
Crowning Glory is an essential item for your wedding day emergency kit to keep flowers looking fresh.

Whenever the wedding party is heading outside for photos on a steamy, hot day, we send our planners along with a spray bottle of flower wilt to keep bouquets looking fresh.  Wedding Tip:  If you are planning on taking lengthy outdoor photos during warmer months, be sure and share those logistics with your florist. They can advise you on which flowers will stand up better in the heat.  Hydrangeas, for example are very thirsty flowers and wilt quickly in high temps

9. Avène Thermale Spring Water

We stock up on these purse-size spritzes from Magdalena European Med Spa. The cooling super-fine mist helps keep the humans from wilting.

Wedding Day Emergency Kit Essentials
A pair of flip flops in your wedding day emergency kit will keep your feet happy and on the dance floor while the Avene spring water mist keeps you cool and fresh.

8.  White flip-flops

We added a few pairs of these to our wedding day kit following an event when I literally gave one of our brides my super comfy Viox I was wearing. The flip-flops are much -appreciated when bride’s need to trade in their gorgeous 4” heels for something better suited for the dance floor.

7. Tuxedo shirt studs

Over the years, we’ve discovered that men will sometimes use their own shirt studs with rental attire.  These studs are typically larger than the standard plastic studs that come with the rental and stretch out the button hole so the next person who rents the shirt will find that the plastic studs are now too small for the holes and slide right out.   Wedding Day Tip: If you are renting a tuxedo and shirt — try on the entire ensemble and make sure the plastic studs that come with the shirt fit properly. 

Cuff links and shirt studs for your wedding day emergency kit
Grooms and groomsmen alike will appreciate an extra pair of cufflinks and shirt studs packed away in your kit.

6. Compostable Straws

Environmentally conscious and handy for the ladies to use after final make-up application, straws keep their lipstick fresh for the walk down that aisle.

5. White Umbrellas

We have 20 white umbrellas on-hand for snowy or wet wedding days. They’re also handy on hot sunny days to block the rays to keep everyone as cool as possible when shooting photos outdoors.

4. Power strip

Hotel rooms — particularly European ones — never have enough outlets. When there are several people getting ready in the same room, you’ll need a few extra sockets for all those curling irons and phones chargers.

Compact power strip for your wedding day emergency kit
Power strips are extremely handy for powering up all your electronic gear.

3.  Medical Kit

Pain relievers, band-aids and blister pads are among our most-wanted medical items.

Wedding Day First Aid Kit
A First Aid kit will relieve some of those minor medical emergencies like headaches and blisters.

2. Clothes Steamer

Clothes Steamer keeps your wedding day attire looking fresh
Packing a portable clothes steamer in your wedding day emergency kit will keep the wedding party looking fresh and wrinkle-free.

This ranks right up there as one of our most frequently used items but there’s a simple fix if you don’t have a steamer. Push the drain stopper down in the bathtub and turn the shower on as hot as it will go.  Hang your dress or tux in a safe location in the bathroom where it won’t get wet from the shower or from condensation building up on surfaces in the bathroom.  Once the tub is half filled, shut off the water, keeping the bathroom door closed and let the steam do its magic.  (Ideally do this before the wedding day or use a bathroom that won’t be used for wedding day prep as all the steam and humidity can take a toll on your hair and make-up.)

1. Sewing Kit

The number one item we use is our multi-piece sewing kit. Primarily used for sewing on buttons or clipping tags and loose threads, we also find that the included crochet hook in our sewing kit makes quick work for those wedding dresses that have a row of teeny, tiny buttons down the back.

A sewing kit is our most popular wedding day emergency item.

Our wedding planner emergency kit includes a MacGyver-like hack for fixing torn wedding gown bustles. This go-to weapon is a clothes tagger. Yes, the same thing retail stores use for price tags.  We’ve discovered through trial and error that it’s much quicker than safety pins or diaper pins which are impossible to get through several layers of fabric. When the dance floor starts to heat up, its easy for your hem to get stepped on and bustle ribbons to get ripped out of seams. Instead of using safety pins or trying to hand stitch the ribbon back into place, we create an anchor point with a few 1/4″ plastic barbs and secure one end of the ribbon to it. In a matter of minutes, our bride can be back on the dance floor before her guests even realize that she is gone.

Our Chicago Wedding Planning Team’s Secret Weapon for Ripped Wedding Dress Bustles…

How to repair a wedding dress bustledding day emergency repairs
A clothes tagger is our wedding planner trade-secret for fixing ripped wedding dress bustles in a jiffy.

And there you have it! Just adding a few of these items from our wedding planner emergency kit will have you prepared for your wedding day and ready to tackle a number of last minute snafus.

Lake Forest and Chicago Northshore Wedding Planner Lynne Kennedy

Lynne Kennedy is one of 56 Master Wedding Planners in the world and is founder of The Gilded Aisle Weddings, an award-winning luxury wedding planning firm with offices in Chicago, New York, California and Italy. Lynne can be reached at



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