Wedding day packing list: essentials you don't want to forget

His and Her gray calligraphy vow books for bride and groom photo by New York photographer Jessy Herman Photo

Besides the obvious things like your dress or suit, jewelry, undergarments, and shoes, there are some key things you won’t want to be without come wedding day. Don’t forget to pack these essentials!

Timeline
A day-of timeline is so important and has likely been planned weeks before your big day. Be sure to inform everyone who might need this important info prior to your wedding day. Send it to your bridal party so they know when and where to arrive, and to all your wedding vendors so everyone is on the same page throughout the day. As a photographer, I’m happy to help with this and often work super close with my couples on their timeline when asked.

Change of shoes
Bring a change of comfortable shoes so you can dance the night away without your feet going numb! My bride Danielle had these sparkly cuties by Kate Spade waiting on her chair when they arrived at the reception.

Kate Spade glitter wedding dance shoes sitting on head table chair photo by New York photographer Jessy Herman Photo

ID/cash/credit card
Fun story for you. When Austin and I got married, we had to leave the venue by midnight. More generous than most venues, I know, but we weren’t done celebrating and decided to go to a bar afterwards with a bunch of our friends. When we arrived, we walked up and the bouncer freakin CARDS ME at the door! Mind you, we’re still in full wedding gown and suit attire! Now I get this is their job (and the law or whatever), but still. So we go back to the car in search of my ID. We finally found it and everybody cheered when we walked in and we got free drinks the entire time. But for a hot second, he was such a buzzkill. So my point: don’t forget it AND know where it is.

Vows
If you’re writing your own vows, it’s a good idea to provide a second copy to someone else (MOH or wedding coordinator) just in case! Some couples choose to type them out on their phones, but I always encourage couples to write them out. They become such a sweet keepsake. Write them on a piece of paper and frame them to hang in your home, or opt for vow books like these. You can use the additional pages to renew them with one another at milestone anniversaries.

His and Her gray calligraphy vow books for bride and groom photo by New York photographer Jessy Herman Photo
Vow books from Seniman Calligraphy

Emergency kit
Things happen, and when they do, you’ll be prepared. Put a bag together with bandaids, sewing kit, double sided tape and a Tide-To-Go pen.

Tips/thank you notes
As a wedding vendor let me start by saying, personally, a tip is never expected. So many of my couples are generous enough to tip or give me a thank you gift, but again, it is not an expectation. However, if you do decide you’ll be tipping your vendors, be sure to have that sorted out before your wedding day. Put them in envelopes that are clearly labeled. We designated this to family members and being organized is key for this task!

Rain/cold weather gear
Most of my weddings are in New York and Michigan and if we know anything, it’s that our weather can be unpredictable. If you’re having an outdoor wedding come prepared with umbrellas, rain boots and a jacket to wear between photos. For cold days, wear leggings under your dress if it allows, hand warmers, snow boots, and a pretty shawl or coat.

Overnight bag
What a wonderful day! Wonderful, and exhausting. The last thing you’ll want to do is make a late night trip to Walgreens because you’ve forgotten your toothbrush. Be sure to pack a bag with all the essentials: make-up remover, pjs, water/snacks, next day clothes, whatever.

Let me know what other items are on the essentials list! What other goodies can’t be forgotten on wedding day?

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