The 10 Wedding Day Essentials You Definitely Haven’t Thought Of

A young woman with dark brown hair laughs while holding a tall blonde man in a black tux's hand while they stroll through the vineyard at sunset

These wedding day essentials are so important to remember, but easy to forget!

As your making your wedding day checklists and timelines, I’m sure you’ll also be jotting down a list of must-have wedding day essentials you’ll need to grab as you head out to say, “I Do!” As a long time wedding photographer, I’ve seen what I needed to see to make a list of items you absolutely won’t want to forget on your wedding day.

I’ve rounded up the less obvious things you’ll definitely need when your wedding day rolls around. This way, you’ll be completely prepared when it’s officially wedding day and you won’t have to delay the ceremony because you’re running out to grab the legal documents or driving around searching for an ATM!

And don’t feel bad if you haven’t thought of these wedding day essentials yet–you wouldn’t be the first!

1. Chargers, chargers, chargers

Even if you’ve sworn off your phone on your wedding day or decided to have an unplugged ceremony, you still might want to be able to keep in touch with family members, coordinators, or vendors throughout the day (or in case of an emergency!).

You may also want to put on that carefully curated wedding day playlist whilst your poppin’ bottles for morning mimosas or as you’re headed off to the reception together. And, given the fact that you’ll probably be receiving more text messages and wedding day selfies than you would on your birthday, it’s probably a good idea to have a couple chargers set aside as wedding day essentials in that overnight bag.

2. Your Marriage License

I’m sure you probably want your wedding to be legal, so you absolutely don’t want to forget to bring your marriage license. Since you’ll be focused on, well, tying the knot, hand this wedding day essential over to your officiant or appoint a responsible person to look after it so it doesn’t get lost amid the chaos!

3. Change of Shoes

As much as you love your unique wedding shoes you bought specifically to match your stunning wedding gown, be honest with yourself: They probably most likely won’t be comfortable as you’re breaking it down on the dance floor all night. Do yourself a favor and bring a pair of comfortable shoes you’ve already had a chance to break in, or even some fun wedding day sneakers!


4. Cash (and Envelopes!) for Tipping…

Between your caterers, the DJ and anyone else doing any heavy lifting to help set up your ceremony or reception, it’s likely you’ll have lots of people you probably should tip on your wedding day. Don’t forget this wedding day essential and make sure to bring cash and pre-made envelopes along with you on your wedding day!

You aren’t going to want to have loose bills and or find yourself writing out checks on the spot. You can also avoid the paper altogether and get a list of PayPal or Venmo handles together especially for the big day!

5. …And for Unforeseen Incidents!

Maybe you didn’t know one of your wedding day vendors doesn’t accept credit cards, or someone unexpectedly goes above and beyond the call of duty. Either way, you don’t want to be stuck in a position where you either have to run out to an ATM in the middle of the wedding day, or leave someone in a lurch. Be prepared: Bring the cash.


6. Your Makeup Bag

Even the best makeup can get a bit smudged by tears and laughter! One of the most important wedding day essentials is keeping a suite of basic cosmetics handy. (No, it definitely doesn’t have to be basic brands but you know what I mean!)

Even if you get your makeup done ahead of time, you can’t go wrong by having your foundation, water proof mascara, lipstick and the works at the ready. You can also ask your makeup artist (if they haven’t done it already!) to have a bit of extra set aside for you so you always match perfectly.

It’s not a bad idea to go ahead and make sure that the groom brings some basics for him too. He should have easy access to hair product and deodorant!

7. Medicine

A long-day of standing, crying, eating, drinking and dancing can take a toll on even the most stalwart couples. Bring NSAIDs for pain relief and antacids for the culinary festivities. And maybe you could even win some brownie points by grabbing enough for the guests too.


8. Your Handy Dandy Tool Kit

Tools are one of the most important day-of wedding day essentials! You want to be prepared for any surprises, especially if you don’t have a planner on board. A set of basic tools is a must have: a screwdriver, a hammer, nails. Also bring double-sided tape (both for wardrobe malfunctions and stubborn décor), glue and a set of eyeglass screwdrivers just in case.

9. Outdoor Supplies (for Outdoor Weddings)

Whether you’re getting married in the middle of the summer or tying the knot sometime in the fall, there are definitely some wedding day essentials you need to have on hand specifically for outdoor weddings. You’re getting married outside, be ready should mother nature crash the party by having some special wedding day necessities on hand.

Though it may clash with your perfume, bug spray during those summer months is an absolute essential. Sunscreen and aloe vera are also crucial for daytime ceremonies. You can even provide blankets as favors for those autumn weddings with a touch of the winter cold!

10. For the Wedding Night!

Remember: the party doesn’t end at the reception, at least for the lucky couple! Bring any…necessary supplies you might need for the honeymoon suite later on. Remember to pack your super cute day-after outfit; it’s much more fun to have morning coffee with your new spouse in a fresh set of clothes.

The only wedding day essential I didn’t include? Your photographer!

Good news is–you don’t have to worry about that. This is where I come in. I’m a seasoned film wedding photographer who can create the most gorgeous, editorial wedding photos of your wildest dreams. I know the ins and outs of this venue and can capture the memories of your special day in a way others can’t. I have that sort of je ne sais quoi, if I do say so myself! 

If you’re ready to get started on planning your photographer needs for your wedding day, let’s connect today!

Still looking for more wedding planning inspiration? Make sure to check out these helpful posts on the blog:

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i'm danielle

I'm a Virginia-based wedding & portrait photographer capturing photos that look like actual ART. 

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hi, i'm danielle—

In the past 10+ years as a Wedding & Portrait Photographer, I’ve found that, aside from arming myself with my cameras to catch swoon-worthy moments of my couples on their day, I’m also bringing a few other unexpected things. 

Like my tough love mom-voice that will keep your bridal party in check, my air of calm if you’re feeling overwhelmed, and the corniest jokes so no one has the jitters in front of the camera!

Because so much more goes into getting those gorgeous wedding photos than just hitting “click!”

and I'm not just bringing my camera to your big day.

Wanna know what you need for                        
detail photos?


In the hundreds of weddings I’ve photographed, I’ve created as many different flat lays as you can imagine. And so I’ve curated a complete list of must-have items for you to gather so your detail photos are even more special. For the free list, enter your email below:

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