OH SHIT KIT: The wedding day items that could save your ass

Updated Sep 24 2019
"Oh shit!" kit bags from Etsy seller becollective.

Shooting weddings has taught me a lot about common mishaps and mistakes that are prevalent and almost communal in the fact that they've happened in almost EVERY SINGLE WEDDING. One of the last weddings I shot, the bride had craftily brought her own "Oh Shit" Kit. That's when the proverbial lightbulb went *ding* in my head, and I thought — like every Californian needs an Earthquake Preparedness Kit, every bride should have an "Oh Shit" Kit.

Here are the things to include in your bridal "Oh Shit" Kit:


Needle and thread: In fact, pack an entire mini sewing kit with scissors, needle, threads, extra buttons, safety pins, etc.

Scissors: There's always something that needs cutting, whether it be a loose thread or the price tag left on a dress or tie.

Super glue, or any other kind of adhesive: I once saw a bridesmaid break her heel right before the ceremony — super glue came in reeeeeally handy.

Sunscreen: VERY necessary if you're having an outdoor wedding, not only for the bride but for the whole bridal party. Even if you're not having an outdoor wedding, consider bringing some sunscreen if you plan on doing portrait sessions outdoors.

Bobby pins and hair stuff: Bring extra bobby pins, hair ties, and a brush or comb.

First aid kit: I love these Johnson & Johnson mini first aid kits so much that I supplied them in my welcome bags for all my out of town wedding guests. They came in really handy in a lot of unfortunate occasions — like when I got stung by a bee at the rehearsal dinner!

Stain remover: A Tide To Go pen or Shout Wipes have saved many a near wedding outfit stain disaster at one too many weddings, let me tell ya. Whether it's a stains on your white dress from sitting on something funky, or an unbalanced bridesmaid with a glass of red wine, these babies come in SUPER handy.

Something for headaches: Advil, Aspirin, Tylenol — whatever works for you when that stress headache rears its ugly head. Also great for near the end of the evening when your feet are KILLING you from your fancy new wedding shoes.

Lighters: Trust me, even if you're not a smoker, bring a lighter. There's always a candle that goes out or even a bon fire pit at the venue that may be calling your name.

Something naughty: Speaking of lighters… sometimes an emergency stash of your guilty pleasure can be the ONLY thing that will bring you back from the brink of wedding day insanity. Keep a secret cigarette stash for a quiet moment to yourself. I've seen bridesmaids do a pre-wedding nip on a flask to calm nerves. (The one pictured above has room for both!) Hell, what about a Vicodin or a mini vibrator? Whatever calms ya down and makes ya' happy in an emergency 'sitch.

Bin bags: Useful for trash, for tossing gum into, for tossing soiled items, or, if nothing needs tossing, it never hurts to have an extra bag around. Just toss a few plastic bags into your tote and thank me later.

Extra undergarments: If you're wearing 'em, pack an extra pair of underwear and nylons. I love Hanky Panky undies because, not only are they comfortable (I wore them on my wedding day) but they come wrapped up tight in these little bundles, perfect to stick in your "Oh shit" kit.

Flash drive: A flash drive with files of all your important documents — speeches, vows, schedules, etc. (Also, how much do you love that I found you a Transformers flash drive? You're welcome.)

Snacks: Bring an apple, a bag of trail mix, or an energy bar in case you don't have time to eat. It'll calm your stomach and any residual crankiness. Also a bottle of water can be a life saver.

Tote bag: The great thing is that all these items are small, so you don't need to bring a very large bag with you. A tote that's the size of a lunch bag will do just fine. So find something fun and funky that will stand out and be easy to find like this child's lunch bag.

Okay… I know I'm missing something here, right? What else did you forget, or remembered to bring that absolutely saved your "oh shit!" wedding moment?

  1. I actually just thought of something else for my list which i figured i would add here – extra AA batteries for all those digital cameras. We are having friends (there are 3 pro photographers on our guest list) take whatever pics they want at the reception and share with us instead of having our photographers stay all night. So i want to make sure no-one runs out of juice!

  2. EMERGENCY MEDS! I know an assortment of standard meds have been mentioned (painkillers, antacids, etc.), but find out about if the bridal party has any emergency meds (inhalers, epi pens, etc.), and make sure you/they have them on hand and easily accessible in their kits.

    Totally want to second the batteries, pocket knife, and pads/tampons suggestions (and everything else that was suggested, but especially those three.)

    I think a good rule of thumb is that anything in your purse should probably also be in your Oh Shit Kit.

    • Yes! It would just be my luck to remember everything but my inhaler. Something tells me an unchecked nervousness- (or allergy-) induced asthma attack would not be a lovely addition to my day. Must add it to the list.

  3. The one thing that saved us one time (I've been a bridesmaid or maid of honor over a dozen times) was Whiteout. I know that we pay a ton for our wedding dresses and couldn't imagine putting white out on them, but my friend got a spot at the last minute. Make up or dirt I can't remember anyways it was small but dark so her older sisters sent two of us totally made up into the grocery store for chalk and whiteout. The chalk lighten the lighter dust spot and the whiteout covered the dark spot. I've brought it ever since. It worked like a charm at relaxing the bride and that is all that matters.

  4. good advice, and having worked at a number of weddings I suggest a product called Wine Away, available at wine shops. I removes red wine stains by just spraying it on. It works.

  5. In addition to the sewing kit, I made sure to bring plenty of thread that was the same color as the bridesmaid's dresses, and groomsmen's suits. That way even if you're terrible at sewing, nobody will be able to see the funky stitching!

    We also had duct tape and a spare set of meaningful-to-us rings /just in case/ anything happened to the real set of rings.

  6. I would like to add tweezers to the list, not only for last second plucking emergencies but just out of sheer blind luck i had mine and my makeup artist forgot hers, if i hadn't had them, she wouldn't have been able to apply our fake eyelashes!

    Coincidentally, i still had them in my bag for my friends' wedding 2 weeks later where i was a bridesmaid, and the EXACT same thing happened. Tweezers saved the day once again. I however, did not need/have any of the other things on this list!

  7. * Mini screwdriver for eye glasses or electronics.
    * Flash drive with Pdf's of the important documents (last minute reprints of directions, hotel confirmations, place cards, etc.).
    * Fabritac— <– Best fabric glue I've used in my decade of theater studies/work. Any yard goods or sewing section should have it.
    * Spare Pen– The minister at the most recent wedding I was in had a special pen that "all his marriage licenses" were signed with. Unfortunately, he didn't have a refill for it. 🙁 My Pilot G2 to the Rescue!

  8. AA & AAA batteries! Have been using "Oh Shit" kits for years! There is one very important "item" not listed here. A gofer, someone reliable not in the wedding party to run and do anything needed. And trust me, you will need that person for something.

  9. I couldn't have got by without "rescue remedy" for me, but even more so for my girls – 4 1/2 and 31/2 so was a HUGE day for them especially as they were my flower girls. Also mints/tic tacs for fresh breath (and they proved to be great bribes for the girls after the first spray of rescue remedy and they knew what it tasted like)lol. The only other thing I would have been lost without was double sided sticky tape.

  10. I would probably just carry what I always do. Everyone makes fun of me because I don't pack light. 😉

    Anxiety medicine
    Lactaid fast tablets
    Goat's milk lotion (GODSEND ladies, if you have Eczema or you want lotion that leaves zero shine but the same richness)
    Concealer and mini brush
    Blotting papers
    Nude nail polish (great for everyone, including those with off-colored nails)
    Mini sewing kit
    Mints and gum (nervous chewing)
    Feminine wipes (I HAVE to wash after using the restroom. *cringe* especially with good underwear on!)
    Antibacterial gel mini bottle
    Car sickness tablets
    Pepto fast act tablets
    Good quality lip balm
    Lip stain (in case color fades)
    Mini comb
    Compact mirror

    Yeah…good thing I have a large purse.

  11. I am all for being prepared. It's why I hate to fly now. You can't carry anything useful in your carry-on anymore and I always have the feeling of panic that I will need something and not have it!

  12. Hairspray and clear nail polish for those last minute, I've already changed into my spare pantyhose, and now they have a run too moments.

    I also recommend a hankie. My dad brought spares and gave one to me and one to my sister on her wedding day to help in case of random spouts of emotion or overactive glands creating a swamp under the arms. Fortunately, the former happened before the latter… maybe two hankies would be in order. It never hurts to have spares, and a hankie wonmt fall apart or cause unnecessary sweat if stuffed in the front of a dress

  13. Spare contacts! Those'll be in my kit for sure. At 950/20, I really am blind as a bat without them, and I *really* wouldn't want to lose one and not have a replacement! And my glasses, too, just in case.

  14. This sounds kind of like a no brainer, but DO buy your materials a few days before your wedding and DO save the receipts. I did just that and ended up being able to return about $30 worth of stuff that we didn't end up needing. I was glad to have it just in case, but it felt even better that we didn't actually need it. Getting the credit back after the wedding wasn't so bad either.

    Also, DO tell your bridesmaids that your kit is there. In all the confusion of the day and all the lugging stuff around, I forgot to specifically mention the kit to people. So I think that part of the reason almost none of it was used was that no one knew about it!

  15. I would add allergy medicine to this. No matter if indoor or outdoor wedding anyone who has allergies will probably get them right there at the wedding.

    Also, probably nose spray so you can keep breathing if your allergy meds aren't doing the job. Some anti itch/rash cream might not be a bad idea either.

  16. As a costumer, there are a few things I've found endlessly helpful for last minute fixes

    -isopropyl alcohol and a rag. Gets almost ANYTHING out of fabric (up to and including sharpie) without harming dyes. Note- you'll have to get your fabric pretty wet before you start seeing results. Wet the stain and rub with your rag. It should start fading. You can use hairspray for smaller stains, since it contains a lower concentration of alcohol.

    -safety pins and duct/electrical tape. The pins hold things; the tape ensures that they won't pop open. The tape is also good for hemlines and broken shoe straps.

    -moleskin. Great for chafing shoes.

    -if your dress features hooks and eyes or snaps or even beads, bring a couple extra in case they fall off somewhere down the line. Even if you can't sew, someone else in your party/celebration may be able to.

  17. I now have an insane list from going through the comments and adding. I bet you anything I will still be missing one important thing!

  18. I have been a personal attendant in several weddings and I would definitely recommend on that flash drive or a separate piece of paper you include info for all vendors and the officiant, but also the phone numbers/hotel room info for all wedding party members…you just never know who is going to get a little crazy at the rehearsal dinner or screw up an unfamiliar alarm clock and be late or missing! I would also include baby wipes (useful for about a billion things), Tide pen (I had a bride take pictures in the forest pre-ceremony and we got the dirt out of her train with at Tide pen! Test a small area to see how it works on the fabric first) as well as either mini or full versions of all make up (if you go to Sephora, they can usually provide test sizes). I would also say chocolate, not only as a guilty pleasure before the wedding, but I actually was asked for one of my mini candy bars for a guest with low blood sugar. I would also make sure that at least a few people in the wedding party know some of the key policies of your venue…I had a bride that got married in a forest preserve and it would have cost $5k an incident if anyone smoked on the grounds…I had my eagle eyes out, no one wants to start their brand new marriage having to pay $5k for such a stupid thing!

  19. Don't forget your birth control and lubricant of choice, as you don't want to be without that on your (or someone else's for that matter!) wedding night. Unless you're trying to get pregnant, of course, in which case the lube is still a good idea!

    A paper copy of your entire ceremony including readings and whatever your MC is going to say is also probably a good idea in case you have to get someone to fill in at the last minute.

    I know someone said lintbrush but I just wanted to recommend bringing one of those sticky kinds of lint rollers as we definitely made use of one of those on my sister's wedding dress.

    Oh and someone might have mentioned this already, but don't forget sunglasses!

  20. I recommend baby powder and anti-nausea pills. Every bride I've ever talked about has talked about the sweat between her legs, and I've known several who have thrown up because of nerves before the ceremony.

  21. Baby powder, for chafing, and little packets of sugar. Seriously, I get the worst hiccups, and nerves make it all that more terrible and a teaspoon of sugar is the only home remedy that works. I usually have Emergen-C in my water bottle, because who KNOWS what bugs your guests brought. Eyeglass cleaning cloth, and Visene. A print out of Googlemap directions from the two or three nearest big roads to your venue, in case people get lost. And have the Bride, Groom, MOB, Best Man, MOH and MOG all have the local non-emergency numbers in their phones for police, fire department, and the nearest urgent care clinic just in case shit really hits the fan but it's not a 911 emergency.

  22. How about a pocket knife. I was to wear my pocket watch in my vest pocket but I had forgot that all the pockets were sewn closed. My pocket knife came in very handy here and throughout the night.

  23. This post is amazing im doing mine up now but also as a parent to young children i suggest a mini pack of crayons and extra paper and mini treats (treats for flower girl, page boy) our rehersal called for them id say the wedding will do too.

  24. I always give the groom a crochet hook. If the bride has many buttons that are troublesome to button…it will be the perfect wedding present.

  25. Tape, wet wipes, tissues and safery pins are a must! Thanks for the others. Making my kit for my sister's wedding next month,

    • If you've got your car around (nearby parking spot), I'd say keep it in the car. 😉
      Else, yeah, someone has an extra bag to carry around.

    • For my brother's wedding, it all fit into a college-student-sized backpack). I had some tools in my car that we used, like a hammer, but those were part of my usual car kit. I know it all seems like a lot, but really, nothing is terribly big. I will say, having a bag with lots of compartments is SUPER awesome. Being able to say "green backpack, front zipper pocket, third compartment from the front" or "green backpack, main pocket, halfway down" was pretty awesome. Also avoided the tendency of such kits to explode around the room when looking for something.

  26. I'm a wedding photographer and I had to use my sewing kit twice yesterday! The first time was when we took the wedding gown out of the bag. I noticed that the center jewel on the beaded sash was loose, so I stitched it on nice and tight. The second time was at the reception, when the gown wouldn't stay bustled. I got out my pins and we pinned it from underneath.

  27. Can I add – no one has thought of this yet and as a bridesmaid I wish I had thought of it!!!

    A sewn-in pocket inbetween your boobs, big enough to hold a lipstick for the bride!!!

    The wedding was in 35 degrees Celsius heat – EXTREMELY hot day for a wedding! and I tried to store the lipstick inbetween my boobs, which is always doable because I have a size G cup! However, it was so hot the lipstick kept sliding straight through – underneath the centre gore. It was just too hot and several times it was a brand new bellybutton lol. Luckily I gave it to the photographer, who happened to be my brother but god I could've done with a boob pocket!

    But only if the dress (and your boobs!) would allow it of course, luckily mine would have but who would have thought!

  28. I'm surprised no one has mentioned a stiptic pencil! It is basically a little white stick made of this stuff that helps blood coagulate so if u get a little cut it stops the bleeding. It's perfect for a groomsman who nicks himself shaving the morning of or a bridesmaid in a leg exposing dress who does the same!

  29. White chalk for the stains that won't come out of a wedding dress, run the chalk over it to hide it. mini deodorant. Moleskin for your shoes. white washers (hear me out) you can safety pin or quick stitch them to the ends of table clothes or a veil in an outdoor windy situation to add a little weight to tame the flapping

  30. Canned air- shoot it up or down the dress,under the hairdo , face to stom melty makeup! Used it at every wedding I have worked !

  31. Purple mascara, eraseable pens, white and black electrical tape, and pipe cleaners in a rainbow of colors and sparkles.

  32. A ring. At a friend's wedding, the minister asked for the bride's ring and the bridal party quickly realized that no one had it. The groom's mother had hidden it so no one would steal it. I pulled off my ring and handed it over. The bride was clueless, apparently she hadn't seen hers yet. Problem came when I had to ask for my wedding ring back after she'd been married in it. Bring a ring. Even a cheapie quarter machine ring.

  33. All I would add that I probably missed are some Femine hygiene products. There is always some one who's time of the month comes early or gets a fowl odor from down under espically as summer heats up. Also extra deodorant and a white crayon in case a stain or spot won't come out. Although not as discreet as total stain removal it csn go a long way towards covering the stain.

  34. I'm a mobile DJ & MC, but many of my clients have said I was more active than their day of coordinator they hired. I have a small kit in my DJ laptop bag of odds and ends for emergencies, though most of them are more target to me. I have jumped in several times at weddings to lint roll grooms (dogs are awesome, and hairy), tape up so many things (and sharing tape with my fellow wedding professionals who forgot their tape) and provided some pain meds (just Advil).

    That said, I'm a going to create my own MC Oh Shit Bag to bring with me to events with these things in consideration for this upcoming wedding season! A Master of Ceremonies who is ready for anything!

    Ps… I adore Offbeat Bride, my favorite of wedding blogs and I suggest it to every couple I work with!

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