The beauty of having a DIY wedding survival kit is that you're incredibly prepared for any scenario when it comes to the day of your wedding. Generally at DIY weddings, the couple and family are slightly uncertain that everything is going to go smoothly, and nothing puts everyone at ease more than seeing a jam packed emergency kit. It allows you and the people around you to relax a bit knowing you've done your due diligence anticipating the unexpected surprises that will inevitably occur.
One other important thing to know about your DIY wedding emergency kit is to keep the receipts for anything that you have to buy for it. If you don't use something, it can go right back to the store after your wedding day. The goal is to have everything on hand that you may need just in case, but not to rack up a huge expense in the process.
Extra Vases, Extra Tealights, & Extra Decor
Before you leave your house, walk around and grab any decor you think may look good at the venue. There will likely be a few spots that can be jazzed up that you overlooked while focusing on DIY centerpieces, seating charts, the guest book, and more. And if you need extra flowers, foraging at the venue for some wild flowers is a great and cheap way to come up with some additional floral touches quickly.
Large Towels, Dish Towels, & Extra Paper Towels
Because wedding mishaps are real, be prepared for spillage. Bring large towels for big spills and to wipe off ceremony chairs if it rains before the wedding. Dish towels and paper towels are always great to have on hand when setting up and during the reception.
Small Table & Extra Tablecloth
It’s a rare DIY wedding where a small extra table doesn’t come in handy. The one I bring with me to every wedding has been used as a guest book table, a place to hold cups next to a keg, a place for guests to put their dirty dishes, and a spot to put photo booth props. Having an extra tablecloth on hand is good in case the caterer or DJ arrives without a tablecloth for their tables, or you need to cover up a not-so-sightly table at the venue.
Nice Ribbon, String, Zip Ties, Clear Tacks, Tape, Elastic Bands, & Scissors
Something always needs to be tied, hung, or strung during set-up at a DIY wedding, so it’s a good idea to have a variety of options to choose from depending on the task at hand. Nice ribbon can be used to hang something while adding a little touch of decor in the process, tacks and tape work well when a discreet solution is needed, and zip ties are great for electrical cords.
Sticky notes come in handy when you can’t set up everything for the wedding ceremony or reception yourself. If you have people coming into help, you can label everything in advance so that they know exactly what everything is and where it’s supposed to go. Also, leave some blank sticky notes for people cleaning up so they can let you know things like which plates are clean and which ones are dirty.
Lint Roller, Iron, & Travel Steamer
Keep everyone’s attire looking as fresh as possible by bringing a lint roller, iron, and travel steamer. I always have my lint roller ready to go at weddings, and have definitely ironed a shirt for a ring bearer or two on the fly.
Black Scrapbook Paper & A White Chalkboard Marker
There’s always a sign or two that needs to be made for a DIY wedding that only becomes obvious when you’re setting up the venue. Rather than scrambling to find some paper and a half-way decent marker to write it with, bring some black paper and a white chalkboard marker with you to the venue so even the last-minute signs looks like they were planned all along.
Long Extension Cord & Universal Charger
Since DIY wedding venues tend to be a bit rustic and sometimes under equipped on the electricity front, have a long extension cord available in case one of your vendors who requires electricity needs it, like your caterer, DJ, or photo booth. And a universal charger isn’t a bad idea either. As a wedding coordinator, I’m constantly using it myself to recharge my phone during the day, and lending it to others like the best man and maid of honor who may be using their phone a fair amount to keep everyone organized.
Sunblock, Bug Spray, & Umbrella
Make sure you can weather all the elements and bring sunblock, bug spray, an umbrella (preferably one you’d like to be photographed with if it did rain a bit while taking pictures), and any other items needed for an outdoor wedding.
Long Reach Lighter, Bottle Opener, Cake Cutting Knife, & Extra Cooler
These are all items for the reception that you want to make sure are on hand. Just like everything on this list, they may seem small or unimportant, but when overlooked, you realize just how essential they are.
This post also appeared on Bustle.com.