Whether you are a brand new wedding photographer, or a well-seasoned one, weddings can always be full of surprises. Just about anything and everything can go wrong, and if you aren’t prepared, it’s easy to get caught off guard in a sticky situation. While you probably have your go-to list of equipment to bring, there’s a good amount of items you should bring that aren’t camera related, but just might save the day. We’ve put together the Top 9 Wedding Essentials, that aren’t equipment, for you to go over:
1. Wedding Timeline
While this may sound like an obvious thing to bring, you’d be surprised how many photographers forget this detail. Having either a printed out copy of the wedding timeline, or at least a digital copy on your phone can be a huge help when it’s starting to get chaotic. Keeping in mind when each event is supposed to take place will not only help you to stay organized, but will ensure that you get all of the important moments of the day.
Unfortunately, technology hasn’t evolved enough for us to see months’ worth of weather in advance, so weather can be a bit unpredictable on the big day. Bring at least 2 umbrellas (either white or clear work the best), so that not only you stay dry, but the bride and groom can stay dry as well. While it may be raining on the day of, you can always help the couple to make the best of the situation and use these umbrellas as props for stunning “rainy day” poses. How romantic is that?
3. Extra Change of Clothes
While we all would like to think that we are super neat and nothing will happen, there are a lot of things that can go wrong at a wedding. Whether it’s an extremely hot day and you sweat through your clothes, it starts pouring and you are left soaking wet, or Grandpa Joe spills his plate of spaghetti all over you, it’s pretty easy to get stuck looking less than tidy. Pack an extra change of clothes (or at least a shirt) so that you are looking polished and professional for the occasion.
4. Loose Change
At least here in Savannah, just finding a parking spot can be a big challenge. Add to that finally getting one close enough to where you need to be and not having change? Talk about a nightmare! The last thing you need as a wedding photographer is for your car to get towed while you are out taking pictures of the ceremony. Bring a good amount of spare change to ensure that you are good to go, no matter where you park!
5. Snack Stash
Let’s face it, working a wedding can work up an appetite! Even if the couple is providing you a full gourmet meal, it can seem like forever until you finally get to the reception. Be sure to bring a little pick me up bag with a few snacks and drinks to keep you going through the day. My suggestions? Granola bars, trail mix, nuts, fruit, water, and 5-hour energy are a good start. As long as you’ve got protein and some type of energy boost, you’ll be all set to go. Feel free to add in your own personal favorites as well!
6. First Aid Kit
Besides the typical band aids, Neosporin, and gauze, you’ll definitely want to pack up a little “drug” kit in your first aid assortment. While we all hope that no injuries or accidents occur during your time at the wedding, there’s almost no way to avoid it, so it’s better to be prepared. Be sure to add in some Advil, Benadryl, and even anti-diarrhea pills. (Trust me on that last one, it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry when it comes to catered food.) Having a few medical essentials can be a huge life saver (no pun intended) during big events.
7. Nice Hangers
In all the chaos and confusion of wedding planning, little details are easily overlooked by the bride and groom. When it comes to “getting ready” shots, believe it or not, many couples completely forget to grab some nice hangers for the dress and the tuxedo. They will definitely thank you in the end for remembering this small detail, and it makes a world of difference in the final shots.
This may feel like you’re throwing it back to the 90’s, but having a set of walkie-talkies to communicate with either the wedding planner, best man, or maid of honor (or all of the above), can end up being a huge time saver. Bring two or three to be safe, maybe more if it is a larger wedding. These really are such a big help when it comes to locating people, planning out time, and staying on schedule. Plus, you’ll feel super professional, and look pretty cool too.
At the end of the day, weddings are so special and magical, but definitely full of unexpected surprises. Being prepared not only will help keep you sane, but will help your bride and groom to be less stressed and focus on what is really important: the love and joy that they get to share for the rest of their lives. It’s amazing what a difference these small details can make in the day, and you’ll be surprised how often these essentials come in handy!
Thanks for reading Top 9 Things to Include in Your Wedding Photography Contract blog post! Check out my other articles for photographers like Top 5 Ways to Find An Affordable Wedding Photography Assistant, Why Photographers Need A PDF Pricing Guide, Contax 645 Tutorial #3 | Camera Settings, Film Choices, Metering, and Posing, Contax 645 Tutorial #2 | Camera Accessories, Film Loading and More, Contax 645 Tutorial #1 | Hybrid Wedding Photography Equipment, and many more in our Journal page.
Check out some of my wedding photos at The Market At Grelen Wedding | Virginia Wedding Photos, Delta Plantation Wedding Photos, Belmond Maroma Cancun Wedding among others. And some engagement photos as well like Wormsloe Engagement Photos and Savannah Engagement Photo Session | Forsyth Park to name a couple. Also, go to our General Wedding FAQ and our Engagement Session FAQ posts for information about how to prepare for your photo sessions. We have other posts that can help you in your wedding preparations in our Journal Page. Don’t forget to check out my homepage for my newest wedding photography work.
As always, feel free to contact me with any questions, and be sure to follow us on social media for the latest shoots and blog updates!