What to put in your Mother of the Bride Wedding Day Emergency Kit
On the big day you want to look the very best you can be. But you’re going to be very busy and there’s not always the opportunity to make a visit to the bathroom to use your complete make-up bag full of tricks. The same with emergencies. You have to deal with these quickly with as little fuss as possible.
I suggest you make two separate survival kits for the day of the wedding. You’ll be packing the Micro Kit mainly with yourself and your daughter in mind and the larger Mini Kit for general use.
The smallest kit is the Micro – and it stays with you at all times.
The Wedding Emergency Micro Kit
In the weeks before the wedding keep this checklist in your diary and take a quick look at it when you go shopping in the supermarket or pharmacy. It won’t take long to find the items.
But you might want to give yourself a bit of time to find really small examples of each of them.
On the day you purchase your clutch, put your micro kit together in a plastic bag and take it with you to the shop. You’ll need to see if the purse can accommodate your kit without looking misshapen.
You’ll put these items into a clutch bag or purse that will be with you throughout the service and the reception. Keep these things just for you and the bride. They are all for immediate use when there just isn’t time or opportunity to get to a bathroom.
Find the smallest example of each that you possibly can.
- Lip colour or lip balm
Nerves can dry out your lips because when you’re nervous you tend to breathe more through your mouth. A lip balm can be applied quickly before any photos.
If you tend to lose your lip colour quickly use a lipstick instead. Tip for microsizing – use a sharp knife to cut a slice off a new stick of balm and wrap it in a small piece of cling film or Saran wrap. Use a small lipstick or lip gloss wand to apply colour.
These items also come in very small flat tins which might fit well into a flattish purse.
- Pressed powder or moisturizer
Your face either gets oily in heat or with emotion, or it dries out and loses its glow. If the first, then you need a small flat compact with pressed powder. Dab it sparingly on your nose so the light doesn’t bounce off it and around your eyes where your make-up has melted into the creases and made them more apparent.
The good thing about the compact is that it includes a mirror – so two kit items in one. If your glow is fading you need just the faintest touch of very light moisturizer on your cheekbones and your jaw line.
If your makeup usually looks too matt around your outer eye then dab a tiny bit there too. You’ll be doing this without a mirror so remember less is more.
When you next buy a make-up product from a large store ask the shop girl for some free samples of moisturizer and also of the foundation too. This is the perfect opportunity to stock up on tiny samples to pop into your emergency kit.
- Hair grips or bobby pins
Weather and gravity can affect that fabulous updo so you’ll need three hairgrips ready for first aid. If you’ve got the chance to place them whilst looking in the mirror, great. Otherwise just push them in wherever you feel loose strands.
The slightly loose messy bun is a thing these days so don’t stress out if you feel your hair is less than perfect. Guests – well the younger ones anyway – will just think you’re cool.
This is so you can take a sip of water or other drink without messing up your lipstick. You just need one, cut it in half if it’s a long straw. If you don’t want to buy a whole pack of them just buy a child-size juice and snaffle the bendy straw stuck to the side of the box.
And that water? Well you don’t have the room to carry a bottle with you but all the standing around and nerves might make you very thirsty. The answer is to arrange with a guest to carry a bottle for you then zap over to her to take a quick few sips every so often.
- Dental pick
Spinach may not be on the menu but if we feel there might be food sticking to our pearly whites we get coy in front of the camera and start putting our hand up to our mouth when laughing with friends.
The likelihood is that there’s nothing there at all but just to calm your fears carry a toothpick –wooden, plastic or one of those ones with the little bristles on the end (my personal favourite).
Don’t go scrubbing away at your teeth in public though, just dive into your bag for the stick and give a speedy scrape behind a covering hand. People will think you are yawning. Yes, photo shoots can be tiring!
- Safety pins large and small
The hardy perennial of our childhood, the safety pin is essential. Put two in your micro pack. One that would hold up a hem if push came to shove, and a teeny one for any emergency near your face and shoulders.
No need to have a full pack in the micro kit. Just take out one or two and fold them so they lie nice and flat. If you use one refold it or get rid of it. Scrumpled balls of tissues will pull your bag out of shape and it’s embarrassing when they fall out the next time you open it.
- Cotton bud
If you are even remotely likely to cry when you see your beautiful little girl walk down the aisle then you need a cotton bud at the ready to give tiny dabs to the under-eye area before your mascara has time to turn you into a horror movie star.
If the thought of being photographed without checking you look perfect makes you tremble then by all means pack a simple mirror – don’t bother about a fancy case just get one of those small pieces of mirror that take up almost no room in your purse.
The mirror may also be welcomed by the bride. You’ll probably have at least one other person delegated to be available with a mirror during photos, but ten to one you can’t find her when the wind takes your hat for a walk and you have to settle it back in place before making your grand entrance.
- Your glasses
In your bag, not round your neck or on your head!
Switch it to silent but you’ll want it for snapping informal memories. Save all your sharing for later. There’s too much going on today to be fiddling with your spectacles and scrolling through your contacts.
You may be called upon to sign. If so you’ll need a nice pen. Otherwise forget it. If it’s a question of noting down telephone numbers then someone else is bound to have one on them.
The Wedding Emergency Mini Kit
This is the bag that you will keep somewhere safe but accessible throughout the day. Don’t try to lug it around with you.
These items need a bit of privacy and a good mirror to use. So the ideal place is in a bathroom. But unless you are holding the reception at home this may not be possible.
Other places are your car, if parked nearby, or what about stashed with the presents, near the DJ/band or in a coat-hanging area?
I’ve included items for the bride too, but check with her well ahead of time what she needs you to keep for her. She’ll probably want to redo her make-up before the dancing starts at the very least. So you’ll need her to give you small sizes of exactly the colours and brands she will need.
You’ll need a pair identical to the ones you are wearing and if your daughter is wearing tights then keep a pair for her too.
- Gel pads for shoes
If, like me, you haven’t been used to wearing high heeled shoes for a long time then these may be a life-saver. Try them out with your wedding shoes well before the day to make sure that they are a good fit and actually help.
- Flat shoes
You may not intend to wear them but knowing they are there if you can’t stand another minute in those new pumps will take the stress away.
- Make-up remover pads for waterproof mascara
The danger of wearing waterproof mascara is that it may not stream down your cheeks during the ceremony but as the evening wears on and you get tired you’ll be yawning and your eyelashes may rub against your under eye area.
Or, heaven forbid, you’ll forget all about the mascara and rub your eyes to keep awake. Ouch. You’ll have big panda eyes. And a normal cleansing tissue won’t take it off.
So again, practise with the mascara if you don’t usually wear this type and find a remover that really works.
- Contact lens solution or eye drops
Eyes get very tired. Make yours look sparkling fresh with eye drops. Again, you must practise with these in advance just in case you react against them.
- Eye shadow and/or mascara
Once your eyes are looking fresh again you will need to put reapply shadow and mascara. You may not need a full re-do of your foundation but keep the eye make-up handy.
- Foundation and Blusher
Small sizes for touch-ups
- Comb or small brush
- Covered elastic bands colour-matched to your hair
If that clever up-do goes south you’re better just drawing your hair back into a band and getting back on the dance floor.
Emotion makes us sweat. A crowded room makes us sweat. Dancing makes us sweat. Give your underarms a quick refresh with a cleansing tissue or wipe and apply deodorant.
Just be sure that you are not going to overpower guests when you return from the bathroom. If possible use non-stain and non-perfumed.
- Breath freshener spray or mini toothbrush and paste
It’s a long day. You’ll feel refreshed and confident for a swift brushing. If you’re paranoid about your breath and haven’t had it dealt with before the big day then you’ll need a breath freshener spray too.
- Clear nail varnish and emery board
Your daughter may ask you to keep an emergency glue for her false nails. But all you need is an emery board and a swipe with the clear varnish to keep that split nail in place.
The varnish is useful for all small sticking tasks too such as a hole in your tights out of sight but which you need to stop from getting worse.
- Pain relief pills
Lots of us are prone to headaches on social occasions. I know that certain perfumes and flowers set mine off. Add the stress, the emotion, the noise levels, the constant talking, the standing around in heels and the champagne and you are best to have your preferred brand of pain relief available.
- Antacid or indigestion tablets
Champagne and a long meal can upset the best constitution so make sure you have plenty for everyone.
- Mending kit and scissors
You probably have one of those little flat pack kits with needle, thread and pins. Just check that the needle is not so tiny that you can’t see it – let alone thread it.
And make sure you have thread colours to match your and the bride’s outfits.
If it doesn’t include scissors you will need to add a small pair. Nail scissors are fine. You don’t want to be caught in the bathroom bending over to try to bite the thread off from the hem repair you’re making to that super dress.
- Double sided Scotch tape
It works wonders on a hem for an hour or two or to keep your bra strap in place
- Stain remover
Small stains can be removed if tackled promptly. I have read that talc will help to remove a wine stain on the bride’s dress. But I can’t really believe it. Anyway, take it as an internet tip.
There are lots of small-sized stain remover sticks and liquids on the market. Find one that will work for your outfit, your daughter’s, the bridesmaids’ and your new son-in-law’s tie.
- Lint roller
To deal with hair on the shoulders of the gentlemen’s suits.
- Earring backs
Need I say more?
- A second pair of glasses
For when you mislay the first pair.
- A marker pen or sharpie
For last minute signs and messages
- Phone charger
- Band Aids in two or three sizes
Get these kits together early, you’ll have plenty more to focus on as the wedding gets nearer. Months in advance, finding these items seems ludicrously simple. The day before your daughter walks down the aisle, it will seem like a major irritation.
Once you have got all the items on your list you need to find containers to keep them in on the day.
If your husband or a good friend will be at your side the whole day then he can put the Micro Kit, or some of it, into his pocket if that sweet little purse looks great but is too small for your needs.
For the Mini Kit a typical make-up purse or small bag is perfect. Find some fabulous ones on Etsy.
Right that’s one more thing you can cross off your list. One less thing to stress about. One less ‘what if’ to keep you awake nights.
And for additional peace of mind go read my article: Wedding Insurance. Is it worth it?
Now, where’s the Chardonnay?