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Essential Non-Photography Wedding Tools

By Michelle Ford on October 29th 2013

There are many wonderful essential things to take around as a photographer, but for a wedding, there are also some non-photography related items that are great to have. Check out our video below that talks about the 8 essential non-photography related items that are a must have at a wedding.

Non-Photography Wedding Essentials Video

1. Miniature Clamps

miniature clamp

These are great if the article of clothing your subject is wearing is too loose, or if you need to cinch part of the train of a dress.  It’s also useful when you need to hold paper together on windy days. You can get these at places like Home Depot, Lowes, or anywhere you can purchase these tools. They come in a variety of sizes, but the miniature is the best for most wedding situations.

2. Safety Pins

saftey pins

There will be a time where a button may fall off, or part of a shirt gets ripped. For those instances, safety pins are great to have for a quick solution to the problem. If the bride’s dress is too loose, these can help make quick alterations so that the dress fits her better.

3. Needle and Thread

needle and thread

This is great tool to sew small torn areas, or if an article of clothing becomes loose. It’s great for a quick alterations if it’s needed.

4. Scissors/Mini Swiss Knife


Having small scissors or a pocket knife, allows you to cut loose strands of thread. You may never know when you need it. Sometimes the bride’s dress has the tag still attached, and pulling the tag off may create a hole or tear.  Also, avoiding the temptation to use your teeth is a good idea, as most people don’t like their thousand dollar dresses slobbered on. In these situations, you can just cut them with your handy dandy scissors.

5. Oil Blotters

oil blotters

These are great to help dab out the oil on faces so that they don’t appear shiny on the photos, especially on hot days. For a quick alternative, use the paper toilet cover sheets from a public restroom. They work just as effectively as the oil blotters (assuming of course you choose the unused ones).

6. Umbrella


The weather can be very unpredictable. Carry an umbrella, so that you’ll never be caught off guard from the weather. You can even use the umbrella as a shade on sunny days to help you see better on your LCD display. If the angle you are taking photos from creates unwanted sun flares, then the umbrella can block them out from your shots with the help of your assistant.

7. Hangers


Sometimes when you want to take a photo of the bride’s gown the only hangers available are the wire hangers. Times like that is when it’s best to carry your own wooden hanger, so go onto or anywhere that sells nice wooden hangers. Purchase hangers with little notches on them so that the dress doesn’t fall. These hangers don’t have to be only used for dresses. You can even use these for the groom’s jacket.

8. Nexcare Absolute Waterproof First Aid Tape

nexcareThese first aid tapes are a life saver. Many times, girl’s wear beautiful heels, but they are painful to wear. Whenever their feet hurt, you can give them this tape to help put a barrier between their heels and toes, and the shoes. With the first aid tape, you will be her hero.

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Michelle is a Southern California Portrait and Wedding Photographer. When she’s not geeking out with a camera she’s nerding out in her IT world. All other moments in the day are spent with her two wonderful children.

See her work on The COCO Gallery
check out her blog at frexNgrin

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Mia

    Hey how about double tape? it is one of be best thing to have with you when you are shooting weddings Tampons, I shoot 4 wedding a month and always have a girl who have unexpected periods or forgot to bring her own. Mini hairspray, hair pins + mini makeup kit. And of course blotting paper, Nexcare Absolute Waterproof First Aid Tape ( yeah I have it too )))))))), mini scissors + safety pins + needle and thread ( white and black). Do I carry to much stuff? ))))

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  2. David

    Fun video :-D The camera bag is never for just camera equipment, especially wedding photographers’ bags. Some essentials I carry:
    1. Lint tapes. They are flat, one-time-use, and disposable lint remover pads. They fit easily into any bag because each is only a little thicker than a sheet of paper.

    2. Large Crochet Hook. Those tight buttons on the backs of dresses can be devilish. A large crochet hook can make fast work of difficult buttons.

    3. Pre-tied Bow Tie. “Oh no, I left it at the hotel…” This line normally precedes this item’s use. Long bachelor parties can lead to forgetful grooms and groomsmen, why not be prepared to keep things running smoothly?

    4. Mints (Altoids are a favorite). A loud smack from a gum chewer can billow off the walls of a church. Mints are a quieter alternative to occupying the jitters before the processional, plus who wants to have bad breath on your wedding day?

    5. Emergency meds. Nothing as drastic as trying to find epinephrin at the pharmacy counter, but a small list of medication that could prevent you or a wedding guest from having a bad time: Immodium AD, Motrin, Tylenol, Naproxin, Chewable Pepto, DayQuil, and cough drops.

    There are plenty more than could go on the list of non-photographic essentials, but these are some that I don’t often see in other wedding photographers’ kits.

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  3. Kerrie Jayne Bingham

    Thanks for the tips! those are amazing ideas. I already have a hanger and unbarella but will be adding the additional items too! I wonder how many male togs carry these items too? Do you think we females are more prepared when it comes to these things or is it just a case of learning from experience?
    Keep up the good work :)

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