Five Weird Things I Bring with me to Weddings

I didn’t start shooting weddings until I had my camera for just over two years and even then it was a very small elopement style wedding. The year after that I shot two weddings followed by three the following year. It wasn’t until 2015 that I started booking more and finally, in 2018, I went full time. (Praise hands!) At every wedding, I learn something new and I love that aspect of it. If the groom requests a dramatic cigar photo of him and his guys at the end of the night, it looks like I’m learning backlighting with flash! If the couple asks for a heart drawn in the air with a sparkler, girl, I’m so glad I brought my tripod!

So today I wanted to share with you five non-gear related things I bring with me on a wedding day that you might not think to bring.

  1. Allergy Pills
    And Tylenol. People tend to have some bad allergy attacks at garden weddings and since it’s a formal event, they never think to prepare. I have allergy pills and a headache medicine of some kind available for myself of any guests that might need one. It’s sometimes nice to save the day!
  2. Baby Wipes
    Around dinner is when you start to feel really grimey. Your hair lands itself in a ponytail and all that sweat from earlier starts to dry… it’s not fun. So I bring a package of baby wipes and right when dinner starts, I go to the restroom to wipe off my feet, legs and arms. I know that might be TMI, but it’s a game changer to feel refreshed at that point in the night!
  3. An extra outfit
    One time I heard a story about a woman who was on her way to shoot a wedding. She stopped to get gas and as she pulled the pump out of the car, gasoline spilled all over her. She was 40 minutes away from her home and ended up stopping at Target to get a dress and ran late to get to the wedding on time. You never know what’s going to happen, be prepared!
  4. A second pair of shoes
    Not for the same reason above, although it couldn’t hurt. Sore feet on a wedding day is the real deal. After dinner starts, I like to run to my car and swap shoes. Switching shoes for me allows my feet to feel a slight revival before all that dancing starts!
  5. Nyx setting spray
    Running around in Arizona for an entire day can cause your makeup to run right off… UNLESS you use a good setting spray. I am super fond of Nyx (I get mine at Ulta) setting spray which keeps a hold on your makeup and keeps you looking a lot fresher than you might feel after six hours of shooting! After I do my makeup that morning, I spray about four pumps on my face and let it dry naturally before heading out. Total game changer.

That’s it! What do you bring on a wedding day that most people might not expect? Let me know in the comments!

Denise Karis is an Arizona photographer who enjoys musicals, Doctor Who and breakfast burritos. IG @denisekaris

Special thanks to Jealous Weekends for the makeup photo!