Getting ready must have

After shooting more than 100 destination weddings I know something about the chaos when the bride is getting ready. I am always amazed at the original products some brides and bridesmaids bring, and, most of all, they are creative problem-solving.

Here are some products I think are essential:

Clear band-aids. You are on vacation at the beach before and after your wedding, so there’s always a chance you get hurt on the sand or stones. Besides the obvious, there are tons of other uses, however. Once I had a bride who had an underwire coming out of her dress. Of course, it was cutting into her skin so we taped it with the band-aid and voila!

Glue gun. Besides using it for the souvenirs and other crafts, I have seen bridesmaids glue together a hoop that broke or a zipper that suddenly gave out on their dress.

Pins and bobby pins. It can be windy at the beach so bobby pins are essential to hold the hair and veil in place, especially during the formal photos. The pins can help with big cleavage and also with a zipper that breaks or doesn’t close correctly.

Needles and white thread. This is essential. With the humidity here, most brides get a little bloated. I’ve heard it so often: “Oh my god, have I gained so much weight!?” I always tell my brides not to panic, it’s just humidity. Sometimes, however, it does affect how the dress closes and I have seen (not too often so don’t worry!) a zipper or button give out. That’s when you urgently need needles, glue gun and pins in hand to correct the situation. Once outside, no one has ever noticed the fix.

Hair spray. Besides its obvious use on your hair, it is a great tool to keep your makeup in place! Yes, once you are all done, just spray some hair-spray on your face to protect your makeup from all the sweat, humidity and heat that comes with a beach wedding. (We have to pay some price for being in paradise.)

iPod. It sounds simple, but having music in your room while getting ready creates a great ambiance and eases some of the tension. Just don’t put on Metallica! Pop or jazz can be great for soothing the bride and helping her start having a good time on her day. One trick: Place your iPod inside an empty glass and you immediately have a boom box.