After shooting weddings for close to ten years, I've compiled a list of equipment and essentials I can't live without on a wedding day. Here are my top ten below:
1. Half Apron
One of my favorite, essential wedding-day tools is my small, black half apron with pockets. I always put things like extra batteries, a few rolls of film, extra SD cards, and extra film inserts in the apron pockets. Grab the apron I use here for under $10.
2. Flat Lay Risers + Macro Filters
If you're shooting invitation suite on a flat surface, you'll want to elevate certain paper goods above others to create a better design. If you're not ready to spend $50+ on glass risers, grab these flat sponges to lift your paper pieces up. Easily stack or cut them as necessary.
Instead of purchasing an expensive macro lens specifically for macro shots, I highly recommend getting a less expensive set of macro filters to fit your lens. I use these on both my digital and film setups to get a few close-up detail shots.
3. "Zip-Lock" Bags for Film + Batteries
I found myself using plastic bags over and over again to house shot and un-shot film during wedding weekends. Instead, I grabbed a few reusable, zip bags to keep my film in while shooting weddings. You can find the bags that I use here.
4. Wedding Day Snacks
Whenever I shoot a wedding, I always assume that I won't have time to sit down for a dinner (and I pack accordingly). A few of my favorite snacks that keep my full for a long time are Macro Bars, Justin's Almond Butter packets, RX Layered Bars, and Liquid IV (a must if you're shooting long days outside).
5. Reception Hearing-Savers
These earplugs are a must if you're working many weddings with long, loud-volume receptions. I always keep at least a few pair of these in my camera bags.
I highly recommend keeping a few makeup touchup tools in your bag or in your car. A few I highly recommend are the Thrive Mascara (doesn't smear, comes off super cleanly) and the Thrive Eye Brightener (I typically use as a quick eye shadow touch-up).
I also always keep a small tube of travel sunscreen, especially weddings without ample shade/mostly outdoor weddings. I suggest grabbing these travel sunscreens.
7. Wedding Day Shoes
If you're looking for some incredible, long-lasting shoes you can wear (and wash) over and over again, I highly recommend The Ankle Boot or The Loafer from Rothy's*. *Get $20 off when using this link.
8. Camera Straps
My favorite camera harness is the Blackrapid Harness. It's comfortable, blends in well with my darker/black clothing I wear to weddings, and easily adjustable. For individual camera straps, I highly recommend the Peak Design straps. They're super versatile and easy to take your camera off and on straps without any hassle. I typically use these on my Leica, Contax G2, and smaller cameras I take on and off throughout the day.
9. Travel HardDrive
One of the most important things I bring to long wedding weekends is my solid state travel hard drive. This hard drive is tiny (easily bring it with me on destination weddings) and durable. I recommend getting at least 1TB (although I generally opt for 2TB).
10. Small Video Light
I never shoot a wedding without at least one great video light. You never know when you'll be in a bind, and quickly need a pop of constant light to work with. This video light is under $50, and can quickly change temperate and light strength to get the lighting you need.