I think it’s safe to say that every girl has got her little list of items that can always, always, always be found in her purse, no matter where she’s heading. That list might include blotting papers or lip gloss or a hair tie—and when you rummage around in your bag for one of them and come up empty, panic ensues. You do not want this to happen on your wedding day.
No, on your wedding day, you want to have put some actual time and thought into what supplies will be in your presence—not in your beautiful little vintage clutch, of course, but rather, in some handy tote stashed somewhere out of the way but where you can always get to it, and in the charge of one of your bridesmaids.
This topic happened to come up this week when a friend asked me what she should be bringing along by way of a bridal emergency kit like this for her sister’s wedding. To help her out, I dug up something I wrote several issues ago that put together a pretty comprehensive list, which I’m going to share with you, now, too. (Though I have, since the below was written, added band-aids and Advil, after the lovely experience of toppling out of the trolley and onto my knees when the bridal party I was in stopped at the Museum of Art for pictures before my friend’s wedding. Ouch. And blood.)
Here it is. Go forth and be prepared.
Flash back to two summers ago, and five bridesmaids gathered around a large canvas bag. As ‘maids to our dear bride, it was our solemn duty to fill this tote with emergency supplies fit to cover every fathomable wedding-day catastrophe. Although we wondered if it would be worth lugging this kit around, the late-June afternoon to follow would answer our question. We joke (now, we joke) that the most commonly heard words throughout the day were: “Get the Bag.”
Hour by hour, here are a few ways the Bag saved us from cosmetic peril:
PRE-CEREMONY PHOTOGRAPHY During pictures on the front lawn, the previous calm bride bursts into tears during a pose with her parents. Q-tips, eye-makeup remover and tissues make sure she is spic and span for the next photo op. Tucks Medicated Pads, normally used for hemorrhoids, come in handy to de-puff the surrounding eye area later in the day when these bursts become frequent.
POST-CEREMONY PHOTOGRAPHY An unfortunately incident involving stiletto meeting hem leaves our bride with a rip in her gorgeous ivory-cream dress. Cue the sewing kit. The concerned bride plants herself in a pew as my mother stitches her dress back into perfection.
PRE-RECEPTION The bride emerges from her limo wearing the telltale sign of newlywed smooching: no lipstick. We reapply her makeup (and clean up the groom), but an hour of posing in the mid-summer sun leaves the bride and her entire party feeling a little less than fresh. Upstairs in the bridal-party suite of the reception venue, the Bag reveals our saviors: Dove Body Refreshers, baby powder, deodorant and perfume. Face powder and concealer are applied as needed, chignons are tightened with bobby pins, curls are reinforced with hair spray, and the party begins.
RECEPTION See all of the above; pop mints as needed.
AMONG THE UNUSED A few items found themselves untouched in the Bag, and although the bride was grateful that this was the case, she was highly appreciative of their presence:
- Smelling salts, in case she (or, more likely, the groom) keeled over during a pivotal moment, requiring immediate resuscitation.
- Tampons (self-explanatory).
- Spot remover, in tragic case of lipstick, powder, soup, wine or chocolate landing anywhere near the Dress.
Oh, and just to get a professional’s advice on this topic, too, I reached out to so-fab Philly makeup artist Béke Beau, to see what she thinks should also be included in a bridal emergency kit to keep the bride looking her very prettiest and most fresh from the first sip of champagne to the last. And she even included her recs, from “fancy” to more budget-friendly! Here’s what the pro says:
- She reiterated powder, both for combatting shine and keeping makeup in place. She likes Laura Mercier Smooth Focus Pressed Setting Powder – Shine Control in Matte Translucent ($32); Jane Iredale PureMatte Finish Powder ($30, $12 for compact to put it in); and Revlon Nearly Naked Pressed Powder ($8).
- She reiterated lipstick, “Because a bride needs lips!” and added on that long-wear is best. She likes Jane Iredale Lip Fixation ($30) and Chanel Rouge Double Intensite Ultra Wear Lip Color ($34); Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tint ($24); and Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain ($8).
- Good idea: “Clear gloss. If nothing else, you get a little shine.” She likes Bobbi Brown Crystal lip gloss ($19); MAC Clear Gloss ($13.50); and, e.l.f. Super Glossy Lip Shine ($1). She adds that the $1 is not a typo.
- A pen-style highlighter/concealer. “It’ll fix any sort of smudge under the eyes or lipstick marks on cheeks.” She likes YSL Touche Eclat ($40); Jane Iredale Active Light Concealer ($27); and L’Oreal Magic Lumi Highlighter ($12.95).
- Other add-ons she’d suggest: A wedge sponge for clean-ups and Evian Water Spray “for feel-good spritzing and refreshing.”
So there you have it! If you’re a bridesmaid, get packing. And if you’re a bride, please do share this with your girls. Because that whole “better safe than sorry” thing? This is the day to really take that little adage to heart.
Anyone have anything to add to this list, especially from experience? Please share!