While you may have chosen your bridesmaids' dresses months ago and purchased your thank you gifts already, there is still one more bridesmaid-related task left to accomplish: bridesmaid survival kits!
What Is a Bridesmaid Survival Kit?
A bridesmaid survival kit is a cache of beauty, fashion, and first aid items that the bridal party should have on the wedding day. The items are either gathered by bridesmaids before the wedding or gifted by the bride.
Whether you want to gather the girls and make the kits together or surprise your best friends the morning of, we're here to help you. We chatted with wedding planner and bridal shop owner Nicole Sheppard to see what constitutes a perfect bridesmaid survival kit and what else brides and bridesmaids should know when putting one together.
Meet the Expert
Bridesmaid Survival Kit Tips
You might be asking, "Why have bridesmaid survival kits when I already made an emergency kit for myself?" Well, being over-prepared is the best-case scenario for any worst-case situations that could befall your day. “There are so many items that serve a dual purpose, as well," offers Sheppard. "Safety pins are the duct tape of the wedding world. They can hem a dress, they can connect bra straps to dresses, and if the bride’s bustle ends up being too heavy, a few added safety pins can seamlessly support the weight. Bandaids can prevent irritation from sequins near the underarm area. Deodorant is, of course, used for underarms, but it can also prevent thigh chafing and be applied to the heel to prevent blisters caused by not-too-broken-in shoes.”
Also, you can’t gamble on your glam squad having enough extras for everyone. “Your hair and makeup artists will likely have things like bobby pins and blotting papers, but don’t count on them magically having other emergency items—their job is to focus on making everyone look their best,” reminds Sheppard. “Same goes for your venue coordinator or bridal assistant: If you’re getting married at a full-service venue, they’ll likely have some items to spare, but it’s up to you (and your planner, if you have one) to make sure that your crew is taken care of when it comes down to it.”
As the wedding date approaches, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that a bridesmaid might overlook certain details of her dress, what to wear underneath, and/or how to triage a particular style-related snag. So, having a well-curated kit at arm’s reach is paramount.
If you're gifting the kits to your bridesmaids, level up the thought and customization of each item. For instance, instead of getting an assortment of body sprays, you can select a specific sweet-smelling fragrance roll-on for each bridesmaid (based on their favorite scents, how certain aromatic notes remind you of each of them, etc.). Sheppard notes, "While it’s not something I see very often as a planner, it’s so smart and makes a lot of sense for a bride to provide something practical on top of the gift they’ve already gotten. Pajamas and a nice bottle of alcohol are two of the things I see most often, but a bridesmaid survival kit along with—yes, I love it,” notes Sheppard.
There are some perks to making each kit with your bridesmaids ahead of the wedding, however. Start your bridal luncheon a little earlier and take a group trip to Target to shop for the items together. Or, you can purchase the items ahead of time and invite everyone over to create their own kits!
Bridesmaid Survival Kit Checklist
Unlike the exceptionally thorough wedding emergency kit, bridesmaid survival kits are a bit more streamlined. You’ll have multiples of each on hand if everyone has their own, so try not to go beyond one or two each of anything. From the essentials to the extras, here is what your bridesmaid survival kit should include:
- Boob or fashion tape
- Safety pins
- Stain remover pens
- Tampons, pads, and/or panty liners
- Tylenol or Advil
- Baby wipes
- Bobby pins
- Static guard
- Clear nail polish
- Sewing kit
- Fabric or super glue
- Hand sanitizer
- Lint roller
- Elastic hair ties
- Earring backs
- Antibiotic ointment
- Alcohol pads
- Eye drops
- Pepto-Bismol and/or Pedialyte powder packs
- Oil blotters
- Makeup remover
- Nail file
- Nail polish
- Hydrating and setting spray
- Eyelash glue
- Thank you note
- Compact mirror
- Bug spray
- Breath mints
- Roll-on fragrance or a perfume atomizer
- Portable phone charger or power bank
- Mini liquor bottles