While you may have already chosen your bridesmaids' dresses and purchased your thank-you gifts, there's still one more task left to accomplish before heading down the aisle with your best friends: assembling bridesmaid survival kits! First and foremost, what is a bridesmaid survival kit? In general, these "kits" are caches of beauty, fashion, and first aid items that members of the bridal party should have on the big day in order to be prepared for any possible scenario. They're nothing fancy or grandiose—just a collection of must-have items you think they will or could need to ensure a memorable and enjoyable wedding experience, such as pain reliever, bandages, and makeup remover.
Whether you want to gather the girls and make the kits together or surprise them with their own box of essentials on the morning of the wedding, we're here to help you prep the best package of big-day essentials. Ahead, we chatted with wedding planner and bridal shop owner Nicole Sheppard to see what constitutes as an emergency kit for bridesmaids and what brides and their crew should know when putting one together.
Meet the Expert
Nicole Sheppard has served as the owner and lead planner of All Who Wander Event Design for nearly 10 years. She and her husband, Andrew, are also co-owners of Wander Atelier in Caldwell, New Jersey.
Why Are Bridesmaid Survival Kits Important?
If you're currently asking, "Why pack emergency kits for bridesmaids when I already have my own wedding day survival kit?", we're here to help! To start, it's always better to be over-prepared for any worst-case situations that could befall your special 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.
Tips for Creating Bridesmaid Survival Kits
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 fragrance roll-on for each bridesmaid (based on their favorite scents, how certain aromatic notes remind you of each of them, etc.). Sheppard also 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 [gifts they plan to give]. 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.”
For those planning to make each kit with their favorite girls ahead of the wedding, consider creating a unique experience you'll be happy to look back on. Plan a luncheon then 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 during a wine night.
What to Include in a Bridesmaid Survival Kit
Unlike the exceptionally thorough wedding emergency kit, bridesmaid survival kits are a bit more streamlined. You’ll have multiples of each item on hand if everyone has their own, so try not to go beyond one or two products. From the essentials to the extras, here is what your emergency kits for bridesmaids should include.
- 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