The Ultimate Wedding-Day Packing List for Bridesmaids

Here's everything you need to make sure your friend's special day goes off without a hitch.

bride and bridesmaids

Photo by Hana Gonzalez Photography

When you first said "I do" to being an attendant at your friend's wedding, you probably assumed that the whole adventure would go by slowly. However, now that the countdown on your calendar is officially winding down, your Oscar-worthy role as a bridesmaid is about to come full circle.

For those who have spent months prepping for all the necessary bridesmaid responsibilities—like tailoring your dress to fit perfectly and toasting the bride at her bachelorette party—we're here to say that your role isn't over just yet. Given that there are a lot of last-minute tasks going on during every wedding weekend, your duties as a bridesmaid are likely about to get a little more hectic. So, before you make your final debut as a member of the bridal squad, it's important that you grab a bag and fill it with all the essentials you'll need for the big day.

Which items specifically? Keep reading below for a list of everything you'll need to get through the entire day without a hitch—or a blister. You can thank us later!

The Necessities

  • A solid attitude. No matter what's going on, be sure to enter the wedding adventure with a positive, go-with-the-flow attitude. This is your time to support the bride more than you ever have before.
  • A timeline for the wedding. Before the wedding adventure kicks off, print any itineraries or timelines that the bride or maid of honor may have sent over. That way, you'll know where to be and when to be there.
  • The wedding invitation. Keep this handy so you know important details, like the time of the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception.
  • The contact details of the bridal party. Keep the phone numbers of the maid of honor and the other bridesmaids handy in case you get lost or have a last-minute question on the actual wedding day.
  • Your cell phone charger. You have a long day ahead of you, so it's always helpful if your phone is fully charged. Bring along a wall phone charger or even a portable one that can bring your phone back to life when you're on the go.
  • A bag of snacks. You'll be running around the morning and afternoon of the wedding, getting glammed up, and posing for pictures. Don't forget to please your stomach by bringing along a bag of filling and easy-to-eat snacks.
  • A water bottle. It's important to stay hydrated on the day of the wedding, so keep a water bottle close.
  • A mini pack of tissues. You can never have too many tissues with you on the day of the wedding, whether it's to dry your tears or fix your makeup.
  • A copy of your speech. If you have a speaking part during the wedding weekend—whether at the rehearsal dinner, ceremony, or reception—be sure to have a couple of copies of your speech printed out.

Fashion Fundamentals

  • A rehearsal dinner outfit. Don't forget about the night before. Have a semi-formal outfit ready to rock at the rehearsal dinner.
  • Your bridesmaid dress. You've spent so much time trying it on and getting it altered, therefore the last thing you want to do is leave your clothes at home. Simply put, don't forget your bridesmaid dress.

Be sure to leave your bridesmaid dress hanging up by the front door so it's the last thing you grab when you leave for the wedding.

  • Your wedding shoes. If the bride asked you to pick out a specific pair of heels or told you to buy shoes of a certain color, make sure you have the right pair packed and ready to go.
  • Your dancing shoes. These are the shoes your feet will be craving after standing up during the ceremony, and the shoes that will feel light on your feet as you break out some of your finest dance moves once the reception starts. So, ultimately, make sure they're comfortable.
  • Heel protectors. Heels and outdoor ceremonies just don't mix. Keep yourself from sinking into the grass with a pair of clear heel protectors that snap right onto your shoes.
  • A clutch. Bring a clutch large enough to hold your phone—and maybe the bride's, too—but small enough that it won't be a nuisance when you're carrying it around all day.
  • Jewelry. Keep the necklace, earrings, or bracelet you plan to accessorize your dress in a small bag or box that you can store in your purse until it's time to get dressed.
  • The right bra. Whether you're going strapless or donning stick-on cups, make sure you pack the right undergarments for the dress.
  • Safety pins. In case anyone's dress or bra suddenly breaks, have a couple of safety pins available to save the day.
  • Double-stick tape. It's a good idea to have a roll of double-stick tape with you in case of any major wardrobe malfunctions.
  • A mini steamer. Keep a mini steamer handy to smooth out any lingering wrinkles in your frock.
  • A link roller. Cat hair on your black bridesmaid dress? Remove it in a snap.
  • Stain remover. Stains happen when we least expect them, so bring along a mini stain stick to remove them in an instant.
  • A mini sewing kit. This will allow you to jump in and assist with any emergency alterations to the bride's wedding gown or the bridesmaids' dresses.
  • A change of clothes. If you're heading to the after-party, bring along a different dress so you can unzip your bridesmaid frock and step into something a bit more comfortable.
  • A spare tote bag. Bring along an extra bag in case the bride needs it to carry home any extra decorations or gifts at the end of the night.

Hair and Makeup Must-Haves

  • Inspiration photos. If you're getting your hair and makeup done on the day of the wedding, try not to come empty-handed. Bring along photos of looks you love or ideas you'd like to replicate.
  • A button-down shirt or bridesmaid robe. Slip on a button-down shirt or bridesmaid robe before you do your hair and makeup, so that it's easy to get changed without messing up your fresh look.
  • Your own makeup. Even if you're getting your makeup done by a professional artist, bring along your favorite beauty items in case you want to touch up your face later on in the night.
  • A travel mirror. Mirrors will be a hot commodity, especially if the entire bridal party is getting ready in one room. Bring your own.
  • Hairstyling tools. Although hair stylists will bring their own tools to style your tresses, pack a curling iron in case someone needs to borrow it or you want to touch up your 'do later in the night.
  • Extra hair ties. You'll want some of these handy for the end of the night when you're sweating it out on the dance floor and just want to pull your hair back.
  • Hairspray and makeup setting spray. Keep your look on lockdown with setting sprays for your hair and makeup.
  • Dry shampoo. Are the newlyweds hosting a next-day brunch? Refresh your wedding 'do with some dry shampoo.
  • Bobby pins. Keep a handful of bobby pins close by in case any loose strands of hair begin to fall.
  • Perfume. A rollerball perfume is a great travel-friendly option that'll have you smelling sweet as you walk down the aisle.
  • Deodorant. You'll start to feel sweaty as the day goes on, so keep your deodorant stick close by.
  • Oil blotting sheets. Use these as a quick, last-minute way to freshen up before walking down the aisle without ruining your makeup.
  • Makeup remover wipes. In case the tears start spilling or your lipstick starts to feather, bring along makeup remover wipes to keep your face looking fresh.
  • Q-tips or cotton swaps. If you need to touch up your makeup after the ceremony, Q-tips come in handy—especially around your eyes.
  • Clear nail polish. Not only is this a great go-to item to help fix chipped nails, but it can also be a quick fix for runs in stockings or buttons that are about to pop off.
  • Nail file. You'll come to the rescue when someone (inevitably) breaks a nail before walking down the aisle.
  • Tweezers. This is a great little tool to have by your side for any last-minute alterations on clothing or to address any errant hairs.
  • Mints. Keep your breath fresh without having to chomp down on gum while the couple exchanges their vows.

Emergency Supplies

  • Band-aids. Grab a handful of band-aids and stick them in your evening bag. You'll need them, lots of them—it's just a matter of when.
  • A small umbrella. In case the weather takes a turn for the worse, come prepared with a mini umbrella.
  • Tampons. Even if you're not supposed to get your period, you never know. It might make a surprise appearance.
  • Pain reliever. Whether it's a headache or cramps, stock up on some Advil and Tylenol in case a pinch of pain is trying to crash the wedding.
  • Emergen-C. You'll be running around all day long—give your immune system a boost.
  • Eye drops. Whether it's a late night at the rehearsal dinner or tears at the ceremony, have eye drops on hand to alleviate any redness.
  • An extension cord. Because there are never enough outlets for everyone or every curling iron, have one of these handy, and you may win an award for bridesmaid of the year.
  • A pair of scissors. Chances are, someone will need them. Store a mini pair at the bottom of your purse.
  • Uber or the number of a taxi service. Drinking at the reception? Don't wait until the end of the night to know how you're getting a lift home or back to the hotel. Have Uber—or the number to a local taxi service—stored on your phone.

Soirée Staples

  • A bottle of bubbly. Coordinate with the other bridesmaids, and see who will be bringing the orange juice and who will be bringing the champagne so that morning mimosas can be made.
  • A handful of straws. That way, you and the rest of the bridal party can sip down some water or champagne without smooching off your lipstick on a cup.
  • Mini speakers. If you have a pair of mini speakers handy, bring them along and serve as the pop-up DJ while the bridal party is getting ready.
  • Your best dance moves. Now is the time to show off your best dance moves, and help the newlywed couple celebrate.

The Sweet Surprises

  • A handwritten note. Kick off the wedding weekend by writing the bride a handwritten note filled with words of congratulations and well wishes for the future.
  • The bride's favorite snack. Since her nervous jitters may make her feel like she can't eat a thing, it will be a nice surprise for her to have her favorite snack or candy nearby.
  • A gift for the newlyweds. Traditionally, bridesmaids aren't exempt from wedding gifts. Try not to forget this, but if you do, it's okay. You have up to a year to mail the couple a gift after their wedding day.
  • A card or gift from your plus-one. If you're bringing a guest with you, remind them to bring along a card and gift as a congratulation to the couple.

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