Wedding Day bathrooms are often overlooked, but a little planning and a few small purchases may be a godsend to many of your wedding guests, and will certainly be appreciated. Wedding day “bathroom baskets” or “courtesy baskets” are emergency kits of essential hair-care, make-up, toiletries and other useful every-day items to make sure your guests are looking and feeling their best all day (and night) long.
We had two bathrooms at the wedding, so I put together a bathroom basket for each of them, containing everything I thought my guests might need. I took some photos in advance, and can also now let you know what wasn’t used. If you really want to wow your guests, also read What Guests Look for at a Wedding.
Many a female guest will want to touch up their hair or possibly even change their ‘do from day to night, but few will come prepared with a hairbrush or can of hairspray to do so. Perhaps the most popular items from the bathroom baskets were the haircare options:
Dry Shampoo: Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Two Day Extender (This is by far my favourite Dry-Shampoo. While I also bought a Tresemme for the other bathroom, it doesn’t compare to Redken’s Pillow Proof, which absorbs quickly and leaves no residue).
Hair-Spray: L’Oréal Paris Hair Expertise EverStrong Texturising Mineral Spray (Another go-to favourite in hair-care, L’Oréal hair sprays are fantastic).
Anti-Frizz: Matrix Biolage Cleansing Conditioner Anti-static Spray helps control frizz and static (essential for humid Auckland days)
Volumiser: Pureology Pure Volume Instant Levitation Mist (Spray into the roots for full, volumous hair – I used this during the day to ensure my hair didn’t fall flat)
Brush & Comb: A handy little Compact Travel Brush (only $5) and a couple of combs from QVS and Via
Hair ties: Including a box of my absolute favourite discovery, Twirl Ties, which leave no kinks and last forever (until you lose them…)
Bobby pins: So so so many bobby pins
MAKE-UP & TOOLS
Another for the women, but by far the more popular items provided were the make-up touch ups available.
Foundation: Maybelline New York Superstay 24hour Foundation (Neither shade was there in the morning so they must have been popular! This is a great longwear foundation, perfect for weddings)
BB Cream: Oasis Beauty BB Cream has a handy pump action, great for guests to apply without a brush or making a mess.
Mascara: When only the best will do, Estee Lauder’s Sumptuous Knockout is the ultimate in Maximum Lashes – just don’t expect to see this Mascara again, one swipe and every guest will want to take it home!
Powder: Maybelline New York Superstay Better Skin Powder (Powder is essential to control oil and shine during long wedding days and nights)
Brows: Maybelline New York Master Brow Pro Palette
Posie Tint: A Benefit fav, posie-tint is great for cheeks and lips and I’m yet to see anyone who doesn’t suit this feminine colour.
Blusher & Bronzer powder: Maybelline New York Master Hi-Light has a great collection of blushes and bronzers with a multi-tonal shimmer palette is perfect for highlighting and contouring.
Hydrating Mist Toner: This new product by Trilogy is beautifully refreshing – a quick burst of moisture in a spray is the perfect treat for guests.
Lip-stick: I might divide people here, but as a guest I’d love to have the option to put on a swipe of lippy. I love this Karen Murrell one!
Retractable Foundation Brush
Clear Nail Polish for ladders in stockings Essie All-in-One Base Coat
Sunscreen and/or after sun: Oasis Beauty SPF 30 is a great organic non-greasy sunscreen in a large tube that will go around everyone.
Moisturiser: If it’s a hot, dry day, help your guests out with a light moisturiser for under $20 like Goodness Every morning Moisturiser. Bonus points for Hand Moisturiser!
Make-up Remover: Not essential, but as a wedding guest I’d love to have the option to take my make-up off at the end of the night. Garnier Micellar Cleansing Wipes or Swisse Micellar Makeup Remover are ideal
Lip balm: Calmex
Magnifying Mirror: QVS
Tweezers: QVS Tweeze n Squeeze
Nail File: QVS Sapphire Nail File
Nail Polish Remover Pads
Nurofen or Panadol
Small sewing kits and Safety pins
Cotton Pads and Q-tips
Clear Eyes (this was used the next day)
Maxiclear/Telfast (not used)
Blister Pads & Bandaids (bonus points for party-feet!)
Toothbrushes (pick up from hotels and planes)
Listerine or Breath Spray (No wedding venue wants you to hand out chewing gum)
Tampons & Panty liners (Just one pack will do)
Deodorant (Spray deodorant, ideally – choose a neutral fragrance that both men and women will use)
Bug Spray (if your venue is prone to mosquitos)
Double-sided boob tape
Tips to create your basket
- Start stocking up now: we grabbed hotel and airplane toothbrushes and breath spray, and I saved some ‘gift-with-purchase’ miniatures too. Keep your bathroom basket in mind for a few months, and you’ll be surprised at how much you can pick up on the way. Collect product samples from pharmacies and department stores, where possible.
- Grab yourself a nice basket, a pretty decorated box or even the top of a shoe box to put your items in.
- Keep in mind the space you will be placing them, make sure the basket isn’t too big for the counter or too small for all the items you are including. If there is no counter space at your venue ask if a small table can be left in the toilets to hold the bathroom kit.
- If you have gender-specific bathrooms, you’ll need one each for ladies and gents’ bathrooms – make sure you know your wedding venue before building the bathroom baskets.
- Don’t go overboard filling these baskets, and display them so that everything is visible, to stop your guests making a mess.
- Ask a bridesmaid or a family member who is offering to help, to help organise this for you. Just send them on this list to print out and they can pick up bits and pieces throughout the planning process. Bonus if you have a friend who works at a pharmacy!
And for more Bathroom Basket Inspiration: some Pinterest examples