What's In The Bag? 15 Wedding Guest Essentials

Be prepared to dance the night away! (Read: bring Band-Aids and Blister Defense)

Last week I wrote the "10 Commandments of Wedding Beauty." Now I'm tackling wedding bag essentials, starting with what to carry if you're a guest.

First: I hate to burst your bubble, purse-haters, but you’re going to need to carry a bag. I didn’t realize that it was a thing for people to flat-out refuse to take a bag to a big event like a wedding, but apparently it is! This is a bad idea. The only people allowed to ask other people to carry their stuff are the people getting married. The end.

As we discussed last week, don’t expect anyone else to be responsible for you. It’s good life advice, but it also applies to weddings. If you’re old enough to be getting invited to these things, you’re old enough to come correct with your own stuff and your chosen receptacle to hold it all in.

Pick a bag that’s a decent size--big enough to fit everything, small enough to not look like you’re smuggling a toddler into the reception. I like this clutch a lot. It’s structured and small, but wider than you'd think, so it can hold a lot. Plus, the silvery-grey goes with everything.

Let’s go through and see what we have here!

Depending on the size of your purse, you can bring your entire wallet or not. I usually bring my ID, debit card, and around $40 in cash, with smaller notes for tipping bartenders and participating in the dollar dance (if it happens).

1. Band-Aids and Blister Defense. I’ve written about these before and they are just as essential during a big event. Blisters happen! Dr. Scholl's Blister Defense will help to prevent blisters from forming. But carry the Band-Aids just in case.

2. Tissues. In case you cry, ya big baby. Weddings are emotional times, and also, sometimes they play "Rainbow Connection" at the reception and you just can't help yourself. THAT IS A REALLY EMOTIONAL SONG, YOU GUYS.

3. Phone. Some people bring their big DSLRs to weddings, even when they are not the designated photographer. In general, I think it’s better for guests to enjoy the event in real life, not through a lens. Grab a couple snaps with your phone and then enjoy the professional photos once they are online.

4. Sunglasses. I'd say you only need these for daytime weddings, but nighttime wedding parties (and afterparties) can rage on until sunrise.

5. A Hand Fan. This is not pictured because apparently I lost mine. I choose to believe that Karl Lagerfeld travelled through time and stole it.

6. Tampons. Because even if you don’t unexpectedly get your period immediately before the ceremony, SOMEBODY will. That's just how weddings roll.

7. Bobby Pins. Always.

8. Makeup Bag. I am about to get all Inception on you and show you bags in bags, because here is the makeup stuff that you should have with you, ideally in a smaller bag within your larger one.

9. Powder. Next week I’m going to teach you all about makeup that photographs well AND looks awesome in real life. For now, I'll tell you that pressed powder in a compact with a mirror is ESSENTIAL.

10. Oil Blotting Sheets. Because sometimes you’re just THAT sweaty.

11. Small Powder Brush. For the most even, controlled, and photogenic powder touch-ups, I use a petite travel brush.

12. Lipstick/Lipliner (where applicable). This should be a “duh,” but you would not believe the number of times other wedding guests have asked to borrow my lipstick because they didn’t bring theirs. I’m all about long-wear lip color at weddings, and Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Rouge is spectacular. It’s comfortable and it lasts for about eight years.

13. Eyelash Adhesive (if you’re wearing falsies). You don’t want to be that person who has strips lifting up at the corners of her eyes. Be prepared!

14. Concealer. A better bet than foundation, in my opinion, for refreshing your look. Plus, it’s smaller. I love Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer for its amazing shade range, remarkable ability to cover up even the most painful hormonal zits, AND its incredible wear. If I can wear it in the pool, it’ll stand up to even the sweatiest wedding.

15. A Hair Tie. Because if it’s hot and your hair is down, you might want to change that as the party progresses. Have the option.

What are your wedding essentials? What is ABSOLUTELY, TOTALLY, COMPLETELY, FOREVER in your bag? Do you have any awesome wedding day stories to share?

Coming soon: what to carry in your bag if you're a wedding attendant, and the few little things you need if you're a bride/groom!