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Rebecca Chan, a Toronto-based wedding coordinator, knows the ins and outs of planning a smooth wedding, from the ceremony to the reception and everything in between. Chan, who manages 10 to 20 weddings per year, always carries a suitcase containing everything she might need for the wedding to run as planned. She recommends bridesmaids have their own scaled-down versions.
"The bridesmaid kit should contain items to help them feel and look great for the day," says Chan. "It should carry bridesmaid and bride necessities for the 'just in case' and 'you never know' moments."
Chan advises brides make one kit per bridesmaid with a few items that all of them can use. The bride can distribute the kits, and each bridesmaid can then add her own personal items, such as makeup and hygiene products.
On the day of the wedding, the bride and bridal party shouldn’t have to worry about each carrying their own kit. Chan suggests, after labelling each bag, placing all the kits in one medium-size tote that a trusted family member can transport from venue to venue. Once at the dining hall, the kit can be placed somewhere safe and out of sight.
"If it is not too big, it can be kept behind the head table or in a bridal suite -- somewhere hidden and discreet," she says.
There are a few items that should be included in the survival kit. Water and granola bars, Chan points out, are a must. She describes one wedding in which a bridesmaid almost fainted in the middle of the church ceremony. Because the bridesmaid had been preparing herself for the big day all morning, she had barely eaten and was famished. Chan quickly brought her a water bottle and candies she had in her own emergency kit to help her get through the ceremony.
A small package of tissues and a makeup compact is also highly recommended. Whether wiping away tears of joy or dabbing beads of sweat from your forehead, it’s a good idea to touch up your makeup afterward.
Beauty items, such as fashion tape and hairpins, are great items to have in your kit, just in case of a wardrobe malfunction or a stray hair.
There are also many items that may seem unnecessary, but are good to have. "I had a guest ask me if I had superglue once during a cocktail hour because her heel broke," says Chan. Lucky for the guest, Chan had some in her trusty suitcase and glued her heel back together so she could survive the rest of the night.
On that account, Chan also recommends adding bandages and ballet flats or sandals to the kit. Every woman, at one point or another, has experienced the nagging pain of a blister. A bandage can be the difference between having a fabulous time and being confined to the head table because you can’t bear to walk another step.
Other toiletries such as a mini deodorant, perfume and a package of mints can also be very useful, especially if the wedding is taking place during hot summer months.
"Whether or not the kit is a big or small one, it's important to carry a few essentials with you for any issues that might arise," says Chan. "Weddings are occasions packed with lots to do and people to see, so you want to be prepared."
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