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The Wedding Guest's Checklist: 10 Things Everyone Should Bring to a Wedding

Before attending a wedding, be sure to stash these ten necessities in your handbag.

Contributing Writer
george shawn wedding guests
Photography by: Ben Christensen Photography

Many guests wonder about what they need to bring to a couple's ceremony and reception. While most things you need will be there—namely, food and drink—there are a few essentials you'll want to have on hand. Here, ten must-haves every guest should plan to bring along to the wedding, ensuring that you'll be prepared for weather conditions, wardrobe malfunctions, and moments in front of the camera.

 

Related: Your Wedding Guest Etiquette Questions Answered

 

Cell Phone

You shouldn't be glued to your cell phone during the ceremony or they reception, but you'll still want to bring your device along. You'll need it to look up directions to the venue, communicate with other guests, and snap photos (since a cell phone is less intrusive than a large DSLR camera).

 

Money

You probably won't need to whip out your wallet during the wedding, but it's smart to bring money just in case. Who knows if you'll have to pay for transportation, an unexpected cash bar, or an after-party at a local restaurant?

 

Gift

You can bring cash, checks, cards, and other smaller presents to the reception, and you'll promptly deposit it on the gift table. On the other hand, larger gifts should be sent directly to the couple's home; you can usually find the instructions on the registry.

 

Snacks

This tip applies only to a small subset of guests: If you have food allergies or strict dietary restrictions, make sure to pack snacks. After sitting through a ceremony and socializing during cocktail hour, guests may start anxiously awaiting dinnertime. Stave off hunger pangs with some accessible snacks, like granola bars or nuts. If you're spending the night at a hotel for the wedding, you'll probably want to pack a few snacks, too, regardless of allergies.

 

A Change of Shoes

Your sky-high stilettos match perfectly with your cocktail dress, but they'll destroy your feet on the dance floor. Consider packing a change of shoes, such as ballet flats or pretty sandals, for the reception.

 

Related: 22 Best-Dressed Summer Wedding Guests

 

Band-Aids

Even with a change of shoes, painful blisters are sometimes inevitable. Pack band-aids to protect any pesky blisters that form—or prevent the injury altogether by applying blister defense products before the ceremony.

 

Tissues

Heartfelt vows, romantic readings, and sentimental first dance songs could trigger tears from any wedding guest. If you're worried about waterworks, stash a travel-sized pack of tissues in your bag.

 

Sunglasses

Attending an outdoor ceremony in the morning or afternoon? Be prepared for bright sunlight by bringing sunglasses. Also, if rain is in the forecast, an umbrella could save your hair, makeup, and outfit from getting wet.

 

Allergy Medications

Allergy sufferers know that symptoms act up during certain seasons. If you're attending an outdoor wedding that's taking place at a farm, park, or other open-air venue, pack your preferred allergy medicine.

 

Beauty Touch-Up Necessities

Make sure you're photo ready by packing the essentials you'll need for any beauty touch-ups, like powder, concealer, oil blotting sheets, or bobby pins. Also consider bringing a compact mirror, so you won't need to scout out a bathroom every time you want to re-apply your lipstick.