By Rebecca Padgett Frett
Laughter, the popping of champagne corks, teary-eyed moments as you put on your dress, a retouch of makeup — all this and more occurs in the bridal suite. A bridal suite is just a formal way of saying the place where you will get ready before your wedding. It’s a space where the bride and those closest to her relax, get pampered, listen to music and mentally, physically and emotionally prepare. Think of it as your pregame for the big event.
Like all aspects of a wedding, there are some elements you should consider ahead of time when it comes to the bridal suite, such as what it should be stocked with.
1. Robes and slippers
Or whatever you feel most comfortable in. Robes or button-up pajamas are preferred and popular; not only are they cozy, but these styles run less of a risk of messing up your hair and makeup. Don’t forget slippers or cute socks, so you don’t get cold feet, literally.
Think light options that are still fulfilling. For breakfast, consider croissants, muffins, pastries, bagels, fruit and quiche. For lunch, sandwiches, a veggie tray, fruit, chips and cookies. It’s good to have prepackaged snacks on hand throughout the day as well.
Stay hydrated. Lots of water needs to be consumed by all. Provide bottled water or give your bridal party reusable bottles for water. For variety, have chilled sparkling water and Gatorade, plus Sprite or ginger ale for a nervous stomach. Coffee is a good idea in the morning, to start the day off right. You might consider stopping the coffee sipping at a certain point to avoid even more jitters. If you choose to indulge in libations, white wine and champagne are the best choices to avoid stains. Enforce a rule that any beverage that could stain must be consumed before the dresses come out.
Pain medications for any ailment, from headaches to blisters. Antacids for a nervous stomach. Liquid IV or Pedialyte for anyone who might have had too good of a time at the rehearsal dinner. If you take a daily medication, either take it before the ceremony or have a point person to have it handy at some point during the night, especially if it’s time sensitive.
5. A full-length mirror
Most bridal suites, if intended for that purpose, will have a full-length mirror. It’s always vital to double check though. If your venue doesn’t have a bridal suite, you’re getting ready at a location that’s not a venue or you’re getting married at an unconventional place, you can bring your own mirror or purchase a cheap one at most home goods stores. You and your bridesmaids will want to see your entire look before hitting the runway, I mean aisle.
6. Great Lighting
Hopefully, your bridal suite already has wonderful lighting, but if not you can, bring in lamps or purchase studio style and ring lighting. You can ask your makeup artist, hairstylist or photographer to bring additional lighting as they likely already own it.
If you think you have enough, think again. You’ll want to hang dresses so they don’t wrinkle, or hang them to use the steamer.
8. A Steamer
A steamer is a safer bet over an iron when it comes to the delicate fabrics. You’ll be surprised how many items will need to be steamed to get wrinkles and crinkles out. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring two if you have them available.
9. Emergency Kit
An emergency kit should be available throughout the day, including but not limited to: sewing supplies, hand sanitizer, breath mints, double stick tape, pain medication, antacids, Tide To Go sticks, safety pins, lint roller, bobby pins, makeup remover wipes, deodorant, hairspray, lipstick, powder, lotion, tampons, eyedrops, tissues, etc.
10. A Playlist
Nothing sets the mood like music. The bride or the best DJ in the bridal party can pull together a playlist. Music can soothe, or it can start the party. Regardless, its presence will put you in a good mood. Having a playlist prepped keeps you from mindlessly scrolling and constantly switching stations.
Let’s be honest, tears will be shed for all the best reasons. They can strike at any moment, so it’s always wise to have tissues nearby. If you know without a doubt you’ll cry frequently during the ceremony, you may consider investing in a monogrammed or personalized handkerchief.
12. The people she wants to be surrounded by
The energy in the bridal suite is dictated by who is present. A bride should feel at ease, happy and confident, but if any nervousness does creep in, her trusted support system should be there for reassurance. Typically, the bridal suite contains the bridal party. The mother of the bride, flower girls and junior bridesmaids also tend to make appearances. Hair, makeup, photography and the wedding planner are usually the only other people who frequent the space. It’s truly about who the bride wants there while limiting the traffic of outsiders and unexpected guests.