Monday, September 16, 2013

Bathroom Baskets for Your Party Guests

Bathroom Baskets show that you are truly the hostess with the mostest and the man with the plan. You've thought ahead through every possibly scenario, and not only will YOU be ready for anything that the night may have in store, but (because of your preparation), so will your guests. That's cool, and guests appreciate it- which is why it's become so popular to create bathroom baskets beforehand and place them on the counter in your venue's bathrooms, hoping and praying that guests who need them, take them, and those who don't...well, just don't.  You may want to personalize them with your wedding colors and tie in ideas from your theme. You may make signs with fancy poems and you'll definitely want to include things that are likely to be needed at some point in the night- some just in case, and some just for fun! Are you ready to start planning your bathroom basket(s)? Here are some tips to get you started, and pictures for inspiration:

1) Planning- Do you want a bathroom basket just for the ladies or also for the gentlemen?

2) Basket Size- How many guests are coming to your wedding? If it's around 100, a small basket will do.  If it's 150-300, you may want to go for a larger basket. Consider unique baskets, buckets, and containers such as an old-school Caboodle (an easy way to keep things organized and see it all) or a drawer organizer (with sections to keep it all straight and easy-to-find).

3) Budgeting- Travel-size items can add up FAST at a Walmart, Target or drugstore cash register! There are ways to save here, and having a max price point will help.  Watch for sales on these items, look around at home and see what you already have, and consider getting small cups for things like Qtips, safety pins and bobby pins. You do not need to buy a whole box/bag, or a full-size of something just for your bathroom basket.  A few guests may need a Band-Aid, for example, but not everybody will. Small versions, a few of these, a couple of those, and a little cup of that should do just fine- as long as the presentation is nice and guests can find what they're looking for in a pinch.

4) Put in some fun things if you'd like!- Glow bracelets/necklaces are fun, stick-on mustaches for guys are memorable, and a special mint or candy stash is always appreciated after dinner.

5) Beware of grabby guests, and unwanted takers.  I know this is a tough one, because nobody wants to think of their guests as the kind of people who would just take a whole bottle/box/bag of something out of a bathroom basket, but it happens.  I've seen random bathroom basket contents on empty tables while guests are getting their groove on out on the dance floor. I've seen completely empty baskets at the end of the of the night. I've seen people put items into the basket that they loved and wanted to share (but expected to be returned), and not get them back. What can you do to prevent or at least minimize problems like this?
   First, don't spend too much or get too attached to anything in your bathroom basket.  If you have things around that you'd like to put in to the basket, consider whether you'd be sad if you didn't get them back. If the answer is yes, don't put them in.  Just know that anything you put in can and may be gone at the end of the night and be okay with it, because while it would be nice to get things back, the fact is you're buying all this stuff for your guests to use, and they may decide that they can use it in a different way than you imagined.
   Second, create a sign for your basket that starts out with the words, "For Our ___ (wedding, party) Guests", and ends with your name(s).  This will make it clear who these little gifts are for and from.  You can even add the date to ensure that it it put out at the right time in the right place for the right people.  This is especially important if your party is taking place in a location that is shared with other people.  A golf club bathroom that is shared with the club's membership, a hotel bathroom that is shared with...anyone and everyone., etc.
   Third, include something on your sign about taking what you need and leaving the rest for others (see poem ideas below), hurrying back out to join in the party, or that you'll use whatever is left behind to pack for your honeymoon.  Hopefully this will deter guests from taking what they want for later, and keep them focused on what they need now.

6) Try to avoid the quicksand effect that bathroom baskets can have with too much stuff inside- You (and your guests) should be able to see everything inside and find something that you/they need in a matter of seconds.  Test it out- if it's too cramped, consider a bigger basket, more shallow space for items (you can always put a small box inside a bigger box to bring the base up higher), better organization, or less stuff.

7) Get your baskets at the end of the party! Your venue should return your baskets to you at the end of the event, but it's easy for baskets to get left behind. Ask a trusted friend or family member to help remember them!

Okay, so now comes the fun part! Make a list and...
Go Shopping!

Here are some things that you might want to include in your basket(s). Remember, it's totally up to you and you do not need all of these things. Pick and choose, go with your gut, and know that your guests will appreciate your effort to make them more comfortable at your celebration:

- Hand lotion (and even seasonal soaps for the bathroom!) or a body lotion/moisturizer such as Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer.
- Safety pins
- Bobby Pins
- Hair ties
- Hairspray
- Medicine: Tums, Aspirin/Tylenol, Allergy relief if pollen count is high, Motrin, Midol,  Cough Drops, Pepto Bismol, Aleve, etc. (Note: Your venue may not be allowed to have medicine out in the bathroom. Ask before you buy these, as they may never be put out if you get them).
- Sanitary napkins, tampons, etc. If you're feeling really empathetic to the lucky ladies in your life who happen to have not-so-good-luck with timing, you could even put these items near some chocolate and some ThermaCare disposable heating pads.
- Small sewing kit or temporary fabric tape
- Nailpolish (for a run in stockings or for nails), nail file, nail clipper
- Combs or hairbrushes (another thing guests should not share, but if you can find a few disposable combs/brushes, that could work).
- Band-Aids or a small First Aid Kit
- Dental floss, plastic flossers, toothbrushes and small toothpaste. They even make disposable pre-pasted toothbrushes and sell them in packages like this. Mouthwash (either a bunch of little ones, or a big bottle with lots of small plastic cups) or Listerine strips are good, too.
- Lint roller
- Gum, mints or small candies
- Tissues (a few small packages)
- Shout wipes, a Tide pen, or another stain removing option
- Qtips, cotton balls, or cotton pads.
- Face wipes for oil removal.
- Sunscreen, Bug Spray, if applicable.
- Chapstick (the kind that squeezes out for easy sharing, or multiple sticks of chapstick)
- Eye drops (or contact solution) for contact-wearers
- Antiperspirant spray (or a few small roll-on deodorants)
- Yummy smelling body spray (perfume, cologne)
- Static Guard spray
- Earplugs (because sometimes, the music is just too loud)

*If you have a number of young children attending your wedding, consider creating a Mommy basket, with:
- diapers of different sizes 
- wipes
- lotion
- Puffs, Cheerios or another kid-friendly snack (in a few bags)
- Diaper rash cream
- a "Drink Ticket" for the bar that says something like, "I need a drink, and I'm not KID-ding!" or "Don't be CHILD-ish, get a me a drink!" or "It'd be TOT-ally cool if you'd get me a drink right now". LoL I tot-ally just made these up, but it's a fun idea!
- extra blankets if the kids get tired and want to fall asleep (somewhere safe and snuggly) while you dance the night away :)  

I Saw the Signs:
You can make your sign rhyme, use your colors, your theme, a special frame, a sweet ribbon or bow, some fancy paper, or not.  It's your day, so it's totally up to you. Just make sure you don't write TOO much and that the font is large enough to read easily and quickly.  Here are some ideas: 

This poem, and variations of it, are floating around online. It's great, and can be adjusted for your particular basket, as the bride and groom did below for the Golf Wedding. 

From a Golf-Themed Wedding:

Please Help Yourself!

We’re so happy you’re here sharing our special day, 
But just in case something should go astray:
Please help yourself to the contents within- 
Mouthwash, hand lotion, a safety pin,
a hair tie, some Tums, mints, a Band-aid,
SK shots in case your energy should fade.
Cough drops to sooth a sore throat quickly,
maladies if you’re feeling a little bit sickly,
extra socks- in case you get a HOLE IN ONE.
FORE-give us, we couldn’t pass up the pun!

If your skin feels dry or your hair’s out of place,
You’re not feeling so fresh, or whatever the case,
Use what you need, and just leave the rest, 
for it may be useful to some other guest.
Of COURSE, we hope this basket helps you along…
Now hurry back out before you miss the next song!

Compliments of the Bride & Groom

Saw this one on and loved it: 

Here is a basket for all of our guests,
To make sure everyone feels their best!
The hairspray will help hold your hair in place,
The bobby pins to keep your hair out of your face.
If you break a nail, don't worry! There's a file and some glue,
It can also fix a broken heel on a shoe!
The polish will stop that darn run in your hose,
Use the tissues to stop a runny nose!
We hope that you'll find what you're looking for.
Take a mint and now go hit the dance floor!

This one is quick, simple and to the point- Great for guests on the move: 

Compliments of the newlyweds,
To help you feel your best!
Just use a little...freshen up,
And leave the rest for other guests!

I like this one from

Should you happen to get in a bind,
 a rip, a tear, or of the spilling kind. 
Use what you need, and leave the rest-
for it may be helpful to another guest.
Clean up, spruce up, and you're done-
now hurry back out and join the fun! 

Here are a few pictures of wedding bathroom baskets that I like. Hope they help you with your planning. Good luck!!

I really do like the Caboodle idea. Maybe it's just the 80's/90's kid in me...if only it were purple and pink... Happy Basket-Filling, Sign-Making and Celebrating!! 

No comments:

Post a Comment