In a variety of my wedding books, I’ve read about the “complimentary toiletry basket” to be put in the guest bathrooms at the venue. While I think this is a very sweet idea, I don’t know if I want to do that.

Ideally, I’d love to spend money buying lotions, soaps, feminine products, brushes and all that, but we’re po’. Is that really something that needs to be bought? I’d have to buy more things that are personalized so we can put it in the baskets, saying thank you and all that. I know, it would only be two baskets, but it seems like an unnecessary expense.

In the weddings I’ve been to, there hasn’t been a courtesy basket. Heck, one wedding had no room in the port-a-potty for the basket! So I wonder if this is just another one of those things the books/magazines tell you to need, like a garter.

Another concern of mine: our ballroom is in a hotel, on the second floor. They are essentially public restrooms for the ballrooms on that floor and people who are waiting in the lobby. So I’d basically be providing baskets for anyone who uses those restrooms. I don’t know if I like that idea.

What do you think? Basket or no? What would you like to see in one if there WAS one?


Mrs. Kiwi

Los Angeles
Wedding Date:
November 2007
The Perfect Wedding Planner/Binder
Cracking Idea

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  1. Guest Icon Guest
    Jenny GoLightly, Guest @ 6:07 pm

    Say no to toiletry baskets! I wouldn’t be doing them either if my mom wasn’t so obsessed with them, so it’s her project now! I never take things from those baskets anyways! I have my own personal toiletry preferences!

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    kattail, Guest @ 6:08 pm

    From another po’ brides perspective, I also think it’s basically a magazine ploy. I mean, there are a million things to spend your money on without even getting into a toiletry basket. We did go to an outdoor wedding last year where they had traditional blue port-o-potties and I loved how they did them up in high fashion. Inside the johns they had strung up white christmas lights and posted fun facts about the bride and groom on the door for reading. They had arranged baskets with mini purell hand sanitizers and a few women’s emergency products. This was a nice touch that classed up an other wise unclassy toilet option. Since the ball room will most likely have nice facilities complete with running water and since non guests may be using the bathrooms, I vote no way! Sink your money into something important, like more personalized ribbon!!!

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    Chrissy, Guest @ 6:09 pm

    JUST SAY NO! Its just more “stuff”!

    No one will miss it!

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Tessa, Guest @ 6:11 pm

    I think it might be nice if you had the money, and I’d do it if I had the money, but really, if someone needed a feminine product, I’m pretty sure they’d plan ahead. Or if they wanted their breaths to be minty-fresh after the meal, they’d bring their own.

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    susan, Guest @ 6:13 pm

    I’ve seen it done at venues where the location was solely used for them, so the bathrooms aren’t so public. It’s a cute idea, and if you have the money, great, but if you don’t, it’s not necessary.

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    joy, Guest @ 6:17 pm

    I think it’s a nice-to-have, but it was the first thing I tossed when I got crunched for time. I did not want to spend the time wandering the aisles in Duane Reade. I think my guests would have thought it was nice, but I don’t think it was a huge horror not to have one!

    Toss it!!!

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    thistleorchid, Guest @ 6:17 pm

    Totally not necessary. Most public restrooms will have a machine for tampons/pads anyway and if they’re really desperate and it’s a hotel, I bet the concierge at the front desk could help them out. So not your concern.

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    Sarita, Guest @ 6:18 pm

    Yup, total NON-necessity. Go with your gut! :)

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    n, Guest @ 6:21 pm

    Nope – get it out of your head!

    It’s one of those things where “it would be nice to have” and your guests will notice it in passing, but no one will malign you for NOT including one.

    Since it’s a hotel restroom, the restroom will be plenty nice and they might not even want you putting in a basket of tampons and other stuff!

  10. Guest Icon Guest
    ally, Guest @ 6:34 pm

    You don’t need it. It’s nice if you want to do it, but there are so many things that magazines and books tell us to do. But you really don’t NEED to do any of it. Yes, many of it is really nice but you should just do what you want. I try not to get caught up with all the stuff i should do and just do what i want to. hope that helps.

  11. Guest Icon Guest
    Miss Plumeria, Guest @ 6:50 pm

    hi miss kiwi! my plight is similar… i don’t want to spend money and put thought into the baskets, only to have them plundered by other people at the hotel who aren’t wedding guests. i was toying with the idea of putting the basket in the ladie’s room, knowing they might enjoy it, and attaching a tag that says “for the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Plumeria” but didn’t know if that was tacky… what do you think? at any rate it’s really an unimportant detail, but i’ve been thinking about it too!

  12. Guest Icon Guest
    Kristina, Guest @ 6:56 pm

    Not at all necessary. BUT if you’d like to do it, there are tons of FREE beauty-type products available online. Just go to Google and type (in quotes) “free samples” and a manker name (like Dove or Maybelline).

  13. Guest Icon Guest
    Kris, Guest @ 7:48 pm

    I agree with everyone else…waste of time. Anne Chertoff that writes the blog “From I will to I do” recently blogged about this and said:

    “I hate the idea of a toiletry basket in the bathroom at a wedding. There is no reason a bride and groom need to supply a mini-drugstore for guests. All of the items usually included – tissues, nail files, hairspray, mints, and sewing kits – are a complete waste of money.” (and that’s from a bridal mag insider)

  14. Guest Icon Guest
    C., Guest @ 9:48 pm

    My cousin had some rented portable lavatories at his outdoor/tent wedding- full bathrooms, with sinks and flush chemical toilets. They did provide some mini-soaps and things- but it made sense, in that venue. In a public hotel restroom, I’d say if what’s already in the facilities are inadequate to ensure decent hygeine, you might want to find another hotel…?

  15. Guest Icon Guest
    Julie, Guest @ 10:50 pm

    Definitely not necessary — have you ever been at another wedding and had a dire need for something which would be in one of those baskets? Like another reader mentioned, it would be rather unlikely for someone to suddenly and unexpectedly require a feminine product in the middle of your wedding. Hand lotions definitely aren’t a necessity (they will just leave greasy marks on the back of their dates tuxedos/jackets!), and if your wedding is in a hotel, any out of town guests will have access to their rooms, should some dire emergency occur.
    I say skip out. I am doing a black-tie wedding in which case magazines state that I absolutely must, under penalty of death, provide a bathroom basket — and I am vetoing and not doing it. If anyone pops a button and requires a sewing kit, I will just give them the key to my suite and they can take the one from my room!

  16. Guest Icon Guest
    Miss Kiwi, Guest @ 11:13 pm

    Wow- thanks for the input everyone!! Okay, I will just say NO to the baskets. Thank goodness, because if Mr. Kiwi had to hear another reason why I want to elope, I think he’d be putting me on a plane to Vegas right now!!

  17. Guest Icon Guest
    Hel Hel, Guest @ 12:12 am

    Miss Kiwi there are a lot things out there that vendors create out of nowhere so they can suck up your hard earned money. just say no to the bells and whistles and focus on things that matter

  18. Guest Icon Guest
    gigi, Guest @ 3:41 pm

    Just say no – people took everything in the baskets whether they needed it or not! i was really shocked.

  19. Guest Icon Guest
    Amanda, Guest @ 6:27 pm

    I’m having the baskets… I put them together for a friend’s wedding and went with simple but sometimes-necessary items. I got small wire baskets for $2 from Pier One and loaded them with things from the travel-sized section of the store and a few of things I already had. I included hairspray a few tampons, a few band-aids, a few sample-sized packs of advil, tylenol, immodium, and a pack of tums. I also included a comb, a pack of safety pins, and a few shout wipes. I wanted to put in contact lens solution, but it was too expensive.

    Two guests commented to me that the medicines saved them from having to leave the wedding.

    I think it is gimmicky, and in a hotel where all the guests are staying and where the bathrooms are public, I wouldn’t do it because the guests can go to their rooms if they need to or their own stuff.

    But if it’s a hotel where none of the guests are staying, I would do a small basket with a sign that says “For Mr. and Mrs. Kiwi’s Guests – Please return to the party soon!” or something like that. If you just get a few travel packets of the key medicines, someone will use it and be glad it’s there.

    Just my two cents!

  20. Guest Icon Guest
    Miss Peach, Guest @ 8:44 pm

    oo yay. i’m glad most people said no. ahahha. i completely forgot about this until you blogged about it. whew! thought there was going to be something else i have to throw together last minute.

  21. Guest Icon Guest
    Miss Emerald, Guest @ 1:28 am

    Definitely not planning on doing a basket cuz I think 95% of that stuff will be unused. However, I what I DO plan on putting in the bathrooms are:
    – Nice hand soap
    – A few candles for ambiance
    – A small basketful of Mints! =)

  22. Guest Icon Guest
    Lei Lydle, Guest @ 9:31 pm

    Ever since I planned my own wedding in 1998 I have been working in the wedding industry and writing about wedding planning. I am a member of the Association of Bridal Consultants and I can assure you there is no rule of etiquette that states that you must provide toiletry baskets for guests. In fact, some hotels and other event venues may not even allow you to put these types of items in their public restrooms for liability reasons. Toiletry baskets are a definite nice touch if you have the money and especially for outdoor weddings or weddings at someone’s home. But even for the most formal weddings these baskets are not a must no matter what the mags say…

  23. Guest Icon Guest
    wsukarebear, Guest @ 11:24 pm

    I blogged about this a while back–I have heard they are great, and a waste of money, and one bride even had everything disappear after an hour or so–everyone took things and did not leave any leftovers like they were expected to.

    If you really want to do them and save money, a bride on The Knot posted about how she went to a bunch of websites and asked for free samples, therefore not paying for anything!

    Otherwise, add it to the list of trends that cost an extra penny and probably don’t do much for your guests…I have been to a ba-zillion weddings and never had the luxury and survived.

    If you do decide to do it, please visit the dollar store or Costco an consider only getting the essentials–Ibuprofen packets, ponytail holders and Tums. Those are the only things I could think of that I have needed and maybe been without when at a reception. :-)

  24. Guest Icon Guest
    kp, Guest @ 11:11 am

    it might be a nice idea..especially if you’re not “sharing” the restrooms w/ other parties/people…but not really necessary.
    i’ve seen some at weddings and never used anything~

  25. Guest Icon Guest
    Lou, Guest @ 11:54 am

    The only time I saw this done and thought it was necessary is at a wedding in a remote, outdoor location with port-a-potties. In that situation the baskets were a lovely touch.

  26. Guest Icon Guest
    Jenbug, Guest @ 3:40 pm

    The coordinator at my venue actually told me not to use them because the bathrooms our guest will use are essentially “public” for anyone at the hotel, whether they’re staying there or just walk in. So I’d say skip it since your bathrooms can be used by people other than your guests.

  27. Guest Icon Guest
    Iris, Guest @ 9:30 pm

    When my mom called the hotel coordinator, she said if you want to do it, only bother with the ladies’ room — the men never touch the basket. (Let’s just hope they wash their hands at all!)

  28. Guest Icon Guest
    Weddingbee » Blog Archive » Tears of Joy?, Guest @ 12:54 pm

    […] though I long ago tossed the idea of a guest basket in the restrooms, I totally want to put these tissue boxes in the […]

  29. Guest Icon Guest
    Angie, Guest @ 10:44 am

    We have 6 months to our wedding so we have been requesting samples from companies and will continue to do so so that will lower the cost of our baskets. Whatever we can not get free we will use coupons and sales to do. We have been getting stuff free lately. It does time a lot of time and dedication.
    Angie :)

  30. Guest Icon Guest
    Helping Out, Guest @ 7:50 pm

    I’m putting together two baskets, (ladies’ and gents’) for my friends’ wedding. I had asked the bride if I could help in any way from 300 miles away, and she asked me to put together the baskets. I’ll pay for them and decorate them to her colours as one of my gifts to them. Perhaps you can ask a friend who would like to help but doesn’t know how. Each basket cost about $25-30 USD to fill. MAKE SURE YOU INCLUDE A NOTE that says something to the effect of “Please use what you need for your little emergency, but leave some for the rest” etc., etc.

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