10 things you should bring as a guest to a wedding in 2021
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It's 2021 and weddings—like many other major events and occasions—look a little different. Last year, COVID-19 took a toll on plenty of folks' wedding plans, forcing many to cancel or postpone their ceremonies and receptions due to the rapidly evolving pandemic.
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With this year looking a little brighter thanks to vaccines, many couples are now finally hosting their nuptials. And as a wedding guest, you may be bringing along a few items in your pocket or purse that might have not been as necessary in 2019 (ahem, face masks).
If you're attending a wedding this year, here are 10 things you should bring with you for a comfortable, safe and enjoyable time celebrating the happy couple.
1. Hand sanitizer
Hand sanitizer has become the hottest accessory to have on hand. No matter if you're traveling across the country to attend the wedding or driving just a few minutes to the venue, having hand sanitizer for the journey and the event itself is key.
Try to find a travel-size sanitizer that'll fit easily in a pocket or purse. That way, it's easy to whip out before eating a meal or after shaking a few hands. Bonus points if it comes with a silicone carrier that can be looped around a belt loop, bag or backpack.
2. A stylish, reusable mask
While a blue disposable mask is admittedly a lovely neutral color, you may want to spruce it up for this special occasion. We've tested plenty of face masks on the market, some of which are incredibly stylish and perfect for a more formal setting like a wedding.
Our favorite face masks from Athleta come in packs of neat patterns and gorgeous colors that you can match to your outfit. Our best value pick for face masks from Old Navy features even more fun colors and designs that'll elevate your wedding look. Both the Athleta and Old Navy masks are just as protective as they are fashion-forward with multi-layered design and a nose wire for perfecting the fit on your face.
3. Compact pack of tissues
Whether the tears are flowing, the sniffles are hitting, or you just need to dab up a little sweat, tissues are a must-have essential for any wedding. Make sure you grab a travel-sized pack of tissues that can easily be tucked away. Something like Kleenex's pocket pack of tissues can easily be stored in a pocket, a purse, or in the car.
You never know when blisters from your dress shoes or heels will strike—which is why we recommend being prepared for a worst-case scenario when it comes to breaking in those shoes. You should always carry around a Band-Aid or two or you or another guest in need. Band-Aids are also great in case you encounter a small scrape or cut at the ceremony or reception, as they'll keep any blood from transferring to your outfit and keep your cut protected from bacteria.
5. Change of shoes
There's absolutely no shame in bringing a comfortable pair of shoes just in case your formal shoes really start to hurt. It's best to bring something lightweight and comfortable that can easily be stowed away in a large bag or your car.
Reviewed's Health and Fitness Editor Sara Hendricks tested and approved the Tree Breezers Allbirds flats, a lightweight shoe with a "springy, supportive footbed" that'll give your feet a rest after a few hours in heels. For those wanting to swap out their dress shoes, the Driving Loafers from Rothy's are a comfortable yet surprisingly still formal-looking pick that Reviewed's style writer, Kevin Cortez, approves of.
6. A wedding gift
Do not—I repeat—do not forget your gift at home! If you're still stuck on choosing a gift, it's best to try to stick to the couple's registry when it comes to gift-giving—they have already carefully selected their favorite items, so it should be easier to choose on your end.
Reviewed has curated a list of the 50 best wedding gifts, most of which commonly end up all over wedding registries. From a gorgeous charcuterie board to a set of luxurious bathrobes, this list will give you some gift-giving inspiration.
7. Makeup and sunscreen for touch-ups
There will be plenty of photo moments at a wedding, so come prepared with a few portable makeup and skincare products to look fresh all day. To remove oil and keep your face shine-free, Reviewed's beauty editor, Jessica Kasparian, recommends keeping blotting sheets at your side. A pack of Nyx Professional Makeup Matte Blotting Papers comes with 50 sheets that claim to soak up oil and leave the skin looking matte without disturbing the makeup underneath. To use, gently press a sheet into the skin and lift it away. Repeat anywhere you want to remove excess oil.
Keep your makeup in place and touch up your sunscreen throughout the day with the Supergoop (Re)setting 100% Mineral Powder SPF 35. The cylinder is filled with powder that contains SPF and all you have to do is uncap the brush and tap it onto the skin, which the powder dispenses through. If your skin leans dry or you’re married to another powder product for setting the face, opt for the Coola Makeup Setting Sunscreen Spray SPF 30 that offers UV protection and claims to keep makeup in place and looking shine-free.
8. A portable charger
It is way too easy to drain your phone's battery when you're attending a wedding. Whether you used a navigation app on the way to the ceremony or took one too many photos or videos at the reception, your phone might be in need of some extra juice at the end of the night.
A solid portable battery pack we've tested is the Fuse Chicken Universal. This wireless charging power bank has enough power to recharge an 11-inch iPad Pro to about 80% or recharge an iPhone XS twice. And if you happen to attend a destination wedding, this charger also includes international plug adapters when outlet charging is necessary.
9. A compact umbrella
An outdoor wedding is a magical idea—until it unexpectedly rains. While some say this is a sign of luck for the couple's marriage, it's not such a pleasant experience as a guest. Be prepared with a compact umbrella that's easy to carry or store in a bag. It doesn't have to be anything fancy or stylish—just something that'll do the job of keeping you dry if you get caught in the rain.
10. Gum or mints
Between snacks and drinks, you might want a palette cleanser or simply something to keep your breath fresh throughout the day. I swear by the 'curiously strong' Altoid breath mints—they're just as strong as they're advertised and will keep your breath minty fresh for hours.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.