How To Make A Courtesy Basket

Styling a reception bathroom is perhaps one of last things on a brides mind and not the most appealing.  Luckily for you, with one quick addition it’s easy to turn a bland bathroom in a little retreat for your guests.  Cue wedding courtesy baskets.

Courtesy baskets are small baskets full of toiletries and other necessities for your guests to utilize during their trips to the restroom.  To start, you’ll need a medium-sized basket and decorative fabric or ribbon. Either a square or a circle basket will work just fine, as long as the opening at the top is wide. Use the fabric to cover the bottom of the basket or tie the ribbons on for a splash of color.

Next, put the courtesy items in the basket.  Don’t overcrowd them, because the basket will get messy as guests use the items throughout the night.

What to include in your baskets

There are many things you could include in your courtesy basket. What you choose to add will depend on your setting and budget. Here’s a list of some ideas for your own basket:

The Basics - Add the following items to baskets for both the men and women:

  • Advil/Tylenol
  • Cough drops
  • Kleenex
  • Mouthwash/gum/mints
  • Toothpicks
  • Safety pins/Sewing kit
  • Mini first-aid kit
  • Lint roller
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tide-To-Go pen

For the Women you will also want to include the following necessities:

  • Deodorant
  • Tampons/pads
  • Bobby pins/hair ties/clips
  • Hair brush
  • Perfume
  • Lotion
  • Hairspray
  • Lipstick/chapstick
  • Clear nail polish for pantyhose snags

Men will appreciate a few extra comfort items of their own including:

  • Deodorant
  • Comb
  • Razors
  • Cologne

Well-stocked - A well-stocked bathroom basket should also include the following items for both men and women:

  • Rolaids
  • Tums
  • Q-tips
  • Eye drops
  • Floss
  • Contact solution
  • Tweezers
  • Manicure set
  • Extra band aids
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Dryer sheets (to remove deodorant stains)

There are, of course, many other things you could include. It’s up to you to pick and choose to decide what your guests might need.

The finishing touches

Set your full basket on a small table or stool next to the toilets. You might like to include a note or small sign explaining the basket to your guests and requesting that they only use what they need so that everyone can utilize the basket. This note could be as simple as a piece of cardstock folded in half, or you could put a piece of paper in a picture frame to make it a little more formal. You could write a sentence or two or you could write a short poem, such as one of these:


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 or ibuprofen
Use what you need, and just leave the rest
For it may be useful to some other guest!
Repair the damage that may have been done,
Then quick!  Hurry back and join in the fun!


If your skin feels dry, your hair out of place,
Your throat is parched, or whatever the case.
We've put this together to help you along,
Now get yourself out there before the next song!

With so much happening on your wedding day, it’s easy to miss little details like this, but your guests will be so grateful when they see that you’ve thought of their every last need.

Image Credits:  It Weddings Florida, Weddingbee

is an undergraduate at Ohio Northern University with a double major in professional writing and creative writing and a minor in psychology. Liz writes for My Wedding Reception Ideas as well as creates multi-modal writing projects for Re:Media, an Ohio Northern University online publication.

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