Wedding Report: It’s in the Bag

My work purse can hold, roughly, two cantaloupes. Actually, it has held two cantaloupes. Of course, most of the time it doesn’t contain any cantaloupes, but rather a variety of essential odds and ends – lunch and snacks, reading material, wallet, phone, and emergency supplies.

In contrast, my wedding purse can fit, maximum, a small Italian plum. I rarely have the occasion to bring fresh fruit to a wedding, cantaloupes or plums, so it is not the most useful unit of measurement. In point of fact, there’s room for a bit of air in my wedding purse, but none none for my wallet, food, or books.

My work purse is sedate, with simple lines and multiple pockets. It’s a great size, but hefty. I could probably hide a small baby in there and not notice the difference – it weighs five pounds when empty. All of this makes it cumbersome and inappropriate for a wedding.

Practically, I can’t use my work purse for a wedding. Logically, it follows that I use the aptly titled wedding purse. Its silver-spangled shape fits neatly in the palm of my hand, slips under my arm, or dangles from my wrist. More importantly, it adds glamour to any outfit and matches my shoes.

Since I cannot fit everything I want in my wedding purse, I, like generations of women, have separated my wants from my needs. I might not survive three days in the frozen tundra with my supplies, but I”ll last six hours at a wedding. And so will you. Here it is, the top ten items you need at a wedding:

1-3. Band-aid case [includes antiseptic cream, bandaids, and acetametaphin]

4. Mincha/maariv/birchas hamazon booklet

5-6. Health insurance and dental insurance card

7. $40 in cash

8. cell phone

9-10. pen & paper [no reason to bring one without the other.]

Plus, I grab a granola bar on my way out of the house. I eat it before the wedding, so there’s no need to try to cram it into the purse.

While it’s important to know what to bring, sometimes it’s more important to know what to leave at home. Do not put a photo ID or credit card in your wedding purse. You’re going to leave that purse on the table for dancing, or just to say hi to a friend. While you’re away there are a few hundred people who could sweep by, scoop those up, and walk away without a soul noticing. I don’t have the time to replace those, and neither do you.



  1. I’d leave the dental card at home unless you think it’s likely there’ll be a brawl on the dance floor. You’re so right about losing the photo id, but in what universe will the ambulance take you without some proof that you are who you say you are unless you’re dead?

    Now I know why the rabbi was so rude to me about having a rehearsal, if I’d grown up with it, I would have been to so many weddings by now that I’d have everything memorized. Six hours at a wedding? Srsly?


  2. First of all, who dances? Therefore, you definitely should just bring a credit card and save the cash for buying fruit and veggies on st nick. Also, you definitely need an ID… otherwise you can’t get any alcohol? I guess it all depends on the wedding… Why do you need a bencher? Don’t they usually have those at weddings anyway? Daven mincha before if you’re that frum.. and you can always daven maariv when you get home. You do not need a pen and paper- you can just write down something in your cell. I just saved you some space in your teeny purse.



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