bride running
Meghan Rolfe Photography

On your wedding day, you’ll want to be present for every moment. You’re also a human being and have, er, needs—but you might find it difficult to take a break during your wedding and head to the bathroom (especially if you’re not sure of how to pee in a wedding dress!).

If you’re the hyper-organized, plan-ahead type, it’s a good idea to try to consider the best times to use the bathroom (whether you actually have to use the toilet or just want to freshen up) during your wedding so you’ll be able to enjoy the day in comfort. A quick note: You obviously do not have to head to the restroom during each of these moments, but we just want to give you a sense of the best times to do so if you want!

Here, the best times to pencil in a bathroom break on your wedding day.

While getting ready

The most obvious time to use the restroom is before you get into your wedding-day attire. In particular, if you’re wearing cumbersome attire (like a giant ballgown), head to the bathroom shortly before putting it on. This is also a good opportunity to put on deodorant or perfume, touch up your makeup, and have something to eat or drink.

Shortly before the ceremony

The last thing you want on your mind during your wedding ceremony is that you have to pee. Try to arrive at your ceremony with enough time to take a quick trip to the bathroom—even if you’re running a bit late, you’ll be glad you took the extra time to use the loo before walking down the aisle.

After the ceremony and before portraits and cocktail hour

The time after your ceremony and before you make your entrance into cocktail hour is a good time to freshen up. If you’re taking portraits during this time, you’ll definitely want to do a mirror check and refresh your hair and/or makeup.

Near the end of cocktail hour

Once you’ve entered cocktail hour, it’s easy to get swept away greeting guests, enjoying some hors d’oeuvres and beverages, and spending a little time with your new spouse. However, once your reception begins things will start to move pretty fast. As your guests start to file into the reception area, take a quick trip to the restroom to center yourself (and use the toilet if you have to!) before heading into the party.

During dinner, before the toasts

At most weddings, guests will be seated for dinner for about an hour. Couples usually take this time to eat and go from table to table greeting and thanking their loved ones. You can also take a moment to excuse yourself and use the restroom while your guests are enjoying their meal (and encourage your new spouse to do the same)—but make sure that you are back in your seat in time for the toasts.

During the “dance party”

When your guests are in full party mode, they likely won’t notice if you take a quick trip to the restroom—particularly if your band or DJ are playing a string of fast songs. You can easily grab a few members of your wedding party to accompany you if need be.

Before you leave for the night

If you’re leaving your reception in a car to head to your wedding night accommodations, it’s a good idea to use the restroom before the send-off. The last minutes of the wedding can be an oft-photographed time, so make sure you’re comfortable and look your best (or as good as you can after a night of full-on partying) before you head off into the (married) sunset.

A few additional tips…

  • When touring wedding venues, be sure to ask to see the restrooms. You’ll want to make sure there are enough toilets so that guests don’t spend the majority of your wedding waiting on line to use the bathroom.
  • Make sure you are aware of the exact locations of the restrooms at both your ceremony and reception venues. You want your trips to the bathroom to be quick and easy, and not spend several minutes frantically searching for the loo.
  • If you’re wearing a large ball gown or other difficult-to-remove attire, enlist a wedding party member (or two) to accompany you to the toilet. It may sound a bit TMI, but this is what your wedding party is here for, and they’ll be glad to help (it will likely also make for some fun memories). You may want to even practice using the bathroom in your dress in advance to avoid any unfortunate mishaps.
  • Work with your wedding planner or venue coordinator to create a timeline for the day—and familiarize yourself with the game plan. Armed with your timeline, you’ll be able to plan out your day and won’t feel too rushed to go to the bathroom!
  • It’s a good idea to have an “emergency kit” on hand on your wedding day with some basic essentials. A member of your wedding party can hold onto this kit, and provide the items as needed. It’s also a nice gesture to include hospitality kits in each restroom at your venue with items like tissues, dental floss, aspirin, and more. Your guests will thank you!