Recently I came upon an old business photograph of mine, used without my permission or knowledge, in a range of blogs and articles throughout the internet.  I am calling this use "past nisht", but the use of my photographs is way beyond "past nisht" and I want to believe that since I sent emails to the different offenders this use will now stop!

This is the original photograph, taken by my husband Sidney – using five of my own wigs and head stands, as well as one of the first backgrounds we constructed using one of my Shabbos tablecloths. 

This is just one of a series of photographs taken in 2009 and were subsequently used in a variety of ways including in my first business card and several web site versions – under the original name of my business: Styles by Yochi. 

Examples of my old site (2011):

Examples of my old site (2010):

This photograph is MY property and as such, permission must be requested and provided before this photograph is published ANYWHERE.  

The credit under the photo should read as follows: “Photographed by Sidney Eisner for Yochi Eisner, The Kallah Whisperer for”

I want to believe that this situation will be remedied immediately!

I am thrilled to announce the launch of my newly designed website (yeah!)

I am thrilled to announce the launch of my newly designed website (yeah!) 

My NEW bridal services include FREE computer-generated images to ensure that your hairstyle and makeup PERFECTLY compliment your gown and veil and FREE Skype and messaging consulting throughout the pre-wedding period.

To celebrate the launch you can enjoy an additional 15% discount on all bridal and simcha beauty services!  Contact me today for full details! Offer good until January 15 2014 for weddings throughout the 2013-2014 season!


This is the workshop you have been waiting for!  Fab Over 50 is coming to Binyamina and it is time you signed up!!!!!!!  What are you waiting for?  Contact me TODAY!!!!!!

Taking care of covered hair!

Today I want to talk to all those lovely ladies out there who cover their hair.  Covering your hair should not mean that you stop taking care of your hair or that you no longer have to take care of your hair. 

I have covered my hair since the day I got married, 35 years ago (wow that is a long time ago) and I have ALWAYS taken care of my hair!

Some of the rules of hair care are the same for every woman and girl; whether she covers her hair or not:

(1)      never shampoo your hair more than once a week

(2)      never condition your hair more than one additional 
time a week

These rules are universal for all womankind; unless you work down in a mine or in a particularly smelly profession.  Shampooing and conditioning are the key verbs here; no matter how “gentle” and/or “natural” the product, these products strip from our hair the important oils needed to help our hair look and feel healthy.  You can wet your hair when you shower/bathe, just don’t shampoo or condition it.

OK, so you can say it: ‘I'll shampoo my hair and then I'll condition it and then I’ll use a moisturizing hair mask.’  And I ask: “Why?”  “Why?” Why strip your hair and then put "back" the conditioning; don’t strip to begin with!  Don't get me wrong - I work out every day and shower after every workout - but I do not shampoo my hair with every shower. 

Now back to our covered hair: while our hair is not regularly attacked by the elements - sun, dust, dirt and pollutants - it must be taken care of. 

I also want to state very clearly: covering your hair does not ruin your hair, does not stop it from growing, does not cause it to fall out, does not cause it to thin out or any other evil.  These are all symptoms of age, illness and a host of hereditary and/or dietary factors.  I have the pleasure of taking care of the hair of a host of lovely ladies of all ages, who cover their hair and I see the proof that covering their hair does not affect their hair in anyway.

If you feel your hair is thinning or in any way becoming unhealthy:
(1)      Look at your diet  A balanced diet should provide all the vitamins and minerals you need for healthy hair, as well as healthy nails and bones!
(2)     Look at your mother and grandmother  Heredity plays a big part here! Did your mother/grandmother suffer from thinning hair at a relatively young age?
(3)      Look at how you treat your hair  Stop pulling your hair back in severe hairstyles that pull and tear your hair.  Stop using rubber bands when you create a ponytail style in your hair that further tears and breaks your hair strands.  Stop over-zealous blow drying, any over-zealous teasing, gluing of extensions and anything that injures your hair on a long-term (as far as hair is concerned) basis.

Now let's talk about how to LOVE our hair.  Each day when you remove your tichel, hat or sheitel gently brush out your hair with a good brush; preferably one with soft bristles with small beaded tips to help prevent further tearing and breaking of hair strands.

Try to air-dry your wet hair whenever possible to prevent your hair from becoming dry.

Want to add shine, texture and vitality to your hair (whether you cover your hair or not)?  Try this great new product that I found recently: TREAT Professional Hair Treatment. 

It’s produced by JOYA, ,
a company that produces a full line of beauty care products.  I have been slowly adding JOYA products to my ‘bag of tricks’ and have been happy with each new product I discover.

Back to TREAT Professional Hair Treatment.   I love using this product on my own hair, customers' and my own sheitels, my customers' hair, as well as my husband’s hair.  Used generously, this product brings back a glow and luster to lifeless hair.

As you know, I always advise using products sparingly, this is one of the few products that I tell clients to use GENEROUSLY! With this product, you hair never gets greasy or feels wet and heavy.

So how do you use this product?
You should work on dry or nearly-dry hair.  Work in sections – you don’t need to comb or separate into neat sections – just work with the following basic sections:
  •  the top of your head (from the crown and including bangs/fringe)
  •  the sides of your head 
  •  the back of your head until the nape of your neck
If you have long and/or thick hair you can divide these section up a bit more.  You don’t need to pin or clip your hair sections. 

Working in sections, use your fingers - spread like a wide-tooth comb -  to open up each section of hair to the roots. 

Spray a spritz or two of TREAT directly into the root area. 

Gently massage the product, fluff and move your fingers, in a zigzag pattern, from the root up to the tips of your hair. Distributing, lifting and fluffing your hair as you go.

When working with the back of your head, I suggest you flip your hair over (even if your hair is not long) and work from the nape of your neck and up to the crown of your head.

Once you've finished a 'round', you can gently brush all your hair.

Repeat this massaging-fluffing-zigzagging-fluffing-brushing process throughout your head. 

You should repeat this whole process on your hair at least two to three times (even four times).  Your hair may feel a bit "wet" at the onset, but the product is absorbed quickly. 
In addition, you will love the scent of this product, as much as you will love what it will do for your hair.

The scent and the product’s results even last through a shower (not a shampooing).

How often should you use this product?  I say once a week, but you can use it twice a week or once every two weeks.  It all depends on you.

Remember: Our HAIR is our ‘crowning glory’ so take care of your hair!

Did you enjoy my article?  I’d love to hear from you!  Drop me a line or tell me on my facebook page and please feel free to share my blog with a bride and all your friends!

Do you have any questions about Jewish wedding customs, please drop me a line?  Do you want to learn more about brides, weddings and beauty? Please subscribe to my blog.

The Ring, The Bride and The Groom Or “Is it the RING finger or the INDEX finger?”

Let’s talk about “the ring”.  No I don’t mean the engagement ring.  That little “bauble” is left up to the bride, the groom, and their bank account.  I am talking about the ring that counts; the wedding ring.  So what are the traditions concerning this ring?

First of all, we have to start at the beginning.  Do we need a wedding ring at all?  As far as Jewish law is concerned, no we do not need a ring, per se, for the ceremony and therefore the marriage to be valid. 

Three conditions must be satisfied in order to consider a couple married according to Jewish law: Shtar: a written agreement, Be’ah: consummation of the marriage and Kesef: an item that is worth more than a pruta (lowest valued coin) must be given to the bride by the groom.

Shtar is the Ketuvah.  You can read more about Ketuvot and find my English translation of the ketuva in my article "The Jewish Marriage Contract in all its beauty" 

Be’ah, well I think most couples get that one right.  So what is left?  

Kesef, an item worth more than the lowest valued coin.  Why demand such a negligible value for this item?  Firstly so that anyone could get married.  The cost of the item, which for generations is a ring, should not be so exorbitant that it would prevent a wedding from taking place.  Ok, today we have plenty of other factors that can threaten a wedding, but the true essence of a valid wedding is met with just these three conditions and two witnesses, not related to either of the happy couple, to witness a range of events that occur throughout the ceremony. 

You may have noticed that this short list does not include a Rabbi, a chuppah, guests, caterers, florists, band or any of the army of wedding providers we cannot live without today. And you are right!

You can hold a Jewish wedding ANYWHERE; in a living room, on a boat, a roof top or a restaurant. Jewish weddings have been held in ghettos, DP camps and forests.  Interestingly, it is considered especially auspicious to hold a Jewish wedding ceremony at night under the stars (I’ll be talking about this in a separate blog article in the near future).  You have to keep in mind that it is the bride and groom who make the wedding, not the band, the photographer, a four-thousand dollar gown, six hundred white roses or a five-course meal. 

However, a ring is the most recognizable symbol of marriage for centuries. Archeologists have found wedding rings from 7th century Byzantium and the practice of giving rings seems to have caught on in ancient Babylonia as well.  Rings were also part of the greater gentile custom of exchanging wedding gifts and goods to help ensure the couple’s initial economic stability. Other societies gave and still give bracelets and toe rings, instead of wedding rings for fingers, during wedding ceremonies. 

Throughout the centuries, within Judaism itself, jewelry of all types was given during the betrothal and marriage ceremonies. Interestingly, these two ceremonies were actally performed as one ceremony in ancient times.

A perfect example of the giving of jewelry for a betrothal/marriage is described in the Torah when Avraham sent his servant Eliezer to find a bride for his son Yitzhak and provided Eliezer with what seems to be an impressive amount of jewelry and precious items to “seal the deal”.  This collection included nose rings, bracelets and the like in gold and silver.

From Bereshit Perek 24:

נֶזֶם זָהָב, בֶּקַע מִשְׁקָלוֹ, וּשְׁנֵי צְמִידִים עַל יָדֶיהָ, עֲשָׂרָה זָהָב מִשְׁקָלָם

a gold nose ring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold

Back to our wedding ceremony and the wedding ring.  The ring must be a simple, smooth (without a noticeable beginning or end) ring, without stones or cutouts. Usually the ring is round, but I have seen square-shaped rings, which are kosher, as long as they fulfil all the other conditions.

The ring can be of any metal.  I read that another reason for the ring to be plain and unadorned is so that it cannot be over-valued or made to look more expensive than it is really worth, in order to prevent someone from marrying a person under a false pretense or inducement of wealth.

Additionally, the groom must own the ring; that is, he must have bought the ring with his own money.  I will assume that a ring that the groom inherited, must be legally considered his own property, in order to be able to use it halachickly. Usually under the chuppah, the Rabbi will ask the groom if he did indeed buy the ring and if it is indeed worth more than a pruta.  This second question usually causes a bit of nervous laughter on the side of the bride and her family and is usually followed by a whispered comment such as “it better be…”.  

Two witnesses are then called upon to “inspect” the ring, to ensure that is of one piece and that it is indeed worth more than a pruta.

Once this is done the groom will then recite:

הרי את מקודשת לי בטבעת זו כדת משה וישראל

Behold, you are consecrated to me with this ring according to the law of Moses and Israel.

The two witnesses also watch as the groom clearly places the ring on the bride’s right index finger.

Before I discuss the bride’s hands, I would like to talk for just a moment about another custom regarding the ring and the bride.  I have heard that the witnesses must watch the bride accept the ring, by extending her hand and allowing the groom to place the ring on her finger. 

I have also read that the bride should lift her veil as she does this, so that she can CLEARLY SEE the ring being placed on her finger and that she clearly accepts this marriage.  I like that!

There is another minhag that the bride should wear no jewellery under the chuppah, so that when she wears her wedding ring for the first time, it is the most important and only piece of jewellery she is wearing.  Usually the bride will remove her jewellery right after the badekin and give it into the care of a trusted friend and then put it back on after the ceremony, usually in the yehud room.

The idea of an exchange of rings is not a Jewish tradition.  If a couple wants the groom to wear a ring as well, the bride can place the ring on the groom’s finger when and where she pleases.  Some do it under the chuppah, others do it in the yechud room and so on.

So back to our bride and her right index finger.  The groom places the wedding ring on her right index finger.  The bride should not wear gloves or any other impediment, but have the ring placed directly on her finger. 

There are all kinds of opinions, beliefs and theories behind wearing the wedding ring on either the right hand or the left hand.  These philosophies run the gamut from the left ring finger being associated with the heart to the right index finger being the most active finger and therefore the act of marriage should be signified by the right index finger.

As the ring has been sized to the bride’s left ring finger, the ring may not fit as well as it will on the right index finger.  The bride can move the ring to her left ring finger at the end of the chuppah, during yechud or whenever it is convenient for her.

There is a minhag that I heard from my mother-in-law z”l, that the bride should put her wedding ring back on the right index finger during each of their sheva brachot celebrations as well.

In all cases, the wedding ring has become an important part of the Jewish Wedding ceremony.  Mazal Tov!

Did you enjoy my article?  I’d love to hear from you!  Drop me a line or tell me on my facebook page and please feel free to share my blog with a bride and all your friends!

Do you have any questions about Jewish wedding customs, please drop me a line?  Do you want to learn more about brides, weddings and beauty? Please subscribe to my blog.

Prevent tangles and knots in long hair sheitels! Share with your friends!

One of the most annoying problems with long sheitels is the fact that the rows of hair that lay on the nape of the neck tend to get knotted and matted.  These rows of hair can be detangled - but like everything else - continuous combing loosens and then tears the hairs in the sheitel.  Eventually, over-vigorous brushing and combing will create bald spots.

The reason this area is so vulnerable to tangling is the fact that this area tends to rub along the collars of shirts, dresses, coats and jackets, as well as get caught in scarves and necklaces. There is no way to prevent this close contact, but there is a way to help prevent the resulting tangles!

For years I have told my customers that they should pay extra attention to this area and GENTLY detangle and comb - with a wide tooth comb or brush - this area after every time they wear their long sheitels.  Regular detangling keeps this area neat and prevents the need for more vigorous brushing when you bring your sheitel in for a 'wash and set'. (Another area of special attention is the “scalp” area of the wig, but that’s the subject of another article!) 

I have tried all kinds of methods to detangle the hairs as safely as possible, but like everything else, I have found that the easiest method is to PREVENT this tangling IN THE FIRST PLACE.  My solution is simple and wig-safe!

My method works great with all sheitels: on new sheitels as well as old sheitels; 100% human hair, blends and even synthetics! 

What to do?

þ First turn your sheitel inside out.  Hold the nape section of your sheitel facing you.  

þIf this is not a new sheitel, gently comb and detangle all the hair of the sheitel - paying special attention to the last rows of hair close to the edges of the sheitel (this is the area that will come in close contact with the nape of the neck). 

þ Take a small amount of silicone gel or Moroccan/Aragon oil and rub it into the palm of your hands.  The gel or oil will keep these rows of hair “lubricated” and loose and less likely to be able to get knotted or tangled. Rub this small amount into the palms of both hands.

þ Using the palms of your hands gently apply the gel/oil ONLY to the roots of the rows of hair at the nape.  Do not rub the oil/gel down through the hair length.  You only want the “roots” of the rows of hairs close to the nape to be affected. The reason for this is that you do not want your wig to dirty or create an oil stain on any of your clothes.

þ Once you have treated your wig, you should not need a wide-toothed comb or brush to untangle your wig hair after a day of wig wear.  You should be able to gently untangle this area with just your fingertips.  

þ This layer of protection should last until your regular month and a half shampoo and set session. If you have been wearing your wig in hot weather or throughout a particularly active day, you may need to reapply a bit of gel/oil and repeat the process.  If you wait months between shampoo and set sessions (which you know you should NOT DO!), the protective properties of the gel/oil will not last and you will need to reapply a bit of gel/oil every so often.

þ Before and after every wear, gently shake out your wig twice. Once while holding your wig inside out and then while holding your wig right side out.  This will help to keep the hairs separate.

Treat your wig with the love and attention it deserves and it should serve you well for a long time to come!

The Kallah Whisperer on the International Weddings Know How radio show!

The Kallah Whisperer on the international Weddings Know How radio show!  

Listen to my broadcast with the incredible Kizzi Nkwocha! Great weddings and beauty tips and advice on the air! 

Walking Down the Aisle (the the Chuppah) at a Jewish Wedding

When a wedding is depicted in a Hollywood movie, it always seems as if the groom just kind of appears from some secret side door and stands in front of a priest or some kind of officiate.   The bride floats down an aisle, flanked on either side by rows of guests seated on benches or chairs, on the arm of her father; following a procession of some 15 bridesmaids in identical, horrific dresses.

Bizarrely, the mother of the bride is always shown sitting by herself on one side of the aisle, with tears of happiness streaming down her face.  In contrast, the groom’s parents are left to their own devices on the other side of the aisle.

The guests, as I understand, are seated according to their connection to the happy couple: either on “the groom’s side” or “the bride’s side” of the aisle.  This is NOT how a Jewish wedding is organized and weddings in Israel are even less similar.

In this article, I want to discuss how the bride and groom walk down the aisle at an Orthodox Jewish wedding.  Other parts of a Jewish wedding ceremony will be discussed in future articles.

Firstly and by definition, a Jewish wedding is a communal event.  The wedding is designed this way so that the marriage, and consequently the unavailability of the bride and groom to anyone else, become immediate public knowledge.

Why do we accompany the bride and groom to the Chuppah?
The tradition of accompanying the bride and the groom to the Chuppah is based on variety of social and religious customs, viewpoints and attitudes.  However, there seems to be a common basis or way of thinking that connects all these traditions and they include:

(1)        It is said that Ha’shem accompanied Chava down to the Chuppah, when she married Adam.  From this belief grew the idea of accompanying the bride and groom to their Chuppah.


(2)        Just as a king and queen are always surrounded by an entourage as a symbol of their importance, so the bride and groom, who are considered as a king and queen on their wedding day, must be surrounded and accompanied by an entourage. This entourage includes the perspective parents of the bride and groom, their closest relatives and friends.

Before the creation of Wedding Halls, weddings took place in the village’s or city’s open court yard or any area that could hold a large gathering.  The entire community of that village or city would join together and accompany the bride and groom down to the Chuppah. 
At the head of these processions would be the parents of the bride and of the groom.  Either each set of parents accompanied their own child or the mothers accompanied the bride and the fathers accompanied the groom.   Orphans would many times be accompanied to their Chuppah by prominent members of the community to help illustrate the importance of the mitzvot of Hachnasat Kallah and Mesa'meach Chatan V’Kallah.  

There is no ‘right way’ to accompany the bride and groom.  Each family has its own custom. 

In weddings held outside of Israel, all the guests are usually seated on either side of an aisle leading up to the Chuppah either wherever they wish or one side of the aisle is reserved for women, while the other side of the aisle is reserved for men.  Usually the first row or two of seats, closest to the Chuppah, are reserved for older guests, so they can see the ceremony more easily. 

Grandparents and great grandparents usually stand under the Chuppah with the rest of the family, but they can also be seated in those front rows.  In general, in Israel, there are only two or three rows of chairs (at most), reserved for people who will find standing during the Chuppah ceremony too much of a burden.  Everyone else stands around the Chuppah during the entire ceremony, thus the idea of an “aisle” disappears as soon as the bride and groom are standing under the Chuppah.
Procession without an aisle in Israel
The idea of a Jewish wedding procession has no true basis in Jewish tradition.  The idea of bridesmaids and flower girls has been adopted into some Jewish weddings in one form or other, but it does not have the importance or significance it has in gentile weddings.

Who accompanies the bride and groom?

ONLY the bride and groom and their procession to the Chuppah are important. The procession begins with the groom, as he is lead down the aisle either by his parents or both fathers and his closest friends and male relatives.  Once he and, usually, those who walked down with him are standing under the Chuppah, it’s the bride’s turn.  She may walk down the aisle, flanked by either her parents or both mothers and by close friends.  As she is lead down to the Chuppah, she may also recite prayers for people in need.

Procession of groom with the fathers and friends

Candles in holders with ribbons and flowers
Many Ashkenazi families have the minhag of the parents or mothers/fathers accompanying the bride and groom to the Chuppah to hold specially designed glass holders with lit candles in their hands. Sometimes they hold simple long havdala candles with a “handle” of tin foil to prevent hot wax from dripping on their hands.
Procession of bride with the mothers and friends
I have heard and read many reasons for this minhag; from lighting the way to the Chuppah to the gematria for the Hebrew word "aish" (fire) and the Hebrew words for "man" and "woman" and so on.  My feeling is that since nearly all weddings took place outside and in the evening, candles were needed to light the way for everyone.  As time went on and weddings began to take place indoors, the idea of 'lighting the way' for the Chatan and Kallah was preserved as part of the larger ceremony.

Under the Chuppah
Depending on the size of the actual Chuppah, the people that will stand under the Chuppah, in addition to the bride and the groom and the Rabbi, are the parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents and many times close friends. The witnesses and other honoraries usually stand to the side of the Chuppah, but that is the topic of future articles.

Once everyone is standing under the Chuppah, the wedding ceremonies formally begin.  I will discuss these ceremonies and rituals in future articles.

Do you have questions about a Jewish wedding, its customs, traditions and practices?  Please feel free to contact me today!


With Tisha B’Av this evening and thoughts of the destruction of both Ba’Tei Ha’Mikdash, I somehow always think about the minhag of not playing music at Yerushalmi weddings.  I had always assumed that this was a long standing minhag dating back directly to the time of the destruction. 
But as I did my research for this article I found out that this was not necessarily the case. It seems that Harav Meir Aeurbach zt”l decreed that no music be played at Yerushalmi weddings about 140 years ago, either due to an epidemic that broke out at that time or, as I had assumed, a sign of mourning for the destruction of the Ba’Tei Ha’Mikdash. 
I learned that this is a ‘strictly’ Ashkenazi minhag and that in most accounts, drums are allowed to be played at weddings, as drums are not halachikly considered musical instruments. Therefore weddings could be celebrated with the accompaniment of people singing and of the beating of drums.
It is interesting that playing music was prohibited immediately after the destruction; but that as music was and is recognized as a vital element to a Jewish wedding and to the very heart of the mitzvah of Mi’sameach Chatan V’Kallah as time went on, music re-entered Jewish wedding ceremonies.  It appears that as the centuries passed, music was played at Jewish weddings outside of Israel, then this practise travelled “back” to Israel, first to cities outside of Jerusalem and then to The City itself. 
Throughout the centuries music at Yerushalmi weddings was alternatingly permitted and then prohibited by our Rabbis for a variety of reasons, one of which of course was the destruction of the Ba’Tei Ha’Mikdash.  From what is understood, around the time of Ha’Rav Aeurbach’s proclamation, there was an outbreak of a terrible plague in Jerusalem that decimated thousands and this prohibition came in response to this tragedy.
I have also heard of and attended weddings where music is played throughout the weddings except during the procession to the chuppah and the chuppah itself.  At this time, the bride and groom are accompanied down to the chuppah by the singing of the guests.  I have to say that many times this is a much more poignant and personal scene, as everyone truly takes part in the mitzvah of Misameach Chatan V’Kallah.
May we all be Zoche to see the Beit Hamikdash rebuilt in our times.

Erev Tisha B’Av 2012
A photo showing just a very small corner of the Kotel where thousands upon thousands are praying and reading Eicha and Kinot.

The seventh of the Sheva Brachot:
ברוך אתה ה' אלקינו מלך העולם, אשר ברא ששון ושמחה, חתן וכלה, גילה רינה, דיצה וחדווה, אהבה ואחווה, ושלום ורעות, מהרה ה' אלקינו ישמע בערי יהודה ובחוצות ירושלים, קול ששון וקול שמחה, קול חתן וקול כלה, קול מצהלות חתנים מחופתם, ונערים ממשתה נגינתם. ברוך אתה ה', משמח חתן עם הכלה.

Wow! I’m a columnist for Weddings Know-How!

I am so excited! My first article in Weddings Know-How has been published!  Check it out on the Opinions page!

Every month I will publish an article that is either adapted for Weddings Know-How readers or an original article written specifically for Weddings Know-How. 

Check out my articles and those written by other wedding professionals around the world!  Check out the following links for more information:

Bridal Makeup Touch-up Bag

If you are not lucky enough to have your makeup artist at your beck and call for your bridal makeup touch-ups at your wedding venue, then you need to create your own touch-up makeup bag and emergency kit. 

This bag can be a GREAT PRESENT to the bride-to-be from a bridesmaid, mother of the bride or groom or a close friend.  Whether the bride or someone else creates this bag, make sure someone (other than the bride) is made responsible for carrying and using the bag as necessary.
I will list exactly what should be included in the bag, but there are some general rules you should keep in mind when creating this bag:
·        You need to balance the needs of the bride with the size, bulk and weight of the bag.  You may be tempted to create two smaller bags – big mistake – now you have two items to forget!
·        Small sample sizes of products are perfect for this bag, as they are usually cheap and sometimes free. Tell your favourite makeup store that you or a friend is getting married, they may be willing to give you some great sample items.
·        All the products should be kept in an inexpensive, zippered bag – no larger than absolutely necessary.
·        When adding products keep in mind that each item should be useful and inexpensive and that the bag and its contents can be left at the venue, forgotten or given away without any guilt at the end of the evening.

Bridal Makeup Touch-up bag contents:
(1)      Straws: These lovelies help keep the bride hydrated (if she is not fasting), without ruining her lipstick and makeup or for that matter, help protect the bridal gown from spills.
(2)      Stain removal wipes: Remember to always blot, never rub a stain!
(3)      Regular wet wipes: The alcohol-free variety, this way, if they are used on the face or hands, they be less likely to dry out the skin.  Remember to always blot sweat, dirt, tears, stains or makeup; never rub!  A small pack will do!
(4)      White tissues: Remember to always blot sweat, dirt, tears, stains or makeup; never rub!  A small pack will do!
(5)      Cotton swabs: You should pack them in a separate small plastic baggie packed inside the touch-up bag, to ensure they stay clean.
(6)      Powder puff: The powder puff can be used in two capacities: to take down shine from your face (shoulders, etc.) and to gently retouch makeup.  Remember to always blot sweat, dirt, tears, stains, or makeup; never rub!
To understand this fully, please read the following table:
What use?
How to use it?
Plain, clean powder puff
Blot out any oily/sweaty areas of the skin
Pack the puff in a separate small plastic baggie, inside your touch-up bag.
Powder puff with white baby powder  **
Blot out any oily/sweaty areas of the skin and fix base makeup smears
Dip powder puff in baby powder and then carefully place in separate small plastic baggie.  Some baby powder will stick to the puff and some will seep into the baggie.
When you want to use the puff, re-dip it into the baggie and then gently shake off excess powder into the baggie and then carefully blot any offending areas on the face.
In small amounts, white baby powder can be used on dark, as well as light skin tones, as the powder will be absorbed into the skin.
Powder puff with powder makeup (a bit lighter than the makeup color used).
Blot out any oily/sweaty areas of the skin and fix base makeup smears
Dip powder puff into the powder makeup and then carefully place in separate small plastic baggie.  Some powder makeup will stick to the puff and some will seep into the baggie.
When you want to use the puff, re-dip it into the baggie and then gently shake off excess powder into the baggie and then carefully blot any offending areas on the face.
Be very careful using makeup powder, as it can dirty the wedding gown and any dress, blouse, veil in close proximity.  Makeup stains are very hard to clean!

I believe that white baby powder is the safer, and therefore better option, given that any powder that may accidently fall on the gown will be invisible.
** An alternative is to pack a small bottle of baby powder and a separate powder puff and apply powder carefully and directly to the puff.
(7)      Lip gloss: I recommend packing a colorless gloss, as it is safer for the bride’s gown and for those around her.  Also you must consider the fact that if you reapply lipstick, it may get wiped on the dress, sleeve, and worse, the color may bleed into the skin surrounding the lip and make a very unappealing picture
(8)      Inexpensive, light scented eau de cologne: This is a great item to pack and is a good freshener and mood lifter.  But remember the rule, the eau de cologne bottle must be small and light to carry and inexpensive.
Just a spritz or two on the wrists and behind the ears can be wonderful and refreshing after a long, hot pre-chuppah photo shoot, just before the chuppah and after yechud.
Be careful not to spritz near eyes, directly on gown or even in the hair (although I do this sometimes).
(9)      Blush: I am including blush in this list, as a very optional item that is important only if the bride is naturally very pale.  You can buy a very cheap, small container of blush or eye shadow in a shade close to the original blush shade used.  If you are not sure what color will be used go for a light pinky/bronzy shade.  In addition, buy a cheap blush brush.  The key here is small and cheap.
Be careful opening the container near the bride, as well as when applying the blush.  An unsure, nervous hand - yours or the bride's -can create clown cheeks that will look worse in a picture than no blush - believe me!  Place napkins or tissues around the top of the bride’s gown before applying any color!  Once again if you include blush, place it first in a small plastic baggie.
(10)  Safety pins
(11)  Sewing kit: While everyone’s first thought would be to include one of those handy small sewing kits; all that you really need is a few already-threaded needles; two or three threaded with white thread and one threaded with black thread.  You can stick the pre-threaded needles into spools of thread and pack them in your kit.
(12)  Small nail scissors: Great for cutting loose threads from gowns, shirts, etc.  Never pull threads!!!!!
(13)  Double-back tape: Great to instantly fix tears WITHOUT sewing. (Not in photograph)
(14)  Panty liners
(15)  Nail file: A jagged nail can play havoc on a gown!
(16)  Few extra bobby pins: Just in case you want to pin back a few strands of way-ward hair for your hairstyle.
(17)  Band-Aids