How a trash bag helps you go pee all by yourself while wearing big ol' wedding dress

August 22 | Guest post by Alex Tinsley

How to pee all by yourself while wearing puffy wedding dress

Things I love: Fluffy wedding dresses, staying hydrated, my bridesmaids.

Things I don't love: Having the third help me handle the first in order to deal with the consequences of the second.


I figured this trick out just prior to my wedding, as my dress was (as you can see) particularly unruly and I didn't really love the idea of employing a small army to help me keep it out of the toilet water (though my bridesmaids were willing to help, bless 'em). Had it been a bit easier to get in and out of, I might have just taken it off, but no — that was a complicated, multi-person operation as well, involving a whole bunch of lacing and carefully placed safety pins and chicken cutlets — not to mention being topless in a public restroom.

And of course, I'm the kind of person who has to pee every thirty minutes, and more often when I'm nervous.

Luckily this little trick is cheap and amazingly effective — plus it's easy to stash some extra trash bags in the bathroom, or find some in most venues if you run out. (A garment bag works well too, and lets you skip Step Three since it already has an extra hole.)

pee-1Step 1: Start with a poofy dress.

pee1Step 2: Add a large, sturdy trash bag.

pee2Step 3: Tear a hole in the bottom of the trash bag that is just wide enough to fit your feet through. Aim to keep it small- it will expand as you pull it up your legs, but you want it to fit tightly.

pee3Step 4: Step into the bag and pull your feet through the hole. This is WAY easier if you take your heels off, but in case of super gross bathroom floors, it can be done. Stand near a wall so you don't topple, though.

pee4Step 5: Pull the top of the bag up and start loading your dress-fluff into it, while keeping your feet pretty close together so you don't widen the hole too much. Some of the dress-fluff will inevitably try to escape through the foot hole, but it's not a big deal and you can just shove it back up in there.

pee5Step 6: Shimmy the bag up your body carefully, making sure to get all the dress-parts, ribbons, trains, etc into the bag.

pee6Step 7: Once the foot-hole is around your waist, you can gather the slack at the top of the bag and hold it in one hand, leaving the other free for… bathroom… tasks.

pee7

[related-post align="right"]Voila! Look at you, using the potty all by yourself like a grown-up! Once you're done, just rip that sucker off like the Hulk (make sure you step AWAY from the toilet water first) and go back to your party. (It's not really worth trying to re-use the same bag, since the hole will get all loosey-goosey.)

Disclaimer: If you're wearing a dress that easily creases, I can't promise that this won't wrinkle it a bit… but that might be unavoidable even with bridesmaid assistance.

    • Offbeat Bride: one of the few wedding blogs where the copyeditor actively hits on writers in the comments.

      113 agree
  1. Thanks for this! My dress is super poofy :)

    9 agree
  2. Where were you last September?! I only peed once the whole evening because I so hated the assistance. Very clever solution. Also, sup fellow Ypsi-ite?!

    9 agree
    • I was…procrastinating on writing this post because I had to have a second set of hands to lace up my dress. I got marred in May of 2011 and have been meaning to do this since, haha. I'M SO SORRY! I HAVE FAILED YOU!

      High-five Ypsi!

      5 agree
  3. This would've been a hell of a lot better than grabbing my teenage niece to help me… Hahaha. I was pretty tipsy by the time I had to use the bathroom at my wedding and ended up grabbing the nearest female I felt comfortable with. It was pretty funny. Although my skirt was so large it may not have fit in a trash bag either.

    3 agree
  4. I had a pretty poofy dress (satin with a poofy crinoline underneath), but I managed to go pee all by myself, even without the trash bag! I also didn't get my dress in the toilet. To be honest, I'm not really sure how I managed. I was in a corset, too! All I remember is making sure I used the wheelchair stall because there was not enough room to pick up my dress in a regular stall! Even with the garbage bag, using the biggest stall available is important!

    8 agree
    • You give me hope! Your dress and mine sound pretty similar. I have to make sure there IS a larger stall at my venue (old house and all that)…

      2 agree
      • I think I kind of tucked the skirt under at the bottom to scoop up the crinoline, and then held the whole thing around my back like a big dress doughnut. The satin's pretty easy to manage, it's the crinoline you have to worry about, so if you can cover the crinoline with the satin, it's much easier to keep out of the way. You'll figure it out. It is possible, I promise!

        3 agree
        • i think someone should make a petticoat with a drawstring around the bottom so you can just flip your skirt up, zip the petticoat tight, gathering all your outer layers inside it, go pee, and then just let the drawstring go when you're done. like this bag trick but built in!

          114 agree
          • Build it, you will be a bazillionaire!

            16 agree
      • I had a bride's room with an ensuite bathroom (historic house for us!), and I was able to go, no problem!

        Tip: squat facing the toilet, instead of facing away from the toilet!

        I also wore Shapewear with a pee hole, so I didn't bother with underwear (that would have been a problem trying to hold up a dress, and take off underwear…

        It was a big dress with a train that I had to struggle with!

        6 agree
    • Good call- I used the big stall too, because then you can do the hiking-up-your-skirt part in private, which is always nice. As much as I like flashing my friends and relatives.

      3 agree
  5. Creative idea!
    I wore big puffy ball gowns to my highschool proms (like 4 times?) and never had any issues peeing by myself… Just gathered it all up into 1 arm and held it. I guess that could be more difficult with a train…

    3 agree
  6. This is amazing! You are amazing for this idea! I remember helping my MOH with her dress and her loss of dignity lol Wow, my FH is from Ypsi, small world. :) Thank you!!

    1 agrees
  7. I love this more than I have literally ever loved anything. I wedding dress shopped with one of my big goals being, being able to pee by myself. I looked at dresses that fit that code, and of course ended up with one with a petiskirt and a train instead. Now I don't have to awkwardly warn my bridesmaids! Hooray!

    0 agree
  8. Oh, this is so perfect, and much better than the peeing backwards trick people keep talking about, since this won't require me to take off my hose or to buy a (real) garter belt.

    Trash bags are now on the list of wedding day necessities!

    3 agree
    • If you have a big train or something that wrinkles easily, the other option is to have someone with you in the largest stall you can find, holding the back up while you straddle the toilet (facing it and the wall it is attached to).

      I'm kind of shocked that there are some stores where they sell these dresses to women to wear for a WHOLE DAY and don't explain how you're going to pee with it on!

      12 agree
    • Yeah I had hose which was one of the main reasons I wasn't messing with that other method (the other reason being that I'm a huge germaphobe and didn't want my dress touching everything, eeughh.)

      4 agree
    • trick to wearing garter belts and still being able to, ahem, get at your intimate bits for whatever purposes: garter/stockings first, than panties! looks nicest with a thong or g-string. this goes in the same category of advice as "boots first, then corset!" which us goth girls have all learned the hard way

      12 agree
      • Or just skip the panties altogether ;) Then you also don't have to worry about your undies getting stuck up your butt!

        12 agree
        • I wouldn't want them stuck up there but I'm not sure I could walk up the aisle, full commando and not laugh hysterically knowing that everyone looking at me had no idea!! …and then getting the garter off!!! Careful not to Sharon Stone it :O

          1 agrees
    • don't forget when wearing hose that you'll need TWO hands to pull them down and put them back on, same with underwear. Consider wearing stockings or crotchless hose so you don't have to worry about trying to hold the garbage bag up WHILE taking your undergarments down

      0 agree
  9. omg I WISH I had seen this before the wedding it would have saved my life. I feel like I spent about 3/4 of the day in the loo wrestling with my bouffy skirts.

    1 agrees
  10. hi, i'm new here. i 100% thought this article was going to be about how to pee into a garbage bag while wearing your wedding dress. awesome.

    63 agree
    • We edited the title several times to try to make it clear that it was peeing while in a dress, using a trashbag — not IN the trashbag. We may not have succeeded. :)

      23 agree
      • it wound up giving me the very helpful tip of how to avoid peeing into a trashbag.

        13 agree
    • I might have thought the exact same thing the first time I saw it in passing.

      3 agree
  11. THANK YOU! hope this works for me (big girl) lol

    0 agree
  12. I love your dress!! And this whole Idea! I am definately going to give this a go at my wedding!!

    1 agrees
  13. This is absolutely BRILLIANT! My dress won't require this maneuver, but I will certainly keep it in mind should any of my nearest and dearest wed and settle on something fluffy! Ingenuity at its best!

    2 agree
  14. What a novel idea! :) I wonder if this would still work with mermaid-style gowns? I'd love to be able to pee without any help on the big day.

    4 agree
  15. If you made two holes near the top of the dress you could, hypothetically, stick your arms in them and then have two hands to do whatever duties you needed to without worrying about accidentally dropping the held bag. Brilliant idea.

    8 agree
  16. Alex, your dress is *gorgeous*, the lace is fantastic!

    For anyone wanting a non-trashbag alternative (or trashbag pee-fellow!), there was a gem piece of advice I read on the tribe prior to my wedding in 2011:

    Use the toilet backwards.

    Seriously! It worked! It involves you not having anything holding your two feet together, though (I wore leggings under my dress, so one leg of both legging and undergarment came off and were held along with the dress), but then you just walk towards the toilet, crouch and go.

    Now, my dress wasn't overly poofy or unruly, so it was pretty easy to manage — if it had been, the security of trash bag would be HIGHLY useful!!! I don't see why trashbag and backwards seat-squatting couldn't be used in combination though :)

    4 agree
  17. I managed to pee without assistance by sitting on the toilet backwards, facing the toilet tank. Pull up dress, walk forward, drop into position. Worked well!

    2 agree
  18. If you don't want to go the trash bag route, and don't mind a little layering you can pull off the exact same trick with a slip. Just make sure it has a little stretch to it. As a fan of the floor length circle skirt, I own a few thrift store skirt slips for the sole purpose of keeping my skirt out of my way in the bathroom.

    10 agree
  19. I used my satin underskirt in the exact same fashion! I lifted up the underskirt like a bag around me, shoved the two lace overskirts into the satin one, and lifted the hem high enough all around me to take care of business. :P

    I should mention that my dress wasn't poofy, though, so that might change things for anyone who has a poofy dress.

    4 agree
  20. Hilarious idea and great for small or last-minute weddings where there may not be a wedding party that can even help out.

    3 agree
  21. THIS WINS THE INTERNET TODAY

    DONE

    13 agree
  22. a) This is a fantastic and ingenious idea, wow.
    b) Your dress is AMAZING. I love it.

    3 agree
  23. This is brilliant.

    Now to figure out how to hack this to be able to do a mermaid dress, because I feel like I'm going to end up getting my mom and MOH to undo the dress and let me pee naked.
    Why must pretty dress not be compatible with small bladder?!

    4 agree
    • OMG, I know!!! I feel like I have to pee every five minutes! FH calls it my "thimble bladder," and I am dreading having to pee in my poofy dress. It is super poofy!

      This article is genius, by the way, and I love love LOVE your dress! Super pretty!

      0 agree
  24. For real though, I don't understand why dedicated wedding venues or places that do a lot of weddings don't install at least one asian style squat toilet. It would make things so much easier.

    7 agree
  25. This is essentially what I do when I go to Ren Faire, except that I use my hoop skirt as the trash bag. And there you're playing for keeps because unless you have really good luck, there's no such thing as a clean restroom at Ren Faire. I never would have thought about this in connection with wedding dresses and trash bags though! This is a seriously awesome idea, but I'm really happy that I have a short dress and won't need to use it! :-)

    Edited to add; your dress is really pretty, OP!

    5 agree
  26. This advice will save me and my dignity! I won't have any bridesmaids and was genuinely worried about my tiny cranky bladder forcing me to pee topless in front of my mom and mom-in-law.

    Also, what a beautiful dress you have!

    0 agree
  27. FANTASTIC!

    Now to figure out a way to still pee but with henna on… hmmmmm…

    0 agree
    • It was made by Urchin Redesign in Portland- everything she does is a one-off but they're pretty much all fantastic:
      http://www.urchinredesign.com/

      For this one I showed her a Michelle Roth dress I liked and said I wanted layers and lace ;-)

      1 agrees
      • Sorry I have no idea why this comment got posted twice, and once in the wrong place… I blame my phone.

        0 agree
  28. Can you tell me what designer the wedding dress is and the style name if you know it?

    0 agree
    • It was made by Urchin Redesign in Portland- everything she does is a one-off but they're pretty much all fantastic:
      http://www.urchinredesign.com/

      For this one I showed her a Michelle Roth dress I liked and said I wanted layers and lace ;-)

      2 agree
    • I have a non-disposable one, that I bought because I found the idea fascinating! That said, they're recommended for travel and also for pregnant women who have to pee a lot but have a hard time sitting down. (Or in some variety (with a penis disguise or as small as possible, hollow spoons for example) for transsexual men wanting to pee standing up in a public bathroom.)

      They work, though it takes a bit of practice. It's key to press it tightly to the body BEHIND your peehole. Aim for the rim to sit right behind your vaginal opening at the front of the perineum. You don't have to press hard, it's just that that's the place you should pay attention to, not the front.

      Then have a bit of toilet paper in hand for when you're ready to remove the thingy, so that nothing drops onto your underwar. Because of this I find that I do usually need both hads at that moment. One to remove the device (I do it to the side) and one that slides the toilet paper into the gap. I havent practiced much though, so it might be possible to do one handed.

      If you use disposable ones (there are acutally patterns that you can print out and fold, and I think normal paper should be fine for one time usage) then it doesn't matter, but non disposable ones need to be rinsed a bit (mine said it was fluid repellant, but some droplets still remain).

      TIPP: If you DO want to try this out, do it in the shower first, that way there's no worries about a mess.

      So, these do work. I have found (TMI warning) that I personally have a bit of difficulty completely voiding my bladder standing up, because I usually need to press (in a way that can also make me poop, which we do not want to happen while standing up like that) to achieve that, but I've never really tried out how big this effect is. (Part of it might be psychological too, the first few times it was hard to even START peeing standing up.)

      2 agree
    • DIY version of a "LadyJane/Venus": cutting off the bottom of a disposable plastic water bottle at a 30-45º angle will do in a pinch. I decided to make myself one for nighttime pees when I was living in a house on stilts with no indoor plumbing, so I wouldn't have to brave the specter of snakes in the outhouse! Amazon doesn't deliver to the Central African rainforest…

      3 agree
  29. I have nothing constructive to add to this conversation, except that you are ADORABLE and this is a great tip!

    2 agree
  30. This is a great idea that will work for certain fabrics but sadly would not work for heavier fabrics or for very long trains dresses. I would suggest to try to use the bathroom before you put your gown on and perhaps if possible wear a two piece dress so you can take the skirt off if you need to do so. Great tip though!!

    0 agree
  31. This would have been great to have for my wedding… Peeing with my mom in the room turned out to be even more awkward than I could have ever imagined

    0 agree
  32. This is so amazing, thank you for posting this! I'll definitely need to remember this.

    0 agree
  33. This is a great idea. Although I will admit that when I scrolled past and read the small description, I thought this was going to be like that Bladder Buddy outfit from American Inventor and said "Oh hell no, ladies, we are not resorting to THAT…."

    1 agrees
  34. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS. One of my biggest wants when going into dress shopping was to get a dress that didn't require assistance to pee in. Totally failed on that count. This is possibly the greatest wedding tip ever.

    2 agree
  35. Thank you so much for this idea! My bridesmaid has to leave immediately after the ceremony and won't be there to help me at the reception and I was worried about what to do. Garbage bag added to list of must haves!

    0 agree
  36. Great tip, thank you!
    If you did need to use two hands to remove underwear etc you could hold the bag between your teeth for a sec while you do the necessary 2 handed task!

    0 agree
  37. Genius! And you even made it look graceful — well, as graceful as one can be while wearing a trash bag. ; )

    Oh, and that "fix typo" button on your blog — that's pure genius too! : )

    0 agree
    • We're very proud of the FIX TYPO button around here. It was custom developed for us! :) We're hoping that the developer who made it will release it publicly soon so that other people can use it.

      1 agrees
  38. Oh my goodness, I know this is off topic but where did you get your dress? It is a-maz-ing.

    0 agree
  39. This may be the single most important post in the history of wedding blogs.

    0 agree
  40. Even easier….sit facing the toilet….the train will be safely behind you….

    0 agree
  41. 2weeks and counting, with a 52 yr old bladder, i'll let u know how many bags i go thru. Wish me luck, and thanks for the trash bag advice!

    0 agree
  42. I was totally prepared to do this, thinking that with my gathered aline skirt and a long train I would need all the help I could get. But as it turns out peeing isn't that hard :) I just scooped the train round to the front and proceeded as normal. My advice: be prepared but don't assume you can't pee on your own because you've seen brides in movies who can't.

    0 agree
  43. Brilliant idea! Just thought though, the bin bag you've got is a draw string. To free up both hands you could pull the drawstring once it's all in the bag and tie it so it sits round your waist without falling. Xxx

    2 agree
  44. The tip, absolutely genius! Your dress, absolutely gorgeous! You, absolutely brilliant! #tobepinned

    0 agree
  45. My take on it:

    1.Get bags with draw-string closures. Cut the hole in the bottom of the bag, step through with the drawstrings AT THE BOTTOM, pull on them to gather up dress floof safely.

    2. Get bags with loop handles. Use as dress straps a la Lumpy Space Princess.
    http://media1.giphy.com/media/11Xh5hZjaJjG8M/200_s.gif

    0 agree

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.

Biz owners & wedding bloggers

Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.