So you’ve been invited to a wedding. Or five. Adulthood, right guys? Now, before we all get lost in a fog of despair over all the prep needed, let your friendly Fashion Bird set your minds at ease on at least a few points. That anxiety you’re feeling is likely stemming from not knowing what’s expected of you, and it’s possible you’re worried you’ll embarrass yourself or cause trouble for the couple on their big day by not knowing WTF is going on. So let’s get some things nailed down about what you need to do in order to be a good wedding guest.
- Do I have to buy new clothes? Only, and I do mean ONLY, if you want to, or if you don’t own anything that fits the dress code. For really formal stuff, you can also consider renting an outfit from a formal shop, or borrowing from a friend if your budget is a little skint with all these weddings to go to. For formal dresses, also try thrift and consignment shops – I’ve given every formal and bridesmaid dress I’ve ever worn to Goodwill, so there’s at least a handful out there for sale.
- I have like four weddings to go to this summer – do I need a different outfit for each? Only if Vogue is asking you to cover these weddings, darling. Again, if you don’t want to buy new clothes, and you have an LBD that will work just fine for all these weddings, by all means, rock that dress. Try changing up your hair and jewelry, and maybe even your shoes, so that you feel like you’re in a whole new outfit. I bet you fool anybody who sees you at more than one event.
- I don’t really do much with my hair, but this wedding is formal. Halp? No worries, Fledgling, I got you. First off, there’s nothing wrong with keeping it simple – the 2016 trend is toward very natural locks, without a lot of styling. So if you just wash and dry your hair as you normally do and leave it down, you’ll look runway-ready. However, if you want your hair up and are befuddled at the instructions for those fancy updos, try going to anywhere that does haircuts and asking if you can book an appointment for a wash, blowdry, and updo the day of your event. It’ll cost a little money, but not a ton more than a good haircut and style, and if it makes you feel like you’re ready to attend the crap outta that wedding, then it’s probably worth it. Bring a pic of what you want done, so the stylist knows how to proceed.
- Do I have to get them a gift? In general, yes, you should get the happy couple a gift if you’re attending their wedding. Considering that they’re spending around $70 just on feeding you – not counting favors, cake, linens, DJ, flowers, tables and chairs, multiplied by however many people RSVP – you should really get them a gift to wish them well, and to thank them for spending literally tens of thousands of dollars to host this event. A considerate couple will have a range of prices on items in their registry, and if you have a group of friends who all know the happy couple, you can all chip in on something more expensive.
- I got invited to a bunch of showers and bachelorette parties and I LITERALLY CANNOT. How do I get out of these? Fledglings, you are NOT required to attend ANYthing. That’s one of the few perks of being a grownup, yanno – if you can’t afford to fly to LA, get a hotel room, rent a car, AND attend a wedding…don’t. RSVP no, and move on with your life. If it’s someone you care deeply about, like a relative or a bestie, use some of the money you didn’t have to spend on cross-country travel to get them something great off their registry. If they’re good friends, they’ll understand that we can’t all afford that kind of travel. If you have social anxiety and the very concept of a bachelorette party makes you want to hide under the bed, there’s a very good chance your friends know this about you already, and that they invited you to be nice and to let you know you’re welcome IF you feel up to coming. Remember, these are your friends. They’re not suddenly not-your-friends, and they haven’t forgotten who you are or what’s going on in your life. Give your loved ones some credit; they know you have a life.
So there you have it. I hope you feel better-equipped to attend (or not!) all these upcoming events and to celebrate with your friends. Remember that if you’re stumped on anything wedding-related, the best person to ask is someone close to the bride, but not the bride herself, because she’s busy. No no, don’t argue with me – she’s busy.