It’s January and you’ve just received your 8th wedding invitation for the year. That’s eight weekends, eight gifts, eight outfits, potentially eight round trip flights, 8 – 16 nights in a hotel, and a handful of days off of work to get to Boston or New Orleans before the welcome dinner on Friday. We’ve compiled our best tips for how to manage the onslaught of 30-somethings getting married this year.
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This may seem like a no brainer but it can get a little confusing as the save the dates roll in and you inevitably lose track of how many Brians are getting married in New Hampshire or D.C. in June. As wedding save the dates start to arrive, mark your calendar. Include any and all information you have – dates of the wedding and any other activities related to the wedding (bachelor parties, wedding showers, pre-wedding dinners, morning-after brunches, etc), names of the bride and groom, location of wedding (as specific as you can get) and any other information they have provided. It will be helpful as your calendar fills up to have all the details in one place and not have to go digging through your mail pile looking for the save the date.
Make sure you keep tabs on who is getting engaged and when their wedding may be so you can budget accordingly. You don’t want to spend all your wedding-attending budget in the first half of the year only to be invited to five more closer friends wedding at the end of the year. Plan accordingly.
It’s Okay to Say No
You do not have to go to every wedding you get invited to. A good rule is if you open the save the date and think “Really? I wouldn’t invite them to my wedding,” it’s okay to say “no”. Or, if you just don’t have the money to travel to the middle of England during the peak of Summer for that-girl-you-haven’t-seen-in-five-years’ destination wedding to her high school boyfriend you have never met. Just say no. If this is the case and you have to tap out, let the happy couple know as soon as you can so they can adjust their headcount. At this stage, it is not necessary to still buy them a wedding gift but it is a nice gesture if you are close with the couple.
Do NOT Assume a Plus One
This goes without saying but do not assume your significant other is invited unless the save the date is addressed to you both. If the formal invitation arrives directly to you and does not include a “John Smith plus One is invited” or a checkbox for a guest, you can assume your honey will have to stay home.
Read the Wedding Website
Most couples nowadays are creating wedding websites with all the information you will need for the weekend. This usually includes links to gift registries, full itineraries for the weekend, dress code details, venue information, and any relevant travel information. Studying up on their website is key if you are traveling out of town for the wedding as many couples will provide discounted travel and accommodation rates at a first come first served basis.
Book Travel and Accommodations in Advance
As soon as you receive the formal wedding invitation (and have replied in a timely manner), book all travel and accommodations. This is the best way to ensure you are not scrambling and paying three times as much a week or two before the ceremony. Pro Tip: If you have a lot of weddings coming up, switch to a credit card that gives you miles!
Always Invest in a Nice Outfit
We are firm believers in having at least one or two nice, well-fitting suits in your closet at all times – one black and one navy or grey. Pair these with a selection of three to five dress shirts – you’ll want one more casual, patterned look and a few classics like white and light blue. These will make the perfect base outfit for which you can style up and make your own with fun ties, socks, and pocket squares.
And don’t worry about figuring out how to pack that suit, we’ve got you covered here.