Wedding season is in full swing over in my second home, 'merica and I freaking love a good nuptial celebration, so we thought it was about time we tackled the topic, Pardon My Fraiche style. Read on for Rachel's take on how to be your best wedding guest self (might I suggest not wearing a cream, lace dress like one of our guests did?! Just saying).
If I receive an invite to a wedding, but cannot attend, do I need to send a gift?
Yes. A wedding invitation always obligates a present. You can send it to the return address on your invite. (But be sure to think of your RSVP regret note separately and send that immediately.)
How do I know what to wear?
Mine your invitation for clues on how to dress for a wedding. If there isn’t a clear mention of attire, such as ‘black tie,’ then the time of the wedding is your best indicator. An evening wedding will call for formal attire (long, or cocktail dress/tux or dark suit) while an afternoon wedding is semiformal or informal (short or daytime dress/suit with light trousers). You can also look at the style of the invitation for clues: Is it gold embossed cardstock or a handmade invite with stickers? Also consider the type of service you’re attending. Will you be in a church or outside on a lawn or beach? If you’re at a loss, it’s best to contact a member of the wedding party for more information. Also, typically a safe bet is to wear a cocktail dress/tailored pantsuit or for men, a dark suit with a tie.
How do I know if I have a plus one?
It will be clear from the invitation if you have a plus one. If you are married, engaged, or in a long-term, cohabitating relationship, your partner should be a known guest and both your names will appear on the invite. Or it will say your name ‘and guest’ if the bride and groom are giving you the choice to add a plus one date. This is the same for children. It will say all your kids’ names on the invite. If you believe you weren’t given a plus one by mistake it is ok to call and politely inquire. You may simply ask, ‘I received your wedding invite, but didn’t see John’s name included. Was this by mistake or should I plan to fly solo?” Do not be a bully guest. If you are not given this extra seat, don’t push it further, the bride and groom are most likely on a tight budget and cannot accommodate extra people.
I’m on the fence about attending a friend’s wedding, what are some factors I should consider before RSVP’ing?
Let's break it down...
Reasons to go:
-To support the union and to celebrate with the couple
-They are a close family member or friend
-You are a part of a close team with them at work
-You love everything about weddings (me)
Reasons to decline:
-Cannot afford to attend (airfare, hotel, etc.)
-Cannot get time off work
-Your own wedding is in the same month
-You are only Facebook friends, or you don’t have an active, current relationship
-You dislike either the bride or groom
I’m strapped for cash, how do I still be an attentive bridesmaid?
Be honest, clear and direct as soon as you are asked to be bridesmaid. When you speak to the bride have a clear boundary around your budget for the whole wedding celebration. This would include all travel expenses, clothing, showers, parties, gifts, etc. Have a candid conversation with the bride about what is most important for her for her bridesmaids to participate in. Are coordinated dresses a must for her, or does she feel strongly about a bachelorette weekend? Make a plan together that you are comfortable with that still honors her. Additionally, ask if she can think of ways for you to help, perhaps in the planning process or day-of coordination, that doesn’t cost you any money.
What do you think? Have you run into any sticky situations as a wedding guest? And is it ever okay to wear white lace when you're not the bride?