How to Survive Wedding Season as a Guest

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    How to Thrive This Season as a Wedding Guest

    Thanks to the rise (and pure convenience!) of texting, emailing, and Paperless Post, receiving actual mail feels as though it’s part of an era that has simply passed us by. However, that surprise of receiving an envelope elegantly addressed to you makes its calligraphy-filled return during your twenties and thirties as spring, summer, and early fall turn into your own version of wedding marathons.

    When it feels as though your mailbox always includes a new invite and the sight of a free weekend has dwindled on your calendar, there is always a complicated internal battle that begins. You’re likely feeling thrilled for your friends, honored to be included, and slightly overwhelmed by the potential for soaring costs outside of your budget. Overwhelm understood, we thought we would share 10 tips to keep you calm and on point as you survive (and thrive!) during wedding season as a guest.


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    If you’re married or engaged, your partner was likely included on the invitation. However, if you’re dating someone, the offer to bring a guest may not be extended to you. The same is true for couples with kids. The couple knows you are going to have questions, but their decision was intentional and final because of the experience they’re trying to create. Try not to ask questions pertaining to why.

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    Manage Your Calendar

    Once you RSVP to a wedding, add it to your calendar immediately. While that may seem like an obvious thing to do, adding the booked date in multiple spots may not. Whatever your planner preference, make sure you include your booked date in a few spots to avoid saying yes to something else. Additional tip: If you’re close friends with the couple or attending the wedding of a family member, you may want to keep the night before their wedding free too. A rehearsal or welcome dinner may be added to your agenda.

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    Book Flights Early

    Although airlines are known to run sales throughout the year, you will save yourself so much potential aggravation if you book your flight early. Try searching on travel sites, such as Expedia, Travelocity, or Skyskanner, because the sites load the results from multiple airlines in one convenient spot. Another idea is to visit the websites for budget airlines, such as FrontierAllegiant, or Spirit. Even though you may have to pay for luggage and your seat, the discounted fares most often make up for the added fees.

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    Use the Hotel Block

    Once you decide to RSVP, contact the hotel (or go online!) and book your room by using the couple’s room block code. When a room block is created, it means the couple has simply reserved a number of rooms; they have not officially booked them. If rooms are not filled during the weeks leading up to the wedding, the hotel will release them back to the general public at a standard rate. If you’re hoping to receive a discount, book early with the block!

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    Choose Events Wisely

    When you’re invited to a wedding, there is a high probability you will be invited to additional events. Engagement parties, showers, and rehearsal or welcome dinners are not out of the question. If you’re invited to an engagement party, don’t feel as though you have to arrive with a gift in hand. If you’re traveling for the wedding, it’s okay to give pause to attending a shower. As a guest, always remember this: an invite is not a mandate, it’s an honor you can choose to accept or kindly offer a pass.

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    Shop Early & Use Apps

    Whether you’re attending a bridal shower or wedding (or both!), it pays (literally) to shop early. Once a registry is released, peruse it. If you’re conscious of your budget, realize some of the more reasonably priced pieces will be purchased quickly. As a way to ensure you can gift what you like, shop once you RSVP. If you choose to shop online, make sure to download apps like Ebates, which allow you to receive cash back on your purchase. If you’re shopping in store, keep your eye open for coupons or try apps like Ibotta. A little savings can go a long way when you have multiple events on your calendar.

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    Opt for Stress Free Fashion

    There is a stigma attached to re-wearing a dress, but we’re here to tell you to ignore it. The eyes of every guest will be trained on the couple, and your chosen attire will likely be forgotten no matter how fabulous it is or how incredible you look in it. Wearing what you like and know fits well feels much better than doctoring a rental with tape and pins to ensure it fits. Also, check the wedding’s location. If walking on grass is in your future for the wedding ceremony, stilettos are not your friend. Make smart shoe choices!

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    Ship Your Gift

    If you’re planning to present the married couple with a gift, consider shipping it directly to them rather than bringing it with you to the wedding. Shipping a gift means you’re saving everyone the hassle of traveling with it. You won’t have to worry about carrying it into the ceremony and reception, and the couple (or their planner!) won’t have to worry about packing it up to send it home with the couple. It’s a win for everyone involved!

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    Mind Your Manners

    No one is a stranger to spending time with different and potentially difficult personalities. However, the key to it all is to make a grand attempt to be as nice as possible. People love being around positivity, especially those who are about to be married, and a great attitude can be infectious. Be the one everyone wants to spend time with in a room.

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    Don’t Be Afraid to Decline

    A couple invites guests because they have chosen that group to celebrate with them if possible. However, sometimes your presence cannot be a possibility whether it’s because of budget constraints or another variable. As long as you’re confident in your decision, it’s okay to graciously decline an invite. The couple’s wedding will still happen, we can almost promise it.

    What are your best sanity and budget saving tips for other fellow wedding guests?