Since it’s that time of the year again (and our editors are on vacation), we thought we’d kick off the weekend with a wedding piece (originally published last summer) …
The most dreaded season of the year is upon us: The season of love. Weddings galore. All of those expensively printed invitations that request the honor of your presence and turn a self-analyzing spotlight on your love life can quickly book your summer schedule. For every happy couple, there are countless narcissistic guests-to-be stressing about how to personally handle the special occasion.
Do I find a random date, or do I roll solo and hope to score with an emotionally vulnerable bridesmaid/blackout-drunk groomsman? Always the latter. Do I really want to buy them a stupid cake pan from their registry? No, buy them drugs. Will my ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend be there? You’re such a drama whore. What the hell do I wear? That depends.
To best arm you for the wedding season battle ahead, we’ve consulted a few gurus and culled their suggestions down to a quick checklist of what not to do.
Wedding Guest Don’ts:
1. Lighten up a bit—don’t wear a dark suit or dress unless it’s after 6pm
2. You’re not trying to play the virgin, so don’t wear white (save it for the bride)
3. Unless the venue is a club in South Beach, don’t dress too sexy—unless you like being “that guest”
4. Don’t wear high heels to a wedding on the beach—you’ll look sunken, not fabulous
5. If for some crazy, closed-head-injury reason you’re thinking about it, don’t wear jeans (ever)
6. Unless it’s a “black tie” affair, don’t be a douche and wear a tuxedo
7. It’s written on the envelope for a reason—don’t invite a date unless it specifically says “and Guest”
8. Brides have a sixth sense, so don’t get to the ceremony late because they will know…and hate you
9. Open bar isn’t a hall pass to get completely polluted—don’t be remembered for overserving yourself
Or maybe you’re willing to subject yourself to total vulnerability within the firm by taking the leap this summer. In addition to downplaying your huge personal time commitment to co-workers during a time of massive layoffs, here are a few simple matters to consider avoiding when getting married:
Bride & Groom Don’ts:
1. Nothing’s ever perfect—don’t have unrealistic expectations
2. It makes for a great story later, so don’t freak if your friend gets drunk and hits on your mom
3. Attack of the clones—don’t make bridesmaids wear identical dresses and hairstyles
4. A lot goes a little way, so don’t blow your budget on things your guests won’t remember
5. Here comes the broke!—don’t spend the vast majority of your budget on your gown and shoes
6. Remember work/life balance, and don’t invite co-workers (they don’t want to go anyway)
7. Make um’ work for it—don’t put registry information on your wedding invitations
For a few more expert tips on all things wedding, we turned to Robert Fountain, renowned event specialist & producer, who consistently designs some of the best celebrations on the west coast.
How can a Bitter Lawyer make a budget wedding fabulous?
Do it at home, if possible
Only invite those who are really important to you—each guest is money out of pocket.
Choose a theme that you can do very simply—“English country” weddings cost more than “art deco”
Order your invitations online—you can get really high-end invitations very inexpensively
What are things people shouldn’t scrimp on?
Don’t scrimp on the photographer. The pictures will last forever, so you want to use a good one.
What are the most common mistakes people make in planning their wedding?
Not budgeting enough money. They trying to get everything in a $100,000.00 wedding for $10,000.00. This waters down the event, and it doesn’t come off very well. If your budget is limited, do something that is best for your budget.
Example: Do an afternoon wedding so you wont have to serve a full meal. Do light food and wine, and end in time for your guests to plan their own dinner. Wedding breakfasts are even becoming more popular.
What’s more important: Great venue or great band?
I would say great venue. With the advancements of equipment and spanning tastes in music, a DJ can get the job done. Bands can run $10,000-$15,000 thousand, and you can find a good DJ for around $2,000.
What’s the most expensive wedding you’ve ever planned?
Any additional “don’t” advice for guests based on your experience?
It’s important to reiterate: Don’t bring your whole family. Read how the invite is addressed. If it’s just your name, then it’s for you only. If it says “and Guest,” then you can bring a date. You wouldn’t believe how many people bring four or five people and don’t inform the bride.
What about for the bride and groom?
Don’t force your whole bridal party to do the “Thriller” dance at your reception. Bad idea!