How about them 2020 weddings, huh? Thanks to the Virus That Must Not Be Named, celebrations of all kinds look different this year. With state regulations and new reports coming out each day about hotspots and sick celebs, it’s clear COVID is not only here to stay, but it’s here to f*ck with your big day for a long time as well. Because for couples getting married during a global pandemic, pre-wedding stress is at an all-time high.
Not only do engaged folks have to budget for things like gloves, makes, and hand sanitizer, but chances are they’ve had to postpone their events (multiple times, in some cases) and the end results don’t look anything like the celebration we all dreamed off since watching Bride Wars when we were in middle school. There are a lot of aspects that majorly suck, but one of the biggest is the fact that some of your closest friends or family might not get to be there on the big day.
Whether they’re high risk, morally opposed to big gatherings during a pandemic, or can’t risk catching anything due to work or their general love of being alive and not ill, odds are there will be a few VIPs who have to change their RSVPs from “hell yessss” to “uh, actually. No.” As someone who’s recently faced a lot of “you’re the worst” backlash after RSVPing “no” to every wedding in 2020 (with plenty advance notice, mind you—I’m not going texting the bride the day before saying I can’t make it), here’s how to deal when your guests decide that your big day just isn’t worth it rn.
Remember: There’s A Literal Pandemic Happening
Not to state to obvious here, but like, the whole coronavirus thing is still a big deal. As bars, restaurants, and sex clubs open back up, you have to remember: It’s not because we’re any safer. It’s because places need to make money. Your friends who are diligent about avoiding crowds, keeping their distance, and staying home when possible aren’t being dramatic. They just like, you know, want to stay alive and want to keep their friends and family alive and healthy. While it might seem like a personal affront for them not to risk their safety to watch you marry some guy you drunkenly met at a college bar, it’s not. It’s a literal matter of not wanting to catch or spread a potentially deadly disease. Keep that in mind before giving them the cold shoulder after they give you the news.
Keep Your Cool
Yes, your guests choosing not to go to your wedding is upsetting. But the thing is, they’re not wrong here. Having an event—any event of any size—is a risk right now. Your guests wanting to stay home aren’t in the wrong here. While people always have the option to RSVP “no” to weddings, the whole virus excuse is a really good one—and the fact that they’re courteous enough to (hopefully) politely tell you they can’t attend without lecturing you about safety practices is a win. Remember: They could send you pages of data about why having a wedding rn is risky, so consider yourself spared.
So, instead of bitching out your friends who don’t feel comfortable attending, trying to remain calm. Tell them you’re bummed but understand (assuming you understand, of course) and take some time to mourn. It’s a really hard time to be getting married, but creating strife in your relationships won’t make things any easier. Be kind and compassionate and chances are they’ll still send you a gift.
Offer Virtual Options
I know Zoom weddings seem sooooooo summer 2020, but not only are they still a thing, but they’re a great option for guests who don’t feel comfortable celebrating in person. Make sure to set up virtual links so anyone who doesn’t feel great about being in crowds can still be a part of the big day. No, it’s not ideal, but as someone whose maid of honor couldn’t be at her wedding pre-COVID due to pregnancy complications, the event can still be just as special. Make cardboard cutouts of your non-attending VIPs. Set up multiple Skype stations that guests can access so they can see different parts of the party. FaceTime any besties who can’t make it as you’re getting ready. This way you can still feel the love, and your guests can feel included from home.
Keep Your Priorities Straight
I know I’ve said this before, but if you’ve scrolled through Instagram, chances are you’ve seen people living their lives like a virus isn’t still running rampant through America. Yes, weddings are about dresses and flowers and attention, but mostly they’re supposed to be about marrying the person you love. Well, that and getting a KitchenAid mixer, of course. The point is, it sucks that this once-in-a-lifetime event is happening during a pandemic, but you still get to get married (something generations of people in interracial or same-sex relationships didn’t have the option of doing), you still have friends (unless you’re a total monster to everyone who says they can’t attend), and you’ll still get to rock that overpriced diamond band. If you can make it out of this with your relationships intact and your romantic bond strong, you’ll be able to get through anything.
Plan An Event Post-COVID
It won’t be the same as having the giant wedding you originally planned, but let’s be real: The world is going to look different after this. No one is used to going into an office anymore and we haven’t worn real pants in forever so like, yeah. That ship has sailed. With so many couples having to downsize their weddings, vow renewals or post-wedding parties are 100% going to be a thing in a year or two (just like how babymoons became something to do). If you shun everyone who didn’t come to your covid wedding now, you won’t have nearly the guest list you’d like when there’s a vaccine and you can have another party.
The point is: Yes, this sucks, but your friends aren’t bad people for not coming to your wedding rn. Don’t be a d*ck and hopefully, we can all go back to grinding on the dance floor to “Get Low” while our grandparents watch in horror someday soon.
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We know you probably never want to hear the words “coronavirus,” “quarantine,” and “unprecedented times” again, but unfortunately The Rona is still among us. Corona brides across the world are lost when it comes to what to do now that their wedding has been postponed or canceled. The days of saying “I do” in front of friends and family and taking shots with your bridesmaids at the open bar seem so distant, but we’re hopeful that the investment towards celebrating this new chapter in your life is worth the wait. For those of you that have officially made the decision to share your vows with your S.O. in 2021, you’re probably wondering WTF to do with all of your plans now? Don’t freak out, because we’ve gone ahead and asked the experts to share their thoughts on what couples can be doing in the meantime to ensure that all t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted before the big day.
Yes, you probably had everything planned out perfectly, right down to your personalized stationery before the virus happened, but now that your plans have changed, there’s some tricky re-thinking to do. “It goes without saying that trying to navigate the postponement of a wedding is mind-boggling, and it can be hard to know where to start, or better yet, figure out an organized way to keep track of your progress and your remaining to-dos,” says Lisa Bowser, Founder of Brite Lite, a company that makes LED neon signs. “Lists on lists on lists can be quite boring to look at, yes?” Um, yes! Bowser recommends the acrylic dry-erase Goals Calendar to eliminate your wedding stress. Bonus: you can still use it in your home after your wedding planning process is (finally) over.
Read Your Contracts
I know we’re all programmed to click “accept terms and conditions” without a second thought, but with circumstances constantly changing as our world adapts to the virus, it’s essential that you and your future spouse have your contingency plans up-to-date. As AJ Williams, Founder and Creative Director at Boston-based event planning company AJ Events, recommends, “When reading your contracts, make sure you have your planner and vendors develop a rescheduling contract or addendum, and to change the Force Majeure to include pandemics and decreased capacity due to government mandates.” This way, you won’t have to scramble to make things work any more than you’ve already had to.
See What Safety Precautions Your Vendors Are Taking
When you do end up walking down the aisle, you want to be sure all possible measures are put in place to ensure that your guests stay happy and healthy. AJ Williams reports that for all future events, his company “will require cleaning/sanitation measures from our vendors and venues working on our events and add sanitation efforts plus add supplies at attendee check-in to protect the safety of our work environment and your attendees while allowing us to continue to service our clients.” He adds, “We have created branded plexi walls on our bar and catering stations, adorable customized face masks with your favorite quote or funny message or emoji icon to include your signature style. Get creative while keeping safe.” So make sure you check with your vendors to see how they’re adapting to these (my brain: don’t say it don’t say it don’t say it) unprecedented times.
Enjoy Your Engagement
Though you’ve (understandably) been mentally designing your reception place cards since the moment you got a ring on your finger, take this unique opportunity to sit back, relax, and enjoy this extra time of being engaged to the love of your life. Of course, says Taylor Waxman of L.A.-based event design and production company KED & Co., “Changing your wedding date can be emotionally draining. Managing your friends and family travel plans, rescheduling your vendors to make sure everyone is available on the same day and overall reimagining a new date in a new year—you’ve been through it.”
When adjusting your wedding planning timeline, though, staying sane is essential. “Don’t over plan,” advises Waxman. “It’s very easy to focus on your wedding during this time, but our biggest advice is: don’t. Once you have your vendors and location rescheduled and all guests are alerted of the new date, take a step back to enjoy your engagement. Spend quality time with your partner, schedule outdoor picnics or Zoom dinners with family and friends, take this time to reconnect and appreciate what is around you.”
Make The Process Fun
Now that you’ve got some extra time to plan things out, you and your partner can hone in on achieving the wedding of your dreams. Sarah Kuhlberg, Creative Director at Colette’s Catering and Events, suggests that you “Cast aside what might be typical wedding traditions, and do what YOU really, truly want for your wedding. Explore bright colors, beautiful seasonal menus, wine flown in from your favorite winery, book a unique outdoor venue, mix and match your linen pattern choices, custom built backdrops from local artists, neon signage, etc. Now you have the time to really customize!”
While it’s easy to get overwhelmed with pressing health concerns on top of your color scheme choices, “Making the difficult decision to postpone your wedding should be the hardest part. Once you’ve done that, try to make the rest of the process fun,” advises Matt Ramirez, Senior VP of Marketing at Generation Tux. “Look at new wedding trends, new seasonal colors, and opportunities to update your wedding plans! Everyone in the wedding industry knows this is a tough time for couples, and we’re here to work with you. Take this time with your husband to design the look of your wedding suit or tux again, order some free swatches, and get a free home try-on delivered to the groom.”
If you want to get creative without overloading your plate, Taylor Waxman suggests designing your own thank you notes online, finding custom postage for your wedding invitations, registering for gifts, working on your wedding website, finalizing your guest list, and choosing meaningful songs to be played during your ceremony. She also suggested pulling inspiration images (as if you needed an excuse to add to the wedding Pinterest board you’ve had since college.). “Focus on your style and look, try not to go too deep in detail,” she recommends. “Keep this light and fun.”
Can’t Wait? Go For It!
As Nike says, “Just Do It.” If you and your S.O. are itching to get married ASAP, Sarah Kuhlberg suggests having a mini wedding and eloping in your backyard, and then scheduling a reception for a year later so you can celebrate your first anniversary with friends and family. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and feel free to “Create your dream celebration and know that this new wedding style is something we are all getting used to.”
Images: Natasha Fernandez / Pexels; Britelitetribe.com; @betchesbrides / Instagram
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First comes love, then comes coronavirus, then comes the influx of Zoom weddings in 2020. If you’re a human existing on Planet Earth rn, congrats! Life majorly sucks. Jobs, lives, and financial stability are being ripped out from underneath us, and we can’t even have nice things like happy hours or big open bar weddings to alleviate some of that sadness. As more and more couples have had to ditch their original plans and scale wayyy back on their Pinterest-inspired nuptials, technological ceremonies are officially on the rise.
While hosting a virtual affair is one thing, attending a Zoom wedding is a whole other situation. Granted, this is a very new concept so the kinks are still being sorted out, but just like with a traditional in-person ceremony, ensuring you’re not being a d*ck at a streamed wedding is just as important. “Much like an in-person wedding, look to the wedding invite for clues—even if it’s an email invite or a quick text with a Zoom link,” advises Lauren Kay, executive editor of The Knot. That will give you an insight into how to move forward without making your pals more upset than they already are.
But to break it down further, we’re covering what to wear, whether or not to send a gift, and what you should (and shouldn’t do) to be the best Zoom wedding guest possible. Because honestly, if we can’t give our friends their dream weddings, the literal least we can do is not be total pieces of sh*t at their on-screen celebrations.
Do You Give A Gift?
One of the most upsetting parts of this whole “changing your plans” thing (IMO) is the lack of gifts. I love gifts. Everyone loves gifts. So, if events are being canceled or scaled back, there’s a chance gifts are as well, and for some engaged couples, they’re really counting on that blender/bar cart/contribution to their cash fund. Basically, if they’re scaling back and only having a small ceremony/celebration, send them a gift as usual, whether or not you’re actually attending their event.
If they’re having a minimony now and a party later, consider splitting your gift amount in half and giving them something for both occasions, if you can afford it. “I’d recommend giving something now and something later,” advises Kay. Some of the best options for a gift amid the pandemic are things off of their registry that they can use, like board games or a cocktail set so they can practice their mixology skills (or drink their sorrows) at home. “A ‘now’ gift softens the blow of a postponement/virtual ceremony ever so slightly, and what better time to learn a new skill?” notes Kay.
What TF Do You Wear?
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remember when our hardest decision was who to invite to our weddings? Now it’s which online streaming platform to use.😫 beautiful lake house corona elopement story submitted by @waverlyrood: “Our big wedding was planned in Savannah for April 18th but we had to postpone due to corona, so we had a tiny ceremony at my groom’s lake house – his brother officiated and just our parents were in attendance & friends over zoom!! We are so happy and can’t wait to celebrate with everyone in September.”
By now, most of us are so used to showing up ugly on video chats, we don’t even think twice about our appearance. Greasy hair, stained pajamas, and pimple cream dotting our faces is the new WFH uniform. While it might seem silly to dress up just to stay home and watch a glitchy ceremony on your laptop screen, the effort you put in will go a long way for the couple. “Check the couple’s wedding website to see if they mention anything about a preferred dress code,” suggests Kay. “When in doubt, air on the celebratory side. Dress as you might have for the postponed celebration—even if it’s only from the waist up.”
Dress to impress, because if all else fails, you’ll at least get to see if you still remember how to put makeup on and can pop off an Instagram where you look somewhat like the former self who used to get dressed and do fun things. If not for love, do it for the likes.
What’s The Tech Etiquette?
“You’re tuning in to celebrate the couple, so keep the focus on them,” reminds Kay. Even though you’re sitting at home and not at a fancy venue, it doesn’t mean all etiquette is out the window. Mute your mic, speak only if asked/when it’s appropriate, respect any requests to avoid photography, and choose a background that fits the theme but isn’t in-your-face. No matter how much the couple likes The Office, this isn’t the time to whip out a picture of Michael Scott. “Find a simple background (think: no distractions) with good lighting so your excitement can be seen by the newlyweds,” suggests Kay.
What Else Do I Need To Know?
“Virtual weddings are still fairly new, so there aren’t any hard and fast rules. That being said, be a good guest—much like you’d be in person,” says Kay. Which is pretty self-explanatory, but just in case you think virtual weddings are an excuse to be an asshole, here’s your official notice: they’re not. “Log on at the designated time and follow any requests of the couple (think: attire, “bring something to toast with us,” etc.). Be attentive and respectful, making your congratulations known to the couple at the appropriate time,” she advises.
While it might seem like this new take on weddings means you get to be less present (or give fewer presents), give your friends the same courtesy they gave you when they shelled out thousands just to hook up with some drunk groomsmen when it was your turn.
Images: SHTTEFAN / Unsplash
As we’re forced to face facts that coronavirus isn’t going away any time soon and brides and grooms start scaling down their weddings to elopements, minimonies, and microweddings, it’s clear that some changes need to be made. What might work for a standard 200-person affair probably isn’t the right course of action for a socially distant wedding. In addition to the obvious areas that are being reimagined (big bands are a no-go and buffets may become a thing of the past), some brides are finding that the big, poofy wedding gown of their dreams no longer fits with their scaled-down 2020 plans.
Whether you’re postponing your wedding altogether (but still looking for a way to celebrate your OG date), hosting something small now and delaying the big party to a future point in time, or scaling the whole thing back to just a few members of your inner circle (plus or minus all your would-be guests who you’ve invited to tune in on Zoom), your fashion doesn’t need to be fancy to be wedding-worthy.
We chatted with a number of experts in the wedding arena to talk about wedding gown alternatives. Restyling a dress from your closet archives, buying something that’s much more pared-down than a gown, or considering a couple trend-forward looks for the informal fête at home and the bigger bash to come post-COVID are all viable options for wedding wardrobing these days.
Recycling Something You’ve Worn Before
Repeating an outfit isn’t exactly how every bride imagines the wear for her wedding day, but then again, did anyone imagine that a virus would be getting in the way of people exchanging vows this year? Probs not. If style icons like Kate Middleton and Elaine Welteroth (Project Runway judge and best-selling author) can pull something out of their closet and make it new again, so can you.
Elaine Welteroth and Jonathan Singletary’s May wedding on their Brooklyn stoop quickly went viral, and Welteroth wasn’t shy about where she got her dress. She told Vogue that she chose not to overthink her dress, going with “an old, white, label-less dress from my own closet.” She said, “I hadn’t worn it in over three years. But it was the first idea that came to mind when I envisioned us getting married on my stoop.” Yes, that’s right, this trend maven recycled something for her wedding day, and it’s something that all brides (not just ones who are figuring out their dress details during a pandemic) might want to consider.
Nicole Sheppard, co-founder of the super curated, modern, and inclusive dress destination Wander Atelier, thinks that brides who are over this quarantine and just want to get married can absolutely do it in something they’ve worn before. “If you decide to elope ASAP, there’s nothing wrong with pulling from your own closet and adding a few bride-specific accessories à la Elaine Welteroth,” she says. Elaine’s dress was something old, but she made the look into something new with some custom-made shoes, and also incorporated something borrowed—the veil her mother wore at her wedding, which happened to match her dress.
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Sheppard notes that in addition to the many fun veils to try these days, “capes can also be a great way to layer without having to make the commitment of a veil.” Sheppard also loves “the idea of a headpiece: trade out a flower crown or a more traditional embellished headband for a dried flower piece.”
Opting For Something Simpler For Your Setting
You can also just lean into the comfort of casual if you’ll be having a city hall ceremony or a more intimate one at home. Sheppard says that many of her brides right now are gravitating towards simpler, more casual looks. The samples in her shop that she qualifies as simple are “chic, clean-lined silk gowns that are lightweight and breezy,” while her favorite casual picks include “jumpsuits with a wide leg or more modern, streamlined silhouettes.”
According to Savannah Miller, a designer who helped put elevated bohemian style on the map after spending years working alongside British fashion titans like Alexander McQueen and Matthew Williamson, a bride doesn’t need to sacrifice her bride card if she gets married in a more under-the-radar fashion. In fact, her own wedding day was the epitome of easy, breezy, bride behavior: “My wedding day was a prime example of low-key. We had to get legally married the day before the ceremony for our friends and family, and I was tearing around in a kaftan with a baby on my hip trying to coordinate everything,” Miller recalls. “We ducked out to do the official ceremony and it was the most meaningful part of the whole weekend, because, ultimately, a wedding should be just you and your partner looking into each other’s eyes and promising to love and cherish each other forever. That’s what it’s all about.”
Savannah Miller Lottie Dress
So a little white dress, a jumpsuit, a crop top and skirt, or some seriously trendy separates suit this new (wedding) normal. Many brands stocked in authorized bridal boutiques and shops, like Savannah Miller Bridal, are moving up their timelines and offering a leaner selection of their styles, in limited sizing, for brides getting married this summer. Some others have even launched quick turnaround collections online to appeal to the overwhelming number of COVID-affected brides. And it doesn’t have to be tagged bridal to be bride-worthy, either—you can scout out special-occasion options through your favorite ready-to-wear shopping sites.
Here are some buy-now offerings for corona brides getting married at home that are simple, beautiful, and still totally bridal.
The Little White Dress
Bride-adored brand Amsale recently debuted its Little White Dress collection, and it’s replete with crisp, modern, and polished options for brides who want a very aisle-appropriate aesthetic, but aren’t feeling a gown. They also have a brand-new virtual try-on feature to help brides imagine how they’d look in each dress, since in-store appointments still aren’t the safest bet. Items typically arrive within a 4-6 week shipping window, however, some dresses are available immediately. The Amsale team always goes above and beyond, too, to make sure these expedited deliveries happen without a hitch.
Amsale LW143 Stretch Crepe Dress, $425
Amsale LW138 Faille Dress, $385
One of Amsale Design Director Margo Lafontaine’s favorite features are the super comfortable, yet sophisticated stretch crepe fabrications that most of the designs are made from. We’ve been at home for so long that luxe loungewear has become the universally accepted fashion of the moment, but for your wedding day, even if it’s at home, you need something that’s equal parts comfy and stylish. This first jumpsuit, for instance, has pants that a bride will quite literally “want to live in,” according to Margo. Can’t argue with that!
Amsale LW161 Cami Neckline Jumpsuit, $550
The Jumpsuit, And Other Unconventional Couture
Nadine Merabi Hailey White Jumpsuit, $400
Nadine Merabi, luxury womenswear designer and minimony bride herself, just debuted her own collection of looks that are perfect for I Dos done simply. The White Collection is full of ready-to-ship styles that don’t feel too over-the-top, which is great for brides who want to tone down the formality, but not the fashion statement. We’re especially into the jumpsuits and midi options, because they can be worn down the aisle and then out of the house… when it’s safe for us all to get social again. Also, totally something you’ll want to throw into your suitcase for your honeymoon… whenever that happens.
Nadine Merabi Victoria White Dress, $335
The Ready-To-Wear Looks That Aren’t Bridal, But Can Be
Olivia von Halle Issa Ivory Slip, $400
As we mentioned before, your outfit doesn’t have to be bridal per se to work for your wedding , especially with elopements and limited-guest gatherings becoming the norm right now. There are so many ready-to-wear options, and spoiler alert, there are lots of great benefits to shopping modern and contemporary for your unique occasion. First, you won’t have to spend as much on your look as you would if you went through traditional bridal channels. You can also get away with purchasing something a little more edgy or alternative (sexy slip dresses, brave crop top combos, etc.), since the pressure to dress for a crowd isn’t really part of the equation. Finally, you can really have fun with your accessories, and either go more bride (with classic accoutrements like a veil, a cape, or a bouquet) or more anti-bride (choosing something that’s not ivory/white, smoking out your makeup a little more, or throwing on a leather moto jacket).
Allen Schwartz Raine Bustier Dress, $485
Even with all these ideas in mind, you don’t have to go back to the drawing board if you don’t want to. Nicole Sheppard, who was actually a wedding planner and owner of All Who Wander Event Design before she opened up her Caldwell, New Jersey dress shop, sees a lot of her brides staying the course and wearing their original, pre-pandemic gowns, even for smaller weddings. “But,” she says, “there are a lot of others who are getting creative, especially when doing a smaller wedding or ceremony in 2020 and a larger-scale event or reception in 2021.”
She adds, “Many brides are looking to their designers or even similarly minded contemporary fashion houses to find something that mimics their gown, but in a more casual, understated way.” Sheppard suggests, “a little white dress iteration or a dress that pulls in some of the most recognizable design details from their dream dress” that allows brides to “honor their original dress in a more low-key setting, but save the real deal for their party in 2021!”
People are also taking the opposite route, and Sheppard tells us her favorite “is a bride wearing her original gown for her 2020 date, as anticipated, but getting a new, even more fun gown for her 2021 celebration. We’re looking at puff sleeves, beading, a total mood, even bigger than before!” Basically, people are doing a million different things, and there are no wrong answers.
Savannah Miller reminds us that whatever details you decide on, it’s all about feeling your best on the big (or not-so-big) day. “I believe that every bride should feel like the best version of herself on her wedding day.” In 2020, “That may mean dressing in a slightly more laid-back way than you have initially anticipated, but it doesn’t mean you will look any less fabulous.” In such a crazy time for weddings (and life in general), this is exactly the mindset we all need right now.
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Images: Jonathan Borba / Unsplash; wanderatelier / Instagram; Savannah Miller; Amsale; Nadine Merabi; Shopbop; Allen Schwartz
Planning a bachelorette party, even without a pandemic, comes with a lot of stress. How many vacation days do you have to take? How much are you going to pay out of pocket? How many bitches are going to bail last minute, leaving you to pick up the bill? And of course, the dreaded, what will our theme be? Now, obviously, the biggest question bachelorettes face is, “is this ever f*cking happening?” With summer and fall weddings getting postponed, bachelorette parties are also getting pushed out—but if you ask us, that just means more time to plan and make it perfect.
I know we all make fun of theme nights/darties, but let’s be real, we all do them because of the attention. The only problem? If you go with the expected matching T-shirts, you’ll end up at the bar where no less than four other bachelorette parties are doing the exact same theme, stealing your well-deserved popularity. It’s hard enough to get everyone to agree to wear something out of the ordinary and coordinate a custom bulk order. If you do that and then don’t stand out, what’s even the point?
Even though bachelorette parties are probably not happening this summer, it’s never too early to start planning for 2021. Plus, any of these can be adapted for a Zoom bachelorette. That’s why we’re pulling together some of the best “not completely overdone yet” themes that will ensure you get all of the compliments and Instagram likes that you so deserve.
Officially the new matching shirts, sarongs are our favorite way to easily coordinate without having to actually like, try. Not only are they cheaper than swimsuits and less cliche than personalized tees, but there’s actually a chance that your friends will wear them again, which is basically unheard of in the bridesmaid world.
It’s better than black and it’s not as tacky as say, sequins, but it’s an easy and cheap way to stand out in a crowd of sashes and tiaras. Odds are you have some neon stashed in the back of your closet from that ’80s party you went to in college, so get ready to rock the bright hues like a sign that screams “give me all your attention.” Bonus: Even though we’ve all been stuck inside, the bright colors will make you look sooo tan.
Whether everyone’s in matching colors or you just let it be a free-for-all, wearing a brightly colored wig out basically guarantees that you’re gonna have a wild time. Don’t ask me why. I didn’t make the rules, that’s just how it goes. Maybe it’s because you get to devote more time to drinking and less time to getting ready. Maybe it’s just the thrill of knowing you have a plethora of fire Instagram captions to choose from when you’re drunk posting at 2am (“getting wiggy with it”, “wigging out”, and my personal fave, “wig-ardium leviosa”). Either way, wigs are the theme for bitches who are here to party.
4. Robes and Towels
This is more of a “grab a pic for the ‘gram” kind of theme, but come on, that’s the whole point of a theme anyway. When you’re at your hotel, Airbnb, or getting spa treatments, be sure to get a picture of everyone in their white fluffy robes with towels on their heads. It screams bougie and above the whole “getting sh*tfaced in a shirt that says ‘bride tribe’” kind of thing. It also seamlessly transitions for the virtual bachelorette since you definitely didn’t want to change out of your robe in the first place.
Now, if you want to wear this outfit out, I can guarantee you’ll be the talk of whichever party town you’re at. You might have to check your dignity at the door, but don’t pretend you weren’t planning on doing that anyway.
Spots are in full fashion, and we are here for it. Easily the greatest animal print of all time (sucks to suck, zebras), leopard print is fun and sophisticated with just a dash of slutty mixed in for good measure. The only requirement? You have to belt The Cheetah Girls as you’re getting ready. It’s practically the law.
6. Spice Girls/Iconic Group
The Cheetah Girls aren’t the only group to consider channeling for your bachelorette party. Consider other famous packs like The Spice Girls, The Pink Ladies, The Pretty Poisons, or The Village People. Not only will this give everyone a chance to actually pick what they like, but if you go to a place like Austin, Nashville, or NOLA, folks will literally be stopping you on the street to take your photo. If that isn’t the dream of any bachelorette party, I don’t know what is.
7. (Utilize) The Groom
More and more we’re seeing parties (and especially brides) channel their groom for the bachelorette. Whether that means plastering his face on koozies, swimsuits, veils, or giant T-shirts, flaunting his mug is a hilarious way to not only match, but low-key make fun of the future hubby. While it’s more expensive than say, having everyone wear a bright neon color, what it lacks in frugality it makes up for in pure f*cking hilarity.
8. Everyone’s A Bride
if your #bacheloretteparty doesn’t involve everyone dressing up as brides, you’re 1000% doing it wrong. pic.twitter.com/XXev41EEKF
— Rachel Varina (@rachelvarina) March 9, 2020
My personal favorite, there’s literally no better way to get in the bridal spirit than having everyone dress up as brides. You might think it will take away from *you* but trust me, you’re wrong. You will obviously be the best bride in the group, because hello? You’re the f*cking bride. Between Goodwill, Amazon, and your grandma’s closet, everyone can come up with a tacky outfit in formal white.
Bottom line, no matter when your bachelorette is or if it’s happening in person or over video call, ditch the “we’re getting shipfaced” shirts and pick a theme worth posting about. And don’t even think about anything “bride tribe”!!
Images: Andrew R Simoneaux; rachelvarina / Twitter, betchesbrides / Instagram (7)
The topic of wedding gifts, specifically whether or not a wedding guest must give one, is touchy. While it’s by no means mandatory to gift the happy couple, most consider it the right thing to do. It’s a gesture of goodwill and a lovely way to express your support of the newlyweds. That said, it’s highly likely that not every guest at a wedding will oblige. In fact, it’s been estimated that between 7 and 10% of guests at a wedding fail to give a gift. If, like me, you’re: a) petty AF and/or b) someone whose love language is receiving gifts, you may be wondering WTF is wrong with these people how to handle this situation. Fortunately for you, I’ve been through this and have some advice on the matter. To be clear, you should not accost every person on your invite list who failed to get you something off the registry, or make a passive-aggressive Facebook status derailing “how selfish people can be these days”. What you should do is take into account the particular circumstances, your relationship to the person, and act (or don’t act) accordingly.
1. The No-Show
Let me be clear. By “no-show,” I don’t mean someone that RSVPed “yes” and then failed to show up to the wedding at the eleventh hour. Barring a true emergency, that person should be ashamed and should absolutely send a gift to make up for the added stress and expense their last-minute ghosting caused. Instead, I’m talking about the person that RSVPed “no” from the get-go. While it’s certainly the classy move for such a guest to send a gift, it’s definitely not required.
How To Handle: This one is understandable, especially if the guest in question isn’t a close friend or family member. You may feel disappointed if the guest is someone near and dear to your heart, but there’s not much you can do or say without looking tacky. Make peace with the fact that this is perfectly acceptable and move on.
2. The Flaky Friend
We all have that one friend who is all over the place. They flit from event to event, and can barely remember to brush their hair, let alone put together a wedding gift. It’s inevitable that this friend is going to neglect to send a gift, even after a reasonable amount of time has passed.
How To Handle: What is a “reasonable amount of time,” you ask? Tradition has it that guests have up to one year to send a gift. But seeing as how we live in the age of next-day delivery and most of us can barely remember what we ate for lunch yesterday, this seems a bit antiquated. A couple of months appears to be the new norm. If at least that much time has passed, you consider this person a good friend, and are fairly sure it was an oversight, it might be worth having an honest conversation. But it’s important to make it about your feelings and emphasize that the nature of the gift is of no importance. For example: “I consider you a good friend and it hurt me that you didn’t even acknowledge the wedding with a card.” A true friend will immediately own the gaffe and make things right.
3. The Reciprocator
This should go without saying, but if you attended someone’s wedding and did not get them a gift, then you have no right to complain if they return the favor and arrive at your wedding empty-handed. While technically, two wrongs don’t make a right, your petty self should respect the game and do better next time.
How To Handle: Zip it, acknowledge your hypocrisy, and fix your life start practicing the Golden Rule.
4. The One Who’s Gone The Extra Mile (Literally or Figuratively)
It’s no secret that weddings aren’t cheap, especially when you consider all the other related events such as an engagement party, bachelor/bachelorette, or a bridal shower. For those guests who aren’t flush with cash, these costs can build up quickly, and adding a wedding gift on top of everything else might understandably be more than some guests can handle financially. It’s also important to consider the guests who have expended considerable time and money traveling to the wedding and other events, especially when these events are more than a brief car or train ride away. This is especially true for the members of your bridal party.
How To Handle: The best approach here is to be grateful for everything this guest has contributed up until the wedding. Whether it’s the bridesmaid who has spent hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on celebrating you multiple times leading up to the wedding (and buying a bridesmaid dress she can never totally wear again), or the friend who flew in from a different continent to be there for your big day, try to channel your inner Elsa and let it go. If you really can’t help yourself, you can try sending a subtle hint in the thank you note by thanking this guest for their presence and see if they pick up on the signal. If they don’t, move on.
5. The Borderline Invite
This is by far the most frustrating one of the bunch. There’s always going to be at least one guest you’re hesitant about, who you ultimately decide to invite, whether it’s a colleague you’re lukewarm on, a distant high school friend you lost touch with, or some other rando. In my experience, these are often the people that treat the open bar like it’s their last night on Earth and/or end up half-dressed on the dance floor busting moves that even a dad would find uncool. This would be fine, except for the fact that these same people are the ones that conveniently forget to bring or send a gift, leaving you wondering why you invited them at all.
How To Handle: If you can’t avoid inviting this person and they do end up disappointing you, cut your losses and try to distance yourself where possible. When you do see them, be polite, but there’s no need to dredge up the subject with someone you didn’t care much about to begin with.
If you’re the type of person who doesn’t care at all about wedding gifts, you’re a unicorn and I commend you for your magnanimous spirit. For those not so blessed, it’s perfectly normal to feel slighted and a little offended, but it’s important to consider the specific circumstances and remember that it’s the gesture that matters (not how much money your guest dropped on the gift). And for those who want to drag me in the comments for having a strong opinion about this, to you I say:
Images: @oceanswide / Unsplash; Tenor (1); Giphy (5)
While a typical engagement doesn’t last 10 years (although it might feel like it), there are some popular wedding trends that have been around that long. Look, I love a good wedding detail that’s a little off the beaten path—it keeps things fresh—but like your d*ck of an ex, some things are meant to be forgotten. Here are seven overused wedding trends we should leave behind in the 2010s and never look back.
To be honest with you, I was never a big fan of this nature-inspired hair accessory, even when it first came on the bridal scene. I never quite understood why someone would voluntarily opt for a headpiece that was once covered in dirt when there are so many more stylish options out there that will last longer than your bridesmaid’s latest f*ck buddy. I get that it might have a whimsical, free-spirit vibe that you’re trying to give off, but take a yoga class or try out aromatherapy instead. Nobody came to your wedding to see you try out your newfound inner Janis Joplin. Please spare us and opt for a rose gold headpiece if you still want to be
The idea of a photo booth is extremely repetitive. First of all, you’re paying thousands of dollars for a professional to basically be your paparazzi for the night. If you want pictures of all your guests making silly faces, place your photog in the middle of the dance floor when “I’ve Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas comes on and everyone’s 4+ drinks deep. There’s also a very high probability that your guests have their cell phones with them and will take more than enough impromptu selfies. Set up a shared folder, ask all your guests to drop in their images from the night before, and there you have it. You’ve created your own digital photo booth without spending a dime. You’re welcome.
Over-the-Top Rustic Details
It’s time for a rustic intervention. Everyone stop what you’re doing and put down the re-purposed window panes, the entire tree’s worth of wood slices, the old dresser drawers full of mason jars, and the football field’s worth of burlap. It’s too. much. At this point people are digging through their grandma’s attic to find anything from before 1980 and made of wood to use as wedding decor. You don’t need to do this! I promise there are plenty of other decorative elements out there that will help you evoke the rustic vibe you’re looking for. Ask your wedding planner for help and don’t resort to random crap from a yard sale. Lauren Conrad might be able to pull off a wedding adorned with charming flea market items, but I assure you, you cannot.
A lot of people have already done away with dressing their bridesmaids to make them look exactly the same, but I’m officially declaring it dead. You heard it here first. With literally millions of options for bridesmaids out there, there’s no reason to dress all of them the exact same. They’re your friends, not your Barbie dolls. Mix-and-match bridesmaid dresses doesn’t have to mean letting them pick whatever the hell they want. Whether you pick a specific dress for them to wear and let them select their neckline, or you offer them a range of color options in a specific style, we believe in giving direction but not making them look unidentifiable.
Please don’t @ me for this one. I know it’s a long-held tradition that didn’t just become a thing this decade, but it was alive and well at many celebrations over the last 10 years and it shouldn’t be. Not only does it call major attention to the single people (doesn’t playing “Single Ladies” by Beyoncé do enough damage ?), but I for one cringe from secondhand embarrassment when I see the groom crawl up the bride’s dress to retrieve the garter. But hey, if you feel confident enough to do that with your grandma in the front row, more power to you.
Social Media Wedding Planners
For some strange reason a surplus of wedding social media services became trendy this decade. If you’re not sure what I’m referring to, there were literally companies you could hire to do the social media for your wedding. Like your wedding is its own f*cking brand. From helping you come up with a hashtag and helping your guests use it, to gathering all the images your guests took the night before (isn’t that the purpose of a hashtag?), this pretty much just seems like a fake job you’d see on The Bachelor. None of these tasks require hiring and paying someone, so I beg of you, don’t fall into this money trap.
I admit, I’ve fallen victim to the power of Etsy many times. I go wild adding everything to my cart, like creative signage, guest book options, etc. before I realize I’m about to check out with $2K worth of crafts in my cart. My advice? Slow down. Do you really need 15 signs that point guests towards the bathroom? Is it really necessary to paint every guest’s name on their napkin? When you find yourself obsessively clicking “add to cart”, step away from the computer and remember you’re not Oprah and you don’t have an endless supply of cash.
I’m just a girl standing in front all you brides-to-be asking you to help me in my pilgrimage to leave the trends of the last decade behind us. I promise, there are many more new trends coming this decade for you to abuse!
Images: Shutterstock; CL-Medien, MakeStory Studio, / Shutterstock.com; Micheile Henderson/ Unsplash
Calling all Bridezillas who get off on cutesy winter wonderland vibes: the WeddingWire Winter Wedding Trends list is now available to the masses! Because we want to help you make the least offensive wedding decisions possible, we’ve shared our opinions on which trends to follow and which ones to avoid like the plague. Maybe print this out for future reference.
WeddingWire says: From getting-ready attire for the wedding party to cozy blankets for the guests, this pattern is an on-trend winter staple.
We say: Methinks that if my first thought after seeing this “buffalo check” pattern is “oh, that reminds me of the flannel the dad in Making A Murderer was always wearing,” it’s probably a hard no for your wedding. This pattern is literally like, the JCC youth basketball team of fabrics. It’s nothing to be proud of and CERTAINLY nothing I’m down for my mother to photograph.
Elevated Yet Cozy Fireplace Mantels
WeddingWire says: Guests will feel like they’re at a five-star ski lodge while sipping drinks by the fireplace.
We say: I’m actually into this. Have you ever noticed that when people are sitting around a hotel fire, they don’t talk? Like, everyone collectively stares at the fireplace as if they are waiting for it to do something? I have, and I definitely see myself appreciating
an antisocial corner a fireplace when I’m tired of trying to make small talk with the strangers at my table.
Fil Coupé Detailing
WeddingWire says: Shimmery thread is being woven into eye-catching patterns on dresses from designers like Lazaro and Alexandra Grecco.
We say: Despite being totally uneducated when it comes to expensive fashion, especially expensive wedding fashion, I’m going to go ahead and trust WeddingWire that these “Lazaro” and “Alexandra Grecco” people are “admired in the industry” or whatever stoic fashion people say. Crazier wedding fashion risks have been taken (looking at you, see-through corset dresses), and the shimmery thread is a nice festive touch, so long as you don’t take it overboard and look like you got stuck in a spool of tinsel or stuck aluminum foil to your dress.
Custom Iced Sugar Cookies
WeddingWire says: Whether they’re served at the wedding, given as favors or included in welcome bags, they’re the perfect personalized treat.
We say: Sugar cookies were always THE dessert I’d flock to at sleepovers back in the day, so I’m happy to see that adults are not above them. I will literally shove anything (well, anything edible) into my mouth after a few cocktails, so I’m scared of what might happen when faced with my favorite childhood dessert. And the personalization aspect is cute and right in line with the general trend towards personalized weddings that we’ve been seeing lately. The only caveat I will give this trend is that if you’re serving it at the wedding, it’s got to supplement the cake and not replace it. What? I’m hungry after all that
Padded Headbands & Pearl Embellishments
WeddingWire says: Hair accessories are going glam this winter, adding glitz to dresses and suits alike.
We say: Right after we thought we’d put our Blair Waldorf days behind us, headbands are back in style again. Go figure. The trend seems to be “the more extra, the better”, so there’s a strong chance your kids will be asking why you were wearing a mini-helmet at your wedding, but that kind of goes for anything. At least it’s not a tiara or a flower crown.
Hot Drink Bars
WeddingWire says: Replacing the mimosa bar, hot toddy and hot chocolate bars will keep guests warm as temperatures drop.
We say: Let’s calm down with the “keeping guests warm as temperatures drop.” You know what will keep your guests the warmest? Keeping them inside. Can you imagine being freezing and then having someone trying to assure you with, “don’t worry, there’s hot chocolate!!!” No, bitch. I’m still cold. Nonetheless, it’s a cute and fun idea, just not an excuse to have your entire wedding outside in sub-zero temperatures.
Rusty Brown and Emerald Green
WeddingWire says: Nothing says winter quite like deep earth and jewel tones on attire, table linens and florals.
We say: I actually love this aesthetic for a wedding. The term “rusty brown” doesn’t exactly elicit classy, beautiful vibes, but that’s why you need to trust the experts sometimes. I mean, the pictures speak for themselves.
WeddingWire says: Iridescent décor elements incorporate an icy look on invitation suites, chargers, tablescapes and more.
We say: No, no, no, guys. Just because it is winter does not mean we are suddenly Elsa and Anna from Frozen on our WEDDING DAY! Iridescent “icy” designs are cute for like, your bachelorette party, but I cannot imagine who is incorporating this into their wedding planning unless their wedding also happens to be unicorn or mermaid themed (and if that’s the case, I’m not coming).
Maximalist Wedding Gowns
WeddingWire says: Minimalistic dresses are taking a backseat this winter while puffy sleeves and embellishments steal the show.
We say: I mean, wedding dresses always were and always will be “maximalist” simply considering, you know, that they are huge white gowns costing $5,000 and you’ll only wear it once—but yeah.
Florals Spray-Painted With Metallics
WeddingWire says: A nod to New Years’ favorite color palette, metallic paint adds dramatic shine to a bouquet or centerpiece.
We say: Can you imagine finding your place card at the wedding, sitting down, thinking “what’s that smell?” and then realizing it’s the bouquet of flowers in front of you because they are spray-painted the same way that offensive song lyric was spray-painted in that weird alleyway? DIY is cute for that kind of girl but I just…thought we were better than this.
I wish all of you winter wedding betches a lifetime of marital bliss. Sans the buffalo check, I hope!