First comes love, then comes planning a wedding, then comes hoping none of your bridesmaids throw up in the middle of the dance floor before you cut the cake. Granted, there are a few other checklist items in between there, but when it comes to selecting your bridal party, figuring out which of your bridesmaids is going to get the most shitfaced is fun at best and essential at worst. I don’t know about you, but last I checked, getting sophomore spring break level of drunk wasn’t exactly part of the bridal party job description.
Still, that hasn’t stopped many (myself included) from getting super schwasty while wearing a matching gown. And depending on the type of wedding you have, there’s a good chance your day will be full of booze from morning to grand exit (or at least, it should be). Typically, wedding days begin with everyone waking up before the crack of dawn to get their makeup done, complaining about the fact that they’re going to look like shit by the time the actual ceremony starts (“It doesn’t fucking matter, Becky! It’s not your day!!!”). And if you plan to have a chill celebration that doesn’t involve murdering your childhood best friend for asking the hairdresser to redo her curls three times, mimosas are probably in order.
From there it’s just a parade of drinking, and with all that unlimited alcohol, odds are more than one of your bridesmaids is going to end up with their heads in the toilet before the night is up. But knowing who’s going to get plastered before the cake cutting and who’s going to hold it together long enough to help you bustle your dress is essential. From most likely to stay sober to most likely to vom, here’s how your bridal party members will likely stack up against the open bar.
Your Pregnant Friend
This one is a no-brainer because rumor has it alchy and pregnancy doesn’t mix (and by “rumor” I mean science). Depending on how long it’s been since you asked your bridal party to be a part of the big day, this pal probably got knocked up after they agreed to be a bridesmaid. Typically, they’d fall into one of the below categories, but thanks to the party-ruiner growing inside of them, they’re gonna be stuck nursing soda water with their feet up while you dance. At least you can count on her to tell you all what dumb shit you did at the afterparty.
Your ~Perfect~ Friend
Everyone’s got that one friend who’s just… better than everyone else. Group trip? The Airbnb’s on her card. Going to dinner? She made the reservation. And ordered the Uber. And sent everyone a Splitwise link for the itemized bill before the waiter could even run her card. As soon as you got engaged she ordered planning books and created a shared Excel sheet to help you track your budget. Whether she’s an event planner, a data analyst, or just a Google doc-obsessed Type A, this girl isn’t gonna let it slip on your big day.
Even though she’s probably the one who poured the morning mimosas and made sure the to-be-popped champagne was on ice, she was too busy making sure everyone else was taken care of to really pound ’em back. It wasn’t until after the dinner that she had her first real drink, and even then, it was Pinot Grigio so it basically doesn’t count. Whether you love her or you just keep her around because she reminds you that you need to get routine dental checkups, you can count on her to keep her shit on lock until your marriage license is mailed off and your shitty friends are no longer dry heaving.
Your Just Engaged Friend
With hearts in her eyes and a sparkly ring that hasn’t yet been insured on her finger, your just engaged friend doesn’t yet know the stress of wedding planning. She’s still in that whimsical “I can’t believe I have a fiancé(e)” stage, which means she’s actually happy for you and isn’t drunkenly nitpicking every little thing about your wedding. She’s just happily sipping your signature cocktail and whispering “this is gonna be us” to her S.O.
Without any weird competitiveness, this blissed-out bridesmaid will be too busy telling everyone she’s engaged and making out with her plus-one to get too wasted. While she’ll for sure be tipsy by the time you head up to your hotel rooms, her endless wedding chatter and mental note-taking will stop her from aggressively taking shots. Awww, to be in love!
Your Teacher Friend
In addition to crafting, curating snacks, and shaping the minds of the future generation, teacher friends (or at least, all of mine) are secretly certified pros when it comes to downing liquor. Maybe it’s because they get out of work in time for happy hour, or it could be that they’ve perfected the art of powering through an early morning hangover. Whatever it is, teach knows how to party, and she’s absolutely going to be hitting the bar hard on your big day.
Even though she’s going to have a wine glass surgically attached to her hand all night, the good news is your teacher pal probably knows how to hold it together until she at least makes it to her hotel room… especially because she’s got a stash of granola bars in her purse she can munch on before she starts getting too messy. 10/10 she’ll be rocking some oversized sunnies and a hat at your farewell brunch the next morning, but at this point, rallying is pretty much a part of her morning routine.
Your Work Friend
This is likely the friend you’ve known the least amount of time, but since you see her every GD day at work, it felt sort of weird to not include her in your party. Now that she’s surrounded by your childhood, high school, and college besties, the fact that your relationship is based around memes sent in Slack might be starting to sink in. For her, at least.
Whether she stacks up to the rest of your crew or not, your work wife is bound to toss back the extra drink or two to feel a little looser when chatting with your sorority big. And then a few more drinks when talking with your “we’ve known each other since diapers” friend. And another when your maid of honor calls her Lauren instead of Laura.
Sure, you’ve had your fair share of girl’s nights where you gossiped about Dana from accounting, but this is a whole different beast. While she might not spend the night sleeping on the bathroom floor, there’s a 0% chance she won’t wake up in the morning with a visceral need for some coffee, ibuprofen, and an Egg McMuffin. Don’t tell HR, but you can expect some sloppy dancing and multiple ass slaps from this one throughout the evening.
Your “Why Aren’t I Engaged Yet” Friend
Whether she’s just out of a relationship or has been single since grade school, there’s always that one friend in your group who low-key feels like it’s a personal affront that anyone is allowed to get married before her. Throughout your wedding planning process, she made it clear what type of dress she would wear (strapless), what type of venue she’d choose (castle, obvi), and what color dresses her bridesmaids would wear (the same color as yours, of course). And the fact that you expect her to show up to your wedding while she’s still sans ring means one thing and one thing only: She’s about to get druuuunk.
From extra mimosas in the morning to sips from a flask during pictures, her goal is to get fucked up and make out with someone off-limits, preferably while you’re having your first dance. There’s no way she’ll make it to the end of the night without crying or going home with a groomsman, so you might as well just sit back and watch the drama unfold. At least you can take it as a free pass to black out if she ever actually makes it down the aisle.
Your Just-Had-A-Baby Friend
This friend has been downing ginger ale, waddling to the bathroom, and icing her ankles for the duration of your engagement. Now that the baby’s out and a sitter’s in place, you know your new mom friend is gonna get lit. Between her now low tolerance and the fact that she hasn’t worn real clothes in over a year, this bridesmaid is going to be topping the charts in terms of drunkenness. After one morning mimosa, she’ll already be grooving, and by the time cocktail hour rolls around, she’s gonna ditch her baby monitor app for the front-facing camera so she can snap a shitton of drunk selfies.
Assuming baby’s got overnight care in place, your recently popped pal will be trying to flash everyone with her milk-filled boobs before the last dance… and will feel like she’s back in her first trimester morning sickness phase by morning. What can I say? Momma’s been without her juice for nine months. She’s pumping and dumping tonight.
Your Just Married Friend
If you’re getting married in your 20s or early 30s, you’ll probably have a friend or two who’s saying “I do” around the same time. And when it’s finally your turn to walk down the aisle, no one’s going to feel quite as many emotions as your just married friend. Not only is she comparing every single detail of your wedding to hers, but she’s doing it with a very strong drink in her hand.
Whether she’s exhausted and elated that she survived her day or she’s feeling envious and sad as the wedding blues hit, the other Mrs. is going to be hitting the bar extra hard at your celebration. The attention is officially off of her and now that her time is up, she’s sort of at a loss about what’s next. Which means, of course, she’ll drink. And drink. And drink and drink and drink. Now that she’s no longer the bride, she’ll be looking for a distraction, hence the double shots, the drunk tears on the dance floor, and ghosting in fury before the lights come up because you used the same entrance song as her. Rude, btw.
No two maids of honor are the same, but whether she was super hands-on or kinda slacked, there’s a good chance this bestie is delighted your big day is here if only to be freed from her duties. From the events to the “hey ladies” emails to putting up with your endless requests for validation, she’s been ready to block your number for the last few weeks. And now that the end is finally here, she feels the need to celebrate and celebrate hard. It’s like she just got her life back. What do you expect? Her to stay sober?
The only saving grace here is that she’ll at least keep it semi-dignified until after her speech because even the sh*ttiest MOH doesn’t want to embarrass herself in front of a room of well-dressed strangers. But once her toast is up, all bets are off. Good luck getting her attention because she’ll be mainlining vodka and avoiding eye contact so you don’t make her dance with your creepy uncle. If anyone’s ending the night face first in the bathroom covered in saltine cracker crumbs, it’s this bitch. Just try not to make any sudden movements at brunch—she’s probably still seeing double.
Here’s to hoping you picked your VIPs wisely because if not, you might be demoting a few besties by morning. In their defense, after everything you put them through this past year, a whole bunch of sh*tfaced bridesmaids seems like a pretty fair trade for a happily ever after.
Images: Gift Habeshaw / Unsplash; Giphy
I think the strangest thing about being in your early twenties, beyond the Sunday Scaries and unexplainable joint pain, is the number of weddings you get invited to. I’m not sure why I’m surprised—I’m a woman in my early twenties that went to a private college in the South—but I am absolutely perplexed by the fact that people my age are partaking in a very permanent and, depending on how you look at it, divine, institution. Maybe it’s because the internet algorithms know this about me and have a sick sense of humor, but I’ve somehow wound up deep in the trenches of WeddingTok. Although unexpected, I’m absolutely fascinated by the delicate minutiae of toxic mother-in-law management, appetizer tastings, bridal party elections, and reckoning with the aggressively patriarchal origins of some of the most beloved wedding traditions.
After making myself at home on WeddingTok, I’ve found that a bride will forget very little, but one thing that seems to get hardly any attention is the importance of the wedding favor. It’s the final bow, the last thing your guests will remember—yet the trendiest favors are the ones that nobody, and I mean nobody, actually wants. The older I get, the less patience and bandwidth I have for junk, and I think I speak for everyone when I say yes, a koozie with you and your spouse’s face on it is indeed junk.
Don’t get me wrong, your wedding is all about you, a celebration of the magnificent feat you’ve pulled off in finding someone that doesn’t absolutely repulse you. Which is why I’ll push through the small talk at cocktail hour, the cheesy bridesmaid speeches, even the inevitable runthrough of the Cupid Shuffle that gives me flashbacks to field day in middle school P.E. But the party favor is the one thing that is about me, the guest, what I will like, what will remind me of your joyful wedded bliss—but more importantly, that I can also enjoy objectively long after the night is over.
As a child of divorce who’s never been in a serious relationship and corrects men’s grammar on dating apps for sport, it’s fairly obvious I am the last person that should be sharing my opinion on anything wedding or marriage related, which is why I asked wedding planner extraordinaire-turned-dating-TikToker Chelsey Lance about the worst of the worst she’s seen when it comes to wedding favors, and what is proven to be a hit among your guests.
Before she made a name for herself on TikTok sharing hilariously candid dating stories from the dispatches of being a single twentysomething in Charlotte, North Carolina, Chelsey ran an award winning wedding and design firm that she launched at the age of 25. From a 60s retro fête to a tarot themed wedding where the bride wore all black, Chelsey’s seen it all, and she’s sharing some of her expertise so that you don’t have to see any abandoned favors on venue tabletops.
“You would think this functional favor would be a hit, but I think they are usually a miss,” Lance says. Because a bottle opener is really only something each couple or family needs one of, lots of them end up left behind on the tables. However, they still have potential when executed properly. “This could be a cool thing to add into a welcome package, alongside a bottled, refreshing drink that needs an opener,” she offers.
You probably saw this idea and immediately thought about all the pun potential, like how you two are the perfect match or that you found the light of your life. However, it may not be as big of a hit as you think. “Most of the custom matchbook options are made out of flimsy cardboard, and couples almost always over-order. I will never have to buy matches again due to the hundreds of leftover matchbooks that I’ve been gifted from clients!”
“Ok, so this is the pumpkin spice latte of favors,” Lance says. She admits that when people first started giving these out in 2012, “they were amazing,” adding, “I filled up an entire drawer in my kitchen with them!”
If you’ve already ordered your custom koozies, don’t freak. “I think having a small amount of koozies at the bar, for those that want them, is a great touch,” Lance says, adding, “But having it serve as the overall favor isn’t personally not my favorite—it just isn’t very exciting.” I think I speak for the masses on this one—even though I love a good White Claw as much as the next girl, I don’t think I’ll ever have enough cold drinks in my days on this Earth to justify the amount of koozies I’ve been sent home with after a wedding—or any party, for that matter. If you really want them to be enjoyed in earnest, sprinkle them around and let the select few who want them take them home.
When it comes to the favors your guests will never forget, Lance says opting for anything edible and individually wrapped is best. “Most of my clients chose stunning custom cookies with royal icing. We would take design elements from their invitation suite or table linens and get that drawn onto cookies. By incorporating other visual elements from the wedding, it shows a very high level of detail, and it’s always highly regarded by the guests who notice.”
Although I can in no way empathize with the bridal experience, let me serve as a sort of focus group. Your wedding is all about you and your spouse, sure. But, there’s at least just a little bit of ego involved—I know every bride wants to throw a party that their guests will never forget. So let the last moment your guests are left with be a good one and opt for something edible, cute, and easily stuffed in a purse or clutch for later. And I beg you, if you’re going to choose something your guests take home, don’t put your initials or, even worse, your faces on it… unless you want to see it on the shelf at your local Goodwill six months later.
Image: Vladimir Tsarkov /Stocksy.com
After a year of putting wedding plans on hold, brides everywhere are finally ready to dust off their dresses and take that walk down the aisle. And while nuptial celebrations these days might look a little different, there are still time-honored traditions that you can uphold without violating CDC guidelines, like stealing the spotlight from your sister, the bride. Considering that she stole your senior year prom date (and your parents’ affection from the moment she was born) she definitely has it coming. Since the most important day in a woman’s life is the day her younger sister gets married before her, we created a step-by-step guide to help you make your little sister’s wedding all about you.
Step 1: The Headpiece
Now, the most obvious way to upstage your sister on her wedding day would be to wear white, but since you’re her maid of honor (if she knows what’s good for her), and therefore already have an assigned dress, you’ll have to take a subtler, less cliche approach. Insist on wearing a headpiece! Whether you end up with a flower crown, a tiara, or even a veil—it doesn’t matter, as long as you threw a tantrum at a David’s Bridal along the way.
Step 2: The Dress
According to Heteronormative Brides Weekly, most brides have been dreaming about their wedding dresses since they were little girls. But it’s not about what makes the bride feel beautiful on the most important day of her life, it’s about what you want, so be sure to let your opinions be heard! If there was ever a time to throw shade, it’s now, so be sure to make a snide remark about whatever dress she chooses. Remember, you want that comment to linger in the back of her mind all night long! Here are some examples of what to say when your sis says yes to the dress:
“No, I like it too! I mean, you wouldn’t want to upstage the groom.”
“If you love it, we will learn to love it.”
“I just think your skin is too pasty to pull off lace, but what do I know?”
“If YOU think you look good, then that’s all that matters!”
“It’s so brave of you to go strapless!”
Step 3: The Date
Bring your sister’s ex as your plus-one and then gaslight your family into thinking that that’s not inappropriate. “Why would it be weird? Brian and I have always been close. He’s practically family!”
Step 4: The Borrowing
Traditionally, no bride’s outfit is complete without something borrowed, and since your sister has been borrowing your stuff since the 90s, this is the perfect opportunity for you to re-insert yourself into the spotlight. The plan? Lend your sister your diamond tennis bracelet, or something equally flashy and expensive, and then bring it up incessantly. After all, your sister’s wrist looks beautiful today because of your generosity, and you deserve credit for that. When Aunt Judy says your sister looks beautiful? Mention the bracelet. When they cut the cake? Mention the bracelet. When you give your speech? Mention the bracelet! Hell, you can even stir up some sisterly drama while you’re at it with a comment like, “You better not wreck my bracelet, like you did my car in high school.” Passive-aggressive is the new black!
Step 5: The Speech
While we’re on the topic, the wedding speech is the one moment where everyone at the wedding will FINALLY be paying attention to you, so you’ll need to milk it for all it’s worth. This is your Super Bowl. My advice? Cry an inappropriate amount. Like, way too much…
Once you’ve succeeded in making all of the guests and groomsmen uncomfortable, proceed to tell an embarrassing story about your sister from her slutty college days and incorporate as many of her ex-boyfriends as you possibly can. It doesn’t matter what story you tell as long as it makes your sister look like a drunken, hot mess. “Good thing that dress is off-white, right sis?” If her in-laws aren’t googling “annulment” by the end of your speech, you did it wrong. Also, if you had Covid over the past year, definitely mention it. This is your special day, after all, you deserve all the attention you can get.
Step 6: The Dinner
You’ve most likely been drinking on an empty stomach all day long, so by the time dinner rolls around you should have just enough drunken confidence to feign an allergy to an obscure ingredient on the menu! Pretend to have a scratchy throat as you walk around telling guests that your sister doesn’t care about your coriander allergy because she’s a self-absorbed bitch! Leave her guests wondering, “is the maid of honor slurring her words because she’s drunk or because she’s going into anaphylactic shock?”
Step 7: The Dance
Choreograph a dance and dedicate it to your sister. Blow her guests away with an overly sexualized interpretive hip-hop performance about sisterhood and ultimately, marriage. Guests and in-laws will be too busy talking about what a freak you are that nobody will be paying attention to your sister! Score! Totally worth it!
Step 8: The Bouquet
After a long day of champagne and sabotage, you might think it’s finally time to just relax and enjoy the reception that totally should have been yours. That’s where you’d be wrong. The biggest part of your night is still ahead of you: the tossing of the bouquet. For centuries, the tossing and subsequent catching of the bouquet has been considered good luck, and superstition tells us that whoever catches the bouquet will be the next to wed. Considering that this should have been your wedding to begin with, you need to catch the bouquet AT ALL COSTS. I don’t care how many grandmas, flower girls, or bridesmaids you have to hip check to make it happen. This is not the time to show mercy, this is the time to take out your aggression about your sister getting married before you on all the single women in the room. Take. No. Prisoners.
Step 9: The Hail Mary
If you tried steps 1-8 but were still unable to upstage the bride, then there’s one more trick you can pull out of your taffeta sleeve, but it’s not for those with a weak stomach. Seduce the groom. Just kidding! Unless he’s hot… then use your own discretion, girl. If that doesn’t work, make sure you get proposed to. Doesn’t matter by whom.
Well, there ya have it, ladies! My tips and tricks that are guaranteed to make you the star of your sister’s wedding. Join us next week to learn How To Steal the Spotlight at Your Niece’s Bat Mitzvah!
Image: Leah Flores / Stocksy.com
As it becomes clearer that summer wedding plans are off the table, and fall weddings are next on the chopping block, couples are figuring out new ways to make their special day special. We’re seeing Zoom weddings, drive-by parades, and elopements. For anyone who can’t (or doesn’t want to) get on board with the microwedding vibe, plans of a postponement need to be communicated to guests—even if the details are still TBD. So, we chatted with experts on both coasts to see how changing the date can be done, and as much as it sucks, it’s not impossible. There are multiple ways to convey the 411 of your new day, and rockstar wedding vendors are making the postponing protocol as smooth as possible.
For Krystel Stacey, Founder, Creative Director, and Lead Stylist at So Cal’s Couture Events and wedding planner to Bachelor in Paradise’s Hannah Godwin and Dylan Barbour, it’s about being supportive and honoring her clients’ wishes.
“We’re hopeful that later-2020 weddings will go on as planned, but just in case our brides and grooms are worried, we’re working around the clock on contingency plans,” Stacey says. At the end of the day, she wants her clients to stay true to themselves, adding “What is best for your mom, best friend, cousin, or sweet Aunt Sally should be considered secondary to what is best for you both as a couple.”
Timing Wise, Most Pre-Fall Weddings Should Postpone
We’ve been polling our 2020 brides on Insta @betchesbrides for weeks now, asking whether they’ll be keeping or postponing their wedding dates plans—and truthfully, no one has a definitive answer or a magical cut-off date. While it’d be amazing to see into the future and find out more about this virus’s end date, unfortunately we can’t exactly speak to the manager of coronavirus. That’s why New Jersey-based stationer, Becca Goldberg of Suite Paperie, feels that clients who have chosen to postpone their weddings before October 2020 are making the best calls (and tbh, that’s what it seems like most of you are doing, based on all the recent Insta feedback on @betchesbrides).
“We’ve had a few couples who were supposed to get married in late March/early April postpone to later in 2020, but a couple who is planning a summer wedding isn’t going to be thrilled about swapping to a winter date,” she offers. “Their entire vision from invitations to dress to food to flowers will have to shift to an entirely new season—and that’s a whole other dimension of change that a bride dealing with COVID-19 rescheduling shouldn’t have to face.”
She explains, “Most of my October-December brides are hanging tight right now and moving forward as planned. Since we’re NY/NJ based and in the epicenter of the crisis, there’s a chance that, by law, the weddings will not be able to take place. However, we do have plenty of couples around the country who are having their weddings in lesser COVID-affected areas and proceeding with considerably less caution—for example, we have gorgeous acrylic invitations going out this week for an August wedding in Colorado Springs.”
Once You Have A Date Secured, Get Moving With Regards To Your Guests
Both Stacey and Goldberg have seen the majority of their couples postponing to 2021, and they’re behind it, too, especially if couples can either get their original wedding date just a year later (something that a lot of venues are advocating with their clients so that their event calendars are balanced). After all, a wedding planned for June 12th this year will probably look similar, if not identical, to a June 12th wedding next year. If the exact date isn’t available, then another date in the month should work just fine. Stacey let us know that even though she’s had some couples push till later this year, most are looking into 2021 for their new dates.
Of course, once you’ve gotten your date penciled in at your venue, with your vendors on book as well, you’ll want to notify your nearest and dearest so that arrangements can be made. Fortunately, since the social event scene at large has been totally eclipsed by the pandemic, most guests can expect that you’ll be making course changes, but you’ll still need to tell everyone sooner rather than later. A few ways you can notify guests are:
Your wedding website: You can seriously make one for FREE like anywhere, so if you don’t have one, make one (if only just to keep people from nightmaring you about your wedding status). As soon as you have your date, update your homepage with something along the lines of “Due to current COVID-19 circumstances, we’re going to celebrate on another date!” And then share said date, timing, and change of venue, if you have one.
Your inner circle: If you’re going crazy dealing with this postponement and can’t send out a personalized email yourself, then this is the perfect time to enlist your wedding planner, your bridesmaids, your MOH, and all your ride-or-dies. Have them text, call, or email all of your wedding guests and share your new date, along with a link to your website for real-time updates.
Your social channels: Not every couple will feel comfortable sharing all the I Do deets on their social feeds, but Stacey notes that with any “official” correspondence (i.e. change-the-date announcements), an identical social version should go up as well. “For ALL posts we suggest sending out the same change-the-date,” she says, adding, “if you are sending a physical save the date card, just send the digital version of that via email and then also post that digital version on your social media (the order in which you do so is totally up to you).”
Stationery Going Out Should Follow A Cadence, Somewhat…
Most vendors will tell you that code of conduct is nowhere near normal now, because WTAF is happening these days? Stacey and her team at Couture Events say, “You cannot please everyone and they will have to understand that COVID was not your choice and is out of your control. What you can control is what you want to do next.” We’re 100p aligned with their outlook, especially since changing the date costs money—creativity, on the other hand, doesn’t have to cost a thing…
Stacey even suggests that couples take advantage of the time spent at home during quarantine to experiment with sending a cute video in lieu of a traditional change-the-date card. Just try to avoid making something that might land you on our cringiest TikToks list.
PSA for brides: there’s no such thing as wedding etiquette anymore you officially get to do whatever the f*ck you want.
— betchesbrides (@betchesbrides) May 8, 2020
If all of the above sounds a little too informal, or if you want something tangible, e-commerce stationer sites like Minted and Basic Invite are offering a completely curated selection of change-the-date cards. Basic Invite will even handle your mail so that you can avoid going to the post office #socialdistancewin. Just upload your guest list and they’ll print, stuff, and mail your cards directly to your guests. It’s legit so fast and easy, and the looks are luxe and stunning.
If you’ve been working with a custom stationer one-on-one, though, you probably have even more possibilities to put out the good word about your wedding. Plus, you’ll have someone helping you through the pain-in-the-ass process of when to send things, what to send, who to send to, etc.
Here are some general guidelines that Becca Goldberg, girl boss at Suite Paperie, has been following with her clients:
For couples who’ve postponed before invitations were sent: “We’re sending snail-mail change-the-date announcements at the time that the guests would be receiving the invitations (approximately 8-10 weeks out),” Goldberg says. “These can still read ‘formal invitation to follow’ on the bottom, since the guests haven’t received the actual invites yet.”
For couples who sent out invitations, but now need to postpone: “Since time is of the essence, we’re typically sending out an email with ‘formal re-invitation to follow’ to let guests know that they’ll be receiving something else in the mail when it gets closer to the date in 2021.”
Just writing out “re-invitation” makes me cringe, because I know how much invitations can cost. But Goldberg totally gets it, and she hates to imagine making her clients re-up their already-pricy investment. “Some things that we’re doing are digitally printing their invitation on duplex or even triplex paper and giving it the same finish as their original suite (beveled, foiled or painted edges), but at a fraction of the cost of letterpress or foil stamping.”
She adds, “The other thing we’re doing is keeping the additional information online. So, instead of a suite that has a RSVP card and envelope, details card, brunch card, etc, we’re just sending a main invitation and a single insert that sends guests to the couple’s website to RSVP, find new hotel dates, and more.”
For couples whose invitations were printed, but not yet mailed: “These are the trickiest scenarios, where we need to get clever,” she says. “Some couples are opting to reprint their main invitation with the new date, while others are OK with an insert stating the new date.” Goldberg relays that one of her favorite executions of this route involves using an annotated overlay. “We essentially “mark up” the invitation, cross out the old date, and print the new one on a 100% clear transparency that lays over the entire front of the invitation. This is a bit more on the fun side, but we’ve had a few couples go this route, and it’s been very well-received.”
And then when it comes to invitees, here’s who Goldberg says should get the stationery:
For couples with a postponed date (and a wedding of roughly the same size): “Everyone who received the save-the-dates the first go-round should be getting the change-the-date as well,” Goldberg advises.
For couples who want to scale back the celebration altogether: “In some instances, couples are opting to keep their original date, but instead going more intimate, with immediate family only,” she explains. “In this case, of course the change-the-date goes out to only those in the intimate group, but additionally, a follow up wedding or ‘elopement’ announcement should be sent to the rest of the guests. Share a photo and have fun with it, because at the end of the day, this alert really helps to make your friends and family feel connected to an event they were originally invited to in-person!”
And if you still want to save money, stay formal, and get things out f*ckin’ fast, you can always consider a postponement announcement from a place like Paperless Post or Greenvelope.
Paperless Post is rallying hard with the “love is patient” point of view during this COVID crisis, and not only are we obsessed with their dynamic designs, we’re also loving on their well-rounded wedding extras for after the postponement.
“With digital wedding postponement cards, you are able to upload a copy of your email list and send it to your recipient’s inbox in minutes,” reassures Paperless Post. Then, “Once you’ve ironed out a new date, let friends and family know it is time to get together again. You’ll have the option to send out a new design from our online wedding collection or update your postponement announcement with the new event details. If the latter, you can use our follow up tools to send a message to your guests letting them know it’s officially time to RSVP.”
We get it, it’s a lot to postpone your wedding, but if you’re making it through quarantine with your S.O., you’re doing amazing, sweeties… You’ll get through this too!
Images: Unsplash; Basic Invite; Suite Paperie; Greenvelope
You know, it’s cute, everyone keeps saying things like “love is not canceled,” and it’s inspiring, really, it is, but if you were a bride planning on getting married this year, and now your plans are f*cked, it’s hard not to feel like love is pretty damn canceled. But brides- and grooms-to-be are taking it in stride and serving up proverbial “F you(s)” to the virus with their socially distant elopements, live-streamed and drive-by weddings, and hilariously self-aware change-the-date announcements. But the fact of the matter remains, we still have very few answers about when all this insanity is going to go away and when the wedding world can rise from the ashes.
We’ve been obsessed with all the #quarantineengagement content filling our feeds, so much so that it’s kind of making us wonder if being trapped in a tiny apartment with your S.O. for months could actually be good for your relationship. Like, if you want to put a ring on it while trying to coexist in isolation, then maybe you’re really in it for keeps?
After speaking with a handful of newly engaged couples and a few engagement experts, one thing is clear: a global pandemic isn’t hurting the proposal game. The ‘Rona might be a raging bitch, but guys and girls ready to pop the question aren’t about to throw all their plans out the window.
College sweethearts Kristi and Kelly got engaged with a pretty epic double proposal on Leap Day, just two weeks ahead of the lockdown. After a trip to the Point Pleasant boardwalk, they headed to the arcade to feel like kids again.
“We played for a little and then we decided to take a photo booth picture (it’s become our thing over the years),” Kristi recalls. “We were taking the third picture for the strip when Kelly said ‘let’s do a silly face!’ So, I immediately closed my eyes and stuck out my tongue… when I opened my eyes she was holding a ring! I was in shock and immediately started crying.”
But Kelly wasn’t the only one with a proposal up her sleeve that day—Kristi, completely coincidentally, had also chosen that day to pop the question. It took some urging to get her back home, but once they arrived, Kelly saw that the apartment was decorated with a trail of roses and candles leading to their bedroom.
“She walked into the room and burst into tears,” Kristi says, “because it was filled with pictures of us throughout the years, balloons, more roses and candles, and on the bouquet of roses was a ring for her. I got down on one knee and asked her if she would marry me! She said YES and then we got ready for a celebratory dinner for two with lots of champagne.”
Little did the two know that a few weeks later, a celebratory dinner for two would become the date-night norm for couples in quarantine. Kristi shares that “for about a week we were able to enjoy the bliss of being engaged. We were able to tell all of our family and friends through Facebook, FaceTime, and Instagram, but we have not yet been able to celebrate with anyone in person, which is a little disheartening for us.”
Days after they broke the news to their favorite people, Kristi says that her parents, excitedly, started to plan a June engagement party for them.
“Currently the party is on hold and up in the air,” Kristi explains. “We are trying to stay hopeful that we can have that special time with our family eventually, but at the same time, we’re so thankful that right now everyone is home, safe, and healthy.”
It’s definitely a weird time to propose right now with stay-at-home orders in place, but couples are strategizing how to pop the question in a special way while staying socially distant. If you weren’t stuck safe at home, what would you be doing, where would you be going, how would you be having fun with your future fiancé? That’s exactly where you need to start with your proposal. At least, that’s what The Yes Girls, the beauty and brains behind some of the world’s most incredible and personal marriage proposals, advise.
Having had a part in planning over 3,000 custom proposals since their launch in 2008, Megan Bicklein, Yes Girls proposal planner and designer, is feeling like now, more than ever, they need to show up for their clients. “We are the rock for our clients during one of the most intense, anxiety-ridden, and life-changing times in their lives, so we have to be as level-headed and supportive as we can possibly be, while taking their lead,” Bicklein says.
She explains that while some of her clients still want to go through with their proposals as planned (regardless of the restrictions at play in their respective cities), some are calling “in a panic because their vacation was cancelled and they need to come up with a new plan, some are unsure of what this means for their future, and some just really need a sounding board, someone to vent to during this uncertain time.”
Similarly to what couples have been doing to pivot their wedding plans while respecting social distancing cues, The Yes Girls are becoming well-versed in the various virtual ways to propose. “We’re currently planning a proposal right now that plays off of the virtual zoo tours that many local zoos are leveraging to draw audiences in from the comfort of their own homes. The video call will look much like the typical virtual tours being offered right now, but with a fun surprise at the end!”
If nothing else, the pandemic, as horrific and devastating as it may be, is ushering in a whole new wave of creativity and pioneerism in the proposal space.
“What we have seen more of is people caring less about the ‘showiness’ of the proposal and more about the overall mood and experience with their loved one,” says Bicklein. “Before, there was always a ‘how can I make this proposal so over-the-top’ goal behind the events, but now, we’re seeing more clients who just want to give their partner a meaningful memory to have forever. I think once the unlimited resources are taken away, we really get down to the heart of what we do this for: to help those popping the question make lasting and authentic impressions on those they love most.”
And when you’re holed up at home with all those resources taken away, something super simple can be the perfect proposal prelude. For Jess and Todd, who found love through a dating app, breakfast in bed on Sunday, April 12th (six days before her 40th birthday) was kind of everything.
“He woke up before me, which usually does not happen, and when I said ‘what are you doing,’ he said ‘I’m going to make you breakfast today.’” Maybe she was nervous about what would be coming out of the kitchen or perhaps it was more of a “let’s be cute and pretend cook together like one of those influencer couples,” but when Jess offered to help, her guy immediately told her to stay comfy and get more sleep. “He made me a yummy breakfast, brought it to me on a platter with a rose, and when he placed it down on the nightstand, he dropped to one knee. It was perfect!”
Simplicity at its finest, ladies and gentlemen.
Susie Saltzman, a NYC-based fine jewelry designer, tells us that she’s seen no dip in engagement momentum since quarantine became the norm. Granted, for her, since 80% of the clients she works with live outside of the tri-state area, Zoom designing and ring brainstorming are nothing new. But that doesn’t mean that she’s any less pumped to “get the ball rolling and get people excited about the life that WILL HAPPEN once these wild days are past us.”
Since mid-March, Susie says she’s finished and shipped 18 engagement rings to clients who are ready “to move forward with their lives in the ways that they can.” And, like The Yes Girls, SS is a big believer in humble gestures to lock it down.
“I have a few clients coming up with really sweet private ways to propose at home,” Saltzman shares. I think people realize how precious ‘normalcy’ is and how much we take it for granted in our day-to-day lives. Tomorrow is not promised, and this uncertain, unprecedented time has been a true reality check for people.” She adds, “I think our inability to do some of life’s simplest activities (like go out to eat with a loved one, celebrate your birthday, take your children to school) has made people really want to embrace life once this is over. People want to celebrate their love NOW—they don’t want to wait to formalize their commitment to one another.”
That’s what Shannon’s fiancé, David (one of her older brother’s besties-turned-bae), was thinking when he proposed with flowers (brought over by his mom) after a “fancy date night in” on Friday, April 17th.
“Since we were unable to go out with everything going on, we got all dressed up and cooked dinner together. Nothing was out of the ordinary until David went to the front door after dinner and got flowers. He said, ‘you can’t have date night without flowers.’ I still didn’t think anything was going on, because before all of this, David would get me flowers all the time. I was going to put the flowers away and was in the kitchen near the sink when I turned around and he was down on one knee. I was so surprised it took a moment to realize that this was really happening. I started bawling, and with the perfect speech he asked me to marry him. I was so happy that I said yes before he even opened the ring box. Despite being quarantined, it was the happiest, most perfect day!”
“I have had a Pinterest board for our wedding for some time now,” explains Shannon. “I have so much in mind for what we want for our special day, but it’s kind of a catch-22. We have all of this time at home to be able to plan, but with so many places closed, we’re pretty limited. Also, who knows when this will all be normal, when weddings can happen, and how many people will ultimately be allowed to be gathered at once when they do.” Despite all the uncertainty, Shannon says, “It’s hard to start planning with so many unknowns, but, right now, we are enjoying being engaged and will start planning in the near future.”
True, it’s a whole new world for the just-engaged set, but somehow we think it’ll all be okay… Especially since you can still actually do a lot of wedding planning while in quarantine. While day drinking. Without pants, even.
Images: Andre Jackson / Unsplash; Kristi Hunt (3); Jessica Pollack; betchesbrides, susiesaltzman / Instagram; Shannon Martin; Giphy
There’s no doubt that being engaged right now is hard. While things could certainly be worse, we feel for those brides who have had to postpone or cancel their dream weddings, and who right now, may or may not be sulking on the couch with wine in hand.
I was so stressed during my wedding planning that I literally started a company to help alleviate stress for other brides called Luv Collective. We’re a platform where brides can book wellness experiences for bachelorettes, weddings, and most importantly, for themselves. One of Luv Collective’s offerings is all around bridal therapy, because although we’d rather be a bridechilla, it def takes some help to get there.
But with the global pandemic bringing with it a new kind of wedding stress, we called in Luv Collective’s resident bridal therapist, Landis from AisleTalk, to help learn some tips and tricks on how to handle it. Landis is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in New York City. She was trained at Columbia University in New York City, earning master’s degrees in counseling psychology and mental health counseling. After working in nonprofits, providing psychotherapy to individuals, couples, and families coping with a wide range of stressful situations and mental health conditions, she realized how stressful navigating the transition of getting married can be, and that she loved helping clients through that particular time in their lives. Once she had that epiphany, she combined her passion for psychology, counseling people through stress, and interest in weddings to inspire wedding therapy as a specific specialty.
What Would You Tell Brides Who Have Had To Postpone Or Cancel Their Wedding?
First of all, I’M SORRY. There is no way around it. No one plans a wedding casually. You picked a time that was significant in the scope of your life planning, you invested money and emotion and energy gearing up for this, and so did everyone around you. This is a completely unexpected interruption, and I want to acknowledge and validate the difficulty in it.
Beyond that, rather than tell you something, I’d want to ask you: how are you feeling about all this?
Along those lines, I’d want to tell brides who’ve had to postpone/cancel: feel your feelings! Don’t let others tell you (implicitly or explicitly) that you don’t deserve to feel that way, and definitely do not judge yourself if you feel sad, disappointed, angry, heartbroken, robbed, defeated, or anything else. And if you don’t feel that bad, that’s okay too!
I’m working with a lot of people on identifying and processing feelings. You can do that with yourself, a professional, or a nonjudgmental friend/family member. Talk about your feelings. Journal them, sing them out—whatever it takes. All of the feelings I mentioned are natural parts of any grieving process. And BTW: Grieving does not only take place in the context of someone dying. It also can happen when we lose something. Like something we had been planning, anticipating, dreaming of, you get the idea. A wedding can absolutely fall in that category, because a wedding is a way we mark a big life transition.
Only when we acknowledge and validate our own difficult feelings can we work toward acceptance. It’s not that we’re happy, but we accept the new normal, and we are able to possibly start making alternate plans. But we can’t get there if we keep judging ourselves for the feelings that come before.
What Can Brides Do To Reduce The Wedding Stress Right Now?
First of all, make sure you have a good support team. Your fiancé, your family, your MOH, your planner, your therapist, etc. They will help you make decisions if you are in a gray area, and will help you cope once you’ve made them if they were hard ones to make.
Shift focus to the tasks you can do remotely now, and save in-person stuff for later. Reorganize those to-do lists. And when you’ve run out of things to do, shift the focus off wedding planning. For most of us, this time is about accepting that we can really only do so much right now.
Use the extended timeline to work on things you might not have had time for before. Wedding therapy can be helpful for this—maybe quarantine is bringing up old relationship wounds or family stress. Maybe you’ve been wanting to develop a meditation practice, try a new exercise, or perfect your skin care routine! In a time of feeling so globally out of control, focus on some small things you can control.
What Is One Thing Every Bride Should Know About Wedding Planning?
It doesn’t last forever. Whether it’s an exciting time for you or a challenging time or both. It’s a relatively short period of time in your life, so if you can remind yourself that it’s only temporary, you might be able to enjoy some parts of it, while knowing that the less enjoyable parts won’t last forever.
Images: Gus Ruballo / Unsplash; Betches / Youtube
A few days ago, we posted something on Insta about the absolute easiest way to make a bride who’s currently planning her wedding freak the f*ck out during this crazy state of affairs: telling her to “just go with it.” Oh, really, Karen, just go with it? This isn’t 2011, I’m not pretend-engaged to Adam Sandler, having nightmares about Nicole Kidman’s plastic face, and I’m def not Jennifer Aniston in the height of her hotness, so I will not just go with it.
I mean, realistically, of course we literally will “just go with it”—obviously no one wants to put their family members’ and friends’ health at risk by proceeding as planned. Still, saying that is not exactly helpful, because what other choice do we have?
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just don’t. no but in all seriousness – we know brides are stressed AF right now so we’re holding a 🍸virtual happy hour🍸on IG live tomorrow April 2nd at 6PM EST. We’ll be joined by special guests and will give you the chance to join in too. Wear your ex-bridal gear to own the fact that we’re all stuck TF inside instead of at our wedding events. 🥂
Even though there are a lot worse things happening in the world right now, brides who are dealing with their weddings going up in flames aren’t too into the “feel better, babes, things could be worse” rhetoric that everyone is trying to pacify them with. Of course things could be much, much worse, but people are allowed to feel upset that their milestones are getting derailed. Truly, the only thing that’s passable right now is saying “well, at least you have your health!” Every bride (we hope) understands the sickness and devastation that a huge number of people are confronting at this very moment and feels fortunate not to be in their harrowing positions. That being said, it’s still sad to be a bride during the age of corona; there’s no need for the unsolicited advice from friends and fam.
Here are 10 things we’ve overheard people saying to brides, and even though they mean well, they don’t need to be said. Like how Ellen talking about quarantine being jail doesn’t need to be said.
1. Well, You Hated Wedding Planning Anyway, Maybe This Is A Blessing In Disguise?
I’ve hated wedding planning like every bride hates wedding planning; it’s a necessary evil. But it doesn’t mean that I wanted to wake up to a pandemic and have to pack it all in. I put in those hours, I was ready to get this
sh*t show happily ever after on the road, and now we have to wait. It’s not really a blessing, either, because now I pretty much have round two to plan for our new date.
2. Wow, I’m So Sorry, But So Glad You Got That Insurance
So, you either got it or you didn’t. If you didn’t get it, then noooo one likes to be reminded about how easily they could have avoided screwing themselves over. Thanks, mom, way to just dump salt into my open wounds. If you did get it, then yay, but actually, do you even know to what extent your coverage applies? There are several kinds of wedding insurance, but if you don’t have outright postponement and/or cancellation insurance, then you might still be responsible for a lot of the financial recovery. Yeah, the insurance, where would I be without the wedding insurance? Same status, probs, just drinking a lot more…
3. Okay, But Really, If You Keep Busting Your Ass You’re Going To Slay In That Gown
Yup, that’s exactly what I’m thinking as I take a box of recently hoarded Thin Mints to the face. Shedding for this wedding needs to die, because I was in a good head space with the way I looked. I have my Spanx, my boobs are banging, my gown was fire. Now I have to find somewhere to keep my dress, and hope that my quarantine weight doesn’t completely destroy my alterations before I get to the altar.
Not to mention the hundreds I just spent on new swimwear for the honeymoon… let’s hope these monokinis are still cute next year.
4. Isn’t Your Wedding In October, Though? This Will Totes Be Over By Then
Oh, really? When did you start working for the CDC??! Even those geniuses don’t know when this virus is going to literally stop plaguing us. I’d love to say that things will be normal by then, but that’s just wishful thinking at this point. I’m not waiting much longer to figure out our game plan. It’s too much stress.
5. Eloping Is #Goals, Did You Really Want To See All Those People At The Wedding?
I mean, again, necessary evil. I wanted a big wedding, I was going to accept all the love and well wishes at our ceremony, and then practice my own version of social distancing starting at cocktail hour. That’s why we have an open bar and why I gave my photographer a briefing on who she could steal me away from with an “oh I just have to get this pic!” excuse. Now, it’s just us, because I just can’t get on board with FaceTiming our vows. Def not my vibe.
6. This Is Why I’m Still Single. No Drama
Please, don’t make this about you. This is my hell, not yours. And P.S. Your being single has nothing to do with coronavirus. Good try, though.
7. At Least Now You Can Send Out One Of Those Cute Change The Date Cards, That’s Fun, Right?
Yes, those change of plans cards are super cute, but you kind of have to be a relaxed, chill couple to send one of those out. I’m just too severe for that, it’s not believable LOL. Plus, we already sent out actual save the dates, and umm, invitations… I’ve maxed out my frivolous stationery spending, so if someone wants to help out with that, I’m down to hear those promo codes…
8. With Everything Going On, Have You Decided If You’re Going To Postpone The Wedding?
Postponing the wedding? Wait, what? Yes, Aunt Susan, I am well aware that large gatherings are pretty frowned upon at the moment (slash nearly illegal). I apologize that this uncertainty is screwing with your life and social calendar, and wish I had more answers for you. Unfortunately, I just haven’t figured our contingency plan out yet. Rest assured, I’m working with my wedding planner and an entire crew of vendors to troubleshoot this I Do disaster, and I expect that we’ll be coming to a decision ASAP.
Hah, sorry, that didn’t sound like me. What I actually meant was you have our wedding website, Suz; just keep refreshing and when we know what’s up, you will too.
9. OK, But Really, You’ve Already Been Through The Worst
Ugh, you just cursed my new date, please leave.
10. Bright Side? You’re Not Married, But You’re Still Together
Yep, for 24 hours, 7 days a week now. No, I know, not sure how I could handle this quarantine as a soloist, but also not sure we’ll want to get married after 4263 days of isolation. I’m already starting to cringe when he says “beer me” at 3pm. How not to hate my future hubs, let’s go.
… And if you’re a bride who feels so sorry for anyone who had to postpone or cancel their wedding when yours was somehow spared a few weeks before things went so south, just keep comments about your #blessed-ness to yourself, buried deep, deep down. We’re really happy for you, but please just let us feel sorry for ourselves for a hot sec, we have a postponed wedding planning mug of
coffee vodka to get back to.
This is our PSA to anyone who knows someone with an originally planned 2020 wedding, be kind, so that the bride doesn’t nix your plus-one perk for the next one. Offer help, emotional support, or wine—preferably all of the above.
Images: mulugeta wolde / Unsplash; betchesbrides / Instagram; Giphy (5)
There’s a lot to be upset about when it comes to this pandemic, like how states have to fight with the federal government for necessary supplies and people have to fight with each other at the grocery store for toilet paper. If you want something else to get mad about, I’ve found something that may rile you up. During my routine midnight scrolling through alerts, I stumbled upon a story about Haute Couture Wedding Masks, aka quarantine wedding masks, for brides and grooms, and I cannot stop thinking about it. This is no joke—bridal face masks exist, and the name makes me cringe already. In my self-isolationist cabin fever haze, I decided to investigate what these masks were all about, and what I found was a bit troubling.
The masks are made by a national bridal store chain called Winnie Couture, whose HQ is in Beverly Hills. The company has nine additional locations across the United States. When you visit the bridal shop’s website, there’s a section called “Our Response To COVID-19” and features two initatives: one is called “Masks For Heroes” and the other is Haute Mask by Winnie Couture. More on the latter in a sec. As far as the Masks for Heroes, Winnie Couture is currently participating in the #millionmaskchallenge, for which their team is sewing washable/reusable masks (with filter pockets) for healthcare providers and essential workers. The good news: They’ve made 1,200 masks so far and are making an additional 2,500 to donate to the medical community and senior citizens. This is commendable and selfless work, and I’m here for it. If they had stopped right there, I wouldn’t have needed to go on this rant.
But let’s get to the not-good news, and the reason we’re here: the Haute Mask by Winnie Couture section. The website describes this line as “protective wedding masks for brides and grooms that offer style and safety for engaged couples across the globe,” and stress that 100% of proceeds from sales of the masks go to Direct Relief, a non-profit organization that is providing personal protective equipment and essential medical items to U.S. and international health workers responding to Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Winnie Couture L’AMOUR Mask For Brides
With the proceeds going to charity, what’s the problem? Let’s start with the easiest one: the masks are expensive AF. Described as “handmade, dreamy, and timeless”, they retail for $239 and $389 for the ladies, and $129 and $259 for the men. Considering not only the loss of non-refundable wedding deposits that couples who postponed their wedding may be dealing with, but also how many people have been laid off from their jobs due to COVID-19, who has this kind of cash to spare right now?! No one. “Omg, you know what hun? We should TOTALLY get expensive-ass bedazzled masks so we can always remember how COVID-19 f*cked up our wedding plans.” – said no one ever, I hope.
But even more problematic is the claim that these are “protective wedding masks for brides and grooms, offering style and safety”. Let’s break this down. In terms of protection and safety—yes, these masks could technically make for an adequate cloth face covering for the general public (the company uses 100% organic cotton lining for the masks) because they abide by CDC guidelines. However, there’s a big caveat: they are not really practical. The CDC advises that cloth face covering should be able to be “laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape,” and I have a feeling that these hand-crafted beaded masks would not hold up in a washing machine. And it’s not as if you could pop over to your dry cleaner to get them laundered (hint: because we’re in lockdown). (As an aside, the masks contain a sewn-in filter pocket, though the filter is not included.) The best-case scenario is you buy this as a glorified fashion accessory, which is in and of itself kind of tone-deaf given that we’re having a national crisis over the lack of adequate PPE for healthcare workers. The other scenario is that you spend nearly $400 to be protected one time. Neither option is ideal.
While these masks could theoretically offer some safety for, say, non-healthcare workers running errands or going outside, there’s still a problem with stating that these are “protective masks for brides and grooms.” That’s because no one in their right mind is going forward with their in-person wedding plans right now, especially when government agencies and the CDC are advising everyone to stay at home unless absolutely necessary, practice social distancing, and even the White House is urging people to avoid gatherings with 10 people or more. Sure, brides and grooms could wear this for their Zoom weddings, but it doesn’t totally seem like that’s what Winnie Couture had in mind. The website says, “We not only hope to protect engaged couples on their special day, but also, those affected by COVID-19 around the globe.” You know the best way to protect engaged couples on their wedding day? Have them stay the f*ck home. If you click on the page to actually purchase one of these masks, the webpage says, “We strive to provide protective masks for weddings around the world during the current state.” One more time for the people in back: there should be no weddings around the world during the current pandemic.
I wasn’t the only one to take issue with these wedding masks. I spoke to Dr. Sidney Chiu, an ER physician on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, who had some choice words for Winnie Couture. As a dad with two little girls at home who is now juggling intense overtime at the hospital, he took one look at these masks, then, after a long pause, said, “is this a joke? Do people not know how serious this pandemic is? People are dying and this encourages reckless behavior.” Specifically, he expressed concerns that these masks would give people a false sense of security and they would congregate for extended periods of time. “Weddings are long affairs, people would be absentmindedly touching their face and in close proximity to one another, so you’re essentially creating a breeding ground for COVID-19. Do you really want that on your hands?”
Given that these masks are super expensive, impractical, and maybe even irresponsible, I had to ask: would anyone actually wear these? To get a bride’s perspective, I chatted with my cousin Steph who recently made the difficult decision to nix her destination nuptials in Mexico because of the pandemic. “I guess they’d make for a really expensive gag gift,” she said, adding, “But honestly, you’d have to read the room first.” Tbh, if you have upwards of $200 to spend on a joke, even if the proceeds are going to charity, you’d probably be better off just donating it directly.
Steph also thought that, even if well-intentioned, the masks were irrelevant to IRL circumstances: “I feel the smartest and safest thing to do is to cancel/postpone your wedding like we did, and these masks appear to promote the opposite of that—it’s like they’re encouraging weddings to proceed.”
Even though the proceeds from the Haute Masks are going to a good cause, that doesn’t make the concept as a whole any less tone-deaf. What’s ironic is that compared to the Haute Masks, their other COVID-19 initiative, Masks for Heroes, is genuinely commendable. Maybe I’m just cynical, but I suspect Winnie Couture knows that coming out with a line of high-end face masks for brides and grooms (who shouldn’t be having a wedding right now anyway) is a bad look, and the Haute Masks are just a publicity play… which I suppose has worked, given that I’m writing about it.
The bottom line is that, “for everyone’s safety, particularly in this climate, you should definitely NOT be having a wedding now,” advises Dr. Chiu. But hey, if you’re somehow still living for these and/or have cash to burn and want a bougie souvenir to commemorate the pandemic à la “I survived COVID-19 and all I got was this lousy mask”, then what the hell, get a matching set for you and your hubby to be (they ship across the U.S. and worldwide). And I guess you can sleep better at night by telling yourself 100% of the profits are going to Direct Relief.
Images: zef art / Shutterstock.com; Winnie Couture