Your BFF is getting married, which, like, mazel. However, she’s decided that hosting her wedding out of the country/on an island/seven states away is the best option for some f*cking reason. It’s everyone’s worst nightmare: she’s having a destination wedding.
Destination weddings may seem like an amazing choice for her and her S.O., but for you, a betch on a budget, the whole notion of buying plane tickets (or driving 10+ hours to get somewhere), paying for a hotel, potentially buying a bridesmaid’s (or expensive guest) dress, and just generally throwing money into a flaming garbage can for a weekend doesn’t seem like the wisest investment.
If you’re trying to get out of the whole thing, here are a few ways to tactfully do so:
1. Be Honest
Maybe you’re saving up for a house, or an adoption (dog or child, doesn’t matter), or already went to seven weddings this year. Don’t feel obligated to over-explain your reasons, but tell your friend that while you love her and will, of course, send a gift, it just isn’t in your budget to attend a destination wedding. Anyone getting married in a destination that requires travel will (and should) understand that it’s a huge expense for people, so being upfront and honest about budgeting isn’t really something they should argue with you about. And, if they do, f*ck em.
2. Tell Them Right Away
Don’t wait until two weeks before to tell the bride you’re not coming. If you receive an invitation to a destination wedding and you know in your heart that there’s only a 20 percent chance you’ll attend, then tell the bride that. Waiting until the last minute will get her hopes up that she’ll see you AND she’ll need to add you to seating arrangements, head counts for booze, etc. Be polite and send your regards.
3. Send A Gift
This kind of goes without saying, but if you aren’t planning on going to the destination wedding of the century, send a really nice gift, either from the happy couple’s registry OR for their stay at the said destination. A couples’ massage, candlelit dinner, or scuba diving adventure could be amazing for the newlyweds. It won’t necessarily make up for you not being there, but it will communicate that you aren’t being a total jerk.
4. Don’t Make Excuses
If the reason you aren’t coming is money, then say it’s money. Don’t be all, “Oh, we aren’t going to your wedding because we’re saving for an in-ground pool and also we don’t consider Costa Rica safe because Overlord Trump said so.” Stick to your main (and honest) answer. The second you start throwing out other issues, you make it seem like you wouldn’t come regardless of the situation.
5. Offer To Help With Other Festivities
If the bride (or groom) is a close friend and was expecting you to be in the wedding, offer to help with other pieces of the whole affair. For example, if the bride was counting on you being a bridesmaid and your crippling student debt simply won’t allow for a trip to the Amalfi Coast for the wedding, offer to help with the bridal shower or bachelorette party. Sure, it isn’t the big day, but it’s a kind gesture that says “I still care about and love you as my friend even though you’re a dope for getting married overseas.”
Images: Unsplash (1); Giphy (3)
Weddings are expensive AF no matter how you cut it. In addition to cutting costs for things so you can spend your money on important things like a house and a baller honeymoon, nixing things that your guests don’t care about is a smart move. Whether it’s programs or a certain type of dessert, don’t waste your Dad’s hard-earned money on things that literally no one will remember. Free booze, good food, and a dress that doesn’t look like it belongs to a cat weirdo are what matters.
Pass. We mentioned it here, but programs get forgotten, thrown out, or just generally ignored. If you’re really v concerned that people won’t know which version of “All Creatures of our God and King” to sing as the Offertory hymn during your 10-hour Catholic Mass, go ahead and write it on a chalkboard in the front. It’ll be a lot cheaper and grandma will be able to see the font.
By the time guests are on their way out of a wedding, they’re more concerned with either a) finding the next bar, or b) finding a suitable bush to throw up in. They’re not looking for a table with favors. Face it—most wedding favors are pretty forgettable and/or tacky. If you want to really give your guests a gift, offer a midnight snack like a pretzel, hot dog, or schedule a food truck to show up as the party winds down.
3. Types Of Flowers
Ask any former bridesmaid what kind of flowers she carried at any given wedding and she literally will not remember. Ask any wedding guest what kinds of flowers were used as centerpieces at any given wedding they’ve attended. No one will know. Flowers are def important for “fluffing” a space and adding color, but don’t feel the need to go balls to the wall and order perfectly pink hydrangeas out of season because the color is the only thing that will work. Set a budget and stick to it. Guests don’t care and won’t remember. Sh*t, go to the grocery store and get your own.
No one goes to a wedding for the cake. Oftentimes, wedding cake gets a bad rep anyway for being dry, bland, vanilla, and generally not that amazing compared to the free booze that the bartender is dishing out. Grabbing an Oreo ice cream cake is going to be just as sufficient for those cute shoving-cake-in-each-other’s-faces pics as a $1,000 four-layer French whipped meringue and sponge cake. At my wedding, we had a guest (who happened to be a baker) make our tiny perfect-for-smashing cake and it was just big enough for the two of us (which we loved cause we’re both v bad at sharing). Then we fed everyone else cookies, brownies, pies, and mousse. Win, win.
5. Cocktail Hour Music
This is the part of the program where your guests will pound shots, beer, and wine before heading into what they believe will be a v boring dinner. The soundtrack you provide during this power hour is not something your guests will notice. Sure, your parents may insist you play four to seven Bruce Springsteen songs because, “Sarah, you’re from New Jersey and you’re required by law.” Go ahead—your guests are going to be too busy guzzling appetizer-sized crab cakes and free prosecco to notice that “Glory Days” gets really old after the 50th time.
6. A Choreographed First Dance
Nine out of 10 couples in a survey I made up for this article don’t give a sh*t if the bride and groom can’t dance versus having a 4-minute choreographed dance routine. During the first dance, the guests are urging their bodies to quickly digest the multi-course feast of seafood and antipasti from cocktail hour while counting the minutes until the buffet opens and they can comment on the types of meat offered. No one cares if you spent four consecutive weeks verbally abusing kindly encouraging hubby to perfect his ability to dip you so that you can have the perfect picture. Just get out there and dance. Stop being a snot.
7. A Slideshow Of The Couple
Yawn. No matter how many “ooohs” and “awwws” you think you’ll garner from showing pics from the one-night stand respectable first date or the engagement you knew about and, therefore, had heavily photographed, no one cares. Sure, a photo here and there of the happy couple on tables at cocktail hour or tastefully worked into the reception hall is fine. But having a literal home movie of you two drooling on each other isn’t really necessary.
8. The Bouquet And Garter Toss
Oftentimes, the bouquet and garter toss only serve to up the ante at a boring wedding. You, chances are, are not going to have a boring wedding, so why stop the music for an outdated tradition? The only entertaining part of the bouquet toss is watching your single friends fight each other for a pack of flowers, so if that’s something you want to see, go for it. Bonus points if your maid of honor pushes a child to the floor in an effort to grab it.
Images: Wu Jianxiong, Unsplash; Giphy (3)
So, your bestie is engaged. YAYYY. Now you get to empty your savings on a bridesmaid’s dress and limitless gifts for the happy couple. So blessed, so moved. Sticking to a budget and knowing what to buy (and when) is super important when it comes to the year-long procession of one soon-to-be-married couple’s showers, parties, and outings. Here’s a wedding spending guide covering what to buy, what to spend, and why so you can attempt to budget your life and not end up eating rice and beans from your pantry for three months after blowing hundreds on another person’s happiness. Gag.
Set A Budget
First rule is this: Set a budget for ALL of the gifts you’re planning on giving, and stick to it. So, if this is a sibling, best friend, or close family member, you want to probably stick to around $200-300 total. For coworkers or friends that don’t know your entire ex history or aren’t Facebook friends with all your family members, keep it around $100. Regardless of what your set budget is, don’t spend less than $30 on any gift unless you’re like, really poor.
Now it’s time for math. Of that set budget, you should break it up as such (according to The Knot):
- 20% on the engagement gift (if they’re having a party)
- 20% on the shower gift
- 60% on the wedding gift
I know math is hard (I majored in Communications based solely on the fact that I have personal issues with numbers), but keeping this guide handy will save you from blowing your alcohol budget hard-earned cash all at once. Also, if you’re only invited to the engagement party and not the shower or vice versa, throw that extra 20% on to the wedding gift, which ALWAYS needs to be the “biggest”.
The Engagement Party
Don’t get anything from the registry for the engagement party unless the bride (or groom) specifically asks you. They probably haven’t even set one up yet (I know). This is a great chance to get something cute from Etsy or Homegoods, like a date night kit (for managing wedding stress), pillows with their names on them, customized glasses, or a weird sex book which I promise everyone will think is totally funny and not at all creepy. If your overall budget tops out at $250 total, you can dedicate about $50 to this gift, so get something nice, but don’t go too crazy.
The Bridal or Wedding Shower
Showers are the prime spot for registry shit to make an appearance, since the whole idea of a bridal shower is to shower the bride (and I guess groom) with housewares and things they don’t have yet and DEFINITELY need. This includes things like fine china, rare pottery, and prints of animals in jackets from Anthropologie. If you’re sticking to your budget of 20% for the shower (IF they had an engagement party) and your total budget is $250, you can spend around $50 on a gift from the registry. That should get them a nice serving dish, platter, or some towels. You don’t need to go fucking crazy here—it’s really more about the fact that you’re bringing a gift to show how nice you are. Remember, if they didn’t have an engagement party, you should throw that extra cash money at the wedding gift.
The Mothafuckin’ Wedding
If you actually have any money left to spend and stuck to the budget, the wedding is a good time to break out the check book or gift card. First, as a former bride, I can tell you that it’s a pain in the ass to lug all those giant gift boxes home, and secondly, everyone in the world loves money. So, if your budget was $250 and you spent $100 on the shower gift (let’s pretend they didn’t have an engagement party), you can either swoop something up from the registry for $150, write a check, or give those bitches some gift cards to a nice dinner out on their honeymoon (or when they get back). They’ll love it, believe me.
Happy wedding season, whores.
Images: Giphy (2)
Wedding season tends to bring out the worst in us. Not only do we have to give up attention for like, the whole day (and possibly a weekend *shudders*), but we also have to endure a lot of strangers in a short period of time. It shouldn’t be a surprise to any of you, but being a guest at a wedding comes with certain rules; some better known and adhered to than others. So, to not make yourself out to be the biggest asshole at the upcoming nuptials, here are some do’s and don’t’s of wedding etiquette for those of you about to sit through a super spectacular wedding.
1. RSVP On Time
This is kind of a no-brainer, but it bears fucking repeating. Is it really that hard to mark YES I’M COMING on the card, put it back in the prepaid envelope, and send it back to the soon-to-be-hitched couple? You don’t even have to find a stamp. What is difficult about this?? Don’t be a dick. Send back your RSVP on time and save the bride the headache of having to fucking text you a few weeks before the wedding.
2. Don’t Assume You Can Bring Someone–Including Kids
Unless your invite specifically said “and guest” do not fucking show up with a rando. Likewise, do not text the bride or groom a week before the wedding explaining how super deep and meaningful your one-month relationship is and go on a monologue about why you should be allowed to bring so-and-so. This rule also goes for children (shocking, I know). Unless the invite said “The Whole Fam-damnily” then don’t assume that all 10 of your kids are welcome to come and ruin what should be an adults-only event. Kids are terrible.
3. Do Tell Them About Your Weird Food Allergy
If, for some reason, you break out into dance hives when you smell gluten, or your eyelids turn inside out when you see peanut butter, go ahead and scribble that fascinating info down on an RSVP card—even if there isn’t a place for it. Trying to navigate vegans, vegetarians, Celiacs, breathatarians, raw-fooders, and general weirdos gets easier when you have specifics. The more you know.
4. Be Early Or, At Least, On Time
The bride is trying to make a fucking entrance, both during the ceremony and at the reception. Having you wander in 30 seconds before start time (or, God forbid, after the start time) takes the focus off of her—which is prime reason you’re now cruisin’ for a bruisin’ from her new hubby. Lol but seriously, don’t be a dick. If the wedding says 3pm, be there 15 minutes before. A lesson that should be applied to life, if I’m being honest, because I’m fucking tired of waiting at my brunch reservation for 15-30 minutes because SOME people think reservation start times are merely a suggestion.
5. Do Not Text The Bride
May seem like a nice thing to do, but, you could be wrong. I know a bitch who texted my friend, the bride, as she was getting ready. “Hey how are you??? Are you nervous??? It’s raining but will probably stop. Can I bring you anything????!!” I appreciate the care and need for companionship, but chill tf out. This bitch is getting married today. She’s got mimosas at her fingertips (which are being painted). Her stomach feels like it’s going to fall through her asshole. She hasn’t had a carb in three months. The last thing she needs is a bunch of people texting her asking how her day is going. Leave that bitch alone.
6. Do Not Wear White
This is like, a pretty well-known thing, but due to recent questions from people I know, this clearly isn’t well known enough. Do not, if you value your life, wear white or cream or ivory or ivory blush or eggshell or whatever the fuck stupid synonym fashion marketers are using now to denote white. Really, avoid anything that could be potentially light or white enough to piss off the bride. It is an unspoken rule that you never, ever wear white to a wedding that isn’t yours (unless the bride weirdly requests it). That means you, Kelly.
7. You Owe A Gift Even If You Can’t Go
MMMHMMM. You know who you are. Nothing is ruder than heading to a wedding and not bringing a gift (or mailing one later … or sending one before the wedding). The bride and groom have stressed over the decor, the food, the ceremony, and how to entertain you fucks. You get an invite, you buy a gift. End of fucking story. Furthermore, and maybe if you DIDN’T know, etiquette says that even if you CAN’T attend the wedding, you still owe a gift. So, by my count, that’s about 10-15 gifts I’m still missing. Some from family members. On his side. MMMHMMMMM.
8. Be Nice To The Weirdos At Your Table
I know getting stuck at a table full of people you don’t know isn’t the most awesome thing ever. But have a drink, put on your big girl panties, and make the most of it. Nothing is worse, as a bride, than stressing about how people at certain tables are going to get along. The couple did their best to put you with people you may like. So, like, make some convo. If you hate them, you never have to see them again, so just suck it up for a few hours.
Images: Shardayyy Photography, Unsplash; Giphy (8)