Between Instagram, Pinterest, and stalking that girl you hate from high school who got married last year and threw a wedding that apparently didn’t even know what a budget was, planning your big day is like crawling through a landmine of comparisons, what ifs, and “if my wedding isn’t the f*cking best event any of my guests have ever been to I’m 100% going to die.”
And while it’s easy to get caught up in every little detail, it’s also not really sustainable unless you’re cool with going bald from the stress. So, as you write up those to-do lists (and incessantly add to them), consider forgoing these few headaches that might keep you up at night, but you’ll immediately forget about post-wedding day.
1. Having An Even Wedding Party
From the moment I waltzed out of my mother’s womb, I knew one thing and one thing only: I was going to have an even wedding party. I didn’t care if I had to hire bridesmaids or make my groom go on guy dates just to have more friends standing up there. I. Was. Determined.
And yet, when I finally managed to get my ass down the aisle, my girls outnumbered the guys 11 to 6. No, I never wanted an uneven number of bridesmaids and no, I never wanted to have an absurd combination of people walking down the aisle to try to look cohesive. But in the end? It really didn’t matter. When the day comes, you’ll be too worried about not forgetting your bouquet/veil/vows to give a sh*t about who is standing up there, and trust me, so is everyone else.
2. The Favors
The wedding forums said you didn’t need them. Your dad said they were a waste of money. Your groom didn’t know this was a thing. And yet, you had to have them. So you ordered the shot glasses or the koozies or the little jars of olive oil (?) in bulk because EVERY PARTY NEEDS A PRIZE FOR ATTENDING, dammit! Then the reception came and went and three-quarters of your guests left without taking the glass with your faces etched in the side. So, now not only are you irrelevant and married, but you have about 75 glasses with your names on them and quite literally nothing to do with them.
Skip the overpriced prizes, and if you MUST give your guests something (other than an invitation to the most expensive party of your life, of course), make it something edible. The only favor your friends will really want is something they can stuff in their faces after the open bar closes and the hangover starts to set in.
3. That Expensive Piece Of Lingerie You Got For Your Wedding Night
You had high hopes. Really, you did. You went with your MOH to someplace with a French name that you can’t pronounce despite your four years of the language and the Spring Break you spent in Côte d’Azur. You tried on items with way too many straps, you got a little tispy on the free champs, and you walked out with a flimsy piece of lace and a charge on your card that immediately flagged your credit card company.
And yet, when you make it back to your suite after the wedding either blacked out, starving, or both, chances are you’ll throw on an old T-shirt and either scarf down some room service or throw up the three bites of dinner and eight glasses of Pinot you had at the reception and pass out face-down on the bed. You know, ROMANCE.
4. What Color Your Silverware Is
30 days before my wedding, I was stressing about one thing and one thing only: The fact that I did not pay the extra $500 for gold silverware. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I would go on Pinterest and stare at place settings with gold forks and cry like the dramatic bitch that I am because my wedding was ruined thanks to my dumb, fiscally responsible choice of going with classic *gag* SILVER silverware.
And then I woke up hungover on my wedding day. And then I forgot my bouquet in my hotel room. And then my FMIL had to leave the venue to get it. And then she was late to the ceremony. And then I forgot it again when I walked down the aisle. And then our reader blacked out on stage. And then nothing f*cking mattered. By the time my reception rolled around and guests kept shoving drinks (but not food, never food) in my face, I didn’t even know what silverware was, let alone if we had any.
5. The Sixth Pence In Your Shoe
If you even *know* what this is, you’re ahead of the game. The forgotten 5th “something” you’re supposed to have on your wedding day is honestly forgotten for a reason. If you go on Amazon and if you manage to bring an old-timey coin to your ceremony venue in addition to the 7,600 other unnecessary items, there’s still a very slim chance you’re going to wedge it into the Badgley Mischkas you’ll regret buying the second you take your first tentative tiptoe down the aisle.
Scrap the idea of shoving some outdated currency in your already painful shoes and settle for the checks from estranged relatives who still spell your first name wrong as good luck enough.
6. Bathroom Boxes
Like any somewhat classy bathroom where you’ll hide to talk sh*t with your friends, your wedding venue bathrooms need to be like a buffet of inhibition-lowering aids. Gum for a dance floor makeout? Check. Makeup wipes for those vodka-induced cries during the speeches? Check. Deodorant for the “before going home with a groomsman” spruce up? Check, check, check.
While it seems like an important detail to include in your “musts” list, quite literally no one, including you, will notice if it isn’t there the day-of. Which means you’ll either end up with a whole bunch of travel-sized mouthwashes because your bridesmaids forgot to put the baskets out or you can save the money and hassle and nix the idea that it’s your job to ensure that your guests understand the importance of personal hygiene and plan accordingly for a four-hour reception.
7. The Poses You Found On Pinterest
Sitting at the bar with your bridesmaids and tossing back a beer. Spraying champagne during the getting ready moments. Jumping on the bed. Holding your MOH’s hand behind your groom’s back. Doing the Bridesmaids pose from the movie, touching heads with your flower girl under your veil, holding chalkboards saying how all your bridesmaids met you walkingdownthehotelhallattheendofthenight.
There’s no way your photographer will even get a fraction of the lame poses you’ve had saved on your “someday” board. And more than that? She’ll hate you for suggesting all of them. Hell, YOU won’t even remember you wanted them until it’s your friend’s birthday and you’re using it as an excuse to post yet another *eye roll* wedding photo. Scrap the lame poses, stick to a few faves, and keep the post-wedding IG posts to a healthy minimum.
8. The “Unique” Guestbook
Whether it was an engagement photo your guests signed around, a random piece of wood with your new last name in some sort of script in the center, or the Polaroid photo album, you put a lot of thought into what your guest book was going to be. Then the day came and you couldn’t give a sh*t who all was there, let alone if they signed anything. Yeah, you might look through the signatures a few times, but as the drinks started flowing and the handwriting starts get looser, you’ll regret letting your idiot friends have Sharpies near a photo of your face. Buy something cheap, put the bridesmaid you like the least in charge of it, and lie to yourself that you’ll look through it every anniversary like a normal person.
9. Your Thoughtfully Selected Cocktail Hour Menu
As you’re planning your perfectly thought-out day, one of the most exciting aspects you get to decide is, of course, the food. Maybe I’m just a glutton, but playing cat-and-mouse with different catering companies as they serve you canapés and listen to you complain about how much weight you still have to lose before you can squeeze into your dress literally makes me aroused. By the time cocktail hour hits, however, your guests are so hungry and itching for alcohol that they’ll shove anything down their gullets. Skip the pricey passed items, set up a table of hummus, and put your money someplace more important—like a down payment on a house or your way-over-budget dress that you won’t fit into a week after the wedding. It’s not like you’ll be eating any of those fig, goat cheese, and caramelized bacon croquettes anyway.
10. The Grand Exit
At this point, you and your guests have seen it all. The ribbon wands. The sparklers. The bubbles. The butterflies, the confetti, the rice (does anyone still do this?). Hell, even fireworks are played out at this point. FIREWORKS. While sure, a photo of you and your new wife or hubby dip-kissing in front of some sparklers will get a few more likes than average, it’s still old news. Besides, chances are that by the time the reception is over, your shoes will be off, your hair will be disheveled, and your inhibitions will be down. The odds of you making it down a coordinated aisle of fire instead of to the bar next door grabbing pizza is pretty low.
Images: Jeremy Wong / Unsplash
This year’s Met Gala is just days away. While your favorite celebrities are busy trying to interpret this year’s Camp theme (if you’re imagining tents in the wilderness, please see yourself out), we’ve been thinking about the planning going on behind the scenes. Hosting your average fundraiser is no easy task, and the Met Gala is anything but average (Anna would never hear of it). But how the f*ck do you even go about pulling off an event as massive as the Met Gala? We at Betches have no clue, so we asked the experts at PartySlate to break down what goes into planning an epic fundraising event like the Met Gala.
Selecting the Co-Chairs & Committee Members
Every year, the Met Gala is held on the first Monday in May, and the next year’s planning begins the first Tuesday in May. Yikes, talk about no days off. Much like the beginnings of any large-scale event, one of the first steps is for the host to curate her event team. Hand-selected by Vogue’s infamous editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, this year’s co-chairs are Harry Styles, Serena Williams, Lady Gaga, and Gucci’s Alessandro Michele. Plus, 183 Hollywood stars will serve on this year’s committee, including Blake Lively (her new bump pristinely dressed, no doubt), Lupita Nyong’o, Katy Perry, and Bradley Cooper (who can’t seem to stay away from Lady Gaga—not that we’re mad about it).
Picking the Theme
We’ve loved all of the past Met Gala themes. “China: Through the Looking Glass” had us bowing down to Beyoncé and her fierce sheer gown, while “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” brought us Kim Kardashian in liquid gold Versace. Again, this year’s theme is Camp, and Alessandro Michele told the New York Times, “Camp really means the unique ability of combining high art and pop culture; it is not kitsch.” We live for a red carpet just like every other betch, but we’re most excited to see how the team at Vogue carries the theme throughout the evening, from the red carpet welcome to the dinner party decor.
Curating the Guest List
Year after year, the Met Gala is invitation only—and no, you’re not invited. Whether you pay for your ticket (at $30,000 a head, somebody tell Billy McFarland) or are invited by a designer or Queen Anna herself, you can’t get in the doors unless you’re on the list.
“Creating guest lists for high-profile events and fundraisers can become stressful,” says PartySlate Co-Founder and CEO, Julie Roth Novack. “You want to be strategic and get the right mix of people in the room.”
To no one’s surprise, Anna Wintour selects and approves every last detail of the evening, including the guest list. And we’re pretty sure she’s unconcerned with who may or may not be offended by her choices. Many guests are Met Gala vets, while a handful of newbies are added each year.
Preparing for Red Carpet Arrivals
Skinny arms and thigh-high slits are always on display as guests arrive at the Met Gala. But Novack points out that the red carpet is so much more than a photo op. “The gowns and attire at the Met Gala are also decor, just like the florals or lighting or draping,” she says. “The red carpet is one of the most important parts of the event, because it’s the first time spectators are introduced to interpretations of the theme.” The planning team also has to prioritize media and press placement to capture the entrances; details are incredibly secretive leading up to the event, but from the moment the first celebrities step out of their limos, Vogue wants that international buzz.
Creating the Seating Chart
Keeping the peace between Selena and Justin is just the start of the Met Gala seating chart drama. According to Eaddy Kiernan, who organized last year’s Met Gala, the names for the guest list come together in December—and then the seating chart calculations begin. (Your wedding has nothing on this seating chart, sorry.) The final seating chart is never finalized until about a month out from the event, and even then there are always small tweaks to be made. The team at Vogue considers everything from who will have good conversations during dinner to which tables should be placed closest to the front and back of the room. Still, there can be drama, like when Lena Dunham got offended when Odell Beckham Junior sat next to her all night and still didn’t want to bang her. Guests have even gone so far as to storm out of the dinner if they’re displeased with their seats. Hey, Anna: if you ever need seat fillers, we don’t have plans on Monday.
Selecting the Menu
Similar to the design and decor, a fundraiser’s food, wine, and cocktails should always be aligned with the theme of the night. While it’s still unclear exactly what Camp means, we bet it will be seamlessly integrated into the dinner menu, wine selection, and cocktail options. Wintour has been known to ban certain ingredients; don’t expect anything that could stain gowns or teeth. Cuisine is often one of the most memorable elements of an event, so it’s important to make thoughtful decisions, and always choose dishes that are creative, yet universally enjoyed. And in the case of the Met Gala, under 300 calories per serving.
Prioritizing Fundraising Efforts
Let’s not forget: the Met Gala is a fundraiser. The goal (after social media engagement, of course) is to motivate celebrities, guests, and spectators to reach deep into their silk-lined pockets and raise money for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. While some people make donations, many guests don’t actually pay for tickets, so the event is also an important marketing tool to bring in outside funds for the cause. “Charities that create these fabulous experiences always see a return in recurring fundraising,” says Novack, emphasizing the importance of donors who commit to a cause year after year. “A fundraiser like the Met Gala might cost a lot to host, but without a fabulous party, you won’t see the same return.” Last year, the event raised $13.5 million.
Don’t Forget the After-Parties
So, Anna Wintour and her team don’t have a ton to do with this last point, but after-parties are an iconic part of the Met Gala. The fun doesn’t stop on the stairs of the Met, and guests often change outfits before heading to their next destinations. “Only Vogue publishes the full event details—or at least the ones they want us to see—but bathroom shots and after party photos will surface on social media throughout the night,” says Novack. After-parties continue to be a big trend in the event industry, even at the Met Gala.
And that’s pretty much everything you could ever need to know about the Met Gala. Oh wait, we’re sure you’re wondering how you can score an invite, right? Contrary to popular belief, you can go even if you’re not famous, and we broke down how here.