I Wish Someone Had Told Me… How to be an Unstressed Wedding Guest

I didn’t realize as soon as I turned 24 that my summers would rotate around friends weddings. I’m 26 now and the wedding invites show no sign of stopping. Last year, Tom and I went to 5 weddings and this year we were invited to 6! I’m all about having a party but sometimes the hair, the makeup, the heels, the gifts, the travel, the church, the ceremony, the days off work, the small talk, the ravioli (any other vegetarians only get served ravioli at weddings?) and the cost of lodging gets to be a bit much. But at this point, I’ve basically mastered how to be a perfect wedding guest and I’m a lot less stressed when I see the invites roll in.  

Here are a few things I’ve found that have helped me stay sane through the wedding madness.

Buy 2 Dresses that you LOVE:

Do NOT buy an outfit or dress if you’re thinking “Eh, I can make this work…” Buy something that you absolutely love and cannot wait to wear. Buy two DIFFERENT dresses or outfits that you completely adore and then save them for the days of the weddings. Make sure you pick up pieces that you feel confident in. It’s easier to have small talk with someone when you’re not worrying about how you look and you feel great! Remember, you have to get excited about the outfit! The dresses I bought, I can also wear to work but I choose not to so I can save them as a little treat for the weddings.

Buy 1 Pair of PERFECT Fitting Heels/Shoes:

Again, buy a pair of heels or shoes that you love! You’re getting yourself quality, essential pieces that will go with both dresses/outfits from above. I bought myself a pair of heels (the same brand that Kate Middleton wears – splurge!) and I LOVE wearing them! Sometimes, I think “I don’t want to go to this… but at least I can wear my pretty shoes.” Or when I’m bored or feeling uncomfortable, I take a look at my feet and smile. I’m not a very religious person, so usually through the ceremony I will be looking at my heels and admiring their beauty. It’s so silly and small but it helps me and it may help you. 

guest door

Consider the DPW. The shoes I bought were expensive, but not only are they a treat every time I get to wear them – I like to think of the dollars per wear (dpw). For example, say my heels were $200 but I wear them to 11 weddings… that means basically each time I wear them it’s like I only spent $18.18 on ’em. Would you buy a pair of $20 shoes for one wedding? If they went with what I was wearing and made me feel confident, hell yes!

So that’s another thing to think about, although you may be spending more on the dresses or shoes than you typically would – you’re getting quality pieces that you’re going to use, wear and most importantly enjoy time and time again!

Reserve Sleeping Spots EARLY:

I do not procrastinate… Unless it comes to hotel/campground reservations around weddings. For me, my social anxiety likes to make sure I have a way out – even though I RSVP’d with “YES, CAN’T WAIT” – I’m never fully committed. Just recently, my friend kept following up to remind me to reserve a hotel room and what day was I going to be arriving into town (it’s a 6 hour drive). I really didn’t want to go so I kept putting off reserving a spot in hopes that I’d come up with a solid excuse by the time the wedding rolled around. But then I remembered to honor my word – I said I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it. (Side Note: Not only does this gain trust with other people but it makes you trust yourself more too. You teach yourself that your words are meaningful and it’s builds confidence.) 

So… I went to book a camp site at the state park, 2 weeks in advance and they were all reserved! Instead of camping 20 minutes away, we will be camping an hour outside of the town for a night.

Moral of the story – you RSVP’d ‘yes’, book your sleeping arrangements right then! You’re already committed even if you try to fool yourself out of it. 😉 

Don’t Forget Your Partner:

wedding guest

Having my outfits planned out has saved me so much time and stress! While everyone else is panicking about what they are going to wear, you are set and you’ve given your mind space to think about better things. But… PLEASE make sure your partner has their go-to nice outfits too. Tom is not a planner and tends to wing it. Every time we go to a wedding Tom has to pick out a new outfit because “this doesn’t go with this,” or “this shirt doesn’t fit,” or “I don’t have the right shoes for this.” Save yourself from my mistake!


So that’s it! Buy 2 nice outfits, treat yo self to some awesome shoes you adore, reserve your sleeping arrangements early and take care of your partner if you must. Then all you have left to do is buy a present and show up!