If your Summer is anything like ours, you are swinging like Tarzan between weddings, engagement parties and hen weekends, occasionally missing the vine and plummeting down into a swamp of last minute purchases and logistical nightmares.
Here are 10 tips to help you win at weddings:
1. Save the date
The minute you get the invite, stick it to the fridge and pop the date in your e-calendar. Even if it's a year in advance, at some point you will end up booking tickets to that show you really want to see slap bang in the middle of the first dance. If you can, RSVP on the spot and write that it's done on the invite to avoid having to travel to the depths of your memory to work out if you ever did post the response.
2. Book accommodation early
You know the date and where the wedding is, so start researching places to stay in the area and reserve the one that's nearest to the venue and best value. Have a look on Airbnb, maybe there is a house you could share with other out-of-towners? It might even work out cheaper to get a long taxi home. Do some research and you won't end up paying over the odds to stay in the back of beyond.
3. If you go off list, go unique
If you've left it too late and the gift list is either closed, or you want to buy a gift that really stands out, then shop independent and shop unique. Try and buy a one-of-a-kind gift to avoid any awkward double ups. Take a look at our Wedding Gift Ideas for inspiration with a few tips on how to keep it thoughtful.
4. RSVP with care
Ahem, would you have these people at your own wedding? The general rule of thumb is that if you receive an invite to a wedding, you return the favour some day - so if you suspect you were invited out of familial duty, it's sometimes completely understandable to decline.
5. Wear those shoes in
There is nothing in this world sadder than evil shoes making you sit at the side of the dance floor, or even worse making you dance barefoot whilst your toes are crushed by every man within a mile of you. Make sure you become buddies with your intended heels in the weeks running up to the wedding by wearing them around the home.
6. Go vintage
Nobody has the time or money to buy a new outfit for every wedding, but adding a vintage piece (whether from Portobello Market, a charity shop or your Grandmother's wardrobe) can transform the simplest of dresses into a showstopper. And why did we stop sharing clothes with our best friends? Before the wedding pop over with a bottle of fizz and have a rifle through her wardrobe to see what she can lend.
7. Book a taxi to take you home
We cannot emphasise this enough. Book. A. Taxi. We've all stood for an hour at the end of a great wedding in the freezing cold cursing our heels and the happy couple because the local taxi company is fully booked - this is avoidable.
8. Stay hydrated
Free champagne is not a treat, it's a trick. Drink a glass of water for every two flutes of fizz or wine. If it's a cash bar, think of all the money you're saving. It's becoming popular to have a lunch party on the Sunday after the wedding - without committing to the water rule, you'll miss out on the flowing rosé the next day.
9. Make friends with the canapé servers
Is there anything better than mouthfuls of delicious food constantly being offered to you as you stand and chat? Make sure from the outset that the caterers know you mean business. This will also help to soak up the fizz and power you through to the wee hours.
10. Play it cool when the bouquet is thrown
Nobody wants to be this person:
(This person is me)
And there you have it, follow these rules and by the end of the season you'll be everyone's favourite wedding crasher.
Photographs: Postcards Home
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