Style expert and television host Katie Sands is getting married this year in Florida, and while planning your own wedding is hectic enough, she also revealed to us that she’ll be attending 21 weddings this year—22, including her own. Let that sink in. That’s nearly two weddings every month, and she’s in the bridal party on more than one occasion. From budgeting to styling to travel logistics, Sands is breaking down for Over The Moon how she’s pulling this impressive feat off and sharing expert tips on how to manage being a wedding guest for multiple nuptials in one year.
This year, I have officially become a parody of one of my favorite movies, 27 Dresses. Except instead of the weddings being spread out over a ten-year period I have 22 weddings all in 2022, one of them being my very own! I have four weddings for my first cousins, a few of my closest friends are getting hitched, and I am intimately involved in six of them. My financé is also a part of four weddings for his close friends and family members. I know, it’s crazy. But a good kind of crazy because it’s all for love, and that’s what matters most.
A short list of the weddings I’m going to: four in Florida (including my own), four in Southern California, three in New York City, two in South Carolina, two in the Hamptons, two in Vermont, two in Montreal, one in Montana, one in Upstate New York, and one in Long Island.
My mom was joking with me the other day and told me not to even tell people how many weddings I actually have and am a part of this year because it brings people anxiety. She’s not wrong, it’s definitely stressful no matter how you look at it. For me, I always think about the fact that weddings are really about celebrating the people you love, and that’s so damn exciting. I also think that because I have my own wedding this year, I’m even more ecstatic for all my friends and family members getting married and have a better understanding of the importance and uniqueness of each union. But it’s true, weddings can be extremely stressful, whether it’s your own or you’re a part of a close friend or family member’s, so I’m hoping this post will bring some relief, advice, and relatability to anyone else in the same boat (which I’m sure many of you are).
How to Budget
Budgeting is the hardest part when it comes to being a wedding guest, and it can be hard to keep track of expenses. It feels like a lot more weddings are destinations these days and being a bride-to-be of a destination wedding myself, I understand why. For example, my home city of New York is completely booked for the next year or so for wedding venues and this means the venues that are open have tripled their prices because of the demand. Couples are becoming increasingly interested in finding a destination to tie the knot, knowing that in the long run this will actually save them on expenses. But for a guest, consistently traveling to attend these weddings can quickly drain the bank.
I suggest sitting down with you significant other and going over how much you are going to spend for each wedding ahead of time, where you are going to stay, how much you can spend on a gift, hair and makeup, gowns, etc. This should all be laid out ahead of time, so that you don’t get in financial trouble months down the line and can stay on target with whatever your saving/spending goals are for the year.
If you’re in the same boat as me and cannot miss a majority of the weddings you’re invited to this year, just remember that life and love is meant to be celebrated. I think we all learned that being with the people we love is what truly matters, so find ways to save on a dress by thrifting, go shopping in your friends’ closets, or do your own hair and makeup to save, so you can make room for those special memories.
How to Say No
It is okay to say no to a wedding. Maybe you have financial restraints, conflicts with another wedding, or you just can’t pull off making it to a destination. Setting boundaries here is important, just make sure the bride and groom get a sweet note from you and know you’re thinking of them. Say things like, “I am so sad to have to miss your special day. If I could be there I would. I know you will be the most beautiful bride, and I can’t wait to keep the celebrations going in the future.” Be thoughtful, speak from your heart, and it never hurts to send something to the couple from their registry.
How to Dress
With a surplus of weddings comes a surplus of outfits to wear to these weddings, rehearsal dinners, bridal showers, etc. But, it’s not environmentally friendly or financially responsible to be buying new outfits for each event you plan to attend. Let’s make 2022 a year of creativity, when it comes to getting dressed up.
One thing I love to do with my friends is take inventory of our gowns and photo share, so we can trade dresses for different dates. I also suggest using rental services like Rent the Runway and Nova Octo, buying that one slip dress that can be worn over and over, dressed up or down, and, of course, buying second-hand. There are so many fun, creative, and sustainable ways to switch up your look. But I do want to ask, can we let the guilt go when it comes to re-wearing? If you love a dress, wear it to more than one event! It’s time to let that shame go and become more realistic about outfit expectations.
At the end of the day, you should always do what’s best for you when it comes to attending your friends and family members’ weddings. The people that love you will understand if you cannot make it to their big day and will appreciate your honesty and communication. Just know there are plenty of ways to save money and get creative, so you can be a part of as many celebrations as possible. At their core, weddings are so simple—they are about honoring love. Whatever way you can, let’s make 2022 the year of love and being together.