Learn more about the 2022 marriage tree in our ongoing Year of Marriage series.
In January, Brittany Lo, the founder and chief executive of Beautini, a Manhattan bridal beauty company, traveled to Oaxaca, Mexico, for a friend’s wedding. In March, Mrs. Lo will be in Jersey City, NJ, to attend another friend’s wedding. And two days later, in Miami for a third. Although Ms. Lo, 30, works in the industry, the events she has attended are not work-related.
“I’ve been invited to 15 weddings this year,” she said. “I can only go until 10.” While Mrs. Lo loves weddings, being invited to so many can be overwhelming.
She is not alone in this sentiment.
Some 2.5 million couples are expected to get married in the United States this year, with many others planning a second celebration after having scaled-down weddings due to the pandemic. As a result, the mailboxes fill up with invitations, which discourages people like Ms. Lo as they try to figure out how to fit everything in.
“Couples currently demand a lot from their guests, both socially and professionally,” said Maya Jain, the owner of Tyrian Purple, a Manhattan wedding and event consultancy. To ease the stress for guests, she suggests expectant couples change their point of view. “Instead of seeing the wedding from their eyes, they should walk the steps of their guests,” she said.
If you require guests to submit Covid test results through a specific app in advance, download that app and log in as if you were a guest to ensure the user experience is seamless. If you are hiring a shuttle service, call ahead to verify that the vehicle is stocked with hand sanitizer and that it is spacious enough for passengers to depart. You could even go so far as to test drive the company.
Ms. Jain compared such measures to tasting a menu: “The same way you take the time to experience the food and how it’s prepared and presented is the same way you go about trying these necessities and guest interactions,” she said. . † “The goal is to make it as comfortable as possible for everyone.”
Here, Ms. Jain and three other experts identify areas of concern for people who may be attending multiple weddings this year, and share tips on how couples can address them with guest convenience first.
Second (or third) celebrations
Some couples who chose to hold a virtual or small in-person wedding due to the pandemic may now be inviting the same guests to the larger wedding reception or party they’ve postponed in 2020 or 2021.
If you ask someone to celebrate your wedding with you again, Landis Bejar, a therapist and the owner of Aisle Talk, a Manhattan practice that specializes in helping couples overcome marital stress, said it’s important to giving them permission to say no without fearing that their answer could hurt your relationship.
She suggests that couples do this by writing a letter and sharing it with all guests via a wedding website, which Ms Bejar says is “a great communication tool.” The letter could begin with something like, “‘We hope you can celebrate with us in person, but we understand that not everyone can and times are still tough for a number of reasons,'” she said.
Communicating in this way “shows empathy and understanding for your guests, while making them feel heard and understood,” Ms Bejar said. “And that is binding. Guests can prioritize their own personal needs rather than coming from a place of concern.”
Registers and gifts
If a guest, like Ms. Lo, has to attend 10 weddings this year, the money they’re going to spend on gifts will quickly add up.
“Most guests who are paired spend $400 to $1,000 per gift,” says Tara Consolati, the founder of Tara Consolati Events, a wedding planning company in Lenox, Massachusetts.
To ease the burden, Ms. Consolati that couples go the extra mile to include cheaper items in their registry. More luxurious versions of household necessities like dish towels would likely be cheaper for a guest but still useful for honeymooners, who “are reminded of who gave it to them” every time they use the gift, Ms. Consolati said.
Another option is to include charities in registries. “These are great because there is financial anonymity regarding the amount a guest contributed,” said Ms. Consolati. “It relives fear, takes the financial pressure off and adds a feel-good statement.”
In a year when so many weddings are expected to take place, it’s inevitable that some will fall on vacation. Those that do generally result in higher costs for guests, said Jules Miller, the founder of The Revelry Cooperative, a Brooklyn wedding venue management and consulting firm.
“Travel is usually more expensive,” she said, and hotels “are usually more expensive” around holidays, especially holiday weekends, when they often “ask for a three-night commitment instead of their standard two.”
To offset such costs, Ms. Miller recommends that those planning a wedding over a holiday weekend hold it on a Thursday night so guests have the option of staying for a long weekend or leaving in time to enjoy some more. to enjoy . “That can extend your vacation instead of compressing it,” she said.
Couples who decide to get married on Thursday, Ms Miller said, should also consider a later start time: “A lot of couples do a 6:00 pm or 6:30 pm ceremony, which still gives you a 5 or 6 pm reception, so guests don’t feel like they’re losing a working day.”
For guests who do travel and stay at a vacation wedding, offering a curated list of attractions or activities they can do on their own “makes it more like a vacation and less like an obligation,” Ms. Miller said.
It’s likely that no couple will share the same risk tolerance as all their guests. For this reason, Ms Jain said guiding guests through ever-changing Covid protocols and procedures remains an important part of hosting a wedding.
One way to communicate such details efficiently with guests is through a wedding website. “It’s critical for the couples to update this regularly with the most up-to-date rules,” she explained. “The clearer they can be about sharing what specifically is expected of their guests and how to obtain those requests, the less stress and confusion it is for guests.”
Offering to send Covid tests to guests prior to a wedding would be a nice touch, she added, as well as a list of local testing spots, especially if travel is required. “This shows you’ve thought about a guest’s feelings,” Mrs. Jain said.
Couples need to be prepared for a worst-case scenario, she said. Even if you’re getting married in an age of relaxed mask mandates, plan to have extra boxes of masks on hand, in child and adult sizes, as the guidance is always subject to change. “It removes one more ‘to do’ item from your guest’s already full plate,” Ms. Jain said.
When deciding whether or not to attend a wedding, single guests invited to multiple weddings this year can decide which wedding to attend based on whether they can bring a plus one or not.
But the pandemic has made it even harder for couples “to decide if they’d like to have a stranger at their event,” said Michelle Norwood, the founder of Michelle Norwood Events in New Orleans.
If a plus 1 cannot be offered, Ms Norwood said couples “must understand that a single guest may not come, and express that understanding to them.” In these cases, she suggests hosting a post-wedding dinner or other activity with guests who were unable to attend. “It says we understand, we’re not mad and want to celebrate with you.”