Wedding Survival Guide: Best Guest Ever!
What to Wear
Dressing for winter weddings can be tricky for women. The elements call for practical shoes and heavy coats, but our sense of style disagrees. So make a compromise. Choose a patterned duster or high-heeled boots to keep you both warm and looking fabulous. Or, if snow and ice are a factor, a long blazer over an upscale jumpsuit can be worn with fashionable flats. Men will have no trouble looking dapper in a structured wool suit, cashmere coat and scarf.
Spring is prime wedding time, which means there’s no shortage of stylish, wedding-appropriate attire in stores.Ladies, whether you go the route of bright spring colors or prefer to be pretty in pastel, be sure to look for floral influences, be it the subtle suggestion of lace or a bold botanical print. It’s a good idea to select a complementary jacket or wrap as well, in case the weather is chilly. Pastels and florals are on-trend for men, too. For a casual affair, pair a khaki suit with pale yellow and green accents. For a more formal wedding, bring a breath of fresh air to your black-tie attire with a seasonally inspired boutonièrre of Lilies of the Valley or grape hyacinth.
Summer is the season for outdoor weddings, and in St. Louis that can put your outfit up against some serious heat and humidity. Women should be mindful of fabric choices that could cling or show sweat. Choose a flowy dress in a strong pattern, or buck the norm with a tailored linen pant suit. Men, look for a light-colored suit in breathable cotton or linen. A patterned shirt, preferably in stripes or checks, will help hide sweat when you take off your jacket at the reception.
Fall is fashion's favorite season. Show you're in-the-know with haute hues and luxe fabrics. Ladies, show off your sophisticated style with a solid silk dress in a rich, autumnal color. Be sure to mind your lines: Short dresses should have longer sleeves, and floorlength hemlines can be balanced by sleeveless or strappy designs up top. Gents, dress up a slim-fitting suit with fashion-forward finishes and take advantage of not being in the wedding party by getting adventurous. Bring out your boldest bow tie, pack a pocket square with an unexpected print or sport cuff links that will start a conversation.
Q: I'm dating someone, but my invitation was only addressed to me, no plus-one. Can I bring my date anyway?
A: Etiquette dictates that unless your invitation includes the words “and guest,” you should plan to go solo. It's bad form to ask the bride or groom for permission to add a guest they didn't plan for. The only exception, according to The Emily Post Institute, is if you are married, engaged or cohabitating. In that case, the bride should have invited your significant other, and you can rightfully ask to bring that person along. Whatever you do, don’t bring a guest unannounced.
Mind the Gap
Entertain yourself during the gap between the ceremony and reception.
1/ Head to Grand Center and check out the most recent exhibits at CAM, The Sheldon Art Galleries, Craft Alliance or the new International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum.
2/ Stroll through Citygarden and take creative pictures with your friends among the larger-than-life sculptures, artistic landscaping and interactive art installations.
3/ Drink in the local craft brewing culture at one of the city's many breweries. Take a tour at Urban Chestnut or Anheuser-Busch, grab some grub and a flight at 4 Hands or sip the newest suds on tap at Perennial. If you're hosting out-of-towners, take them to Schlafly Tap House or Bottleworks for a taste of some of STL’s favorite hometown brews.
4/ Pass the time (or pick up a last-minute gift) at the many upscale boutiques in Clayton. Check out the latest fashions at Byrd Designer Consignment Boutique, shop for chic décor at Lusso Home or pick up a bottle or two at The Wine Merchant.
5/ If the big event is at Missouri Botanical Garden, treat yourself to gourmet eats in the nearby Botanical Heights and Shaw neighborhoods. Indulge in a glass of vino at Sasha’s on Shaw, or grab a bite from Olio's carefully curated menu of small plates and wines.
Weddiquette at a Glance
DO RSVP as soon as you get the invite and only bring a date if you see the words “and guest” after your name.
DON'T Shop for a date on match.com. The couple most likely nixed someone they actually know from the guest list so they could offer you a plus-one. If you're not seeing someone special, give up the extra seat so Uncle Mort can come to the wedding.
Sharing on Social Media
DO Ask before posting details of the couple's big day for the whole internet to see.
DON'T Live tweet the ceremony—save the pics and celebratory updates for the reception.
DO Enjoy the French Champagne and signature cocktails the couple has generously arranged for you.
DON'T Show your appreciation by getting tanked and embarrassing them.
DO Choose something from the registry, buy early and have it shipped.
DON'T Assume the couple “just forgot” to ask for a set of skis and then expect them to haul the things home from the reception.
DO Look your best, and take a cue from the venue when it comes to the level of formality.
DON'T Steal the focus from the bride and groom. We know it's hard when you're so darn goodlookin', but dull it down if you have to.