Wedding season — and I find myself smack in the middle of engagement parties, showers, stagettes, and weekend weddings.
I’m one who enjoys it all — the celebrations; the getting together with friends, acquaintances, and meeting new people; the dressing up part; the gift giving (although it can become a very expensive time of year); and, of course, the ceremonies themselves.
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But it can be overwhelming, especially for shy types. If you find yourself mired in event upon event, and it’s really not your cup of tea — or you simply just cannot fit it all in, or you can’t afford to attend everything — here are a few tips to help you through:
- Choose which events suit you, your schedule, and your allowance, best. Opt for the quiet lunch shower over the rowdy bar-hopping Girls’ Night; or forego all lead-up events in favour of the wedding itself.
- Give yourself a budget — per couple, per event, whatever works for you — and stick to it.
- If you’re one of the outsiders, choose events where you know you’ll know someone; or, if you’re feeling adventuresome, give yourself a goal of meeting one new person per event.
Recently, I attended a small wedding shower at someone’s home. These events are usually women-only, and this evening was no exception. Ranging in age from eight to an octogenarian, the level of estrogen in the house was staggering.
As more than half the guests were relatives of the bride, but not me, I chose to sit back and watch the dynamics. From inside jokes to knowing glances, from biting comments to snarky side-eye stares,
I felt like I was in the pages of an Amy Tan novel, peeling away the onion-like layers of generations of family strife.
One incident in particular really got my attention: a mother was talking to her university-aged daughter about upcoming events, dates, and schedules. The daughter was informing her mom when she was planning on returning from school, and when she was hoping to leave again for her summer studies.
At one point, the mother laughed loudly, telling her daughter that she’d rented out her room for some of the time the daughter was hoping to be home.
I was a bit surprised. If that had been me and my mom, I would have freaked out! But this young girl just calmly looked at her mom and said, “I’m not even going to get into this with you right now.
It’s not the time or the place,” and quickly turned her attention to someone else.
I thought, this nearly-twenty-something could teach us all a thing or two about exercising self-control, and keeping our emotions in check. Weddings are a time of celebration, but they’re also an emotional time that can escalate family rifts.
Take my advice, exemplified by the cool-headedness of one young woman, and try to remain as laid-back as possible during the emotionally-charged time of wedding season.