The Dame Tips: Wedding Edition

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The Dame Tips are a monthly guest series by wntta{t}’s resident Don Draper: an elegant hedonist who suffers no fools, The Dame herself, writer Ali Schofield.

Oh, my loves, it’s the time of year again where your friends and cousins and partner’s cousin’s friends are gathering their loved ones and grade school BFFs turned acquaintances to have an expensive party justified by true love. You’ve guessed it (or maybe your wallet is already whimpering): it’s wedding season. A couple weeks ago my Beloved and I went to our first of the year, and it was actually a lovely time – a drag queen officiated, the music was decent, and the bar was open. (Praise be.) My Beloved was dashing in a charcoal blue suit – I was all heart eyes and squirting emojis all night. When I see him in a suit, he looks so good I just want to take it off, which is a strange sort of internal conflict that I’m actively trying to unpack. 

As a guest, weddings can be a cumbersome and anxious affair – What do you get the happy couple? What do you wear? Do you need to buy new shoes? What if someone you’ve already slept with is there? Should you get a Brazilian to be safe? Should you bring a date? Why didn’t Jessica give you a plus one? Do you put your date’s name on the card? Do you have the money to travel to the wedding? DO YOU EVEN CARE?  

I don’t necessarily have the answers to all of these questions but I’ll try: bespoke barware from Cocktail Emporium, a chic jumpsuit, yes, follow up questions – was it any good, and are you related?, yes, yes, probably because you’re single (though that doesn’t make it right), not unless you’re coupled, probably not, and also… realistically… probably not as much as you think until you get weepy at the ceremony, which these days tends to be done in less time than it would take for Dominos to deliver a pizza. There! Column over. 

Just kidding my loves, I wouldn’t deprive you of your full monthly dose of me. (I love you, too.) You’re here for my opinions and advice, and I have a multitude of them, some of which I’ve had to tone down because I’m a fiery woman and I have so many feelings on this topic. So. Many.    

  • That age-old question... I always relish getting dressed, but I’ll admit, sometimes weddings can throw me for a loop, especially if I am the spectacular date someone requests to bring. If dress code is not stated on the invitation, ask the couple or someone in the wedding party if it’s a casual affair or a more formal fete. I can tell you that, yes, jumpsuits are a trend this year, white and cream dresses are typically okay if they have a dominant pattern, and unless you are very comfortable in them, high heel shoes are absolutely a mistake. If you’re contemplating your attire and asking yourself, “Is this appropriate for Diane’s wedding?” the answer is probably no darling, but that’s not to say you can’t show some personality – I opt for furs (naturally, I have them for all seasons), but a scarf, a printed blazer, statement earrings, bow tie or vintage clutch could also do the trick. If you don’t have something suitable in your closet consider renting a dress or accessories from somewhere like Fitzroy – they appear to have some gorgeous goodies in many sizes. When it doubt, remember what my dear friend Oscar Wilde said: “You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” Words. To. Live. By.

  • Sharing love can be quick and dirty. It’s never my first choice but giving a cash gift is the now oft adopted route to celebrate the recently united. For those of you wondering what constitutes an appropriate amount, consider these things: 1. How much alcohol do you anticipate consuming? I think it’s common courtesy to cover the estimated cost of your booze (it used to be the cost of the plate, but weddings these days are all passed apps, and let’s be real, you’re lucky to get a handful of lukewarm chicken satay skewers.) 2. Are you going alone or taking a date? If you are bringing a companion, I would suggest doubling or at least increasing the contribution. If your date is good friends with the couple, it’s appropriate to go in on it together, but if they’re not, they shouldn’t be expected to contribute. All this said, at the end of the day if your friends, family, or whoever is tying the knot genuinely want you at their wedding, that’ll be the thing that’s most important to them.

  • But oh, I love a personal touch. When it comes to celebrating the happy couple, I take pleasure in trying to find a thoughtful gift. From what I hear, after the wedding and honeymoon, it can be difficult for couples to justify spending money on a date night. Why not get them a membership to a local museum, a gift certificate for tree-top trekking, or something else specific to their interests? Another option I go for is monogrammed couple’s luggage tags like these from Leatherology, which are a great way to toast the newlyweds and celebrate their future adventures. How romantic!

  • A wedding is a marathon, not a sprint. Eat before you go and keep a CLIF bar in your purse. I’m serious, dears. Let me say it again YOU WILL NOT CONSUME ENOUGH MINI GRILLED CHEESES TO STOP YOU FROM TAKING QUESTIONABLE SELFIES AFTER THROWING UP TEQUILA SHOTS IN THE GLADSTONE HOTEL BATHROOM. I’m not speaking from experience, or anything… (please don’t check my Instagram.) Remember to balance that tequila with a tumbler of water. You’ll still be dancing (badly, but that’s okay, darlings) to Lizzo when they light up the floor, but you’ll feel half as bad in the morning. 

Well I’m spent, and quite frankly I just don’t want to think about weddings anymore. Luckily my Beloved is making duck fat fries and old fashioneds as I write this, which are essential parts of a decadent evening (you know what the other part is, you ravenous minx.) But before I depart for my gluttonous delights, I want to let you know a little something. Next month, my dears, I’d like to do things a little differently. In July I’ll be celebrating one year of this strange monthly community service I’ve been performing, and I’d love to hear from you. So, I am introducing the first ever Ask The Dame column. I’m giving you an opportunity to ask me whatever you like – modern-ish etiquette questions, opinions on popstars, summer cocktail suggestions, my thoughts on sport matches, advice on how to deal with an annoying colleague, how to handle a hang-on hangover – anything. I’ll take some of your questions and answer them in next month’s column. Send me an electronic mail at thisisthedame@gmail.com or a “DM” at @thisisthedame on Instagram. I’m here for all your burning questions, and yes, maybe even your questions about burning – at the very least, I’ll give it a try. You’re welcome in advance. 

Until next month, my pets, 

xoxo

The Dame