Rejoice! For a time of great rest is upon us! Temperatures are dropping, Fall is here and as the sun starts setting earlier it whispers into the wind "it's the end of wedding season." (Did you know June is no longer the most popular month to get married? Nope, it's October and September.)
If you, like I, spent a good chunk of your summer sipping signature cocktails and reminding people "what you're up to now," you may be happily retiring your Anthropologie finery and putting your feet up to enjoy a few solid months of spending your money on you (jk it's basically December). The post-wedding-season detox is real and goes far beyond returning to your regularly scheduled culinary programming; you can use this time to reflect on the joys of friendship and prepare yourself for next wedding season (because there is always another wedding season).*
I went to four weddings in five weeks this past summer that ran the gamut from a DIY wedding on a farm outside of Portland to an (unofficially) dinosaur themed wedding in Brooklyn. They were great — it was a fantastic way to spend a summer — but I had to take a bit of a breather when it was all over to reset. Aside from the obvious money and travel stress, weddings can take a lot out of you emotionally and knock you out of your routine, so take some time to clean things up.
Welcome back! Snuggle into your space and put on your comfy pants. Go to your fridge, open it up, treat yourself, close it. Odds are your fridge is littered with save the dates, invites, and old photo booth photos. Dramatically swipe it all to the floor, pluck it off and put it in a scrapbook, whatever your style is. Start clean. You'll be getting a whole new round soon and you want to be able to actually keep track of what's coming up. Also, I would argue that if you have a particularly busy season coming up, you move the invites off of your fridge as soon as you RSVP. That way you can keep track of if you've sent in your meal request yet or not. (And this goes without saying but put it in your calendar of choice.) Magnets can stay! You'll need something to hold up Naima's rustic-themed invite soon enough.
After you've KonMaried your fridge door, time to move to the closet. Drop off your clothes that need to be dry cleaned now to avoid pulling out and packing a dress next year that looks clean until you put it on and spot a wine stain. If you think you and a particular wedding outfit have run your shared course, pull it out to donate, resell or swap. Have a good pair of dress shoes that made you look fly while kept you going on the dance floor all night? Drop them off at a cobbler to get spiffed up and resoled if need be. It's one less thing to do next year, and you won't have to risk running out to get a new pair of shoes that pinch because your go-tos are looking a little dusty.
Sit on your couch. Watch Bridesmaids. You deserve this.
All of those late nights and travelling can take a toll on your body. Post wedding season is a great way to recharge and get back into a healthy routine. I gave up meat the month before wedding season and, after the season was through, dove right back in after (listen being vegetarian felt great, but I'm not about to turn down a free steak, ya know?). I asked my friend Erin how she bounced back from wedding season and she said, "I started spending like $5000 on Vitamin C skincare products and those sheet masks." A slight exaggeration, but after taking a quiz at care/of where you can identify what you feel your body could use more of, she's felt her energy get back on track.
I set out to use my wedding travel as a fun way to explore new fitness classes, and made it to exactly one yoga class at my first destination before that plan went to the wayside. Don't be me! Actually keeping in touch with your body while you're away can be fun, and added bonus: if you've been meaning to try out a new type of class, but are afraid of looking foolish, what better way to do it then in a city where no one will ever see you again? But now that you're back in town, dive head first into a fitness routine that makes you happy. Needing to just chill for a moment? Julia has some great suggestions of little things you can do to improve your mood in a short amount of time.
But here's what we're not going to do. Beat ourselves up about a few pounds picked up over wedding season. Did you start the summer a little slimmer? That's fine, but also, whatever. You spent your time being there for people you care about, living in the moment and hopefully smooching someone cute. Scroll through those final wedding 'grams and remind yourself that you're extra cute.
My friend Rachel, who has attended 18 weddings in the past four years, wisely joked, "Don't tally up the total cost of the dresses you rented because 'it'd save you money.' It didn't save you money. You basically bought all those dresses but now don't own them. Just like your apartment." After my last red eye at the end of my wedding tour, I accidentally ordered an Uber black car in a sleep-deprived haze, felt awkward about cancelling and immediately burst into tears when I walked through my front door after realizing how much it cost.
Let's just get this out in the open. Attending weddings costs a lot of money. It's terrifying, but take stock of how much you spent this season and have a hard conversation with yourself: Can you do this again? Can you pay down this season before committing to the next round of flights and hotels and dresses? If you can't, it's ok to say no next season. No to a bachelorette party, no to the more expensive hotel option, no to a wedding all together. Give yourself a budget for what you can comfortably afford next year and stick to it.
What are your post wedding season tips? Share below!
*I know for a few lucky folks, wedding season isn't even over! Enjoy your fall-themed/New Years/ winter weddings, boos. I salute you.