This weekend one of my good high school friends from back in the day is getting married in Atlanta. Mrs. Lite Adventurer and I will be heading there for a weekend trip to partake in the celebration, and I got to thinking that this would be a good post-worthy topic: how to pack efficiently when you’re a guest at a wedding.
It’s not really that much different than packing for a normal trip except for a few extra key items. Since this is a short weekend trip, I’ll be taking my usual tops and bottoms in my packing list, but only enough for 2 days’ worth of wear. I’ll also pack a set of clothes specifically to wear to the wedding ceremony and reception, and the clothes vary depending on the type of wedding. For a less formal setting, like a beach for example, I’ll plan on some nice pants and either a button up shirt sans tie or a polo shirt. For this particular wedding I’m going to, it’s located inside a high-end hotel in downtown Atlanta, so I opted for a suit which is always a safe choice for guys. I have a basic navy blue suit that I pair with a pink button up long sleeve shirt that’s my go-to attire for fancier weddings. I’m on the fence about wearing a tie, but will likely go without one this time; I’ve found that wearing the suit jacket makes me fancified enough for occasions like these. On my feet, I wear a pair of black Rockport Oxford shoes, like the ones pictured here. I love these shoes; they’re the ones I wear to the office every day. They’re comfortable, durable, water resistant, and can pass for real dress shoes in most situations.
There are a couple of other items that are super important for weddings that I make sure to have readily available:
1) Plain white handkerchief. Comes in handy for all sorts of purposes. I use one to dab at my forehead when I’ve been dancing for a while and get hot as a result.
2) Shout wipe. If you get mustard on a shirt, you can always change into another shirt. Since I don’t travel with a spare suit, if I get food on me – which happens more than I’d like – then the Shout wipe bails me out. Every time I use one of these guys, I’m amazed at how well they work. Magical.
3) No real camera. I put this on here because normally I travel with a dedicated camera. But for this type of occasion, my iPhone is good enough. All I’m looking to do is capture some memories; there won’t be any shots that I’ll be printing large and hanging on the wall. Plus, most weddings have a pro photographer who can take much better quality photos than anything I’m able to shoot.
4) Phone with Uber/Lyft app. Though we’re staying not too far from the wedding site and could easily drive, the car is going to stay parked while we take either Uber or Lyft there and back. This will cost more money than driving myself, but it allows me to avoid driving in downtown Atlanta traffic [shudder] and also allows both Mrs. Lite Adventurer and me to fully enjoy the bar at the reception without having to worry about driving back later in the evening.
5) Listerine breath strips. Weddings = lots of talking and close encounters. Keep it fresh people.
6) Wedding gift. Okay; this one’s going to get it’s own full paragraph, because I have quite an opinionated view on this. Read on.
My typical wedding gift to family and friends is cash. For some baffling reason, asking for cash as a bride and groom to-be in this country is considered taboo and in poor taste. So no one directly requests it, but from I’ve gathered over the years, many folks would actually prefer cash for a wedding gift rather than another useless blender or oversized salad tongs that will sit unused in the top cupboard for 3 years before they invariably end up in the Goodwill pile. I know the American way is to make up a registry with a whole bunch of kitchen and bedroom accoutrements, but I don’t understand it and don’t see why we can’t collectively change the tradition when there are so many people who are totally fine with getting money as a gift. Cash: it’s simple, fungible, useful to just about everyone alive, and rarely wasted. I’m hoping that maybe as my generation grows older and has more influence, this ridiculous social norm will eventually change since a larger proportion of us compared to prior generations seems to be embracing minimalist living and shying away from the idea of accumulating a large house full of material goods.
So packing a wedding gift is no problem. It’s almost always a wedding card with a check in it. Or in this case, a donation to a charity specifically requested by the bride & groom.
Alright people, I have a piece of wedding cake that’s awaiting my arrival. Have a good week everyone!