One phrase you’ll rarely hear around wedding season?
“Relax. It’s taken care of.”
But thanks to an array of new services and some fancy tech, weddings are easier than ever to navigate, whether you’re a groom, bride, member of the wedding party or a guest.
So herein: The 9 ways to survive wedding season, mainly by letting other people handle the responsibilities. For couples: A collaboratively-designed wedding ring with ethical, lab-grown diamonds. For grooms-to-be: A bachelor party service that’s more Bear Grylls than bacchanal. And for the best man: A speech-writing service overseen by A-list Hollywood screenwriters.
Your wedding ring (for men): Marke
A kind of Warby Parker of wedding bands, this direct-to-consumer brand handcrafts gold rings specifically for men, who probably don’t know what kind of ring they want until they test it out. Marke sends you a home kit with six sample rings — three widths in two styles (classic, flat) — along with a ring sizer. You have seven days to pick what you want and select your material (responsibly-sourced 14k gold, white gold or rose gold), finish and engraving. From there, it’s about another week to get your customized band.
Your conflict-free ring: Ada Diamonds
Ada Diamonds marries Silicon Valley disruptiveness with a jeweler’s acumen. Their diamonds are lab-grown (that’s a good, ethical thing) but equal to or surpassing their mined cousins: no flaws, completely bespoke and still structurally/chemically identical to what you’d find in a store. This month, the brand launched a “Proposal Setting” program, where you can get a conflict-free gem set in a simple solitaire that can be exchanged and designed after the proposal (with help of a company concierge, if desired).
Your registry: Wanderable
Have people give you to a life experience, not a set of china that’ll never see the light of day (except, awkwardly, when you come over). Pick out a destination and have people fund activities (surfing excursion, hike, bike rental, inter-island flight, etc.). And your guests will appreciate the simplicity of it as well.
Your tux: Black Tux
Rent, don’t buy (though that option is available). Get a perfectly-fitted 100% merino wool suit or tux just by answering a few simple questions online. And if you don’t think it’s quite right, they’ll send a second size for comparison.
Your shoes (for beach weddings): The Basket
Per our style editor: Extensive research turned up a surprising dearth of information regarding exactly which enterprising soul elected to apply elements of the traditional Mexican huarache to a loafer silhouette, but god bless them — because their efforts yielded a supremely chill, breathable, beachy option that is about as close to a sandal as your sandal-hatin’ correspondent is willing to get.
Your bachelor party: Anything but the usual
In lieu of Austin or Montreal or Vegas (all great cities, of course), how about Miami, Scotland or Texas? Or better yet, make it less about debauchery and more about getting back to your primal self. On Purpose Adventures, a Charleston-based event planning company, offers up an array of survival-themed bachelor parties that are more Bear Grylls survival tests than steakhouse and strippers bacchanal.
Your etiquette plan: Ask this perpetual bridesmaid
Emily Schumann has 30-some bridesmaid appearances to her name. We had her solve 30 common wedding conundrums, from how to RSVP (send back the physical card, please) to gifting (it’s more flexible than you think) to bringing a flask (surprisingly…yes, under certain conditions).
Your destination wedding gift … is, yes, required
The general consensus is that, outside of a given order that you are not required to give gifts, is that you have to give happy couple something … though you certainly can dial back the amount you spend.. “While your attendance at a wedding so far from home is a wonderful gift in itself, a small yet heartfelt token is always appropriate,” notes the Emily Post Institute.
Your wedding speech: Tinseltown Toasts
This collective of award-winning Hollywood screenwriters will script your big occasion moment in the spotlight. And your ghostwritten speech will be tailored to fit your voice.