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How to Survive Wedding Weekends

Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Have you ever seen the movie 27 Dresses? I feel like that’s what my life has turned into all of a sudden. This year I am attending 17 weddings. Yes, that’s right, 17 weddings, with locations ranging from Greece to Napa, from Cabo to my hometown of Alexandria, Va., and everywhere in between. And yes, 17 weddings means 17 dresses, 17 hotels, 17 (technically 34) flights, and a lot of tequila.

Attending all of these weddings has made me a self-proclaimed expert in packing, traveling and selecting the perfect dress for each event. So I wanted to share some of my top traveling tips and a handful of my favorite wedding guest dresses, as well as some pointers for how to overcome any potential social anxiety that may arise (as we all know weddings can be stressful for everyone involved)!

When traveling, I like to keep these essentials in my carry-on to ensure a seamless travel experience.

Katie Austin's Essential Carry-Ons

1. Always carry hydration packets. 

Whether that’s Liquid IV, LMNT, DripDrop or something else, never fly without them. Flying actually makes you extremely dehydrated so that's why I try to stick to the rule of one glass of water for every hour that I’m flying, but sometimes, that can be hard to do! I always pack a couple of hydration packets with me so that I can pour some in a cup or water bottle on the plane for an extra boost of hydration. Being dehydrated the moment you land could be a recipe for disaster for the rest of the trip!

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2. Bag Balm.

This has been a staple in my house and in my bag ever since I was little. I use it multiple times a day to give my lips a little moisture, which is exactly what you need when you're flying.

3. Honest Face Wipes.

I don't know about you guys, but I absolutely hate flying with makeup. I feel like my pores get so clogged and overall just don’t like the feeling of my makeup being glued to my face for hours on end. I only use face wipes when I’m on the go, and these Honest face wipes have grapeseed oil and olive oil to leave my face feeling hydrated after gently removing my makeup.

4. Aesop Resurrection Hand Balm.

The dry airplane air coupled with the hand sanitizer that I’m constantly using while traveling leads to my hands being extremely dry. So I always like to pack a small bottle of my favorite cream to keep my hands hydrated and smelling nice.

Now let’s talk dresses. Have you ever received a wedding invitation with a dress code and thought to yourself "what does that even mean?" I know I have! Sometimes dress codes can be vague and confusing, leading you to feel like you will either be extremely underdressed or overdressed. But it’s all about confidence and wearing what makes you feel good! So find a style that you like, wear the heck out of it, and you will be just fine! Just obviously don't wear white ;)

Katie Austin's Favorite Wedding Dresses

These are some of my favorite wedding guest dresses:

Fae Mini Dress from Majorelle ($258)

Calla Lily Gown from V. Chapman ($385)

Carlita Mini Dress from Lovers and Friends ($228)

Jaegar Maxi Dress from L'Academie ($348)

Janet Dress from Amanda Uprichard ($194)

Leah Strapless Mini Dress from Hemant and Nandita ($450)

Primrose Floral Strappy Back Maxi from ASTR The Label ($178)

Final Wedding Tips 

Lastly, I just wanted to quickly touch on the social aspect of attending weddings. These types of events can bring on a lot of stress and anxiety for some. One of my favorite ways to help ease anxiety and stay in my routine is to start the day with some movement. This eight-minute follow-along abs HIIT routine is the perfect quick workout to do when you’re traveling.

About half of the weddings I’m attending this year are my boyfriend’s friends and this means that I will only know about a handful of people at the ceremony. I’m sure you have all been there, being a plus one and not knowing exactly what you are walking into, but that’s O.K. A lot of people are probably in a similar situation, so go in with an open mind and heart and start talking to people. An easy opener is to compliment someone on something they are wearing, or ask where they’re from and that will be sure to spark some additional conversation.

Another thing I wanted to quickly note is to be mindful how many drinks you are consuming. It can seem like a good idea to have a few quick drinks earlier on in the night to loosen up so you feel more comfortable in the room, but I can assure you that this feeling will not last. Pay attention to how many drinks you’re having and don’t forget to mix in a glass of water in between each cocktail. I promise you, this will make sure that you don’t wake up the next morning feeling hungover and regretting the decisions you made the night before.

I know that weddings can be overwhelming for everyone involved, so I hope these tips were helpful and can ease your mind for the next time you are gearing up to attend one. If you have any other tips or favorite dresses, be sure to share in the comments below!