Becca Atchison, the founding partner and creative director of Rebecca Rose Events, based in Winston-Salem, N.C., echoed this point. “In the same way that a couple planning a wedding has to make tough decisions to really prioritize and curate a guest list, sometimes as a guest you have to do that same thing,” she said. “There’s got to be a sense of honesty, as we all collectively look at our schedules and this holdover from this past year, to just prioritize within our own lives.”
When deciding whether to R.S.V.P. yes, Ms. Athinson says you should ask yourself: How close are you to the couple? Is the location worth the trip? If you go, will you be focused on celebrating, or worried about getting back to work?
“Setting healthy boundaries and determining what’s important to you” should be at the forefront of all your wedding guest decision making, Ms. Atchison added, not just your guilt over potentially saying no.
There are plenty of ways to show your support from afar. Ms. Bejar recommended sending a “heartfelt” note to the couple explaining how you wish you could attend, but the difficulties of the past year have made it impossible for you to say yes to all you’d like. “You want them to know that they were thought about and cared for, and whether or not you can show up, people usually have an understanding if they kind of know your thought process around it and that it wasn’t an easy decision,” she said.
You can also send the couple an early gift, or take them out for a small premature or belated celebration, said Shontel Cargill, a marriage and family therapist with Thriveworks in Cumming, Ga. And on the actual wedding day, make sure to Zoom in if that’s an option so you can still cheer them on. “Support is not isolated to attending the wedding in person,” Ms. Cargill said.
Be careful with your credit cards.
While it may be tempting to put all the wedding expenses on a credit card, be careful you don’t take things too far. “It comes up a lot where people want to go to all the weddings, and so they use a credit card and they accrue debt, and then you can end up being stuck with that — in some cases, for years,” Ms. Palmer said. “It’s really something we suggest trying to avoid at all costs, just because it makes going to those weddings even more expensive.”