1. How dressy/casual should I dress?
Where will you be going? If you're going to a fancy tea house, it might not be appropriate to wear a more casual style. On the other hand, if you are meeting outdoors for a picnic, you'll need to take the temperature into account. I went to a meet-up that was in a botanical gardens once. It was the beginning of summer, and it was absolutely stifling! I almost passed out from the heat. Avoid long sleeves if you know you could get hot. If the temperature is questionable, for example, it is cool outside but you will be inside for part of the time, consider a light sweater or a bolero that can be removed if you get too hot.
2. What do I need to take with me?
I always take my wallet, cell phone, a snack (just in case), keys, camera, and a pad of paper and a pen. Why a pad of paper? Because! There is absolutely no doubt that if you are meeting in a public place, someone at sometime will ask for more information. It can be a passer-by on a street, a new member of the group who wants more information on the local community, or even to simply exchange email addresses. It never fails that if I forget my paper and pen, someone needs it. If you have any medications that you may need to take (especially allergy-sufferers), don't forget to take that along!
3. Can I bring my boyfriend/girlfriend/regular friend/significant other?
This is a personal pet peeve of mine. So many times has it happened that someone will say "I will be there" but forget to mention that they are bringing +1. Please do not forget to tell the organizer that you are bringing someone along! Especially if reservations have to be made. I personally don't take my boyfriend to meet-ups, but it's because he would be bored out of his mind. If the person you want to bring is actually interested in the fashion, even if they don't wear it themselves. Of course it's always even better if they wear it too!
4. What do I talk about?
If this is your first meet-up, it's normal to be a little nervous. I know I was. I almost went home three times as I was driving there. But trust me, it was worth it to stick it out and be nervous. Most people are nice in person. If you want a conversation-starter, outfit rundowns are always a safe bet. Many groups also play small ice breaker games, especially if there are a lot of new people. How did you find out about lolita? What is your favorite style? All of these questions are perfectly fine to ask.
5. Have Fun!
Take lots of pictures and smile a lot! It's fun to meet with other people that share your interests. You probably will have more in common with some people than just Lolita fashion. So remember to have fun. That is the most important part of all!
Do you have any other thoughts on attending meet-ups? Leave them here in the comments section below! Next time: Hosting a Meet-up. General types of meet-ups that can be held easily and without too much planning, being a good host, and the planning that goes into a meet-up!