Last week, I had the amazing opportunity to go to Wimbledon. I was seriously nervous about it, though, because I really had no idea what to expect and I was going with a British person who definitely would know the ins and outs of Wimbledon etiquette. I did tons of online research, but the articles I read were either confusing or contradicted other articles. So here we are, a week post-Wimbledon, and I’m sharing my experiences with you to hopefully give more guidance than what I found.
1. Dress somewhere between a cute Instagram-able picnic with friends and a summer wedding.
This was one of the biggest things I found confusing online. So many people told me so many different things surrounding what to wear. I found that the clothes that I had were either too casual or too nice, but I didn’t have anything in between. I went to H&M in Oxford Circus and got a romper and cardigan for about £20 and it was perfect for Wimbledon! My advice is to dress nicer than an American sporting event, but still casual and comfortable as it is a really long day.
2. Speaking of long day, get there early.
Thankfully, the person I went with knew all about the queue, so I didn’t worry about it too much. We got there around 7am and waited a few hours before we were allowed in. (Side note: wearing a romper is a really good idea for this time. We sat in the grass for a few hours and I was so thankful I wasn’t wearing a dress!) I got Starbucks for the tube ride and ate a very quick yogurt at my accommodation, which made my morning a bit easier.
3. Wear sunscreen.
First and foremost, I would like to thank the person I was with for being kind and gracious even though I thought I was tougher than the sun. During the first match we saw, I was offered sunscreen, and I turned it down. I generally burn in the States, but the European sun is much less direct so I don’t worry too much about burning. Little did I know, at Wimbledon, you are quite literally in the sun the entire day. Around 3pm or so, I noticed that my legs were getting burned, but again, I thought I was tougher than the sun. Thankfully, the person I was with let me use their sunscreen, so it wasn’t too bad. A week later, I have a really strange tan on my legs to keep me humble. All I can say now is wear sunscreen. You are not tougher than the sun.
4. Consider packing your own food.
I was warned before I went that the food at Wimbledon is pricy so to bring my own food. I brought a few protein bars for myself, which was enough to tide me over. I didn’t buy any food that day, so I can’t speak on the price, but I can say that there are less food stands than an American sports stadium. If you are committed to spending the whole day watching tennis, then I would bring food as it could be a far walk to get food.
5. Relax. (And I’m not saying this to be cheesy)
I was so concerned the days leading up to Wimbledon about etiquette. I was worried that I would make a mistake or do something really stupid which would embarrass the person I was with. I woke up at 5am to get ready and I was already a bundle of nerves. I had a crash course in proper manners in 6th grade, so as I was doing my morning makeup routine I was remembering back and reciting all of the rules I learned. It only took about 10 minutes in the queue for me to realize that the people who go to Wimbledon are genuinely nice people who just really love tennis. Be kind to those around you, and you’ll fit right in.
Overall, my time at Wimbledon was incredible. I had never actually watched a tennis match before Wimbledon, and it was amazing to be able to see tennis for the first time there. I am so thankful to have been able to experience it, and I hope that I can one day go again.
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<p>Hello, I'm Allison! I am a Public Relations major and I am very passionate about travelling the world and learning about different cultures. I am a serious foodie, and one of my favorite parts of travelling is being able to experience culture through food in the place I'm in. I spent my Winter Break this year in China which was probably my favorite trip I've been on! When I am not flying or taking a road trip, I love all things history. Here's a fun fact about me: when I take study breaks, go on The History Channel website and read different articles about whatever is going on in the history world. I am so excited to be spending time in London and to learn about all of the history and culture there!</p>