I Do's and I Don'ts: How to Survive Wedding Season
I forever seem to be going to weddings these days. (Most of them painfully heterosexual).
My siblings, cousins, and I were all born in a rough ten-year period and so the last few years has seen a great wave of matrimony for the extended clan as we all reach the age of settling down. I have one cousin left who, like me, is not (and never has been) married, engaged, or in a relationship that’s heading that way. I sometimes feel like the two of us are in something of a race (although whether that’s the be the first or last one to get married, I’m never sure).
So many weddings can get a bit same-y after a while but, seeing as it is peak season for weddings right now, I have prepared a brief guide on some basic Do’s and Don’ts to help you get through someone else’s big day:
1. Make an Effort
I mean, heck, it’s a wedding. If that’s not a special day, I don’t know what is. Skinny jeans and a blazer won’t quite cut it on this occasion. Yes, I’ll admit, I do whack out the same grey suit for each wedding, but it’s a nice suit, and I do consistently change the tie to bring a little unique flair to each occasion. Indulge your inner fanciness, and turn up to that marquee, hotel, church, or registry office dressed to kill.
2. Don’t Make Too Much of An Effort
Now yes, it’s polite to make yourself smart and presentable for a Wedding, but there is such a thing as too presentable. This is after all the happy couple’s day and you don’t want to look better than them. There are few crimes as unforgivable as upstaging the Bride(s), or the Groom(s), on their wedding day.
If, however, it is your aim to create drama and discord at a wedding (which is always fun), I would humbly suggest that is not the Bride you should seek to upstage but the Mother of the Bride. I was once in attendance at a wedding where the Mother of the Groom opted to wear a fabulously large hat, much to the indignation of the entirely hatless Mother of the Bride. She managed to bring up several times over the rest of the day that the Mother of the Groom “really should have told [her]” and continued to hold it against her for the remainder of that marriage. The event remains known to this day as #Hatgate.
3. Remember a Gift
Being perpetually Broke™, I often joke that “my gift is me”, but it is nice to bring something to demonstrate your affection. (Hopefully they won’t be one of those insufferable couples who’ve made a “registry” for gifts). At the very least you should bring a card. I tend to piggyback on my parents’ cards at family weddings, in passive aggressive response to still being included on the same invitation. One of the great paradoxes of adult life is that you don’t seem to be regarded as an individual for family events until you’ve become part of a long-term couple.
4. Keep an Eye on Your Drinking
Weddings are a place for us to let our hair down a little bit. Alcohol will nearly always be involved, unless it’s deliberately unavailable for religious or other reasons. (Although I have been to a Mormon wedding reception where there was fully functioning and very alcoholic bar). This being true, please still remember that you’re usually around family or the family of friends, and indulging too much and making an arse of yourself will never be lived down.
As a hypothetical example, I would advise strongly against downing several glasses of champagne at your cousin’s wedding, allowing your other cousin (her sister) to keep buying you shots, vomiting on a table, being bundled into a golf cart by your mother, your uncle, and your uncle’s best friend, vomiting on that as well, being bundled into another gold cart, and driven back to the campsite where your uncle and his best friend shove, suit and all, into the showers. But that’s just a hypothetical example. (Sorry, Lauren).
5. Take Full Advantage of the Food
The only thing better than a good meal is a good meal you’re not paying for. Wedding fare is usually particularly good (as one would hope considering the outrageous cost) so make the most of it. Your positioning for the meal may often affect the quality. If you’re quite important to the couple, you’ll be seated up front, if you’re less important, you’ll be seated near the back. I think the sweet spot is to be of middling importance. That way your food is still warm by the time it gets to you but you don’t end up having to wait an eternity between courses.
6. Dance Your Arse Off
There will come a certain point in the night where the good old cheese music comes on. Usually from the 90s, often with set dance routines. At this time it is essential to divest yourself of any notions of shame, throw yourself onto that disco floor with all the reckless enthusiasm of a panda in a bamboo furniture shop and dance with utter gay abandon.
And don’t you dare let any of those other fools mess up the routine to Saturday Night. It’s:
Hula. Hula. Elbow. Elbow. Roll Forward. Roll Back. Jump Forward, Back, Turn. Clap.
And I won’t stand for any different!
So, there you are. The six basic principles one needs to remember as a wedding guest. There is a seventh, and it’s a cliché:
7. Enjoy it.
In the end, it’s a day all about love, and joy, and the union of two souls before their nearest and dearest. Irritating as weddings can be, and even as the grumpy old sod that I am, I can’t help but be a sucker for them.