Wedding Guest Etiquette 101

Part of the fun of growing up is watching your friends get married.  Sure, some people might be depressed at how many of their friends are finding love and settling down, but those people are missing the glory of having friends who have their shit together enough to say “I Do:”  WEDDINGS.

Weddings are probably the most fun you’ll have in your twenties.  Not only do you get to reunite with your group of childhood, college, camp, whatever friends you haven’t seen in the same place in years, but you get to get incredibly drunk on someone else’s dime.  You get a chance to dress up and look pretty, finally putting that dress you bought on sale at BCBG to use.  In day to day life, it’s frowned upon to get blackout drunk and do the Cupid Shuffle with a 9 year old flower girl, but at weddings, it’s almost encouraged that you relive the glory days of your drunkest, most insane self.

As great as weddings are, there are a few basic rules to keep in mind:

The Date Situation

DO:  Bring someone fun. If you MUST bring a date, bring someone who will be fun no matter what.  Gay besties are encouraged, but platonic guy friends also make great options.  You want someone who will drink with you, but not over do it.  If you’re traveling for a wedding, it’s always nice to have a travel companion, so make sure it’s someone you won’t get sick of.

DON’T:  Feel pressured to bring someone. I know it might seem lame to go to a wedding solo, but trust me, it’s not.  I’ve been to weddings with a date and I’ve gone solo, and I can honestly say unless you’re in a SERIOUS relationship, it’s just not worth bringing a date.  Not only will you have to introduce your new boyfriend to everyone, but you’ll be playing host all weekend to someone at an event you’re also a guest at.  I brought a kid I’d been dating for a few months to my best friend’s wedding and he got so embarrassingly drunk I had to send him up to the hotel room.  Also, going to a wedding solo means you’ll be able to talk to whoever you want and dance with whoever you’d like all night (hello, groomsmen!)

The Drinking Situation

DO:  Indulge.  Fucking duh.  Your best friend’s parents wouldn’t just spend all this money for you to drink two sensible vodka sodas and then enjoy dinner would they?  No.  Do Mr. and Mrs. Feldbaum the honor of enjoying the fruits of their hard labor.  They schlepped for years raising a daughter who was marriage material, now fucking drink up in honor of that.

DON’T:  Over do it.  What are the years between college and weddings for? Oh yeah, figuring out how to drink a fuck ton and not black out/throw up/die.  You want to remember the occasion, regardless of how much you actually might want to forget how hard you let yourself slip up at the Venetian Table (which is not your fault, you can’t just throw macaroons in people’s faces like that and NOT expect them to try and take the tray home, okay?)

The Clothing Situation

DO:  Follow the dress code.  “Black Tie” is not synonymous with “that slutty LBD I got on the clearance rack at Forever 21.”  There’s a time and a place to look like a cheap whore, and it’s Vegas for the bachelorette party.  Plus, nothing says “I’m an adult here to get weird like a grown up” like covering (some of) your cleavage.

DON’T:  Look lame.  Whether you’re wearing a tacky bridesmaid dress or an ensemble of your choosing, you’re still celebrating.  Don’t wear something too impractical to dance in, and don’t you DARE take off your heels to dance, unless you’re like, white trash from Alabama at a wedding held in a cornfield or something.

The Gift Situation

DO:  Get something off the registry, and include a nice note.  It’s not tacky to get something off the registry, it’s encouraged…that’s what registries are there for.  I know a girl who got a ton of gifts from the same store she registered at that weren’t on her registry…and she just returned them for stuff that was.

DON’T:  Show up empty handed.  Regardless of how much money you might have spent on travel and wedding-related expenses, nothing is tackier than not buying a gift. So, mazel fucking tov, and enjoy the approaching best season of the year:  WEDDING SEASON.

Alex Engelbert

After graduating from Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizadry, and realizing her degree in The History of Magic was hardly applicable in any employable realm, Alex decided to stop doing acid and actually get a BA in English. A comedy writer living in Brooklyn, NY, Alex enjoys stalking ex-boyfriends, drinking coffee, plotting ways to meet Suri Cruise, and drinking cheap wine out of an over priced Crate and Barrel glass. Follow her on Twitter if you're entertained by hot messes @Alex_Engelbert.

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