For the last five years of my young adult life, not a weekend has passed without news of a engagement or wedding. And don’t be fooled–even once a wedding has passed, you will still see visible traces of that event for months to come, like a virtual bread crumb trail of acute narcissism.
Oh, it’s Mother’s Day? Perfect time to post that pic with mom and I wistfully smiling, because we know the secrets of love.
So & So graduated from law school? I need to refocus this situation to be about me, so let me post a picture with me in beautiful wedding gown and them in a purposefully awful bridesmaid dress.
Wait, of one of MY wedding guests is now getting married themselves? Gotta pull out the picture from that crazy reception dance off when I’m making an adorkable face.
Hey, I get it. Wedding pictures are expensive and you want to get as much mileage from those babies as possible. If I go into the home of a married couple and their living room wall ISN’T plastered with a wallpaper made from their expensive cornfield wedding photo shoot, I think “Hey, that’s not financially responsible.” I’d probably post pictures of myself on my wedding day on social media for even unrelated holidays or events–“Someone’s Bat Mitzvah’s today? Here’s a picture of me staring wistfully at my bouquet. Got jury duty? Here’s that inevitable jumping picture from my wedding party.”
But let’s rewind the clock back to when the happy couple first announces their big event. You, the potential wedding guest, open your mailbox and voila! A beautifully complex origami explosion is now sitting on your lap, filled with great power and responsibility. I mean, that piece of paper entitles YOU, Joe College Friend, to the BEST DAY OF TWO PEOPLE’S LIVES EVER (and an overpriced meal); talk about a potential power trip! You could just tape it on your fridge or toss it under a Bed Bath & Beyond coupon stack and forget about it. Forget about someone else’s best day ever? What sort of person are you?
(Quick sidebar: although clearly, the tone of this article is satirical, I really don’t understand the “this is the happiest/best day of my life” mantra. I’m sure in a list of awesome days, one’s wedding day is pretty high in ranking, but labeling it the best day EVER seems a little…much. Same with the “today is my happily ever after” statement–barf. We get it, you’re paying $25k to be a princess for a day. I’d 100% rather be a prime minister or CEO on my wedding. Private jet? Real authority? Yes.)
Since moving to Pittsburgh and subsequently far away from all my friends sampling nuptials, traveling to go to a sorority sister’s wedding in Tiny Town, Louisiana isn’t as high priority as, say, paying rent. But so far, in the wedding experience I’ve been so fortunate to witness (and the magic of TLC’s “Four Weddings), I’ve learned a few things about how to go to a wedding and not be the worst person ever.
First, don’t assume or demand a plus one, especially if your relationship is on the new side anyways. We get it. You’re not single like the rest of these losers. You’ve been dating this person for, like, three weeks.
However, if an invitation isn’t overtly clear if you can bring your new significant other, err on the side of flying solo for the night. If you really can’t spend one day without your girlfriend of three weeks/days, don’t go to the wedding. However, if single, please don’t be the Bitter Bertha who complains the entire time and spends all night trying to find someone to hook up with. Because I repeat: this wedding isn’t about you. It’s not like someone is throwing you a wedding themed birthday party.
Personally, I’m pretty terrible at figuring out the whole “wedding gift” scenario. If you buy a shower gift, you don’t have to buy a wedding gift, right? But what if you traveled to get to the wedding–can that count as a gift? What if you don’t even really know like one half of the bride and groom–can you give them half a gift? To all these questions, my mom–wedding guest extraordinaire–has told me a resounding no. (If anyone has advice on this, please, I’m open to it. Weddings are expensive!)
And finally, if there’s a dance floor, by all means, DANCE. I have a theory that all “young people” at weddings (read: anyone under 53) are seen by the elders (read:everyone older than 59–there are 6 lost years in between there) are seen as the ambassadors of fun. We set the tone of the party. Do you think everyone’s waiting for Aunt Matilda or the groom’s dad’s boss to break the seal of non-dancing? No. They are waiting on you, cool person under 53. So go, dance. Become the party guest you were meant to be, even if the dj is totally awful and just plays songs that NO ONE can dance to (I’m looking at you, early 2000’s pop songs and Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight.”