Next week, I’m going to my buddy Jesse’s wedding in Boston. His is the first of the 2015 season, which will consist of 8 weddings over the next 6 months, culminating in our own in November. It is a lot of weddings, and it is the first “Summer of Weddings” I’ve had. Everyone has this period in their life when everyone is getting married, and as much as people like to complain about it, it’s pretty awesome to get to go to ritzy parties with free food and booze.
During the planning of our wedding, I have developed certain rules for what wedding guests should keep in mind to not fucking suck. If you have held a wedding, you already know these rules. If you have not, these are for you:
Your opinion is not welcome.
Trying to plan a wedding is like trying to fuck a tornado. If it ends and you’re not dead, it’s a success. The tornado part of this analogy is balancing all of the opinions and weird politics of weddings: the bride and groom (or groom and groom or bride and bride) have to balance a) what they want, b) what their parents want, c) what their grandparents want, d) what their church wants, e) what their close friends and wedding party wants, f) what their society wants, and g) what their budget allows. Which means that, 10 minutes into the engagement, they are already bogged down with suggestions, demands, and restrictions.
So if you approach the bride or groom unsolicited and say, “Hey, don’t do a cake-cutting ceremony, it’s cliche,” or “Don’t have penis straws at the bachelorette party, it’s fucking weird,” then please keep in mind that the best possible response you’ll get is this:
But that they are totally within their rights to give you this:
If your opinion is asked, by all means give it. If it is not asked, stop. Just stop. And remember the Golden Rule: “Shut the fuck up.”
Weddings aren’t weapons. Don’t take anything personally.
Literally the worst part of the wedding is figuring out the guest list. This is where the couple has to actually rank the people in their lives and decide whether or not to invite certain friends. If you invite this friend but don’t invite these three friends, then the latter three will be offended, but if you invite all four there’s no room for Great Aunt Maude without going over on budget.
Maybe the couple has a huge family and needs to cut certain friends, maybe they have to set arbitrary rules to cut the size of the guest list down — no kids, no unmarried couples, no significant others we haven’t met before — maybe they had to choose between old childhood friends they loved but aren’t all that close with anymore and an open bar.
The wedding party is also tough: what if you have a really big group of close friends? Who do you choose to be involved? What if there are siblings to consider? And how do you choose which of these is the “Best” Man? This shit’s stressful, man.
The point is this: if you don’t get invited, if you don’t get asked to be in the wedding party, and you don’t get asked to do a reading, it very likely is not about you. Brides and grooms have too much on their minds during the planning to orchestrate petty vengeances by not including you in the way you think you deserve. Just shrug and roll with it.
You’ll get a plus one if we damn well want you to have a Plus One.
Wanted a Plus One but didn’t get one? Worried you’re going to feel alone at the wedding? Try this: hook up with someone at the wedding. There will be other single people, they will be drinking, and there will be a reserved block of hotel rooms at your disposal.
Seriously. Plus Ones are really cool things for the bride and groom to give you, but keep in mind that giving you a Plus One might mean that they no longer get to invite a close friend of theirs. Plus Ones are perks, like a vodka slide or a kitten as a party favor. They are not requirements. Do not complain about your lack of a Plus One. Get some strange.
In short: Do not make it about you.
It’s an opportunity to watch your friend be in love while drinking and eating for free. Why would you read into this any more than you have to?
Featured photo by Michael Salvato.