An adult’s guide to not being an asshole at a wedding

I will start with a little story.

When I was a foolish, selfish, 22-year-old, a lovely couple made a mistake of inviting me to their wedding. I RSVPed yes for both the ceremony and reception, then decided the night before the wedding that I wasn’t attending the reception after all. Then what did I do? I texted the couple to let them know. Whenever I think about what I did those poor people, I want to crawl into a hole and die (if you read this and have no idea why this is an asshole-move, you REALLY need to read this post). 

Anyway, here are some ways to be an adult/decent human being when you are invited to someone’s most important life event. And just a quick note: I might have done some (maybe all) of these things as a guest. And for that, I am sorry.

RSVP on time.

If the bride messages you to ask if you’re attending or not because you forgot to RSVP (or because the RVSP due date is 7/11 and you’re waiting till 7/10 to reply just to see if you’ll suddenly have a date to take with you), she now secretly hates you and wants you to die.

Nobody cares about your girlfriend that you’ve dated for 3 months.

The couple does NOT owe you an invitation for your SO. Unless you’re engaged or married, it’s safe to say that your SO might not be invited. There are literally dozens of family members they need to invite, and the venue usually has a cap. So don’t be a child about the fact that your third boyfriend of the year isn’t invited. Maybe the bride wants you to avoid of the hassle of untagging yourself 500 times in her wedding album.

Not sure if your SO was invited? Ask.

Don’t assume you can just bring your girlfriend to the wedding. The bride remembers forever.

Don’t dress like a ho.

No, you don’t look like a classy ho. You just look desperate for attention. And there are a lot of aunts and uncles and in-laws and pastors of the bride/groom who know nothing about you but now think that the bride is a immoral heathen because YOU dress like you’re going to Circle for your 21st birthday party. Sure, you bought that awesome dress at a sample sale, and you’re dying to show off your hot body, but a wedding is not the place to do it. For an adult wedding, dress like you’re going to a funeral — just a tad more upbeat.

Do that at your own wedding, Ms. backless-dress-at-every-wedding-ever.

Hold your opinion about food/decorations/venue until you go home.

Yes, I’ve been to weddings with horrible food, but whining about it like a little bitch at someone’s wedding is just not cool. The bride and the groom (well, mainly the bride), spent MONTHS preparing and picking every single detail of the day. They fought 37 different times and almost broke up 4 times because of all the wedding planning stress. They’re so happy that they never (hopefully) have to plan another wedding. Why critique it while you’re still there? That’s what the car ride back home is for.

Find a sweet spot between wasted/sloppy & sober/boring.

Open bars are fun, but you know what else is fun? Not being a total wasted piece of crap at your friend’s wedding. Your newly married friends now have judgmental in-laws who will forever criticize them for every little thing. And you’re giving them something to talk about for the next decade by getting super drunk & trying to hump all the bridesmaids on the dance floor. On the other hand, don’t be a total boring sack of I-don’t-dance-and-I-don’t-drink-party-pooper. Just act like you’re a bit buzzed, have fun, and live a little. It’s a happy, happy moment for your friends. Dance with them. Even if you’re a bad dancer. We all are.

If it’s the night before and you’re dying and you can’t make it, just don’t show up.

I had some people not come to my wedding, but guess what? I did not notice at all because I was too busy thinking about how hot I looked during the whole thing. And I am grateful that those missing people didn’t contact me to add stress days before the wedding. Who cares? As long as the bride and the groom are there, the wedding will happen.

Besides, the last payment for the food and venue usually is 1-2 weeks before the actual date, so they already paid for you and your boyfriend. Just send them a card and a nice check AFTER the big day. And yes, you have to pay for your now-ex-boyfriend’s portion, too. Okay, you guys had a big fight, broke up, and that’s why you couldn’t go to the wedding — you should still write that check. Because your ex might be an asshole, but you are not.


If you’re like me, you’ve probably made some terrible mistakes at other people’s weddings. And most likely, you didn’t even realize how bad the mistakes were until you planned your own. I sure didn’t. And if you read this and think, “Oh, Alice, so sensitive and so judgmental,” wait till it’s your turn…LOL. Or even better, wait till your fiance starts crying randomly at a Starbucks because of all the wedding-stress.

Literally me, whenever anyone asked how my wedding planning was going.

You know your friends, so some of these rules might not apply for their weddings, but always, always try to think about it from the bride & groom’s perspective. It’s such an important day for them. And they’re paying an enormous amount of money for the event. Don’t ruin their day. Don’t be an asshole.

Oh, and to make it fair, I will be writing about how not to be an asshole to your wedding guests tomorrow.

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Alice

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