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The Wedding Rookie’s Guide To Wedding Season

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The weather might not adhere to any rational ebb and flow of seasonal temperatures anymore, but there are some things greater than Mother Nature. Some things simply transcend meteorological logic and march on. Wedding Season is one such thing.

While there are no formals outside the unique world of undergraduate society, pseudo-adulthood does have its perks. I consider weddings one of the bigger ones. Sure, after the first two or three nuptial celebrations, you might rankle at the thought of finding an appropriate dress, trolling Crate & Barrel for an ideal gift, or tottering around in some seriously uncomfortable shoes all night. And despite the fact that their only preparation entails taking a shower and slipping into a ill-fitting suit, guys hate weddings on principle.

People cite awkwardness as a factor when bemoaning weddings. Did you pick up your date somewhere between your closet and the ceremony? I didn’t think so. Unless you’re 18 years old and haven’t quite mastered the art of platonic friendship–or you spend all your free time LARPing–pick up your damn phone, find a friend to go with you, and quit your bitching. Besides, getting sloshed at black tie event makes the bourbon taste even better.

If you’re one of the more “adult” people in your group of friends and were able to locate a date without an existential crisis, on to the good stuff. The goal here is to celebrate your friends, but they didn’t spend a year planning and upward of $50K on themselves–you’re allowed to have fun, too. In fact, if you’re having an exceptionally hard time finding the joy in an open bar, people in tuxedos and gowns, live music, and two people committing to each other for eternity, just pretend a wedding is the classier, worldlier older sibling of the college formal. The wine comes from a bottle instead of a bag, the kegs aren’t the center of attention, and tank tops are only acceptable as an undergarment beneath a dress shirt.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t boundaries, even when open bars are beckoning from every corner. It’s a true test of grownup-ness, and you will fail at least once before mastering it. Just because the booze is free, it doesn’t mean you have to drink it all. In fact, here’s a quick lesson on postgrad wedding etiquette to get you through the next couple months.

  1. Watch the booze intake. I’m not saying refrain–hell, they paid for an open bar. Just pump the brakes before taking off your shirt, crying, or dancing with someone’s grandmother.
  2. Dress appropriately. Guys, it might be time to age out of Jos. A. Bank. Girls, Forever 21 does not make anything even remotely appropriate for a wedding.
  3. Bring an acceptable date. The girl you met on Monday does not make for an acceptable date on Saturday. Your friends also didn’t throw down to feed the bimbo receptionist at your apartment.
  4. Turn your damn phone off during the ceremony.
  5. Unless you are family or you are in the wedding party, shake the urge to propose a toast. You have nothing relevant to add to the day.
  6. While we’re on the subject of toasts, if you are family or in the wedding party, think about what to say before opening your whiskey-loosened mouth.
  7. To the 15-year-old boy who rears his head at the guest book, photo albums, and such, it might look like an open invitation to draw penises on the couples’ engagement pictures or write an X-rated note about the honeymoon. You’re not, it’s not, don’t.
  8. If it’s a destination wedding, think carefully before jumping heels-first into any local color–and keep in mind, this comes from someone who got her face painted on Bourbon Street at her sister-in-law’s wedding.
  9. Do you turn into an asshole when you drink whiskey? Obvious as it may seem, pass on the whiskey. I’m not allowed champagne at weddings. We all make sacrifices. (See no. 8.)
  10. Dance your little heart out, just remember there are three photographers, a videographer, and 167 people with iPhones before doing Miley Cyrus proud.

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Rachel Taylor

Rachel's major post-grad accomplishments include training the intern that eventually replaced her, losing her passport (twice) and receiving a lifetime ban from a five-star New Orleans Hotel.

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