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I muttered a four letter word that would’ve caused my mom to wash my mouth out with soap. It wasn’t the end of the world, but it was a devastating blow to what should’ve been an otherwise seamless wedding. Unsure of what to do, I called the front desk of our hotel.
“Yeah,” I started with little faith left in my system. “I’m calling from room 304 and was hoping you had something at the front desk that I could get sent up to our room.”
There was an audible silence on the other end. Presumably, because the person manning the phone hated their job, but more likely because they wanted me to get to the point.
“Do you have any collar stays?”
Luckily, Front Desk Adam came through in the clutch. “Of course, I’ll send some up to you right now.” I wiped the martini-smelling hungover sweat from the night prior’s rehearsal dinner and let out a sigh of relief. I had dodged a bullet that I singlehandedly put myself in front of.
Lesson learned? Well, kind of. Moving forward, I had no other choice but to put together a checklist for everything I’d need in order to breeze through wedding season with nothing more than a few tweaked muscles on the dance floor.
You know, for obvious reasons. I’ll never be able to explain why there’s always one single collar stay missing from the cleaners whenever I pick up my shirts the Thursday before, but it’s like the age-old sock/dryer conundrum. I was lucky the hotel was nice enough to provide them that one time, but making the conscious decision to spend $4.99 on a pack of 50 of them is a purchase that yields no buyer’s remorse. And if you’re smart, you’ll get a variety pack because not all collars were created equally.
Even if you don’t forget your own collar stays, someone else will. No better way to make friends with someone’s plus-one than helping them in a time of need. No one wants to chill with the dude who has a trash collar.
The Hangover Kit™
Often times, the bride and groom are kind enough to offer a grab bag of sorts upon checking into the hotel block they’ve reserved months in advance. Candy, chips, some Advil, the works. But sometimes it’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you need to hit the hotel gift shop, do so before you even think about browning out at the rehearsal dinner. You need to stock your room with the following:
— Advil: Duh. Buy more than you think you’ll need and shove the rest in your dopp kit.
— Bottled Water and/or Gatorade G2: Hydrate or die. Never once have I stayed in a hotel where their lukewarm faucet water helped my hangover more than hurt it.
— Bottled Coffee Drink: Sure, you don’t want the 250 calories that the Starbucks pre-packaged latte offers, but you also don’t want to risk it all and pay $5.99 for a Keurig cartridge provided by the hotel. Most hotels offer those pods for free, but it’s not worth testing the waters.
— Alka Seltzer: There’s always one guy at the wedding who’s still trying to hold down his lunch because he took it too far his first night in town. Don’t be that guy. Drop a couple in a double-old fashioned glass and chug it the second you wake up. If it worked for Don Draper, it’ll work for you.
…but not actual cigars.
Depending on the extravagance of the wedding, there’s always a chance that some cigars will be tossed out to guests. Whether it’s a stand where they’re being hand-rolled or the groom took measures prior to the wedding to make some available, smoking country club ‘gars on a patio is the best way to avoid dancing to “Uptown Funk” for the tenth time in two months.
The only issue? Not everyone has the means to light these things. What you need is a cutter, a lighter, or a book of matches that you’ll inevitably go through because drunk people have a real hard time lighting cigars in the wind. My only true suggestion is to hit a local cigar store and ask for the cheapest cutter they offer. You don’t need your initials on a sterling silver one, though that would make a hell of a groomsman gift.
It doesn’t matter what you use to get yourself up for the big game, but just make sure you’re able to get up for a big game. When you’re in your late 20s, wedding weekends are the new mid-October home football games. They’re benders and need to be treated as such.
Five Hour Energy? Toss one in your carry-on. They’re small enough that TSA won’t take one unless they’re hungover themselves. Adderall prescription? Just know you’re going to be twice as hungover the next day, but at least you talked to the groom’s dad about trading futures for an hour. I don’t think I need to go any further with examples, but you’re smellin’ what I’m puttin’ down.
Countless scenarios can lead to someone scrambling at the last moment for an extra tie. Maybe you decided your tie would pull double duty at both the rehearsal and the wedding itself, or maybe you pulled it out of your bag with it being a wrinkled mess. Unless your significant other packed a portable steamer that can straighten that thing out, you’re up Shit Creek without a paddle. Or, in this case, a tie.
Have I been the dude who forgets a tie? Yep, and I’m forever in debt to the guy who helped me out and let me borrow a tie that was so expensive I could never dream of replacing it without moving into a cheaper place. That’s brotherhood.
Tide To-Go Pen
Red wine? It stains. Big time. And when you’re trying to re-use that same white shirt two nights in a row, you’re playing with fire from the get-go. If you’re smart, you’ll sneak it into your date’s purse and hope she doesn’t notice. She probably will, but there’s an equal chance she’ll need it too.
You know, that paper stuff no one carries anymore. Whether you find a bartender who’s willing to pour you shots or a putting contest breaks out on the practice green a stone’s throw from the reception, you want to at least have the option of tossing out some green. You don’t want to be the guy Venmo’ing someone you just met because you forgot to hit an ATM prior to the big day.
Stay strapped, especially if you have to tip the bellhop who’s bringing you those collar stays. He doesn’t accept Venmo. .
Image via Wikimedia Commons