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While I’m not married, engaged, or responsible enough to make life decisions of that caliber, I know enough about weddings to know that there are monstrous headaches involved at every turn. I assume they range from stressing over losing weight so you don’t look like shit on your big day to coming to grips with the fact that you’re spending five figs on a party for your friends. But out of all the headaches you can possibly have leading up to it, I’d imagine deciding who to invite ranks near the top of the list.
Not all friends are created equally. Brad still browning out on Wednesdays while Trevor’s got his second kid on the way. Meanwhile, we’ve got Jack who’s about four years overdue on proposing, but he’s still not ready to commit to not going out on Thursday nights. Either way, you’ve got to invite them all. But that doesn’t mean they should all be lumped into the same category.
It’s time we have tiers for inviting people based on how responsible they are. After all, it’s your day and you don’t need to spend it worrying about who’s going to knock over the ice sculpture.
The Whole Shebang
This person is one of the following:
– In the wedding party because they made you a part of their wedding party so your hands are, uh, kind of tied.
But either way, they’re in for the long haul. Rehearsal dinner, ceremony, cocktail hour, reception, after-party, and the Sunday wrap-up brunch. They’re a mainstay for the weekend and might have just had a kid that they’re either 1. trying to avoid or 2. is keeping them from getting absolutely blasted at any given moment.
Reception / After-Party Only
Did they take advantage of the destination wedding and book a 10 a.m. tee time that’s probably filled with one too many bloody marys and five too many Miller Lites? Did they exchange numbers with the cart girl while also inviting her to the after-party? Are they a huge liability to fall asleep during the ceremony and/or make their entire pew smell like booze?
If you answered “ehhhh, probably” to any of these questions, you need to throw this guy a bone and let him skip the ceremony. He could probably use the extra time to get ready in his shared hotel room. You know, even though he’ll probably just spend it drinking at the hotel bar while watching whatever game’s on.
You probably should’ve invited him. In fact, you feel bad for not including him but you were pressed for time and your now-wife needed to invite her second-aunt-once-removed and you were tired of fighting.
“Yeah,” you tell him in a guilt-riddled phone call before the wedding day, “Totally just stop by, man. Would be great to see you.” He feels bad he detached himself from the friend group in his mid-20s, and you feel even worse for solidifying that by not inviting him.
Nothing buying him a couple old fashioneds can’t sort out, though.
He just fell off the wagon and you’re not going to blame him for showing face real quick at the reception and getting the hell out of dodge before everyone starts ramping up the drinking. Or he’s got a newborn at home and hasn’t slept in weeks. Either way, you probably won’t see his face, so it’s entirely possible he just never showed up in the first place.
Bachelor Party Only
Zero contact with the bride. None. She probably hates him because of how he acted at previous weddings, or he cheated on her sorority sister in college before dropping out starting a boat cleaning business. He’s unhinged and needs to be treated as such. While in Vegas or Scottsdale, he thrives. But while in the confines of a nice country club, he’ll take the wrong opportunity to grab the mic and/or a bridesmaid’s ass. Classic Brad. .