It’s here: Wedding Season. Every year it comes around and every year, despite being inundated with “Save the Date” magnets six months before, I always feel like it’s out of the blue. I’m guessing you feel the same way.
You can’t convince all your friends to elope, though you might like to. And frankly, it’s too late for the friends and family who are getting hitched this season. Because we are always looking out for you, our dear readers, we’ve come up with some ways to help you survive the onslaught of nuptials, whether you are a guest or an honored member of the wedding party (or worse…the bride and/or groom).
Know What You’re Getting Into
Let’s face it, folks, weddings are a bit ridiculous. Thanks to shows like “Bridezilla” and “Platinum Weddings” they’re only going to get more out of the control. We hope, for your sake, that you aren’t in a wedding party the size of a soccer team, being physically abused by a bride, or getting sucked into being a guest at some lavish extravaganza where your hosts expect you to empty your life savings to buy them a gift.
But like it or not, somewhere along the line, this little thing called “wedding etiquette” developed. If you’re the Anti-Couric, you spend a lot of time lamenting it and boring your friends with tirades about how none of it makes sense. If you’re a normal human being (like me) you accept that it exists and move on.
Much of the “etiquette” pertains to the wedding party. If you’re a groomsman, know you’re going to have to plan a bachelor party or stag. If you’re a bridesmaid, it’s a shower and bachelorette and dress fittings. There’s a bunch of other obscure shit you may be expected to do as well, so please remember to consult the internet.
You are also there to be a support–so if you don’t feel like hearing about centerpieces, menu choices and registries, don’t sign up…or make sure there’s another bridesmaid who will be that person and you, like the Anti-Couric, can be the comic relief. (Me, I do events for a living so favors and seating charts are my life anyway…all you brides-to-be should ask me to be in your wedding). Otherwise, be prepared to listen and support but not give too strong of an opinion ’cause it’s not your day.
Guys, if you don’t want to hear your buddy bitching about his fiancee talking about the above mentioned things…well, shit. Just swig your beer and let him say whatever. You’re guys…sooner or later you’ll just get to the “one vagina for the rest of my life” talk.
Whether you are a guest or a part of the wedding party, you’re sharing something special with people who are hopefully special to you and remember that as you’re shopping for gifts and driving 2 hours at 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning to make a 9:30 a.m. ceremony. If you’re just going out of obligation, at least you’re getting a free meal. Which brings me to yet another pet peeve of our beloved resident grouch…
In recent years the consensus on wedding gifts seems to have become that your gift should cover the price of your dinner at the wedding. This makes the Anti-Couric irate because, as she so eloquently puts it: “Just because someone decided they had a bunch of money to throw at a wedding doesn’t mean I suddenly started crapping $2o bills.” Well, lucky for her, etiquette experts and SmartMoney agree. Your gift should be based on your relationship to the bride and groom, where it is located, and what you can afford.
Here, we would like to take a moment to talk to the brides and grooms out there. Chances are, in this day and age, you’re shacked up and have most of the basics. Many couples in your situation are opting not to register for gifts, and we here at The CuT thinks that’s smart. If you don’t register, people will most likely just give you money — which will replenish your bank account if you helped pay for the wedding, or allow you to do some cool stuff on the honeymoon. If you feel that’s a bit uncouth but still don’t want a kitchen full of stuff you won’t use, think about a website like Traveler’s Joy where you can actually register for your honeymoon. So, instead of giving you 36 places setting, Granny can pay for you to go parasailing in Turks and Caicos or just chip in toward your plane tickets.
A wedding is never just a wedding…there’s going to be stuff like showers, bachelor parties, Jack-n-Jills, etc. Don’t be the cheapskate friend who didn’t give a gift or come to a shindig because you didn’t put a few bucks aside for it. You don’t have to buy the $300 KitchenAid or even the $200 garbage can from Crate and Barrel, but be sure you’ve got it in your bank account to get them something or write a check without having to eat Ramen. (Chances are, unless you’re the Anti-Couric, you’re going to get married some day and you wouldn’t want to be hosed in the same way.)
However, don’t forgo a wedding because you can’t afford a big, fancy gift. Missing some one’s wedding will, 9 times out of 10, change your friendship. Which hey, maybe you want, but if you don’t, just get creative. If your bride and groom complain about a thoughtful (possibly inexpensive) gift, tell them to suck it. Who wants to be friends with that couple anyway?
If you’re in the wedding party, your expenses are going to be more substantial, so know what you are getting yourself into before accepting. If you can’t afford it, be honest and upfront ahead of time. If you accept, start saving. Depending on who you believe, you may or may not be expected to give a gift. We advise erring on the side of “may” but it’s certainly something to keep in mind when you’re putting on your $200 taffeta dress, or esophagus crushing bow-tie.
Brides and grooms, your budget will be a nightmare. Whether you’re paying for the whole thing, or you’ve got rich parents willing to shell out the dough…nothing will be easy. If you want a DJ, your mom who is paying for the reception will want a Jazz Quartet. That’s just how it goes. We would like to encourage you to elope and avoid all these headaches, but if you’re going to be stubborn then you should know what’s important to you. If the music is important but the color scheme is not, then let Mama-Warbucks have her way with the colors, and fight for your DJ. And, please, don’t forget that you’re supposed to be starting a life together… even the most amazing wedding isn’t worth flushing your financial future down the toilet.
Have a Plan
Make sure you have a wedding buddy. If you can bring a date, make sure it’s someone fun that you don’t have to babysit… if that means leaving your boyfriend at home, we’re all for it. It’s more fun to go to a wedding with a friend you can make fun of Uncle Marvin’s toupee with than some hot piece of ass that will probably be bored and boring and not put out at the end anyway.
The Gay Guru suggests the GBF (gay best-friend) for any single gal…and I heartily agree. As we all know, many unstable single girls are only two drinks away from the “Why not me?!” sobfest and the GBF is the best person to pour drinks 3, 4, and 5 down her throat and keep her distracted with by dancing up a storm. A GBF also makes an excellent wingman and can help increase your cahnces of banging the hot best man. If you don’t have one of your own, we will lend the Guru to you. For a fee.
If you can’t bring a date, chat with a couple friends you know are going. Make sure you’re all working from the same game plan, like, coordinate what time you are arriving so you can sit with them during the snoozefest Mass. If it’s a wedding where people may stay over at a hotel, make a plan for that…or else they’ll all be at a hotel down the street after-partying and you’ll be at the HoJo with the crowd that takes their teeth out at night.
If you know the bride or groom’s extended family and don’t feel comfortable interacting with them while drunk off your ass, make a point to get the pleasantries over with before your fourth G&T. That’s common sense, but I myself have been so excited for the open bar that I’ve forgotten this important order of tasks. While we’re on the subject: We believe all weddings should be open bar. It seems cruel to force people to do silly dances, and eat catered food without allowing them to drink excessively for free. But not everyone sees it our way so do your homework. If it’s not open bar, or worse yet, it’s a dry wedding, you may want to sneak in a flask. (Brides and grooms, be warned — without plentiful booze your wedding is sure to be known as a dud for years to come. Don’t be that couple.)
Oh, and this is just for your own comfort–ladies, bring some flipflops. Your feet are going to start making you hobble after an hour of shaking your ass. To avoid a) annoying everyone around you with your bitching and b) breaking your face, throw a pair in your purse.
Weddings are an industry these days. It’s hard to create something truly special and memorable when you’ve got a million rules to follow, and you’re more worried about not offending your great aunt than having the wedding you want. As you embark upon this wedding season we hope at least one of them is memorable–and if you’re getting married, we hope it’s yours–and that sitting through your second cousin’s third wedding doesn’t drive you to suicide. But if you’re sitting in a bathroom stall wondering how you’re going to escape without having to dance with Great Uncle Herb, we hope you’ve got an iPhone and can reach out to us for advice!