Wedding season can be fun, but it can also be a huge pain in the ass. Luckily, there are ways that you can survive this season without going broke, dying of heat exhaustion when your bro decides to get married in an outdoor ceremony in Jamaica in June, or without getting cornered by some horny grandma during the reception.
Sure, in some respects it’s just a huge party, and who doesn’t love a party? But, unlike ‘Nam, these are parties with rules, and if you don’t want to have all of the aforementioned tragedies befall you or become a social pariah, here are some things that every bro needs to know to survive wedding season.
Look, I don’t want to come across like an alcoholic right away here, but no matter what lies you were told as a kid, there are some social situations where you need that sweet, sweet crutch, and a wedding is one of them. Weddings can be a lot of fun, don’t get it twisted, but the reason weddings can be a lot of fun is they are excuses to get debauched while still pretending to be classy. Those opportunities don’t come along every day. Take away the alcohol, and you’re basically at a stuffy cocktail party minus the cocktails and plus grandparents. In one scenario, you have a good time and maybe even take a run at a bridesmaid or two. In the other, you get stuck talking stock tips with Uncle Morty and promising to play golf at 7AM the next morning to discuss “your future.” Fuck that, give me the bottle.
Don’t get hamstrung by a date. Look, I understand this probably isn’t feasible if you’re already in a relationship – unless you get really, really creative, I guess – but if you’re single, you don’t want to spend every weekend of wedding season tied down to a “friend” you just invited because you didn’t want to look like a loser or because you’re too afraid of being alone for five minutes. I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but weddings are a goddamn carnival of single ladies ready to ride all the rides. Why blow that up right away? Sure, you run the risk of jerking off in the bathroom of your hotel room all alone at 3AM, but don’t front, you were going to do that anyway.
You want to look nice. Let’s get that out of the way. What you don’t want is to dress in something so heavy that you end up sweating like a priest surrounded by altar boys. That’s not a good look. No one is going to be impressed by the dude with fucking pit stains and a melting forehead no matter how expensive your suit is. Just remember, you’re probably going to be drinking and dancing and the room is going to be crowded. You need to make sure you’ve got a good under-the-suit game going or it’s going to be a long, miserable night.
I know you’re too cool for this, but… you’re not. Okay? You’re not. Too many dudes like to fancy themselves the quiet, cool sorts who think they can just hang back and develop a “mystique” by not dancing. “They’ll all come to me,” they think. This is a mistake, and is sad. You might as well wear a fedora and call everyone “m’lady” because you just look like a weird dork. Loosen up and fucking dance. Even if you don’t know how, it will show that you are relaxed and willing to have a good time. It’s charming, especially if you suck. It’s a wedding, no one’s looking for you to be Channing Tatum in Step Up. They just want to see you do the Chicken Dance with grandma so they can go “awwwwww…”
Don’t Stress About the Gift
If you’re going to a lot of weddings this season, the last thing you want to get stuck doing is buying expensive gifts over and over again. I mean, no one wants to have to donate blood (or other liquids…) just so they can afford to both eat and buy their third cousin some ridiculous dinner set they’ll never use. But here’s the thing about weddings: no one really gives a shit what you buy. Just think about it. The bride and groom have so much shit going on, that the wedding gifts are basically an afterthought, and then when they finally do get to them, there are so many of them that it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. You don’t need to impress anyone. Just be that guy who lets his shitty little gift get caught in the shuffle. Sure, it’s kind of cowardly, but it’s a war out there, and every man must do what he can to survive.
Work the Room
Talk to people, make new friends. Hell, make new temporary girlfriends. This is the whole point. Don’t just sit there at your table like the lonely dork at a junior high dance and drink while everyone else has a good time. But you’ve got to keep it light, keep it casual, and stick and move like Muhammad Ali. No one wants to have an in-depth discussion about politics at a wedding, and you do not want to find yourself cornered by your bro’s grandma who smells like she’s already half embalmed. Make yourself available, but don’t get pinned down. That’s how the enemy gets you.
Don’t Try So Hard
You want to drink, you want to dance and you want to socialize, but you don’t want to be That Dude. You know the dude I’m talking about. This is not a movie and people won’t think you’re charming and fun. They’ll just think you’re fucking weird and don’t have any sense of boundaries. You don’t need to be the center of attention, and while you may think that being “Fun Wedding Guy” is the ultimate bro move, the reality is that everyone is just going to see you as the loud, obnoxious asshole who got handsy with great-grandma and cussed out the priest. That’s never a good look.
You’re damn right I’m hitting this one twice. Look, a lot of people would take this moment to tell you to drink responsibly, but I won’t do that. No one is going to care if you get blasted. Hell, the groom is going to be fucked up by the end of the night, leaning on his bros in the bathroom and stumbling towards his new bride like a zombie. They won’t even notice you. The grandparents will be half in the bag. The goddamn priest will be slurring his words and telling lewd jokes that make everyone uncomfortable. You’re expected to get fucked up at a wedding. The key is to just go with the flow and have a good time. This way you don’t have to try, the alcohol just does it for you, like magic. Alcohol is the real “Fun Wedding Guy,” and don’t you ever forget it. You’re just lucky he takes you along for the ride.
Wet bride image by Shutterstock