By Tammy Winslow
Not only is a wedding a celebration of two people’s love for one another, a wedding can also be a reunion — a ridiculous reunion of old college friends and long-distance family members who come together to, well, party. Every bride and groom wants their guests to have a good time, but what constitutes a good time can be subjective. And in other words, what constitutes an appropriate time, can also be subjective.
Sure, this wedding is an event for dressing up, indulging in good food, drinking champagne and dancing. But it’s not spring break. This is a party with grandmas and aunts — not drunk college girls in bikinis with beads around their neck. Ladies, also remember that you don’t want to be known as the two drunken bridesmaids who passed out in the bathroom with your dresses over your heads. Approach the event with grace and poise so you’re not desperately employing Reputation.com after you see embarrassing photos and videos of yourself scattered across social media. Avoid regretfully ruining your loved one’s wedding by following this etiquette guide of do’s and don’ts.
So you’re the one childhood friend who lives out of town and feeling like a bit of an outsider. The rest of the girls are laughing over college stories, and they all seem like long-lost soul sisters. Try to channel your social discomfort into positive energy and remember that you’re supporting your friend who’s getting married. Do you best to avoid being a recluse and make an effort to get along with everyone.
Don’t: Steal Focus
At minimum, you’ve got a rehearsal dinner, ceremony and reception to attend. Though you may usually be the life of the party, this day is not about you. Let the bride shine in her designer duds and stick with a more sedate dress — something appropriate but not over-the-top. Have fun on the dance floor, but don’t be the one to break up the first dance to get the party started.
Do: Drink Moderately
Dear groomsman, please wait until you get that green light during the reception to hit the bar hard. That green light varies from wedding to wedding, but you shouldn’t be slurring your words before the sun sets. Even if shots were served during pictures post-ceremony or bottles were popped in the limo, do try to keep your composure on your way to the hall for cocktail hour. Make sure you’re still in the sober zone during important wedding moments like toasts, the first dance, and cutting the cake. You’ll know it’s time to stroll over to the bar when the DJ starts playing, for instance.
Don’t: Hook Up
The phrase “hooking up” is loosely defined, but in this context, hooking up includes anything related to heavily hitting on the too-young second cousin, dancing with a groomsman like you’re in a club in Mexico, or making out with a bridesmaid in the lobby outside the restrooms. Yes, a wedding may just be the romantic event that brings two soulmates together, and if you’re a single girl who meets a nice guy, then sure, go for it. Just remember that table in the corner topped with wedding gifts isn’t a mechanical bull. That cake and dessert table isn’t a pole. This is a wedding. Not a bar or strip club.
As a wedding rule of thumb, don’t make up your own rules. If you know this is a crowd to let loose with, then okay, take advantage of the bar and break it down on the dance floor. If it’s a more intimate, outdoor ceremony, don’t go wild or insist on doing the Harlem Shake. Most importantly, let the bride and groom shine by not stealing the spotlight with unruly or eyebrow-raising behavior.
Cover photo from Flickr user reegmo.
Tammy Winslow is a mom and freelance writer happily living in Phoenix.