We just got our first summer nuptial invite in the mail yesterday. Break out the suits and the sundresses, because it’s wedding season! Time to get crunk with bffs, cougars and creepy relatives in the most unpretentious and thrilling fashion possible! Here’s some anecdotes and advice to help you navigate the wedding waters with ease.
Once upon a time, we went to our first wedding as an ‘adult’. Let’s use that term loosely.
We had just recently turned 21, and met our dad and a few of our closest friends in the lobby of the RIT Conference Center, which sounds infinitely less romantic than it truly is. Nope, it’s still not very romantic.
We all loaded up on beers prior to taking a seat at our table, and since dinner hour was “dry” (at a wedding? Really?), we ventured up to the hotel room, grabbed about two cases of Labatt for the table and trudged back down to scarf our meal. Totally justified.
Our table-top ended up looking like the night following a frathouse beer pong championship, while the rest of the all-too-Christian guests gave us disapproving glares. Tisk, tisk you heathen brats.
Anyway, we all ended up drinking even more following the dinner hour, and by the end of the evening, we were pretty much doing the Chicken Dance during the Electric Slide. Whatever. We’re white. It all kinda looks like an epileptic doing The Robot.
Oh, and there was also this whole sister-of-the-bride “Did I really just take her out into the courtyard and do that?” moment that we’re not sure if it truly happened or not. Let’s say it did. Yeah … we’re so pimp.
Now, is that the proper way to go about making merry on someone else’s biggest day of their life to that point? Hell to the yeah. But, let’s assume you’re not us. (And really, why aren’t you?) How, and what should you drink?
Here’s our basic ground rules.
1 & 1A. UNDER ABSOLUTELY NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU DRIVE. I can’t stress this enough. It’s an open bar. If ever there was a moment where “only getting a light buzz” were totally unadvised, it’s during situations where drinks are free. FREE! Trust us. You do not want to have to monitor your drinking on a night when its on someone else’s dime. There’s a reason the bridal party shells out all that hard-earned income for this big day. They want you to drink it. Give them their money’s worth! Car pool! Take a cab home! Slash your own tires (and everyone else’s)!
2. GET BLITZED, BUT DO NOT WIN THE ACADEMY AWARD FOR “OUTSTANDING DRUNKEN PERFORMANCE AT A FORMAL FUNCTION.” This is crucial. Pick out someone at the wedding who you know, or strongly suspect, is a raging alcoholic and will probably do foolish things like sucker-punch the catering staff or sloppy-kiss the mother of the bride. Give them a two-drink headstart, then start your liver. You’ll get a fabulous buzz on while flying under the unwelcome radar of those chaperon-ish types who monitor and document the whole affair for posterity and embarrassing and/or lamenting folks at a later date. Don’t seek the spotlight; just be casual and upbeat.
3. YOU MAY DRINK BEER AT A WEDDING. A lot of people won’t drink beer. They’ll drink industrial-sized quantities of wine, or champagne, or cosmos or Long Island Ice Teas. These people are imbeciles. You want to pace yourself, and you don’t want to wake up with the shakes or a hangover that feels like you’ve spent the last 12 hours at a GirlTalk concert. If beer is your drink of choice, stick with it. And ask what their premium beer selections are. You’re a classy individual at a classy affair. Better to be comfortable than, well, sick.
4. DO NOT DRINK ANGRY/SAD/LONELY. If you bring a date, and you get into an argument, cut yourself off. If you didn’t bring a date, and you’re the only single person within a six-table radius, and you’re steaming with boredom, cut yourself off. Didn’t catch the bouquet and now you’re realizing you’re already 28 and settling into a ‘career-centric’ life? Cut yourself off. You don’t want to be that guest. And you know who that guest is. Thank the bride and groom for a lovely evening, and duck out an hour early. Go read a book or meet some friends out after. (And get as drunk as you want, then.)
4A. As a side note, GENTLEMEN, don’t bring a girl you hardly know but are looking to start something romantic with. This is not an ideal spot for testing those shark-infested waters. You could end up lacking chemistry and watching it ruin your memory of what’s supposed to be one hell of a happy day. Bring a close friend who’s easy-going and a helluva good time. Bonus points if she’s attractive. A little eye-candy to wow the other guests and make them jealous never hurt nobody. And if you get wasted and rail each other till the break-a-dawn, at least it ain’t awkward until the morning after.
5. STOP TAKING SO MANY DAMN PICTURES. Holy Christ. You’re not getting married. When I see the album “Brad & Amy’s Wedding 2010” and 137 new photos have been added, and the creator of the Flickr isn’t Brad or Amy, nor are Brad or Amy tagged in any photos, and the subjects of the portraits descend deeper and deeper into drunken delirium (LOOK AT ME DANCING AND DOUBLE-FISTING IN HEELS!) … well, your own tangential association with someone else’s incredible happiest-day-of-their-lives is interesting to no one except you, and even you will probably only scroll through the filmstrip once. Put the Nikon down, and start enjoying yourself. This isn’t Paris or the Pyramids … this is you spilling on yourself at a country club. You’ll do it again soon, promise.
It’s wedding season. Go and do likewise, gentlemen. A B C. Always Be Canoodling.
– Originally posted (in more concise form) 2009.05.01 at The Love of Beer