Every collegiette remembers her first time seeing a classmate’s engagement announcement on Facebook. As we move towards graduation and beyond, many of us are faced with the potentially terrifying task of attending a peer’s wedding. It’s no longer an aunt or your former babysitter - things just got real. Compiled here are tips for understanding the invitation, dressing appropriately, keeping a positive attitude, and ultimately conquering the social behemoth that is your first “real” wedding.
My own matrimonial revelation came this past semester. As I scrolled through my newsfeed during a Finals Week procrastination session, the picture of an engagement ring and the words “WE’RE GETTIN HITCHED” suddenly appeared on my computer screen.
I'm sorry, what?
Who were these happily “hitched” adults and what had they done with my friends? A mix of jealousy, inadequacy, and rom-com-level sappiness washed over my sleep-deprived brain and I promptly burst into tears. After spending the next hour hiccupping Vitamin C lyrics to my roommates, I finally accepted the fact that we are young adults - with a growing emphasis on the “adult” part. Shoulders back and head held high, I decided that if there was a way to "win" as a wedding guest, I would be on the awards podium with a gold medal. Thanks to HC’s breakdown of everything you need to know before your friend’s big day, you can be, too.
Their formal language and font can strike fear in the bravest of hearts, but despite their flowery shells, invitations are both harmless and informative, providing the essentials for acing a wedding.
An invitation will either contain a separate card for the reception or will have the reception information included alongside the ceremony details. Oftentimes, there will be a date provided by which you should RSVP. Do both yourself and the bride’s family a favor and answer immediately, or as soon as you are able to. You do not want the bride’s mother calling your house and asking plaintively why they never heard from you. Ultra-embarrassing, so not adult-like, and, all joking aside, inconsiderate. RSVPs allow the couple to calculate the amount of food, place cards, wedding favors, and chairs to order in addition to allowing them to construct the seating arrangements. Bottom line: respond promptly.
With a rough economy and looming student loans, the concept of a “plus one” for single guests is becoming increasingly rare. If it isn’t explicitly stated on the invitation, meaning either "[Your Name] and Guest" on the envelope or simply "Plus One" on the reception card, it isn’t an option. Don’t fret - as Tristan Coopersmith, love-life guru, points out, this means there will be a contingent of unattached guests looking for dance partners and impromptu dinner dates. Coopersmith suggests the following pick-up line, applicable to 100% of the reception’s population: “How do you know the bride or groom?”