AdviceSex and Dating

How To Be a Wedding Guest

Updated: Jun 22, 2011 12:19
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Spoiler: Don’t wear crazy upstaging hats.

I’ve already covered the more questionable wardrobe decisions of certain coast areas, but what about the rest of the wedding? I’m sure you’ve all been holding your breath since you asked yourself that question. Well, consider this permission to finally breathe again, like Toni Braxton. I’ve outlined a few tips on what generally works & doesn’t work when you’re trying to be a good wedding guest.

Before I start a few disclaimers: (1) OBVIOUSLLLLYYYY this is based on my experience of being a wedding guest and also having to hear horror stories from friends, but you know, if you were somehow under the impression that this is something other than my opinion, than, frankly, it’s a wonder you learned to read; (2) Many, if not all of these could (and should) vary a bit, depending on how close you are to the person getting married; (3) I am in no way advocating that you should go to a wedding if you really don’t want to/really take issue with the concept of marriage– unfortunately most of the time, a lot of us have to suck it up and go to weddings anyway because you either can’t risk looking like an asshole, or you know, you’re trying to be supportive to your friend (hopefully the case).

1) Honestly think about whether or not you can afford it
If you can’t afford it and you’re not the person’s close friend for 5 million years, just skip it. They won’t miss you, especially if you RSVP on time….which brings me to my next point,

2) RSVP on fucking time, you assholes
Even if you think someone inviting you to their wedding is a huge imposition– now’s kind of your chance to back out. See, if you don’t RSVP in time, then you’re the asshole imposing on their time, planning, and money.

3) Show up on time and don’t walk in right in the middle of the goddamn ceremony like some kind of an animal
I covered this in my last post, but like, I actually saw this happen and still kind of can’t believe it. I mean, it’s bad enough to be late to the ceremony itself, but if you do find yourself in that situation, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, don’t walk in right in the middle. That’s like borderline autistic behavior. Not that autistic people should be equated with animals– but, like, just in terms of lacking a general awareness of others, one can draw a very loose comparison…right? No? Fuck. Am I Lars Von Trier-ing myself right now?

4) Don’t forget to buy wedding gift that isn’t blatantly shitty
I’ve been told that the general rule is that it should be at least $200. $100 if you really on the verge of dying due to poverty– yes, because that’s how fucked up and consumption-based these things are. If you can get away with spending less in a non-obvious way, go for it. You should actually probably buy one regardless of if you’re going to the wedding or not. Sorry, but that’s part of the multi-tentacled/plague-like curse of being anywhere near a wedding. Think of it as investing in bedbug prevention– it’s just something you’re going to have to spend money on to be able to sleep at night. Otherwise, I’m pretty sure you have to fake your own death.

5) Don’t get wasted and make a scene
Yes, wedding receptions are for you to get drunk at, but they’re also not places at which you should ruin people’s  weddings for the rest of their lives. If you have some deep-seated reservations about anything happening with/at the wedding, you should just not get drunk at all, because your feelings will probably come out whether you like it or not and no matter how many lies you tell yourself about your own capabilities of self-repression.

6) Don’t cry
Unless you’re like, related to or very very close to the people getting married, I’m about 99% sure people who cry at weddings are totally full of shit because either: a) they’re trying to draw attention to themselves because they can’t stand one single second of sharing the spotlight, or b) they’re trying to pathetically one-up everyone else in attendance in terms of purported emotional investment.

Photos courtesy of Devdang.

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Anna G - Caliburg Contributor

Anna G - Caliburg Contributor

Anna G. is a Southern California native living in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn since 2005. Anna is constantly trying to unite her love of CA sunshine and the excitement of the New York urban jungle, all the while trying to keep her unwieldy credit card debt under control, and look fabulous at brunch, no matter how un-showered and hungover.


  1. Guestee
    May 23, 2011 at 5:46 pm

     right on, except for the crying. even as the hired photographer who knows the people for 4 hours, i get teary eyed sometimes. Maybe i need to up my meds

  2. Heather
    August 22, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    I can’t believe the advice on a site for broke-asses is to buy a $100-$200 present! That’s insane. Usually people register, and I have never had friends register that didn’t include low price items (under $50) for friends that are broke. Anyone that doesn’t included less expensive presents on their registry is an inconsiderate ass-hat.