I’ve been with my husband, Dave,for just over eight years, and we’ve been married for a year. So we have a lot of “couple friends,” but he also has a core group of five or six close friends that he’s known since he was a kid. We all get along fairly well — there isn’t anyone I actively avoid when I hang out with his friends — but there is one thing that bugs me: every single time we get together, the same damn thing happens. A game or two of darts, a few hours playing cards, and a lot of drinking.
And that’s pretty much it. There’s no going out, and nothing happens that doesn’t involve alcohol. Which, of course, is behavior that transfers over to all of their weddings . Rather than respecting the reason for actually coming together to celebrate, it feels like they view it as an excuse to get really, really drunk.
The first sign is the ceremony. I’ve never been to weddings that have such short ceremonies — most of the time it’s literally five minutes, maybe ten, from the time the groomsmen line up to the newly-hitched couple strolling down the aisle hand-in-hand. You won’t find special music being played here, or a heartfelt poem being read, or even many vows being said. By the time the ceremony is over, I often feel like I’ve suffered a case of whiplash. I mean, I just sat down. I’m not saying you need to go on for hours professing your undying love for each other in every way possible, just in case one might be cool enough to go viral on social media. But I’d like to walk away feeling like I’ve witnessed a profound, important moment between two people. Instead, it’s more like, “Okay, let’s get this over with so we can get to the good stuff.”
As soon as cocktail hour starts, it quickly turns into drunken debauchery. It’s almost like they’re playing a game of who can get wasted the fastest, or who can be the most far gone so that if a hotel room isn’t booked, they don’t have to be the DD. (Spoiler alert: Guess who usually ends up driving?) And listen, I’m not here to be a party pooper. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a good time, or even that you should be stone-cold sober. Weddings are a time to celebrate and reunite with people you may not have seen in a while, reminisce over the good times, and create new memories together. And there’s an open bar at weddings for a reason. But come on — we’re not in college anymore. You don’t have to “get your money’s worth” at an open bar — a drink or two really is fine — and stories don’t have to always start with, “Haha, remember that time I got so wasted that I blacked out and you guys told me I did [fill in the blank with some crazy action here]?!”
And that’s really the sticking point. We’re not in college anymore. We’re adults and, while it’s definitely freeing to not act like one every once in a while, that let-the-shit-hit-the-fan type of behavior doesn’t need to come out every time someone slides a ring onto another’s finger. Because remember, we’re at a wedding. Not a frat party.
Because remember, we’re at a wedding. Not a frat party.
At the end of the day, it makes me feel like they don’t respect the purpose of our coming together. I mean, some of these people have worn jeans to a wedding, and it’s struggle-city trying to get them to wear a dress shirt with those jeans. Invite them to a black-tie affair? Pssh. Expect a “we regretfully cannot make it” RSVP. I’m not saying you have to be dressed to the nines, but a wedding is supposed to be one of the best days of someone’s life. If you’re invited to celebrate in that, sue me for thinking that sanctity calls for attire that’s slightly nicer than what you’d wear on a random Friday out at the bar. And I pinky promise that if you wear a suit — or, god forbid, a tuxedo — you will not immediately burst into flames.
That said, I do love weddings, so I always try to go in with an open mind and say, “We’re gonna have a good time.” And I love that my husband isn’t always getting in on these drunken debacles, and that I don’t have to tell him to pack a suit when we’re choosing our outfits. It’s one of the things that set him apart from his group of friends when we first met — he didn’t make me feel like he was a child that needed to be taken care of. He’s a man, and he knows how to act like one.
And I’m not saying we don’t have a good time when we go to these weddings. In fact, I haven’t left a recent one feeling absolutely miserable. In addition, I genuinely enjoy the company of a lot of these people, so it’s always nice to catch up on each other’s lives before busting some moves out on the dance floor together. I just wish that they could catch the garter — and actually remember doing so the next day.
What it really boils down to is recognizing what you’re really there for…and it’s not the open bar. It’s time to be an adult, and if there’s ever a time to prove you are one, it’s at a wedding.