The do’s and don’ts of matrimonial ceremonies


There inevitably comes a time in every woman’s summer when, regardless of her early-spring due diligence (pre-emptive save-the-dates, developing carpel tunnel, etc.) she finds herself at the wedding she swore she wouldn’t attend.

Nine times out of ten, it will be on a holiday weekend. Eight times out of ten, plus-ones won’t be permitted. Seven times out of ten it will involve a confusing dress code, and ten times out of ten, guests will have to pretend that there is nowhere in the world they would rather be than sweating on a rented chair while watching bridesmaids hike up their strapless chiffon dresses and clapping as two people change their official Facebook status IRL.

But with adulthood comes great responsibility, i.e., acting polite in social settings. In layman terms this is known as “sucking it up.” In lay-man repeller terms, it’s also known as “sucking it up,” but comes packed with a guide of do’s, don’ts, and survival how-to’s:

Do: Practice your fake-cry beforehand

Learning to gently cry on command will help you to appear emotionally invested in your twice-removed-family-member’s happiness and will cause guests to make such comments as, “She is just the most empathetic and kind human being I have ever known,” and “Wow, I’ve never seen such a pretty crier before.” The day isn’t about you, but little moments can be.

Do not: Wear waterproof mascara

Streaks equal drama. (But snot means you’ve gone overboard, calm down.)

Do: Pack an adult Lunchable 

There is nothing worse than realizing you are hungry at the beginning of a wedding ceremony. Actually, realizing you have to pee is worse, but potential hunger is easier to take a preemptive strike on. Choose a clutch that is large enough to fit a granola bar, a flask (although these can be strapped to your prosthetic or real leg), and a to-go slice of cake post-reception.

Do not: Forget there is a slice of post-reception cake in your clutch.

It’s fun when you make a cake discovery at 4 AM. It is not so fun two weeks later.

Do: Creatively eschew the plus-zero rule

Being denied a plus one can be devastating to those with separation anxiety or anti-new-friendship policies (see: Drake). To get around this, wear a skirt long enough to host at least one friend. I’d suggest cotton, so that they can breathe.

Do not: Subject your hidden guest to the actual ceremony

Or the boring “cocktail hour” (which is wedding-code for “what the fuck are the bride and groom doing that takes an hour for them to arrive at the reception?”). ONLY bring your guest to the party. A dance floor is typically the less awkward scenario for a human to crawl out of your skirt.

Do: Find alternates to throwing rice

I like glitter. Or sand.

Do not: abide by the “one year to get a gift” rule

You will never, ever, remember to get the couple a gift if you don’t bring it to the wedding, and mark my word, they are keeping track. “John, that’s so strange. We got everything on our list except the paella pan.” “That’s because Amelia is a life ruiner.”

Note: this is a creative and cheap (though not fail-proof) way to not get invited to other weddings. If you’re avoiding one on Labor Day, DO abide by the above rule and then start a rumor about yourself and your lack of gift giving.

Do: Dance with a family member of the bride or groom

It’s undeniably charming and a surefire way to get in the wedding album.

Do not: Publicly dance-floor-make-out with a family member of the bride or groom

Even though it’s also undeniably charming and a surefire way to get in the wedding album…it’s just not good etiquette.

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