Like most people of certain age, weddings take up a pretty satin swath of my social calendar -- especially during the summer. Friends, Romans, countrymen, they're all getting hitched on this side of 30 and I always have a front row ticket to the action. Because everybody and their closeted cousin knows I'm the best wedding guest point blank period.
Don't believe me? Take Exhibit A: Last weekend I nearly killed myself trying to keep up with my friend the bride's 67-year-old aunt on the dance floor. Why? Because I refused to go down. This woman was not going to out-salsa me. I mean, in the end she did. But I considered my pulsating bunions a badge of honor.
"If we stop dancing we'll die. Don't. Sit. Down," my boyfiend yelled over the live drum beats blasting in the background. And I didn't. Not until the lights came on and the bride herself was slinking off the dance floor. We were champions that night.
Add to that the fact that I met pretty much every guest there (even the ones who couldn't have cared less about how I met the bride), took a little girl who fell in love with me to the bathroom after we jumped to three songs, ate as many plates of mofongo my stomach could handle and flirted with somebody's great grandfather for like 20 minutes.
See I LOVE weddings. Whether I'm at the singles table, the kids' table or way in the back where the cousins who just got out of jail sit, I'm gonna act as if your wedding is the only one I've ever been to. Which is a lie because I've been to a billion weddings.
The mix between ceremony, booze, 70s disco and, of course, love always gets me high. How can you not be happy after a night like that? I'm still riding the edorphins of the last union I celebrated. Everything's brighter. Everything's sweeter. And life outside of the reception hall just ain't as shiny.
I figure most of you will witness the joining of two consenting adults sometime in the near future. If you need a quick guide on how to not be a wall flower who never gets invited to another sacred throwdown again, then follow these three easy peasy steps to the open bar.
Get All Middle School On They Ass
Nothing says, "We're having fun," like a freak line -- remember those? Or the Kid N' Play, the Butterfly and its slightly off sister the Tootsee Roll. Wedding's aren't about waltz-ing. At least not the one's I get invited to. It's time to let your hair down and drop it like it's 1996. Extra points if you kick-start the Electric Slide or the Cuban Shuffle.
Let The Old Guy Buy You A Drink...Then Hit The Dance Flo'
Okay so this is my uncle Willie, not just some rando old guy. But I'm sure he was "the rando old guy" to some other girl at this wedding and like me, she let him buy her a drink. This man knew how to get the party started. Three months after this picture was taken, at yet another cousin's wedding, he stripped down to his undershirt and started twirling his suit jacket over his head like a pro, yelling, "It's my neice's wedding, gotdammit!" Seriously, the fact that he's no longer here to lovingly embarass me with the same Wild Turkey abandon makes me really really sad.
Catch That Bouquet or Die Trying
In my entire wedding guest career, I have yet to catch the bouquet hurled at all the sad single girls somewhere near the end of the night when everyone's too drunk to care how cool they don't look. But that doesn't mean I haven't tried. Weddings are all about tradition, some of them insanely cheesy and some of them really smart (money dance anyone?). They make people feel like the gigantor leap they're taking has roots, some foundation. So if chucking a cluster of flowers at me makes the bride feel better, than by golly paint a target on my forehead.
I've got a ton more rules of engagement, like drinking a glass of water with every glass of alcohol and saying, "You look amazing" at least three times for good luck. But these three will get you through a reception with minimal awkward moments. Tell me your wedding do's and dont's and hopefully I can implement them at Emily's throwdown (HINT!).