10 Reasons that It is Better to Just be a Wedding Guest

by - Thursday, October 17, 2013

I love weddings. I get that there is a prominent narrative now about it being a big narcissistic stage show, and  I have been to/in that wedding more than once. But I still love going to weddings, because to me it is all about people convening to be excited for somebody they really care about.

Weddings and graduations, to me, are exactly the same- the work is done, the transition is already over, but it gives everyone the opportunity to celebrate and share in the change. It is always genuinely great to be invited to be at/in someone's wedding, because I like when good things happen to people. Also, it is better than graduations, because there are dresses and dancing and alcohol to make things entertainingly odd. This weekend, I went to the first wedding I've been to after my own, and it was awesome, and here is why: 

10. You get to be surprised- The best things about weddings aren't the things you can count on (let's face it, many of the traditions are stupid) but about the million ways these same formulas can be nuanced and the weird ways those changes best reflect the couple. It is just like hearing a hundred different musicians play the same song. Sure, you could get annoyed with the familiarity of the tune, or you can enjoy all the twists people put on it. Once you have put on a wedding, you get to be really impressed with people's decisions and ideas, because you appreciate that it was probably intentional. On a similar point...
9. If cocktail hour is long, boring, and brideless, it is not your fault- Bwahaha. You have committed your whole day to this event. If it is perfect or chaos, you will spend exactly one day on the event. Because of this, you get to just enjoy whatever highs and lows the day brings. When you are the bride, you really worry about the slightest lull or gap or disaster. Once you are a guest, it is just an opportunity to make small talk or to steal the last of the cannolis. Being a guest reminds you that everyone is in charge of their own good time in a way that is impossible to feel when you authored the party.

8. You can just show up- This is the night before Jenny's wedding. We just had a low key bonfire in my dad's backyard. The morning of The Boy's oldest brother's wedding, I am pretty sure we went to Denny's. There is something heavenly about not having to primp or decorate or all the other things that come up on the agenda, and in general I love those things (except for hair salons and nails.. I just do not see the fun in that). I love putting on a good party, but it sure is easier to just go.
7. No one takes my camera away from me- For serious, I feel lost without it, because my camera reminds me of how to prioritize and value my own time. I missed it on my wedding day, and I am so happy to shoot away at other people's weddings, even if the pictures are never very good.

6.You get to meet people who are important in your loved ones lives-We loved Princess Hess's wedding. It ranks at the very top of all weddings I have attended in my life. One of the highlights was meeting her more extended family, because they were all so warm and hilarious. Her grandpa cracked us up, and then we got to hear him use the same material on the next table of guests. Nothing beats getting a more well-rounded vision of who your friend is and what their life looks like. It is also neat and encouraging just to see how loved they are.
5.You don't have to clean up- Very often, we still do. But if we didn't, no one could judge us.

4. Wedding dresses are heavy!- Corinne looked beautiful, but I was not jealous of the task of looking pretty, perfect, and pristinely white all evening. Wedding dresses really can be a pain, because the train doesn't work, the veil is too heavy, your skirt is filled with bugs, etc. I loved having the experience once, but I am thankful everybody doesn't have to wear veils at these things.

3.You get to hang out with your people the whole time- Mingle only as much as you want! Odds are, if you aren't in the wedding, you probably only know a quarter of the guests at the wedding (exceptions for general small town connectedness). I love this, because we can focus on who we came with and who is at our table. This becomes one of the most fun parts of the wedding, and you never feel torn or neglectful. If you are shy, like I am, than this offers you plenty of time wih the people you care about, and meeting strangers that you probably won't ever remember. The Boy's family is a big clique, and I love that, and weddings offer the opportunity to really hang with your clique.
2. If you don't know someone, that's just fine-You are not required to bond with anyone, though I would keep an eye on anyone who shows up in a jean skirt, because odds are good they will be peeing in the parking lot by the end of the night.

1. It isn't the "most important day of your life"- Do I actually think your wedding day is ever the most important/ best day of your life? Blech, I hope not. I personally believe the best day of my life will involve much less poise and public displays of affection. Even when it was my wedding day, I didn't think it was the best day of my life, but people tell you it is. Over and over and over. Many people treat this day like the culmination of everything you have ever done, romantic or otherwise, so it damn well better be good. You know what is great about being a wedding guest? You can just have fun. It doesn't have to mean volumes, so you can just watch and take pictures and dance like an idiot. You aren't offending anyone, because seriously, who cares about you anyway. I love it.

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