Some Do's for Watching Those "I Do's"

by Unplugged Photography
The M.O.G.'s Complete Guide to Being the Perfect Gentleman Wedding Guest 
For those of you out there now in your early 40's or 60's who've found yourself struggling to remember what a sizzling summer as a 20-something was like, allow me to refresh your memory:


Constant, endless, painful, irritating, stressful, hilarious, sometimes beautiful, refrigerator-tipping-over-from-too-many-SavetheDates weddings. Remember now? Sure, by this point in life all of your friends are throwing their third or fifth wedding ceremonies down at the Justice of the Peace with a reception at Applebee's to follow, but its nothing like the month of June in your twenties. I honestly can't think of a single man, woman, or dog I know that has not exchanged vows sometime in the past two years--and there's little chance of it stopping anytime soon.

So what's the modern young gentleman to do to spice things up as he gallivants from one best bro's happily ever after to the next?  Here, I break down 3 (not entirely serious) essential tips to ensure you look your best, have a blast, and become the Life of the Party without stealing the spotlight from the day's special couple.

 1. Fill the Awkward Silence
We've all been there.  The wedding in which you're only slightly acquainted with one-half of the happy couple (usually the groom), but yet you find yourself queued in the obligatory congratulation line along with your excited date awaiting your turn to shoot the bull and offer your unique soliloquy as to why their special day was nothing short of angelic. The moment comes, you congratulate the Half you know and then it's time to switch.  You shake hands, smile, say congrats and both throw your hands in your pockets and glance around while your two ladies chat it up for an eternity.

Wouldn't it be great if you could plan for this moment? I believe you can.  All it takes is a few moments of preparation before the wedding to whip out a custom Love Mix CD.  Then, as the awkwardness is about to strike, reach into your jacket pocket, pull out the CD and slide it into his hands.  "I made you a little something for tonight.  You can thank me later," you say as he fumbles for words at the sight of the ghastly decorated blank CD with red sharpie hearts.  With any luck, it'll stall for just long enough for your ladies to quit talking, and allow you the satisfaction of knowing you're probably the strangest guest he'll talk to all night.  And even if they both laugh about your insanity know curiosity and a CD player will win out eventually.

**Ok, this was the "not entirely serious" part I was talking about.  Maybe just tell him a joke.

2.  Stroll in With A Fat Stack 
 Ok, so you've finally made it back to your table.  You're relaxing, chugging back a cherry limeade punch, and bobbing your head to the beat of the semi-decent DJ while you and your table catch up on old times.

Then, it hits.  The DJ announces the infamous "Money Dance" and the wave of guilt hits your soul like a tsunami into a seawall.

Money? As is CASH? Paper currency...who even carries that stuff around anymore?  The truth is, I've been caught with my pants down far too many times than I'd like to admit in relation to the Money Dance--cowering at my table, ashamed to even make eye contact with the Bride and Groom.  Avoid this whole scenario by just remembering to slip a couple Hamiltons into your wallet before you leave, just in case the dreaded $$$Dance raises its ugly dance-floor shaped head.

TIP FOR THE GROOM: Dude, if you're smart you'll avoid this whole scenario too by investing in one of these bad boys for less than $10.  That way Gramps can just come on over and swipe the trust fund plastic without breaking a sweat. Cha-ching, my friend.

3. And, Of Course, Bring Your Style A-Game
Believe it or not, guys have some pretty harsh rules when it comes to wedding attire.  Black tie, White tie, Black tie Optional, Casual, Evening attire, Afternoon attire, Super Casual (whatever that means)....the list could span an orbit around the sun. So I live by this rule:  "Never be afraid to be the best dressed guy in the room." 

With that said, however, here's a common sense guide to wedding style by order of festivity environment:
  • Beach wedding:   Linen or breathable cotton shirt and trousers; no tie; sandals or no shoes at all
  • Summer wedding outside in a field:  Light-weight sports coat or none at all; chinos; loafers; sunglasses; oxford shirt; cotton tie; stylish straw fedora
  • Afternoon wedding: Light-weight cotton suit sans tie OR Nice jeans with shirt and tie (bow-tie is a nice touch) OR chinos with a vest and tie
  • Evening wedding: Dark suit (gray, black, navy); Tux (if the ceremony calls for it)
For more ideas, check out GQ's advice HERE.

And with that, gentlemen, I leave you to your nonstop summer "vacation."  If your calendar is looking anything like mine, I'm sure you'll be off soon to your next celebration of matrimony (in fact, this weekend is one of the only ones in which I'm not attending a wedding shindig).  Remember to have fun and do so responsibly.  Whatever you do, don't be that wedding guest who blacks out into the punch bowl halfway through the daddy-daughter dance.  Wish all those happy couples well for me, and leave any additional advice you come across in the comments below if you like. 



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