Q: A few weeks ago, I attended a wedding and let’s just say… I kind of fell apart. I’m under a lot of stress at work and in my personal life, and against my better judgment, I let the wedding (specifically: the open bar) become an excuse to get wasted.
I didn’t go into the party planning to heavily imbibe… it just happened. But it turns out that I made a bit of a scene, accidentally knocked into decor, and… mildly verbally harassed a few of the male guests.
What’s done is done, and I know that, but how can I make this up to the couple?
A: It’s easy to complain about badly behaved brides. We have a whole special word for them, which I refuse to use. But the truth is, anyone can behave poorly at a wedding. After all, as Dumbledore says, “Sadly, accidental rudeness occurs alarmingly often.” And I think we can all agree to respect Dumbledore as an etiquette expert. Since ideally we are all only attending weddings of people we, at a minimum, do not actively hate, maybe you’d like a way to make it right when you screw up.
I’m Team Never Drinks The Water Makes You Order French Champagne all the way at a wedding. I don’t think weddings require perfect sobriety, and one drunk guest really isn’t ruining the night. But it is certainly possible to cross the line. Do not show up already tipsy to the ceremony. Do not pass out at the reception; do not get sick; do not fall in a way that requires medical attention. Do not, absolutely not, attempt to speak into a microphone when you are over the limit to drive. Hold it together if you are giving a toast. And, you know, probably don’t harass the other guests. (Whoopsy on that one.)
But inappropriate drunkenness happens even with the best of intentions. Especially if you are in the wedding, mimosas getting ready, no lunch because photos, champagne before the ceremony, and then a quick drink or three at the cocktail hour, and all of a sudden you’re gazing into your reflection in the window repeating quietly to yourself, “I am SO PRETTY right now.” Ahhhh, the blissful glow of a wedding. And really, you are so pretty right now.
In short, you know your people. You know if the bride and groom view your antics as a funny story or serious disrespect. To repair the damage, it will be essential to text everyone you know in an absolute panic to casually figure out exactly what went down. Then assess how much of an ass of yourself you made. Bottom line question: Did your behavior inappropriately take attention away from the bride and groom? You owe them. Send a bottle of champagne to their honeymoon hotel. Or, actually, maybe avoid any mention of any kind of booze and send expensive chocolate. Invite them over to dinner and suggest that they bring all two thousand wedding photos because you are dying to look at all of them. Next time you’re out with them make drinks on you—and spring for the good stuff.
But you know, not too much of the good stuff. This time.
DO YOU FEEL LIKE EVERYWHERE YOU TURN, MORE PEOPLE ARE GETTING MARRIED? LIKE ATTENDING WEDDINGS HAS SOMEHOW BECOME YOUR HOBBY? IS “EXPENSIVE CRAP FOR OTHER PEOPLE’S WEDDINGS” A BIGGER BUDGET CATEGORY THAN “MANICURES, BOOKS, AND CHEESE”? EMAIL ME: AMYMARCH [AT] APRACTICALWEDDING [DOT] COM.