"How to Survive that Wedding You Don’t Want to Go to" by Anthony Salerno

May 8, 2017 (Dallas, TX) – Spring – a season that brings revival to all things that have gone dormant from the fall through winter. The season when animals awake from their hibernation slumbers and venture out to find food, a new home, and possibly a mate. A time when life is renewed. Those joyous few months when it seems like everyone you’ve ever met has found someone to share their life with, but first the wedding.

Yes, spring may bring life to many things, but it is a deathblow to your savings fund and free weekends thanks in part to the barrage of wedding invitations stuffed in your mailbox. Like a 10-point buck traversing the forest during deer hunting season, you too can navigate the nuptial season safely, and here’s how:

Say No

Many people don’t realize that you can actually say no to attending a wedding. Sure, it’s an option on that impossibly tiny card you fill out, but you don’t want to be rude, right? Wrong. Couples expect declines, that’s why it’s an option. So, before you go checking off “attending” like you're swiping right on Bumble, recognize that this is an adult decision and you’ll have to put on pants. Before you start picturing yourself dancing around like Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, take a moment and come back to reality and know it’s far more likely you’ll drink too much, take an expense Uber ride home alone, and exorcize that prime rib you were so excited for into your toilet.

Solve the +1 Mystery

Make up a name right now and it has probably been used as a detective on one of the number of CSI shows CBS surprisingly keeps making. The difference between you and that fictional character is that you’re not a detective; however, you may need to play the part when figuring out if you have a plus one to a wedding. Did the invitation say “[Your name] and Guest”? Well, then congratulations, you probably have the option for a date. Any other combination of invitation address, guest option on the RSVP, or just a “Number of Guests” slot and you’ll have to do some sleuthing. Oh really, you want me to bring my entire softball team to your wedding, Erica? Oh you, don’t? Seems like an option by this RSVP card.

The Ceremony Is Optional

Nothing says, “share our special day with us” like stuffing into an old, poorly air-conditioned church in the middle of summer. It’s by far the least eventful part of the wedding. Although, if we’re being honest, there’s that exciting moment when the crowd is asked if anyone objects to the union, and that’s always some thrilling seconds of silence. At the reception, if the bride brings up that she didn’t see you at the church, always say you were sitting in the back to the right talking to her aunt (or was it the groom’s cousin?). Whoever it was, they were nice and bawling like a baby with you. If she still presses you, bring out your trump card (no, don’t grab her there…), switch subjects, and tell her she looks beautiful. If the groom asks you where you were… well, he won’t.

Find the Photographer

Now you’re at the reception and dinner is over. You’ve suffered through a way too drunk/nervous best man speech and a rhyming maid of honor speech that barely passes as a fourth-grade English assignment. You hear the first songs of the night come on the dance floor and you decide it’s time to cut bait. And bravo to you. You’ve shown up, contributed a gift to the couple, and maybe even tried to hit on a bridesmaid/groomsman. It’s time that you’ve made your exit, but first go the extra mile and find that wedding photographer to show that not only were you there, but you also seemed to be the life of the party. Try and make it in every shot the photog takes for a minute, progressively loosening your tie or taking off your painful heels. No one looks their best at the end of the wedding, so do your best iguana imitation and try to become your surroundings. Once you know you’re in at least five pictures, you can make your move to the exit sign.

Live a Little

We get it, your boyfriend's third cousin is getting married and he dragged you to it. You’re not even sure they’ll last, heck you’re not even sure you’ll last. But, you are dressed up, out at a large social gathering, surrounded by free drinks (hopefully) and a mediocre-at-best dance party. Appreciate the moment, for better or worse you’re with this conglomerate of people in this stuffy banquet hall. You’re not at work, filling out loan deferment papers, or trying to work up the courage to watch 13 Reasons Why. Alcohol does wonders as a social lubricant. Have a drink, enjoy yourself, and remember this evening in the future as the reason why you decided to elope.

Anthony Salerno is from Buffalo, New York. He is a current DCH student and performs with Ewing Troupe: Clementine. When he’s not working at Improv or his day job, he’s trying to talk himself out of buying Uncrustables at the grocery store.

(Image: EliteReaders)