Let’s face it, we’ve all gotten wedding RSVPs in the mail that have made us groan. Maybe they’re your partner’s friends you’ve never met, maybe the bride is your cousin you’ve never gotten along with, or maybe you already have 10 weddings to attend this year. Either way, we’ve all been in the position of having to go to a wedding we’re not really excited about.
However, just because you have to attend the wedding doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.
Here are some ways to ensure you have a fun time at the weddings you’re not excited about:
Have fun if you’re in the wedding party
One scenario in this case is if you’re a part of the wedding party for a wedding you’re not excited about. You don’t really have a choice but to be excited about it. If you were asked to be a part of the wedding party, not only are you important enough to be invited to the wedding, but that person has chosen you to be their #1 fan on their big day.
Remember, this day is about them. And as painful as it might feel to have to celebrate with them (on top of all the money you spent already), it’s important to keep a positive attitude. It also helps to have a few key strategies in your back pocket to help make this day actually fun for you. Here are some tips:
- Take a break- If you’re already a part of the wedding party, chances are you’ve been to numerous events in regards to this party before the big day. It’s exhausting. And the actual day is exhausting too. It can be really tiring to be around people you’ve never met for an entire day. Make sure you carve out a little piece of time in the day to just be by yourself. Take a little walk, find an empty room, go to your car for a few minutes. Don’t be worried about people noticing (they probably won’t, unless you duck out during the ceremony). No one will notice if you take a break, but you will notice if you don’t take that break. It can really help to just take a few minutes to breathe and mindlessly scroll through TikTok. You’ve earned it.
- Make a wedding party buddy- If you’re part of a wedding party, try to pick someone from the wedding party you can buddy up with. This could be someone you knew before the wedding, or it can be a stranger you’ve gotten along with throughout the wedding festivities. Befriend them and hang out throughout the wedding together. It’s always helpful to feel like you have a friend going through the same thing as you. Having a genuine connection with someone at a party can make the whole thing way less painful.
- Don’t be afraid to dance- One of the unspoken rules as a member of the wedding party is being a key person in helping get the party started. Usually during the first few songs of a wedding, there aren’t many people dancing. You should be one of those people. Grab your aforementioned wedding party buddy and head out on the dance floor. Even if it’s awkward for a few minutes, people will start gravitating towards you and it will be so much easier to make friends and have a good time.
Have fun even if you don’t know anyone
Let’s say you’re invited to a wedding of your partner’s friend and you don’t know any other people there. That’s a huge reason for not being excited about going to a wedding–the awkwardness of it all is enough to make you not want to go. But, don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be awkward. Here’s how to enjoy yourself:
- Have a drink- Having a drink always takes the edge off of feeling uncomfortable at a large party where you don’t know other people. The best part? Most weddings have an open bar. Take advantage of it (but not too much). Just sitting at the bar can be a great way to strike up conversations with random people, even if it’s just a friendly bartender. Don’t drink alcohol? That’s okay! Usually just having a drink in your hands (alcoholic or not) makes you feel more comfortable and less self-conscious.
- Master the art of small talk- I know, cringe. No one likes small talk, but if you’re leading the conversation you can at least avoid talking about the weather. Small talk is going to happen whether you want it to or not, so before the wedding (or during), try to brainstorm some simple conversation starters for small talk situations that actually involve things you’d want to talk about. And if you’re making small talk with someone and it’s going into a painfully boring place, just pretend like you have to use the bathroom or need to grab another drink. There’s no need to force it.
- Chat with the people around you– Going off of small talk, talk to the people around you at the wedding. If the reception has a sit-down dinner, talk to the people sitting next to you. They could be great potential dance partners later in the night. If you’re stuck and don’t really know who to talk to, I highly recommend chatting with an older relative or one of the kids at the wedding. They’ll easily talk your ear off.
Have fun alone
Let’s say you’re stuck in one of the worst possible scenarios for a wedding: having to go completely alone without knowing anyone else. Although many people will avoid going, remember, you were invited for a reason. Out of all the people in the world, the couple chose you to celebrate with them. So here’s how to make it through this situation:
- Mentally prepare yourself– Being around a large group of people alone can be incredibly exhausting, especially if you also happen to be an introvert. Know that you may be exhausted, but don’t go into the wedding thinking that because of that it’ll be a horrible time. You can have a great time and still be exhausted afterwards. You don’t have to be miserable during it.
- Realize that no one cares– When you’re at a party alone, it can sometimes feel like the rest of the world is staring at you, judging you, and gossiping about you. I can tell you with all certainty that they’re not. Everyone else is focusing on themselves, their own worries, celebrating the couple, or getting drunk. Don’t be so self-conscious and give your mind a break.
- Search out other people on their own- Chances are, you’re not the only person alone at this wedding. Be on the lookout for others who are alone and don’t be afraid to approach them (see small talk tips above). They’re probably looking for a friend right now too.
How to keep yourself busy and entertained
No matter what your situation is when attending the wedding (wedding party, being alone, etc.), it’s always a good idea to keep yourself busy and entertained so you don’t focus so much on how much you don’t want to be there. Here are some things to keep you busy:
- Offer help– Weddings are stressful. They’re huge events with so much going on and even though there may seem like there are people helping, offer to help where you can. This will help you avoid any of those small talk conversations you might want to avoid and make you feel like you have a purpose for being there.
- Eat everything- We already talked about drinking, but food is always free and available at weddings as well. If you don’t know what to do or feel awkward standing around doing nothing, grab yourself a plate.
- Request a song- If the wedding has a DJ, request a song for them to play. Maybe there’s a song that you know everyone would love to hear or maybe there’s a song that just makes you happy. Either way, dance your butt off when the song comes on.
- Use those hashtags- It seems like every wedding has its own hashtag now, so use it. If you feel awkward and don’t know what to do, pull out your phone and start using that hashtag. Maybe you’ll find other people using it too and you can interact with them online if you’re too shy to interact with them in person.
- Play a game- Most modern weddings have some activities for children and even adults now at wedding receptions. Take advantage, even if you’re alone or in a pair! Or take Alan Katz’s, officiant from Great Officiants LLC, advice, “Play the What does this person do game where you create an elaborate story of their profession and find out if you were right! Another fun game is to be your own dance judge and watch the dance floor to pick-out a winning couple.”
Remember, just because you don’t want to be there, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. If you think about how badly you don’t want to be there the whole wedding, you’re assuredly not going to have a good time. Have a plan in place that ensures that you’re happy at the wedding so you can enjoy the day.
At the end of the day, the couple wanted you to be a part of their big day and the day is about them. Don’t bring down the rest of the guests with a bad attitude. Go and have fun.