While wedding season may be a nationwide phenomenon, it’s an entirely different animal when both the bride and groom are fraternity/sorority members. The wedding basically becomes a giant (slightly more adult) version of a formal. An All-American display of privilege and class. Depending where you’re located geographically (some areas are more prone to young marriage, I’m looking at you Arkansas) you may already have a friend or two who’ve entered into the sacred bond of holy matrimony (if you were rooting for me to say “fratrimony” I hope you’re stricken with leprosy). I’m not here to say getting married this young is insanely idiotic, or scream, “YOU WASTED YOUR YOUTH” at brothers who have taken the plunge. I’m here to discuss how to appropriately enjoy these glorious occasions without embarrassing yourself by throwing up at the reception, brawling with hotel security, or shitting the hotel bed.
If you’re in the wedding your outfit is obviously predetermined, and all you have to do is maintain a level of sobriety that allows you to dress yourself (I suppose someone else could dress you, as long as you can stand up, you degenerate alcoholic). If you’re not in the wedding, that doesn’t mean you can look like a douchebag. Get your shit tailored and have someone who didn’t drink scotch for breakfast make sure your bowtie is straight. I’m not going to sit here and debate designer tuxedos or cufflinks made from dolphin teeth because I’m no Euro-puff, and you should either know quality or pay someone to know it for you.
Whether you look like James Bond or Alan from “The Hangover,” the best thing about wedding formal wear is the gradual, yet constant degradation of your getup. Everyone looks dashing at the ceremony, sure. But come 10pm, right as the mediocre cover band gears up to play “Shout,” one drunken loon is going to casually loosen his bowtie and unleash hell like Russell Crowe in Gladiator. All formality will dissipate in an instant as suspenders are thrown from shoulders, ties are loosened, and bowties are draped. This is a beautiful moment, and you should soak it in by glaring around the room as you throw back the last of your whiskey and simultaneously join the undone bowtie club. If you feel like being a celebratory asshole: spike your empty glass into the dance floor. The hotel staff could potentially find this upsetting, so before any blame can reach you, take a spread-legged disco stance as you compellingly point at the bride’s GDI cousin until he is removed from the premises.
Acting like an asshole can be fun, but let’s remember the most important thing at these events: the ability to pace yourself. Wedding weekends are marathons, not sprints. I give zero fucks if you sprint marathons, you’re going to dishonor your family if you abuse the open bars on full tilt for 12 straight hours. Keeping a solid buzz that allows you to hold a conversation with Great Aunt Edna without wanting to hang yourself is important, but you don’t want to get so drunk that you’re knocking over flower girls and giving the groom’s grandmother an open mouth kiss during the father-daughter dance. Speaking of grandmothers, it’s important to take advantage of the vastly diverse crowd that comes with every wedding reception. If you don’t try your hand with at least one divorcee before moving on to bridesmaids and then your date, you’re an idiot.
Remember, you don’t want to be the dumbass who ruined the wedding and become a marital pariah (“Do you know _______?” “Yeah, he’s the jackass who set the church on fire at the _______ wedding.”) but if you leave without any stories at all then you wasted a wonderful opportunity to make some beautiful memories with friends and family.