Attending a wedding in college is a totally different ballgame than the family weddings you went to in years past. You’re most likely legally allowed to drink (or at least legal enough) and you no longer have to wear an outfit that coordinates with your siblings’ outfits. It can be tricky to navigate weddings as a semi-functioning, adult-like being, especially without your mom around to give you the evil eye for draining your glass of pinot in one swallow. However, if you follow these few guidelines you should be able to reach the end of the night with the majority of your dignity intact.
1. When selecting a gift, don’t be cheap. Think to yourself, “How much am I likely to drink and eat at this blessed event?” The answer is undoubtedly a lot, so buy the bride and groom a gift that will at least slightly offset your shameless gluttony and that extra piece of wedding cake in your purse.
2. This is not your formal. Do not act like it’s your formal. This means no blacking out, no making a scene, and no harassing the band. Act like your standards chair–or Jesus, or whichever other force scares you into behaving like a lady–is watching.
3. For the love of all things holy, dress appropriately. This is not the time to wear that dress that you think miiiiiight be a little too short (spoiler: it definitely is). Wear shoes you can dance in, and don’t be that girl who carries a full-sized bag to a nice event. You can go without the six lipsticks, planner, and phone charger you normally carry around for a few hours.
4. Put down your phone. Our generation is too obsessed with technology, blah, blah, blah. We’ve all heard it. I’m as technologically obsessed as the next millennial, but when it comes to a special event, try to really be there, not just prove you were there via Facebook check-in, Instagram, and Snapchat story. I once missed my friend’s sendoff because I was too busy taking a selfie with the sendoff sparklers they’d passed out. #shame
5. Don’t sass the grownups. You will be asked over and over again by relative strangers what you’re going to do after your impending graduation, which everyone else assumes is all you ever think about. While this can be irritating to no end, be polite. Or entertain yourself by making up a ridiculous postgrad plan and enjoy the reaction:
Adult: “So what’s next for you?”
You: “I hear there are openings for trainers at SeaWorld, but if that doesn’t work out, there’s always porn!”
6. Dance. It is you duty as the resident college kid to get on the dance floor and look like you’re having so much fun that everyone wants to join. Just maybe drop it low a little less than you normally would and try to keep your face above your rear at all times.
7. Be a good sport. Don’t text during the toasts, and join the herd of single ladies for the bouquet toss. Try not to sink into a wine-soaked “I’m going to die alone” sadness, regardless of how irritatingly perfect the bride and groom seem and how unbelievably single you feel in comparison..