1. The Not Totally Unfunny Girl
This girl is a party classic amongst the unmarried, dateless girls. She’s funny enough, without being funnier than you. Having come alone, she can use your social sympathy and will humor any random quip about how your face is melting off or whether or not taking three slices of cake was rude. Throughout the night, she’ll devotedly make eye contact and laugh at whatever you say, never overshadowing your humor because she really makes a point of letting you know you’re the funny one here. Meaningful conversation will most likely never be breached. It’s best to stick with a recurring reference to something awkward you were able to make an inside joke out of earlier in the day. If you ever see her again, she will have made no noticeable changes in her personality, career, looks, or relation to you.
2. The Old Friend Who Was a 6 on the “Friend Scale”
This wedding-goer is seemingly approachable, but will somehow leave you feeling awkward and unsure of yourself throughout the night. Conversation will get surprisingly difficult and you’ll find yourself repeating facts of your life he/ she already knew but will make exception for because there’s nothing else to talk about, really. You’ll wonder what went wrong and why it was so easy for you to stop caring about his/ her fantasy trip to Madrid that you used to think would be “really, so great for you!” Unwillingly, you’ll end up at the open bar more than once together and each time you’ll feel less obligated to acknowledge each other even mildly. In four months you’ll run into each other at Target and comment on how good it is to see one another again, then one of you will say, “…Yeah, well, I gotta get back. But really, let’s get together this week. Seriously this time. I’ll text you tomorrow, promise!” You’ll probably never see this person again.
3. The Pity Party
This girl dated the groom about seven years ago but managed to remain platonic friends with him. She’s honestly moved on, and probably even seeing someone who isn’t at the wedding, but the opportunity arose to elicit pity from others, so now she’s totally heartbroken that her first love got away, and “is the bride’s dress, like, supposed to be doing that thing in the back…?” She’ll sit at your table and struggle to unfold her napkin with exaggerated exasperation, as if every detail of the wedding is poorly planned and obtrusive. During light dinner talk, she’ll say something about the mother of the groom, like, “Weird… I can’t believe she wore heels today. She hates heels. She used to always talk to me about how they’re so uncomfortable. Sorry, that’s just so weird.” Towards the end of the night she’ll suddenly have gotten drunk and will set out to kiss the best man as erratic payback then accidentally pass out by the guestbook, and everything will be cool again.
4. The Token Bachelor
No one came to the wedding with higher expectations than this guy. He’s the third groomsmen to the right and will probably read a verse from the Bible then make a joke, squeezing his way into the hearts of the elders and the proverbial pants of the youngers. When the DJ starts playing music, he’ll be the first one on the floor; but once more than seven people start dancing, he’ll act as if it’s lame and go back to sensually sipping his eighth drink of the night. The barely legal cousin of the bride will be his first target, but she’ll quickly become too willing and the older girls will step in to make a point about being the older girls, or something, leading to unflattering acts of flirtation. At some point during the reception he’ll make one or two passes at you, but it’ll be arcane and deceiving, and your friends will have to tell you what just happened. By the end of the night, he’ll be sitting alone with a leggy blonde in the corner. His face will be somber and focused—concentrating on some story the girl is sharing while consoling her by provocatively rubbing her lower thigh. It’s mandatory no one ask him what he’s doing later in the night. Don’t even say goodbye. That would totes throw off his game, bro. He’ll show up at the post-wedding lunch alone and won’t talk to anyone of the opposite sex. He’s done his part. Respect his game and move on.
5. The Feminist
She just doesn’t get what the hell is going on here.
6. The Guy You Recognize from Another Wedding, so at Least You Have That to Talk About
This guy was at another wedding you recently went to and you realized he was that mutual friend everyone was always talking about who didn’t completely suck. He’s sure to make a point early on in the ceremony that “I’m gonna get so drunk tonight it’s not even funny. Ha ha! You know what I mean?!” And you do know and sincerely want that for him, but only because it’ll make him funnier and less likely to attempt delving into a deep conversation during the father-daughter dance. Similarly to #1, he’ll give you all the credit for being the awesome one at the table and will fall all over himself to make you feel funny. He demands dry wit and sarcasm and if you have any grievances throughout the night, he wants to hear them so he can agree with you. You’ll probably develop a mutual disdain for that one girl who tries to act like her pretty friend or reflect on the last wedding, in which you shared a childish admiration of that endearing, unattractive brother of the bride who just loved his sister so heartwarmingly much. This guy is a safe bet and by the end of the night you’ll feel like you’ve been BFF for ages. But don’t forget you know nothing about him. And please, don’t try to know anything about him because then your jokes won’t be as funny and you’ll realize he’s actually an alcoholic who you’re enabling. Like the bachelor, he’ll show up at lunch the next day and you’ll anticipate joking around, but he’ll have a headache and won’t get what you mean about “You know, that one girl! With the crazy eyes…!” He, like the rest of them, was never your friend to keep, so just let it go.
(Note: if you fall into any of these categories, you help make a wedding the semi-awkward social event it deserves to be. Thanks for what you do.)