12 Tips For Being The +1 At A Wedding

Being a “plus-one,” aka the unspecified date that wedding guests are often allowed to bring, can be an anxious experience. You probably won’t know very many people, yet you will be expected to eat, drink, and be merry. You’ll be introduced to dozens of new people whose names you’ll be expected to remember, even though you’ve already made six trips to the open bar. However, if you follow these tips, you can be sure that you’ll be the perfect plus-one: anonymous, meek, and instantly forgettable.

1. Know your role: think of a wedding as being made up of a series of tiers. In descending order of importance, there is the bride and groom, their parents, the bridal party, invited guests, hired staff, the hors d’oeuvres, and then you. You’re like a wedding peasant.

2. Speaking of the hors d’oeuvres, show some self respect. Sure, you’ll probably never see most of these people again in your life, but try to keep them from remembering you as “that guy that went up to the mashed potato bar four times and then threw up in the chocolate fountain.”

3. However, since you’ll never see most of these people again, feel free to play it loose with your name/background/etc. Of course, you have to let your date know first to avoid a potentially awkward situation. But once you’ve given them the heads up, you are freed from the monotony of having to be yourself. Now you can be Otis Baldwin, the rarely mentioned fifth Baldwin brother! With a severe case of head trauma! And a Jamaican accent!

4. You should, at the very least, know the bride and groom’s names. Hopefully they won’t have gender-neutral names like Jessie and Casey, because then you’ll also have to memorize who’s who, and at that point you’ll be all like, “Geeze, weddings really are a lot of work!”

5. Rule #4 is also important because it would be a nice gesture if, at some point, you went up to the bride and groom and congratulated them on their marriage/thanked them for “inviting” you. Extra credit: Shake the groom’s hand firmly, holding on to it for at least six or seven seconds too long. Stare into his eyes with a look that communicates joy, gratitude, and a psychotic break with reality. Lean into him and whisper something really, really weird in his ear, like “I bet she still has that ‘New Wife’ smell.”

6. Dance enough to seem like you’re having a good time, but don’t go crazy or anything. You can put your left foot in; you can put your left foot out. But think twice before you go shaking it all about.

7. Avoid eye contact: anyone looking at you is probably just trying to figure out if you’re their second cousin who recently got out of prison or something.

8. Apparently, the vast majority of wedding ceremonies do not actually feature the whole “If anyone objects to the union of these two people, speak now or forever hold your peace” thing, so you can just forget about that hilarious prank you had planned.

9. Dress nicely, but don’t try and steal the show. In a sense, you’re like the wallpaper of the wedding — you should look comely, but in a mild way that allows you to fade quietly into the background. Actually, since you’re already standing by the wall anyway, do you mind if we hang this picture frame over your face? Okay, great. Remember, don’t talk to anybody.

10. Don’t go catching the bouquet or the garter — the bride and groom would probably prefer that their wedding memories consist of people that they’ve known for longer than 45 minutes.

11. As you’ve probably noticed from the previous rules, a big part of being a plus-one is enjoying yourself in moderation. Of course, the same rule applies to drinking.

12. Psyche lol, you should get drunk as all hell. A social gathering filled with strangers and stocked with an open bar? I’m getting the DTs just thinking about it. This may or may not screw up your ability to follow the rest of these tips, but, as a very wise man once said, “YOLO, bitches.” I’m pretty sure it was Jesus, or maybe Wilson from Home Improvement. TC mark

image – Ryan Muir


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  • http://twitter.com/Africanlegnd Isaac Lungu (@Africanlegnd)

    This should be remained “+1? 10 Reasons you should Avoid going to any wedding” Short of being respectful, which you should be in and out of weddings, one should just have fun and relax. “Avoid eye contact??” Nah, I think if it that kind of wedding there will be many plus ones and it’s definitely a chance to meet people if you decided to behave like a human being and chill out.

    • http://twitter.com/Africanlegnd Isaac Lungu (@Africanlegnd)


      • Putra

        I think people who don’t understand sarcasm should be forever banned from reading Thought Catalog. Go read the Times’ Social Q’s or something.

  • PM

    I think people who don’t understand sarcasm should be banned from reading Thought Catalog. Ever.

    • Rachel Ramirez


    • Alexandra

      Also agreed!!!

  • http://partyinpartyinyeah.wordpress.com rachel

    This is wonderful.

    By the way, it was actually Socrates who said that quote. I think Jesus was the one who said, “Ball so hard mothafucka wanna fine me” but people tend to them confused.

  • Hokey Pokey

    #6! #6! That cracked me up so much. Thank you for that phrasing.

  • caro

    any advice for being a +1 at a wedding where you don’t speak the language?! i’m slated to attend a wedding as a +1 in france in a few weeks and je ne parle pas nada…

  • ani


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