Play by the rules Scaachi Koul would like to let you in on a few eti­quette se­crets to save you from be­ing, well, the worst guest ever.

ELLE (Canada) - - 49 -

CON­GRAT­U­LA­TIONS! Your pres­ence has been re­quested at yet an­other sum­mer wed­ding that you’re half-dread­ing and half-ea­ger about be­cause you’re guar­an­teed at least one slice of cake. I got mar­ried last sum­mer, and if it taught me any­thing, it’s that there’s a dizzy­ing set of rules wed­ding guests seem blindly unaware of. (Here’s a bonus one be­fore we get into it: Do not tell the bride or groom you’re “dis­ap­pointed” you don’t get more than a plus one, and es­pe­cially don’t tell them as much when they’re hold­ing a knife to cut the cake.) So, no more ex­cuses! Here, for your ed­u­ca­tional plea­sure, is the de­fin­i­tive rule book for be­ing a good—or at least not wholly ter­ri­ble—wed­ding guest.


At my wed­ding, guests seemed in­tent on driv­ing me in­sane by stand­ing up to take pho­tos as my part­ner and I ex­changed vows and rings, as if we hadn’t just asked them not to stick their phones out in front of the pro­fes­sional on whom we’d spent thou­sands of our hard­earned dol­lars to per­form that very ser­vice. Worse, maybe, was when my mother de­manded that I take sel­fies with a series of fam­ily mem­bers whose names I didn’t know while our pho­tog­ra­pher con­tin­ued to try to take pho­tos of me and my new hus­band—pho­tos that, again, we were pay­ing piles of money for. So, please, avoid bring­ing your phone any­where near the cou­ple if they are ag­i­tated; they will gladly share pro­fes­sional shots of the fes­tiv­i­ties with you af­ter the whole mess is over. Un­less, of course, you are my mother, in which case your cam­era roll is the pri­or­ity.


I’m sure you, too, have some dec­o­ra­tive cher­rypit bowls sit­ting in your linen closet that you want to regift, but cash is king.


Is the chicken kind of dry? Do you find the decor tacky? Does the bride look like she’s be­ing swal­lowed whole by her wed­ding lehenga, with yards of crino­line eat­ing up her lit­tle chicken legs? Say as lit­tle as pos­si­ble. I once went to a wed­ding dur­ing which the bride and groom did a chore­ographed dance to K-Ci & JoJo’s “All My Life” that ended with her sit­ting on his lap. Both of them had glit­ter in their hair. When they came over to our ta­ble to ask us what we thought, do you know what my en­tire fam­ily did? We lied like the dig­ni­fied trash we are. Even if the wed­ding is an af­front to your tastes, learn how to mask your feel­ings so that less dis­cern­ing peo­ple can en­joy them­selves. And, to be clear, I don’t mean you have to lie the day of the wed­ding—I mean you have to lie for the rest of your life.


A re­cep­tion with­out a fun drunk lu­natic is ter­rif­i­cally dull. Some­one at the wed­ding has to be a dis­as­ter, and while I imag­ine you don’t want it to be you, it might, in some cases, have to be you. If you’re a ca­sual ac­quain­tance, it’s best to keep your drunk­en­ness in­con­spic­u­ous while also lux­u­ri­at­ing in a (hope­fully) open bar. But if you are in the bridal party, a non-es­tranged fam­ily mem­ber or a best bud, it is prac­ti­cally your duty to drink seven shots and get very weird. A good wed­ding has a good story, and a good story in­cludes a drunk per­son wear­ing a tie in­cor­rectly. At my wed­ding, my brother gave a toast in which he some­how man­aged to men­tion my vagina more than once, and then he and I got into a full-on shov­ing match on the dance floor. From any­one else, this would be un­for­giv­able; from my brother, how­ever, it’s a de­light­ful story that I can tell for gen­er­a­tions to come, and it’s also am­mu­ni­tion that I can store away to use the next time I need to get an­gry with him, which is prob­a­bly—wait, let me check the date—quite over­due, ac­tu­ally. Thanks for re­mind­ing me. †

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