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.

1. KEEP YOUR AM­A­TEUR PHO­TOG­RA­PHY TO YOUR­SELF.

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.

2. NO ONE WANTS THE THINGS YOU ALSO DIDN’T WANT.

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

3. MAKE YOUR PEACE WITH LY­ING.

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.

4. BE AS DRUNK AS YOU ARE CLOSE TO THE COU­PLE.

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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