Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Should I drag my boyfriend to this wedding?


Dear ESB,

This is less a help-me-find-a-dress scenario and more of an couples etiquette question...and not even one from a bride, at that. 

I'm going to be a bridesmaid for a high school friend - love her dearly, very stoked to be involved, all the standard stuff. We both left town after high school, and she now lives several hours away. We were close in school and are still friends, but we tend to see each other only a few times a year, and they're generally whirlwind one-on-one girlfriend catch-up sessions. Her wedding is going to be held in our hometown, and it's possible I'll only a know a few people there; since they live far away, I don't really know her current friends or fiance that well, but she's a cool lady so I want to stand up for her.

I want my boyfriend of a year to be my plus-one, because he's awesome, but he's making faces. I can't guarantee that I'm going to know anyone else there, so the likelihood that he'll know anyone is going to be mighty slim. We're not going to be sitting together at the dinner or the ceremony. But my heart wants him there! I want to dance with him, and do shots with him, and generally include him in what should be a great party. 

This is my first time being a b-maid, so I'm not sure how hectic my day is going to be and how often our paths will cross. What's the SOP/your advice? Do I go stag that night and just hope I know other people to chill with? Or can I try to get him to come out, even though it's not going to be 100% funsies for him?
Thanks,
Is B-Maid A "Thing"?

*****

Here's what our boy Rob had to say:

IB-MAT,

This shouldn't be a question. He goes, it's his job as a boyfriend, does his best to have fun, meets people, and LEARNS ABOUT YOUR HOMETOWN. If he isn't remotely curious about where you came from, ask yourself if he is boyfriend material.

Best regards,
Rob S. Parham

-One Percent for Space-

I have two things to add:

1. Why the fuck don't you get to sit together at dinner??

2. Believe it or not, BM is a thing. But I would never subject you to that.

Photo: Kinga Rajzak & Daga Ziober by Boo George for T Style Spring 2012 via Fashion Copius

43 comments:

  1. I didn't get to sit with my BF the one time I was a bridesmaid. He knew very few people at the wedding, but he came anyway and we had a good time.

    You will want someone to dance with or else you will feel sad in your pastel dress.

    Your BF should do it for YOU, the same as you would do for him if he were in his friend's wedding in his hometown.

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  2. I agree. I went to a wedding last year with my guy who was a groomsman. I knew no one there, it was a bit awkward but I met some cool people and had a good time. No biggie. Plus I took full advantage of the open bar and oyster bar. Bottom line, if your man/woman wants you to be there you should go.
    As far as not sitting together at dinner, I'm assuming they are having the traditional wedding party table. Kinda sucks but it's only for dinner.

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  3. Tell him to grow a pair. The happy couple will probably seat him with other dudes whose dates are b-maids. And even if they don't, it's not like you will be sitting down the whole time. I have been the lonely date in this situation when my now-fiancee was a groomsman. Once the meal is over you can mingle and drink all you want. This is what weddings are all about, sitting next to people you don't want to talk to.

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  4. He does know there will be free food and booze at this event right? Assuming the bride doesn't change her mind about the head table, the most he'll have to do is make small talk with a few people during dinner, then spend the rest of the trip partying with you. I'm sure you can talk to your friend beforehand and make sure she seats him with some cool people he would get along with.

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  5. Could not agree more with "If he isn't remotely curious about where you came from, ask yourself if he is boyfriend material." and Susan's "Tell him to grow a pair."!!!

    Also, he's "making faces"? That's a bunch of passive aggressive crap. Being in a committed relationship means sometimes sacrificing your own comfort for your partner. I know, I know, that's hard and stuff, but after a year if this is the first time he's had to be there for you despite his own interest, you definitely deserve better.

    Sorry if this sounds too angry, just reminds me of my friend's deadbeat fiance.

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  6. He should go with you. Two years ago I was in a wedding and we had been dating a year. There was a head table, so we didn't sit together at dinner (booo head tables). But he went, and had a great time, met my friends, and had free booze and scallops wrapped in bacon, and it was great. This may be a slight red flag if he's unwilling to do this for you.

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  7. My future husband was a groomsman at his sister's wedding. He sat at the head table and I was put at another table...where I knew no one. It was pretty much the worst. The dinner seemed to last forever. After that experience, I vowed that all of our wedding party would get to sit with their significant others for our wedding. It's the right thing to do!!

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  8. I agree with what everyone else has said so far, and also if he's invited to a stag & doe, wedding social, bachelor party make sure he goes! That's the best way to get to know the other BM's guys who'll also be stuck on their own through dinner. They can bond before hand and then he's not totally on his own while you do your thing.

    Also, you'll be busy from about before the ceremony to about part way or all the way through cocktail hour if the photos run long or they're not done before the ceremony. You might get time to hang out with him during cocktail hour, you might not. Then you'll probably have to do that awkward entrance thing with a groomsman and then sit at the head table through dinner and speeches. After that you'll probably be free.

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  9. Whatevs! I went to a wedding where my husband was in the bridal party and I wasn't. At the dinner we sat at separate tables - guess what? I'm an adult, I don't need anyone to hold my hand. I didn't really know anyone but I met some nice people and had a good time. The dinner was only an hour or so anyway - we got to dance after that. Tell him to suck it up!

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  10. If you really want him to go, he should go. And you should be able to just tell him that it's important to you and he will accept his fate.

    BUT, you should also do some detective work before making up your mind if you want to ask your boyfriend to sit through an uncomfortable evening. Since you're friends (and a bridesmaid) you can ask the bride who on the guest list you may know. Are the other bridesmaids are bringing dates? Are dates invited to the rehearsal/rehearsal dinner? You will almost certainly be busy the entire day of the wedding and he will have nothing to do except mope around the hotel room. I was recently a bridesmaid and left my fiance at home (since it was a plane ride away it was not only an uncomfortable weekend but also $400) and did not regret it. I caught up with some old friends and had a blast hanging out with the other single bridesmaids (who I didn't really know before the wedding). And the boy had more fun hanging out at home too.

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  11. Well, I think he should go with you. If he is interested he will want to be there with you and support you.

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  12. I don't think it's a 'red flag' if he doesn't want to go. Some folks aren't as social as others, and the thought of sitting with a bunch of strangers for several hours is a nightmare for them. I think it depends on your boyfriend's personality. My fella can TURN IT ON around strangers, and always makes fast friends (even if the people are total tools). It's fantastic in situations like this. However, I am the exact opposite, and was pretty miserable when he put me in a similar situation several years back.

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    1. Totally agree. My otherwise charming husband would be miserable and Aspergery if I made him spend an entire wedding alone with strangers. I've left him at home for weddings where this would be the case, because I love him and don't need him to prove himself to me or anyone else.
      It depends if the OP's man is just being bratty or if he legitimately would suffer in this situation.

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  13. Replies
    1. Huh? No disrespect, but I have to wonder if this comes from someone who has planned a wedding. Only the most accommodating bride who doesn't have a care in the world re: budget would give her friend a +2 (one for the boyfriend, and one for his friend).

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    2. haha, i have not planned a wedding, but i am planning one! (and i'm admittedly not a pro with etiquette) i don't think it would be that weird if one of my ladies requested this. i mean, if i were going to need her most of the night, and her bf bringing a friend means that everyone has a good time... why not make an exception?

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    3. that's just strange. you say you are currently planning one - if you are paying for the shindig yourself then just wait until you make a budget. if you're not paying, you prob don't care.

      'can you'r guest bring a guest'.. wtf

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    4. Because most people have limited budgets and can't just willy nilly make exceptions. If you make one exception for one bridesmaid's boyfriend, you'd have to make exceptions for all the bridesmaids' boyfriends.

      Also, why would you want a bunch of people you've never ever met at your wedding?

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    5. but I won't know all of my friends' dates or all of my fiance's friends' dates. if there's a budget issue, and she's your bridesmaid, you could ask for her bf to cover his friend's food/drink costs. i'm not saying this is for everyone, most people would not need a friend to tag along. but if her dude is especially introverted, and he would be willing to pay for his friend, why not? all these rules!

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    6. all of this is assuming all the other BMs are allowed a date... trust me. I've been there as the BM who's bride's dad barred my guy from stepping in the door. Not all BMs or BFs are equal.

      @lindsay if could afford an extra friend in your budget cuz the bf is super introverted you're pretty awesome and your BMs are really lucky! Also, your party do what you want... but it is a little unheard of.

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    7. srriously? it's not the 'rules,' who cares do what you want. BUT it's weird in that a wedding isn't just a party where mates drag along other mates. It's a meaningful event with the couple and their loved ones. Granted you won't know everyone's plus ones, but you should have hand selected the guests so that you're comfortable with whoever they bring.
      I mean, would you let a significant other 'bring a friend' to other family/close friend events - christening? funeral? (I know a bit dramatic, but still..)

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    8. i would! especially a funeral. :)

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  14. Minor crush on Rob.

    That is all.

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    Replies
    1. Tragically I am happily hitched up to a great guy already. Such is life.

      anon 8:17

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    2. I have wondered for many months - who exactly is Rob S. Parham? Anyone else?

      Delete
  15. Nooooo.... he shouldn't have to come. Unless he wants to.

    My fiance has been a groomsman in like 5 weddings, and several of them had the special wedding party table, leaving me to sit by myself during the reception.

    Even for the ones where I knew a few other people, it suuuuuuuuuucked. Especially for the weddings we had traveled (like, bought flights) to attend.

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  16. the boyfriend should go, he can survive the ceremony and dinner and you'll have fun together afterwards

    (but seriously, why the hell do people punish their closest friends by making their dates sit awkwardly by themselves during dinner?)

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  17. If you've got time, why not head to your hometown for a weekend to meet up with the bride + groom and hometown friends for some drinks and laughs. Bring the bf so he has a chance to meet the couple, meet some other people and won't feel as awkward on the day. It will help him a lot to at least know a couple people.

    This would be easy if you were just a guest, but as b-maid, you'll have responsibilities. I don't know the logistics of the venue, but you'll have to expect that you'll be up early getting ready with the bride, so he'll go on his own, sit through the ceremony on his own, and then have most of the cocktail hour on his own while you get pictures done, then dinner on his own. THEN you get to dance with him.

    doesn't actually sound that fun for him.

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  18. I had my wedding party's dates at the head table and all the ones that weren't married have split up since our (Sept. 2011) wedding! Ha.So while I was very anti orphaned dates during my planning, I totally get it now. Still, the exes that are in photos aren't MY exes so it doesn't really bother me that they were documented. Life happens.

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  19. I was a bridesmaid in a wedding a few years ago in another city (not my hometown) and my bf didn't go. A few of the other bridesmaids' boyfriends didn't go either. It wasn't a big deal. We all stayed in the same hotel and had a fun girly time together.

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  20. Assuming the couple getting married has any sense of etiquette, your boyfriend should be invited to the rehearsal dinner/lunch/brunch/cocktail hour. This will be his chance to make friends with the other +1s of the bridesmaids.

    And I don't think it's too much of an imposition to ask you friend if your boyfriend could please be seated with the other dates. They can commiserate together.

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  21. Be upfront with him and tell him that it really matters to you that he attend. (It's no fair trying to secretly convince him that he would love to attend - not that you are necessarily trying to do that, of course)

    Once you've put it out there plainly, hopefully he'll do the right thing and agree to go whether he's nervous about it or not.

    It's not like this is the 10th wedding you've been in this year, so I think it's a reasonable request. And he should really be able to entertain himself for the course of the ceremony + dinner, even if he isn't super social.

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  22. Don't take your boyfriend. I had the same scenario-and I had a blast without him. Trust me, you'll be so busy it won't matter if he's there.

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  23. For my besties wedding (a plane ride away) a few years ago I left the BF home because I knew I would be with the bride all weekend, doing bridal party things, and I didn't want to feel torn between spending time with her vs spending time with him. And I know social scenarios such as the one described make him a bit nervous. So I left him home, and he was very grateful.

    That being said, if I had wanted him to be there, and he was making poutty faces, I'd be pretty pissed.

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  24. We had our bridal party only sitting up with us at the front, after a lot of going back and forth about it. In the end we realized we aren't huge fans of all of the people our party was involved with, and wanted only the closest of our friends sitting with us. But, I've never been in a wedding, except my own, so I'm not sure what it's like from the side of the party.

    Although I have sat alone when my husband was in a wedding and really after all of the horrid tux renting, traveling, and picture taking (after the wedding was over) that he had to do, sitting alone seemed like a very small deal.

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  25. Everyone acts like this is some enormous life-changing event. It's one night, for fuck's sake. If your BF can't suck it up for ONE NIGHT then there's a problem. Srsly. Get a grip. Grow up, grow some balls, trot out the charming and be an adult about it all.

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  26. I love when couples have sweetheart tables or there's just long rows of tables and everyone sits at them, no damn head table... cuz really it's kinda awkward to be dressed in a too fancy dress and then sitting at a location where everyone stares at you while you eat your food.

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