Survive Your Buddy's Big Day
It's wedding season. Here's how to dress like Clooney, toast like Seinfeld, dance like Timberlake, and score like A-Rod
Don't bring a gift to the reception unless it's signed by the Secretary of the Treasury. Mail it before the event or up to a year afterward, says Carley Roney, cofounder of TheKnot.com, a wedding Web site. Wandering through Crate and Barrel will tempt you to rekindle your frat days. Resist. (Unless, of course, musk incense sticks and a kegarator are on the couple's registry.) Instead, scour the registry for something you can attach personal meaning to, then explain in a simple card why you bought it. When in doubt, give cash.
The ideal speech lasts 3 minutes or less. Segue from humorous, PG-rated stories into tender moments. "Now that's what I call love," or "And yet, she still said yes." Remember, it's not a roast or a bachelor party. Keep it clean. "Don't say anything you wouldn't be comfortable whispering into the bride's mother's ear," says Roney.
An ill-fitting rental tux will conjure up images of the junior prom. The classic choice is a single-breasted peak-lapel jacket paired with a French-cuff shirt, says Kevin Harter, vice president of men's fashion at Bloomingdale's. Your shirtsleeves should reach the base of your wristbone, with a quarter inch of cuff showing. More nuptials in the offing? Buy your own tux and have it tailored. Wear it five times and it pays for itself.
Don't. This is the most important day of your friend's life, it's not karaoke night at Bennigan's.
It's your best chance of wooing a bridesmaid, so ease on out there, Astaire. If your proficiency peaked in junior high, embrace slow songs or ones that revolve around jumping ("Shout"), simple hand movements ("YMCA"), headbanging ("You Shook Me All Night Long"), and hand grabbing ("We Are Family"), suggests Craig Michaels, author of Thirty to Wife: The Tell-All Groom's Guide to Weddings. And know your own limitations. "Never slide across the dance floor like you're stealing third," he says.
Weddings make women feel romantic, not slutty. "They're looking for long-term potential, not just a quick score," says Roney. Entice them by delivering a toast at the rehearsal dinner or reception. "If you're gracious and funny, women will approach you after," says Michaels. And remember: No woman can resist a man who's willing to slow-dance to Sinatra.
Put down your drink for photographs or risk being immortalized as a lush, says Tom Haibeck, author of Wedding Toasts Made Easy.
Nothing kills the amorous vibe quicker than belligerence, so pace yourself until the cake is cut. "At that point, the important pictures have been taken and the older folks are leaving," says Roney.
If you're a groomsman, your job is to grease the wheels of the wedding. That means tipping the valet, waiters, bartenders, and musicians. Bring at least $100 in small bills, advises Michaels.
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