Taking a Date When You're in the Wedding

Submitted by SharpMan Editorial Team on Thursday 14th October 2010
In this article
  • Priority One: Wedding Day Success
  • When to leave a date out of it.
  • Introduce her to everyone.

You couldn't be more proud that your friend has tasked you with groomsman responsibilities. But suddenly, being a guest at the wedding isn’t all about free food, an open bar or showing up with a hot honey on your arm. Suddenly it's about showing up and following through. With all the wedding tasks on your shoulders, can — or should — you bring a date to your friend's wedding? Read on for the SharpDating guide to bringing a date when you're in the wedding:

A wedding day is a stressful time that’s been mentally rehearsed and re-rehearsed a thousand times before the actual live production. Whether your friend is the bride or groom makes no difference – long-lost family members are in town, thousands of dollars are invested in logistics and there’s no room for error on what is likely to be one of the most memorable day — for better or worse — in the couple’s life together.

It's a Juggling Act

Now that you're part of the team, your duty is to help ensure a successful, S.N.A.F.U.-free wedding. This is one of the few times when entertaining a date falls to a lower priority. In fact, you may actually find that it’s a hassle. How will you juggle your responsibilities to your date along with your tasks of posing for pictures, making speeches and attending to your groomsman duties? Not sure what those are? Go here to find out about Groomsman Responsibilities.

In other words, this day requires you to be more of service than served. Your friend (on the verge of hysteria) requires you to "watch his back." You might find giving him the wing-man help he needs may be too difficult if you show up plus one. After all, no date — especially a new hottie whom you barely know — is going to appreciate being left alone while you help out your buddy with those wedding day freak-outs that inevitably come up.

Do you leave the date behind? Not necessarily. With a few SharpDating tips, your friend can have a great wedding day and you and your date can enjoy yourselves, too. Check out the following to determine what works best for you:

When Not to Bring a Date

Circumstances will dictate when it’s not appropriate to bring a date. Ranging from the obvious to the intricately complicated, these situations highlight the benefit of going stag:

It’s gotta say "and Guest." Pay attention to the invitation. If the envelope of your invitation only says your name, then they probably only have you in mind. Bringing a date along without clarifying the request will undoubtedly lead to unnecessary scrambles — an extra meal, a rearranged seating chart, etc. With today’s high cost of equipment rental and catering, appearing with an uninvited guest may be uncomfortable.

Small Wedding. Some people plan small weddings because they don’t want a big one. Not everyone adheres to "the more the merrier" mentality. Cost can be the issue, too. If it is, don’t weigh your friend down with additional expenditures.

Reclusive Families. Exchanging vows for what is supposed to be a lifelong partnership is a tough enough decision to make and it’s even tougher with strangers watching. Be mindful of your friend’s comfort level around people he or she is unfamiliar with. Also keep in mind your buddy’s close family. If they have difficulty interacting with new people, then save your date for another occasion. Obviously, your wife, a long-term or live-in girlfriend is welcome, but a new friend may not be.

Bringing a Date and Helping Her Fit In

If you’ve assessed the situation and have decided on bringing along your honey, check out the following tips to create a comfortable, inviting atmosphere for your date, while still attending to all of your groomsman duties. You’ll save time, work less, have your slice of wedding cake and be able to eat it, too:

Prepare, prepare, prepare. Let your date know that accepting your invitation will involve some time — or, in the event of craziness, a great deal of time — without you at the wedding. If she’s comfortable with this, proceed. Otherwise, she may not be the right date for this event.

Get some info. The more information you have about the wedding events you’re expected to attend, the more of a heads-up you’ll be able to give your date (and the more actual alone-time you’ll be able to enjoy with her). Contact the bride or wedding coordinator for the wedding events schedule.

Flying solo. Weddings can be as terrifying for the guests as for the bride and groom. Many guests and relatives only know the couple getting married — and they’re not available for a chat. So even though your date doesn’t know anyone, she'll most likely be in good company while you're tied up posing for wedding party photos, dancing with bridesmaids and standing at the right side of the altar during the ceremony. Your job is to help her realize this.

Knowledge is power. Introduce your date to as many people as possible before the wedding. Once she realizes she's not alone she will feel more comfortable. Build rapport between her and other wedding guests by using conversation starters such as asking what they do for work, admiring the aesthetic beauty of the wedding location, or asking how long they’ve known the bride or groom. You'll be surprised at how quickly a conversation will spring to life.

Coffee and introductions. You can also go the extra mile by scheduling a coffee outing with your date and some key wedding attendees prior to the event. Arrange a small group outing a week before the big day and give your date a quick rundown of people in the wedding, their families, how they met, etc. This will allow your date to think of her own conversation starters when the wedding day comes around. After hearing your stories, she may even feel that she already knows the guests of honor, herself.

Give her a job to do. Once your date has exhausted her opportunities to mingle, or if she is painfully shy and refuses to mingle alone, she may prefer an "assignment." If you’re swamped and can’t entertain her, then give her a task. Overseeing the wedding guestbook is an easy way for her to look busy without expending too much energy. Or, if she doesn’t want to look and sound chipper the whole time, hand her a camera and encourage her to snap some candid shots for a wedding scrapbook.

Sharp Note: Make sure you provide a task that is not mission-critical. Anything with too much responsibility may pave the way for another guest or family member to subject her to wedding-day-freak-out criticism.

Keep an eye out. Even though you may be hectically rushing around being the best-darn-groomsman EVER, take a minute to note where your date is. As often as possible, approach her and inquire how she is doing and whether she requires a drink. As you dash off, make a point of introducing her to someone new. And of course, ask the girl to dance.

This article last updated on Thursday 14th October 2010
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