Something Borrowed, Something Out-of-the-Blue

Weddings are fun. They just are.

Even the things you think you hate about weddings, you don’t really. Yes, they will always play “Celebration” and “Brick House” and “We Are Family,” but in a way, isn’t that consistency comforting?


You don’t even have to get down about the love thing (if you’re single) as long as you have people to dance with. My housemates and I (sort of) crashed a wedding recently. Shelby (one of the girls) is dating Aaron who was the best man, and they invited the rest of us to the reception (post-dinner. We didn’t know them, after all).

Give me an evening where I can dress up and boogie, and I’m a happy girl. Plus, they served fresh-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies. It’s like someone wanted to throw a party with all my favorite things.

The only potentially awkward moment came when the bride and groom did the traditional “dollar dance.” (It’s not as scandalous as it sounds, if you’re unfamiliar. In an attempt to make a little extra cash for their future together, everyone has to pay a dollar or more to dance with the bride or groom for a song or two.)

The awkwardness comes in when you have to explain to the groom why you’re even at his wedding. I know what you’re thinking: Why did I even take part in the dance if I knew it could be weird? Long story short, Emma’s boyfriend talked a big game about how he was going to do the dance, then chickened out, and I had to show him up. Spoiler alert: I did. After calling him a coward, he danced with a stranger. Mission accomplished.

Of course, I couldn’t just trash talk. So I danced with the groom. Fortunately, I’m a master at small talk. Turns out we went to the same high school and had the same major. Score. It also gave me the idea to share some of my masterful small-talking skills. Here are a few sure-fire winners:

1. Location, location, location. “Where are you from?” or “Have you always lived around here?” are open-ended questions that you can always build on. Even if they’re from somewhere you’ve never been, you can ask them to tell you what it’s like. That’s sure to get you through a dance.

2. Take them to school. Find out their major (or job) and ask how they got into that. Ideally, it will be something they’re interested in, so they’ll want to talk about it. Or at least they’ll have an opinion to share.

3. Stall. I know that there’s always a chance you’ll end up with a total dud who will contribute nothing to the conversation. In which case it’s ok to fall back on empty compliments or idle chit-chat about the weather or random objects around you. (“So, where are those gorgeous flower arrangements from? How much did you love that cake?!” Etc.)

Above all else, keep the energy up. If you sound interested, no one will notice that you’re not really talking about anything. Mazal tov!