How to Socially Navigate A Wedding

Wedding are fun. An (expected) once-in-a-lifetime celebration of love, bringing together family and friends. Tons of preparation, money and effort goes into the details, and it is important to know how to make the most of your wedding invitations, as well as add the most value.

I did some searching online for “how to have fun at a wedding” and “how to plan to be a groomsmen” and most of these deal with obvious details. In this post, I am going to explain advanced social dynamics at play, so you can make the most of your time at this eventful celebration.

Power Dynamics

Weddings are big businesses, and can cost a lot of money. Be aware of the financial arrangements at a party, because they can come in handy later on. For example, if you know the father of the groom is paying for a particular dinner, express your gratitude specifically to him. In some cases, one family’s financial power is much greater than the other, and that family generally holds more power of the festivities. They will be the ones who hire the wedding planners, decide the venue, and involve all the guests. Above all else, express gratitude for their invitation of you.

Beyond the financial arrangements, the power dynamics extends directly from the people who are spotlighted: the bride and groom. The social hierarchy will fall into play after the first 1-2 days based on who’s closest to them, and everyone else notices. For example, if you are the best man to the groom, people will pay more attention to you and give you more leeway. You will also get more attention from girls at the wedding.

Because I was good friends with the groom, and his bride and I have hung out before, I was particularly close to both of them and was able to enjoy being really close to all the events, from the rehearsal dinner to the wedding ceremony itself. If you are on the outskirts of the social circle, you can still add value by the following: Read more