The movie Wedding Crashers may no longer be mainstream, but the allure of crashing a wedding most certainly still is.
It’s every man’s dream to attend a wedding in which they know absolutely nobody, and not only get away with it, but have a great time in the process. Because weddings are fun. It’s a celebration of the happiest day in two people’s lives, and everyone in attendance is in good spirits. Excess drinking, dancing and eating is not only permitted, but encouraged.
So why should we only limit ourselves to weddings that we are invited to? It’s not every day that our friends and family members get married, but it is every day that somebody gets married. So why not join in on the fun?
Of course, it takes a lot of gall and audacity to actually attempt to crash a real wedding. Much research and preparation is required, and you have to act incognito enough so as to not draw too much attention to yourself. It sounds fun on the surface, but the risk of getting caught is too much of a deterrent for most people to actually try it.
And that’s why I have never done so. But this weekend I probably came as close as I ever will. While I didn’t crash a wedding, I did attend one where I only knew one person.
I have attended weddings before where I’ve known the majority of the guests. I’ve had friends who have gotten married, and therefore a lot of my other friends were invited. In those instances, it doesn’t even feel like a wedding, but rather a fun and joyous affair with your close friends.
I’ve also attended a family wedding where I didn’t necessarily know a lot of guests, but I very much knew the bride and groom. In those cases, you can arguably make the case that you belong even more. Blood runs deep.
On Saturday, however, the situation was neither of those two. I was asked to accompany a female friend as her wedding date, and because of my aforementioned love for weddings, I gladly obliged.
And I went into this wedding cold. I mean, cold. For example, I didn’t know where it was located until 24 hours before, and even as I showed up to the venue, I didn’t know the names of the bride and groom.
But I really had no problem with that. Again, since weddings are joyous occasions, I knew I would have no problem meeting new people. I am a fairly sociable person in the right context, and weddings are a very appropriate setting in which to randomly approach people and introduce yourself.
That was really my goal. To meet as many people as possible, and have a good time with some complete strangers. Since my female friend was in the bridal party, she was off doing her wedding party duties for some time, and I was left alone for portions of the day.
It was an overnight wedding, and thus my first plan for action was to acquire enough beer and liquor to store in the hotel room to accommodate several people. From experience, I know how weddings always end sooner than you’d like, and most people like to keep the party going afterwards. So I figured, why not be the one to host the afterparty? If I’m going to “crash” a wedding, might as well do it right.
The plan pretty much worked to perfection. I introduced myself and conversed with a good dozen people who were either close to my age or younger, had the usual chit-chat, and made sure to emphasize that “the afterparty is in Room 4.” Like most overnight weddings, everyone was staying in the same hotel.
And what did I learn? When you tell everybody you interact with about an afterparty, word will spread.
Of course, the wedding itself was as fun as you would expect. The excess drinking and dancing most certainly did happen, the emotional and traditional “first dances” most certainly did happen, and like all weddings, it ended all too soon just as the party was kicking into the next gear. Fortunately, I wasn’t the only one who felt that way.
Most of the older attendees left during the earlier shuttles, so the final shuttle back to the hotel was full of people in their 20s, and by that time, everybody knew about Room 4. Within 10 minutes, the room and surrounding outdoor balcony area was full of a good 20 people. Vodka and beer were passed around, and at one point, I went into the bathroom to change out of my penguin suit, and upon returning to the party, everybody was saluting me like I was freaking Van Wilder.
To semi-quote Rachel McAdams shortly after she meets Owen Wilson in Wedding Crashers, “I was a big hit at this wedding.”
Some more drinking was followed by an illegal late-night dip in the hotel swimming pool, because according to every teen and/or young adult movie, that’s how every afterparty ends, isn’t it?
Again, I didn’t actually crash the wedding, since I was invited, but it was very much the same concept. I went in with a clean slate, was looking to have a good time while enriching others’ party experience, and I accomplished it in spades. No I did not get frisked away to an expensive country mansion with Isla Fisher, but maybe that will happen at the next wedding.
So to my new friends, Gene, Michelle, Ben, other guy named Ben, Serena, Seth, Kevin, Lindsey and the black guy who killed it on the dance floor, I salute you. I’ll never see any of you again — nor learn your last names — but I salute you nonetheless.