Hooking up at a Wedding

Wedding season is most definitely in full swing. The promise of beautiful weather tends to bring flocks of brides and grooms. This year it seems like everyone we know is getting married, which means a whole lot of ceremonies and receptions to attend. While it might make a great night out for a couple, it can be a bit disheartening for someone who is single. There’s nothing wrong with being on your own, but every so often an event comes around that makes companionship seem more appealing… like a wedding! Weddings don’t have to be about sweating in your outfit, eating a small piece of cold chicken, or dancing with the children in attendance (why do parents insist you dance with their kids?). It doesn’t have to be about a bottomless open bar or getting asked the question “when’s your turn” (those two things go together, right?). It can be a night to have a fleeting one-night stand or have a make-out session under the stars or score a number. Did we just say the magic words? This is how to hook up at a wedding.

1. Don’t bring a date

As obvious as this one might be, that blank space on the RSVP can be a bit daunting. You might think it is a great idea to bring a good friend along with you instead of a real date, except that everyone is going to think you are dating. Unless you make it abundantly clear (which might backfire to make you look like a jerk), a date is a date. If you walk in solo, then the other singles are going to know you’re looking for a good time. The ceremony might be a bit long if you aren’t accompanied, but then again, ceremonies typically feel long unless you’re the people getting married. Show up solo if you want to send a big message that screams: “I’m single and totally confident about it”.

2. Make sure you’re not related

Gross, but it must be said. You are at a wedding, which means that guest lists are typically filled with family. You might not have seen your overseas cousins in ten years, but the mother-of-the-bride requested that they get seats. Don’t worry too much, though, as relatives are usually outed with the simple but essential small talk: “How do you know the bride/groom?” Just please, please make sure first.

3. It’s not all about the reception

If you want to make a really good impression, then you should start the conversation at the ceremony instead of just waiting for the alcohol at the reception. Even if it is just a quick little chat (see above re: how do you know the bride?), you will then be able to approach the same person at the cocktail party or at dinner without feeling awkward. You’ve already spoken so you have already established a relationship for the evening.

4. Don’t drink too much

No one likes the person who has kicked off their shoes and is belligerently insulting family members or embarrassing the newlyweds. It might be okay on your regular Saturday night at the pub with friends, but this is not an acceptable wedding behavior. Instead of rallying up new friends and potential matches, you’re going to turn off a lot of people. Everyone is somehow connected at a wedding and no one is going to want to match with the person who is making a fool of themselves in front of their friends or family.

5. Make a toast

Do not make a drunken toast – this is not a good idea. You should, however, prepare a short, simple, sweet toast for the newlyweds. If you’re clever, you’ll give everyone a good laugh, stand out of the crowd and create a memorable moment. A cute toast creates an icebreaker for strangers, a topic that can be brought up when mingling, and makes you pretty unforgettable to any other singles in the audience.

6. Ditch the group of friends (sometimes)

Make sure that you are approachable. If people are constantly surrounding you then it might intimidate a few admirers. You should absolutely have fun with your friends, but if your goal for the night is to hook up, then you should occasionally give some distance. Don’t be weird about it, but just take some space to allow meeting new people.

7. Dance!

Make sure to have fun! If you’re unsociably sitting in the corner, then it isn’t going to attract good attention. The same goes for creepily lurking around the dance floor. If you’re having a blast, then no matter what happens you’re walking away with an awesome night. If you’re inclusive and fun, then you might walk away with a date. It is a win-win. Please note that if you are lucky to get a dance partner, leave the grinding for another night. No one wants to be grinded on in front of aunts and uncles. Aim to keep it classy.

8. Plan, but not too much

If the wedding is in town, then it is kind of creepy to get a hotel room at the reception hall. It makes it seem like you were expecting the night to go a certain way. If it is out of town, then obviously there was no other choice but to get a private room. Similarly, make sure that you aren’t stuck driving anyone home or relying on a lift. If you’re getting close to someone, the last thing you want to have happen is the need to drive your grandmother’s home. However, if this is the case, make sure to grab their number so you can meet up again.

9. Be adventurous

If you are chatting with someone and things are going well, then try to take them on a little adventure around the reception venue. A big hotel is a fun place to wander into other halls. An outdoor venue is a fun place to wander to a gazebo or to the waterfront. Wherever you are, there has to be somewhere you can get away from the crowd and have a few giggles.

10. Remember, it is just one day

If it looks like you are not being successful, then just drop it and go have a memorable night with your friends. Having a hookup can be fun, but you don’t need to make it the end-all of your night. You’re going to be with people you know, so make the best of it. Even if you end up home alone without a phone number, you’ll still have had a wonderful night.

Bonus: Don’t kiss and tell

If the night was successful, then absolutely do not brag about it right away. Do not head to the brunch together the next day, making it cringe-worthily clear that you arrived together. Do not show up in last night’s outfit. Do not make the day about you. It is still a wedding, and although you might want to boast, your friends just got married so they still get the spotlight.
Most importantly, make sure you’re having fun! Your friends are getting married, so help them celebrate!

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Written by

Rebecca Dane

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