Tomorrow is my birthday. It falls on a Thursday this year and I have taken the entire weekend off work. Not for a weekend of birthday festivities. No, I am going to a wedding. Now, at this stage of life, we are all going to a ton of weddings each summer. Occasionally, these weddings will be out of town and require travel. This can be very expensive, so I try to limit these trips to the weddings of people I really like. I prefer to go only to the weddings of people I really like, but sometimes finding an excuse is hard. You can’t exactly say to a bride, “I would totally go to your wedding, if only you weren’t about to marry the world’s greatest douchebag. Plus, I would really rather not have to spend the money to go to your wedding when everyone knows your marriage will never last…”
Now, I know what you are probably thinking, “Man, it really sucks that you have to spend you whole birthday weekend at this wedding.” My response, “No, it does not.” Why? Because this is a couple I really like. I am no stranger when it comes to weddings. Some are really and truly terrible. Some are awesome. Want to know what you need to have an awesome wedding? You guests have to believe that you are an awesome couple and that they did not just drop $50 – $1000 for a marriage that will only last 7 years TOPS. Weddings are the best when I really like BOTH the bride and the groom. If I really like one and do not like the other (or do not know the other), I am far less excited. Sometimes there is not time for me to meet all of the future spouses of my friends before the big day, and the ceremony will tell me everything I need to know about whether or not I think the marriage will last. If the bride does not cry (goes double if the groom does), if I do not cry, if the ceremony is sterile. Things like that.
When you are growing up, people are always telling you not to worry about what your friends think. If they are your friends, they will like the people you like. This is utter and complete bullshit. If all of your friends hate your significant other, there is a problem. Either you have crummy friends who do not know you very well, or you are in a terrible relationship. My guess is the latter. It is also possible that your friends do not know your significant other very well, and I suggest you remedy that. Your friends are the very first test, and I believe, the most important one.
I am not one to train boyfriends. I believe if you want to be with someone, you have to accept them “as is”. I am not one to “test” them either, but there are a few things that I believe are a good way to determine whether or not they are right for a permanent position. I call them tests, but in reality they are just opportunities to see a red flag. The first one is you friends. If your friends really like someone you are with, that is a good sign. If they think they are less than stellar, that is a pretty sizable red flag.
All of this to say, if I really like the couple, I don’t mind going to their wedding. If I really love the couple, then I don’t mind going to their wedding, on the weekend of my birthday, dropping a few hundred dollars on travel, and spending several hours making their wedding gift. In the case of this weekend, I couldn’t be more excited. So next time you feel dread about going to someone’s wedding, think about why. Is there a big read flag that you are seeing that the couple seems to be blind to? Do you really dislike either the bride or the groom? If this is the case, it is probably best to not go.