Weddings: Terms of Engagement


Spring has finally sprung and summer is on the horizon, which means for many of us, wedding season is right around the corner. So we felt the need to touch on a few important points to keep top of mind while navigating these joyous, yet increasingly demanding celebrations.


According to American Express, the cost of the average wedding attendee has reached over $600 and is on the rise. Which seems excessive, but once you factor in travel, lodging, the gifts, pregame drinks, post game drinks, and the other activities you schedule around the main event, it starts to make sense. Our tip: Plan ahead. Planning ahead is the best way to cut costs and still have plenty of fun.

Since couples (and their parents) are spending so graciously to ensure their guests, a.k.a. you, have a swell time, it is important to save money wherever you can to ensure your wedding gift doesn’t suffer. The current rule is to give a gift that is comparable to the cost of a plate (plus drinks at the open bar), which typically ranges between $90 and $250.

These big gifts can accumulate quickly, especially when the front of your fridge looks like a photographer’s couples-shot portfolio. Start saving now for some decent gifts. Think of it this way, if you are important enough to get an invite, the couple is important enough to get more than a card and a bottle of K-Y as a joke, because you’s funny, right? Wrong. What they really need is something on their registry or some good old fashioned cash money so they can get some help paying off student loans, putting a down payment on a home, or booking that honeymoon suite in Hawaii.

We find the easiest ways to cut costs are:

  • If driving to the event is an option, share a ride to and from, the more the merrier
  • Split the hotel room with as many people as you feel comfortable with
  • Buy a small bottle of some good alcohol for before the wedding
  • Avoid the hotel bar after the wedding. Instead bring a lesser expensive, larger bottle for post gaming. (You’ll care a lot less about taste after 2+ hours of an open bar)
  • If you are staying for more than a day, find group rates for events near the wedding location

Another great way to save, is a new, ingenious trend where co-attendees coordinate and pitch in for the newly-hitched couple to travel to a honeymoon location, like Paris (France, not Texas) or the Dominican. A crowd-sourced trip of sorts. This provides the opportunity to give the couple something meaningful without breaking your bank account in the process. If you are organized, think far enough ahead, and know the bride/groom’s friends well enough to get this together, it is definitely worth the effort.


Weddings, obviously, are formal. However, there is a strong sense of judgement that needs to be exercised based on your knowledge of the groom. You want to look good because you’ll be making several first impressions; plus, let’s face it, there is a high chance there will be attractive singles looking for a respectable man of their own (a.k.a. you) for the night. But remember - you must not overshadow the groom. It’s his day (and the bride’s too, of course), so tone down the peacocking and leave your paisley blazer at home. With this in mind, we suggest you stick to a two-piece suit. Leave the three-pieces for the groom and the groomsmen. Feel free to dress it up a bit with a pocket square and tie, but keep everything subtle. The day is not one for you to stand out, but being noticeable isn’t a bad thing.


Regulate Your Alcohol. Yes it’s free, and yes it does taste better that way. But that doesn’t mean you get to be Owen Wilson; trying to make out with any girl that doesn't have a ring on. The trick is to order sessionable drinks; think light beers, G&Ts or vodka sodas- something you can order easily, is drinkable, and won’t stain when you decide it’s your time to shine, like when The Wobble comes on and you spill a little on your cuff getting to the dance floor, trust us it happens. Also, make sure to bring a few dollars with you to tip your bartenders, sure the alcohol has been paid for, but those folks are watching you have a great time which can’t be easy.


The dance floor is your stage at most receptions so use it to the best of your ability. There is never an easier time to ask a girl to dance than at a wedding. They all want to dance with someone, and that someone should be you. If she says no, remember you’re at a wedding, there are probably more fish, and definitely a bunch of people in the middle dancing in a circle, so join them instead. Speaking of dancing circles, yes the worm is still pretty cool, but so is your suit jacket, and it’s less cool when it’s ruined, so dance responsibly: take it off before you hit the floor.


Love is in the air. That being said, beware of family members. The little sister of the bride may be gorgeous, but her Dad just gave away his one daughter and it’s doubtful he’s in a mood to see his other one find a man too. In the same light, the further away from the immediate family the better, and if you do find a girl who noticed your tie and pocket square ARE both chambray, have the decency to make your move away from the rest of the folks at the reception. Grandma does need to see her grand daughter making out with a stranger and drawing negative attention to yourself is the opposite of what you want when you’re there to celebrate your friends/family getting married.

What are your rules of engagement at weddings? Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments down below.