Love is in the air, wedding bells are chiming left and right, and you need a date! Grand Rapids native and wedding connoisseur Michelle Weber shared some helpful advice to ensure your plus one is a hit not a miss.
- Know your environment. Before you begin thinking about who you are going to bring, you have to consider where you are going. Weddings vary in size, cost, and society; sometimes one date doesn’t fit all. Consider the relationship you have with the people at the wedding. Is this a work wedding? College buddy bash? Family focused soiree? The nature of the wedding should help you decide if you bring your over the top dance machine boy-that’s-a-friend, or your ultra-conservative, well-mannered co-worker.
- Don’t sacrifice fun for romance. Taking a plus one to a wedding doesn’t imply that you yourself are going to marry that person (duh!). But that’s honestly how people act sometimes. Weddings are romantic. It’s nice to lovingly gaze into the eyes of your man during the recitation of vows, but you can’t force that feeling. Never take a “first date” to a wedding. Weddings aren’t traditional dates—you are going to be spending the next eight hours with that person. You haven’t even had a chance to get to know this guy, and now he’s going to be introduced to your family and friends as your plus one? Yikes. A better option might entail sacrificing romance to take a good friend you can trust and who is going to show you a good time without making a fool of himself or you for that matter.
- Consider your date. Realize that your date is taking a risk. He is entering unfamiliar ground (i.e., your friends and family with hyper-critical eyes) so preparation and communication is key. Consider your prospective date’s comfort level and flexibility. Let him know what to expect. If you are in the wedding party, double check he is correct on his arrival times and directions. Give him a heads-up on what type of wedding it will be and what your expectations are of the evening. If you know that Uncle Jim always goes shirtless at exactly 9 p.m. and starts giving bear hugs, your date may not want to be caught unaware.
- Sometimes a plus zero is better than a plus one. When you are considering what kind of wedding this is going to be, ask yourself how much quality time you are going to be able to spend with your plus one. Are you the maid of honor to a bridezilla? Do you have a list a mile long of people with whom you want to catch up? If you are in the wedding party, who will your date be seated next to, does he know anyone other than you? It’s unfair to ask someone to accompany you to a wedding when you are already stretched thin on time and availability.
Hopefully these tips of the trade help you find the perfect plus one for your upcoming event. Can you think of anything we are missing? What characteristics do you look for in a wedding date?
Written by: Chelsea Slocum is a resident of Grand Rapids. She works as an educator and freelance writer. She enjoys learning about new and different things happening in the city and spending time with her husband, two crazy kids, family, and friends. Photo: Brissa Aguilar