You open your phone on a Saturday afternoon and a Facebook post pops in your newsfeed, with 200 people liking a photo of your buddy and his girlfriend proclaiming their engagement. “She said yes!”. Before you know it, you’re getting a save the date in the mail for an out of state wedding next summer. When the official invite comes several months later, it includes “and guest”. What do you do? Whether you’re exclusively or casually dating someone, you have a decision to make.
Side note: before anything else, you may want to call your buddy to gauge how many single ladies (if any) will be in attendance.
Know this: Bringing her to a wedding will accelerate the seriousness of your relationship tenfold. It’s something every man should understand the consequences of before asking a lady to accompany him. Think through these five factors before letting your buddy know you’ll be bringing a “plus one”.
1) Friends: In all likelihood, this event will force you to introduce the lady to your friends. They might be friends from your childhood, work, or an activity, but either way they’re all going to meet. She will also meet their girlfriends and wives, and likely will connect on social media.
IF YOU’RE SERIOUS: Congrats, you’ve officially integrated her with your friends or co-workers, and setting up double dates will be fun. Make sure your buddies know not to say anything stupid about you or your past conquests in front of her. Beware of mixing both worlds too aggressively. It’s always important to have your space.
IF YOU’RE NOT SERIOUS: It’ll just make splitting up that much harder, and you run the risk of her befriending someone’s girlfriend which could keep her in the picture for longer than you’d hoped. Or, in a more rare case, she may end up dating someone else from this group later on, and you’ll have to be around it and her for an extended period of time.
2) Family: Here is the big one. Introducing a girl to your family should never be taken lightly. It is reserved for the highest quality female you meet. If you’re “bringing her home to mamma, you better mean business”.
IF YOU‘RE SERIOUS: This is a good thing. It shows her you are committed and want her in your life, while giving your family an understanding that you’re serious about the relationship. It’s an easier, less threatening environment for her to meet your family, as it’s a big group that’s drinking, eating, dancing and having fun. She will probably buddy up with one of your fun aunts or cool cousins, and it’ll be smooth sailing from there.
IF YOU’RE NOT SERIOUS: Good luck, pal. Do you want everyone in your family asking about her for the next six months? Or how about dealing with them being connected to her on social media? Would you enjoy answering questions about your status? Have you thought about the fact that she’s going to be in photos with you and your family? You’re giving the wrong impression to everyone, including her. Don’t bring her if she isn’t at the very least, your future ex girlfriend.
3) Status: Another tremendous factor to consider is the wedding WILL undoubtedly raise questions about your relationship status, from both her and others. You will be forced to introduce her to everyone there, and while you could do this by simply saying her name, omitting a title may prompt her to ask you about this later on. If you say the wrong title, i.e. “my friend”, you could really upset her and ruin the chemistry. Or, on the flip side, if you call her your “girlfriend” too soon, it could make things awkward between you. Adding more complication to this could be other wedding guests, who may (or may not) ask you if you’re “dating” or “a couple”. This will put you on the spot and cause unnecessary stress, tension, and awkwardness if you and her aren’t aligned.
IF YOU’RE SERIOUS: You may want to prep her for this question. Try something like “my crazy aunt keeps asking if she’s going to meet my girlfriend at the wedding, so if she asks about us I’m going to tell her it’s you just to shut her up”. See how she reacts to this, and recalibrate your plan.
IF YOU’RE NOT SERIOUS: Introduce her by her name, and if she asks about your status just be honest. The worst thing that can happen will be the relationship ending, which you don’t care about anyway.
4) Introspection & Extreme Feelings: Weddings are all about love, commitment, passion, and other serious couple topics. They demonstrate an extreme commitment between two people dedicated to spending the rest of their living years together. The ceremony, speeches, music, dancing and symbolism create a powerful setting sure to trigger some feelings and introspection in your date (especially if she’s a few drinks deep).
Be forewarned: at some point during the night, she’s going to picture her own wedding. It may prompt her to question why she isn’t engaged or married yet, which can lead to a number of consequences.
IF YOURE NOT SERIOUS: Good luck dealing with the questions about your future together. This “fun time” just got serious to her, and there’s no going back. If she asks you “can you picture us getting married one day?”, what will you say? If you answer “yes”, you’ll be lying. You’ll have a tough time getting out of that in the future. If you say “no” or “I’m not sure”, you’ll likely have a pretty shitty conversation about why you’re not compatible, likely ending the fling.
IF YOU’RE SERIOUS: Congratulations! This is now a topic of conversation for you two (if it wasn’t already). When she’s equally serious about you, your relationship will evolve due to these conversations. If she starts thinking about her own wedding and doesn’t picture you in it, this could signal the end of your relationship. It isn’t a bad thing, because why on earth would you want to waste any more time with someone who doesn’t want to be with you?
5) Sleepover Plus: There’s a very strong possibility you’ll be sleeping over at the wedding, meaning you and your new lady will be staying in the same hotel together. This is a very good test of the relationship, and it also almost guarantees sex. On top of this, if the wedding requires some travel, you’ll be spending 2-3 straight days together, potentially with other wedding guests at the welcome event or brunch the next day.
IF YOU’RE SERIOUS: Saddle up, cowboy! You’re getting laid. On top (no pun intended) of this, the experience will give you a sense of how she lives, organizes herself, and how it would potentially feel living together. Are you excited to wake up next to her? Can you tolerate 72 straight hours together without being bored or annoyed? Does it feel natural?
IF YOURE NOT SERIOUS: You’re locked into at least a full night together, and you probably can’t send her home in an Uber. This must be what prison feels like. You’re also engaging in activities that serious couples are used to, so you run the risk of her developing some strong feelings and expectations, which could be a major let down for her when it’s time to call it quits. Don’t lead her on.
No matter what you decide, have a good time and make sure to tip the bartender!
– Your Big Bro