14 May 2011

Better Together Forever

Listening to: Nelson, "Can't Live Without Your Love and Affection." If you don't know what the Nelson twins look like these days, some of the imagery in this video may disturb you. I don't recall anything about their music except that George was really into them. I didn't understand then and I sure as heck don't understand now.

Since two of my favorite people have recently blogged about weddings and plus ones, I thought I'd have to leap in there just to join the virtual pajama party. Lilly's great post and very important Potential Wedding Date Questionnaire is the place to start. And then head over to where Reena talks about the injustice of never receiving a plus one on her invite, and presents us with a sample Checklist of Singles card to be filled out alongside food preferences.

As for me, I'd like to start by rethinking the idea of a plus one. Currently the system is used to give your guests the familiarity and comfort of having someone they know at the wedding. The basic rule of thumb seems to be that if they don't know anyone else, they should get a plus one. Or if they are seriously dating someone, they also get a plus one. At an average of over a hundred dollars a head, this idea is truly crazy.

After extensive research, a quarter of the crowd at a typical wedding are plus ones who usually don't add anything to the festivities. Even worse, having someone chained to your friend essentially makes them less fun. As far as I'm concerned, the plus one is really a negative one. I'm into social mathematics and this just doesn't add up. If you want to smother the joy at your nuptials, just dole out those plus ones in the traditional way. Or you could try something different!

The post-modern wedding should exist for your entertainment and pleasure. Who cares if the guests are comfortable or having a great time? The important thing is that you have who you want at the wedding and not some gathering of people who suck the energy out of the party. Guests should only get plus ones if the person they bring has special skills or is highly participatory and awesome fun.

For example, I once went to a wedding where my friend got a plus five. "That seems excessive" you might say. Basically the reasoning was that my friend had such cool friends that having multiples of them would surely add value to the event. So my friend brought his entourage of talented and beautiful souls and they performed SWV's "Weak" at the reception and provided entertainment for all. If you're going to allow plus anyones at your wedding, make sure they are actually positive assets.

The one time I was a plus one at a wedding, I stepped up to the plate and became the de facto videographer. Someone needed to man the camera and since I really wasn't there for any reason except to accompany my friend -- who was a bridesmaid -- I volunteered my services. Now I don't want to toot my own horn but I think I made my presence felt, if only by providing digital memories for the happy couple. That's the kind of plus one that you want at your wedding. Me!

Some signs that your plus one is really a negative one:

  • Their feet hurt and they won't/can't dance.
  • They are tired at intermission and want to go back to the hotel room by ten.
  • They aren't going to talk much and can't aid you in starting/maintaining/stopping conversations.
  • They will cling to you and ruin your entire night by making you take care of them.
  • They won't help you zip, locate, or carry things.
  • They complain about the hors d'oeuvres. Or complain about anything.
  • They are attached to the bar and will be sloshed by cake cutting.
  • They are an ex of someone being married that day.
The last one is actually a plus fifty but I think that's just to me because I like melodrama and tension.