It’s happened! So I was invited to my first American wedding party, and the excitement of attending one has quite elevated, you know. Like always, I was amazed by how Americans celebrate their occasions, big or small. And I believe that love is in the air! And because I’m a blogger, I thought to “put a writing” down on a piece of e-paper about the whole thing.  

Just got invited

I want to go to a wedding.

(Can you imagine that? Can you?!)

I’ve always wanted to be invited to an American wedding for the first time, and now I am! It’s going to be my very first invitation! And I couldn’t be more excited about it.

But let me back up for a moment: What are the chances? Pretty slim, right? Still, I’m a huge believer in manifesting your desires. So when my client started talking about her upcoming wedding, I just kept thinking: “please ask me to come! Please ask me to come!

And what’s even better is that she’s also super loyal because she gets her nails done by me every two weeks like clockwork and never complains about anything. Even when I screw something up! She’s just so happy all the time, which makes me feel great too because I’m making someone else happy while doing something I love… and getting paid for it? Well, that’s just icing on the cake (and yes, pun intended).

So yeah.

One morning, I got hit by the question if I would like to attend her wedding.

I think it took me roughly 30-40 seconds of “ahhhhh” to process my thoughts because I was stunned. Lol. But it excited me at the same time.

I know how much she loves him and how much he loves her. They’re both very happy together, so it was a no-brainer for me when she asked me if I wanted to be part of their day.

What to expect at an American wedding party?

I was thrilled to be part of the celebration. But then I started to worry: what if I did something wrong? What if my lack of understanding of American culture caused offense? What if I looked stupid in my suit?

The week before the wedding, I did what any nerd would do: I read all the wedding etiquette on the first page of Google. Lol. 

And let me tell you, there’s a lot of stuff! But with a little help from my nerds (and Google sister), I can say I know the drill, but every wedding is different. And the mix of emotions just drives me nuts. I have a lot to prepare, too, as my dress style has gone downhill since I stepped foot in the US. For the past seven years, I’ve been wearing jeans, t-shirts, and polo shirts… just an ordinary plain Jane.

Do you know how hard it is to find a suit that fits short guys like me? So, what’s the best way to get a leg up on your wedding party suit pants shopping?

In the words of my nerd guy friends: it’s all about the butt fit.

If you’re wearing a pair that doesn’t fit right in the butt area, it doesn’t matter how perfect the rest of them look. You’ll still feel like a slob. And nobody wants that feeling when they’re going out on the town. Nuh uh.

Alterations shops are currently busy with essential garments like wedding gowns and suits for grooms… they won’t be able to take on any new customers for another month or two. So if you need any alterations or new clothes made for these occasions… get them scheduled as soon as possible!

I ordered seven suits online and only got two that fit alright. One of them makes my butt look cute. That’s all that matters.

american wedding party-rsvp card

The bachelorette party preparation series

I am a nail tech who loves to paint people’s nails. It’s not just about the art of painting nails. It’s also about building relationships with clients and empowering people.

I have a day off today, but I don’t mind coming in and finishing the bride’s nails. That way, she can focus more of her energy on finalizing other last-minute details.

But you know what? The shop has few customers because most clients believe I am out of the office. So Tuesday and Wednesday are kind of bygone days for us, but that doesn’t mean we’re not werking hard!

I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to convince my boss to let me leave early tonight so I can go start planning for her bachelorette party. I’m technically off today, but my boss is such a slave driver.

By the way, does anyone know if shots are on the menu?

Haha!

There are many things that make a good bachelorette party. The food, the music, the decorations… But what really makes it memorable?

The cocktails

I have about 39 brand-new plastic containers. The rest are washed initially in the dishwasher, but high temperatures damage them. I can’t manage to connect the old ones to each other, so I throw them away. I only use the new ones for this occasion.

I spent time mixing flavors, testing them out, and finding those that go together best. In the end, I found three flavors that taste good with each other. I’m going to post the recipes at a later date when I remember all of their ingredients. Lol. They’ll kick you in the pants if you keep drinking your own beverage mixed with these since each shot has one liquor and two different liqueurs.

I learned the art of seduction when I worked as a bartender a long ass time ago. I learned how to make people open up and be vulnerable by offering them a delicious drink. You allow no one who makes you a delicious drink to become a close friend. Lol. I’m serious!

I have two different batches down; the last one is a bit too beige vs. its previous batch. F me.

I need to top off that last batch with Grenadine to make them pinker and simply redo the liquor/liqueur part since Grenadine is a bit too sweet. I could try a different liqueur, but I’m short on time. I freeze them up ASAP and am just ready to party. 

american wedding party-cocktails

Things to do at the bachelorette party & the bachelor party

The bachelor/bachelorette party is at an ax-throwing club

I’ve never in my life thrown an ax before. I’m sure many party-goers and friends will say the same thing as it’s also their first time. 

There are more activities here than just axing, and they have a ping-pong table, table tennis, basketball machine, pool table, cornhole, etc. 

There are three different axes based on weight, and honestly, I didn’t even bother with the heaviest one if people even noticed. Lol. Because it’ll be the ax that is throwing me and not the other way around. 

It’s a very wholesome, cozy, and intimate party, just close friends of the groom and friends and children of the bride. I adore it so much! It’s unlike all the bachelor and bachelorette parties I’ve attended. Yes, I’ve been to bachelorette parties too. It’s a very different kind—story for another day. 

Axecuseme, these guys and gals are so good at throwing axes. Lol. I was behind on the game, but that didn’t stop me from having a great time. It’s fun to just throw things around without dealing with the consequences sometimes, and you’re with great company too!

I wonder if someone will throw a party when they’re so mad after a breakup. That they pin an old picture of their ex on the wall and throw axes at it? I can see myself doing that.

Got shots? 

The other night, I grabbed a few liqueurs and thought I had taken Asahi beer. I was aiming for Asahi on my way out. I only realized on the party day; that it was a pack of Sapporo instead. Oh well, old age, I guess. I had to swallow bitter beer, not my favorite at all.

I arrived at the party having never met any attendees except for the bride and her BFF. So I just made drinks without knowing anything about the group, but I thought a little mystery might make them more interesting. Lol. I was really nervous about the shots because they were one liquor and two liqueurs in each shot, so I had to be very careful about the ingredients.

I can’t make the shots stronger because I don’t want to overpower the night and spoil everyone else’s fun. Like, everyone’s eyes are half-open, looking for a place to throw up. Yeah, definitely not that kind.

I’m glad I just swung it at the last minute. It seemed to be taken very well, and I’m happy that I made it in time. The shots have a few hours to freeze up. Otherwise, it’d be a disaster.

I was somewhat sad because I couldn’t make many of the shots I wanted to make. Had I used the ones in the dishwasher, which I put in there twice—once after last Xmas and once a few days before the party.

I think the heated water did nothing but cause more harm. Well, lesson learned. But I wouldn’t do it any other way!

wedding party-bachelorette ax throwing party

Girls’ day out at the salon

It was a fun day. I love how the bride’s kids are so full of life and fun to be around. If any of your grown kids ever break up, you might want to consider me a candidate for the boyfriend position. Girl, I am just kidding. 

There were just 6-7 people there, including her relatives, friends, and grown kids. So it wasn’t out of control versus the small number of employees we have at the shop.

We opened at 10, and everyone got done by noon. My boss could have given me a choice about a customer, though. The customer came in and asked for the most gentle person in the shop.

Like, it’s legit, not cool because that customer came in AFTER the bride’s party. We have to complete the bride’s party first, no matter what.

First come, first serve rule. 

I grew weary of fighting with greed in Tracy (my boss) and finished her random customer before returning to the bride, who was so patient and understanding.

I felt pretty bad, but I roughed it out and kept working. It took me another 50 minutes because I had to remove the new customer’s Gel and her pedicure and then reapply the Gel in a new color.

I appreciated the bride’s patience as she waited for me with her children and maid of honor. Perhaps the delay was fated: she needed a fresh coat of polish. After all, she had stained her nails with hair dye. Again. Lol.

The color was one we had picked out together, but somewhere between then and now—it didn’t look right. We went with a different nude color and jammed clear glitter on top. But this new color her oldest child had picked out looked exactly right.

I hope she doesn’t bump into anything on her way out. I was even thinking about stealing that bottle on her wedding day and bringing it with me to the wedding to top up her nails if she happened to mess up. Lol. Because she is a customer, but first and foremost a friend; and because this is a special occasion. But I swear I’m not about that thug life.

The plus-one

I kept asking myself if I should invite a plus-one. I’d need a friend to hold my hand and show me what to do and how to act appropriately as a socially inept person. I picture another friend going to a social event and realize that it would be mostly about making sure they were comfortable and taken care of if I went with them. That would mean missing out on all the fun little details in my surroundings.

I didn’t want to give the wrong impression by trying to get close to someone, or we might be dating or something. Also, if I ended up inviting her and she needed a proper dress in a short time, it would be inconvenient for her to go shopping for one. So I decided to play it cool and went alone. I was brave—or stupid—enough to do it.

If I could go back in time, I’d invite Nancy to the party. She and I are good friends. We even shared her new house for six months when she needed help. We’re just friends, though—nothing more. The other time she asked me to work at her new shop, it made me think about quitting my current job at Tracy many times. But let’s just say that I haven’t given my contacts to my clients yet. I don’t want to start all over again at a new place with no clients.

I work here because of my cool clientele, not because of my bosses or coworkers.

I’ll be pinning myself in this shop until I’ve got my own system set up and clients to use it. With that, I can manage my schedule more efficiently than my employers do now. 

Let’s not get carried away with nail drama. We’re about to hit the jackpot—the wedding day! 
Do I regret not bringing a plus-one? Perhaps, but I had fun regardless. 

wedding party-a woman holding a glass of wine

The wedding day

It’s a beautiful day

The sun was up for a long time. Usually, it would have been set by 6 or 7 pm, so the couple must have gotten some beautiful sunset shots. 

The weather was a nuisance because it had been raining for several days before the wedding. However, the day of the wedding dawned bright and dry. Because of the rain, the grass was greener. Everything came together nicely.

I’m a grown man. I just posted pictures of myself on a group of nerds’ Discord server and asked if I should wear a bow tie or a tie to her wedding. Lol. That’s when you know I haven’t gone to any legit formal party for ages.

There are few last-minute options, and my only option is one of the bow ties I have in my closet that hasn’t been worn for ages. But it’s not just about dressing up; it’s about showing respect. 

I spent two days preparing, and I still have to go to work on the wedding day; this means that there is little time left to get ready. It’s not a big deal, though, because I turned up in time!

Vietnamese parties vs. American wedding parties

For Vietnamese weddings, guests typically show up late. To get your guests there in time for the ceremony, put the time of the event on your invitations as if it were 4 pm, even though you really plan to have the wedding at 6 pm. The rubber-band time is crazy, man.

A Vietnamese wedding party is an all-day affair with multiple events, from the groom’s departure from his parent’s house to the couple’s entrance to their new home. It’s a lot going on. A whole talk of the town.  

The difference between Vietnamese weddings and American weddings is the size of the parties. American wedding parties are smaller, while Vietnamese wedding parties tend to be larger; hence I like American weddings more because they feel intimate.

Some Vietnamese weddings got very big, like one that had 800 to 1000 guests.

It was kind of funny because I knew maybe less than 10 people at that wedding. That’s just how weddings in Vietnam work. And after the ceremony, the rest of the reception is handed over to the catering staff.

An American wedding party is a bit different from those in Western Europe or Asia. You don’t need a wedding planner or a venue; most people get married on their own terms, planning everything from A to Z.

Honestly, I think it’s best to do your own thing because it’ll be something you’ll remember for a very long time. Twenty years from now, when you look back, you’ll be like, ‘OMG, do you remember how we got that ABCD for the wedding?’

The venue is gorgeous, with a fascinating history

One of the groom’s family members told me that this beautiful open green space had been passed down by her ancestors for generations. The open green space features some white truss areas for sitting, and Mexican and Greek food trucks are ready to serve. There are five kegs of beer and a lot of bottles of wine.

wedding party-white truss sitting area

The ceremony was a sight to behold, but the bride’s outfit topped it all. The groom wore a yellow dress shirt with a green tie, while the bride wore a beige dress and had a black veil with floral details. The veil looked great for a Halloween theme.

I think it’s a good idea to wear a wedding dress like this one since most white wedding dresses are so white, they wash away some of the dress details.

american wedding party-outdoor ceremony

It’s uncommon for a bride to wear anything but white on her wedding day, yet my friend pulled it off beautifully. Black was my editor friend’s color of choice at her wedding; it was the first time I’d ever seen someone get married in all black.

I’m glad that the bride chose to dye her hair emerald instead of keeping it black; I remember she asked before, and she was very hesitant. I said, “you should wear something that makes you happy.” I think it makes her look great regardless.

But that emerald hair really sets off her face.

And because the wedding dress isn’t white, it doesn’t detract from the bride’s beauty.

Her maid of honor looked so different from what I saw. She was wearing her hair up with makeup—she even had an entirely new hairstyle. She looks incredible, too. I had to look twice like, is that her? I guess I’m just so used to seeing her in comfy casual clothes and not wearing makeup when they go to the shop together.

The bride’s three daughters are stunning in three different dresses: a long yellow one that clings to their curves, an emerald one that makes them look like princesses, and a short black one with thigh-high boots. Everybody else just looks lovely for the occasion.

In the end, I helped light a bonfire!

A groomsman said he had stoked it earlier, but we couldn’t maintain a fire. I think he fueled it too early; we just need some more fuel to add.

I grabbed all I could find: tissues from a nearby table to ask the Greek food truck attendant for a flat dish for the fanning activity. She laughed at me, and it took me roughly 20 seconds to realize what I was asking her. It must be the beer talking. 

wedding party-food trucks

After several attempts, our group ignited the spark with the help of hand sanitizer and several people. Haha. At this point, I wasn’t sure if the groomsman was high or if I was drunk, but it didn’t matter because we finally got the fire started.

The speaker should have announced other couple’s activities such as cake cutting, first dance, and other activities. The area is vast, and many people were in line for food or hanging around their table—they missed out on some wedding party activities.

I waited in anticipation for the Snow S’more food truck to arrive.

One of the big kids spotted me, and I was rewarded with a s’more. Awh. I don’t know whether his grandma asked him to do it or someone else did, but thank you. I love sweet stuff. Lol. If the S’more line isn’t long enough, I would have gone myself.

The wedding ended with a couple of dances by the tribe, and my body tingled in response. I joined the step dance but left the two-person one because I honestly had no idea how to do it. If Nancy had been there, though, she would’ve shown me; that her family is in a tribe too.

The wedding turned out wonderfully, and I can’t wait to hear all about it in the next couple of weeks.

american wedding party

The after-party roundabout 

Now the fun begins when I order an Uber. The driver is someone I know, so he’s confused when he picks me up on the opposite side of a farm. So he was like, “What the heck?”

There’s nothing there but hay fields and cows. He had to stop by to pick up a friend or two on his way back. And I say, “It’s okay. I can wait it out. Do what you gotta do, man.”

I regret that decision, real quick.

My Uber driver went to pick up his first friend; it turned out to be a couple. His car only had two doors, so I hurried over to the back seat, and it was hard to do so in tight suit pants without flashing the entire world.

I wore the suspenders, but it wasn’t a good idea. The elastic pulled my pants up to my crotch. Nowadays, millennials wear tight clothes that make it difficult not to show a bulge when you sit down.

Guilty as much. I had to carry too many items in my pockets, which made my pants expand outward. From wallet to my EDC pocket knife, pocket perfume to bandaids, ID, and other things.

Welcome to ‘how to counter fashion 101’

The girl turned on her flashlight and shooed it in the car to check. She saw me and shrieked, “Nope, I’m not going in.” And so the couple turned away. 

For my own sake, I found myself gleefully manspreading in a bow tie and a suit, with one eye open in the backseat of an Uber drive. Lol. I was drunk as heck. So the driver cursed some and headed over to his second friend, who works at Walmart near Cache Rd. 

It would have taken us an hour and a half to drive around. But I finally hit my home sweet home.

If you get in an Uber and the driver takes a detour somewhere, your Uber GPS will still track your path even if the trip is marked “finished.” The notification will pop up on your phone, even though it seems like the GPS has stopped following you. You will have to avoid swiping that notification in case something happens.

I’m used to Uber, so I’m not nervous about this ride, but keep this in mind if you have never used Uber before or the driver seems shady. 

I’d say that 14 hours of sleep is an excellent indication of a great American wedding party.

american wedding party

It’s the little things that matter

Everyone knows that many emotions come with attending a wedding. However, what’s lovely about this time is that even if you aren’t the bride or groom, everyone gets to get married for the day! I know I did!

And it’s the little things that matter. Although just about half the invitees attended, the wedding was a great success. Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your special day <3 

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