Lately, it seems like extending an invitation to your favorite athlete or Hollywood A-lister has become a mandatory part of wedding planning. Peyton Manning (or, at least, Peyton Manning’s PR team) sent his regrets to this couple last fall, and though she couldn’t make the wedding, Taylor Swift gamely attended a longtime fan’s bridal shower in April. Guys? This is tacky, and it’s time to stop.
Of course, it’s safe to assume that the vast majority of couples who perpetrate this are fully aware that the odds of their would-be guest RSVPing yes are next to nothing. But let’s pretend, for a moment, that your unlikely invited guest did indulge you: that would be an excruciatingly uncomfortable experience, for you and for them. Have you thought about what it would really be like, if Ryan Gosling, or Beyoncé, or LeBron James actually showed up to claim his or her rightful portion of chicken or fish? What if they were seated next to you? What in the hell would you talk about? Once you move several degrees of separation beyond the head table, weddings are already a disorienting pageant of semi-acquaintances: distant cousins, coworkers’ spouses, and plenty of people attending purely out of a sense of obligation (if not to you, then to someone who in turn feels a sense of obligation to you). If you think you can handle small talk, then you’ve never been stuck at a dull table at a cash bar reception. Now imagine being Mila Kunis stuck at a dull table at a cash bar reception, surrounded by your octogenarian great-aunts.
Even if, improbably, the celebrity were to show up and, even more improbably, the three of you were to hit it off, is that really the kind of wedding you want to have? Don’t forget what happened when Jennifer Lawrence served as a bridesmaid in her own non-famous brother’s wedding — she stole the whole damn show, without even trying. Your ceremony would transform into an impromptu fan convention, the dress, the flowers, the vows all immediately forgotten. Weddings are a celebration of your love for your partner — not of your love for Bryan Cranston, charming though he may be.
As much as you might admire a star’s public persona, socially engaging with you — as with celebrity prom proposals — is not part of their job description. Celebs charge exorbitant fees to appear at events they’d probably enjoy more than the nuptials of a pair of perfect strangers. They are not your friends, they are not your family, and they owe you nothing: not even a cute, social media-ready response to an inappropriate invitation. If you invite celebrities to your wedding, needlessly killing trees is far from the worst thing you’re doing. It doesn’t mean you’re clever and it doesn’t mean you’re charming — it just means you’re sorely lacking in self-awareness.