How to Make Small Talk With Almost Anyone At A Wedding

You never know who you'll be seated next to

Updated 08/24/18

Photo by Leila Brewster

Each wedding you go to will likely be much different than the last, from cocktails to food to the music. One thing that’s guaranteed to happen at any wedding you attend, whether it’s down the street or five states away: you’ll have to make small talk. Whether you’re stuck talking to an old coworker during cocktail hour, sitting at table number 10 with strangers you’ve never met before in your life, or standing in line at the bar behind the bride’s aunt, here are five tips to help you be the life of the party with your small talk conversation.

1. Bring Up Current Events

Before you head to the wedding, read up on current events that you can talk about when you need a silence filler. Pick topics that aren’t controversial (which means politics or religion should be left out) and instead, go for topics that people will have a friendly opinion on (sports, movies, or celebrities). That way, when you find yourself fishing for things to say, you can bring up something you read online or saw on a morning news show that day.

2. Ask a lot of Questions

Your go-to conversation move should be asking a lot of questions. Act less like you’re interrogating them and more like you’re a podcast host, genuinely curious to find out more about them and their interests. The best way to think up questions to ask is to make sure you are actively listening when they are speaking.

3. Talk About Your Environment

When you find yourself face-to-face with someone and you don’t know what to say or you’ve run out of questions and current events to bring up, comment about the environment that you’re in. What is going on around you that you can pull into conversation to get them talking? Perhaps it’s the weather, the decorations, the food, or even the music.

4. Bring Up What You Know to Be True

If you’re at a smaller wedding event or reception, try to study up on the people there that you know will be spending time around you. If you know you’re going to be sitting at a table with a group of people that the bride went to college with, perhaps you do some research about the bride’s college so that you can bring up things the crowd will be able to comment on and share their opinions on throughout the night.

5. Ask for Advice

One more simple way to keep people talking is to ask for help. Think of some situations or problems you’d like advice on and ask the person you’re talking to. Asking for help makes people feel worthy and involved. It also helps the time pass because they can provide you with their opinion and similar things that happened to them and by the time you know it, the ceremony will begin, the bar will open, and the dance floor will commence, and you can politely excuse yourself from the conversation.

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