The weather is nice, love is in the air and people are getting married at an alarmingly frequent rate. Every year when the weather warms up people start getting engaged/married like it’s going out of style and while very few weddings are complete train wrecks (I wish the same could be said for the marriages), very few actually live up to the hype created by a party over a year in the making. I am not arrogant enough to think I have cracked the code of having the perfect wedding, but the following tips will help make your special day worth the time, effort and expense required of even the most basic arrangements.
Piss on it! When I hear one of my friends got engaged my first thought is: “No kidding? Good for them.” I rarely think “Awesome, an opportunity to stand around one of his uncle’s yards with a bunch of lame late 20’s/early 30’s losers dressed like Charlie Sheen in “Two and a Half Men” and make buffoonish small talk while trying not to sweat in my Lacoste polo.” The engagement party falls in the same category as the bridal shower, bachelor/bachelorette party and the rehearsal dinner, getting married is a big deal…for YOU! It should not monopolize more than one afternoon of MY life.
Let’s get this out of the way, your friends, even your closest friends and family, don’t really care you are getting married, don’t have any desire to spend their money on your housewares and are not even a little excited about your new blender. The idea of otherwise intelligent young women feigning enthusiasm as the bride opens pots, pans and food processors that she knew damn well she would be getting because of the bridal registry in unbearable. This is an antiquated tradition that should already be as obsolete as sacrificing virgins in volcanoes or drowning people accused of practicing witchcraft. Most of the women that have these showers are educated, employed and live on their own, which makes asking their friends to buy them basic household supplies and small appliances completely unacceptable. Like Big Pun said “Get your own, ‘ya heard!”
Bridal Showers are a lot like Baby Showers and Painting “Parties” in that they shift the responsibility for a questionable decision to the wrong people. If you cannot afford a crock pot, maybe it’s not the time to get married and I refuse to celebrate your inability to use a condom or afford professional painters by giving up my time and/or money to help you out. If I wanted to spend my weekends painting houses I would learn the trade and start a business, I would absolutely not do 8 hours of labor in exchange for a couple of beers and two slices of Papa John’s Pizza.
I’m not really sure what women get out of these celebrations of giggling, absurd amounts of hard liquor and phallus-shaped drinking straws, so I will not even attempt to address the female psyche. However, for guys that see a bachelorette party in a bar: Leave them alone! They are not interested, it’s not that kind of night, keep it moving. Every time a bachelorette party comes rumbling into a bar some jackass thinks he just found the motherlode of “drunk & hot girls.” While they may be wasted, there is no chance a girl wearing a hand painted undershirt with the words “Former Coke Slut” emblazoned on the chest and Mardi Gras beads with penises around her neck, is going home with you. Her friends won’t allow it and no matter how slick you think you are, the next day they will all call you “that weird guy in that one bar.” If you happen to run into a bachelorette party while at a bar or club, quietly try to ignore them until they leave and get on with your night.
The Bachelor Party can be a fun, “last hurrah” for the groom and his boys before he becomes a husband/father. That’s really all I have on this because I don’t want to write anything that will come back to haunt me if I ever have one of my own.
Unless the wedding is being conducted by a pagan warlord and the ceremony involves the ritualistic sacrifice of animals, body mutilation and elaborate pyrotechnics the rehearsal dinner is completely unnecessary. I have yet to see a ceremony that could possibly have required more than 15 minutes of preparation and instruction.
If the wedding is not in a church, nobody is even a little bit interested. If you are going to get married in your house or somebody else’s house by a judge, justice of the peace or one of your boys with an online certification, you might as well do it in private and not inconvenience your friends and family. Religious people view this as a waste of time and a hoax, non-religious people think it’s a scam to take advantage of tax breaks and neither group cares that much either way.
If the wedding is held in a church, people are only looking for one thing: a quick ceremony and the opportunity to “punch the clock” for the week and not have to go back for regular mass on Sunday. Give them what they want, have the priest do a quick prayer, ask the couple if they are cool with the arrangement, file the paperwork and send everybody on their way.
Start the night off right by getting rid of this annoying formality. Nobody has a good time standing up, holding a drink and a plate of pigs-in-a-blanket, trying not to spill the spicy mustard on their good clothes and make conversation with people they will never see again.
Forgo the expensive sit-down dinner in favor of a buffet. Have the buffet set up as soon as your guests arrive (instead of the cocktail hour) so they can eat immediately and the real party can start as soon as the staff clears away the sneeze-guards.
The ONLY way this can be handled is a “Make-Your-Own-Sundae” Ice Cream Social that takes place immediately following the buffet-style dinner (both Buffet and Ice Cream Bar happen within the first hour of the reception). The reason for this esoteric desert selection is that it presents an ice-breaker for both families before the dancing/drinking hits full speed. The following conversations are only possible at an Ice Cream Social:
Bill: Hey, I’m Anthony’s cousin Bill. I’m having rum raisin ice cream with caramel and wet walnuts.
Mary: Hi, Bill. I’m Jane’s friend from college Mary and I’m having butter pecan ice cream with hot fudge and pineapple chunks.
Bill: Cool, we should hang out later, do you know if that’s the caramel that turns into a hard shell when it hits the ice cream?
Mary: Nah, it’s just the regular, they are cheap as sh*t!
Entertainment: A band is a complete waste of money, they will charge you about ten times as much as a DJ to play bad versions of the same songs the DJ will play. While significantly cheaper, a good DJ is an absolute must, but not just any DJ, discerning couples should hire a well known Mixtape DJ to host their reception. This will provide unbridled enthusiasm for any announcements and an endless stream of “exclusives” that are all somehow available on the internet. Some of the possible exchanges here include:
“And now for the first time anywhere, Mr. and Mrs….CLUE-MINATI!!!!!!!!!!”
“Please remind your server if you ordered the chicken or fish entrée. WE THE BREAST!”
(Chicken, get it?)
Not to mention Funk Flex dropping bombs during the best man’s speech.
It is also becoming more common for the groom to make a speech about his wife and how much he loves her. I would replace this foolishness with a speech about the wedding party with the sole intent being to make everybody in the room hate, and possibly physically assault the groomsmen. Telling the crowd one of the ushers in a known kleptomaniac and has probably already ransacked every purse in the room or the best man has already made love to the limo driver on the ride to the reception hall are all good starts, but any charges of racism, sexual misconduct, bizarre grooming habits or general indecency will work just fine.
Follow the speech with 6 or 7 hours of open bar mayhem and then go back to the hotel on shuttle busses for another 3 hours of carousing. After that your friends and family should have had more than enough fun to justify their wedding gifts and you should be ready to start your new life as husband and wife.