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Wedding season is coming to a close, which means soon-to-be brides and grooms are currently in the throes of planning their weddings for next season.
Weddings become the new fraternity/sorority formal after you graduate, and I’ve been to a hell of a lot of them. They’re what I live for between the months of April and September. Now, as any sleuth that can read the title of this column can deduce, I’ve never been married or planned a wedding. But, I sure as tits know what will make a wedding fun for the people that attend. So pay attention, would-be brides and grooms: I’m about to fuck you up with some knowledge.
1. No holiday weddings.
Quick quiz: what do you like to do on the Fourth of July? My answer is reveling in all that is American, shooting off fireworks while dangerously inebriated, and cruising around on my friend-of-a-friend’s boat. My answer is NOT sitting through an hour-and-a-half long Greek Orthodox wedding ceremony.
For some reason, there is this brilliant idea to have weddings coincide with holidays because “people will already have off from work,” and therefore wedding invitees can easily make it a long weekend for the nuptials.
Listen, would-be brides and grooms, while your intentions for planning a wedding on a holiday may be altruistic, what you’re really saying is “I don’t care about anyone’s vacation time.” Also, you’re assuming I want to come to your wedding more than I want to rip body shots off of the blonde that I know is going to be on my buddy Whit’s boat. Unless your reception is also literally on my buddy Whit’s boat, then I do not want to come.
This also goes for football season. Ninety percent of you reading this went to a Power Five school with a half decent football program, according to a survey I made up. If you plan the wedding on a College Football Saturday, you need to expect a large portion of your invitees will not attend.
This is doubly true for holidays during football season. I know someone, let’s call her “Susan,” who had her wedding on Thanksgiving weekend. I wish I was joking.
Ignoring the fact that Thanksgiving is my time to enjoy listening to my drunken family rant about politics and “kids these days,” that weekend is also rivalry weekend in college football. I’m trying to watch my Alma Mater lay the smack down on that other university that has the audacity to exist. I’m not trying to watch you feed your new husband cake, Susan. Don’t be a Susan.
2. No kids.
Storytime. There were children at that hour-and-a-half Greek Orthodox wedding ceremony I referenced earlier, and they were screaming non-stop. For an hour. And a half. I legitimately couldn’t hear what the priest was saying because there were so many kids yelling at their parents for putting them through the same ceremony I was sitting in. While I was certainly in the same mood as the screaming toddlers, I’m an adult and I know that if I had started yelling about how long the ceremony is taking, I’d be kicked out.
This wedding is about you. You shouldn’t worry about shrieking hellions during your ceremony. The last thing you want is some entitled 3-year-old yelling because they don’t have their iPad to play Angry Birds. You also don’t need your parent-friends getting mad because their impressionable children are witnessing all of your childless friends from college engage in drunken shenanigans. Make sure you include on the invitation a nice “please leave any children at home.”
Exception: flower girl and ring bearer. That shit is adorable.
3. Most nit-picky decisions you are stressing over are stupid.
Here’s something I’ve never said to anyone while at a wedding: “Man, these floral arrangements are dooooope.” If I’m being honest, I really couldn’t tell you if there were any flowers at any of the weddings I’ve been to. As long as you have an open bar, the average wedding-goer will be much too drunk to care about the azaleas you perfectly matched with some orchids that were locally sourced from, like, an ethically responsible farm.
This also goes for things like tablecloth color, balloons (what are you, a five-year-old?), and other dumbass shit you might be considering spending money on. As long as the venue can fit all of your friends, they’re all going to have a good time. I’m not sure if anyone has ever had a bad time at a wedding because the color of tablecloth didn’t match the flower arrangements sitting on the table. If you actually have friends that do have a bad time at your wedding because of some dumb minutia, then you have terrible friends.
Don’t be one of those clowns that has a budget of $6,000 to $11,000 on goddamn flowers. Christ almighty, six grand on flowers? Flowers that will DIE a few days later? Take that money and spend it on your honeymoon. Or a sweet-ass television. Or on your open bar that you better fucking have.
4. There’s only one thing you should be concerned about, and that’s the bar.
While I certainly never thought a wedding was garbage because of poor flower choice, I have thought a wedding was garbage because they had dumb, arbitrary rules with their bar. If I’m dressed to the nines like James Bond, then I should be able to order a drink uninhibited like – you guessed it – James Bond.
A really odd thing I’ve encountered at many weddings is the temporary closing of the bar for various reasons: entrance of the bridal party, speeches, the cutting of the cake, and other random stuff. Here’s a thing that you need to be aware of: there are a lot of people at your wedding who don’t give a shit about you being married. They are dates, distant family members who you invited (for some reason), and others who just came for the free food and booze.
A wedding should be a nonstop celebration. Don’t stop the celebration by randomly closing the bar because you want the background of your photos to be crammed with people watching you dance. The people that really care about you totally nailing your choreographed entrance and subsequent dance routine with your significant other are going to be there to witness it. If you have to force people to come and watch you have your first dance, then you need to reconsider who you’re inviting to your wedding.
“Cocktail hour” is another phenomenon I’ve witnessed at wedding receptions, whereby my ability to order liquor drinks is given a time limit before the bar switches over to only beer and wine. The intention is to make sure the wedding guests don’t get too drunk off of the good stuff. The result is a bum-rush by everyone trying to slam as much liquor as they can before the “cocktail hour” ends, which ends up having the opposite outcome of the intention. It should be called “cocktail power-hour.”
This shouldn’t surprise you, would-be brides and grooms. If you think limiting us to liquor for an hour will make us less drunk, you are either woefully naïve or have never been in a bar during last-call for alcohol.
I have heard that an open bar is very expensive, so couples will opt for a “cocktail hour” to split the difference and have some liquor during the wedding. Here’s an idea: don’t spend six grand on flowers or other meaningless bullshit, and instead spend it on a full open bar. Just a thought.
5. Speeches should be done at the rehearsal dinner, with the exception of a short speech thanking everyone for coming.
Speaking of shutting down the bar for arbitrary reasons, there’s this other terrible trend of having the wedding party line up and give speeches to everyone at the reception. If I’m not a part of the inner circle of friends (i.e. I wasn’t invited to the rehearsal dinner the night before), then watching these people give speeches can be excruciating, especially if you’ve cut me off from the bar. All those witty inside jokes and sharp references to various experiences are going to fall flat to an audience mostly made up of people who weren’t there. Also, ten dollars says your close friends aren’t great public speakers. Making your guests watch them stumble-mumble through a speech about how you met freshman year is a waste of everyone’s time. Keep these speeches to the rehearsal dinner the night before, where the most important people of your life should be anyway.
The exception to this is a short speech (usually done by the father of the bride) thanking everyone for coming and celebrating. This speech applies to everyone, which is why no one minds hearing it. What we do mind hearing is a 20-minute cry-speech from your friend Chelsea who printed off a manifesto that she swears “doesn’t even begin to describe how special your friendship is.”
And there you have it. Stick to these guidelines and I promise everyone will have a great time at your wedding. And hey, if you’re reading this and already made one of these dumb mistakes when you planned your wedding: congratulations! You now know what everyone was whispering about every time you walked into a room during your special day. .