Friday, April 29, 2011

My Inconvenient Wedding (Revised)

In honor of the big Royal Wedding this morning, I thought it would be fun to revise and republish my thoughts on the perfect wedding. This was first written in 2009 and posted as a note in Facebook. We've come a long way since then and attended a few more weddings and showers since.

Every little girl dreams of her wedding day. We dream about the dresses, the flowers, the music, the dances, the bridesmaid’s gowns, the honeymoon and the groom. (I almost forgot that last one.)

 I've attended many weddings and worked at a banquet hall in a small western Pennsylvania town. From these experiences, I've gathered a lot of ideas and plans for elements and traditions I'd like to incorporate into my own wedding. I thought I'd share some of them.
I want to get married the Tuesday before Thanksgiving 2021. This should be excellent time of year because venues should be cheaper because it's right before the holiday season. I wouldn’t want to be a complete jerk and have it on the most traveled day of the year before an important family-oriented holiday. It should not be a problem for my guests to burn a vacation day and hire a baby sitter.

I figure that in the next ten years, I’ll attend many more weddings, followed by house-warming parties, followed by baby showers, followed by birthday parties and graduation parties and other gift-requiring celebrations. I’m going to be broke. I do not intend on spending much on my wedding as I’ve probably spent most of my money on buying gifts for others. There will be several cost-cutting measures on my part but at  inconvenience of my guests. I'm sure my guests would not hiring a baby sitter, burning a vacation day and fighting rush hour traffic to attend my Friday evening reception so I can save $300 on the reception venue. 
The ceremony will start at 10:30 or 11 a.m. My guests should just miss the rush hour traffic but probably be starving because it's not a set meal time. I might even be late because there is nothing my guests would enjoy more than sitting on a hard wooden pew with a church full of strangers for a long period of time. The ceremony will conclude around noon but lunch won’t be served until 2. I will provide my guests with directions to the church and to the hotel. I will not, however, provide directions from the church to the reception site or from the reception site to the hotel. It would cost an extra $5 and 10 minutes of planning. While we’re getting our photos taken my lovely guests can drive around aimlessly for three hours and enjoy the scenery and day off from their busy lives.

I am blessed to have a great family and really amazing friends. If I were to include all of my close girl friends, I'd have an eight-person wedding party. (I've maintained that the the number of bridesmaids directly corresponds to the age of the bride and the potential for divorce. If she's 23 and has 12 non family bridesmaids, I'd maybe be conservative on buying anything with a warranty.) I don't like big wedding parties so I've set up qualifiers. No matter how awesome you may be you cannot be in my wedding if you:
  • have a tattoo that is visible and would need explained to senile relatives or impressionable children. I'm going to have many a senile relative by that point. If I have to explain the tribal tattoo four times to my aunts, I have to explain it forty times to my mom.
  • do not like to get dressed up or dance. I’m not listening to you belly ache about the perils of heels while I’m sucked into a dress and probably won’t have eaten for a month.
  • are going to project your past experiences and spend more time talking about how your wedding was or what you did 
  • are skinnier and prettier than me. You’re out, sorry. Unless you’re willing to pack on some pounds and not wear makeup on that day.
  • have any kind of life outside of wedding planning. I'm going to need your undivided attention from engagement shower all the way through to the honeymoon.
Know that having a life, tattoo or aversion to heels does not mean you're not invited! I still love you and would love for you to buy me something. For those who do BQ- Bridesmaid Qualify- I'm still working on the dresses. It will probably be hideous, outrageously expensive, unflattering, and you won't be able to or want to wear it again. But you'll coordinate with the centerpieces!

I will insist on every possible combination of photo to be taken….. candidly. I still want the obligatory Grandmom/Grandpop/Bride/Groom/Mom/Dad pictures, but not posed. Who likes knowing when they are about to cemented into a person's history? It's much more fun to be stuffing your face with a mini quiche for the photographer than smiling gracefully. But be prepared to have a grumpy photographer sneak up on you several times.

Oh, the flowers! Huge, fragrant and full of allergens is how I roll. I envision GIANT centerpieces that encompass almost the entire table. Who needs room for utensils, plates, glasses when you can stare at a tree for three hours. I do think that it's more fun to cram 10 people to a round table meant for 8 so that everyone can bump elbows and become friends. I think my third cousins will love trying to scream over a huge arrangement of tropical orchids (or something) to talk to one of my coworkers. 

Get your dancing shoes ready for my inconvenient wedding. We’re doing all the dance combos out there Father/daughter, mother/son, grandparents, parents, siblings, bridal party together, bridal party with respective spouses, couple’s first slow dance/fast dance/choreographed dance/ kids dance/ bridal dance (so you can give me more money). If you leave at the end of night having not been able to cut a rug because your current social situation didn't allow for name to be called, mission accomplished. It's been my experience that best way to get pegged as "single and pathetic" at a wedding is when the DJ plays the "couple's dance" and you're the only one still sitting. It's fun and really a great way to meet the losers single people at the party.
My best worst wedding ever idea is my favor. I love the wedding favor. I love the the pointless trinket with our wedding date on it. It can sit in closets and drawers for years- sometimes lasting longer than the marriage itself. I like the frame with the names and dates on it. A guest can only put a picture from my wedding in that frame! How awesome is that?  But, since not everyone likes worthless junk that will be trashed before the cake is eaten, I will give all of my lovely guests a card with a donation. To me. I’m not donating that money to research or a charity. In lieu of wedding favors, I’m paying my credit card bill on time. My good credit is the best gift of all, for me.


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