The Do’s and Don’ts of Weddings

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I’m not big on sentimental occasions. I’ve ignored my own birthday for years, and my gift to my wife on our last anniversary was a curt nod. It was better than the angry glare she gave me. Not everyone is as thoughtful as me in the present department. Clearly I’m the least qualified person in the world to give advice on celebrating anything, which is why I’ll now explain the best way to plan a wedding. Rambling on topics I know nothing about is kind of my comfort zone. Besides, I have years of experience at finding fault with social functions, and marriage ceremonies are no exception. I have a knack for knowing acquaintances just well enough to be summoned as a witness for their lifelong mistakes. After attending far too many of these expensive tragedies, I’ve compiled a list of the do’s and don’ts for a tolerable wedding. Follow my advice to lessen the terrible sting of monogamy, if only for one night.

Cakes are the traditional food for weddings because diabetes kills people slowly every day, just like marriage.
Do have alcohol.
It’s not a coincidence the couple from the only dry reception I’ve ever attended is now divorced. A wedding isn’t about the dress or the flower arrangements; it’s about the bored, uncomfortable people crammed into a church out of a misguided sense of loyalty to the bride and groom. Newlyweds need those friends and family members for what will eventually be an infinite number of unreciprocated favors. Building a life together requires lots of mooching, and in those pews sit the only people who will ever offer to babysit for free or move that futon that should’ve been thrown away nine suspicious stains ago. Wedding invitations should be distributed based solely with freeloading in mind. I had one guest at my wedding specifically because we share a bloodtype. I never know when I’ll need a kidney.

Ideally, everyone on the guest list should either own a truck or have a strong back.
An open bar is an investment in the future. It preemptively thanks the people who will be an unending source of unpaid labor for the duration of the marriage. A few thousand dollars upfront is a small price to pay to dodge minimum wage laws for the next four decades. Conversely, a dry wedding is a slap in the face to everyone who bothered to show up. This cruel, unrelenting sobriety gives guests a chance to calmly and rationally consider if they really want to be indentured servants to two people who wouldn’t even give them a few beers to celebrate a once-in-a-lifetime event. If a bride and groom can’t handle their friends and family being drunk and crazy for one night, then they lack the flexibility to make a marriage work. Any money saved by not buying liquor will be more than canceled out by lawyer bills and alimony.

Don’t let people make speeches.
It’s a mystery why any maid of honor ever bothers to prepare remarks. Every speech from a bride’s best friend quickly devolves into five minutes of crying interrupted only by occasional incoherent apologies. Everyone else in the room is sorry, too, as prayers for the awkward display to come to an end manifest themselves as nervous laughter and glances toward the bar, which is always cruelly closed when speech time rolls around. No wedding is complete without at least a little sadism.

Best man speeches aren’t much better. In the ideal scenario, everyone in the room would be drunk enough to laugh at inside jokes only about two people truly understand. If all of the guests actually got those vague references to past shenanigans, the wedding would’ve been called off long ago and everyone who even so much as made eye contact with the groom would have to be tested for various diseases normally carried only by pandas. What happens in Vegas usually shows up on a blood test six to eight weeks later.

Do stick to a traditional wedding registry.
When it comes to gift buying, everyone simply wants to give newlyweds a cheap toaster in exchange for free booze. I don’t care if the bride and groom have been living together for eight years and already have duplicates of every kitchen device ever made. There can never be enough backups for something as important as heated bread. I refuse to simply give money to help pay for the wedding or to donate to some worthy cause in lieu of a gift. I only attend weddings to celebrate the misfortune that’s about the befall the young lovebirds, not to lessen their financial burden or to save the world on their behalf.

Don’t limit the D.J.
Thanks to people like me, some brides ban certain songs to keep the dance from spiraling out of control. This violates the spirit of the wedding reception, which is supposed to celebrate one grand mistake with hundreds of smaller, alcohol-fueled ones. When my brothers and I drink, we’re rather fond of one unremarkable song that has a single line about jumping. When the keyword comes up, we obviously leap in the air and attempt to catch each other like figure skaters. We’re all large and uncoordinated, so this inevitably ends with us sprawled across the floor, usually with collateral damage like tables and nearby dancers. That old lady with the walker should’ve dodged faster.

Instead of having a daddy-daughter dance, call all the senior citizens to the dance floor and have them form a mosh pit.
At one wedding, we almost took out the cake, which was either the high point or low point of the evening depending on if the person telling the story is me or the bride. Not coincidentally, at the next wedding we attended as a family, that song was noticeably absent from the D.J.’s catalog. The disappointment of that discovery is the only thing I remember from that night, although the beer might have had something to do with that. Banning songs could have even more drastic consequences. If the groom finds out about it beforehand, it might tip him off that he’s marrying a control freak and give him a chance to escape before it’s too late. Sometimes, men just need to wipe out on the floor to remind the world of why we’re not allowed to dance any other day of our lives. Don’t take that away from us.

Following these four simple tips will transform any wedding from an unmitigated disaster to a somewhat mitigated one. Turning it into an actual success is beyond my powers. Only alcohol can pull off that kind of miracle.