As” thee” town elder, (self proclaimed) I feel it is my duty to share/force my opinions on weddings, marital philosophy, and etiquette during our wondrous Annual Wedding Issue! Some of what I am about to say may sting a bit, you might disagree (you’d be wrong, obviously), but listen dear children, I have been around a wedding or two in my time — including my own and it has taught me the value of being humble, loving, and tolerant. It has also taught me how to manage my occasional blind fury, how to deal with drunken guests and finally how to swing a mean right hook. I doubt we’ll have time for those last two.
First of all, Brides please stop calling it, “Your Day”. Your Mom and Dad have been thinking about “Your Day” and walking you down the aisle since the moment they brought you into this world. Your Parents may even have a hand in paying for the cost of “Your Day”, so be mindful and respectful of your tired ole’ folks- Lord knows you owe them after the hell you put them through during your high school years. Not to mention the grooms parents. They get the shaft every wedding as their opinions are at best… politely considered, at worst ignored completely. They are only asked to serve a nice Prime Rib and a toast at the rehearsal dinner.
On to Practical advice:
- Make a list of the photos you want taken. Your photographer isn’t a mid reader and at the day of the event you are going to be so frazzled you won’t know what to do… So bring a list with you. Example:
Groom with Groomsmen
Bride with Groomsmen
Groom with Bridesmaids
Bride with Bridesmaids
All of the Grandparents with Bride and Groom… etc.
It sounds simple enough, but there are so many combinations of people you might just forget the most obvious. Bottom line I wish I would have brought a list.
- Beware! Are there any folks in your wedding party who are at odds with one another: exes, spiteful cousins, bratty ring bearer? Honey if the priest can’t help them by the time the wedding rolls around you’ve got two choices— keep them separated, heavily medicated… or both.
- Make sure you both eat. There is nothing worse than a sloppy bride. You’ve gone to all the trouble to buy a pretty dress, get your hair, nails, and makeup done, don’t disgrace Grandma by tripping on the dance floor and going down like a shot buffalo. One time I attended a wedding where the bride got so drunk she belligerently insisted on doing a keg stand. The groomsman were even gentlemanly enough to hold her dress up around her ankles once she launched herself up and onto the keg… Clutch my pearls!
- Things will inevitably go wrong. They just will. Do your best beforehand, plan as much as you can, but on the actual day of the wedding, a few things will derail. My advice: let it go. Take a deep breath, look around at your friends and family who have traveled from all over to celebrate your marriage, and know without a doubt it will be alright.
- Stay present. You have done all you can to make the event just right, now enjoy. Give your parents a hug, thank them for all they have done and sacrificed for you throughout the years. Tell your grandparents you love them. Dance with your spouse without worrying how silly you look. Be grateful, be humble, and smile.
Now on to more of a delicate matter. For those of you have done this or would like to do this….I know you have given this a lot of thought and I am sure you have your reasons, but can we please be done with destination weddings? Is it not enough that your guests have gone to your registry and bought you a lawnmower, soup tureen, a George Foreman Grill and maybe a nice envelope of cash. They probably even bought a new dress or tie, taken time off of work and used a vacation day to happily attend your nuptials with love in their heart and a skip in their step. Why is that not enough dear reader?! Why do we have to follow you to Fiji, Morocco, Croatia? Isn’t the local church or event space good enough? Listen; hard truth we are broke, all of us. We make poor life choices and buy oversized rattan bars that look like an elephant or maybe we take sleeping pills and buy things we don’t need like tiaras and have no memory of doing so until they arrive on your doorstep! We can’t behave this irresponsibly and then follow you to gorgeous remote places— we aren’t the Kardashians! We want to go to your hometown or the town where you fell in love, some place where we can fly in, toast the happy couple, and then take our tired selves home on Sunday.
Lastly, dear Bride remember this beautiful day is not just about you and your dreams. Everyone involved has been dreaming of this day for as long or longer than you know. It won’t be easy, but compromise with your weird Aunt who wants to make you a Grooms Cake, take your bridesmaids to lunch just because, and ask them how they are doing. Help polish your Grandpas shoes. Defer to your mom on flower ideas, ask your Dad if he has a song preference for your dance. Spend a day, if you can, helping your Grandma pick out a dress. Ask her for advice. Those moments will be the ones you cherish. These are the moments you will remember not the food or wine. Spend “Your Day” surrounded with those you love and gratitude in your heart and I promise it will be a day you will never forget. Listen to me, your wise elder right here Under the Pines.