I recently read (2 seconds ago) a half-assed “article” about 5 things you should never wear to a wedding. As a frequent wedding attendee and married lass myself, I couldn’t believe this lack-luster “article” was even listed as MSN.com’s top 5 reads for today. Let alone its brief commentary included “words” like Enuf, Cmon, and Chillin; dead giveaways that I was reading something well thought-out and researched. So what does I do, yo? I think to myself, “Self, U can do better!”
So here is my Top 10 list of things you should not Do at an I Do occasion:
Rule #10: Do not write inappropriate shit in the guest book
Unless, of course, it’s that kind of wedding. If the groom is wearing denim on any part of his body, feel free to jot down sentiments like “Never thought you’d take him back, Love Sally.” On our guestbook/picture frame mats we have classy crap like “Oh poop. What to say.” And “Bad ass pic. Congrats.” No joke; the grown adults we call friends felt this to be appropriate and from the heart. Sure, one of our pictures for the guest book was my husband and I posing with a giant margarita and another was Halloween ’08 as Deputy Johnson and Lieutenant Dangle (aka Mitch and I competing for “Most Slutty Costume”) but that is no reason for our one sacred day together to be tainted by this verbal vomit. Guestbooks are permanent and some people would like to share them with their children one day.
Rule #9: Do not not bring a gift, you Chince
There is nothing worse than inviting someone to your wedding, opening up all your cards and presents, and realizing that the Jones’ did not give you anything. Most people do spend a good chunk of change on the Happiest Day of their Life, and a lot of that change is spent on you! If you’re really unable to afford anything (dishtowels are less than $5) then make an extravagant card with pages and crayons and tell the story of your favorite memory of the couple. Do anything! But to show up, eat the grub, tap the keg, sleep with the maid of honor, then bounce without as much as a $10 Target gift card is a little selfish. Most average caterer’s charge around $12-$20 a plate, minimum. So thank the Bride and Groom for inviting you to their special day, no matter how much you think they should be grateful you even decided to come. (Exception to the rule: guests who already spent money on the wedding/shower/bachelor and bachelorette parties. They have already put in more than their fair share!)
Rule #8: Do not overstay your welcome
Weddings are a time of celebration, where all of your loved ones come to celebrate the joining of two wonderful people. But those two wonderful people just planned the biggest party they’ll ever host for the last 10 months and would like to have a little alone and unwind time to themselves. That’s when their loved ones turn into obligated wedding deconstructionists and janitors at 10pm, and would appreciate it if you would make your way to the nearest bar and continue your celebrating there. Like any event, when the music dies and the lights come on, it’s your cue to leave. Trying to pump the last 2oz of beer out of a keg while Aunt Flo sweeps the dance floor is a little rude. That being said, helping yourself to 3 servings of beef brisket and summer sausage and leaving without a goodbye before toasts and cake cutting isn’t any better. (Yes, my previous jack-ass of a boss did just that…) If you RSVP “Delighted to attend” make sure it’s because time and the right reasons permit.
Rule #7: Do not skip the Ceremony
We all know this is the most boring part of the entire wedding (besides the ‘let’s see who’s the longest married couple dance’) but the Ceremony almost serves as your entrance fee to the Reception. It’s not fair that everyone else had to sit through cricket chirping awkward walks down the aisle and Bishop Bob trying his best to convert at least one sinner in the crowd. Skipping the Ceremony is like jumping to the next entrée in the buffet line; there aren’t any laws against it, you’re just going to piss off the people who notice you do it. (Like my ex-boss who’s gunnin’ for helping #3 and the traditional/take-it-personal Mother of the Bride who paid for the entire shindig.)
Rule #6: Do not hit on the Bride and/or Groom
This seems like a no-brainer, but true story: my husband once attended a wedding where the Officiant wanted to make sure that all the wedding guests knew that the relationship between the Bride and himself went back further than hers with the Groom. Many a college story from the past later, everyone sat motionless in their chairs when they were asked if anyone objected to the joining of these two people in holy matrimony. No, the Officiant didn’t say anything, but it was noticeable to every person attending that something uncomfortable was taking place. Unlike Hollywood would have you believe, it’s probably the least appropriate time to confess your undying love to your best friend at his wedding. Likewise, hitting on someone else if you’re the Bride and/or Groom would also be a no-no.
Rule #5: Do not take this opportunity to practice your oral presentation skills
Whether you’re marrying the happy couple or you’re the best man, please keep your speech to an appropriate minimum. The guests are not here for you, whatsoever, and have no interest in what you are saying, whatsoever. This is not your 15 minutes of fame, so make your point and be done. If you see or hear someone yawn, gracefully put the microphone down and just walk away. If you’ve never been told “you’re a great public speaker,” do not take this opportunity to hone that skill. If you are given the tremendous responsibility of speaking at a wedding, do not under any circumstance fake tears, tell inappropriate stories, or completely forget to mention that this is your best friend’s wedding day and not just the day that you’re most disappointed in him for taking the plunge.
Rule #4: Do not not catch the garter or bouquet
As “this is going to be hilarious and original” as it might seem, please refrain from conspiring to drop dead as the garter is thrown. If you had any hope of taking home some female who’d been eyeing you throughout the festivities, that hope is now gone. Single women go to weddings to meet single men in hopes of being the next gal in a gown. 40 grown men falling all over each other in an attempt to dodge the garter toss is as unattractive and non-committal as grown men in real life (outside of a wedding.) Even more pathetic is catching the Bride’s bouquet then immediately trying to pawn it off on the girls around you. This makes you 1. look like a complete bitch and 2. look like a complete slut. There is no good reason in the world why any single 28 year old woman wouldn’t want to catch the bouquet unless she is a bitch and wants to hit it with some dude that just made the statement “I have zero interest in catching the garter therefore I have zero interest in anything but getting in your pants.” These actions are extremely rude, and you all look like douche bags for getting in the garter/bouquet huddle in the first place. Stay single and lonely.
Rule #3: Do not show up dressed like Lady Gaga, a cowboy, or a funeral attendee
Unless you are Lady Gaga, own a dude ranch, or just ran over from Grandma Jo’s Celebration of Life, a wedding is not the time to try on a new look; just be yourself. (Or for some of you, be the best/least trashy version of yourself.) Other attire rules: do not wear white, do not wear 4” stilettos, do not wear what you wore last night, and do not wear what you wore 10 years ago. Do not try to 1-up the Bride and do not try and make the Groom look like an asshole for wearing a tuxedo. You can usually interpret how formal the occasion is by the invitation and if in doubt just ask! Also, do not wear just your corset bra and underwear because you just took off your wedding dress to jump in a river…just saying.
Rule #2: Do not almost get yourself killed
At first glance this may seem like an extremely unnecessary rule, so I will also add ‘or ruin the wedding.’ My wedding broke all the rules, and yes this one was VERY broken. Like I’ve mentioned in previous rules, this wedding isn’t about you and you should be seen and not heard. You should not let your best man and future/tomorrow brother-in-law take a “Lewis and Clark expedition” at 3-o-clock the morning of your wedding. You also shouldn’t drive up to an outdoor wedding halfway through the ceremony with the woofer in your Subaru pumping out beats from Mötley Crüe. And another seemingly obvious rule: do not break up with your girlfriend during the occasion. That’s almost as bad as leaving her at the altar. (I would like to thank my brother Greg and our best friend Ryan for being my muse.)
Rule #1: Do not get married if you don’t mean it
Yes, this is rule number one, and I’m sorry it’s not for the attendees. Have you ever gone to a wedding where you got the nagging feeling deep down that the Bride or Groom really wasn’t saying “I Do” for the right reasons? It’s a horrible feeling, and I don’t typically attend weddings when I feel this way. I once saw a Bride who, after the Ceremony, won an Oscar for her performance. She made bizarre poses for the camera and recited her vows like an acceptance speech. I’ve also seen marriages fall apart before their one year anniversary. People like these may not realize the err of their ways until they, too, must pay for their daughter’s SECOND $30,000 wedding. So please, before you send me that invitation, be honest with yourself: are you saying “I Do” for all the right reasons? If not, keep your postage. I don’t want another one of my KitchenAid 4-slot toasters to be collateral in your divorce hearing.