Who doesn't like a big party with food, cake, booze, and old people getting drunk and dancing their little tushies off?
I've been to several weddings in my time, and have partaken in a myriad of different styles. From the short and quick ceremonies, to the long and sleep inducing. From Christian, to Catholic, to Hindu. Indoor, outdoor, from California to Alaska.
Now I'm not getting married ANY time soon, but I've definitely learned a little bit about what to do, and not to do in wedding execution.
have a nice quick wedding ceremony so that the real reason we're all here (the reception) can start.
Allow the ceremony to extend beyond say 15 minutes.
First of all, weddings are usually in the summertime.
Summer = hot.
Now I'm no mathematician, but it seems to me, if you multiply the above equation with the coefficient of typical wedding attire, you end up with an answer that equals sweaty discomfort.
I've been to a couple of outdoor weddings where I'm sweating my well-dressed ass off waiting for the damn "I do's" so we can get in the shade. I'm adhering to dress code wearing my pressed suit jacket that somehow is not available with Nike moisture wicking technology. But when we finally get in the shade, the well-insulated suit jacket has got to stay on because pit stains are not exactly the "I'm single and awesome" statement I'm looking to make.
I know what you're thinking..."Arun you poor adorable thing! BUT, what if the wedding is indoors?"
Keep. It. Short.
Have you ever sat on one of those church benches for more then 5 minutes? As far as asses go, mine is decently meaty (although some might say "steel-like"), but even my booty starts going numb after sitting on that thing for more than a few minutes.
But this summer I was thrown a curve ball - an indoor wedding, not at a Church, seated in folding chairs, with ice-cream served during the ceremony.
Too good to be true, I know. So what was the catch?
Well, it was an Indian wedding....and the ceremony lasted over two hours.
OVER TWO HOURS!
Indian weddings are cool and all, but the novelty of the ceremony wore off on me after the first 15 minutes (by which point I was finished with my ice-cream). Ok, back to the Do's.
Get a minister who knows exactly what you want and what they are doing.
Allow the minister to forget to tell the wedding goers to "please be seated" after the bride gets to the alter.
This was a first for me. I was at a wedding last week, and after the bride made it to the alter, the ministress (what do you call a female minister?) FORGOT to tell the 170 in attendance to "be seated." So we're ALL standing during the whole damn ceremony....outdoors....in the heat.
To boot, I meticulously directed chair setup the previous night to get everything lined up and staggered just right so everyone could see while seated.
Thanks to our absent minded ministress, the girls 5 rows back saw nothing but the backsides of the amazingly well-dressed and devlishly good-looking 6+ foot men in row 3 (Did I mention I was in row 3?).
Hire a DJ with a good, diverse music collection that knows you by name.
Hire the cousin of a friend of a friend whose entire music catalogue consists of Country's Greatest Hits and a few select disco numbers on his computer.
The wedding last week had another issue.
First, the DJ couldn't pronounce the Groom's (and new bride's) last name properly. It's a pretty simple name ("Haupt" pronounced like "Howp") yet he repeatedly announced "Please welcome Mr. and Mrs. Hopt!!!"
Ok, ok...honest mistake, he's a DJ not a linguist, so just play us some hits.
It's a wedding. I'm not expecting much more than some current hits as well as the old wedding favorites. I thoroughly warmed up my shoulders the night before for a little "YMCA" action, and I dusted off my dancing shoes for some Electric Sliding.
Instead, we got steady dose of Miley Cirus, and Cool and the Gang. Somehow, audience response wasn't quite as excited as usual when I busted out "The Worm of Wonder" during Miley Cirus' "The Climb".
Have an organized parking situation for guests.
Ask your brother to round up his friends to shotgun valet.
A few years ago, my buddy Jesse asked a few of us to valet for his sister's wedding. Ok no problem. I'm a good driver. I can parallel park. How hard can it be?
(Note to self: Anytime you think to yourself "how hard can it be?" its going to SUCK)
First, the wedding was at this house on top of a HUGE hill. They had the good sense to have it indoors because it was so damn hot, but we had to park each car in a dirt lot at the bottom of the hill and then sprint back up to the top as the queue of cars was growing.
Did I mention I was wearing a suit and tie...and it was hot....and it was a MAJOR hill?
So we managed to kill ourselves running up and down this hill and got all the cars finally parked. Aaaaaahhhh, re-lax-ation!...until the guests started to leave.
Four guys. We have neither ANY valet experience, nor are we organized. We have a drawer full of keys, and a dirt lot at the bottom of Mount-effing-Vesuvius full of cars. And now its dark and, of course, the lot isn't lighted.
Obviously a plan for success.
The process consisted of this:
- Guest who is ready to leave asks for car. (So far so good. We are awesome!)
- We jointly rummage through a drawer full of tangled keys to find the right one.
- Its dark though so at least two cell phones are needed for light to identify one key from another.
- Once key is found, one of us sprints down the mountain to retrieve car.
- Arun eats sh!t on one such downhill dash through uneven terrain and dirties suit. Ego is preserved though because it's dark and no one sees.
- We run back and forth through the dirt lot hitting the remote lock/unlock (and occasionally alarm) button to find the right car in the pitch black dark.
- Guest wonders why he hears his car alarm in the distance.
- Arun returns with car and guests ask why suit had become muddy and wrinkled. Ego destroyed.
Act like you're involved (if you're a man) in the wedding planning and give opinions on things.
EVER make ANY decision without consulting the bride-to-be or say something ambivalent like "you pick what you like best!" if you want to live to enjoy your wedding.
I've seen many a good man go down for these over the years. It's a delicate balance. You need to "act" involved and provide an opinion that you should be ready to change depending on the bride's reaction.
Even though she's making the decisions, you've got to make her feel like its a joint effort.
And of course, if you try and make a decision on your own, you shouldn't be getting married in the first place because you obviously have no idea what you're doing. Murphy's Law necessitates that you WILL make the wrong decision and into the dog-house you go.
So I think its fairly obvious that I now know how to perfectly plan a wedding. I've always thought it'd be cool to be one of those wedding planners running around with the headset, barking out orders.
If you're interested in hiring me now as a "Wedding Consultant of Awesomeness" feel free to contact me. As for valeting, me and my friends will be no where near that department.