Hey Hitchhikers! Wedding season is finally wrapping up for me this year. I’ve attended at least five in as many months. I do have another “friend” (I use the term loosely because what kind of friend still doesn’t subscribe to another friend’s blog after being called out on it in an earlier post?) who will likely squeeze one in before the year’s end, so it’s important that I get this post finished before that happens. Are you ready for this? This is a comprehensive how-to guide for throwing a perfect wedding reception. I’m going to take you from soup-to-nuts* as they say (although not usually when talking about weddings). Already married? No problem, you might be related to someone who is one day getting married, and you can share this handy how-to guide with them thereby ensuring marital bliss for generations to come. So let’s get started, shall we?
1. Wait a really long time before committing to marry someone. This adds value to your event.
2. While you are waiting, date a bunch of people you would never consider marrying:
a. Pathological liars turned felons who call collect from prison are always a good choice for a short-term relationship
b. Date a guy that throws like a girl, even when it’s against your personal convictions; you’ll feel sweet relief when the relationship fizzles
c. Try dating someone from another country with unrealistic expectations of childbirth and how it affects your body, and who is more in love with your brother than he is with you.
d. Ultimately the goal is to shock your father’s sensibilities as often as possible; it helps him appreciate the man you marry even more.
3. Pursue education and career goals: this weeds out scores (and scores) of potential mates who are easily intimidated by a successful, beautiful woman.
4. Be beautiful.
5. Just as nearly everyone has given up hope, including you, resume participation in a personal hobby you enjoy, and snag a young man who doesn’t know any better. It’s best if you can fool him into thinking you are several years younger than you are until he’s hooked. Five minutes should suffice.
a. It is useful if he espouses all your father represents; it cuts down the time it takes for you to get used to having him around.
b. Make sure he can withstand non-stop harassment about his age, sexual orientation, and any other legally protected statuses (stati? states? statusssss? staten? status?) from your awesome family.
c. Don’t be concerned if he can’t keep up with the incredibly sharp wit of your awesome family initially; those skills can take years to hone.
6. Have an awesome family. (I really cannot emphasize this enough. It’s key. If you don’t have an awesome family… get one. Now.)
7. Get that ring on your finger so you can start planning already. (Believe me, if he likes it, he’ll put a ring on it.)
a. Your ring should be visible from Afghanistan and cost as much as it takes to feed and clothe all the children in Brazil for a minimum of one year.
b. It’s best to eat a meal before the proposal to keep your blood sugar up, but if not, embrace your inner cranky spirit and make it as unromantic and uncomfortable for him as possible.
c. Back away and say something sweet like, “You’re not doing this right now.” And then realize he is doing it right then, and accept.
8. Pick an outrageously expensive dress with lots of frills and fabric that would make any 1980s prom queen turn neon green with hyper-color envy.
a. Use caution when recommending dress shops or bakeries to co-workers whose children are engaged
b. Realize if the dress shop sells your dress to another bride whom you happen to know that you are going to look better in it, and most people won’t notice (even if she later moves her wedding date up so she can make a pathetic attempt to upstage you).
c. Make payments on said dress for longer than your student loans at a private institution… After all, you are going to see value from it for longer.
9. Choose a honeymoon destination.
a. Selecting the right destination is key. It should be far enough away that you have to change planes multiple times, and stand in line at customs. There is nothing you or your spouse will want to do more than travel, especially if you have both honored your commitments to God to wait for marriage before consummating your relationship.
b. If someone in your family planned a honeymoon, but was never able to take it, the destination is up for grabs and should be your number one choice. That way you can share your pictures and stories with that person, and it will be just like they were there. Think of it as selfless service, they will.
10. Make it a multi-day affair.
a. There is nothing more important for anyone to be doing during the week of your nuptials… so make sure there are enough activities planned that there is nothing anyone else could possibly be doing during that week.
b. Try scheduling the wedding on one day, and the reception on another. This way, you don’t have to be stressed out about anything, and your awesome family can extend their stress over multiple days running all the little errands and picking things up.
11. Exploit the heck out of your awesome family.
a. Your awesome family loves you unconditionally (which is part of what makes them so awesome)… so now is your chance to make good on that love.
b. Take every offer to help decorate or make food seriously. It teaches people the importance of words and following through.
12. Fein disinterest in the details of planning a wedding, but get emotional whenever it doesn’t go in the direction you expect.
13. Invite every person you’ve ever conversed with for more than 20 minutes. This is an important day, and anyone who has ever met you will want to be a part of it. And let’s face it, you don’t really want to spend the evening on the dance floor you rented. You would much rather take the opportunity to introduce your new husband to everyone from your past.
14. Make chocolate covered strawberries; people love chocolate covered strawberries (and it’s cheaper to make them than it is to buy them).
a. Of course I don’t mean that you should make them yourself… that’s what your awesome family is for (see above). You are busy with fittings, and work, and planning, and moving… this is an important day, and you don’t have time for chocolate covered
b. I don’t actually have a B, but the rule is, never make an A without a B.
15. Oh, and chocolate covered pretzels, too. Because those are cute. And cute matters. (I don’t actually understand why people would choose to eat chocolate-covered pretzels, but they do look fun, and they are pretty easy to make). Watch for the upcoming tutorial where you can see just how
little talent I possess for “cute” things easy it is to make this stuff.
16. I’m just going to say it because it needs to be said… EVERYONE over orders on food at open house receptions…
a. Even when it seems like there won’t be enough to go around because you are slammed at the beginning of the reception, and it seems like it will never slow down… realize that you are (probably) having your wedding reception on a Friday or Saturday night, and most people show up early because they want to head out to other Friday or Saturday-night activities (I know, as if anything could be more fun than your reception, right?). It will eventually slow down, and not everyone will eat.
b. If you are worried there isn’t enough food to go around (and most brides [or their mothers] are)…use full-size dinner plates. It seems counter-intuitive, but fewer people will be tempted to go back for seconds; it makes them seem greedy. Your awesome family will thank you, too, because unlike your guests, they can’t just grab a couple of baby carrots, some grapes, a finger sandwich, wave at you from across the room, and head off to the movie theatre for a jumbo popcorn with extra butter to watch the latest summer blockbuster… they are stuck in this seventh ring of Dante’s inferno
c. Cut the cake early. Seriously, you are not going to want to cart home a thousand pounds of leftover wedding cake (and neither is your family, no matter how awesome they are). Alternatively, I recently attended a wedding (as in yesterday… well, due to my ADD [and travel] it was actually last weekend, maybe even last month) where the bride and groom ordered a single, moderately-sized tier. Brilliant. I promise, I don’t care what tradition dictates, you are not going to eat the top tier on your first anniversary. You’ll either forget, or you’ll bust it out and one bite in you’ll realize it has 11-months of freezer burn.
17. Tissue-paper flower ball thingies make great (inexpensive) decorations. And while they take time to put together, they really aren’t too difficult to master. I only messed up four or five of them before I caught on. Tutorial coming soon. Just be wary of nieces that offer help; it’s more likely they will spend the afternoon texting their BFFs on their iTouch and playing Draw Something with everyone but you (seriously, it’s been your turn for 49 days, Niece, can you just draw something already?). Be patient with them, it takes a while to grow into awesome.
18. If you have an awesome family, they can be counted on to help throughout the night by refilling platters, clearing tables, emptying garbage bags… if you don’t, well, they can be counted on to sit off to the side leisurely sipping lemonade while things turn to utter chaos around you. Bottom line: have an awesome family, or marry into one.
19. Remember how all those people decided to run off to do other things before your reception was over? Make them regret leaving (more than the Total Recall remake could ever do), by doing something crazy at the end… like jumping into a swimming pool with your entire wedding party. It’s good if you remember a change of clothes or a towel, otherwise cleanup is going to be uncomfortable, and cold, even if it is summer and the entire world is experiencing a heat wave. It is also helpful to have attendants on hand in case your dress weighs a full metric ton after you jump because the fabric absorbed the entire pool. Drowning at the end would probably not be the best way to start a long and prosperous life together (but it will ensure you were both happy ’til death do you part so I guess you have to weigh your priorities).
There you have it. The completest guide on the web. Virtually fail proof.
Oh and yesterday I coined a new word. Genuosity. (Alternatively genuoisity) It flows. Try using it in a sentence today. It means genuineness, but sounds nicer. The art and practice of being genuine. Authentic. You heard it here first.
*Actually the phrase “soup-to-nuts” is on my list of Most Irritating Phrases.