I’ve been to a lot of weddings lately because I’m at that age where all my friends get married in rapid succession. I think it carries on like this for another five years, and then slows down for a few years before hitting the wave of second marriages. I’m actually not that cynical, but not because the statistics aren’t true. I’m a believer because I’m a total sucker for weddings. I love them all—religious, bohemian, new age, traditional, non-human. Just give me a fancy dress, open bar and a couple professions of undying love and I’m like a nerd at a comic book convention.
The last wedding I went to was a beautiful traditional catholic one with a big reception at a country club afterward. I loved not having a big sit-down dinner because no one notices how often you go back to the bar or when you set a plate down and walk away because you regret your buffet decisions. The only thing I would have changed would have been not having my high school English teacher be the band’s guitar player. But I suppose that could not have been anticipated. No one wants to see old Mr. Creative Writing Get In Touch With Your Feelings jamming to James Brown and playing electric guitar behind his head. It was like watching my parents play Rock Band or something. To be fair, he was very talented, and my discomfort is no reason to kick the guy out of the band.
The wedding before that was outside in a rose garden with bicycles and banjos and then a big dinner at a winery followed by barefoot dancing and silly hats and, much later, my best friends hijacking the microphone for a round of Country Roads, among other fractions of songs we could remember at the time. It was even happier, lovelier and quirkier than it sounds.
The wedding before that was unremarkable other than that I will probably never be invited to (and I wasn’t even really to this one—it was a vicarious invitation under my pseudonym, And Guest) a wedding that costs closer to $1 million. That, and the delicious gourmet dinner had so many courses that there wasn’t really enough time to give justice to the 10 piece jazz band that played good dance music all night.
The wedding before that had a nacho bar. When you do something that cool at your wedding you run the risk of “nacho bar” being the only thing people remember about your wedding.
I could go on. Is it just me or is there a tiny element of suspense to weddings for everyone? I can’t help but watch the vows with a little voice in the very back of my head wondering if they’re really going to do it. I don’t wish a failed wedding on anyone, all I’m saying is that I would like to see someone run out, someone’s long lost lover return, or someone’s mid-vow admission of a sex change operation. I mean, these things happen so often in movies that they have to happen in real life too sometimes, or where would movies get the ideas?
Another thing I love at weddings is when the cake is actually good. I love cake, and I think it’s sad when people have big fancy cakes that taste like styrofoam–this is supposed to be a celebration! Like those Ace of Cakes cakes. They cannot taste good, I don’t care how many years of culinary school those people sat through (although from the looks of things they remind me of the kids who spent most of the school day eating munchies in a van in the parking lot), no one wants to eat fondant. Alternatively, no one pays that much money for a cake that they want to remember the taste of.