So apparently a non-zero number of people who read What to Write also wanted the opportunity to read an essay I wrote in the same class that I mentioned. I claimed I would post said essay if there was enough public outcry. Surprisingly, such an outcry occurred (in an unrelated side note, I have decided that two people constitute “public” and probably speak for what is surely a huge number of silent fans), so I present How to Be Offensive at Weddings unaltered from the original. All I ask is that your remember my writing and my views on weddings have greatly matured in the nearly twenty years that have passed.
Weddings are wonderful and joyous occasions. Yeah, right! Let’s face it, the only people who really enjoy weddings are the bride, the groom, and their parents. The rest of us have to sweat it out in stuffy suits and dresses with only the thought of getting out on our minds. The worst part, of course, is how boring the ceremony can be. However, there are always ways to liven things up and make the whole affair much more interesting.
Appropriate attire is a must. Be sure to wear a cheap, powder blue suit if you are a guy or a flaming red cocktail dress if you’re female. Not only will this take attention away from the young couple about to tie the knot, but it will also cause the future in-laws to argue about who invited you in the first place.
Weddings are social occasions, which makes them a good place to meet members of the opposite sex. Start with the attendants and work your way up. Whatever you do, enter this action with a positive attitude. And never, never let that guy in the front reading from the little book get in your way. Just remind him that the divorce rates are very high in the U.S. and you were only trying to get a head start by asking out either the bride or groom.
Always be sure to congratulate the groom on his choice. Let him know how wonderful it is that his love for his soon to be wife will not fade even though her beauty will. Tell him how lovely it is for him to love this woman even though she’ll probably wind up looking just like her mother (be sure to mention this in front of said individual). It is also important to say these things before vows are exchanged.
Before the two are pronounced man and wife (assuming they have both stayed around), and the priest or whatever asks if anyone knows just cause why they should not be wed, be sure to speak right up. Nothing gets the old adrenaline going like having a huge mass of people suddenly turn and stare at you.
By now, the wedding should be a total disaster, If it’s not, remember these other helpful hints: slip the organist a twenty and tell her the bride’s favorite song is anything by Cyndi Lauper, throw knives instead of rice, impatiently tap your foot while waiting for the groom to say, “I do,” and always remember to flash that winning smile.
So there you have it. If it makes you feel better, reading it again was probably more painful for me than you. I am struck by just how much my writing has improved (and I sincerely hope you agree from this example). I’m also amazed at just how much I hated weddings then. I like them now, at least if they’re for people I actually know and am close to.
Since I do like weddings now, I’ll share my best tip for enjoying the ceremony to the fullest: when everyone looks expectantly toward the back to catch sight of the bride as she appears, don’t. Instead, keep your eyes trained on the groom. You’ll get to see her in her dress again, but you will never have the opportunity to see the expression on his face when he sees her walking down the aisle to marry him. It’s a moment too many miss.
Hopefully this small suggestion serves as an apology for an old essay from a younger and less skillful writer. I guess I should also apologize to Cyndi Lauper. I have no idea why I called her out.
Yes, Leighton, your writing has matured in 20 years. And I’m glad you singled out Cyndi Lauper. I wouldn’t say that she’s my favorite singer, but “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” is a very fun song–and would be TOTALLY inappropriate during a wedding.
Thanks for sharing!
Watching the groom is an excellent suggestion! I’ve seen a few look like they were “licking their chops”!