First of all, can I just say that last night I combined my two most-thought-about topics of yesterday, weddings and olympics, into one dream. Yes, the Wedlympics. Details are hazy, but I’m assuming it involved races to see who could make the most beauteous centerpieces in the least amount of time, and the like.
I think I just came up with a new reality show.
Also, dude, McDonalds. Do you really expect me to believe that Olympians come cruising by your restaurants after competing for the gold, eager to wolf down a hyper-processed sludge patty with a side of chemicals? On second thought, I guess I can see how those by-products could really help them ramp up their performance. Not to mention they wouldn’t mind hooking up with some of those youthful, trim, attractive people that populate your commercials. Oh yeahhhh.
ANYWAY. Moving on to the actual topic of this post, which is: My life as a Ukrainian mime.
No? Fine. Don’t be surprised when it gets turned into a Lifetime movie special. Carrie Brownstein from Sleater-Kinney will play me.*
OK, OK. You really don’t want to hear about that? I’ll talk about the wedding party instead. Our wedding party.**
When the beau and I got engaged, I knew immediately who I wanted my brigadiers to be. I’m lucky enough to be close to three stupendous ladies, and I can’t imagine getting married without them by my side.
The beau hasn’t had it nearly as easy. There was a time, a few years ago, when he wouldn’t have hesitated to call on four of his good buddies from college. No doubt in his mind. But after graduation his pals all slowly scattered to points north and south in search of jobs and in hot pursuit of their own relationships. They still love each other and all, but he’s just plain not as tight with these guys anymore — so he’s waffled on making a final decision because he’s not sure it feels right. Cue the sad violin music, right?
We were talking about this the other night, and he was voicing particular concern with having to select a best man from this potential group of four. “Do you have to have a best man?” I asked.
“Well, if I don’t have a best man, who will give a speech?” he wondered.
“Do we have to have people give speeches?” I asked.
You see where this is going. Over the course of this conversation, we proceeded to deconstruct the basic roles of our wedding party and and came to the conclusion that, well, they really don’t have any roles to speak of. At least not in the traditional sense.
Sidebar: Unsurprisingly, The Knot has a glossary of wedding attendants and their respective roles, and I am genuinely flummoxed by the depth and specificity of these duties. Pay for the bachelor party. Escort elderly women. Dance with dateless women. Address invitations. Make favors. Plan the shower. Toast. Dance. Usher. Decorate the getaway car. Adjust the train. Hold the bouquet. Hold the rings. Enforce guest book signing. Dole out money to vendors. The maid/matron of honor even gets the special honor of “… help[ing] the bride get dressed, taking care to frequently remind her that she looks beautiful.”***
Look, I am not actually trying, for once, to mock The Knotness.**** I know these are just examples, and that everyone’s wedding needs are different. But it got me thinking. We’re not walking down an aisle, so we don’t need our peeps to perform the typical paired processional. We don’t even necessarily need them to stand up with us during the ceremony, mostly because the fountain we’re getting married next to is kind of small. And hearing some toasts would be cool, but instead of assigning the task to certain people, we’re leaning towards just having an open mic session during which anybody to come up and talk. I won’t have a train that needs to be adjusted. We won’t have a getaway car. My girls don’t have the money to pay for my shower or bach party. And two of ’em don’t even particularly like to dance.
In fact, outside of holding the rings during the ceremony, and helping us remember where we stashed those envelopes of cash to pay the vendors, I can’t really come up with anything our wedding party really needs to do. These are people I care about, and I don’t want to dump a buttload of expectations and tasks on them. I want them to have fun. And be happy.
This, of course, led us to ask ourselves: If we don’t really need a wedding party, then why have a designated wedding party? Why not just let them be regular guests? What’s the point?
Well, we considered that one for about half a second. The point is, they’re our people. Our chosen family. Even if we may have drifted slightly from some. We still wouldn’t be who we are without them. We want to have them around us all through the day, and we want to recognize and celebrate how much they mean to us. That’s why we want a wedding party. We just… don’t… know… what to do with them.
I feel like I’m tripping balls. I realize this entire thing should be a non-issue. I know we can just do what we want, right? But I’m having a hard time justifying the extravagance of a wedding party when the lack of clearly defined roles precludes the need for one. But we still want it. And I know we can just do what we feel like. But there’s no good reason to have one. It’s a giant circuitous merry-go-round of fuzzy logic. In my brain. Kind of like the Olympic rings, but less colorful.
Are you choosing a wedding party? If so, what are you doing with them?
* You are SO JELLUS right now.
** I would talk about yours, but I haven’t met them. I hear they are nice people, though. Upstanding citizens. Outside of that one incident at the Krispy Kreme, of course.
*** You hear me, girls??? Feel free to use other adjectives like stunning, gorgeous, breathtaking, and so on.
**** Although just between you and me, if I wanted to, I would point to The Knot’s definition of a Page, which is “Young boys (or girls) aged six through nine who carry the bride’s extra-long wedding gown train (think of Lady Di’s wedding) as she walks down the aisle. Also known as ‘train bearers.'” Bwah? This actually happens outside of royal weddings and fairy tales? I had NO IDEA.