October 27, 2014

The Dos and Don'ts of a Successful Wedding

My friend Melissa took both of these pictures of our beautiful friend, Erika.

There are many, many things I don't know how to do, like software engineering, Alaskan king crab fishing, and throwing a curveball.

I also have no idea how to plan a wedding.

My best friend from high school, Erika (whose wedding I was a part of this weekend) also can't engineer software, maneuver commercial fishing boats, or throw a baseball (to my knowledge) but that girl sure can plan the hell out of a wedding.

The moment this became clear to me was three hours before the ceremony this Saturday, when Erika, the other bridesmaids, and I were all getting our hair done in her mom's hotel suite. Erika's brother, Patrik, had been popping in and out of the room all day, performing various tasks with the same blue folder in hand.

Eventually, I got curious and asked Patrik if I could see what was in the folder. So as he stood in the doorway asking Erika where her carry-on bag was, he handed me the folder, inside of which was a detailed, double spaced itinerary that included "12 PM: come get my carry-on and bring it to the car."

I was in awe, and not just because Erika had thought to make an itinerary for her younger brother. No, I was impressed because she actually had things to put on the itinerary... because if I was in charge of the show, I would have no idea what to tell Patrik to do at noon.

So I asked Erika, "How did you know to do all this stuff? Did someone tell you or did you research it online?" But Erika, in the midst of a typical pre-wedding bridal flurry, had no time to talk logistics and instead yelled to me from the bathroom, "I don't know, you just know. You just think about things and then you realize."

Which answered absolutely nothing, except perhaps that maybe some people are destined for elopement.

But luckily, after this incident, I took it upon myself to take diligent notes on all of the happenings of the weekend that I will share with you now, just in case you are like me and aren't the type who can "think about it and just realize." Instead, just follow this handy guide of "Dos and Don'ts of a Successful Wedding."

Do get a hotel suite the night before with your bridesmaids, because your friends are going to want those last hours all together to practice saying weird things like "my best friend's husband."

Don't forget to add food to the itinerary. Because even the best brides can't totally neglect their priorities.

Do enlist your siblings for their services, like bringing your carry-ons to your car. They have absolutely no choice but to help because the only person scarier than a bride on her wedding day is a bride's mom.

Don't forget to get your bridesmaids matching bathrobes so that when people see members of your bridal party frantically darting from room to room muttering about waterproof mascara, they know not to get in the way.

Do look like the cover of a bridal magazine. It just looks like fun to me.

Don't worry if your bridesmaids don't know all the groomsmen; having a photogrpaher tell you to link arms with anyone and "interact" is going to be awkward for strangers and friends alike.

Do make sure at least two of your bridesmaids are also runners, so that when one suggests that you do a few stride outs before you walk down the aisle, at least someone else will get it.

Don't be afraid to ask your bridesmaids to help you pee once you're already in your wedding gown. In fact, don't be afraid to ask three; it's better to be safe than have an awkward stain on your train.

Do sit all of your high school friends together at the reception. It's probably been years since they've all been in the same state, let alone the same room, and need that time to give each other enough crap about their former high school selves to make up for it.


Don't worry about what music you play; at least your high school friends will be out there on the dance floor regardless.

Do serve fried, bacon-filled perogies at 10PM. Wedding cake is symbolic but anything involving bacon after a few hours of drinking is an act of selfless love.

Don't be alarmed if a few of your high school friends slip out of the reception ballroom for a few minutes. Don't worry, they're not going to bed; they're probably just up in the hotel bar taking a shot of Fireball (you know, for old times' sake).

Do have a homemade photobooth and ethnic Slovak headgear for your guests. Because it's really not a party until someone is wearing a bonnet.

Don't expect your bridesmaids to take too many pictures. They'll be having too much fun to remember.

Do have a sparkler sendoff at midnight. It'll make for a very long day but you can rest assured no one would have it any other way.