Life Lesson #7: Weddings for Dummies

My good friend Ruby42 is getting married this month. She was nice enough to do a reading at my wedding and cross-stitch me a sampler that says, “It’s not a crack house, it’s a crack home,” so I am contractually obligated to attend.

As the date draws nearer, she is, of course, freaking the hell out. Hey, it happens to the best of us. Since I have weddings on my mind, I have decided to share with you, gentle readers, Mrs. Judge Mental’s unsolicited advice for those getting married and those planning to attend.

To the guests: Show up, smile, and behave yourself. Don’t create any drama.

Don’t tell the groom, just before the ceremony, that his fiancée is a dirty slut and she’s not good enough for him. Don’t tell everyone about the prenuptial agreement or that you banged the bride once in college.

Don’t wear a tuxedo T-shirt.

Bring a thoughtful and useful gift. Don’t bring uninvited guests, like the groom’s ex or your dog.

Bring a thoughtful and useful gift. Don’t bring uninvited guests, like the groom’s ex or your dog.

Refer to last month’s article regarding drinking in moderation. Assume the reverend’s question about objecting to the marriage is rhetorical. This is not The Graduate.

To the happy couple: Never, ever utter the words, “It’s my day!”

Don’t make your sisters and friends buy ugly dresses. Mrs. Judge Mental once paid $200 for a maroon monstrosity for a wedding that never even happened!

Have the wedding you want and that you can afford. Don’t stress yourself out about everything being perfect. Hiring a calligrapher to hand-letter place cards, spelling out guests’ names on hand-carved mini pumpkins, hiring a face painter to match your carnival/circus theme, making sure your photographer gets a shot of your rings balancing on the bride’s shoe “¦ none of these things is necessary.

Though I don’t understand spending thousands of dollars on a wedding and reception, if that’s what you want to do, please have at it. When Mr. Judge Mental and I got hitched, it was basically a glorified kegger at our house after a trip to the justice of the peace, and we had a ball.

To any involved persons inclined to freak out: Don’t.

On the day of my cousin’s wedding, we arrived at the reception hall to find another couple’s celebration already in progress. The venue was double-booked. What could we do but wait outside while the first couple exchanged vows, then combine the receptions?

Hurricane Gustav interrupted my friend Michelle’s wedding. The entire senior class of Pineville High School, who heard from a groomsman that there would be free beer, crashed Hilary’s reception. One of them even made off with the keg. Still, the guests had fun, and the bride and groom made the best of it.

Something tragic will happen. A guest could burn a hole in your $4,000 dress with a cigarette or a sparkler or a candle. The band could announce your first dance with your dad when he actually passed away six years prior. The minister could get your name wrong or mistake your fiancé’s dainty wedding band for a woman’s ring and you might have to correct her “” repeatedly “” during the ceremony. Your mom might drink too much and act like a donkey in front of all of your family and closest friends.

Just keep your goal in mind: If, at the end of the day, all parties have signed the marriage license, you’re married. This defines a successful wedding, and all the other stuff is just window dressing.

To Ruby and Archie: Congratulations! And the best advice for a healthy marriage, given to me on my wedding day, the wise words of Ogden Nash:

To keep your marriage brimming,

With love in the loving cup,

Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;

Whenever you’re right, shut up.

About Mrs. Judge Mental

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Mrs. Judge Mental, Your Professional Life Coachâ„¢, is a noted expert in absolutely nothing. She is, however, ready to solve your problems using only a foot of dental floss, a toothpick, and Wikipedia.

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