I THINK I’m broken. So many people are convinced that they’re essential, but I just don’t get weddings.
My mum’s advice? “Just elope. Whatever money we were going to give you for the wedding, spend it on the honeymoon. Actually, do whatever you want. By the time you finally get married, we’ll be lucky if we have any money left. Ha ha ha.”
A few of my friends have done their weddings well. A tent on the family farm, an uncle cooking a spit roast, serve yourself beer and wine, drive home or pitch a tent – it’s your choice – and the oldies get a bed in the house.
I wouldn’t even go that far. Yet most of my friends and family have gone completely out of control.
You know that round-the-world trip you’ve always dreamt about? That home deposit? Those kids you wanted to have in the next five years? Forget all that. Instead, why not blow all that money on extended family you rarely see, workmates you barely tolerate and friends you’ll hardly see again after the ceremony?
Then there’s the preparation. People stressing for months about making everything perfect.
It’s the weddings where things go wrong that are the most memorable. The band plays the wrong song for the bridal waltz, two family factions get into an ineffectual brawl, or the dessert never arrives. (Nobody ever eats dessert at a wedding so if you get out of paying for it, that’s actually a big win.)
Next there’s all that thought and effort that goes into making your wedding special. From countless options you need to select the flowers, invitations, suits, dresses, your spouse, napkin rings and on and on.
If you really want to make your wedding memorable, you need to get creative. Instead of formal, semi-formal or full-on formal, make it fancy dress. Everyone comes as their favourite cartoon character, something to do with the first letter of their name, or their own interpretation of a porn star robot from the future.
Better yet, tie the knot while skydiving, in a shark tank, or while on fire. Or fire the bride out of a cannon and into the groom. Nobody would forget that. Anything but walking down the aisle and just standing there.
For the reception, instead of holding your own with all that cost, why not just crash another party? Who’s going to knock back a newly married couple? Better yet, just arrive at a bowling alley, restaurant, or football game. The drinks and food would be cheaper and it wouldn’t matter if you wrecked the place.
Or how about we ban weddings entirely? Still have a party sure, but no ceremony and no more marriage. I support gay marriage and in Australia we’re moving so slowly on that one that I think we should take marriage away from everyone.
It’s that old schoolyard rule – if you don’t let everybody play, then nobody is allowed to play and I’m taking that ball and locking it in a cupboard. Not the closet, the cupboard.
There are obviously some legal issues with all this, but I’ll leave those to the legal people. I’m an ideas man, I can’t do everything.
This article first appeared in the Brisbane Courier Mail:
Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian.