1. Beginning a statement with the words, “Well, it’s my day, so. . .” This sentence, popular among brides-to-be, is a red flag that you are about to say or do something outrageously bratty.
2. Hiring a wedding planner. The wedding industry has created many pointless jobs—calligrapher, for example, or chocolate martini ice luge sculptor. But this one is by far the most pointless. First of all, most brides-to-be have built-in wedding planners: they’re called moms. But even if that’s not an option for you, you can still plan the party yourself. Because at the end of the day, that’s what it is: a party. And unless you’re Kate Middleton, it’s not going to be so overwhelming that you can’t solve it with a couple Excel spreadsheets and a Pinterest board.
3. Making your fiancée go registry shopping. Remember back in college how much you gave a shit about mixing bowls and matching flatware? Oh, not at all? Well, men still feel that way. You’re supposed to love this man—why torture him?
4. Or, for that matter, making your fiancée go to the wedding shower. Sometimes, we try to put a modern spin on the wedding shower by inviting the groom—an acknowledgement that in most contemporary marriages, both husband and wife will share the household duties and thus should be equally excited about the spatula, the crock pot, the oven mitts. This is a nice thought, but totally unrealistic. If we truly wanted to make a move toward modernity, we would drop the charade completely and stop holding wedding showers in the first place. Most couples either already live together or have lived independently for years before they get married. They don’t necessarily need the entire contents of the Crate & Barrel spring collection. But we perpetuate this antiquated custom because most women spend thousands of dollars on other people’s showers and when it’s our turn, we want a return on our investment. But, until the day we attain true gender equality, there’s no need to subject your fiancée to something that is going to make him feel excruciatingly uncomfortable. Like menstruation, we might as well face the fact that the wedding shower is a woman’s burden, to be suffered by women alone.
5. Wasting your money on centerpieces. Quick—think of the last three weddings you’ve gone to. Now, describe for me what the centerpieces looked like. . .
I’m waiting. . .
Still waiting. . .
6. Asking more than the vaguest questions about your fiancée’s bachelor party. I do not know what happened up in Milwaukee on the night of my husband’s bachelor party. All I know is that he came home the following evening covered in gray paint and missing his wallet, phone, and keys. One of his friends had been arrested—twice, by the same police officers—and another had been head-butted. I guess I could have asked how all of this went down—and what other fun details I was missing—but really, sometimes ignorance is bliss.
7. Making your bridal party take those damn pictures where everybody has to jump up in the air. Who thought of this, and why? Inevitably, you’re in a pair of ill-fitting heels, and walking is a chore, let along leaping. Strapless bras are not conducive to this activity, and there’s always at least one bridesmaid who times her jump wrong so that when the pictures come back, everybody is up in the air while she’s already landed in a squatting position that makes it look like she is trying to make a public bowel movement in the middle of the putting green.
8. Tossing your bouquet. At this point in the evening, the single girls at your wedding have probably already struck up a flirtation with one of the available guys in the room, and you’re not exactly helping their cause by forcing them out onto the dance floor so they can claw and kick their way toward a wilted bouquet, making spectacles of themselves in the hopes that they might get married next.
9. Holding the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding. Unless you’re okay with the fact that you, your husband, your wedding party, and every single person in your immediate family is going to be hung over on your wedding day, I suggest moving the rehearsal dinner up to two days before your wedding.
10. Refusing to see your fiancée the night before the wedding. The night before we were married, my husband and I were able to sneak away from the craziness and the family parties and have a quiet drink together at Staropolska. We’d been doing so much running around that it felt like we’d barely spent any time together all week. For that quiet hour, we didn’t feel "engaged"—we just felt like us. Any nervousness I may have felt that night went away. I stayed at my parents’ house that night, but I was so glad I got to have one last date with my boyfriend before he became my husband.
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