We’ve got a new weblog tour question!
Imagine, if you will, that you live on the planet Htrae, where things are opposite- like, children are rewarded for being rude to their teachers, and women go to the ugly parlor. You are going to a wedding, where the stories on the front page of Etiquette Hell are examples of stellar behavior. What would you do to assist in the “best” wedding on Htrae?
First off, I would have it be some of the actual weddings my mother did precana counseling for back in our old church.
They weren’t themselves etiquette gaffes. They were just unbelievable mistakes from the get-go. My mother would describe a room full of chatty couples, all of whom could talk for hours about their wedding preparation: the dress, the shoes, the bridal party, the flowers, the catering, the DJ, the honeymoon, the limo, the tuxedos, the color of the napkins…
Then my mother would say, “So, tell me why you guys are getting married.”
Dead silence. You’d expect to hear people say, “We’re getting married because we love each other,” but no, not even that. It happened more often than she would have believed.
(The correct answer is, by the way, “Because it doesn’t get any better than this. We love one another and are going to work hard to help each other get into Heaven.”)
Her next question would be, “Well, why are you getting married in the church?” and that one they could answer: because our parents won’t pay for it unless we have it in the church.
There you have it. In the opposite world, the best way to have a wedding would be to marry someone you barely even know, and do it for the sake of the party. To concentrate completely on the five hours of ceremony and party and ignore completely the lifelong blending of souls and experiences that will follow.
In the opposite world, the Ideal Bride would say the following:
“Okay, so you’ll put the flowers there, the runner there, the chairs there, the groom over there, the– No, wait, the groom doesn’t go there. Just move him over to the side for now. Okay, so you put the trellis there, the wedding cake there, the present table there…”
The groom would only be getting married because his family told him it was about time, and because the bride had threatened to leave if he didn’t.
On Htrae, the ideal couple has never discussed mingling finances, whether they’ll have children, where they’ll live, how they’ll divide the holidays with their two families, the role of their friends in the marriage, and their long-term goals for their lives. They will not have touched on their core values, and in fact they will only have gotten together because they hooked up for some fun physical intimacy and decided over the long term that it would be most convenient if they lived in the same house.
I don’t think I’d much like living on Htrae.
Other stops on the weblog tour are:
http://wryexchange.com/ Wry Exchange
http://fatgirlartist.blogspot.com/ Amy Rose
http://www.drunkenhousewife.com/ The Drunken Housewife
http://hijinksshenanigans.blogspot.com/ Hijinks’s Shenanigans
http://divine-misse.livejournal.com Shotochick (only readable by those that have a livejournal account)
I think I’d have severe issues with living on Htrae as well. But some exemplary behavior to display there at a wedding would be:
1) discussing, loudly, how much you estimate people’s gifts cost and speculating as to whether it covered their plate
2) having a wishing well, a dollar tree, a dollar dance and a raffle during the reception itself
3) inviting several other people to another person’s wedding without informing the hosts
4) for women, wearing a bridal dress to another wedding
5) for men, wearing a “wife-beater” tee and cutoff shorts with flipflops (and no shower beforehand)
Not showering is the nicest touch, definitely, but only if the guy from #5 is the spouse of the woman from #4, and neither of them was invited, per #3. 🙂
Encouraging your child to run up and down the aisles during the ceremony shrieking loudly at important points, and preferably tugging on the bride’s dress during the vows? For extra points, they could have a cup of blackcurrant to spray everywhere, and chocolate hands 🙂
(And, actually, I think the correct answer is “because we can no longer imagine life without one another”.)
We got married in my parents’ local church, driven there in my father’s car. I wore my mum’s wedding dress, and my bridesmaid chose her own dress – she wanted something she could wear to her fiance’s family’s rather fancy black tie get-togethers. The local flower arranging club decorated the church (they were highly delighted because nobody ever asked them to do weddings), a local ex Army chef did the food and we had a buffet lunch in the village hall. The photographer came afterwards and took I think fifty pictures (I thought that sounded like a huge number. He was horrified that we ‘weren’t going to get full coverage’.)
And we had a wonderful day, much improved by not feeling like we’d thrown so much money at it that everything had to be like something out of the movies.
The fun physical intimacy was one of the things they didn’t do, or even discuss — and they’re totally incompatible.
I treasure the “things that went wrong” with our wedding. There was a pillar by my parent’s table at the reception, so my recently-widowed grandfather’s place card was put on the table with our school friends. Mom’s old babysitter noticed and sat there instead. Our friends were talkers, but not drinkers, and Joan had some interesting stories, and it worked really well. One of the godfathers was put out because they didn’t have his brand of whiskey, which wasn’t a total disaster because he had brought a discrete flask of his own, and had great fun discretely telling everyone. Friend who was decorating the church was sick but didn’t tell me; Mom’s best friend, who had been through this before, had brought a small tool box, and her husband rescued that bit. There was construction in front of the hotel the women got dressed at. The construction workers helped me get across it — made their day.
In the wedding on Htrae, all those things would have happened, and totally ruined the wedding for everyone.