#10 – Invitation Only
What can I say? I’m a sucker for being part of anything exclusive. Standing amongst a crowd at the ceremony and reception, I get a small feeling of importance because I belong to a group that others don’t. (Yeah, I’m that lame sometimes.)
#9 – G’d Up, Ho'd Down
Those who know me know that I’m not big on “dress” clothes. My big conformity in my daily work attire is tucking my polo shirt into my jean shorts. But there is something kind of cool about everyone being dressed-to-the-9s at the same time. This is especially true when it comes to the ladies in attendance (which I’ll get to in a minute).
#8 – Hotel Partying
When people talk about weddings, they usually only refer to the ceremony and the reception. But there’s usually a third stage, and (in my opinion) it’s the best of the three. I’m talking, of course, about the afterparty at the hotel where the wedding party and the bulk of the guests are staying—and kudos to Stacy & Bill (this weekend's bride and groom) for holding their reception in a hotel, which eliminated any need for driving. We moved from reception hall to hotel bar to passed out without ever having to worry about getting arrested. Well, at least not for drunk driving.
You have to love the regression that the day takes, too. It begins solemn and adult (ceremony), turns relaxed and college-like (reception), and then ends in a craziness reminiscent of a high school prom (afterparty). The hotel hallways become a maze of alcoholic misdeeds, laughter, and quotes. At one wedding years ago, some friends and I ended up sitting on the floor in the hallway at 4 a.m., eating sandwiches and chips that Shannon had trekked to a nearby convenience store to buy.
#7 – Food
More often than not, weddings are great for eating. I suspect that the biggest fear among brides is that their guests will walk away from the reception still hungry. And though I may be a man of modest proportions, I do enjoy a good bite or twenty. Stacy and Bill knew that their guests would need to soak up an inordinate amount of alcohol, so they kept us surrounded with filet mignon, chicken, salmon, cookies, and cake.
#6 – Good Times
This one is kind of basic, but it’s still worth mentioning: Weddings are a good time. People are usually in good spirits—even before partaking of the good spirits. Women are happy because they’re “celebrating love” (or something silly and sappy like that). Men are happy because…well, because the women are happy (and because there’s free booze). However...
#5 – It’s Not Me
It’s important to remember that NONE of these reasons apply if you are the poor sap actually getting hitched. Weddings are only great when you are a guest. Between the relentless obligations and the coordination required throughout the day (including handling a panicky bride who is dealing with those same obligations and coordination—though she likely believes that she’s the only person going through it) and the sorry truth that you are hitching yourself to one woman for the rest of your natural life, there’s no hope for the groom to enjoy the day’s events. Which, I’m sure, is why the tradition of the “wedding night” has remained so prevalent in our culture—the guy’s got to get something out of the whole ordeal (although it’s likely the same thing he’s had since the third date when she got obliterated on margaritas).
#4 – Skin Is In
Every woman between the ages of 18 and 35 who attends a wedding wants to—in the eloquent words of Mystikal—show you what she’s working with. Single gals want to prove that they’re every bit as deserving of the same “happiness” that the bride is getting, and the coupled gals want to show that they still have “it.” Add to this the fact that a large percentage of weddings take place in the summer, and you get one hell of a show.
Stacy and Bill’s wedding featured some fantastic sights. Tony and I each brought a date (the above right picture is an actual photo—and succinct summary—of my date’s attire), and after the ceremony he glanced around and said to me, “Looks like we brought sand to the beach.”
#3 – Stories
Every wedding worth its salt is going to produce a few good stories (at a minimum). Foremost in my still-recovering mind is this one from this weekend:
Tony’s date drank herself silly at the bar, and had to be helped back to the hotel room (I even threw her over my shoulder and carried her to the elevator) around 1 a.m. We put her to bed, and Tony decided to stay with her. I went back to the bar, but less than an hour later I reached my saturation point and retired for the night, too. My date, however, was in soldier mode, and was hanging out at around 3 a.m. when she finally decided she’d had enough. Not having a room key, though, she knew she had to get either Tony or I to let her in. She called me several times, but I wasn’t waking up. She tried Tony almost as many times before he finally came to and answered. He got up and went to the room where she was partying. When the two of them returned to our room, she gave him an “okay, go ahead and open up the door” look. He gave her a drunken “you have the key, not me” look. In other words, heeding the pleas of someone locked out of the room, he had come to her rescue...without bringing his room key.
#2 – Bridesmaids
Jeremy Grey: We are gonna have tons and tons of opportunities to meet gorgeous ladies that get so aroused by the thought of marriage that they'll throw their inhibitions to the wind.
John Beckwith: And who's gonna be there to catch them?
Jeremy Grey: Grab that net and catch that beautiful butterfly, pal!
Ah, what would a wedding be without the allure of the bridesmaid? Prior to and during the ceremony, the maid (or matron) of honor has specific responsibilities, and all of the groomsmen work as ushers. But what do the rest of the bridesmaids do? Their only real purpose is to be a sacrificial offer to the groomsmen and single male guests.
Stacy’s bridal party featured some outstanding talent. And, as per tradition, I had one in particular in my sights—and, as per (my) tradition, I got so drunk that I completely forgot about her. Oops. I’ll rectify that mistake some other time, I’m sure. But that brings me to…
#1 – Booze
Lest you forget that you’re at “On the Rocks,” let me remind you: alcohol trumps all. And when it’s an open bar (the greatest two-word phrase in the English language), everything is right with the world.
Stacy and Bill’s reception was an Olympic pool of alcohol, and I was Michael Phelps. I effortlessly breaststroked my way through Tanqueray, Beefeater, Smirnoff, Beam, Captain, Michelob, Yuengling, and even Coors Light. They closed the bar for the wedding party’s entrance and the first half of dinner, but that didn’t stop my friends and me. We knew the pay bar in the hotel was still open, and people at our table took turns sneaking out and coming back with more drinks and beers. By the end of the reception, our table was littered with beer bottles (I counted about 25 or so); no other table in the room had more than three on it.
Congrats to Stacy & Bill. Now who else can we sacrifice for the sake of having a grand ol' time?