There are a number of things that guys hate about weddings, but for the most part, we’ll be quiet about them. We realize that the modern wedding isn’t really designed with guys in mind. If you really want a dude to be a legitimately happy wedding guest, it doesn’t take a whole lot. Just give us a few toys and we’ll sit in the corner and not bother anybody. After the jump, some tips for making weddings fun for men.
- An open bar. Every wedding that doesn’t offer some sort of open bar is a travesty. Maybe they offer free beer or just a few free glasses of wine — we don’t need to get drunk (nor should we), but a pleasant little buzz can make a wedding much more enjoyable. At the very least, guys would like a bar with a good selection. And by all means, try to avoid alcohol-free weddings. An alcohol-free wedding is like a Novocaine-free dentist’s appointment.
- A short ceremony. Some people like a big elaborate ceremony, but most of those people are extremely old and unpleasant. A short ceremony is a great way to keep tensions low at a wedding and greatly reduces the possibility of a ringing cell phone, crying baby or any of the other things that disrupt long ceremonies. In general, your ceremony should be no longer than the average sitcom, sans commercials. If it gets much longer than that, your uncle’s going to start making noises with his armpit and, honestly, that will be more entertaining than whatever the minister’s saying.
- Simple vows. As for vows, keep them short, too. That doesn’t mean that they’re any less poignant. In fact, a few carefully chosen words will be worth a lot more than a long diatribe about love that borrows heavily from Don Henley lyrics. The groom is usually guiltier of badly written vows, so if you’re part of a wedding and you’re not the bride, be sure to offer to proofread them for him. Take out any references to “Star Wars” or football, unless they’re really well done.
- Buffets. A tasteful buffet can make a wedding less boring, and it’s a far better choice than some nine-course meal. I’ve been to a number of weddings where the meal actually took longer than the ceremony, which would be fine if it wasn’t one of those epic ceremonies where the videographer keeps switching out tapes. Buffets let people eat at their own pace, and allow guys (and women, too) to absentmindedly graze when they’re bored.
- Help us meet people. If you’re taking a guy to a wedding that isn’t his own, he could probably use a few introductions. Don’t let him hang out and meet people on his own. He’ll probably screw it up, and he’ll always be known to the wedding party as “that guy who screamed at Grandpa Frank’s prosthetic arm.” Tell the guy some pertinent details concerning the wedding guests, and try to match him up with a few like-minded guys. He’ll talk to them, and you won’t feel bad for wandering off and talking to someone else every once in a while.