If you’re planning a summer wedding, you may now be where I once was, just a few weeks before my nuptials: at the bar.
I was tired of making decisions. I was tired of caring about details. I was tired of answering questions. I was tired of worrying. Planning a big-ass event is hard. Planning one that’s supposed to be the Greatest Day Of Your Life Ever Or Else Your Existence As A Whole Is A Poorly Executed Sham And Everybody Knows It is especially hard, and you don’t have to have purchased stock in Wedding Industrial Complex, Inc. to be worried about it.
So I’m going to tell you a true thing that good people told me. Something I knew intellectually to be true, but something I found emotionally hard to wrap my mind around:
There are two kinds of people who seriously care about your wedding. One of those kinds of people is you and, ideally, the person you’re about to commit your forever life to. The other kind of person is an asshole.
When I say “seriously care” about your wedding, this is what I mean: having serious thoughts and feelings about wedding details large and small, specifically thoughts and feelings that fall anywhere below “Sounds good!” on the emotion scale that ranges from “Kill it with fire!” to “They called my name on ‘The Price Is Right’!”
It makes sense for you and your partner to have serious thoughts and feelings about wedding details large and small, because it’s your wedding. Y’all planned it! It’s for you and about you, and shit is your prerogative.
But if there are other human beings on the planet who have actual feelings about your buffet versus your sit-down dinner, or your long dress versus your short dress, or your brown tuxedo versus your black tuxedo, or your drum circle versus your pop country cover band, or your priestess versus your judge, or your plastic chopsticks versus your cloth napkins, those people are assholes.
This does not exclude people closely related to you. Indeed, it very much includes them. It includes your dad, who thinks his golf buddies can’t hold a fucking drink without an engraved cocktail napkin to help them. It includes your mom, who loudly thinks that your flats won’t be very flattering in photos. It even includes your own jerkbrain that tells you to spend $300 on the shiny invitation paper because oh my god, what if your invitations aren’t shiny!?
It includes literally anyone who is more concerned about aesthetics, traditions, non-traditions, conformity, non-conformity, spending money, saving money, what other people will say or what other people won’t say than they are about the awesome fact that you, sir or madam, have found a forever partner with whom you intend to publicly celebrate a forever union.
One of the things that stressed me out before our wedding? Rental chairs. I worried that the chairs — basic, white plastic folding chairs — would look cheap and stupid, and that people would be horrified, some secretly and some openly, by our ugly-ass wedding chairs.
A thing I do not remember about our wedding day? The chairs. Why? Because no one ever said anything to me about the chairs. Because nobody gave a shit about the chairs. Because anyone who did give a shit about the chairs at least had the decency to be a secret asshole rather than a public asshole. I spent a lot of time worrying what assholes might think, as if there’s a real way to make assholes — all the different varieties of them that flourish on Planet Earth — happy.
I asked a few of my wedded friends if they remembered having similarly stressful but ultimately inconsequential concerns about their events, and they did.
Writes my friend Tiffany: “I was ridiculously self-conscious that the back of my dress was ‘poufing’ up and I kept mentioning it each time I talked to someone.. Everyone pretty much said they didn’t notice. Which probably lends itself to if you don’t look 100 percent perfect, no one will think any differently.”
Only assholes care more about the way you look than they do about how happy and fulfilled you are as a human being.
Writes my friend Merritt, who worried about … “not having traditional favors. We had a photobooth, so I guess that might count, but we didn’t hand out anything and no one griped … at least, that I know of. And if they did, screw them because it was about our love, dammit.”
Only assholes think they deserve a prize for going to a wedding. (Or five-year-olds. Or five-year-old assholes. Either way.)
Writes my friend Michelle, who planned her wedding in four months: “I made my own veil and pew markers, printed our programs at Kinko’s (at 11p.m. one evening), and used an iPod playlist at the reception. I didn’t even taste the fucking cake or have any idea what the reception flowers would look like till the day of. I worried that everything would fall apart. I worried that people would think everything looked homemade and amateurish (of course, this was before Pinterest, which has instilled us in the idea that everything in your wedding SHOULD look homemade).”
But in the end, “nobody said a negative word to [her] about any of that stuff,” and “the day was a success.”
Only assholes attend a wedding expecting to be impressed by anything other than the sheer power of human love.
And my husband, Patrick, says he was “a little worried about the two halves of my family getting along,” at our wedding, since many hadn’t seen each other in years. But, “they, like everyone else, were caught up in the bliss of the moment.”
People who can’t behave like polite, grown-ass human beings in public for a few hours because they’re in a room with someone they don’t like or don’t know? Are assholes.
And hey, you might have to invite some assholes to your wedding. But you don’t have to care what they think, and you don’t have to try to make them happy. Your wedding will be awesome. How do I know? Because you’ll be married at the end of it, and that’s what matters.
Email me at Andrea.Grimes@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.