Sunday, September 27, 2009

Best Wedding Ever

I wrote this back in February 2008, but I feel it deserves to be on the Internet somewhere, and I haven't had much time for new blogs lately. Ergo, my little satirical essay, "Best Wedding Ever," makes it to "This Is An Art":

A friend of mine was wondering what the average wedding, or the average penny-pinching wedding would cost, and I told him that it can be as cheap as he likes, depending on what he and his bride-to-be would be willing to cut from the experience. We discussed it further and came up with a list of ways to have the ultimate thrifty wedding.

This list assumes, of course, that you actually want the ceremony. A truly cheap wedding would be to simply get the marriage certificate and begin your happy life.

First of all, a cathedral or a fancy backyard wedding is completely out of the question, though you do have options. You could have a friend register to be a minister online and perform it in your living room, or perhaps at a local fast food restaurant, which takes care of the after-party (known in more expensive circles as the "reception"). You could coerce the nice but nervous pastor of your small neighborhood church to do it for free, pleading that you're poor but in love, and if all else fails, telling him that you'll fornicate if he doesn't do it. If you live on the west side of the country, walking or hitchhiking to a Vegas wedding chapel is also a reasonable possibility, and doing that cuts out the costs of all other wedding accessories.

Two huge expenses of a traditional wedding are the tux and the dress. There are so many more choices that cost so much less. The obvious choice is just t-shirts and jeans. Be comfortable. Wear what you'll wear to your honeymoon in your parents' basement...which brings me to another alternative if your friends are fairly alternative; just go naked, or in your underwear. If you do that, however, the groom should spring for the bow tie--you want to be cheap, not tacky. If you want your union to be particularly inspired, have a theme wedding--make bedsheet togas, serve spaghetti, and call it Mediterranean.

Once you have your venue and clothing figured out, if it's to be held in something like the kitchen of your neighbor's house and you want the other not-included trappings, you've got to get creative. You or someone you know probably has streamers and maybe a banner left from parties of the past. It doesn't matter that it says "You're Over The Hill!" Just come up with a cute metaphorical explanation in case anyone asks and you'll be fine.

You won't be able to afford a live band or even a good organ player, but if you have a radio that functions at all, a friend with loud speakers in his car, or a neighbor with a kid in the marching band, your music is taken care of. Failing that, simply plan your nuptials around the American Idol schedule, or utilize the music of a nearby strip club.

You can get free flowers, for both decoration and for the bride's bouquet, by dumpster diving at your local florist. Try using folded bath towels, preferably clean and dry, as seats for your guests. If they ask why they're on the floor, tell them it's a Japanese wedding and make them eat their wedding cupcakes with chopsticks.

Of course, to have guests, you have to invite them. With today's technology there is no need for expensive parchment and fancy script, and you can eliminate the cost of stamps. Just send text messages to all your friends. If you don't have a phone, go to the local library to borrow their internet and send out e-vites, or just post a MySpace bulletin.

The reception is often unnecessarily expensive as well, but more dumpster-diving, this time at a supermarket, will find you food discarded because it was on its sell-by date. Remember to do it within a week of the wedding though, rather than stashing it in your fridge for the length of your engagement. Of course, an after-party isn't an after-party without booze, but the average celebratory wines are entirely too high-class for you. Instead, pick up a couple cases of Miller High Life, the cheap alleged "champagne of beers," and make a toast to economical espousals everywhere.

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