Having recently taken the leap and gotten married, I thought I should pass along some wisdom. You hear a lot about the woman's perspective on the process, so I thought I'd write something for the guys.
Consider this a cautionary tale.
I should start out by saying that I'm a control freak. When married people told me that I’d be under a lot of pressure during this process, I scoffed. And when they told me that my fiancée would be under a lot more pressure, I defied them.
We were planners. We would be different. We would jump all over planning this wedding, together, and we would knock out all the details ahead of schedule. More specifically, I would be there every step of the way, making hard decisions and never letting my fiancée do more work than she could handle.
Gentlemen: do not think as I did. I know the machismo in you will make you believe there is no chasm you cannot bridge, and no monster you cannot fight. You’re going to lose this one; how hard and how far down the rabbit hole of insanity you go is predicated on how much you fight it. You just don't understand all the details that need to be addressed here. UPS gets confused by logistical problems like this. You will inevitably find yourself, a week before your wedding, shaking with stress as you fill out a seating chart and attempt to psychoanalyze whether or not your aunt is capable of making good fictional conversation with your mother’s work friends.
But, don’t let me dissuade you from the process, or in helping out. A lot of married people will try and give you hints on things to do, and tell you what to expect on your wedding day, but there really is no substitute for just ruining your nervous system and doing it yourself. It’s a rite of passage.
So, even though I’d love to produce some sort of overarching “Dudes List of Marital Dos and Don’ts” blog, I can’t really do that. I don’t know what minutiae everyone decides to put into their weddings; and frankly, those kinds of articles bore me anyway.
I’m a guy. What can I say?
However, I do have some practical things to avoid I'd like to pass along to any interested parties. You should learn from these very specific mistakes, if you can—because they are, in fact, completely avoidable.
Tip #1— Don’t rent your suits where I did. I won’t announce their name publicly; but they also rent tuxedos, and they are Americans. Why am I hoping you’ll avoid this unnamed place? Because nothing says “Hobo Wedding” like picking up your formal wear and finding out it smells like someone’s grandfather died in it. Two of our groomsmen had pants that were dirty. And I don’t mean they hadn’t been dry-cleaned prior to pick up. I mean they literally had dirt in them that could have only been possible if the last person who wore them was Pete Rose after pulling a head-first slide into home. Our wedding pictures look like Pigpen from Peanuts photo-bombed us.
Tip #2— If your best man says, “Let’s get some late night Taco Bell after all the drinking we did at the Rehearsal Dinner,” you should halt those proceedings immediately. The morning of your wedding, your stomach will be doing hula-hoops around your ass anyway. Filling that stomach with a “fourthmeal” of processed “meat” and hot sauce won’t make things any better. I know everyone likes a quality quesadilla at three in the morning, but this isn’t college, and unless you have the intestinal fortitude of a bovine, you’re going to find yourself changing your religious beliefs mere hours before the ceremony.
Tip #3— Do not attempt to breakdance at your wedding. Unless you’re a teenager, or a yoga instructor, you’re going to find yourself buying stock in Advil the next morning.
Tip #4— If you book an all-inclusive honeymoon, maybe you shouldn’t take that term too literally. I was faced with the concept of free food and drink for eight days, and I took full advantage of that. And I mean full advantage. I ate so much that the wait-staff referred to me as “El Diablo.” We were there from Friday to Friday, and on Tuesday night, Caligula visited me in my dreams to tell me he thought I might be over-doing it a little. Wars have been fought over less food.
And, when I got back? My work clothes didn't fit anymore. And I was considering whether or not I should rent a suit.
So, I leave you with this: Gentlemen, I cannot help you prepare for everything you will encounter should you wish (as I did) to be of actual service to your wife-to-be in the planning of your wedding. I can, however, impress upon you how important it is to be a responsible adult throughout the whole process; a man devoid of the need to destroy both his nervous and digestive systems en route to immolating his reputation amongst family and friends as an awkward and horrifyingly bad break-dancer. Knowing these things, above all else, will not only make you more comfortable during the wedding process, but also a better, more mature man in general.