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The Gentleman's Guide to Weddings

A cautionary tale for men.

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. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

James Thomas April 24, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Patrick, As I went through my wedding process, several decades ago, I brought away two lessons: 1) Shutting up, staying in the corner, and nodding "Yes Dear" served me admirably. 2) The process was the crucible of the Mother/Daughter relationship in which I had no business and no inclination to enter the zone of conflict.
Andrea S April 24, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Funny article. I got married this past fall. My husband was involved in all major decisions (location, dj, photographer, rings, food, alcohol selection, guest list, seating chart, etc) but left all the little decisions to me and praised my craftyness (ie my handmade programs but that didn't stop him from complaining when I asked him to fold 100 of them in half). He helped when he realized how stressed I was becoming and he urged his parents who like to be too helpful with all their suggestions to just leave me alone and let me do my thing. I think it went pretty well. We had a lot of added planning and stress as 75% of our guests were from out of state and most of them stayed Thurs/Fri - Mon (our wedding was on a Sunday and we spent the entire long weekend at Punderson Manor where our wedding was). So we had to plan an entire weekend of stuff. As far as tuxedos, I reccomend Men's Warehouse - they did a great job of outfitting our guys.
Brad Bolton April 24, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Funny stuff, Patrick. I read everything you submit. But in my American birthday suit.
Paul Skowronski April 25, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Those are very wise words, sir, and hope you remember these on your future wedding days.
Candice Stirling April 26, 2012 at 05:19 AM
I do believe you have succeeded in scaring me away from not only Taco Bell (which didn't take much, I'll admit), but also the traditional wedding and all the related accoutrements. Should I find myself in a state of pending matrimony I think I may forego the niceties and simply run off like a shameless hussy.
Patrick Giusto April 26, 2012 at 09:41 AM
That made me laugh. Thanks! I really appreciate you reading!
Patrick Giusto April 26, 2012 at 09:43 AM
Candice, as you may have guessed, it was a pretty non-traditional wedding. But there were definitely times where the traditions we did adhere to nearly made us drop the whole thing and run off to Zanzibar.
Damon koch April 28, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Patrick, Finally you have written something on a subject that is befitting your talent, instead of the uninformed political commentary you usually slather on like rancid butter on bread. Keep up the good work commenting on the inanities of life and leave the politics to better informed individuals.
Patrick Giusto April 28, 2012 at 03:47 PM
But I love slathering rancid butter on bread. It goes so well with your Kool-Aid. Still, I thank you for reading, and for the somewhat-back-handed compliment. If you're so inclined, click on my name and view my entire blog list. I think you'll find I've written on a bunch of random topics that might amuse, rather than draw your ire. I try to mix it up.
Wilburforce April 29, 2012 at 11:22 AM
Peter I suggest you have Damon edit all your copy in the future so you don't continue to disappoint him. I also suggest the next time you decide to get married that you go to Taco Bell instead......it's indigestible also..... but less expensive.

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