Monday, December 29, 2008

On Weddings

When my four-year-old daughter Elizabeth heard that our family friend Cindy was going to get engaged, she jumped up and down squealing—then she wanted to know what she would wear as the flower girl.
Meanwhile, former sorority sisters in three time zones began to mobilize: There were online discussions of bridesmaids dresses, go-to diets, extravagant bachelorette parties, wedding cakes.
Furthermore, members of Cindy’s church congregation, friends from a swing dancing group, colleagues at the private school where she teaches, even her Starbucks barista told her they were so happy for her. Then, they assured her that they would—wink, wink—“hold” several summer weekends open for her “event.”
Mind you, there was no ring yet in sight.
And when Mr. Right did unveil a sparkler following a four-month-long whirlwind romance, Cindy found herself with a big rock—and a big problem: How best to incorporate everyone into her wedding?
See, while most Popular Girls are well liked by everyone, Cindy is a Popular Girl truly beloved by all. And likewise, she has found a special place in her life for all of us.
Over the past 10 years, Cindy stood up in 10 weddings. As an auntie to nine of our kids, she has changed more diapers than some fathers. She’s traveled the world with us and decked the Christmas halls with us. She’s held our ponytails while we’ve had food poisoning and listened to us while we’ve whined about our jobs.
She’s been an amazing friend—and I certainly owe her one.
Which is why my first job as Co-Matron of Honor is to help her find wedding-day occupations for all the 297 special people in her life. While Cindy has already appointed 10 bridesmaids, three flower children and a ring bearer to her wedding party, I will now articulate twenty other jobs that must be filled to make her day most joyous.

1. Candle Wick Attendant. Every wedding has a near-miss with alter flames of some sort. Thus, the CWA will ensure that the Unity Candle:
a. is in its appointed position the day of the ceremony;
b. has a wick none too short nor too tall so as to produce a perfect glow in all photographs;
c. is out of all drafts;
d. is nowhere near priestly vestments.

2. Minister of Minister Pristelyness. Every now and again, a couple finds they’ve hired a officiant who is no longer “with the church.” (Well, at least this is what happened to my husband and I, but since we had two ministers on deck to preside over our nuptials, at least we’re lawfully married…) Thus, the MMP will do a background check six months prior to the service to ensure all people in vestments are certified by their dioceses.

3. Rouge Uncle Patrol. It is terribly upsetting to the bride when there is a drunk, out of control family member on the lam at the reception. This torrid individual gives spontaneous toasts that include too much information about the bride’s previous failed relationships, the couple’s prenuptial agreement and/or their presumed method of birth control. Therefore, the RUP will serve in full tackle gear and scan the reception hall continually for scoundrels before kindly escorting them to the nearest taxi cab and paying their way to New Jersey.

4. Bridal Latrine Skirt Uplifter. There really is no person more important to a bride stapled inside 500 yards of tulle meringue than the BLSU especially when the pressure’s on and the pee-pee needs to come out. This kind individual—perhaps a childhood friend?—must escort the bride to the privy and ensure none of her fluffage is dunked or dipped.



5. Deputy of Small Provisions. Undoubtedly someone in the wedding party will need a safety pin, a rubber band or extra perfume. The DSP will provide these items as well as several dozen other essentials inside a small tote on her person in case of emergency. (I once in a wedding party where the mother-of-the-groom needed underpants STAT, but that’s another story.)

6. Play list Enforcer. God hath no fury like a bride who hears a banned Britney Spears song at her own party. The PE is responsible for standing next to the DJ all night long—taser in hand.

7. Groomsmen Shepherd. This gentlemen shall:
a. Ensure all groomsmen are wearing black socks—and appropriate footwear.
b. Ensure no groomsman does permanent damage to bridal vehicle with spray paint.
c. Ensure groomsmen are not hot and sweaty from playing tackle football 15 minutes prior to the ceremony.

8. Sandwich Lady. I’ve seen entire bridal parties near collapse from lack of food and drink as they while away hours upon hours in a hot, humid “bridal salon.” The SL, then, should prepare a banal snack including a 60-40 ratio of protein and carbs. Bear in mind, this light fare should not include a trace of garlic, olives, onions or other possibly offensive cuisine. Moreover, the SL should offer small sips of mouthwash in wax cups so that bridal lipstick will not transfer.

9. Engagement Ring Tracker. While it adds drama to any wedding when a Tiffany setting slides off the sweaty finger of a bride unnoticed, it also gives some grooms a heart attack. (And EMTs, while well intentioned, never dress for such events.) Therefore, the ERT will keep her eyes on the brides’ left hand at all times, never glancing away to look at a flower arrangement, thus ensuring all gems stay in place.

10. Map Printer/Interpreter. Never assume guests will know where they’re going. They need color-coded, topographical maps with landmarks especially for women that include details like “…turn left at the dry cleaner that misplaced your favorite trench coat two seasons ago.” Moreover, the MPI should strive to have his/her soothing voice broadcast over the a.m. airwaves so that lost guests can find their way to the reception before the cake it cut.

11. Fork Buffer. Too many country clubs fail to completely eliminate water spots and/or fingerprints from the tongs of rented utensils thus angering the bride’s mother who in turn angers the bride. Thus, the job of the FB is to inspect all silverware 48 hours prior to the luncheon or dinner to ensure his/her reflection can be clearly.


12. Child Minder. Undoubtedly, someone will bring a screaming child to the wedding ceremony. The CM must quiet the child by whatever means necessary. She must be ready to serve as a wet nurse and/or administer silencing drugs.

13. Pet Minder. As more and more couples welcome their furry friends to be apart of their ceremony, PMs are desperately needed. This person must cloak Fido/Fefe in decorative leashes and bag all poop/hairballs produced in a wedding-themed parcel.

14. Transport Advisor. Even in the age of electronic travel, no one under wedding duress can be expected to remember when they’re leaving for their honeymoon, what airport they’re leaving from or even WHERE they’re going. The job of the TA, then, is to make sure the happy couple gets where they’re going. This includes following them to the airport, ensuring they get through security and safely strapping them into their first class seats before topping off their glasses of with a tasty chardonnay.

15. Bridal Bouquet Management Expert. More lilies have been squashed during the typical hug-and-run pew exit than can be counted. The BBME must thus pry the flowers from the bride’s clutch directly following the exit march so that said damsel has both hands free to kiss and otherwise greet her 425 guests without the encumbering parcel.


16. Funky Chicken Leader. All couples think this dance will be a hit, but unless you’ve got a dedicated soul willing to kick off the fun and games, the only guests rockin’ out to this old accordion hit will be preschoolers and those tethered to oxygen tanks. Have the FCL practice with a dance instructor four weeks prior for a perfected execution.

17. Video Camera Technician. The VCT will shadow the groom’s brother-in-law as he records the event for posterity. It is likely said BIL will A. forget the tape; B. be unable to turn the machine on; C. be tempted to record only the bride’s new mother-in-law’s complaints about the wedding fare and/or the long legs of the groom’s hot 18-year-old niece.

18. Back-Up Toaster. This is not the person who brings the bridal couple jam and bread should room service fail but the trained speechwriter who tucks away a spare paragraph of good tidings for the wedding feast should the Best Man decide to talk out of turn. The BUT is expected to have graduated from NYU and worked for upwards of five U.S. senators.

19. Sidewalk Clearer. There are no weddings prettier than those held during the holidays, but God forbid a bride should slide her way to the limo amidst slush and slop. The SC should personally consult local weather experts then have 45 pounds of kitty litter and salt primed and waiting outside both the church and the reception hall on the Big Day. Those attending summer weddings should construct a weather-proof awning of teak wood over a red carpet leading from church to limo and from limo to reception.

20. Pregnancy Prevention Patrol. Too many brides’ numbers are thrown off when a bridesmaid becomes unexpectedly enlarged and thus is unable to don her prescribed outfit. The PPP will call all bridesmaids every day for 10 months prior to the nuptials and remind the ladies-in-waiting of their commitments to the bride.

Over the past 10 years, Julie Blair has stood up in six weddings and attended many, many more. She wishes all the best to Cindy Zirbel and her lucky fiancé Eric, who will be married June 27 in Akron, Ohio.

END**

3 comments:

Eudea-Mamia said...

Oh, OH - Cindy, I don't know you, but Julie can totally vouch for me - I so want to be your RUP!!!

And Julie, seriously, where were you when I was getting married?!

Oh yeah, middle school.

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Jamie said...

I was going to say that Jim would make a great RUP, but it sounds like Eudea-Mamia wants to fill those shoes. Also, did we inspire #19??? Hopefully, Cindy has a good "Tim" at her wedding to take care of it.