Weddings are hit or miss for me. I enjoyed mine, but that was because I knew 90% of the people there. Friends on both sides. All my family. Got all the jokes in the speeches. Nothing compares to your own wedding, I guess.
Part of my issue is that I hate going to things where I don’t know everyone there. Not just some of the people. All of the people. I’m not good with strangers. I am not good at charming, small-talking, or pretending that I care about things that I don’t care about. I hate being forced to sit at tables with name tags.
This weekend’s wedding, however, did a lot of things right to make me forget about most of neuroses. It was as though the bride and groom had deliberately made sure that every possible complaint I might have would be countered by a top-quality choice. I don’t think that this was intentional, since I’ve met the bride about twice and the groom… never. But I’d like to think that as they planned their wedding they were saying things like, “I know that Nick really hates sitting with strangers, so we should make sure that he knows most of the people at his table, and that the one person he doesn’t know is a good talker that can carry the conversation. We’ll build the rest of the seating around that. We’ll have to move the head table to the bathroom, but that’s a small price to pay.”
I imagine that they also said things like, “Nick hates driving to places, so let’ make sure that our wedding is an easy trip on the highway and that the destination is a picturesque winery perched on a hill with a pond and a blue heron circling overhead.”
“True, but how can we make the wait for the ceremony bearable for him? He’ll be carrying around a baby, after all, and will not have eaten lunch in the rush to get out here on time.”
“Let’s put out a pile of really nice food even before the ceremony starts, so Nick doesn’t get too hungry. And let’s not forget that Nick is unbearably picky when it comes to pastors giving dull, preachy speeches about commitment. Let’s get someone entertaining and sincere, and then let’s write vows that have actually funny jokes in them, sandwiched between tear-jerking memories and sincere pledges.”
“Good idea! But what about dinner? Nick hates most wedding food. I really can’t abide by him choking down a dry roast beef meal with rubbery potatoes and gravy that comes out in a solid, pancake-like mass. If he doesn’t like the food, I’ll be heartbroken, even though I don’t know him.”
“Okay, then let’s have the dinner at a top-notch Italian restaurant, one that we worked at together when we were falling in love. And instead of just having your typical (but delicious) salad, stuffed-chicken, dessert setup, let’s have seven other courses so that Nick can eat steadily from 5:00 until 9:00 and can leave feeling like he dropped $100 before the tip.”
“Perfect. Also, we should tell all of our guests to fuss and fawn over Nick’s baby like she is the Queen of freaking England. I want her to be the center of attention. More so than us.”
Is it really so much to ask that everyone be so accommodating?