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Kim Schulze

The cynical bride-to-be

2012-01-19 15:51
The grand news is that I’m engaged. And I was proposed to in the most luxurious, romantic setting by the perfect man. Coo-coo, gurgle-gurgle, love-love, vomit etc.
The only niggle with getting engaged, is that you then have to get married.
Now, I’m not retarded, I get that that’s the point. But it’s the Wedding… Oh, sweet Woody-Allen-Jesus*, the wedding. (*property of Tim Minchin)
I already have the well-known, typical wedding issues: casual friends assuming they’re invited; every by-passer with an eye for diamonds asking me, "When? Where? How? What colours?" As well as the dilemma of expense and stress that goes with wedding-ing.
In addition to these little expected bumps in the nuptial road, I actually cringingly dislike (using the timid adverb in place of the more passionate, "HATE") most wedding sequences. To get myself out of this nuptial-cynicism, and to take the weight off, I’ve compiled a little wedding brochure to remind me why they’re so fantastic and fun.

Obedience and servitude
There’ll be a priest/pastor/reverend/bishop/Woody Allen there to perform the ceremony. It doesn’t matter that you and your fiancé haven’t been to church in over ten years! You’ll do a quick crash course in Christianity and marriage that totally makes God/Allah/Woody Allen cool with your neglect. If you’re the woman getting married, it’s really special. The traditional wedding vows are filled with hidden little patriarchal promises, that’ll see you almost unwillingly pledging obedience and servitude to that man who gave you the diamond. So special. Don’t worry about actually listening to the words you repeat after the pastor, it’s just for show, not to be taken seriously. Oh, you!
One of the favourite wedding pickles is the aimless milling around while waiting for the beautified beloveds to be photographed in all their white and toothy glory. Your guests get to spend that odd hour and a half drinking: Head-start. You need them to be drunk in order to deal with their own sad, single lives.
There’s so much to love about weddings. Some people even "release doves" after they’ve been bound for eternity. I suppose this is to signify a union made in peace and harmony. That shit is FUNNY. It’s a boob-popper waiting to happen.
And what better way to show that you’ve spent thousands and thousands of rand on the event than to make your guests earn their supper. The time old tradition, founded in boarding schools, orphanages and prison, of lining up to dish up your own plate of food, will not only allow those hungrier guests to plate up accordingly, it’ll most likely make your guests more grateful for their own wives' "good" home cooking.

Embarrassing stories
Weddings are also a great way of meeting new people. It’s especially fun for your guests, 'cause those silly cats are so clever. They’ll stare at you blankly to make you work even harder for their attention! There’s nothing better than staring across a round table, challenging yourself to get the serial-killer-looking couple to laugh at one of your seasoned jokes.
The traditional union of two people also involves a great supply of information. At least four different people will stand up for at least five minutes each and tell you all sorts of fascinating things. It’s a great bag of tricks, 'cause you never know what you’re going to get. It could be another religious sermon to add to the pastor's twenty minutes in the ceremony. The newly married duo do need to be reminded of the severity and servitude involved in a lifetime together. It could also be really embarrassing stories from their childhoods, which the couple always enjoy. You can tell by how they’re laughing so hard they’ve had to leave the table to find a hanky. Don’t know why they sometimes get into the limos though. And don’t come back.
Another fun speech tradition that’s relatively new, is the "heckling". This originates from horny, desperate sailors, who would yell loudly at whichever prostitute picked another man, trying to convince her that they were a better choice. A fun way to add to this loud and uncouth tradition, is for the bride to kick each one of the men out from under their chairs. Concussions make great dancers out of poorly trained men!

Hang the DJ
Speaking of dancing, there’s nothing quite like getting your rhythmically challenged spouse to go to some dance classes with you. Then you can choreograph something with your instructor, Juan, that you’ll both forget on the night. You may end up looking like you’re thinking hard about whether you pooped or not this morning instead of looking blissfully in love, but what really matters is that you give the kids a show!
In addition to this wedding bonanza, you’ll also get a DJ. And no matter how much you pay him, or how many instructions you give, he will still play cheesy 80s music and the chicken dance. It’s a lesser known, but very common tradition, to find DJs dead in fountains at wedding venues the next morning.
Oh and the awesomeness just gets better! You’ll get cake stuffed in your face, you’ll have to dance with everyone, even smelly, drunk second-hand friends, and you might even get too drunk to remember anything!
I’m going to read this every time I feel that the planning is becoming overwhelming. That way I’ll remember that I’m marrying the absolute perfect man, who I know I want to be with forever. I’ll also remember that we’re both lucky enough to have supportive, cool families who wont embarrass us "in a bad way", and even better friends who’ll be great to the other guests they don’t know. As for all those little "traditions", I might make a few amendments. Because at the end of the day, weddings are actually a total blast, and a day we’ll remember forever.
*The above-mentioned wedding description is entirely fictional. All characters and events in this piece – even those relating to real people – are purely coincidental.

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