1. All the important parts will take place in one day.
2. It will not take place in any venue that slipcovers meeting chairs in white damask.
3. The dress code will be, “Whatever makes you feel fabulous.”
4. All single people are allowed to bring a guest, no questions asked. I know etiquette dictates that it’s perfectly acceptable to skip the random plus-ones, and that’s a good way to bring down your headcount, but man, has Letitia Baldridge ever attended a wedding as a single person? The entire day (or weekend, as the case may be) is a series of anvils to the head about how awesome it is to be in love, which you are not, and then on top of that, you have no one familiar to get dressed with, stand around between ceremony and reception with, eat dinner with, dance with, make fun of other people’s clothes/dancing/children with, or leave with. (Unless you’re lucky enough to go to one of those weddings I’ve heard a great deal about but never actually attended, the kind that are chock full of other singles who are devastatingly attractive, horny, and into people just like you!) And as a special bonus, if it’s an out-of-town wedding, the single people have no one to split hotel or rental car costs with, or spend their downtime with.
Look, I’m the type of person who actively enjoys meeting new people and is pretty comfortable doing so, but even I get flustered when I’m forced to introduce myself to strangers or talk to myself, especially when I’m wearing fancy clothes and have no one to tell me my bra strap’s hanging out or there’s toilet paper stuck to my shoe. And even if you do befriend some kindly strangers, you then have to decide between parting ways with them after a reasonable interval and starting the whole process over again, or worrying that said kindly strangers are going to spend the whole night chatting politely with you, but going, “What the fuck is up with the random asshole tagalong?” every time you go to the bathroom. Putting a friend in that position is not worth saving myself the cost of one extra plate of food. It’s just not.
5. Speaking of plates of food, dinner will most likely be buffet-style and over as soon as possible. I don’t give a crap if I look cheap; I want to get to the goddamn drinking and dancing.
6. Bridesmaids will not wear satin or any hairdo requiring more than 4 bobby pins.
7. There will be no fucking bouquet toss. As we’ve established, it’s bad enough being a single woman at a wedding in the first place–like you really need to be dragged out in front of the whole crowd and expected to act desperate for a bunch of strangers’ amusement?
8. There will be no garter, let alone a garter toss. My thighs are nobody’s business.
9. Everyone who’s not in recovery, pregnant, or driving will be encouraged to get shitty, shitty drunk. (The less I spend on food, the more I can spend on the open bar.) My wedding will be no place for tasteful behavior.
10. Ideally, no one will have to drive.
11. I can live with lovely live music during the ceremony, but during the reception, I want a DJ, and I don’t want to hear anything that came out after 1993.
12. There will be no dance that requires everyone to stare at me. (After a couple of hours, there will probably be dances that cause everyone to stare at me, but that’s different.)
13. No one under 18 gets in the door, period. Possibly no one under 30.
14. I don’t care how tacky it is to say up front that you don’t want gifts: I don’t want gifts. This bullshit where a bunch of thirtysomethings who have been living on their own for at least 10 years (and usually living with their intendeds for at least a couple) suddenly expect their loved ones to cough up the entire Williams-Sonoma catalog (or cash equivalent) has got to stop. Those who feel compelled to spend money to commemorate my wedding will be asked to make a donation to their favorite charity or blow it on cute shoes and send me pictures.
15. If neither the groom nor I would recognize this person on the street, s/he’s not invited.
16. If neither the groom nor I give a rat’s ass about a detail that someone else finds important, it’s not important.
17. If it doesn’t sound like fun, it’s not happening.
18. If it will make the ceremony longer, it’s not happening.
19. There will be no mention of what God thinks about all this.
20. If I become a control freak about any particular not mentioned above, my friends and the groom are authorized to shoot me.