The First-World Anarchist’s Guide to Weddings
How to be that one guest who’ll never ever have to save a date again.
Some people view a wedding invite as an honor, a chance to witness and celebrate two people who love each other, and a beautiful rite of passage that crosses time and culture and speaks to what it means to be human.
Others, however, see that adorable “Save the Date!” fridge magnet for what it is: a chance to be a real life Eris, throwing the Apple of Discord and setting off your very own modern-day Trojan War. It is a precious opportunity to strike a blow unto the very heart of the wedding-industrial complex and must not be wasted. It is your best shot at nipping any future wedding invites (and accompanying airfare to Missouri) in the bud.
Wedding season is upon us, and it is time to start polishing those golden apples, beloveds. Polish them until they gleam with malice, wicked glee, and non-registry gifts.
Q: How should one congratulate a couple on their engagement?
A: “Oh my gosh! Wow! You two are getting married? To each other? Oh my gosh. Wow. Well, that is… that is just… that’s great. I mean, you’ve been together so, so, so long. Is it… Jen, are you pregnant?”
Q: How soon should one RSVP to a wedding invitation?
A: This is optional. However, if you do decide on the old-fashioned step of taking 35 seconds to check a box and drop the thoughtfully included SASE in the mail, don’t forget to attach a Post-It addendum of guests you plan to bring along, dietary restrictions, life-threatening allergies, and ceremony trigger warnings you’ll need to feel safe.
Q: I’m allowed to have a plus-one but have no significant other. Whom should I invite?
A: It’s critically important, if you are single, to bring someone with you to the wedding. This will eliminate any chance of meeting someone you like there, and also costs the couple at least $150 extra, which we can all agree is worth it. The perfect date is one that keeps everyone on their toes with complicated emotions and backstory: Did they recently break off their own engagement? Are they in the latter stages of alcoholism? Are they your estranged stepfather? Perfect.
Q: What does one wear to a wedding?
A: Weddings are, of course, an expression of the couple’s love, the bride’s Pinterest proficiency, and the bride’s father’s financial liquidity. Amidst all this expression, don’t forget that the most important, particularly during ceremonies that you are not directly participating in, is self-expression.
If you’re a man, make that suit “your own” via anarchist stencils and spray paint; if you think it’ll be hot the day-of, consider changing those slacks into cut-offs. Bonus points if testicles are visible! Comfort — physical, emotional, spiritual comfort—is the name of the game here.
If you’re a woman, the best way to show respect to a bride is to mirror her in word, action, and dress. This takes the pressure and attention off! If for whatever reason you can’t get your hands on an exact replica of her dress, make sure you have at least two of the following: plunging, bedazzled décolletage, gothic makeup, aftermarket cut-outs, a visible tattoo of the maid-of-honor’s face on your lower back; tie-dye.
Q: I’ve been asked to give a toast, and have no idea what to say!
A: When giving a toast, remember the ABCs:
A—How much alcohol have you had? It’s important to feel comfortable and free during a toast, and for most of us, it’s hard to achieve that mind-set without at least six cocktails. To paraphrase Maya Angelou, guests may forget what you said, they may forget what you did, but they will never forget the time you screamed, “To love! L’chaim!” through tears and then nonconsensually tongue-kissed the wedding planner.
B—Bitterness. Do you have any? Toward the bride, groom, wedding party, extended families, your own relationship status or even the wedding-industrial complex itself?
C—Secrets (it starts with a soft ‘c’ sound, OK?). In the months leading up to the wedding, you have heard some. They all start the same, with someone giving a long, pained sigh, lowering their voice and saying, “OK, can we talk about Lauren for a second? I love Lauren — we all do! — but …” Share those in the toast. Make it seem like a loving tease but let people hear the raw pain and honesty. They say the best disinfectant is sunlight, and the best place to hash out differences is in front of a captive audience before the first dance.
Q: Ugh, do I HAVE to get a gift?
A: Nope! But if you do, definitely, definitely make it a live animal and bring it with you. The larger and more exotic, the better. As you hand-truck their new cobra’s 200-gallon terrarium in, smile bright as the sun and say, “You know, six-foot snakes are actually the traditional good-luck gift in [ethnicity that is clearly not your own’s] weddings!”
Q: The couple is doing that thing where instead of throwing rice, the guests have to make a long tunnel of sparklers for them to run under.
A: Yeah, of course they are. It makes for cute pictures, I guess. You’re going to want to lay face-down on the ground at the very end of the tunnel, head turned to the side, and make a face like you are dead. Use your sparklers to illuminate this tragic tableaux.
Q: How should I follow up with the couple after the wedding?
A: Don’t worry. No one will ever be talking to you again after this wedding.