1. Matching Bridesmaid Dresses
I can understand the appeal of matching bridesmaid dresses back in the day. It was the 1960s; all the hot guys were either hazing someone in an east coast fraternity, dropping acid in a field, or blasting Creedence Clearwater Revival in south Vietnam. There were like three dudes in your hometown that were marriage material, and they were all named Jim. You happened to snag a Jim, and the other girls are jealous. What better way to say "hands off my Jim, bitch," than to force your closest frenemies into wearing the most horrific concoction of taffeta and lace imaginable? Next to those horrible dresses, you look like a fairy princess, which reassured your Jim that he had made the right choice.
We are now living in the age of Matt, and there are way too many Matts. Matt approaches you at a bar and wants to know what there is to do around here. Matt sends you eight messages on Tinder to no reply, and they all include the eggplant emoji. Matt asks "u up?" at 7 pm. Matt is desperate for a relationship but only knows how to be desperate for sex. We don't need to claw out each other's eyes for a Matt. Ladies, did you hear me? It's okay to be nice to your girl friends now. Let them wear a dress they like. Pick out a color that flatters everyone's eyes and make sure they feel beautiful. There are eight Matts on the groom's side, and they're all wearing the exact same outfit. Pity them, for they know not how silly they look.
2. The First Dance
"Hey, you know dancing? That that neither of us have ever done unless it involves rubbing our crotches on strangers in clubs to Ludacris? Let's try it for the first time in front of everyone whose opinion we actually care about. To a song that we won't even listen to on the train for fear that it will pop up on the screen and the guy next to us won't think we're cool. While wearing the most cumbersome articles of clothing we own. Afterwards, let's cry in public while we dance with our parents. We definitely won't regret our decision to include a zany dance-off with the bridal party. This is such a good idea."
3. Engagement Photos
Be honest with yourself. Engagement photography sessions are your consolation prize to yourself for not making it big enough to snag a dramatic Vanity Fair fashion spread that highlights your groundbreaking creative achievements and unique bone structure. Unfortunately, it's far more socially acceptable to pay someone $600 to take photos of you and your fiance making out in front of an abandoned building than it is to invest in Instagram-ready pics of you on a rococo chaise lounge surrounded by gold-leafed glasses of the best champagne a MacArthur Genius grant can buy. The truth is that the world doesn't need to see sixty images of you in your blandest cardigan, staring into the sunset with your husband and his labradoodle. It's 2018. Take the risk and ditch the engagement session for what you really want: an arthouse album of you breaking the internet Kardashian-style, but without as much butt.
4. The Garter Toss
I'm not anti-garter-toss because it's sexist, paternalistic, embarrassing, and creepy. I'm anti-garter-toss because once you've had your husband peel off your undergarments with his teeth to "Pour Some Sugar on Me" and then fling them into a crowd of his cousins and coworkers, there's not much room for your relationship to get more adventurous. Fifteen years down the road, when your therapist is desperately trying to convince you to not murder your spouse over an argument about which Three's Company blonde was the spunkiest, you'll wish you'd saved a little of that relationship "spice" for your forties. Instead, start small-- try rubbing chocolate syrup on the groom's nipples in lieu a unity candle.
5. White Wedding Dresses
Wedding dress shopping is exciting. You get to spend an absurd amount of money on a dress that you'll only wear once. You run through racks and racks of gowns that cost more than your car (ok, it's a '99 Accord, but still) like a goddamn modern-day Marie Antoinette. It can look however you want it to look! Lace? Beads? Sequins? A corset? All acceptable for your big day. The bigger and more opulent, the better. Let them eat cake, bitches.
Wait. There's just ooooone little thing: it has to be white. You know, that color that makes you look ten pounds heavier and brings out the yellow in your teeth? The color that you've avoided your entire life because it will definitely get red wine spilled on it? That color that will show every drop of shrimp cocktail, lemon vinaigrette, and buttercream frosting it touches? Listen, lady-- don't even think about going near that buffet line. You've chosen your prison, and your prison can't be dry-cleaned.
It's time to modernize. White dresses are a relic of a sexist past. Modern brides deserve to eat wear WHATEVER WE WANT. That's why I've chosen an avocado-green dress to go with my guacamole bar. I mean, to disrupt the patriarchy. (But mostly to match the guacamole bar)
6. Wedding DJs
Do you love yelling? Do you have spiked hair and an affinity for mid-2000s butt metal? Are you in possession of a tragically uncool name like "Carl?" Congratulations! You have all of the qualifications necessary to become the top wedding DJ in the tri-state area! While republicans are up in arms about gay rights and secular ceremonies, they're missing out on the real threat to the sanctity of marriage: wedding DJs. Anyone who would willingly subject fellow humans to the musical dumpster fire that is "The Cha Cha Slide" cannot be trusted to announce your union as bride and groom. The main upside to hiring a wedding DJ is to ensure that drunken guests don't play Smash Mouth's "All Star"-- this can also be accomplished by hiring a bouncer to make sure none of your high school friends, especially you, Jeff, are allowed near the iPod.
An alien species invades Earth. The tops of our heads remind them of alien vaginas (or whatever, I'm just assuming this is the only reason humans instinctively find flowers beautiful) and they decide that it's very fashionable for thousands of human heads to decorate their space-altars. Dead human heads start to stink fast, so they come up with a way to keep us up and blinking (and screaming) for ten to twelve hours while they cut their alien-cake and make their alien-vows to have and to hold alienselves forever. THAT'S WHAT WE ARE DOING TO FLOWERS. The only thing less romantic than watching something slowly die is spending $10,000 for that slowly dying thing. Flowers are only used in weddings because we used to take baths once a year and no one wanted to include the bride's unbearable stench in the wedding procession. We have deodorant now-- spend the flower money on a Playstation or something.
8. Wedding Rings and Engagement Rings
Two rings. Two rings?! When did this become a thing? The preacher doesn't say "with these rings, I thee wed." Somewhere in the last hundred years, DeBeers convinced us that it's very important for the bride to have a wedding band and and engagement ring and an anniversary ring and one of those stupid stick family bumper stickers. You like commemorating things. WE GET IT. Just get a tattoo on your forehead that says "I care about showing people I care about stuff" and get it over with.
Also, it's not about cost. It's about comfort. I don't care if you spent $20,000 on a Tiffany band or bought a really nice Ring Pop-- having two rings on your left hand pinches the skin in between way more than it needs to. And what if your weight changes? Now you have to resize two rings. And don't even get me started on the kinds of fishhook-related accidents you open yourself up to when you wear unnecessary jewelry. Come on, guys. Think about trout season.
9. Best Man Toasts
Ah, best man toasts. The moment when the guy who once cheered you on as you vomited tequila and kebabs on the sidewalk steps to the plate to deliver an impassioned monologue on your friendship. Listen with delight as he details the hilarious time you called the bride by your ex-girlfriend's name! Giggle with glee as he drops, like, three f-bombs in front of your great-grandmother! Shrug with embarrassment as he reveals why your fraternity nickname was Spewmeister! Enjoyed by exactly one very drunk uncle, the best man speech is a time-honored tradition that should have been left in 90s with Beanie Babies and Hugh Grant's sex appeal. But what, you ask, will allow the wedding guests to take part in the sacred ritual of collective cringe? Don't worry! Cutting the best man toast out of your nuptials leaves room for three more plays of the Macarena or four extra minutes of a casually misogynistic sermon-- whichever fits your theme best!
10. Ya know what? Weddings ENTIRELY.
Yes, I know. Hating on wedding traditions is the opposite of edgy. If your eyes haven't rolled out of your head by this point, congratulations! This is your final test.
First things first: weddings are insanely expensive. Do you know how many avocado toasts you could buy for the cost of the average American wedding? At least four. The American wedding industry is worth more than fifty billion dollars. If the wedding industry were a country, it would be ranked between Estonia and Uruguay in GDP. That's right: Americans spend more on "congrats on hooking up drunkenly in college and stumbling your way into an actual relationship" parties than the people of Estonia make in a year. I don't know what Estonia's major exports are, but they should really consider investing in those little cake toppers of the bride dragging the groom to his horrific monogamous fate.
Perhaps the worst thing about weddings is that they are parties without all of the things that make a party fun. Think back to that time in college your friend tried to throw a theme party but implemented way too many rules. You had to dress as your favorite Jack Black character (hint: nobody has a favorite Jack Black character). You were forced to play Monopoly, and he had the rule book ready. You weren't allowed on the front porch or in the master bedroom. The only drinks available were bad vodka or badder vodka. Weddings are the ultimate version of that party with too many rules. While you're busy sweating inside of a tuxedo seemingly made out of old yoga mats, your guests will be desperately pretending to not be trashed while your Grandma Mildred asks them why they think "doing some freelance writing and teaching pilates" is a real career. Kids these days! No wonder they're all in debt! Grandma just wants some mints and punch in the church basement. Your friends just want to leave and meet up downtown where the real bars are. Give everyone a break and throw your wedding at Chuck-E-Cheese so at least the kids won't be bored as shit.