I've been planning my wedding. I have decided it's about time
I got around to this. And since I have neither marriage prospects
nor a burning desire to exchange vows, the freedom of these distractions
leaves plenty of free time to go about my planning. They say planning
a wedding is the hardest thing you'll ever have to do, next to
assuming power of attorney over your parents and forcing them
into separate, but equally disreputable nursing homes against
their will. That's why I wanted to get a running start, just like
I did with committing my parents.
I heartily endorse the institution of marriage. Not because I
believe in the legal binding of two human beings -- I find that
unsettling and, at times, repellant -- but because I love theater,
and weddings make good theater. Eschewing marriage, living together
in a "partnership" for 25 years, and perhaps adopting a couple
of Vietnamese kids (to be named Zelda and Holden, like all adopted
Vietnamese children) is certainly appealing but it lacks the dramatic
punch of an epic, Dionysian wedding.
And a wedding certainly wouldn't be epic without an extended
wedding procession. Having attended a few weddings myself (sometimes
as an invited guest!), the procession is the single strangest
moment in the ceremony. As a guest you are required to crane your
neck uncomfortably toward the back of the room as the bride, groom
and attendants follow their rehearsed, lopsided paces past you.
It is required that you crane your neck during the entire procession
lest you miss a moment of the bride's glorious entrance. Tension
is created and mounted as you wait obediently for the payoff.
(The tension does pay off, too. When my sister was getting married,
and pushed her way through the entrance during the procession,
I was floored. She really did look heavenly. Not just her regular
pretty self, but a sort of transcendant beauty. I have had similar
revelations at other weddings, where women who never drew my eye
suddenly became unearthly fairies and cherubs and Weeble-Wobbles
If you have everyone's undivided attention, why not use this
opportunity to create some real suspense and entertainment? Most
processions last from about a minute (cheap!) to 20 minutes (Royal!).
I would like a 45 minute procession. Just keep it coming. Give
the audience plenty to look at. In addition to the bridesmaids
and groomsbutlers(?), my wedding procession will include (but
is not limited to) the following:
- A fleet of Shriners in miniature cars
- A gorilla with a space helmet
- Tiny dogs in party hats and skirts
- Two women in bikinis and sashes carrying a giant novelty check
for 3 jillion dollars, made out to "World Hunger"
- Ninjas battling zombies
- A milkman (with milk bottles)
- That guy who performs with the animated, syncopated Jackson 5
This would go on and on. Something for everyone. Perhaps even
a few red herring brides. Maybe someone in a bride's dress and
veil. When she approaches the front of the room, she lifts the
veil to reveal that it's actually retired game show host Peter
Marshall. It would really make the bride's entrance something
Other wedding highlights? Here's the short list:
When the priest/rabbi/judge/6-foot rabbit runs me through my
vows, at the precise moment I say, "I do", 50 teenaged girls (planted
ahead of time in the front two rows of the room, right in front
of my immediate family) will stand up at once and scream, "NOOOOOOO!!!!!!"
They will cry loudly, rend clothing, etc. and then resume their
Randomly chosen guests at the ceremony will be given and instructed
to hold up giant signs that read "Austin 3:16" and "Schenectady
The wedding band will be either Yo La Tengo or The (reunited)
Feelies as The Willies. In either case, the bands will be instructed
to act like a proper wedding band and play only covers of traditional
wedding songs: "Celebration", "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights",
The meal will be an exact replica of the meal served in the Peanuts
special, "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving", including jellybeans.
Table centerpieces will include false moustaches, snapping
gum, collapsable magic wands, ugly
bags and little plastic cigarette-smoking dogs.
Baskets of peanuts on every table (you can throw the shells on
the floor!) and Mighty Mouse cartoons playing in a loop behind
A giant flaming sterno can at the edge of the dance floor for
A wedding like that would make all the nagging complications
associated with the institution a little more bearable. We all
have the right to throw a party, but most of us forget how. That's
why I have to start planning now. Unfortunately, the details of
a wedding this grand tend to alienate potential bride applicants.
That is, however, a small detail I am willing to work out. Just
as soon as I finish the press kit.