We Request The Honour of Your Presence

July 14th, 2008 by Potato

A wedding is supposed to be many things. A family reunion, a chance for your parents to show you off, and of course indulging a certain someone’s princess complex fantasy. But it’s also supposed to be a grand old party where the special couple gets to call the shots, and get all their dear old friends and family out in their finery to rock the night away. So it was really sad to see everyone, on a saturday night, play the “old” card and quit the wedding early the night before last. Sure, the new parents have a decent excuse, since it’s tough being away from (or keeping) a youngster to that late at night, and I’m sure even the ones who were getting sloppy drunk on the open bar came up with some kind of excuse for cutting out early — some before midnight even! Even some of the people in the wedding party were heading off for bed before the end of the night, which was scheduled for 1 am. I don’t know what is up with that. It was not so very long ago that we started a night out (or in) at 1 am. Shit happens, and it’s usually ok if one or two people have to leave early for whatever reason. However, somehow everyone left early, and that starts to look bad.

Not only did this put a bit of a damper on the giant celebratory party thing but it also meant that there was a constant trickle of people leaving all through the night, all of whom had to stop and say their individual congratulations and goodbyes to the happy couple. This resulted in them spending almost the entire night saying goodbye, rather than partying hard at their own fete and then getting kicked out as the lights came up and saying a big goodbye as they got into the limo. Instead of a big crowd sending them off and cheering after the car, they were virtually the last ones to leave.

I’m an understanding guy. I understand that you have external demands on your time. I understand that it can be difficult to arrange a day off when you only have a year’s notice, or that you don’t want to eat into your limited vacation time for a wedding. I understand that you need your beauty sleep to function properly the next day. But understand this: the bride spent the last year of her life (in Teresa’s case, the last two years) planning the perfect party to celebrate her once-in-a-lifetime event. When you leave early, it says either that she didn’t do a good job in the planning, and you’re just not having a good time; or that you have better places to be, that there’s something more important out there than her special day.

Just fair warning: this will not happen at Wayfare’s wedding. Yes, it’s selfish of us, but you’ve been warned. Play it safe: tell the sitter you won’t be back until 3, or pump some breast milk and tell granny you won’t be back at all. Book the next day off work if you are stuck working on Sunday, or learn to cope with 5 hours of sleep for one day. Decide not to cut back on caffeine that day. I don’t care if I have to break the fire code and bar the doors, but no one under the age of 60 will be leaving before we do. At the end of the night, we will rush out to the car, and you will follow and cheer and wish us well, and you will smile. The only acceptable alternative is a weepy farewell, and then only for Ryan and the aunts. Now, Wayfare has a hell of a time staying up until 1 am, so we understand some of the difficulties involved, and we’re going to try to work with you as much as possible. But remember: if she can do it, you can do it. We’ve scheduled the whole thing so that the ceremony starts late in the day and goes straight into the reception, without you having to figure out what to do with yourself while we’re off getting photos taken. It won’t take up the whole day on you, and you won’t have to wake up early. You’ll have lots of time to relax and nap through the day, or even get a full day of work in if you skip the ceremony and jump straight to the reception. The reception is centrally located in North York, close to the 404 so the Torontonians and Markhamites can get home quickly without having to factor in much in the way of travel time; we’ll try to arrange decent rates at a nearby hotel for those from out of town. We’ll work with you to make sure that you can make it through that grueling marathon of merriment, good food, and dancing. Let us know why you had to leave so early the night before last. Was it a car issue? We can arrange cabs for everyone. Was it too hard to go up to the open bar? We can send out more waitresses with more free booze. Too much hootch, and you were ready to pass out by 10? We can hold the alcohol until after dinner, or indefinitely. We can get rid of the dessert table if that temptation was overcoming your willpower and you just had to leave to avoid scarfing down a whole cake. I know a lot of doctors, if you need a note to take a sick day at work. If the narcolepsy’s got you down, I’ll see if my dad can bring the camper van so you can catch a few zzz’s in the parking lot and still pop back in for the last dance.

I’m not big in the way of arbitrary traditions for “showing respect”. I don’t care if you wear a suit, or bring a gift, or bow to the altar, or wear uncomfortable shoes, or can’t wait your turn and just start incoherently yelling out a speech you’ve prepared in the middle of the ceremony. Show up in shorts and a T-shirt with some flip-flops. Don’t even take your hat off in church, it’s a nice look on you. If you don’t like the food, go ahead and order in a pizza, I’ll even chip in for a slice of plain cheese. I don’t care if you throw a tissy fit like my dad did about the guest list or the seating arrangements. I don’t care if you follow the seating arrangements. They’re a suggestion, sit where you want, just sort it out with the person whose seat you’re taking. I want you to be comfortable, have a good time, and moreover I want you to be there to share our big day with us. But if you can’t block out 8 hours of your time a year in advance for Wayfare, then that will be disrespecting my wife.

Comments are closed.