MississaugaLife’s savvy single discusses traditions she could do without as she braves the latest in a summer calendar filled with weddings.
Words by Lauren Shirreffs

So here we sit, snuggled in the pew, every few seconds getting bumped in the head by someone’s camera or pushed out of the way for a better view of the bride.

After a major battle to make it through traffic, we’re here at last—to witness yet another one of our friends wed her longtime love. As we kneel down to offer up a few prayers, I quickly make sure (ever so covertly) to ensure my phone is on silent… God forbid I am THAT guest.

“And let us pray for all who are married…” I sit up erect, ears pricked in disbelief. Married people even get their own prayers? Wow. I thought they were just guaranteed everlasting happiness with their beloved and a blessing to procreate… but now, they get prayers, too? I turn to my only two single girlfriends and shrug my shoulders. There aren’t any prayers for us single folk so looks like that’s another thing we’re going to have to work doubly hard at—extra prayers for the singles, and repentance for…. well, for something, I’m sure.

This is wedding number four for me this season—so far. I have eight weddings in total to attend this year. Don’t get me wrong—I don’t mind, although most people would. I really do enjoy dressing up, celebrating my friend’s happiness, and being a part of their lasting memory. However, there are aspects of a wedding I could do without.

“And Guest.”

C’mon now, bride, you know I’m single, so I’m not going to be bringing the doofus I met last weekend at your bachelorette party, or the stumbling idiot who leaves his number under my door ever Thursday. I also won’t be asking my struggling artist friend or any new guy who comes into the picture, because an invite to a wedding is way too hardcore for someone still so irrelevant.

I could bring my single girlfriend, but then you will think I am a lesbian and this will put to rest all of your speculation. No, I will come stag. This will also be the cheaper and less stressful option for me. This way, I avoid any questions, courageously embrace the sympathy, and eat enough to fill out my loose, flowing dress.

The Greeting Line

So wait, I have to line up to even get into the hall? Honey, your wedding is tighter than Studio 54. The lineup is halfway out the door and all I can think about is food. Before even seeing the bride and groom, I have to shake the hands of people I have never seen in my life but who are determined to convince me that I want to do a shot of Baileys. Sorry, guys… I left my lactose pills at home tonight.

The Banging of the Plates and The Tapping of the Glasses

Why, why, why does this tradition continue? Apparently not only did I forget my lactose pills, I also forgot my earplugs. In short, this wedding is reminding me that I am getting old. Also, ahem, bride and groom… FYI? That cat is out of the bag—we know you’ve probably kissed before, so banging my plate and tapping a glass to initiate a kiss for your party of 300 relatives and out-of-towners makes me feel like a horny pre-pubescent voyeur. You have a whole lifetime for kissing. Save them for private.

Fog Machines

It’s a good thing I don’t wear contacts or have asthma. Have fog machines even passed health code regulations? We know we’re not floating on a cloud. We’re in a hall in Woodbridge, for gosh sakes. Please refrain from fog machines; they leave my hair smelling like I just left a bad ‘80’s music video.

Awkward and Uncomfortable Speeches

Uh oh. Here come the speeches. The crying and storytelling with inside jokes that no one but you guys understand, but we laugh with you because we’ve been frequenting the bar in between courses and we hate uncomfortable silences. Ummmm, I wasn’t there when your sister got her braces off and fell off her bike when she was twelve. I also wasn’t there when she danced on that bar that one time in Cancun (wink wink, nudge, nudge) but you can’t tell us the whole story because your mother and father are in the crowd. I know this is your moment to shine, and your friends tell you you’re a young Chris Rock, but maybe an ‘I love you’ and a ‘congratulations’ would suffice. Just a thought.

The Emcee

The emcee, weighed down by his gold chains and stocky frame, is peering at me in a creepy and unwelcoming way. Not only that, but he is shouting at me to make a jackass of myself by dancing around the table and bunny hopping around the banquet hall when I would rather sit here with my cocktail and miniscule scoop of ice cream. Stop yelling, emcee—we can hear you. Remember: you have the microphone. It makes you louder.

Bouquet Toss

But, I don’t wanna catch it. In fact, I’m the girl who squirms at the idea of this and tries to find a dark corner to hide in.

“Lauren? Where’s Lauren? Oh… Oh… there she is. Don’t be shy, honey… come on up here.”

He found me. That damned emcee. Sigh. I stand in the back, allowing the sweaty anxious wanna-be brides to hover around today’s newlywed, strategically guessing where the bouquet might land, testing out the wind… it feels like the Superbowl and the heavy set emcee is the ref.

Centre Piece Games

Thank you! I just spent fifteen minutes of my life parading around with the kids at the kids table you sat me at, just to be eligible to win the massive centerpiece, and I won! Now, all I have to do is wrestle this tower into a cab for the $60 ride home and carry it up six flights of stairs in 6-inch heels. I had planned to go to a bar and meet friends after this shindig, but winning your oversized flower vase is so much better. Thank you again.

So there you have it. That’s my take on a few things a wedding could do without, but who am I to judge? It is your day and a reflection of your personality.

As for me, I have four more weddings this year and I think I’m ready. I bought earplugs, lactose pills, more flowing dresses and I have my best friend on reserve as a date.

By the seventh wedding, I’ll have this process down to a science.

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