I GIVE ADVICE for a living. I go to a lot of weddings. But I don't get many questions about weddings; wedding Qs are more Dear Prudence than Savage Love. So here is my unsolicited wedding advice in the form of a list of don'ts. My wedding advice, offered here in no particular order, is binding. So skip this article unless you intend to follow my advice to the letter.
1. Don't make people travel any farther than necessary to attend your wedding. Everyone hates destination weddings. Live in the city? Get married in the city. Live in the middle of fucking nowhere? Get married in the middle of the nearest big city. Remember: The farther people have to travel, the more they have to spend on airfare and hotels and meals, the more they have to spend to get to your wedding, the less money they're willing to spend on the crap on your gift registry. Unless you're willing to pick up the full cost of the airfare, hotel rooms, and meals for all of your invited guests, be normal human beings and get married someplace that's convenient for your friends and family to travel to and flee from. Pick a venue with some decent bars on the same block and some hotels within walking distance. Only assholes get married on cruise ships, islands, or mountaintops.
2. Don't drag it out. Unless you're a Windsor, a Habsburg, a Bourbon, or a Wittelsbach, your actual marriage ceremony shouldn't last much longer than a better-than-average blowjob—20 minutes, tops.
3. Don't wait for marriage. Ask any advice columnist, sex therapist, or sane (read: non-Christian) couples counselor, and they'll tell you: Waiting to have sex until after you're married is a terrible idea. Only a tiny percentage of people make this mistake anymore, of course, but the ones who do almost always live to regret it. Basic sexual compatibility—and I'm talking repertoire and frequency here—has to be established before you commit to someone for life. Sexual compatibility is 10 million times more important if you're planning to make and keep a monogamous commitment. (Bonus tip: Making a monogamous commitment is a lot easier than keeping one. Practicing forgiving each other for the almost inevitable infidelity is a good pre-wedding exercise—and, hey, roleplay is always fun, right?)
4. Don't waste your money on monogrammed napkins, personalized champagne glasses, or other assorted bullshit. No one cares.
5. Don't let your parents boss you around. You're both adults. Unless your parents are paying for your wedding, in which case they get to boss you around because you're still a child.
6. Don't worry about everything being perfect. Go ahead and invite your alcoholic relatives, seat sworn enemies at the same table, don't try to stop unhinged exes from giving toasts. Perfect weddings are free of drama, and drama-free weddings are boring, and boring weddings are quickly forgotten. Do you want people to remember your wedding? Ask your wedding planner to watch Robert Altman's A Wedding and tell her you want your wedding day to go just like Dino and Muffin's.
7. Don't fill your wedding cake with chunks of fruit or mounds of marzipan and don't decorate it with "edible [fucking] flowers." Keep it simple: a layer of cake, a layer of frosting, a layer of cake, a layer of frosting, slap a few frosting flowers on the sides, and stick a bride and groom/groom and groom/bride and bride on top and call it a day.
8. Don't let the DJ set the volume. DJs are deaf—every single fucking one of them—so a volume level that's barely audible to a DJ is going to prevent most of your non-dancing guests from conversing, which is what most of your guests want to do. If you see people streaming for the exits once the dancing starts, it's because the music is too fucking loud. Want people to stick around and drink up? Turn the fucking music down.
9. Don't ask people to pay for drinks. If you can't afford a hosted bar, elope.
10. Don't forget to fuck first. I'm not talking about having tons of premarital sex with your fiancé(e) before the wedding—which you should already have done (see above)—I'm talking about fucking on your actual wedding day. And you should fuck first—before the ceremony, or if you wanna play can't-see-each-other-before-the-wedding games on the day of, then be sure to fuck before the reception. Because take it from me: You're going to be too tired to fuck after the reception.