copyright Bill Widener 2000

Good Things

Nothing captures the spirit of a wedding - that blessed sacrament on the most special of days - quite like these five little words: "I'll see you in court."

In prepping for our annual wedding issue, I thought I'd get into the spirit of things by reading Martha Stewart's weekly wedding column.

This week's advice focused on the need for "wedding insurance."

In advocating the need for such a policy, she begins by saying that mishaps might be small, "such as discovering ranunculuses in your bouquet when you wanted roses...."



Given that I thought a ranunculus was an STD, I would DEFINITELY define its appearance at my wedding as a "mishap."

Martha handily dismisses the naivete of the blushing bride when she pragmatically assures, "Many couples think: 'why would our guests sue us, when they're coming to celebrate our marriage?'" before going on to speculate as to the actual minefield of potential litigation that a wedding ceremony constitutes: "if a guest is injured at your wedding, he, his family or his insurance company could sue you for damages or medical expenses," or the obvious, "if a guest has too much to drink and has a traffic accident on the way home, you might be sued, along with the driver."

Of course, there is no insurance for the emotional minefield a wedding poses (like ex-es who decide to "speak now" instead of forever holding their peace; brides who overindulge in benzodiazapenes; and absentee parents who show up unwelcome and uninvited - some of which are detailed in the reverend Christopher Platt's amusing behind-the-scenes cover story this issue).

Heading over to, the divine Ms. M dispenses even more helpful advice. If you're looking for party favors, for example, "custom-blend breakfast teabags demonstrate the perfect union of marriage in sippable form. Buy your favorite teas in bulk or devise a blend to your liking, then decant into packets large enough to brew an entire pot. Attach a homemade tag, inscribed with a fitting message [the photo says "love is brewing"] to the embroidery thread, which can be sealed into the seam of the teabag."

Yeah. I've been looking for the perfect union of marriage in sippable form.

I've taken home a lot of wedding favors in the last year, and I've noticed the current trend seems to be potted plants. As an aspiring gardener, I think it's a lovely thought. But as someone who's at least moderately obsessive-compulsive about bacteria and e-coli and germs, I have to question the advisability of having a product so largely comprised of manure next to my dinner plate. Times like that, I figure I can either be rude and refuse to eat, or say, "what the hell?" and fall back on my immune system - and usually, I just go with the latter.

Under "good things," Martha also recommends the old "Turkish Shoe Signing tradition." A big one in my family, probably yours too. It's a custom wherein all the single members of the bridal party sign the sole of the bride's shoes. After a night of dancing, the name that's faded will be the next to marry. Yeah. I say anyone who would willingly deface a work of art like a pair of Jimmy Choos or Manolo Blahniks has bigger problems than being single.

A cynic might say - of the institution of marriage - that there's no such thing as an original emotion. That everything we say and do and feel about this person is something we all said and did and felt about another person a year or two ago. And still another person a year or two before that, and so on, and so on. And in another few years (three to five being the national average), we'll all probably be saying and feeling and doing the exact same things to somebody new. God willing.

That's what a CYNIC might say. But since cynics don't get invited to very many sitdown wedding receptions catered by the best chefs in town, we'll just close with "eat, drink, and be married."

And if by some chance it doesn't work out, or even if you just end up with a ranunculus instead of a rose, we can recommend some excellent attorneys... many of whom will be advertising in our annual divorce issue.



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