Ben, the son of Mr. Science and Hippie With Tiara, is being wed today [at time of original posting: Oct 21, 2006] to Delaina,1 a lovely young woman.2
Earlier this morning, commemorating this event by means of a good-natured, lighthearted, jocular Heck Of A Guy blog entry with a wedding theme seemed just the thing. The plan was to run a few clever internet searches – solely for inspiration of course, cut and paste those inspirations together, sprinkle in a few segues, set up a batch of links to funny wedding videos, hit “Publish,” and get on with tracking down my cuff links.
After surveying what passes for wedding wit, however, the aspirations for this post have diminished markedly.
Wedding humor, it appears, depends heavily on the use of multiple exclamation marks. For example,
Marriage is not a word. It is a sentence – A life sentence!!!3
Words in all caps are also, it seems, a major element of marriage mirth. E.g.,
Son: Is it true, Dad, that I heard that in ancient China, a man doesn’t know his wife until he marries?
Dad : That happens everywhere, son. EVERYWHERE.
There are many examples that take advantage of both all caps and exclamation marks. I have limited the following example to its punch-line alone, a distillation which, remarkably, appears to enhance rather than attenuate the humor:
DEAR FRIENDS, WE DIDN’T MIND THE BED SLATS BEING SAWED. THE ELECTRIC SHOCK WAS ONLY A MINOR SETBACK. BUT I SWEAR BY GOD ALMIGHTY, I’M GOING TO KILL WHOEVER PUT NOVACAINE IN THE K-Y JELLY!!!!
Sage similes and poignant puns are also employed frequently. E.g.,
Marriage is very much like a violin; after the sweet music is over the strings are attached.4
The most highly rated humorous wedding videos at Youtube and Google are either excerpts from movies or TV or fall into one of more of the following categories:
- Participants falling, fainting, or, in one case, sprinting into a glass door
- Participants toasting, singing, or dancing while intoxicated
- Foreigners in foreign weddings with foreign customs
I just don’t see how I can add to the merriment that is apparently intrinsic to these behaviors.
So, I am reduced to offering wedding advice.5
Given my own experiences with and thoughts about weddings (see Wedding Protection, Mother Of The Bride Wedding Toast, and Vows) it may not prove surprising that, upon consideration, I have only one wedding recommendation I can make with confidence:
Even the most egregious mistakes in declaring ones marriage vows will be easily forgiven, if noticed at all, with two exceptions:
- Do focus on saying “I do” with clarity, sincerity, and enthusiasm. Hesitation and second thoughts at this point are typically considered bad form.
- Do take care to say the correct name. A wedding ceremony is one of the two interactions between a couple in which using the right name is a make or break sort of thing. And, while one may finesse the problem in the other situation by substituting nicknames such as “Baby,” invoking a deity, or inserting scatological terms in place of uttering a partner’s given name, folks tend to frown upon such tactics when used in a traditional wedding service.
- The above bride & groom representations are not precise replicas of Ben or Delaina; they are, in fact, graphics from “The Sims” game used here as an almost successful indication that I am au courant in the cyber-world. It should be noted that once a marriage is completed in “The Sims,” there is no mechanism for divorce. On the other hand, every Sims-land citizen is entitled to multiple, concurrent spouses so I suppose it comes out even. [↩]
- Delaina’s parents may well be, judging from how she turned out, top notch, but since but since neither had the forethought to attend medical school with me, I can hardly be expected to vouch for them. [↩]
- As evidence of the exclamation point’s punctuation potency, check out that same line without the exclamation marks:
Marriage is not a word. It is a sentence – A life sentence.
See? It’s certainly not funny that way, is it? [↩]
- Of course, I selected these examples for a reason; don’t assume the other jokes are this funny. [↩]
- Happily, the soon-to-be-blissfully-wed couple will have far too many last minute tasks from now until the after the ceremony to read this in time to feel encumbered by unsolicted suggestions. [↩]