Cake smash …
One enduring image of almost every wedding I’ve ever attended is of the loving bride and groom shoving cake against the face and up the nostrils of the person with whom each frosting-encrusted member of the devoted couple now is expected to go ahead and spend the rest of life.
I may be showing my sweet tooth, but it seems like a terrible waste of a dessert.
Granted, it’s a lighthearted tradition, aimed at offending no one, with the possible exception of the banquet hall employee who then has to clean up the sticky and crumbly mess. Still, it’s a little foreboding. This, in purely technical terms, is the happy couple’s first fight. They may be smiling now, but down the road, during a real nonstaged argument, will one of them bring up this moment? “You know, you didn’t have to shove so hard that I got frosting in my eye …”
Or, will one of the spouses later look at the wedding album, see the picture of the cake shove and remember it as cake wasted?
“Actually, what got in my mouth tasted pretty good. It’s a shame so much of it fell on the floor.”
Garter toss …
I once attended a wedding where someone’s 10-year-old nephew caught the garter. The DJ put on some provocative song and tried to convince the poor kid to place it on the leg of the unlucky bouquet toss winner (an adult bridesmaid) before realizing he was an actual literal child. Everyone was embarrassed. That was when I firmly banned the garter toss from my own wedding. It’s a gross, awkward, sexist tradition that demeans the bride and makes most of your guests uncomfortable. If you insist on throwing things at your buddies, you can find plenty of alternative ideas online.
Bouquet toss …
I hate, hate, hate the bouquet-catching tradition. As a single woman who is rapidly approaching 30, nothing makes me feel like a spinster quicker. I usually try to sneak off to the bathroom to hide, but there’s always that one well-meaning relative of the bride who shoves me out there. And, like, what purpose does the tradition serve, aside from embarrassing us? What is my incentive for participating? If I do catch the bouquet, does that mean an eligible man suddenly will appear for me to marry? No. Please just let me be single in peace.
DJs gone rogue …
It’s actually a miracle this wedding “tradition” hasn’t resulted in fistfights: The inability of some DJs to do what they’re told during wedding receptions.
There seems to be an unwillingness among some to accept that they aren’t the star of the show.
When DJs go rogue, you get rap music blasted during the dinner hour; steadfast refusals to turn down the music, no matter how many times they’re asked and the butchering of the names of people in the wedding party.
There are those who can’t read the room, resulting in inappropriate lyrics, while others are unable to keep the party hopping, transforming the dance floor into a set from “The Walking Dead.”
But running roughshod over the people who pay you to play the music they want is the equivalent of a baker deciding that a pan of brownies would be better than a cake.
“Ribbon in the sky” …
One wedding tradition that needs to have a stake driven through it is the playing and/or singing of Stevie Wonder’s “Ribbon in the Sky.”
Because it’s bad luck. Every wedding I’ve attended in which this song was played ended in divorce. Every. Single. One.
Based on its lyrics, “Ribbon in the Sky” clearly was written specifically for weddings—but Stevie’s been married three times, so…
Look, there’s no better pop music songwriter than Stevie Wonder, living or dead. His hits are too numerous to list. He deserves every honor and accolade he’s ever received. But there literally are millions of other love songs to choose from. You can’t say you weren’t warned.