You know, I never thought I’d catch myself saying this, but going to weddings really isn’t all that bad anymore.

And I suppose before girlfriends and wives the world over start printing that statement out to shove in front of their significant others who may very well have shown more than a tiny bit of resistance over weddings past, I should probably elaborate and explain that as a man, this certainly isn’t something that I’ve just been keeping tucked away all of these years – a secret adoration towards nuptial celebration by means of stuffy, rental clothing and The Electric Slide, that’s for sure!  No, no – this realization that attending presumably the happiest day in the lives of our closest friends and family isn’t a worse way to spend six to eight hours than, oh say, dental reconstructive surgery, is something that actually struck me quite recently when going through the motions at another friend’s wedding, or so I thought…

You see, up until this last weekend, attending another person’s wedding has always been at the very tippy-top of my list of arduous tasks, above even shopping for gifts on Christmas Eve and signing that final credit card receipt at the auto repair shop, but oddly enough, things didn’t go exactly as I have come to expect at this latest adventure in fondant and taffeta.  It took me a while to put my finger on it – the itchy tux was the same, the stereotypical music line-up was the same, the bride running around at her wits end was, of course, the same as it always was, but even with all of the usual aside, there was simply something in the air that made the entire production bearable. And then it hit me…

I was married.

I know, you’re probably scratching your head like a re-elected George W. Bush at this point, but think about it – if there’s one thing that can single-handedly change the course of your random wedding for the better, whether you’re trudging along in the wedding party itself or merely stuck in the audience witnessing the train wreck from your bow-laden chair, it’s having that designated sidekick of the female persuasion standing by, ready and waiting to help pull you out of awkward situations big and sometimes even bigger that can make all the difference.  Think about it:

  • No vacancy at the singles table.
    As wacky and zany as it might be eating dinner with seven other random wedding guests whose only similarity just so happens to be their lack of a partner, there’s a special comfort to be taken in the simple notion that married people don’t get sat at the singles table. Don’t worry, you can still take all sorts of crazy pictures with the disposable cameras at the couples table just as well…
  • No awkward, mother-of-the-bride hook-ups.
    I don’t know what it is about mothers at weddings, but even when their own daughters are getting hitched, it always seems like they still see just a bit more match-making potential in the confetti-filled air.  Fortunately, though, lines like, “I just think you’d love Annie’s cousin, Ashley!” seem to fade quietly into the night like a romantic, slow song paving the way for Mony Mony when you beat Mom to the punch and show up with your own pre-notarized match.
  • No dance invitations from overly-amorous bridesmaids.
    You know what they say – if you can’t be with the one you love, then the least you can do is love the one who stumbled around the dance floor in your general vicinity for the last three hours because really, there’s nothing more attractive to a guy than a bridesmaid who’s opted to work through her jealousy of her best friend getting married before she did than by mixing eight martinis and a little dirty shuffle out on the dance floor.  Boy, is it nice to have an alternative to those dance requests!
  • None of that bouquet / garter toss nonsense.
    And of course, by far the most dreaded wedding activity for every single man in attendance … let’s just say that sometimes it’s nice to be able to just sit back, sip that rum and coke, and smile while you chuckle, “Step right up, guys – no more garter toss for me…”

Mind you, in addition to these fine bullet points, there’s also that underlying knowledge from personal experience of just how absolutely, mind-numbingly crazy the whole wedding process can be from engagement to honeymoon, but really, after everything else, that’s all just icing on the cake in terms of enduring the celebrations of those who you hold most dear.  If you ask me, and remember – I’m a guy who’s been to way too many weddings in the last couple of years – if I had realized just how easy it is to get out of all that stuff, I’d have gotten married a long time ago!

Granted, I probably would’ve also eloped, but that’s an entirely different column altogether.  Nonetheless, congratulations to the bride and groom on their nuptials … especially my friend Tim, who can now take solace in the idea that he’ll never have to participate in the archaic male torture ritual that is the garter toss ever again.

That’s right, buddy – life really can be that sweet!