Non-Obvious Rules

Dow Jones’ Marketwatch, apparently looking to both branch out and create filler, has a column for wedding guests entitled “Remember these rules at the next wedding you attend.

The tips range from the fairly obvious to HILARIOUSLY obvious, and we will dissect them.

I, for one, don’t want to dish out obvious advice. I want to my bleatings to have a chance to actually be useful for somebody.

So let’s see if we can subvert Marketwatch’s Wedding Rules to make them a bit more useful, and apply them to wedding pros rather than guests.

Marketwatch Rule: It’s not about you

The only concrete advice given under this item is: give insight into the couple rather than deliver a standup routine if you’re asked to give a toast.

As a wedding pro, you already know to not make the wedding about you, and have effective ways to put the spotlight on the couple. So instead…

Subverted Rule: Before speaking, ask yourself, “is this for my benefit, or the listener’s?”

This is a good rule not just for weddings, but for life.

So much of what we say is for us, the speaker, rather than the listener. We aren’t imparting information, we’re flapping our gums or expressing our natural self-centeredness.

A good rule of thumb is, “Do I need to say or ask this? Or do I just want to, for reasons that ultimately have to do with my ego?”

Marketwatch Rule: Make The Couple’s Life Easier

I like how this item starts. “Maybe 100 people are waiting to be shuttled from the ceremony to the reception or a groomsman is AWOL during the wedding party entrance. And, by the way, where is Aunt Marge with the bouquet?”

So apparently the writer was thinking of common wedding complications, and came up with, “A lot of people need transportation, someone important might be missing, and uh…someone important might be missing.”

You, a tremendous wedding professional, have staked your entire livelihood on making the couple’s life easier, and you know there are 100 things that can go wrong besides the above.

So…

Subverted Rule: Have An Emergency Bag

I wrote another piece spotlighting event planner Lindsay Kennedy, and she had such a great tip that I can’t say enough about it (and I touched on it in my last column):

Carry an emergency bag with you at all times.

This bag should include tape, stain remover, a first aid kit, medicine like aspirin and whatnot, snacks, and whatever you can think of that people might need in a bind.

If you’re an unexpected lifesaver at a wedding you work, the word of mouth you get will be incredible.

Marketwatch Rule: Be Open To New Experiences

Ya mean, a wedding isn’t a good place for your racist aunt to say this ethnic food tastes unpatriotic, and why don’t all these weird-looking people eat normal food?

If you aren’t open to new experiences, I would humbly suggest not attending any weddings at all is a solid choice to make.

Subverted Rule: Surprise The Couple With Your Research

Let’s say the bride you’re working for is from, I don’t know, Ecuador. Research Ecuadorian wedding traditions and make suggestions on how you could incorporate said traditions into your own work for her wedding if she likes.

That will impress your clientele so long as you tread carefully. Don’t make any religious assumptions about your clients, and your researched suggestions should be uncontroversial.

And if you’re a DJ, be ready to crank up the music whenever somebody’s aunt starts to say something racist.

What other rules do you think should make this list?
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Kevin Beane

Kevin Beane is from Akron, Ohio. He loves sports (check out his BBC-recognized column here), poker, and sleep, but above all comedy (particularly the sketch and improv varietals) which he performs around the Dallas area.

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