(c) Dicky Palmer 2023 Weddings are those rituals and routines that are often neither. They are as different as the half dozen bridesmaids, the outlier footwear of THAT groomsman, or the birdseed that makes Eleanor Rigby go hungry. Wedding customs vary around the world, many based in superstition, arcane legal requirements, or just to say, “See? I told you there’s someone for everyone!” The breaking of dinnerware seems to be a common theme of weddings around the world to ward off evil spirits and welcome in the love and kindness of the local Pottery Barn. I once had the honor and privilege of attending a wedding where the groom stomped on a wineglass in a cloth sack. I was told it represented the joy and sorrow existing on the path of matrimony. The groom stomped so passionately, in this instance, he seemed to release all the stress layered in months, maybe years of preparation for a perfect 3-to-5-hour shindig. You’d be surprised how stressful it is to give the impression of full engagement on decisions of taste. “Yes, sweety, you would think that a $800 wedding cake should include candied pansies.” Most of the weddings I have attended have been in the Southeastern US, so glass stomping doesn’t often appear my social circle. Smashing rented glassware and red plastic cups just doesn’t hold the same theatrical effect. As for warding off evil spirits, that’s relegated to the happy couple and how they feel about the bride’s ex-spouse and his new skank being invited and wearing whatever that is! I don’t go to many fall weddings. I’m assuming their scarcity is another regional thing. If you’re going to schedule one in the fall, you’d better do it before the SEC schedule gets rolling. “Yes, I know it’s hot in early September, but that game’s at noon. Give those tickets to the yard man. He’s used to the heat.” You don’t see ceremonies where the officiant asks if anyone objects, anymore. I’m not sure where that tradition came from, but online platforms have inspired too many people to believe we give a damn what they think. Asking folks their opinion just takes too much time. And hurts people’s feelings. Most states demand that the officiant of the ceremony be clergy of almost any denomination, government officials of any level, or notary publics, providing they are 18 years or older. Ironically, many states do not require the same of the bride or groom. A common thread in ceremonies I have attended seems to be keep it moving, we have pictures to take and there’s an open bar. Open bar is a buried lede as far as announcements go. Concerned about your guests submitting a prompt RSVP? That’s a tidbit of information that spreads faster than Uncle Woodrow’s choice to exercise his right to open carry, making the fit of his polyester western cut suit even tighter. Drop Open Bar into the announcement and watch RSVPs roll in like requests for Taylor Swift tickets. Here's a good wedding rule of thumb: check the fit on your outfit of choice before the third text begging you to RSVP. This not only helps you evaluate your new intermittent fasting/keto regimen, but it allows you to check the pockets. Not many things are as embarrassing as reaching for a handkerchief to offer an over emotional guest and offering Uncle Fulton’s funeral program from the last time you wore that suit. Handkerchiefs are always good to have on hand, at weddings or funerals. Make sure to bring more than one because you’re probably not going to want it back, unless of course, the person you gave it to, sees you crying at the next event. Right after getting the news that the reception is at the church. If you’re really on your hanky game, you can bring two kinds: plain heavy cotton for a probable nose blower and then vintage ladies’ with embroidered flowers. Just so they know you still have some charm, even if your shirt collar is too tight. I hear that most of our western traditions for weddings are rooted in Queen Victoria’s wedding. Her Royal Highness, of Britain. 182 years ago. Not Beckham, Her Royal Posh Spice. Which, I’m sure was a more colorful affair. And probably had a much better open bar. The white dress, which allegedly represents virginity. More irony, since it is only worn once, but has been purchased and resold multiple times on Marketplace. White lace, veils, slippers, even the long train, which necessitated multiple attendants, leading to an overabundance of bridesmaids. All wondering how many more times they will have to go through this and swearing not to make another bad decision after the reception. Don’t forget white cake, probably the most forgettable confection in baking. You see different variations on cake, these days, thankfully. Cupcake tower, cookie tower, cheesecake, chocolate, candy truffles! All of which, I’m all for. That white-on-white cake crime is just tired, you know? Make a statement. Hell, I wouldn’t mind a sausage biscuit tower. It’s perfect for that third weekend in October wedding, that you had to schedule at 9:00 am, because no one would come at 2:00, because Tennessee is for real, this year.