You may have been thrilled and awed by the royal wedding Saturday, but I was not: In fact, I didn’t care about it at all except that I knew the television coverage would keep me from watching SpongeBob SquarePants as I usually do each Saturday morning.
If you have somehow managed to avoid the massive news coverage, the marriage Saturday was between Prince Harry and Marla Maples, who, if I’m not mistaken, was Donald Trump’s former wife. I guess now she can say she’s been married to both a future president and a future king.
I’ve never understood the complete and utter wave of fascination that sweeps over our country every time there’s a royal wedding. I just look at the whole thing as it transpires – and at everyone’s obsession with it – and I shake my head, completely unable to fathom any of the interest that others feel. Horse-drawn carriages, ornately adorned guards standing at attention at the palace entrance, all the finest people in the land coming together for one big party to celebrate the union of a prince and a common girl – I liked it the first time I saw it when it was called Cinderella.
But now, you have to admit, it’s kind of a tired theme.
OK, so not everyone has the same tastes, and I get that a lot of you were thrilled about the royal wedding and you sat glued to your TVs for the 19-hour ceremony on Saturday. But, even if you enjoy that type of thing, you have to admit that there were all sorts of weird decisions that went into it. For instance, for some unfathomable reason, they scheduled the wedding to start at 5 a.m.
Think of the poor bride. Who wants to get up in the morning before dawn and then be the bride in a wedding hours before most people even have their coffee? With all that’s going on before a wedding, I’ll bet she had two hours sleep tops. And it’s not like you don’t have a lot to do before a wedding. Brides, even royal ones, have to put on makeup and get rid of the bedhead look. They are marring a prince for goodness’ sake.
So I can’t, for the life of me, understand why they started the ceremony before the break of dawn.
The wedding has taken up much more time than the 19 hours of the actual ceremony. This entire month, the news cycle in America has been completely dominated by the royal wedding: Ohhhh, what type of wedding dress will she wear? Will it be an Antonio Berardi dress or a design by Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller? What kind of tea and crumpets will they serve at the royal reception? How will the Budweiser Clydesdales be adorned when they pull the royal carriage into Windsor Castle?
It’s very hard, for me at least, to get worked up about some extremely snooty London affair that I wasn’t invited to and when I don’t know either person getting married. Listen, I didn’t even care about my own wedding. I really didn’t.
I got married in 1997, but it didn’t take. That process did, however, give me a little knowledge about what a groom goes through. I kept thinking about Prince Harry, the poor groom, who’s really just an innocent victim whose only crimes were being born into a royal family and falling in love. Those two things would be great on their own, but when they’re combined, it means you have to be in a royal wedding; so that’s not so good.
At my wedding, I had the same goal that every other guy on the planet who’s ever gotten married had: I just wanted to make it through the day alive without flubbing my one two-word line.
Oh, and I also wanted to make it through it without tripping and falling while walking down the aisle or by doing something else really stupid that would ruin the “perfect day” that the bride had planned soooooooooo meticulously.
When I say I didn’t care, that’s not entirely true; I wanted the wedding to go well and all. But I just found it utterly impossible to get wildly excited about every, little, tiny, particular, infinitesimally miniscule detail about everything from the exact texture of the napkins to the seating arrangements for the out-of-town guests, which was a lot like solving a Rubik’s Cube. I couldn’t care less about which hors d’oeuvres tray should be brought out third or second or whether the chocolate tarts have lemon sprinkles on them or raspberry sprinkles. Listen, chemists mixing the explosives in a nitroglycerin factory don’t put as much care and thought into what they’re doing as brides and their mothers do for a wedding.
The best thing you can do before the wedding if you are a groom is keep your head down, speak only when spoken to and try not to get arrested during the bachelor party. If you’re a guy getting married, I have some advice for you. I suggest you memorize the 14-word phrase I am going to give you. You will find this phrase extremely useful: “Yes, honey – I agree 100 percent; I think that is the perfect choice for [insert here whatever she’s asking you about].” You should stick to that phrase verbatim and never stray from it. For the six months leading up to the wedding, no matter what she asks, only use that phrase. It is the only safe thing in the world to say. If if she asks you the middle name of your uncle from Vermont, you should say, “Yes, honey – I agree 100 percent; I think that is the perfect question to ask about my uncle.”
Listen, I was overwhelmed by my wedding and I was just the lowly never-knighted Scott Yost of Greensboro, North Carolina, and I think about how much planning went into my wedding and how arduous it was for everyone.
At my wedding, I just wanted it to be over, and if you’ve ever been a groom in a wedding then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Now, imagine all that normal pressure of a wedding and then someone told you your wedding was also going to be in the most historic castle in the world surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people with every tiny move you make being broadcast on worldwide television to another 2 billion people. As worried as you were before, you would have said, “Huh? Come again?”
But I’m sorry, you heard right: You are in Dante’s ninth circle of hell.
So, for a royal wedding, multiply the groom’s anxiety by 10 million because it’s royal and, then, multiply that number again by another 10 million because it’s going to be watched worldwide.
Also, if it’s a royal wedding, you can’t pull out at the last minute like you can in a regular wedding and you also can never get divorced because if you do you will tear your country apart with all the bride’s friends and supporters being on one side and the groom’s on the other. After the divorce, half of England would never talk to the other half. A divorce could even start a civil war.
For all we know, Harry could have gotten cold feet four months ago, but who cares? At that point, he is royal toast. If he went to the queen and said he was having second thoughts, she would say calmly, “OK, that’s fine. I will just call the kings and queens of Europe and tell them not to come – oh, and I guess we’ll lose the 10 billion Euro deposit on the reception. Oh, and we also better buy a casket for the bride for when she commits suicide …”
Literally, nothing can save you at a royal wedding. You can’t even get a lifeline from an audience member who stands up when the preacher calls out that if anyone knows why these two should not be married let them speak now or forever hold their peace. You can bet that, at the royal wedding Saturday there were snipers with silencers lining the belfry of the chapel, and, when the preacher asked that question, they had instructions to shoot to kill anyone who even looked like they were going to say something. The preacher may ask that question at that point in the ceremony but, trust me, at a royal wedding they do not want an answer and you will never her more than the first two syllables of an objection.
And the royal wedding could not have been any fun for Harry or anyone there. As a rule of thumb, the stuffier and better planned the wedding, the less fun it is. You know, the most fun weddings are the ones with no planning where your crazy friend and his girlfriend decide they are going to get married that Saturday so they just text everyone to tell them to meet in Farmer Joe’s cow pasture around dinner time and they tell you to bring your own Boone’s Farm if they still make that.
Now that’s going to be a fun wedding.
At the royal wedding, on the other hand, the guests weren’t even allowed to bring their phones.
I ask you, where is the only other place in the world you can’t take your phone? Right – federal and county courthouses, where, I might point out, people are also being handed life sentences.