Bitter Wedding Crib Sheet

Since it’s that time of the year again (and our editors are on vacation), we thought we’d kick off the weekend with a wedding piece (originally published last summer) …

The most dreaded season of the year is upon us: The season of love.  Weddings galore.  All of those expensively printed invitations that request the honor of your presence and turn a self-analyzing spotlight on your love life can quickly book your summer schedule.  For every happy couple, there are countless narcissistic guests-to-be stressing about how to personally handle the special occasion. 

Do I find a random date, or do I roll solo and hope to score with an emotionally vulnerable bridesmaid/blackout-drunk groomsman? Always the latter.  Do I really want to buy them a stupid cake pan from their registry? No, buy them drugs. Will my ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend be there? You’re such a drama whore.  What the hell do I wear? That depends. 

To best arm you for the wedding season battle ahead, we’ve consulted a few gurus and culled their suggestions down to a quick checklist of what not to do.

Wedding Guest Don’ts:

1.  Lighten up a bit—don’t wear a dark suit or dress unless it’s after 6pm

2.  You’re not trying to play the virgin, so don’t wear white (save it for the bride)

3.  Unless the venue is a club in South Beach, don’t dress too sexy—unless you like being “that guest”

4.  Don’t wear high heels to a wedding on the beach—you’ll look sunken, not fabulous

5.  If for some crazy, closed-head-injury reason you’re thinking about it, don’t wear jeans (ever)

6.  Unless it’s a “black tie” affair, don’t be a douche and wear a tuxedo

7.  It’s written on the envelope for a reason—don’t invite a date unless it specifically says “and Guest”

8.  Brides have a sixth sense, so don’t get to the ceremony late because they will know…and hate you

9.  Open bar isn’t a hall pass to get completely polluted—don’t be remembered for overserving yourself

Or maybe you’re willing to subject yourself to total vulnerability within the firm by taking the leap this summer.  In addition to downplaying your huge personal time commitment to co-workers during a time of massive layoffs, here are a few simple matters to consider avoiding when getting married:

Bride & Groom Don’ts:

1.  Nothing’s ever perfect—don’t have unrealistic expectations

2.  It makes for a great story later, so don’t freak if your friend gets drunk and hits on your mom

3.  Attack of the clones—don’t make bridesmaids wear identical dresses and hairstyles

4.  A lot goes a little way, so don’t blow your budget on things your guests won’t remember

5.  Here comes the broke!—don’t spend the vast majority of your budget on your gown and shoes

6.  Remember work/life balance, and don’t invite co-workers (they don’t want to go anyway)

7.  Make um’ work for it—don’t put registry information on your wedding invitations

Note that “Don’t get a background check” and “Don’t sign a prenup” didn’t make the list. 

For a few more expert tips on all things wedding, we turned to Robert Fountain, renowned event specialist & producer, who consistently designs some of the best celebrations on the west coast.

How can a Bitter Lawyer make a budget wedding fabulous?

• Do it at home, if possible

• Only invite those who are really important to you—each guest is money out of pocket. 

• Choose a theme that you can do very simply—“English country” weddings cost more than “art deco”

• Order your invitations online—you can get really high-end invitations very inexpensively

What are things people shouldn’t scrimp on?

Don’t scrimp on the photographer.  The pictures will last forever, so you want to use a good one. 

What are the most common mistakes people make in planning their wedding?

Not budgeting enough money. They trying to get everything in a $100,000.00 wedding for $10,000.00.  This waters down the event, and it doesn’t come off very well.  If your budget is limited, do something that is best for your budget. 

Example: Do an afternoon wedding so you wont have to serve a full meal.  Do light food and wine, and end in time for your guests to plan their own dinner.  Wedding breakfasts are even becoming more popular. 

What’s more important: Great venue or great band?

I would say great venue.  With the advancements of equipment and spanning tastes in music, a DJ can get the job done.  Bands can run $10,000-$15,000 thousand, and you can find a good DJ for around $2,000.

What’s the most expensive wedding you’ve ever planned?

$4 million!!!!

Any additional “don’t” advice for guests based on your experience?

It’s important to reiterate: Don’t bring your whole family.  Read how the invite is addressed.  If it’s just your name, then it’s for you only.  If it says “and Guest,” then you can bring a date.  You wouldn’t believe how many people bring four or five people and don’t inform the bride.

What about for the bride and groom?

Don’t force your whole bridal party to do the “Thriller” dance at your reception. Bad idea!

For more on Robert Fountain, visit robertfountain.com.

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Bitter Staff is a collection of current and former editors, contributors, and various other lawyers who have written for Bitter Lawyer over the years. Posts include interviews, contests, and other general lawyerly and bitter content.

22 Comments

  1. BL1Y

    May 22, 2009 at 4:25 am

    Is Bitter Lawyer redirecting to Fashionista this morning?

  2. Sally

    May 22, 2009 at 4:35 am

    This is great, but I REALLY want to know how I can get MARRIED to a successful lawyer who is NOT bitter.  If this website can direct me to good looking guy lawyers who are available and who will be able to support ME in my lifestyle, I would be FOREVER gratful. Thank you.

  3. Anonymous

    May 22, 2009 at 5:11 am

    Sally,
    There are no good looking male lawyers.

  4. Wilbur Moore

    May 22, 2009 at 5:27 am

    Touche, Anonymous, but I also don’t think there are any female lawyers worth writing home about, unless you are into moose or caribou.  And BL1Y, dont you know by now that the slackers (i.e. hired help) on this website basically takes off on Friday?  Shame on you!

  5. BL1Y

    May 22, 2009 at 6:20 am

    Wilbur: Actually, this looks like it took more effort than a lot of their stuff.  It’s just completely irrelevant to lawyers.  And Sally, I’m pretty decent looking.  Maybe that’s why I’m such a shitty lawyer.

  6. Anon Female

    May 22, 2009 at 7:31 am

    I guess you didn’t get invited to any weddings this summer BL1Y – it’s relevant to everyone with friends.

  7. DantheMan

    May 22, 2009 at 8:14 am

    like it man, classic don’ts great stuff

  8. Midwest lawyer

    May 22, 2009 at 8:44 am

    I’m a 30’s widower and I can identify with the idea of guest or not.  Lighten up folks there are social issues in a large law firm.  Mine has many.

  9. Alex Hump

    May 22, 2009 at 10:57 am

    This may be generally helpful information, but it is not lawyer specific, which is what this site is supposed to be.  I could have gotten this by reading any girl’s copy of Redbook or Vanity Fair, right?  And Wilbur, there are some good looking girls in law school, not many but more than 1 in each class.

  10. Lady lawyer #10

    May 22, 2009 at 11:17 am

    Alex, Vanity & Redbook are expensive you just saved money during bad econ times.  Become social literate and impress the partners if you can find a date

    I’m a lady lawyer and I’m a 10.

  11. Anon

    May 22, 2009 at 11:17 am

    Hey Hunp—who the f are you to say what this site is supposed to be?  Go away.  And take Dugan and Alma with you.

  12. Anon Male

    May 22, 2009 at 11:21 am

    If youre a lady lawyer, believe me, you’re NO 10.  (unless the scale is out of 100).

  13. BL1Y

    May 22, 2009 at 11:45 am

    @12:17: “This is your site. Tell us what you want and we’ll do our best to deliver it.” – From the “About Us” page.

  14. JD2004

    May 22, 2009 at 11:52 am

    I agree.  Anon is an a-wipe.  Dugan, Hump and Alma are as integral to this site as BL1Y.  Anon, you can just crawl back up into your crack and keep quiet.  And with regard to whether there are any good looking law school women, I can attest that I married one.  I’m no Adonis, but my wife is almost as striking as Charlize Theron and my wife has a JD.

  15. Lady lawyer #10

    May 22, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Sweetie Anon male, the rating only goes to #9.  Add my JD and MA Masters, plus social skills I add up to #10

    Eat your heart out buddy.  Read this article again and that goes for the nasty complainers, they need help. Enjoy holiday, it’s about memories

  16. Ace in the Hole

    May 22, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Ah, but the number of lady lawyers claiming to be 10s is vastly disproportionate to the actual number – we’re talking an order of magnitude or more here.

  17. Ace in the Hole

    May 22, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Actually, now that I think about it, thinking you’re a 10, let alone talking about it, warrants -3 at least.  Self-confidence is good, a huge ego, not so much.

  18. Anon Female

    May 22, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Lady Lawyer, you are the coolest. and all the tools just dream of dating a hot number with all the degrees like you!  why is BL1Y and that other guy always complaining? quite interesting to know that BL1Y reads something called Fashionistas!? really liked this piece and it was actually helpful. I am sending to a friend of mine that is getting married soon.

  19. BL1Y

    May 22, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Anon Female: Fashionista is a sister site to Above the Law.  I’d assume a lot of lawyers read it.  Lady Lawyer #10: Degrees don’t add anything, sorry.  A few professions might add something, like being a celebrity, or a professor (of a real, non-soft subject), or a hurricane hunter.  Being a lawyer actually deducts points, and not just because of the seamlessweb ass.  I also have to agree with Ace; bragging about being a 10 is pretty unattractive, especially if you have to cobble your 10 together out of a dozen different reasons.  Besides, no true 10s ever say they’re a 10.  You’re at best an 8, probably a 7, and with your attitude no better than a 6.

  20. #10

    May 23, 2009 at 6:30 am

    BL1Y, as a lawyer you never assume.  Never read these sites that you seem to promote.  If they’re good blogs – don’t need your type of promoting.  One thing they don’t teach in law sch is social manners so read the article again – again – again.  I tell the truth like any good lawyer, I am a #10.  Gather up your memories – enjoy the weekend.

  21. Anon Female

    May 26, 2009 at 8:12 am

    BL1Y, you sound like an infomercial. we all now know you read fashion and beauty sites too.

  22. BL1Y

    May 26, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    #10: Please get the phrasing right.  It’s just “10” not “#10.” A #10 would be something you order off a value menu.  On second thought, stick with #10, it’s probably closer to the truth.  And as a lawyer you assume all the time.  I assume Shepardizing gets it right, so I don’t go through the entire universe of cases myself.  I assume I’ll get assignments after 4pm, so I schedule Fresh Direct for Saturday mornings.  I assume someone looks at my time sheets, so I try to make them look good.  I assume no one reads my memos, but I try to make them look good too.  Life only works if you learn to thrive on assumptions, otherwise you never get anywhere.  I assume you’re not a 10, but feel free to send a pic to nycbl1y@gmail.com to provide evidence to the contrary.

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