Wedding Bliss or Blisters?

Wedding Bliss or Blisters?


Singles advice guru Marnie Macauley has humorous and savvy solutions for singles who are riding out the wedding rituals of their friends and family.

Wedding Bliss or Blisters?

joruba / 123RF Photo

Ah, my dear Singularians, as June is upon us, we think of moons, honeys, honeymoons and sometimes just “loons.” As with every marvelous life cycle event (think labor pains), there are a few bumps, and potential pile ups. I recently attended a wedding where the happy couple, instead of gifts, asked guests to add to their “Money Tree” for their condo down payment. Clearly, their hors d’oeuvre of choice was pigs in a blanket. By the way, they’re still in a studio, which is fine, as they don’t do much entertaining these days.


Marnie: I’m 31 with a large circle of female friends, many I’ve known since college and through work. I’ve been a bridesmaid no less than 15 times!  Maybe you think I’m being selfish, but I don’t want to buy the dress, drag down the aisle, go to the rehearsal dinner, etc. etc. I just want to attend, enjoy myself and leave. A friend from my office recently announced that she’s getting married and is planning a fall wedding. I KNOW she’s going to ask me to be part of the wedding party. How can I get out of it without bruising her feelings? – Had It!

MARNIE SAYS: Sweetie, a few more and you can open a Bridesmaids ’R Us Shoppe, complete with used Bo Beep dresses — and sheep.  Assuming this is not your career choice, here’s the plan.

Getting It! Your Personal Strategy:

* Before she bestows the honor, when you cross paths at the office look grim and grumble. When she asks you what’s going on, frown and say you’ve been asked to be a part of your cousin’s wedding party. Naturally she’ll ask, “What’s the problem?”

At which point, you sigh: “It’s not that I don’t adore her, I do. But … I’ve been down that ‘aisle’ 15 times, and I’d love nothing more than to be just a guest for once.”  Boom.

* If she continues probing your reasons, given the honor of it all, blah blah, add, “As much as I appreciate the thought, I’m so past my bridesmaid days.” Then ask her: “Can you think of a way I can refuse, but still let her know I love her and am thrilled to attend?”

Tada Boom! Message sent.


Dear Marnie: A good friend has been in a relationship for over five years. For some of it, the guy has treated her okay, but at other times he could turn a saint into an alcoholic! After the last blow up, she was leaving town to go to her mom’s so she could get her life back together. All of a sudden, she dropped off the radar and wouldn’t even come to the phone when I called. Then I got an invitation to her wedding! Should I go and just hope for the best, or hope her plans fall through? – Worried BFF

MARNIE SAYS: Watching another human run headlong into a meat grinder is one of life’s most odious observations, for parents, good pals, and yes, even advice duennas, who often wish to gouge out our own eyes at the sights we’re forced to witness. But the truth is, unwanted advice is about as welcome as finding fleas on the cat that sleeps on your pillow – all of which may be the reason she’s avoided you.

Getting It!  Your Personal Strategy:

* Tell yourself you don’t know all the facts. (You’re probably glad you don’t!) She may be pregnant, she may be desperate, he may appear desperate or, he may have gotten treatment. 

* Be her friend. Go buy a silver-plated candle snuffer (forget the monogram so it’s is returnable), show up, stuff your mouth with butter cream, then wish her luck. She’ll need it. It’s a “done deal.”

– If you’re wrong, your fears will be de-fused, along with the strain between you.

– If you’re right, sooner and later, she’ll need a loving BFF to help her put the pieces of her heart back together. And after all, isn’t that “friendlier” than being “right?”


Marnie: My daughter is getting married in September, and I will be walking her down the aisle. This is a formal affair. I have a great tux, but it’s not the same style as the groom’s and best man’s. Is that a problem? She is my only daughter and I love her more than myself. I want everything to be perfect for her. Please help. – LovingDad

MARNIE SAYS: What a dear query! I’m positively flattered (OK, flabbergasted) you’d assume I’d know the intricacies of male wedding attire. So, for you, sweet man, I researched, pondered, and then had a creative burst.

Getting It! Your Personal Strategy:

* On Tuxedum: This costume custom obviously harks back to your sex’s inability to tell the difference between a Geoffrey Beene and a garbanzo bean. Generally, most of you feel safer all looking like piano keys.

* The rule is … there are none.  Except that the males dress alike (piano keys).

* But as I mused your loving intention, I reflected on the fact that a dad during wedding planning is much like an appendix — with money.  Semi-superfluous, he wanders like flotsam from the day daughter delivers the news until the moment the bride calls from the airport. (Think Elizabeth Taylor and Spencer Tracy.) While we women have more customs, duties and officials than Baiyun International Airport, there are few rituals for dad. Time for a change!

* So, for you, I created one. Because, you see, the most important rules are those that convey how we feel about each other. And given the years of mutual love, let’s do something distinctive. Ask your daughter if she can tuck something special from you in her dress. And you’ll do the same inside a pocket, for example a small ribbon with a word or phrase symbolic of your mutual love and respect. (“Pookie, you’re my joy!”)

Then, in the middle of the crowd, when you catch each other’s eye, in two mutual pats of a ribbon, you’ll enjoy a private celebration of your special relationship, the one called “father” and “daughter.”

Copyright © Marnie Macauley / 2013 Singular Communications, LLC

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4 thoughts on “Wedding Bliss or Blisters?

  1. Hi Nettie! I get where you’re coming from, but dad’s tux could be new … just a bit different. Unless, God forbid, he inherited it from Fred Astaire, or it’s wild puce, even piano keys can be a “little” different:) So, for this dad, I think the important deal is going someplace special.

    Thanks for writing sweetie and I love hearing from you.

    Singularly yours with love, Marnie

  2. Dear Marnie, your advise column this week is particularly caring, sensitive and clever. I agree. always best to let someone have their own life journey as well as letting them know with kindness and, love that you are available to them if nessesary. Best wishes to you, Carol Lee

  3. On the mark, but what else can I expect friom this frankly humorous life advisor. Especially loved the “be a friend” encouragement to a woman worried her friend was making a marriage made in hell mistake.

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