Step 5: The Wedding Night

First, gather up a few of your closest buddies.  Insist they don their wedding dresses (or anything else white and frilly) for a night out on the town.
Next, ask the menfolk to get all gussied up as well.

Then, take it out on the town. Decide whether or not you’re going to tell the strangers who ask that

  • A) Yes, you just got married!!! or
  • B) Hell, no, you didn’t just get married. You’ve just decided to do something with that ridiculously pricey dress you wore one freaking time before sticking it into storage.


Share plenty of laughs with envious strangers who say “What a great idea!” Thank everyone else who thinks you really just got married.

When a street musician offers to serenade you and your spouse, accept.  Dancing in the middle of a pedestrian mall surrounded by strangers will turn out to be a surprisingly sweet moment, one that will subtly begin to shift the mood of the evening.

Suddenly, instead of the simple fun of being out and about in your wedding attire, you’ll find yourself starting to think about the larger symbolism behind this whole wedding thing.  This might be due to the fact that strangers have begun high-fiving you and clapping when you walk by, and partly due to the fact that your friends are all drifting separate ways, leaving you alone with your spouse.

Here's my honey, wearing a mood ring to replace the wedding ring he lost last year. Talk about pulling out all the stops!

As the night lengthens and you drag your spouse into a tequila bar for some techno dancing, this feeling will intensify. Laugh conspiratorially when someone says “What the hell?!” then graciously accept all the congrats and good wishes coming your way from everyone else. 

Walk into the restaurant next door and feel the gift of having an entire restaurant spontaneously erupt into cheers.  Wonder aloud to your spouse about all the good vibes coming your way from complete strangers–the woman who tells you how beautiful you look, your new friend Tomas, who motions you over to buy you both a celebratory drink.

And just like that, you are reminded of how important a community is to anyone’s marriage.  How we could never do it alone, and how we wouldn’t even really want to.  Obviously, there’s a reason we invite our closest friends and family to our wedding day, one of the most important events of our lives.

But I’m going to tell you a secret: when you do it again–don that wedding attire on your own terms–it’s a completely different experience.  Just you and your spouse cruising around to the places you love best, dancing and having fun instead of worrying about whether or not the caterer brought enough food or whether or not Aunt Ruthie is having a good time.

Just you and your honey-bunny accepting good wishes and musical serenades and somehow magically reconnecting (and recommitting) to each other before complete and utterly supportive strangers.

I highly recommend it.

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One Response to Step 5: The Wedding Night

  1. tpajevic November 18, 2011 at 11:30 am #

    I just wanted to add this: the other cool thing about being out and about in our wedding stuff was seeing how we made so many complete strangers so happy. It really reconnected me to that feeling of hope we all get when we come across a pair of newlyweds–the idea that everything’s still fresh and new and full of possibility (back before we got all bogged down in the logistics of parenting and keeping a relationship afloat). Anyway, that was another huge and completely unexpected gift from the evening–the feeling that Ken and I were back at the beginning again, where anything was possible. It made me wonder if that’s the reason that people renew their vows, to try and recapture a little bit of that early magic.

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