YOU are the weakest wedding link . . . GOODBYE

Saturday, June 11, 2011 | 2 Comment(s)

The time has come.  We are now less than a year out from Weddinganza 2012, and one of the next steps in the process is compiling the guest list.  And before i can start to make this list, i really needed to get down how much i am going to loathe this process.  loathe.  compiling the wedding guest list is, by far, the part of wedding planning i am looking forward to the least.

It's downright unamerican.  ok, maybe that's taking it a bit far.  But, honestly, making a finite list of one's friends is the antithesis of how i actually approach friendship.  Let me spell it out.

Friendship is not a zero-sum equation.  I really love people (sometimes even undergrads!).  I enjoy forming connections, trying to understand where other people are coming from, and feeling a connection to a larger community.  If i were to meet someone new, and befriend them (or be befriended), this doesn't lesson the amount of friendship i have left for my already established friends.   This "you can't be friends with me if you are already friends with them" attitude that we are introduced to in middle school is pervasive and influential and often can abuse our relationships well into adulthood.  And its a farce.

Except when it comes to a wedding guest list.  In that case there are literally only so many spots at the table.  And so, factually speaking, invitations are a zero-sum equation.  One person coming means another person can't.  Barf.

We've only just started.

Also, back in my high school and college days, who my "best friend" was used to be very important to me.  But, as the world grew around me and i found my place in it, i realized that having a best friend meant that you had tons of not best friends.  This idea seemed so limiting to me, but i liked having a best friend.  So i expanded the definition.  Now i have a bunch of best friends.  Best friend from growing up.  Best friend from Boston, Japan, Israel.  Best friend from the coffee shop.  Best friend from vacation. Best friend best friend best friend.  Let me tell you folks, you can do much worse than having a logjam at the position of best friend.  And why this works, . . . why having all these people holding the same esteemed place in my life doesn't create conflict, is because friendship is not hierarchical.

Just as having one friendship doesn't lessen another friendship, there really is nothing to gain from ranking your friends on any merit scale.  Sure, people all contribute different amounts of time and energy to friendship.  And there are times when people who care about you simply don't have the resources (financial or emotional) to help you.  But to me, none of these traits are central in awarding the best label.  The best comes from a level of commitment.  A commitment that says "i am for you, and to the best of my particular abilities, i would like to foster that commitment."

And then, shazam, you're a bestie.

But not in the wedding invite world.  In the wedding invite world there are first lists and second lists and maybes and significant others and on and on and on.  it makes me nauseous.  i pretty much either love you or i don't, very little distinctions there between "love love" and "little love."  I mean, how can such distinctions ever serve me well in any other life domain.  cept fucking wedding invitations.

And i don't want to tell anyone they can't come.  because i want all of my friends to come.  i mean right?  duhsville.  And while i know that we are all adults on the outside and that people understand that i can't invite 500 people to our wedding (if i want have someone to wed!).  But i also know that we are all middle schoolers on the inside and that there is a part of us that feels that tinge of rejection and feels un-special to whomever didn't invite us to their wedding, no matter how much we try to intellectualize it.  and i, most of anything in the world, wouldn't and don't want my friends to be made to feel un-special to me.  cause holy shitballs batmans, that's my thesis.  making my friends feel special is what i'm all about.  My friends are everything to me.  Feeling connected to my friends is how i stay connected to life, the universe, and everything.

so how am i supposed to make a list?  how am i supposed to find a cut off point?  how do i say, "no?"

So far, the only solution i've come up with is to call the "No" list:  "People Invited to Crash Our Wedding."

now that sounds like me.


  1. Um, yes, we are inviting you to ours. But no, we will not be upset if we aren't invited to yours. We adore you and will celebrate with you before, after, etc. -- and feel your pain of figuring out who you have space for, can afford, etc. It's awful!!

  2. Let's not confuse anyone here, Matt, I am clearly your best friend. Hands down. The rest of these peeps are just pretenders. Or, at least let's agree that I am your best friend from the summer of 1996 who let you crash a super-secret fraternity meeting AND made sure you "enjoyed" my wedding night too :) See you homie-g-funk.