We’re in the early stages of thinking about wedding parties. This is easier for us than for some, since we really don’t give a crap whether we have the same number of attendants, whether they match up in height, etc. Also, we’re not bothering with showers, bridal or groomal excursions, etc. so the burden on those we ask to stand with us will be minimal.

Penny has developed an excellent approach. She’s going to pick out a nice dress from Banana Republic in a color that does not revolt the senses and email it around to all her girlfriends. She’ll say simply, “Hey, anyone who wants to stand up with me, buy the dress and let me know and you’re in.”

This of course means that she is eschewing the normal practice of finding the most hideous dresses she can in colors that are best described by their relation to McDonalds characters (“I’ll take the Grimace Purple dress with the poofy sleeves.) I’ve always assumed that brides do this to make their bridesmaids look as unappealing as possible so as to ensure that they don’t upstage her on her One! Perfect! DAY! Of course, Scarlet Johannsen in THIS dress couldn’t upstage Penny. But still, that she is choosing her friend’s convenience and comfort over this traditional fashion effrontery speaks well.

I’m strongly considering doing something similar and asking my groomsmen to wear a dark suit, then get them matching ties.

At first we weren’t even sure if we wanted to have wedding parties per se. But the sweep and grandiosity of the Cathedral seems to beg for large wedding parties.

I’ve always been extremely gratified and flattered when I’ve been asked to be in a wedding party. The problem is that asking one person but not another is necessarily exclusionary, which is party of what MAKES it flattering. The groom is kind of saying, “I had to pick five (or four or whatever) of my best dudes, and you made the cut.”

I’d like to include my best buds, and give them that kind of flattery. I’d also like them to be part of this important day. But short of having 27 groomsmen, I’m going to be leaving SOMEONE out.

And let’s face it. The groomsmen don’t actually DO anything. The bride might actually need some help getting ready, depending on how many crinolines and bustles she has in her dress. She also has hair, makeup, a veil, and a train. But anyone who offers to help the groom get dressed will be met with a punch in the mouth. The days when your groomsmen would have to battle the Duke’s soldiers while you absconded with his daughter are long over. Well, outside of Tennessee, maybe.

Still, the honor remains. When you ask someone to stand with you as a groomsman, you’re saying that if the Bride’s male relatives decided to make an issue of it, you’d trust them to have your back and cover your escape. I’ve been fortunate enough to have many friends who have stood with me in tough times, and I would like to extend this appreciation to them, especially if I can do it in a way that doesn’t impose on them drastically.

My current plan is to ask everyone who asked me to be a part of their wedding. This dovetails nicely with my list of best buds, and hopefully won’t exclude anyone.

Plus Mr. T. GOTTA ask Mr. T.