This past weekend I went to a really great wedding in the mountains. The bride and groom were wed by a pretty lady officiant on a hillside. There were fireworks and barbecuing and cute foreign girls. One drunken guest fell into a pond. Outstanding.

Great weddings like this are, sadly, rare. Weddings have become things to endure rather than things to look forward to.

It starts in your 20s. Your friends start getting married left and right, and even if you think they're nuts, it's all so grand! The ceremony, the formal wear, the caterers, the open bar, the speeches and toasts, the old marrieds dancing horribly, the young singles shearing off their clothes with the kind of lust usually reserved for people chewing a tiger penis in anticipation of getting out of jail.

The older you get and the more weddings you attend, the more they stop being fun and start sucking the life force out of you.

I've listed a few of the things that weddings could stand to lose that might make them feel as they once did, full of promise and excitement, not shams in which you spent $78.99 on a soup bowl set from Williams & Sonoma for a couple whose marriage will last as long as "Freaks and Geeks" did.

A Half-Dozen Parties Before the Actual Wedding
So, you're invited to a wedding? Congrats, you're probably also invited to an engagement party, a bachelor party, a bachelorette party, a wedding shower, a rehearsal dinner, and the ritual slaying of a baby lamb. Perhaps this made sense when a Spanish king was taking a French queen and there were actual global implications, but honestly, as much as I love my buddy from college, RSVPing to his engagement party and deigning to meet him in Montreal for his bachelor party and then flying again to Ohio for his wedding makes me want to pelt him with olives as he walks down the aisle.

The Long, Intensely Religious Religious Ceremony
Look, what can I say, it's galling for me to sit in a church for an hour and a half when the same church opposes my gay friends being able to marry. I'm inching closer to a policy of only arriving to wedding receptions because of this. Long before I felt this intensely about same-sex marriage and long before I became an atheist, I still detested long religious ceremonies. I once went to a Catholic wedding that took up the better part of 2004. Add to this my inability to get over the fact that half the time the person presiding over the wedding had never even had sex, let alone been in a relationship, and I start to do my whole "Would you ask your florist to look at your MRI results?" routine. And don't even get me started on culling the Bible for marriage advice. Really, the Bible? The same book that says women came from a dude's rib? Was God at an Outback Steakhouse when he made women?

The Bouquet Toss
Really, we're still doing this? First, some history: The bouquet toss is said to originate from the Greek myth of the Golden Apple of Discord, which was presented at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis and only resulted in the Trojan f**king War. Look, how much must we humiliate the non-brides at weddings? I mean, Jesus Christ. We ask the non-married women to form a mosh pit and fight of a ball of flowers that are thrown willy-nilly over the bride's head? If a girl in a relationship catches it, the requisite jokes thrown at her boyfriend when she returns to their table are so lame that they'd make Jay Leno blush. If a boyfriendless girl catches it and she's older than a preteen, it can be humiliating. "Aw, maybe this heap of Baby's Breath and ribbon will change your luck?" It's almost as if brides are evil. "Hey, lonely losers, catch this heap of dead flowers! Bridesmaids, quick, wear these hideous dresses!"

Stupid Toasts
It's a toast, not a roast. So please, father of the groom, stop talking about how your son couldn't hear a thunder clap without soiling himself up until the third grade. A few funny memories, sure; a recap of the Coors Light fort and resultant stomach pumping during Sigma Chi hell week by a best man is just too much. Even worse than going into too much detail about the happy couple? Making the toast about you. Hey, tipsy maid of honor! Nobody cares about how much the bride helped you through your really rough breakup and melanoma scare. Say something sweet about her generosity, tell the groom he's a lucky dude and sit down.

DJs Who Demand You Dance

Hey, DJ imploring me to get out on the dance floor? Shut up. There will be plenty of drunken people out there in due time, so stop badgering me. I just ate my weight in flank steak and have had 14glasses of wine. I need a damn minute.

Little Kids

Look, I get that much like a cat in a tank top and jean shorts is impossibly hilarious, putting a non-potty-trained child in a Windsor knot and vest is pretty adorable. But weddings -- particularly receptions -- are dangerous. You've got large, drunken, often uncoordinated adults pitching around a dance floor, stoned stupid off white wine. This is how children get turned into pancakes.

Video Testimonials
The idea of the video tribute isn't so terrible as the execution that usually takes place. Some videographer with terrible timing goes table to table asking for people to say a little something to the bride and groom. Naturally, only the most obnoxious, drunk and unstable guests take the opportunity. Hence, your thrice-married cousin with the high blood pressure and affinity for vodka in plastic bottles gives you a nine-minute lecture on how marriage is all about communication, while his new girlfriend with the yellow hair keeps muttering "Shut up, Greg, shut up" under her breath.

Cash Bars

What the f**k?

Telling Me That Weddings Are Great Places to Get Laid

God, when will this end? I love how every single time I go to a wedding someone's uncle or someone's cousin or some married jackass tells me that women are horny at weddings, as if they're the first people to ascertain this essential fact. First of all, women -- and men, for that matter -- are horny at weddings because there's usually an open bar. Put an open bar at an "Antiques Road Show" and people would be telling you, "Dude, chicks are horny as hell at antique road shows."

Angry Mothers-of-the-Groom Who Don't Appreciate My Spoon Playing

Look, sometimes when I'm having a great time at weddings, I play the spoons. People love it. You do not need to march out onto the dance floor and forcibly remove the spoons from my hands. Guess what? There are a million spoons at wedding receptions. I'll find replacements.

I could go on and on. I think, in sum, weddings could stand to be a little more low-key, a little less preachy, and a whole hell of a lot more about who the bride and groom actually are and less about following bizarre old rituals, listening to endless toasts that signify nothing, and forcing the single people in attendance to either wrestle for flowers or mingle upon pain of public humiliation. But I know -- in the end, it's "your day." Just remember that it's also "my Saturday."

[Redacted] Guy is Lemondrop's resident single guy writer. He wishes you all would quit acting like you've never seen a prison tattoo before. Are you blind? It's a lonely tear drop!

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