Ask Una is a satire column in which we ask those burning wedding questions we know you’re thinking about but are too afraid to put in writing. So we did it for you. Seriously (we’re not serious).
I got married last month, and everything was going perfectly until the reception, when the best man ended his speech by proposing to his girlfriend in front of our 200 guests! He claims he was inspired to pop the question by watching us exchange our vows, but he’d been hiding an engagement ring in his pocket the whole time, so this was clearly pre-planned sabotage to steal my thunder. It was all anyone could talk about afterward, even after my mother slipped off her chair during the hora and cracked a rib. My husband says I should give the best man a break, but he ruined the entire night for me and I know I won’t rest until I cause him an equal, if not greater, amount of emotional trauma. How can I exact my revenge?
There’s a reason that guests are not supposed to wear white to a wedding: You are the bride, the unquestionable (if, let’s face it, somewhat sexist) center of the entire affair, and you deserve to stand out. Sometimes you can’t tell the groom from any of the other flop-sweating men in tuxedos, but the bride is meant to steal the focus—which she deserves, after spending roughly half of her annual salary on hair, makeup, shoes, and a wide variety of painful spa treatments. I once saw a guest try to skirt the rules of etiquette by showing up in a white silk pantsuit, and she later fell down a flight of stairs in front of a large group of guests. Karma at work.
Now, I’m not suggesting you push the best man off of a high place or otherwise endanger his life. The Code of Hammurabi infamously stipulates that a victim should repay his attacker in kind—an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a selfish public display at your wedding for a selfish public display at his.
He got engaged a month ago (not that I need to remind you of the date), so you should have at least a year to plan. Given the generous time frame, I have a few ideas that require varying degrees of preparation:
1. Make a shocking announcement.
Loudly refuse champagne during the first toast. Just as the speaker raises his or her glass, shout, “I would drink to your happiness but my doctor says it’s not safe for the baby!” Pause for gasps and then enjoy the wave of applause that is now redirected toward you.
2. Go into labor.
If you can somehow get your water to break right in the middle of the festivities, you’ve hit the jackpot. You’ll clear the dance floor faster than the DJ putting on the “Macarena” and give guests a show that is way more impressive than the happy couple showing off their six weeks of ballroom dancing lessons. (Please note, this will be extremely difficult, and probably medically unsound, to time correctly.)
3. Save a “choking victim.”
This tactic works best if you can recruit someone else at the wedding and work as a team (or if you get lucky and the caterers serve very tough steak to very old people).
4. Organize an elaborate flash mob…starring you.
For maximum effect, make your entrance by descending by wire from a balcony or being carried in on the shoulders of two shirtless groomsmen.
5. Wear white
Una LaMarche has written four young-adult novels, Five Summers, Like No Other, Don't Fail Me Now, and You in Five Acts, as well as a comic essay collection, Unabrow. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Observer, Allure, and Parents, as well as online at the Huffington Post. The New York Times has called her writing “surprisingly seductive,” which she plans to use on her tombstone.