Congratu-fucking-lations! You're getting married!
Now, first things first: Just because everyone can finally get legally married (sorry that took so long, by the way), that doesn't mean you have to have a wedding.
Weddings can be stressful and expensive, and even if you keep things as low-key as possible by enlisting the help of generous friends and family, there are literally 800 questions to answer: Who's invited? What will people do when they first arrive at the venue? What do you feed your one soy-sensitive vegan friend? Who has the rings?! And it all comes with an exorbitant amount of pressure to get it perfect on the first try. But we call bullshit on that.
Weddings can be fun, both to plan and to go to—and The Stranger's No-Goddamn-Bullshit Wedding Guide will help you throw the best love party the world has ever seen.
The rules have changed. A man can marry a man, a woman can marry a woman—so why keep following the old traditions?
You don't have to have bridesmaids or groomsmen. You don't have to force a toddler to walk down the aisle sobbing and refusing to drop rose petals and peeing on the floor. You can do whatever the fuck you want!
You can buy a dress one hour before the ceremony and serve gummy bears (see here). You can pass around joints after (or before) dinner (see here). You can get a DJ who will play things your cousins will dance to, or you can say fuck your cousins and hire a mariachi band (see here). If you're a guy, you don't have to wear a stuffy suit or a tux if you don't fucking want to (see here).
Most important, you are in so much fucking love that you can't even stand it, and this is a time to celebrate not only that but all the wonderful, supportive people in your lives who've helped you both along the way. Fuck all that pressure to make everything perfect. Seriously. Fill the room (or the beach or the church or the bouncy house) with friends and family who love you no matter what—maybe that's three people, maybe that's 300—and thank them for their kindness with a day filled with your favorite food, drink, music, and anything else you want.
Whether you bring in a dunk tank and a cotton-candy machine, or have a simple family-style dinner at a huge table lined with candles, the love you have for each other, and for everyone sharing the moment with you, is what will make it magical. But be careful with candles. Gusts of wind are hard to control, and grandmas are flammable (see here).
So fuck all those blogs and magazines with their six-page checklists that say this is the most important day of your life. It's not. There are so many more amazing days to come.