Writing Switch: For whom the bell tolls? It tolls for he | AspenTimes.com

Writing Switch: For whom the bell tolls? It tolls for he

Weddings are usually pretty predictable. Guys rent suits for practically the price it would cost to purchase them (granted, most of the cost goes toward cleaning after various liquids, foods and bodily fluids stain the garments). Gals spend hundreds on dresses and complain about only wearing it once. Pictures you won’t look at until your 20th anniversary take forever to shoot. Someone gets too drunk and starts throwing dinner rolls into the crowd. Millenials work themselves into a frenzy over perspiring nether regions during Lil Jon’s “Get Low.”

Toss tradition like that garter with semi-professional groomsman Ben Welch and gentleman-in-waiting Sean Beckwith, and let their Briding Switch wedding-planning venture strategize your nuptials ceremony.

Engagement Party

SB: This seems like overkill. There’s a bridal shower (whatever that is), bachelor and bachelorette parties, rehearsals and a reception. Just get a little family together and order out at some place, maybe El Korita or Masala and Curry. There will be more than enough opportunities for awkward interactions at one of the many “get your best business small talk/somebody I know please rescue me” events to come.

Rehearsal Dinner

BW: Rehearsals should take five minutes, and in fact can be completed with a YouTube tutorial. Stand here. Walk when the people in front of you reach this point. Done. Now let’s go drinking.

You have to include plenty of booze to aid the perennially dateless in soldiering through the event. Disapproving grandpa is giving the thousand-yard stare out the window. The couple to my left is gazing longingly into each other’s eyes. The pair on my right is arguing over who said “I love you” first. I’m busy trying to identify the vintage of ranch dressing. Kent’s, February 2018. Good month.

What’s missing from traditional rehearsal dinners is the entertainment, and by that I don’t mean Cousin Albert testing his stand-up routine on the women at the bridesmaids’ table. Kick off the party by conjuring Merlin the Magic Man away from his post next to the Escobar patio or, if you’re really looking to get twisted, Cory the balloonist will make silly hats for everyone!

Morning Of

SB: Is this a thing? I feel like this isn’t a thing. I thought the bride and groom were just supposed to avoid seeing each other while getting dressed in fancy clothes. Perhaps a couple of bags of McMuffins and mimosas will suffice because brown liquor and biscuits and gravy is a little strong. It’s your wedding day, have a little decorum.


BW: Utilize a dumpster as the altar and have a “Rite Up Your Alley” ceremony. I’ll even officiate it for you — a celebrity cleric, how about that?

Need seating but don’t know where to store all the chairs? Rent a theater at the Isis and watch “Odd Couple” reruns on mute while standing awkwardly in front of the screen.

Why wait to consummate your marriage? You and your guests can go all-nude and save everyone the expense of formal attire — or any attire for that matter — with a “Wedding-a-ling” theme.

Get trashy at the Pitkin County Landfill and tell your betrothed “I’ll never dump you.” Bonus: Your guests won’t get lost once the new giant, neon sign is installed on Highway 82.


SB: This is where I thrive. Even though I’ve never been a groomsman, I have DJ’d a wedding before, so I know how important music is. A live band is an attractive option but the best way to get people dancing is to play songs everyone knows and wants to move to. (Not going to go on a tangent but “Thriller” should be played.) A DJ also is nice for first-dance traditions, special requests and whatnot.

Cocktail hour should feature enough time and food to get people acquainted and boozed up. Stuffy, sit-down dinners also are off the table. Any form of family style — whether it’s a buffet or large share plates for the table — is better than being force-fed meat or fish. Also, appetizers appease more people than coursed-out meals (thus the heavy cocktail hour).

Essentially, let’s get the formalities out of the way so we can open up the dance floor.


BW: Twelve hours of contemplating eternal love connections will leave even the most matrimoniously inclined guests feeling burdened by repeated “marriage is a lot of work” speeches by various relatives. By this point I always crave a cigarette, and I don’t even smoke (those).

Is that supposed to be inspiring? “You’re going to be nagged for the next 55 years about which way the toilet paper roll needs to be placed, but it’s all worth it in the end because you can bang sometimes!” God invented Tinder and Craigslist to solve this very problem.

By the time the newlyweds make their departure and all the other happy couples have retreated to their hotel-room bloc, the rest of the singles are nervous about wasting their buzz and are ready to move onto the next venue. It’s time for the country club (Garth Brooks-style, not Rory McIlroy).

Or maybe you’re just standing there alone, eating some leftover bread you found on the ground. F— it, go to the club solo and make a game out of how many Roy Rogers wannabes in plaid shirts are tipping over during line dances at Silver City. You’re wearing a tuxedo with a flower pinned to it, afterall — if posting up awkwardly in the corner doesn’t work on this day, it never will.

What’s the weirdest wedding you’ve ever been to? When does a group of people similarily dressed cease to be a bridal party and instead become a cult? sbeckwith@aspentimes.com, @seanbeckwith. bwelch@aspentimes.com, @bwelch1990

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User