Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 07.07.10
Stanstead, Quebec


The groom's view, or Weddings for Dummies

Weddings are girly. Not exactly a revelation, but it hit home recently while preparing for my nephew's wedding, around the time I was hanging the ribbons.

My brother the designer was attempting to transform a hotel conference room into something that wouldn't make the bridesmaids feel they should be wearing "Hello! My Name Is... " nametags. This got me thinking about how truly girly weddings actually are. There's not much to appeal to men: flowers, bows, kissing, dancing, talking, being polite.

Then there's the dressing up.

True, women have to spend hundreds of dollars and hours on the most elaborate dresses, manicures, shoes, makeup and hair, while men just have to rent a tux, which is about as taxing as renting a movie at Blockbuster. However, even tuxes make men squirm, so maybe it's more like renting a movie with subtitles.

Then there are the wedding gifts: place settings, bowls, bedding, appliances, fondue pots -- always a fondue pot. If it weren't for weddings, there would be a complete collapse of the fondue pot industry. But power tools: where are the power tools?

The reason weddings are so feminine is that the groom plays a minimal role in the event. Just how minimal? My nephew's wedding party left for the rehearsal without him -- enough said.

But what if it weren't so? What would a male-influenced wedding be like? I wonder...

[Knock, knock.]

Sam: Oh hey, Padre. Come on in. We're all out back.

Minister: It's a great day for a wedding.

Sam: Isn't it? I'm very excited. Can I get you anything? There's beer in the cooler and chips over there. I think most of the guests are here. Just getting in a little pool time before the ceremony. And we'll put the horseshoe tournament on hold in time for the vows.

Minister: Lovely.

Sam: Hang on a sec. Hey, honey! The padre's here. Are you ready to get married?

Melanie [from inside]: I'll be out in a minute. Just let me finish basting these ribs.

Sam: Okay! What a great gal. I'm so lucky.

Minister: You certainly are.

Sam: I mean, ribs!

Melanie: Here I am. All set?

Sam: Aww, Mel. You look beautiful. I remember that T-shirt. That was the one you wore that time we went snipe hunting in Cape Hoosalakka.

Melanie: You remembered!

Sam: Here, these are for you.

Melanie: Daisies!

Sam: Yeah, they were growing by the ditch. I picked them myself.

Melanie: This is just perfect. I'm so happy.

Sam: Me too. Ready?

Melanie: Let's do it.

Sam: All right, everybody, gather round. We're about to start. No, I don't mind if you stay in the pool, just keep the splashing to a minimum. Mel's dad? You're cool with this? Excellent. Hit it, Father.

Reverend: Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today in the site of Doug -- Sam and Melanie's beloved Rottweiler -- to witness this blessed union, followed by a bonfire and four-on-four basketball, shirts versus skins. And now, let us cut to the chase. Sam, I believe you've written your own vows?

Sam: Yes. Ahem. This is from the movie Say Anything which Mel made me watch but was actually pretty decent. So: "The world is full of guys. Be a man. Don't be a guy." Amen.

Reverend: Thank you, Sam. Melanie has opted for the more traditional vows. Melanie?

Melanie: I, Melanie Bean, take you, Sam Draghorn, to be my husband. That's it.

Reverend: Rings... Sign here... Done! You can kiss each other now, if you want. Or not. It's up to you.

Sam: Maybe later. Okay, everyone! Have a great time. Thanks again for all the gifts -- the Canadian Tire certificates are awesome.

Melanie: Oh Sam, I just noticed! The ribbons! They're beautiful!

Sam: I know. Doug's dog show ribbons. I thought our friends would like to see them on display.

Melanie: You're the best husband ever. I love you.

Sam: Not now, honey. We have guests!

Ross Murray's book ‘You're Not Going to Eat That, Are You?’ is now available in area book stores and at