Although women are often shamed for growing older in the United States (OMG, you have wrinkles? EW!), I’m actually feeling pretty lucky to be getting married in my thirties. Not only do I feel like I’m finally in a relationship with a man who’s not, well, any of my past boyfriends (no offense, well, some offense), but I’ve been to enough weddings to know what matters and what doesn’t, which ultimately will help me in my own planning.

For instance, wedding favors? Fuck that noise. To quote verbatim what I’m sure you all dropped everything you were doing to read hot off the e-presses on The Huffington Post last week (um, anyone?):

I’m not 100 percent against [wedding favors], I guess, in theory, but the execution and now the expectation that you have them is not OK. It’s amazing how many people seem to fret about this afterthought on some of these big wedding sites. [They’re] trinkets that people will most likely throw away, unless you’re rich as hell and give out iPads or something. Now that’s a wedding favor I’d gladly accept.

Unfortunately, I am not, as I so eloquently put it, “rich as hell,” so no one will be getting iPads at my wedding. In fact, the closest thing there’ll be to wedding favors are my homemade centerpieces, which I highly encourage people to steal because that’ll help with the clean up. And oh yeah, thanks for coming and please remember this day always, yadda yadda yadda, because if the awesome food, unlimited dranks and stellar atmosphere didn’t allow for you to have a great time, I’m sure this piece of low-cost nonsense will…

Which brings me to my conundrum? When, why and how did weddings become Happy Meals? Why does the WIC insist that we give out cheap made-in-China crap to our guests, who we’ve already (if all goes as planned) treated to the best time ever?

Well, it turns out, according to some Googlin’, this type of unicorn barf dates back pretty far, like 16th-century far when couples in England gave out “love knots” made of lace and ribbons to their guests. But before we say wedding favors are based on tradition, let’s compare a wedding in 1513 to one in 2013. In 1513, the most the average couple probably provided their guests was bread, water and dysentery (the 16th century was hardcore). Like, maybe you really did feel the need to thank your guests for coming with a piece of cheap swag. Plus, people used to get married when they were still children in the 1500s, so having Happy Meal toys at a wedding perhaps made some sense. But five centuries later? It’s a bit different.

First off, as noted, most wedding celebrations have receptions, which are huge all-inclusive parties for your guests. We’re talking endless food, endless booze and super sweet dance parties. Secondly, the average age of marriage today is about 28, so what the fuck are we, as a culture, doing pressuring brides to add on childlike favors to their already over-the-top events? It makes no sense.

gumball

“You know, I liked all the free booze and the great food, but my favorite part of your wedding was that mini gumball machine filled with peanuts that you gave me.”

metal boats

“Uh-huh, it was this metal boat made to look like paper filled with Lifesavers that really made me glad I flew across the country to come to your wedding.”

gnome

“A miniature porcelain gnome with a fuchsia polka-dot hat? Of course I plan to display this somewhere visible, just like I do everything meaningful in my life. And fuchsia is everyone’s favorite color. GOOD CHOICE.”

cow

“YEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! BEST WEDDING EVER! THE ONLY REASON I CAME IS TO GET THESE BRIDE AND GROOM COW CANDLES HOUSED IN A SHITTY MINI PLASTIC BARN! BUT WHAT DO I DREAM ABOUT NOW THAT YOU MADE ALL MINE COME TRUE?!”

I rest my case. Wedding favors are officially dumb. Re-alocating those funds to thank your guests for coming with more awesome food and drink? Smart.

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