Mark Hunter (ozma914) wrote,
Mark Hunter

column: Wedding Budget Proves a Royal Pain



            I’ve been thinking a lot of about royalty and weddings lately.

            Don’t know why.

            Just kidding, of course I know: It’s because I’m engaged, and we’re basing our wedding budget on the one everyone’s most familiar with: that of Prince one-of-those-brothers and Kate something or other.

            Rather than reinventing the wheel, we’ll copy the royal wedding and scale it down a bit. For instance, their wedding is budgeted at $34 million, making it one of the costliest celebrations of any kind in history.

            We simply removed the zeroes; our wedding budget is $34. Have another Cheeto and a cut of tap water, everyone!

Their security cost another $32 million, billed to the British taxpayers. Too bad they couldn’t bill extremist groups, who vowed to disrupt the event in any way possible. Some anarchists were planning to protest, but they just couldn’t get organized. Also protesting: opponents of certain world leaders who were invited despite the fact that they’re – oops – hated despots.

            There will be no hated despots at our wedding; I like my future mother-in-law.

            When asked to comment, King Mswati III (no, I didn’t misspell that) of Swaziland denied being a dictator, and then threw another protestor on the fire.

            Mswati rules of a kingdom that’s roughly the size of my garage, and yet received an invite while American President Obama didn’t. The only thing the two countries have in common is that they’re both out of money. But Mswati is, after all, royalty even while putting down pro-democracy protestors, while Obama is a commoner even while putting down Republicans.

            I doubt Obama, who’s shown some contempt toward Great Britain anyway, is losing sleep over it. I’m a bit of an Anglophile myself (It is not dirty! Look it up!), but I’m not losing sleep over it, either. Let them invite whoever they want – the first people who should be made happy are William and Kate. Right after that should be Queen Elizabeth, who’s coming up on her 60th year as the Big Royal Cheese and has earned a chance to go carousing all night at a family blowout bash. If you can picture that.

            Where was I? Oh yes, wedding costs. Well, I’m not expecting group protests, although by the time you read this the primary elections will be over, and my home might get overrun by angry supporters. Angry supporters of what, I don’t know. As a precaution, security at my wedding will be provided by my fiancée’s pet snake, Lucius, and a group of Civil War reenactors who I’ll rile up before hand by starting a rumor that Wal-Mart’s building a new store at Gettysburg.

            The Royal wedding ring will cost $11,000, but I’ve already got that covered. Two words: Cracker Jack. I bought a case, and although so far all I’ve found for prizes are little cardboard cutouts, confidence is high.

            The reception is budgeted at $600,000 – theirs, not ours. What, under a million? 1,900 people are invited to the ceremony, 600 to the after-wedding reception, and 300 of Prince Charles’ very closest friends will attend his little dinner.

            Not to be outdone, I’m inviting the entire population of Albion to our reception, which at 2,400 people beats the royal wedding, so there. The downside is, they’ll be asked to bring their own food. And drink. And silverware. And folding chairs. Just in case we run short of food, entertainment will be provided by me singing karaoke, which has been known to put people off their feed for days.

            Kate’s wedding gown was $434,000, which coincidentally is about the cost of a new fire engine. That being the case, rather than have the people of Albion pay for my fiancée’s wedding dress, I’m asking them to buy the town a fire truck and drive her from the church to the reception in it. With the cost of fuel being what it is, we might have to hock the dress to pay for the trip.

            The royal wedding cake: $80,000. That works out to $134 for every slice of cake. Eat slowly.

            We’re having a cake made out of Hostess Twinkies. Estimated cost: $22.97.

            Flowers? $800,000, paid for by the Queen and Prince Charles. Um, what’s their salary, again?

            Our flowers will be free! We’ll pick them up at about 3 a.m. the day of the wedding; if all goes well and no one gets shot, we’ll drop them off again at about the same time the next morning. Thus, it’s not theft; it’s borrowing.

            Finally, the Royal Wedding was to have a $64,000 cleanup cost, which sounds like a lot until you realize a million people were expected. Ours will be provided by the aforementioned fire engine: A 150 psi stream of water will clean up just about anything.

            I actually went over in the end; after factoring in the fuel for a half mile trip to the reception, our wedding budget topped out at $114, of which we have almost ten dollars saved. But this is the time for William and Kate to have the spotlight; we’ll outshine them later. For all the pomp and cost, in the end it’s two young people starting a life together – in that, we wish them the best of health and happiness.

            Besides, maybe King Mswati will sell a couple of peasants to pay for my reception.


Tags: column, emily, new era, slightly off the mark

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