If you’re like me, once you got married you didn’t enjoy weddings nearly as much as you used to. You’re excited for the new couple, of course, but most weddings play out exactly the same. Dress up, ceremony, clapping, wait to be dismissed, give a gift, wait to eat, eat, dance, lather, rinse, repeat. The whole thing takes anywhere from 3-12 hours, and when you make it home you’re ready for bed. “Were we just at a wedding or were we playing competitive racquetball?”
My waning interest in weddings was the reason I created the CROME System back in 2002. I wanted a way to quantify a truly awful wedding experience and a way to celebrate a truly great one. And since wedding season is in full swing here in 2009, this feels like the right time to break it out.
The name of the system is the CROME Wedding Rating System. The ratings scale goes from 5-50, with a 5 being the absolute worst score a wedding can get and a 50 being the absolute best. Weddings are scored in 5 different categories, each worth 10 points.
C is for Ceremony (10 possible points)
Things to consider when rating a ceremony: How long did it go? How many songs are sung (is this a musical or a wedding?) Did they leave out your favorite ritual (unity candle, communion, etc.)? Did they employ your least favorite ritual? Is the room temp. comfortable? if outside, is the sun baking your skin so that you can actually feel the cancer spreading on your neck? Can you not hear the bride and groom? Did they start on time? and so on.
The best part about rating the Ceremony category is that you can start off with a 10, and then deduct points as you go through it. “Ooh, they went with the Parents Praying on Stage For the Couple…that’s a 2 point deduction right there.” or “Did the Best Man just pretend to not have the ring? That’s a negative deduction for overuse of cliche.”
R is for Reception (10 possible points)
Things to consider when rating a reception: Do they feed you on time? Did you have to wait for 90 minutes without food while the wedding party posed for pictures with an albino stallion? How do they handle the clinking glasses deal? Is there dancing? Is there a bar? open bar? Do they have a slideshow? Are there 5 dances everyone has to stand around and watch? do they smash the cake on each other or are they nice about it? Is there a garter involved? Did the bride hit the ceiling during the bouquet toss, taking the drama out of what should be a great moment? is the venue nice? Did we have to drive 50 miles to get there from the ceremony?
Important to note that the quality of the actual meal itself is not rated here. just the reception. The Meal will get it’s own score in a minute.
O is for the Others (10 possible points)
Things to consider when rating the Others: Who else is at this wedding? Are you there with a bunch of longtime friends? Are you stuck small-talking with aunts and uncles you don’t even know? Are you an outlier guest at a wedding where the only person you know is the bride or groom?Are the actual “Others” from LOST at the wedding? Is there someone you can’t stand at the wedding? Did you once date the bride or groom?
The quality of the guest list is very important, and should not be taken lightly.
M is for the Meal (10 possible points)
This is pretty self-explanatory. Was it good? Was there enough food? Did you have choices? Did they give you your salad with some cruddy dressing already on it? (i hate that)
E is for the Exit (10 possible points)
As in, how did they dismiss guests from the ceremony to the reception. This is often overlooked, but without question is the most underrated aspect of any given wedding.
The 3 most popular options are:
- Everyone is dismissed, the bride and groom will see you at the reception. (my personal fave)
- Please make your way out to the receiving line. (always takes longer than it should)
- We will dismiss row by row and hug each and every one of you so that those sitting in the last row will have gnawed off their legs by the time we get to them. (Not that I’m bitter or anything)
As with the other categories, rate the Exit on a scale of 1 to 10 based on your personal preferences.
On your way home from the wedding, while the details of the gala are still fresh in your head, score each category and add up your total:
50 points: This mythical score has never been achieved by a wedding in the history of mankind.
45-49 pts: This wedding was nearly flawless. It will probably the highlight of your year when you look back.
40-45 pts: You had a great time and would do it all again next weekend if you had the chance.
30-39 pts: It wasn’t the worst wedding you’ve ever been to, but for everything they did right, they did something wrong.
20-29 pts: If it wasn’t for one or two great moments, this wedding would have bombed. The highlight was when you left.
10-19 pts: This wedding was the reason advil was created. You wish you could take your gift back and have your memory erased.
5-9 pts: You drive home, burn your clothes, and never speak to the couple again. You refer to the wedding from then on as “The Event That Shall Not be Named” and spend the next 10 years in counseling.
So there it is, the CROME Wedding Rating System. Next time you’re bored at a wedding it will give you something productive to do. All I ask is that you post the scores of all your future weddings on your blog or here in the comments if you don’t have one.