Weddings are joyous events filled with laughter, sentiment and memories. Pranks pulled by family or members of the wedding party sometimes provide the best memories, although they can also fall flat at best or offend at worst. Planning and preparation before the wedding day are important to ensure the joke will make everyone smile, especially the bride and groom.
Some pranks come before the ceremony itself. When ordering the tuxedo for the groom, order a second identical coat that will be either too large or to small. When picking up the tuxedo, switch the coats. Don’t give the groom the correct coat for as long as possible, provided it does not interfere with photographs.
Another good clothing prank is to have all the groomsmen dress in the uniforms of the bride's or groom's favorite sport, then don their more formal wear in time for the ceremony.
Traditionally the best man, maid of honor and a parent will make a toast to the happy couple. Use props such as a very large sheet of paper. Stand and unfold the paper as if you have notes written on it. Once completely unfolded, refold and use note cards for the speech, if needed.
Another joke is to give the speech in a foreign language and have someone use large posters with subtitles. Use this opportunity to ask, for instance, that everyone who has a key to the bride's or groom's apartment to return it. Include at least one elderly person and one pregnant person as well as many young singles to "return keys."
Traditionally, the vehicle used by the newlyweds to leave the reception is decorated to celebrate their new life together. Cans tied to the bumper to scare away evil spirits have evolved into a variety of more elaborate pranks. Fill the car with balloons, newspapers or bubble wrap. This will require some planning to get the keys to open the car. Put baby powder and glitter near the air vents so they will blow around the car. Use markers designed to write on glass to decorate the windows and wrap the car in plastic wrap so that the doors do not open. Fill the trunk with newspaper or balloons. (This prank requires pranksters willing to help clear any debris once the prank has been played, of course.)
Gifts are not usually opened at the reception, so there may not be an audience for any pranks with gifts. Enclose a gift in a sequence of boxes nestled inside each other. Alternatively, wrap a gift in duct tape, place it inside another box and wrap with traditional wedding paper. Or wrap several empty boxes with a note inside from fictional relatives.
Wedding pranks are meant to be funny and harmless. Do not pursue any prank that could be dangerous, damaging or offensive. Adding items to a gas tank to stall the car could cause expensive damage to the engine. Using shoe polish or permanent markers could damage car paint. Kidnapping a bride or groom and sending them across the country could cause them to miss the event. Telling offensive jokes or relaying personal information during the toast may not be funny. If there's any doubt about how appropriate a prank may be, don’t do it.
Based in Minneapolis, Dawn Marcotte has been writing for more than 10 years. Her recent writing has turned to nonfiction and includes articles on home and garden, education, crafts and automotive subjects. She currently has several eBooks published and available online. Marcotte has a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from the University of Iowa.