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Sarah gives an overview of the book:

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...Of course, the color of your bride's wedding dress will not be called "marshmallow" or "igloo," and I strongly discourage you from using these names in any sentence that also contains "wedding," "dress," "bride" or "nylons." Just to be safe, don't use the word "marshmallow" in conjunction with anything involving your fiancée. Actually, maybe you'd better just forget the word marshmallow altogether.

The color of your bride's wedding dress likely will be named after something that brings to mind delicacy: "china," "antique," "ivory," "bone" (think collar bone, ankle bone, or the bone of a petite bird; DO NOT think "dog bone") and "candlelight." Whatever you do, don't call The Dress "white," unless you want to remind her of the Xbox 360-coveting man you are.

At this point, you might be wondering with increasing anxiety how to describe the color of your uniform. If her clothes have fancy color names, yours must too, right?

Now, go get a pen and paper because you'll want to write this very important information down.

Whatever you do and no matter what you say, it is crucial, for the sake of a happy wedding and possibly a happy marriage, that you never forget the color of your Navy uniform, which is white. Yes, white. Your type of white doesn't have a special name, which is a subliminal way of reminding you of your virtually unimportant role as the groom. At this point, the ceremony could actually take place without you, so long as the flowers match the bridesmaids' shoes and the bride's earrings complement the buttons on her dress.

To be perfectly honest, when it comes to your attire, no one would even care if you wore the same suit you wore to your high school graduation, because no one, except maybe your own mother, will be looking at you on your wedding day. The photographer will take dozens of pictures of you with your groomsmen, and you might, for a brief second, think this elevates you to the importance of the bride and her bridesmaids. But you will soon learn when it is time to choose photographs for the wedding album that the first pictures to be eliminated from consideration will be any that (1) include your goofy friends and (2) don't include the bride.

So, to review, her dress will look white, but it will be called something else – something feminine and delicate. Your uniform will look white, and it is white, but that is absolutely unimportant and beside the point.

By the way, to get back to the original reader's question: That’s exactly what I would tell the bride.

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Note from the author coming soon...

About Sarah

Sarah Smiley is the author of Shore Duty, a syndicated newspaper column that reaches more than 2 million readers weekly, and of the memoir GOING OVERBOARD: The Misadventures of a Military Wife (Penguin/New American Library, 2005). Her essays have also been published in...

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