'The Marriage Ref'

tvpartyw509.jpgIf you're married, you've ever been married or you ever plan to be married, there are a few simple truths that you need to be made aware of: 1. Love don't pay no bills. 2. Whether it be prenups or postnups, you need your 'nups. 3. 1-800-LAWYERS (true, they don't handle divorces, but they do litigate traumatic brain injury cases). And while love may, in fact, be a many-splendored thing, marriage sometimes needs referees, such as Tom Papa of The Marriage Ref, airing Thursdays on NBC. He's not always right, but he's smart enough not to give his wife any airtime on the show to prove just how wrong he really is. So if you know married couples and want to have some fun at their expense, call 'em up because we're throwing a Marriage Ref party!

Setting the scene:
Ask any married man, and he'll tell you the problems with any marriage start with the wedding. It's not so much that the couple don't love each other; it's that they've spent $100,000 covering a room in taffeta and feeding people they don't like. So let's re-create that joyous moment by decorating in wedding chic: rows of folding chairs, a personalized aisle runner that says "Oh, no," 20 honeycomb wedding bells, white ribbons and bows, a wedding trellis wrapped in fake ivy and white silk flowers with two wedding chairs where couples air their grievances and ask for a ruling. (Give them one minute each to tell their sides before the crowd renders a verdict by show of hands). Hire an ordained minister to be on hand in case any couple want to renew their vows during a commercial break. Invitations should tell couples to come prepared with their favorite argument topic.

Attire:
Guests can come as they are, but when they take to the Wedding Trellis of Justice, have a large wedding dress (slit down the back for easy egress) and a tuxedo jacket and bow tie (both from a secondhand store) for the couple to slip into.

On the menu:
Jordan almonds wrapped in lace doilies, vegetable and deli platters, and a small wedding cake with individual bride and groom cake toppers with their backs to each other.

On the hi-fi:
Love and Marriage by Frank Sinatra, If You Want to Be Happy by Jimmy Soul, It's Gonna Work Out Fine by Ike and Tina Turner, I Cried All the Way to the Altar by Patsy Cline.

The showstopper:
Niagara Falls, N.Y. - It's been a hot spot for lovers since long before the Iroquois invented slot machines. So why not shift the shindig to the Seneca Niagara Casino Hotel, just minutes from the famous falls?