How Do You Serve “Bowls of Cigarettes?”

Bowls of cigarettes

Me with some candy cigarettes that were not provided to me in bowls. Or even a single bowl. How rude!

Mary-Kate Olsen married Olivier Sarkozy last week.

Okay, cool. I don’t have beef with the Olsen twins, I actually like the oversized sunglasses and venti Starbucks cup-look. And the fact that he is about 17 years her senior doesn’t phase me either. Or that most days she looks about 13 years-old and he resembles the driver of a windowless van… well, it is their business.

But aside from curiosity about her dress and whether or not Bob Saget made the guest list (it was reported that he was not in attendance – how rude!) I didn’t give the wedding a second thought. That is, until I read that the couple provided guests with “bowls of cigarettes.”

No, seriously.

I admit, I have been quite sick with the flu since Friday so that may have something to do with my fascination with the ciggy bowls (as I have affectionately nicknamed them), but I am simply besotted with the possibilities of how this went down! So many questions, my brain is spinning (again, could be the flu). Let’s dig in, shall we?

For starters. How does this work? Just in general, how are they presented? When I got married I obsessed over every detail. I obsessed over how much I was obsessing. Guests were offered four different choices of fruit-inflused water as they walked in to the ceremony, ALL of which were paired with hand-decoaretd chalkboards  and presented on a serving table that combined 76 different ideas from various boards I scoured on Pinterest. And that was just THE WATER. And I am am guessing Mary-Kate’s wedding budget was about 637 times the size of mine. So I can hardly imagine how these ciggy bowls were presented… but I will try.

How about the bowls themselves. I am guessing these were some sort of crystal. Because what says “classy cigarettes” more than a crystal bowl? China bowls? No. Anything other than crystal just screams “trailer trash” to me, not to mention Heloise of “Hints from Heloise” fame (who pretty much knows everything) says you should always bust out the crystal when entertaining. And I’m pretty sure Mary-Kate didn’t get to where she is in life by ignoring the sage advice of experts. So let’s agree the bowls were crystal, shall we? Good.

Now then, were they served out of their packs (aka offered as a “loosey”)? That doesn’t sound very sanitary to me. I mean, who is going to smoke the lone cig remaining in the bowl that has, no doubt, already been touched by everyone who came before? So were they in packs? I vote for packs. Did each guest just take a pack? That’s so generous, especially when you consider the cost of a pack of cigarettes in New York City will run you nearly $13 (not a typo, I researched that ish).

Did the bowls contain a mix of brands and flavors? Or was each bowl designated for a single type? So if you really wanted a Parliament Light but were standing near the bowl full of Camel Crush did you have to wander around the room looking for your preferred Parlys? Hmmmm. That’s a tough one. I mean, who wants to walk around an entire room looking for a damn cigarette? I want what I want when I want it. That said, I am going to say that the bowls were a grab bag of options and were constantly being refilled by a cigarette butler who stayed mostly out of sight, except when stepping out of the shadows to add a new pack of American Spirits as soon as one was taken from this magical, seemingly bottomless bowl.

Was the wedding a BYOL (bring your own lighter)-type of event? I doubt it. Sure, they could have had personalized matchbooks made on Etsy (you can get anything made on Etsy… pretty soon you’ll be able to have an entire human being made on Etsy. I think.)  but that is so déclassé. Paper matchbooks? I think the new Mr. and Mrs. Sarkozy tied the smoking activity to their wedding favors. Expect to see some “Mary-Kate and Nick 4 Eva”-inscribed Zippo lighters to start popping up on eBay any day now.

Where did you ash? Do you think guests were encouraged to flick their cigarette ashes on the ground and then, as a wedding gift, Ashely paid to have the entire building bulldozed and rebuilt the following day (because, come on, who wants to clean that mess up?). Did they have ashtrays on tables? But would that require guests to lean down and flick? Um, no thank you, sounds like too much activity. I think the cigarette butlers had a complementary team known as the “ash squad,” which was really, really ridiculously good looking people who just stood around holding ashtrays.

What foods pair with cigarettes, you may be thinking… Silly question. Do you really think they ate food at this wedding? Eating… in public? No. Just no.

Now this is the one issue I am struggling with: the wedding allegedly had 50 guests and was indoors. Meaning all this smoking happened in a contained space. Allow me to digress for a moment here, trust me, it will make sense. I was a waitress in college during the mid-90s. At that time in California you could still smoke inside restaurants and bars. The restaurant where I worked had a smoking and non-smoking section and if you landed a shift in the former you came home reeking like stale smoke. Let be honest, if you even did a food run to a table in the smoking section you could guarantee your hair would need to be washed as soon as possible and each and every article of clothing you had on now smelled like smoke. Got it? Okay, now you get where I was going with that story… so given my personal experience with indoor cigarettes, what in the hell did the Olsen-Sarkozy wedding guests smell like at the end of the night? I’m guessing the scent was similar to a dirty ashtray. So… did guests leave with a gift bag full of shampoo and body wash? A sea sponge tied to a ribbon that has been screen printed with “MK + N” perhaps? At the very least I hope they received a gift certificate to an upscale dry cleaner to remove the stench from their party frocks. Maybe to that swanky dry cleaner spot owned by Dorinda’s creepy boyfriend on Real Housewives of New York City. 

I don’t know about you, but I feel much better working that all out. Now I can move on to other pressing issues, such as how soon can I renew my wedding vows and what line item should I add to the budget for ciggy bowls?


  1. ?
    December 1, 2015 at 10:13 pm


  2. Jamie
    December 2, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    4-EVA. Love it!

    • Becky
      December 18, 2015 at 2:18 pm

      Homemade tattoo-style! 😉

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