DING…DONG… the church bells are ringing. Get your tissues, and finest headwear ready…we’re talking weddings!
The Wedding, a ceremony where people are united in marriage. Family and friends come together in matrimony, to celebrate the beginning of their loved ones married lives together. Every wedding is unique in its own way. Whether it’s a traditional western ceremony or a plate-smashing Greek fiasco, weddings are a part of life.
Some girls (and possibly boys…) dream of their BIG DAY, way before they have met the love of their lives. In fact, some people had their future weddings mapped out since they were knee high to a grasshopper. Picture the scene; the little girl humming the wedding march, draped in her mother’s finest table cloth, in her make-believe wedding to…a stuffed penguin! Being the ultimate tomboy, I didn’t really fit into that mould. In fact, I wasn’t all that fussed. As I swung from tree’s and made mud pies, I could never envisage myself EVER getting married!
However, we can’t be mud pie making, dirt-magnets forever. We grow up. When you meet the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, ANYTHING seems possible!
Love them or Hate them?
I must say, I very much sit on the fence with this one. I have been to few weddings in my lifetime, only a handful in fact. Some were good, some were bad, and others were just plain UGLY.
I was only three years of age when I was forced into a peach dress (That’s right, against my own will!). It resembled none other than an oversized meringue. I was pushed reluctantly down the aisle in this hideous attire. I tried so desperately to hide behind the legs of my mother, too ashamed to be seen in such a monstrosity of a dress. As the entire church turned around and cooed at the walking meringue, it all got too much and…. I wet myself *Blushes*. I was scarred for life. I can’t even look at a meringue, without breaking into a sweat and hyperventilating!
I guess romance didn’t really enter the equation when my husband casually asked “seeing as your dad is dying, should we get married?” I knew his heart was in the right place, and immediately said “Yes, of course”. I would like to say this all happened in a romantic setting, be it on a tropical beach, or under the moonlit skies…Nope, it happened in a busy shopping centre in Exeter, just outside Mothercare, if we’re being precise.
The proposal marks the beginning of the couple’s engagement. It’s a big step up on the relationship ladder. Suddenly, we have this big sparkling rock on our finger and we feel ‘all grown up’. Some people fly their future fiancées off to romantic destinations to pop the big question, whilst others barely get down on one knee. The majority of the time, the answer is “YES, YES, YES”…other times, it’s a “You better get that ring out of my face, and ask me properly next time!”. For those of you who passed with flying colours, you feel on top of the world and ready to embark on your journey towards marriage.
Choosing the Maid of Honour
One of the most important jobs a bride-to-be has to make is that nail-biting decision of the Maid-of-honour title. Likewise for the groom-to-be, when he has to face handing over the verdict of BEST man. This can provoke a mini-war in itself. You’ll find an extreme case of ‘sucking up’, in the months leading up to the wedding; tea and toast in bed, paid for lunch dates and gifts on the doorstep! Behind the sweet gestures, it’s a different story. The bridesmaids battle it out in a game of “who can kiss the most arse”. Ultimately, you know this isn’t going to end pretty, and so you anticipate breaking the news to the one that ‘didn’t quite make it’.
“Are you sure you’re okay?”… I ask, my hands sticking to the phone.
“Yeah, of course…” the bridesmaid reassures me, a fraudulence in her voice.
She thinks she has hung up the phone, but I can hear her screaming “BITCH, BITCH, BITCH!”, whilst tearing her house apart, in the background… I guess, I made the right decision.
There is almost always some form of jealousy or resentfulness. You can see it in the catty exchanges, the tone of their voice, or the fact that they are TAKING EACH OTHER OUT on the croquet lawn. My Maid-of-honour was my best friend from childhood. She did the job perfectly, fighting off any resentful bridesmaids and keeping me calm before my big day!
My wedding day arrives, and not even my M.O.H could keep my feathers unruffled. I didn’t have the chance to transform into BRIDEZILLA during the planning stage, and thus, it had bottled up inside. Come wedding day, the cork went POP and I became the ultimate BRIDEZILLA. People daren’t cross my path, as I fired orders left, right and centre. “That doesn’t belong there! Move it at once!” I demanded. Egg shells went CRUNCH, and I’d snap, bark and screech people into, nothing other than, quivering wrecks. One glass of champagne later, and Bridezilla was no longer.
Everyone breathed a sigh of relief…
It’s only natural for the bride-to-be to get her ‘zilla’ on. Her wedding day will be one of the most important days of her life. Of course, she wants it to be perfect. If this means, pissing everyone one off in the process, then so be it! However, it’s important to reign in the inner ‘Zilla’, prior the wedding. We don’t want any ‘snappy’ turtles ruining the big day… and that includes the bride!
Time was against my husband and I, we only had 6 weeks to prepare our big day. Unfortunately, my dad passed away exactly one month before our wedding. Shortly before he died, he gave me his blessing to go ahead with the marriage, and so we held the ceremony in loving memory of him. It was my way of saying “Dad, I’m going to be looked after!”
As one could imagine, the wedding planning was HECTIC. Fortunately, I had a great deal of help from my family and friends. One of my bridesmaids took her role of ‘wedding planner’ very seriously. She burst through my door, bulging folder in her arms, crammed with a thousand and one ideas! I looked at her as if to say “You’ve had this for quite some time, haven’t you”. Single, and desperate to be married, she took great pleasure in helping me create my perfect day…or shall I say ‘her’ perfect day.
Preparing a wedding is not an easy operation. It takes a lot of thought and care. My husband and I, had never argued so much in our entire lives. “Can we have an Arsenal themed wedding?” he’d ask, in all seriousness. “No, we f***ing can’t” I’d screech, ready to take my OVER-SIZED wedding folder to his head! Not forgetting the mammoth task of finding the right dress…because IT NEEDS TO BE THE RIGHT DRESS!!! After trying on every dress in the shop, we finally find ‘the one’ and, *Cue the tears*, we burst out from our dressing room curtains, to reveal how beautiful we look. Mother is inconsolable, and the bridesmaids just coo and coo, and keep on cooing.
“Okay, I know I look incredible, but just stop!”
So, we are almost bankrupt, but it’s okay because we will have an AMAZING wedding to show for it. Years, months or weeks (in my case!) later, and we have planned our weddings to the very last detail.
Let the countdown begin…
Get your tissues at the ready, for there is always a weeper! As the organ begins to play its melodic tune, out pop the tissues and so the inconsolable cries begin. Once one person starts, another person follows, and another. The snowball effect takes over, and soon there is a whole ceremony of wailer’s. If it isn’t the sound of sobbing, it’s the sound of baby screaming at the top of its lungs. The parents are mortified as half the church turn around and give’s them that awkward smile. Grumpy Mildred in the corner, tutted in disgust. As the baby is rapidly swooped off out of the ceremony, the cries are replace by the THONG SONG ringtone. The guilty culprit glows red with embarrassment, and the bride gives them the LOOK OF DEATH. The vows are taken, and the bride and groom kiss…and kiss, and kiss, and… “Okay, somebody stop them, please!”
I always dread the reception. All that small talk, along with the awkward silences. How many times can one ask “So, what do you do?”. I am a socially awkward person at the best of times, so these kinds of events really make me sweat. I mop my brow with a napkin and hit the bottle of rosé. Two glasses later, and I’m EVERYONE’S friend.
Even the overweight uncle, eating more than his share of the wedding buffet. The doggy bag comes out, and in goes the lemon meringues. Memories of my flower girl misery come flooding back, so I make my excuses and leave.
Suddenly, the doors spring open and that unexpected guest rocks up. The bride’s face is a picture of utter disgust, as she hastily mouths “who invited them?”, to her troublesome wedding planner. These unwanted guests are usually the ones which cause the most trouble. You’ll be sure to catch them swinging from the chandelier, or smashing up your wedding cake, at the end of the night. Rowdy wedding guests aside, the singletons begin to show their face. They may as well be wearing an “I’m single” badge, as they throw themselves at the opposite sex (or same sex, in some cases!). They groan about how “everyone else is getting married”, and how the “clock is ticking”. If you tell a guy you love him the first time you meet, you’re probably going to remain unmarried for quite some time! I think, watching these desperado’s fight a lost cause.
After brushing off the over-friendly cousin, I staggered drunkenly over to congratulate the bride. Wine in hand, it can only result in disaster, as I not only trample over the bride’s dress but SPLASH red wine over it. As her ears begin to blow out steam, I feel its best I go…
As I grab some fresh air and take in the beautiful scenery, my eyes zoom in on a rowing couple. There is almost always a fight, a wedding isn’t a wedding, without some sort of dispute. At my own wedding, we had to break up a pair of squabbling lesbians in the marquee, one of which stormed off and never returned. Whether it’s a lesbian with a bee in her bonnet or the sleeping grandpa in the corner, there’s always one that doesn’t make it to the end of the night.
“Wake up grandpa, it’s time for the speeches!”
As grandpa wakes from his afternoon nap, we all quiet down for the speeches. Or shall I say THE BATTLE OF THE SPEECHES! For the next hour, we watch the Groom and Best man, reducing their audience to tears, laughter and joy. No joke is left unturned, no love poem forgotten. It’s a close shave, but the best speech has to go to…. The Best man. Who just happened to bring up something wildly inappropriate about the Grooms not-so-PG-rated first date, the room goes silent as the tumbleweed goes tumbling by.
The first dance
I will never forget my first dance, nor will my husband’s toes! I was so DRUNK by the time our first dance arrived, I couldn’t co-ordinate my dance moves. My husband held me up into place, whilst we danced for what seemed like an ETERNITY. It’s the same old story. The slow dance comes on and the couple awkwardly dance, longing for everyone to join them in their discomfort. That is, unless they have spent the past year rehearsing the choreography for “I’m having the time of my life”, complete with lift. Let’s face it, this could be a recipe for disaster; one miss calculation and your wife is flying face first into that wedding cake.
At the end of the night, more alcohol is consumed and we hit the DISCO. You can be sure to see lots of ‘embarrassing dad’ dancing. There’s always one that think’s he’s got “those moves like Jagger”, but the caterpillar proves him wrong and is rushed off on a stretcher. If it’s not dad-dancing dominating the dance floor, it’s the girl that drank her own weight in alcohol, and now has legs of jelly. “Someone fetch that girl some water” we yell, as her face turns from white to GREEN!
My favourite disco experience was at a Greek wedding (minus the plate-smashing) I joined in the Greek locomotion, and then participated in a dance off; the Brits vs. the Greeks….The Greeks won, hands down!
At the end of the night the CHEESE is cranked up a level, inhabitation’s are lost and we find ourselves doing the Macarena.
Through sickness, and in health…
Through drunkenness, and rowdiness…..
I DO…. love a wedding!