Despite having entered the age bracket where reproduction is basically obligatory, and pyjamas by 6:30pm is socially acceptable, on occasion I’m still invited out of the house to celebrate the fact that two adult humans have opted to spend the rest of their lives together.
On Saturday (16th Feb), I was lucky enough to attend such an event. The bride? A friend from my sixth-form college days who (somewhat unbelievably) has chosen to remain friends with me despite my unending sarcasm and unsolicited opinions.
I’ll admit it – I love a good wedding. The romance, the nervous anticipation as you wait for the bride to sweep into the room, a day spent catching up and drinking with friends – and the inevitable buffet at the evening do.
I attend fewer of them these days with my list of unmarried friends getting smaller and smaller by the minute, but whenever I do, I’m always reminded of my own wedding day, which gives me a warm happy feeling; with the added benefit that I’m not obliged to appear in any professional photographs.
Being a married mother of two (cats) who doesn’t get out much, I came prepared.
Armed with a bag of Tesco’s finest ready to drink cans including gin and tonic, and something claiming to be a Woo Woo, I was ready to take on the day with gusto (and the following day with a hangover).
My chosen outfit was a Ted Baker dress I’d picked up in the January sales that was pure ‘fresh from the Salem witch trials’ realness, a pair of black, gut-restraining tights, and heels I’d picked up from Florence & Fred for an absolute steal.
I don’t dress up often, but when I do, I go for it.
The 50-minute minibus ride to the venue gave us the time we needed to catch up whilst sober and also allowed us time to predict the dance floor selection. It wouldn’t be a British wedding without cheesy tunes and, as we’d discover later that evening, there was enough cheese to bring a lactose intolerant vegan out in a rash from 30-feet away.
One thing none of us could have anticipated however, was that there would be a camera ready and waiting as our minibus arrived. Presumably because the happy couple had paid good money for a beautiful highlights reel of their wedding, and instead ended up with a panning shot of a group of 30-somethings from Warrington disembarking a budget minibus complete with a Sainsbury’s bag full of empty cans, two bags of Cadbury’s Caramel Nibbles, and a look of overwhelming shame.
The day was gorgeous from start to finish, from the décor, to the live pianist, to my friends dress, and the looks on their faces as they said their vows (sickening, eh?).
I can’t even blame the alcohol for all the feels I felt. The last tear-stained straw came when the time arrived for the speeches, and the bride’s father paid a moving tribute to his eldest daughter and new son-in-law – always a particularly bittersweet moment for me at any wedding (for reasons I’ll come to in future posts).
Plus, is it just me, or is there something great about when they serve chicken with something else stuffed into the middle of it? Food of the gods.
Add to this the fact that the mere concept of a trio of desserts is up there with shit they should hand out medals for.
By the time it came to the obligatory cheesy pop portion of the day (the evening do), I’d had enough G&Ts to be persuaded that taking a spin around the dancefloor to Cotton Eyed Joe was a good idea – much to my regret. Thankfully though, my inherent dislike of boy bands prevented me from ‘getting down’ to 5ive. Something I can’t say for another of my friends who was cursing her knees and her drunken self 24 hours later…
We also chose to write in the guestbook around 30-minutes before the party came to an end, which will always prove to be a mistake somewhere along the line. For context, the last time my husband and I did this, we ended up leaving a somewhat garbled message for the bride and groom quoting large sections of Alan Partridge straddled by a predictable ‘thanks for inviting us’.
Climbing back onto the minibus at 12:15pm, we felt old. There was no getting around the fact that we’d stayed up way past our bedtime, and a trip to McDonald’s would follow in the morning.
That being said, there was still time to belt out a group rendition of Eternal Flame to see us through the journey home.
My next wedding guest experience is in June.
In a glamping pod.
I think I’ll leave the shopping bag at home…