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General Articles

Wedding Guests

Wedding Guests: Old, New, Borrowed and Blue

Still recovering from the British Royal Wedding? You have a few days remaining to hone your coping skills before the Monaco version kicks off. Much like the experience of Christmas, the whole 'wedding thing' either leaves you exhilarated, or searching for your passport. The vicarious aspect of weddings- helped today by our old pal 'the media' - catapults the traditional custom of rice-throwing and polite waving at the church into the stratosphere.

The modern ritual provides new and curious activities; barely conscious men on stag tours of previously unruined European cities. Swathes of semi-clothed young women ( the young ones are ok, it's the more mature ones, ladened with fairy wings which induce tears) falling off their heels in the departure lounge (I saw it happen), and much more besides. It's all a long-way from the pagan-esque tendency to dance around an important piece of ground with daisy-crowns, pointing at your chosen beloved, although every bit as rowdy.

The most curious of new beasties is the 'wedding planner', which - a friend corrected me - I thought was a new type of Filo-fax, but is, in fact, a person. I had always believed that planning the wedding was, in fact, the key objective. The event itself is usually an anti-climax, but the years-months-weeks run-up usually provides acres of unscripted amusement; insufficient dresses for the number of bridesmaids, vapour attacks at the church rehearsal (not always the women, in one case, the vicar), reckless amounts of coronation chicken, un-filleted haddock starters (almost killed the wedding breakfast guests), one heart-attack (survived) and, my personal favourite- a combustible table-decoration which, put in close proximity to a scented candle, went up like a space-rocket. I wrongly applauded, mistaken that it was an imaginative end to the best-man's speech. I was rudely pushed out of the way by concerned hotel staff brandishing fire-extinguishers. The post-reception disco was a dull follow-up to the conflagration, and I left dissatisfied (except for the table-decoration incident). One guest fell into an orchestra pit, saved from injury only by his drunken state- apparently he was so 'relaxed' that his body acted like a water-bed and he hardly bruised.

The horror of being a bridesmaid still lingers. Unpossessing of an attractive derrière ( à la Pippa Middleton), I found the role required too much responsibility, especially on the day. I realised too late that it was, in fact, I who should be calming the nerves of the key players and keeping a stiff upper- not requiring large amounts of support myself. The ultimate trauma however, was felt by one of the four-legged guests (why people involve their pets is beyond me). I discovered the poor mite shaking with post-wedding relief on his owner's bed, still wearing his over-sized carnation, kindly pinned to his collar.

These days I restrict my role entirely to hat-worry. If invited to a wedding (rarely now), I adopt a 'busy-busy' refrain and become anxious about appropriate head-gear, rendering myself unqualified for anything more serious.

That being said….all good wishes to the Monaco wedding party - no great pearls of wisdom to impart, save for……..please do not decorate the dog?

Woof! Woof!

Thursday, 26 May 2011    Section: General Articles    Author: Julia Moore
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