I like a wedding as much as the next man or woman – and I should: I’m a civil celebrant. But there are certain ingredients that can contribute to making a wedding very forgettable (or, sometimes, for the wrong reasons, unforgettable!). So forgive me, if I moan a bit now!
I have been honoured to have been invited to present at some very distinguished and beautiful venues.
But I write as an Englishman. It may not be such fun – especially in our winter – attending a wedding at a mill in a remote spot. The Satnav can’t find it, and it has rained so much in the preceding days that the muddy access lane is only navigable for a 4 x 4. Which I don’t possess.
As a guest, it’s not unusual to find yourself thrown together at the service or during the reception with people you would not normally choose to meet. The conversation often dries up after each person has responded to the inevitable “How do you know the bride/groom?”.
Or, possibly worse, you get stuck with the person who won’t stop talking.
On the other hand, what if the seating arrangements throw you up next to somebody you already know and whose company is embarrassing – an old flame, perhaps?
I’ve had complete strangers whip out their phones and show me pictures of relatives I have no desire to meet. People have expressed right-wing sentiments that Gengis Khan would have hesitated to utter, and I have had to nod politely. I’ve come across some awful bores. And, of course, talking to me might have been the last thing my dinner neighbours would have chosen.
It’s a lottery.
Dancing and music
I can’t be the only person in the world who cringes when it comes to the dancing, can I?
It’s bad enough watching the mother and groom (say) dance, but when it’s the public’s turn, I confess that I really don’t want to. It’s likely to be hot in the hall, so that might serve as an excuse for not getting to my feet. But let’s be honest: my sense of rhythm is not impressive, and if I do dance, I spend my time assuming everybody is sniggering about me. Possibly paranoia, but that’s how I feel.
And then, if I have actually found somebody I want to talk to, I can’t do it because the music is too loud.
When I think about it, I’m not sure if I should be encouraging people to have weddings!