The Worst Wedding Ever. Fact.
You arrive at the ceremony alone because your boyfriend of ten years has only been invited to the evening. The two people you do know are hopefully already inside. You are handed an order of service which is 48 pages long and a small part of you dies inside. You briefly consider dropping to the floor and commando crawling out before anybody sees you.
The service does, as feared, drag on for over two hours. There are hymns, poems, sonnets and even a few skits, all with a smattering of judgement for anyone not practising the particular faith in question. Despite the length of service and level of detail, the lady running the show proceeds to get the groom's name wrong on EVERY. SINGLE. OCCASION. You should be appalled but it actually keeps you entertained whilst you stare into the abyss of time you will never get back, and, momentarily distracts you from your increasing desperation to wee.
Finally it’s over; you sprint past the happy couple to get to the loo at the front of the venue. Upon exiting you are met by scores of people standing around waiting for something. Where are the drinks? You are told that we are to wait here and mingle while the newlyweds have some photos taken in the neighbouring field with a herd of cattle. ‘It should only be about 45 minutes, so not too long’. But….but where are the drinks?
Next, agitated, thirsty and still friendless you are herded onto a coach; your heart lifts a little in the hope of some exciting journey refreshments. Instead you are handed another programme, which is basically a brochure full of photos of the new Mr and Mrs in every phase of their lives since birth. The lady next to you – Anita - senses your discomfort and hands you a packet of mini cheddars from her enormous handbag. A sacred bond is formed that can never be broken.
An hour and a half and four bags of mini cheddars later, you arrive at the reception with a mouth as dry as cotton wool. The bubbling resentment for the happy couple is at risk of boiling over when you are at last handed your first drink of the day…warm, yellow wine. FFS.
The venue is enormous, making the two coach loads of guests instantly disperse and seemingly disappear. Having necked the not very welcome drink you are desperately searching for a refill but are politely informed that if you require another beverage you must purchase it from the bar, which is about a 40 minute walk. You locate your two friends, who are thankfully cut from the same cloth, and you prepare for the long journey, motivated by the lure of chilled drinks and the rumours circulating about canapés.
You arrive to a ridiculously long queue and a sad looking table of empty trays. It’s almost 5pm and you have had nothing to eat but toast and mini cheddars. A lone waiter is walking towards the kitchen; panicked and delirious from starvation you rugby tackle him to the floor and demand a canapé. He starts to cry but through snotty tears declares he may be able to find half a mini Yorkshire pudding in the bin, which you graciously accept.
You finally get to the bar as they pull the large shutter down and inform you that it’s time for the wedding breakfast. ‘There’s plenty of wine on the tables…..’. %$#!
Quick table plan check shows you're sat at the back of a very large, very cold conservatory. All the groom's friends are on one side of the room, and the bride's on the other, separated by a dance floor the size of a football pitch. You know literally no one on your table and after 45 seconds of introductions it is clear that there is zero chemistry. This will make things awkward later when you are forced to huddle together to conserve body heat. There is at last a bottle of wine, probably meant for the entire table, but you are beyond giving a shit by now and calmly pour the contents of the bottle between all three of your allocated glasses. Despite highlighting your vegetarianism, you are presented with a large slab of meat. Being British you say nothing and politely eat the rock hard potatoes and wilted lettuce and drink your remaining warm wine.
Then it’s time for speeches, usually your favourite part and in this instance a chance to check that you’re actually at the right wedding, given your distance from the top table. However, for some ridiculous reason there are no microphones so you have to strain your ears to hear anything at all. You just about make out the best man revealing that the bride has slept with practically everyone here (except the groom, tonight’s the night, apparently), followed by the blissfully unaware (deaf?) father of the bride talking about how much the wedding has cost him.
Then the lowest point of even the best wedding comes – the wait for dessert. The wine has run out, the bar is not open, the conversation is dead. You’re a bit squiffy from hogging said wine so you decide to spark up a conversation with the lady on the next table, who you mistakenly believe is Anita from the coach. Her expression is confusing given your sparkling wit and existing (albeit fleeting) relationship but thankfully you are rescued by your friends who have been told that the bar, whilst still in a different postcode, has now re-opened. And so it begins….
The next few hours look something like this: mainly male guests standing at the bar where there is no music or entertainment. Mainly female guests standing around the edge of the empty dance floor where there are no drinks. The bride and groom are fighting in the only linking corridor over the best man’s speech revelation and the father of the bride is standing in the bar banging on about how much money he has, whilst buying no one a drink. The evening guests are let in en masse and resemble 35 startled rabbits in headlights. It's dark, they are frightened and crippled by indecision over which direction to run. Bar or dance floor, BAR OR DANCE FLOOR?
Your boyfriend sensibly opts for the bar and rather than welcome him with open arms you immediately demand he buys you a drink as you’ve run out of money. Oddly he’s not thrilled by your greeting, perhaps due to the two hour drive to a wedding he was barely invited to.
You hear whispers of cake cutting and beige buffet but by the time you get there it’s all over. The bride is gyrating against the best man on an empty dance floor whilst the groom inhales both a Marlboro red and the congealed remains of a baked Camembert. Realising the day peaked at the first warm glass of wine, you and your boyfriend, your two friends and the real Anita from the coach decide to get a taxi back to your hotel, via KFC, and have a party of your own.
Disclaimer: This is a fictional account. Any similarities to real weddings are purely coincidental. Obviously.