Weddings are about the wonderful and very special union between my stomach and free food. My main goal as a guest of your wedding is to try to eat and drink at least as much as I spent on your present. If you’ve just turned 30 you’re in the right place, as this year a lot of your friends are going to get engaged, so welcome to my guide to weddings.
Weddings take a long time. Make sure you have lunch beforehand and for those with Bear Grylls tendencies, pack a small carb-based snack to take with you. Drink water whenever you can, wear comfortable shoes and eat whatever food is presented to you. It’s a wonderful day, but also a bit of a survival situation. Eat the bread roll. Yes, the dried out, rock hard bread roll, eat yours, and eat any spares available to you.
Upon being seated, chat to your table mates. The standard conversation opener is “How do you know the bride?” There’s a weird hierarchy that forms around the table about who’s closest to the bride. “Oh you worked with her back in her admin days did you?” said with a tone of superiority, is a clear attempt to trump you in the who-knows-the-bride-better playoff.
Clearly you’re all on table 11. You’re nowhere near the river view, or any family members so don’t flatter yourself too much.
Weddings are alternative drop, which means you’ll get chicken, the person next to you will get beef. At a wedding is the only time it’s completely acceptable to ask a stranger if they want to swap meals with you.
Wear something that’s easy to get back on after a visit to the loo, not too many straps, belts or buttons. Also, never forget that every bride is the most beautiful bride ever. Of course factually this isn’t true, the most beautiful bride was probably Katy Perry or Princess Mary, but keep that under your hat, weddings aren’t the time for home truths.
A successful wedding reception hinges on good speeches. From my experience there’s three types of speeches. There’s the awkward, overly prepared, rehearsed in the bathroom mirror speech, complete with one liner jokes copied straight from the internet. The groom’s “cool” uncle or the bride’s second best friend from high school will often read this speech. In the majority of cases, these speeches are hard to listen to, either because the microphone is held too far away from or too close to the speakers mouth. Just enjoy your bread roll politely while this speech is happening.
Next up, it’s the drunk brother speech. This speech can go for anywhere between 20 seconds and 14 minutes. The key features of this speech are the gentle swaying of the speaker from side to side and the phrase “raise a glass to the newlyweds” will be said at minimum of six times. Recently I heard the following at a wedding during a drunk brother speech, “Pete thought Lisa was a real snob when he first met her … sorry wasn’t I meant to say that?” No you weren’t, but you can’t be held responsible for your actions, by now your body has more rum in it than blood. Finally, there’s the grandparent who waffles on. Another family member ever so gently taking the microphone off grandma, hugging her into submission and away from the public address system usually resolves these speeches.
Ah weddings, I can’t wait ‘til I’m proposed to. I hope it’s soon. I need a new toaster.
As originally published in The Courier Mail