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4 out of 10 on the road – a gate-crashed wedding and why it’s better than being invited

Submitted by on July 1, 2009 – 2:25 pmOne Comment

bride_groomThe day of the wedding arrived. Now I am one of those people who simply don’t get invited to weddings. Perhaps it is because I am a “Billy no-mates”. Perhaps it is because after two failed marriages, people believe I am a jinx to a happy life. No matter though as my last minute arrival allowed me to attend the wedding of a well loved cousin. I don’t know what I expected. I suppose I had a thought that the registrar would call out the wedding vows in English and then in Welsh (much like the road signs). It seems not though as the ceremony was fairly traditional. I don’t quite know what I was expecting but I was sure to at least witness greater use of slang from the registrar, music from Mamma Mia and a donkey or two. Thankfully this was not the case and a traditional ceremony was welcomed by all.

There are certain benefits to arriving at a wedding uninvited. The fact that I looked semi-smart in a dodgy pair of suit trousers, a Dennis the Menace tie and a shirt that hadn’t seen an iron in 2 years didn’t seem to bother anyone. This was due to the fact that everyone expected me to turn up in jeans and a t-shirt. I think they were surprised that I tend to plan for such events (you never know when you’ll get the chance to crash a wedding).

So there I was, in my comic style tie feeling very hot (bit of a heatwave going on in Britain at the moment) whilst a relation of the groom called out when the audience was asked if anyone had any objections to the marriage. He didn’t have any lawful objections. He just thought it was amusing to call out when asked. Now call me old fashioned but when you are attending a wedding you are invited to witness a legal and fairly serious event (which would account for some of the stress involved). Weddings are not for attention-seeking relatives to try and fail at jokes in an inappropriate place.

The audience included many divorcees (somewhat cynical of marriage), a few wannabes (those who wish they were getting married) and the leeches (basically those who just came for a free meal). For the record I am more of a cynic than a leech as I like a good wedding but am painfully aware of the high divorce rate. No matter though, as I would wish anyone bold enough to get married, a long and happy life.

Roll on a couple of hours and we subsequently arrived at the reception (a local pub) and it became clear that of the attendees, one half of these were serious drinkers. Whilst I was enjoying the lovely food on offer and the chance to be whinged at by my grandparents for not coming to visit regularly, half of the group were propping up the bar in the hope that drunkard paralysis came quick and fast.

Why is it that some people are just seemingly natural public speakers? Make me stand up in front of a crowd and start talking and very few audible sentences will come out of my mouth. I lose focus, start shivering and have the overwhelming urge to check that my clothing hasn’t fallen to the ground every five seconds. I have tried visualising people naked but that distraction makes me lose the subject I should be focussing on. I only mention this because the groom (a good 10 years younger than I) stood up and for a relatively shy chap, spoke confidently about his thanks to everyone attending. Likewise, the father of the bride stood up and again spoke with a confidence that I am in awe of. In comparison, the best man spoke how I would, by using fill-in words such as “er” and “um” to such effect that you’d think the Bride’s name was “oh, er, Tan”. I am aware of digressing from the roadtrip here but I cannot believe how others can simply pick up this life skill whilst I continue to struggle.

This has also been seen in videos that 4 out of 10 have produced. Confident and calm when not on camera (or audio recording), I become a gibbering wreck the second the “record” button is pressed. This question sat in my mind for a full 30 seconds before I tucked in to the very tasty lemon cheesecake on offer (the best distraction for ). I’m still not sure as to why anyone bothers with a dessert when there is wedding cake but there is no point in complaining when you’ve been on a diet of tinned food for the last two weeks.

It seems that the most interesting event from the wedding was missed by yours truly as two minutes after I left a small but emotional fight broke out (groom side). I still don’t know why anyone would want to fight anyone. I have what can only be described as a “Rimmer complex”. I.e. when I witness any conflict then I find a very quick exit and walk away (only sometimes do I run). Is that being cowardly or simply trying to avoid the unnecessary use of physical violence to resolve a problem when a conversation will usually do?

So there we have it. A wedding where you aren’t invited to is simply the best way to go. If I had been invited, better attire (on my part) would have been expected, I would have had to bring a present, my hair would have to be cut, more thought would have to be put into the seating arrangement (because inviting one person usually means including more of their close family). As it was, I witnessed two people in love and from different family backgrounds celebrate a union whilst half of the audience became very drunk and the other half talked and talked and talked. Naturally I was sitting in a corner witnessing it all. Good luck to Tan and Gary and I hope that in your first year of marriage, you’ll only ever remember one bad day amongst the many good ones. After all, life is about subtle happy moments in time that you keep with you throughout it. Much of the petty arguments and upsets soon get forgotten along the way. Keep what is important (the very reason you married in the first place) and remind yourself of it each and every day.

Image Credit: ~romeo-popa

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