Considering its romantic intentions, a wedding can be one of the most stressful experiences of your life.
If you’re a single person, they are a stark reminder of just how single you are. If you’re part of a couple, it’s either another tightening of the vice like pressure of arranging your own matrimony and if you are already spliced, you’re furious at how much nicer this wedding is than your own.
But it’s worst of all if it’s your own wedding day. Why? Because your guests ruin everything, they’re the worst. Around two months into the planning, you’ll wish you’d eloped to Anglesey after all.
1. Seating plan Where to seat everyone has more political charge and potential for disaster than inviting Vladimir Putin to a summit in the back room at G-A-Y.
Exes don’t want to sit near each other, your family hold grudges over arguments involving people who are now all dead and your single friends will badger you to seat them next to someone hot and eligible.
All you want to do is relocate all tables but the top one to “the sea” and let them battle it out with the waves.
Guaranteed: at least 50% of the people coming to your wedding have bitched about what to get you.
Ask for money and you’re a grasping mercenary who’s out for all they can get.
Have a wedding list and it will be pored over by your so-called pals, all outraged by your choices. “What the hell is a cow-patterned egg whisk?!” they will spit, over the course of hundreds and hundreds of emails dedicated to slating you for your materialism.
If you ask for no presents at all, your friends hate you even more because they think “Well we have to turn up with something!” They will all show up with a Dualit toaster (the cheapest one, not that really cool one).
Fail to specify any present rules or gift lists, of course, and you will be blamed for leaving everybody clueless. And they will all arrive with that bloody Dualit toaster again.
3. They bitch about the venue
Either it’s too far away or it’s too boring or it’s been done before or it’s too tacky or it’s not nice enough or it’s too posh or it’s too rough.
Guests are all smiles to your faces, but once your brocaded lacy back is turned they are piling on the snark about the wedding favours – “Almonds in netting, how very 1996 wedding reception in a working men’s club” – or whingeing that the staff aren’t topping up their prosecco quickly enough.
4. They bitch about the cost
If you dare to have your wedding more than 10 miles away from where you grew up, you are in line for endless jeremiads from your so-called buddies.
It’s the greatest day of your life and they’ve had about a year’s notice and yet still your social circle will complain about having to pay for a hotel room or buying a train ticket to witness your nuptials.
It’s not quite clear why people do this. Perhaps they expect you to throw your head back in girlish laughter and say “Well, if you like, I can cover your expenses as part of the wedding. What’s a dangerously strained credit limit between friends?”
Of course, you could always point out that they are perfectly within their rights to refuse your invitation – they’ll immediately say they wouldn’t dream of missing it. Then they’ll bitch you out for guilt-tripping them into coming. You can’t win. Go to Gretna.
5. Free bar
Another no-win. Have a pay bar at your wedding and you’re “tight”.
Have a limited free bar which converts to pay bar after a certain amount of time and you are unwittingly letting your friends know the exact state of your bank balance.
And have a totally free bar and your mates will, without question, rip the piss.
They’ll harangue the bar staff to give them triples, grab three beers per person at once, and slur “just leave the bottle” every time someone who even vaguely looks like a waiter passes them.
The best revenge is to introduce a really complicated voucher system that entitles them to a certain number of drinks in impossible combinations so they eventually give up and go home. Hand them a Dualit toaster as they leave.
6. They will get too drunk
Only pregnant people, former alcoholics and that auntie who is determined not to have a good time don’t get wasted at weddings. Everyone else you know and love will mortify, horrify, shock and sadden you with increasing severity.
You daren’t drink too much yourself because eventually the event manager or wedding planner or maitre d’ – or whoever it is that’s fleecing you to coordinate the whole shebang – will approach you and hiss that one of your guests has done something illegal.
7. They will ruin the photos
You should write at the bottom of every invitation that anyone doing the following will be sent to look after the children’s table:
Bunny ear fingers behind someone’s head
Comedy hand hanging out of trousers like a penis
Same as above but someone pretending to fellate or shake hands with it
Pretending to take bridesmaid from behind
Pretending to be sexually attracted to the vicar/priest/celebrant
8. They will heckle the speeches
Someone always does.
9. They will mention your exes
10. They won’t turn up
Every wedding has somebody who says they are desperate to see you get married, so you accommodate them, wrestling with table plans and agonising over the cost of one more meal and all the wine they might consume.
You’ll never see them again. Their empty space at the table starts to look like a pile of burning money as you watch their meal be laid out forlornly, going cold.
You can hear another button popping on your bank manager’s shirt even from all those miles away.
11. They will shag your brother
Always. If you don’t have a brother, they will probably hire one, just so they can shag him.