Sunday, 15 January 2012

Wedding (un)fairs

I’ve just returned from a wedding fair that was held in the venue where myself and my betrothed will be wed come July. And I’m exhausted. Maybe it was naïve of me to imagine anything different, but proposing (and the rather wonderful acceptance of said proposal) opened a door into a world I had no understanding of, and no inclination to discover.

You might have thought that as a guest at innumerable weddings, and having witnessed first hand and up close and personal, the stresses and strains of friends who’ve been through it, I would have some sort of handle on what actually occurs.

No. No I didn’t.

Venue, food, drink, accommodation, invites and who to invite (and who not to), music, registrars, insurance, flowers, cake, decorations, table plans, place settings etc are not the individual things I thought they were. Every one of them opens a door into a seemingly never-ending labyrinth whereby every specific issue unfolds endlessly like the evil product of a sadistic origamist.

Who knew that choosing the flowers for the flower girls and the bridal bouquet had such a catastrophic knock-on effect on the flowers for the tables, foyer, cake, buttonholes – and by extension the colour of the seat cover ribbons, the napkins, the suit I’ve yet to buy begrudgingly from Moss Bros. (Don’t get me started on the shoes, what’s wrong with the ones I have?), all in all it’s a nightmare.


Despite the expense, the worry, the hellish logistics, and the endless discussions on exactly what type of fruit we need to compliment the cheese board, I can’t help feeling that it will all be worth it. Every confirmation of attendance from friends near (Bristol, Warwickshire, London) and further afield (Australia, Texas, South Korea, Rome) brings a tinge of joy. Another tiny piece slots into place and as momentum builds and the juggernaut gathers pace I know it will be fine, my friends and family, and my wife-to-be will see to that.

And so, even though the glass may feel half empty right now, in the depths of wedding paperwork at the end of another dog-eared winter’s day, come the day I’m strangely confident that the glass will be completely full. Until I drain it in a toast to my new wife and stare out a sea of faces that we’ve brought together to smile and laugh and celebrate, and for a few hours cast off the worries and woes of this strange world we call home.

Just read: A Sunday at the pool in Kigali by Gil Courtmanche
Reading: A time of gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor
Listening to: Cuckooland by Robert Wyatt

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