Tuesday, 26 October 2010

I hate weddings

I'm all for people getting married, if they want to marry each other. But a marriage ceremony (at least in the European tradition) is a very simple affair. It traditionally requires the couple, some witnesses, and some sort of official, and the conversation, with answers understood, is basically as follows:

  • Who exactly are you two?
  • What do you think you're doing? 
  • Are you sure?
  • Anybody else here got a problem with that? This is your last chance. No?
  • Do you hereby marry each other?
  • Right, then, consider yourselves married, and the rest of yous are not to interfere.

There may or may not be religious additions; I have no objection to sitting quietly and watching that part, although I'm not that keen on being expected to participate as a matter of course. But in my book, the meat of it takes about five minutes, or twenty-five with sitting everyone down and faffing about, and it should immediately be followed by some announcement functionally similar to this:
  • The food is this way, the drinks are that way, the dancefloor is over there, and the band [or DJ, according to budget] will be on in an hour's time.
Or, alternatively:
  • We are now going to the pub. Follow me.
Waiting around for five hours making small talk in a cold tent in the middle of nowhere without access to food or a cup of tea is not a party. And speeches, if any, should be after the food.


LimerickTango said...

Starter, soup, speeches (short and sweet), main course, dessert.

Saves the audience from nodding off in a postprandial fug and allows the nervous best man to actually eat something. Plus it gives the kitchen more time to figure out who is having beef or salmon.

Anonymous said...

I agree, which is why all of my weddings have been short and sweet! :)

I remember when I was six and my brother and cousin were with me for the longest wedding ceremony I have ever endured. It was a Catholic mass. Even the adults thought it was too long. Good party afterwards though! Plenty of booze and food.

Anonymous said...

You're absolutely right. The longest thing at mine was the signing of the register because everyone wanted pictures. Then straight to cake and down the pub for fish and chips. Best wedding ever.

msHedgehog said...

@Romney: quite. I admire your clarity of mind in putting the cake before the fish and chips.

David Bailey said...

The "hanging around for an hour to take the photos" bit is the worst. Mind you, the "30 minutes queueing for the buffet" is pretty bad too.

Why can't people organise a buffet queue properly? It's not difficult, just have two tables and / or allow people to access both sides of the table. Sorted.

ghost said...

Having spent the previous night and the morning keeping the groom calm, after the actual ceremony

"Right, you're married now."
"Yes :o)"
"Excellent. I'm going to sleep, I'll see you later."

Plain Jane said...

Totally agree. The Chinese (of whom I now have first-hand experience) do it better.
The bureautic aspects of matrimony are taken care before the main event in some obscure office. No ceremonials are involved nor friends and relatives inconvencienced.
And - here's a crucial element - those damn photos, taken to immortalise an event which actually looked nothing like these staged images - are also done separately from the main event, so that guests aren't left high and dry in some dreary venue, without a drink or something to eat, and with too long to wonder why on earth they bothered coming.
My son and new daughter-in-law had a delightful ceremony in a resaurant, beautifully presided over by an amateur celebrant. The business was conducted in Ms H's requisite five minutes (it took longer than that for the groom's mother and sister to wipe their eyes and blow their noses), then the couple and their 30 or or so guests sat down to a delicious five course lunch, punctuated now and then by three brief speeches. Perfect.

msHedgehog said...

@Plain Jane: Quality. That's how it should be! I looked at your blog, they are beautiful :)