The Vicar is HMS Wedding’s compass through iceberg country.

My experience of weddings as Best man, Usher and guest have made me realise the importance of the ‘forgotten person of the cloth’ who can rock a wedding like a star or can be a fun sucking abyss of blandness. Here come some tales of the good, the bad and the fugly..

One vicar was as worn out as a seasoned Pendine Sands donkey at the twilight of summer. He looked like a feral version of Mr Noel Edmonds. His breath hung in the wind after every syllable like a slap of a new-born’s nappy to the face. His jowly neck and liver spotted paws told a tale of time ravaged by the stresses of endless Sabbath responsibilities, judging village fete chutney competitions and he would clearly welcome the reaper’s bony hand putting him out of his Ground Hog Day misery. He was robotically efficient in fairness. No frills yet we knew where we all stood. This category of vicar are to be appreciated as stress will be minimal. Just lay back, close your eyes and think of the green, green, grass of home.

The stereotypical jolly Vicar is still alive and preaching like a good’un. I once saw him getting stuck in an arm chair, no word of a lie. He resembled an over-sized garden snail with a reupholstered withered shell. He’s a total ‘all-star of the cloth’. On one outing I was an Usher/bouncer outside the church door pre-wedding and the vicar and I were chatting to the Bridal troop as they arrived and his concluding words to them as he opened the door to the eagerly waiting guests and Groom were “Okay ladies. Tits and teeth. Tits and teeth.” He’s the Michael Jordan of vicars. He put us all at ease and swaggered off down the aisle like a gigantic, sassy cherub. Back of the net…

On another occasion the vicar was flat out grumpy. His sense of humour was as dry as a nun’s nasty. The wedding rehearsal for me is a great time to put the Bride and Groom to-be at ease, to establish a positive environment and reinforce a tree of trust. When the vicar tells everyone to hush up and hurry up as he wants to get back home to watch the Ospreys rugby match on telly you know you’re treading water with your dad’s wellies on. I don’t think he was cuddled much as a bambino. In fact I don’t think Jesus even loved him at all. I would go as far as to say that the bearded illusionist probably thinks he is a bit of a plonker.

My favourite vicar experience came when I was a Best man. He was a ‘Fonzy’ of a guy. Reasonably young, he liked to sink a few bevies on occasion and he was not preachy in any way shape or form out of God’s man-cave. On the eve of the wedding I ran a few potential dodgy jokes past him as I knew he was attending the wedding day in its entirety. (See Best man speech example) One of which involved a hidden tattoo the bride had of a seashell on the inside of her upper thigh. Rumour has it if you put your ear against it and listen extremely carefully you could smell the sea. The vicar laughed and high-fived me. He was a scholar and a gent from the wedding rehearsal all the way through to the ‘Chicken Dancing’ wedding night finale.

In a nut-shell

If you land an easy going, all-star of a Vicar then savour every minute and count your lucky stars. I guess it’s kind of like learning to kiss when you’re young. Sometimes you’re going to bang teeth or chafe your lips with a brace and then you get a good kisser, post Cherry Drop and it’s plain sailing/smooching. Perhaps you need to experience an angry or crusty clergyman before you can truly appreciate a cracker. My only Yoda like advice would be “Patient and open you must be and a good chance of success you will have.”

As always if you’re a Best man, Groom, Father of the Bride, a Bride or Bridesmaid this year see ‘our services’ for speech writing.

Coming up

’24 Hours’ – 1 full turn of the earth on it’s axis. Most days blur into the other 364. Other days will be remembered until you gasp your last breath. The Wedding day through the eyes of the guys.

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