Avoiding Nuptial Banana Skins & Party Fowls…

Wedding day faux pas and easily avoided school boy errors.

I have had the pleasure of being a wedding day and party guest on several occasions. I’ve been an Usher six times and a Best man on four others. Touch wood I have not experienced any Titanic moments where I wished the ground would swallow me up like a hungry ‘Hungry Hippo’. I have heard many a tale of wedding disasters and have personally experienced a few comical antics along the way.

The number one common wedding faux pas seems to be the ‘Umpa Lumpa’ scenario. The Spray-tan is a pit fall for both the Bride and Groom. Homemade Mary Berry style Apple Crumbles or Chutneys are terrific ideas; homemade D.I.Y Spray-tans, not so much. A dodgy Spray-tan on a regular day is bad enough. A dodgy Spray-tan when the Bride is wearing a bright white dress and at the centre of everyone’s attention where there’s a photographer who will capture the day for your and future generations to come is a Greek Tragedy. On one occasion I witnessed a wedding guest who got so ultra-tanned they resembled a creosoted Garden Shed. Needless to say a profile picture or selfie did not appear on the tinterweb for them on this occasion.

Weather can be a wicked and cruel mistress, or a Bunny Boiler if you will. I know wedding days that have dotted across the whole meteorological spectrum. A sweltering 35 degree Celsius Jamaican wedding (see home v away weddings blog) was hotter than a Prom Queen’s loins which resulted in my khaki linen trousers and salmon shirt combo being wetter than a Beaver’s Dicky Bow tie. In contrast another wedding was in Wales in the winter and we had a heavy snow fall. It made for a beautiful scene and the wedding pictures are immense. The marquee was a tad parky away from the heater and this gave all the more reason to get my Beer Coat and Cider Visor on and generally cut some shapes and get my groove on to maintain body heat. The most spiteful of all possible weather situations on a Wedding Day is the rain. This will flatten hair dos and cause make-up to run faster than patient’s efforts at the Premature Eculation Unit. It also affects the female guests too…

Another factor in rocking the gallant wedding boat is the captain of the ship, The Vicar. This guy or gal is the puppeteer of the day or the Jim Henson if you will. If you’re fortunate enough you will have a Kermit, if you’re unfortunate you could end up with Miss Piggy. I can remember a certain chap who made the wedding party feel as comfortable as Colonic Irrigation (See Vicar Blog) “He was impatient he was unkind, he was envious, he was rude, he was self-seeking, he was a penis” – Corinthians, alternative testament.

A common wedding faux pas that I have heard often is the failure to launch. Either the married couple are too exhausted, their cheeks are hurting from the hundreds of photos and their adrenaline supply has perished; leaving Captain Todger unable to salute. Or the couple are too sozzled resulting in Captain Todger retreating to live to consummate another day.

The biggest wedding disaster I have ever heard of allegedly, occurred in a galaxy far, far away, many moons ago. “Cringey afternoon for sure it was.” Master Yoda may say. The wedding was apparently a grand military affair as the groom was a serving soldier. The wedding ceremony apparently went off great guns, the meal was lavish and delicious, then came the speeches… Apparently the Groom stood up for the opening speech, raised the microphone and uttered these earth shattering words “I would like to make a special thank you to my Best man for keeping my wife’s bed warm while I’ve been over in Iraq.” He dropped the mic and sauntered out of the venue like an absolute legend. Boom!! Good old karma, there’s no hiding from her.

In a nut shell.

Best of British to you. You can’t control the weather, the Vicar, an adrenaline crash, a Best man-slag or a morally challenged Bride. You can control Captain Todger. Go steady on the pop and you can give the Bride a royal 41 Gun Salute and consummate like the virile champion that you are.

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.  Have a look at some of our previous speech writing blogs

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‘Wedding 24’. 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.

21:00 – 00:00 Wedding Day Eve/Lock Down

In my experience this goes one of two ways. Either the Groom to-be is contemplative, reserved and a tad pensive or they as reckless as a one legged, drunk Rodeo Clown. The latter is tricky to reign in. The last thing you want is a hung-over Groom so you have to have some restraint yourself and have a clear plan of attack. Where you’re going? How you are getting there and back? What time you are getting back to HQ? Having a big boy sleepover helps to keep the precious cargo in check. In ‘Alan Partridge’ styley; draw the metaphorical gun from the holster, knock the safety catch off, make sure there’s one in the
chamber and move and fire, move and fire. The Groom is disorientated by the clarity of instruction, the next thing he knows he is being bundled into a waiting car and escorted back to HQ. Mission complete.

08:00 – 10:00 The last meal as a free man. “Walking the mile”

What is your primary objective? By anyone’s minimal expectations you are to ensure that the Groom is stood at the altar, copusmentus, without an odour of vomitus, not blubbering like a teenage girl who has been on redial for an hour unsuccessfully trying to buy 1D concert tickets and in a calm and collected manner. To initiate this goal I would suggest a hearty breakfast as this could be the last opportunity to fuel up for several hours. Nobody likes a ‘fainter’ or a Groom’s stomach growling above the vows like Lassie beside an open mine shaft.

10:00 – 12:00 Preparation and briefing

Make it absolutely crystal clear to the Groom to-be that you appreciate that he is at an overwhelming crossroad and assure him that they have no idea how far you are willing to go to acquire their cooperation today. Especially if ‘Mr Cold Feet’ comes a knocking. Even if he is as wild as a caged nymphomaniac at a Jelly Wrestling Party you need to adhere to protocol and stick to your game plan. Don’t embrace too much down time, keep the ball rolling so that there’s no time to dwell on the inevitable and keep busy. Arrange for the Ushers to meet you so that you can all get suited, booted and dolled up. It’s imperative that you have the wedding rings in a safe place as the only thing you have to succeed in is to arrive with the Groom and the rings.

12:00 – 14:00 Establish contact. Target engaged        

Pre-arrange transport to the church/wedding venue prior to today so that there’s one less thing to remember. At the venue, accompany the Groom up to the altar and let the formalities take their course. You’re approaching the End Zone and can almost smell the Jaegerbombs, almost there.

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14:00 – 16:00 Initiate Speech. Go time…

If you adhere to the previous speech blogs (previous speech blog) and are adequately prepared then you will swagger through the next few hours. Once completed, drop tools at sundown after a hard days graft on site and blow the froth off a few well deserved barley pops, kick back and take some time to smell the roses. Touch Down and End Zone celebration boogie.

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16:00 – 21:00 Make hay while the sun shines brother

Your responsibilities are done and dusted. Joint operations will cease to exist on the same level as the days prior to the vows. The cake cutting and first dance will take their course. Sometimes this can be tough to take, as a new contact has taken over now, ‘The Wife’. They will represent the Groom on all their future endeavours and you will disappear more and more in to the shadows. “You are out of time.”

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.  Have a look at some of our previous speech writing blogs

Coming up – The history of the ‘Best man’ role. Sweeping a bride off of her feet, literally. Nobody likes a kidnap…

Battle of the Bridezilla. “We’re gonna need a bigger Best man.”

My numerous Wedding day ‘coordinator’ roles tend to arouse curiosity. The minute I tell people that I’m a Bride Wedding Negotiator (BWN), they want to know what it’s like to talk to people who are flirting with absolute desperate scenarios that could de-rail into a crisis at any second.

Since I was 22, friends, family and onlookers have encouraged me to jot down my chronicles over the last decade of working within such intense pressurized combat zones and share the lessons I have learned in convincing unstable people to down their weapons and surrender peacefully. I have gathered intelligence and established protocol in bargaining approaches, high-risk taking, crisis negotiating and evacuation procedures.

The Bridezilla is what is known in the trade as a Catastrophizer. They can be very unhinged, erratic and can explode without warning. Alone, they can be managed with tact (avoiding additional stress such as ‘not’ sharing the Stag Do stripper war stories of the Groom), by using positive language (the power outage with the knackered Marquee generator will only add to the ambiance), managing emotions of the Bride (exiting stage left), having contingency plans (Spa days, Chick flicks, “Look over there” and any other possible distractions.)

Having a strong and reliable Task Force around you is the best form of advice I can offer. If you have patience and creativity within the Task Force of people around you and the collective willingness to ‘do whatever it takes’ to diffuse the stress bomb that is the Bridezilla; then you are as ready as the maiden cliff top flight of a Barnacle Goose chick. The usual suspects are the Groom, Ushers, father of the bride and anyone who you would trust with your last Rolo. It’s of the up-most importance to adopt the patience of William Wallace. “Hold. Hold. Hoold. Hooold. Hoooold. NOW!!” Then chop the target down like the ‘Warrior Poets’ you are.

The Bridezillas of the wedding world are few and far between. You are more likely to come across a Bride who is a legend for 99% of the time and then when you least expect it their meticulous plan will hit a pot-hole on the road to the big day and you will have a ‘Wild Cat’ on your hands. (Don’t promise anything you can’t deliver and save the Groom to-be like you’re diving on a rogue grenade to save him.) The Bride’s I have had the pleasure of being a Best man or Usher for have been totally chilled, minimal stress and we’re still talking to this day. ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’. Be prepared, stay safe and if in doubt, stop, drop and roll.

As always take a look at ‘our services’ if you require any assistance.

Coming up – Best man experience number two. Speech highlights of a fun-packed, free reigned crack at the Best man title.

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