- No strippers
- No nudity
- No Night before
As to Alan’s historical conundrum “Did Caesar actually live here?” The search for truth continues.
This is my account of my Best man experience number three for my legend of a cousin. Viva Las Vegas, you are a monumental slice of incredible.
Ta-ta Wales, hola U, S of A. Every one of my senses were titillated to the max by Planet Vegas. We landed around 9pm Nevada time, dropped our luggage off at the ‘Vdara’ and ‘The Wynne’ respectively and within half an hour I was attacking a ‘Half a yard’ of beer at Planet Hollywood like a new-born to a breast.
Everywhere I looked, everything I heard, tasted and touched was a little slice of “Wa-wa-weewa”. Just incredibly barmy and magnificent. I hit the ground scampering like a toddler at a Petting Zoo. Everything is so absurdly over the top that my little brain couldn’t keep up. Just to add an extra banana skin to the weak minded and easily influenced gentleman there are no clocks anywhere. Everything is bright 24/7 and I swear they must pump oxygen in as alertness levels were Meerkat-esque. The Cocktail Waitresses were hotter than a leather convertible car seat on a mid-summer’s afternoon. You are plied with free drinks as long as you are gambling. The question “Would you like a drink Sir?” to which I replied “You bet.” Grew thin on several Cocktail waitresses throughout my week. Oh well, when in Rome.
I spent three days livin la vida loca until the Wednesday lunch time when I crashed ‘Mr Magoo’ style half way through my Club Sandwich. My body’s internal switch was turned off faster than a male lover being called their father’s name during the throes of passion. After an extended trip to the ‘Land of Nod’ in my King Sized bed in my bedroom which had a glass wall overlooking part of The Strip, I was ready to attach the wheels back on to the wagon and have another bite at the Vegas cherry, just in time for the Wedding preparation.
The Stag Do consisted of a cheeky visit to Mandalay Bay to watch an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event. Not too shabby I might add. An electric atmosphere, gifted sports people and pints of Rum made for a ruddy ace experience. The ladies ventured to a Cirque De Soleil tumbling spectacular for their Hen Do which they loved too.
The wedding took place on the Friday in the Wynne’s wedding chapel. The atmosphere and environment were opulent and classy. The hotel wedding crew were so professional, stress free and tailored the day to the couple’s requests. The morning of the wedding was arguably the most chilled out wedding day preparation I’ve ever experienced. It was Makeover o’clock for the ladies while the Groom and I had a few steady tipples and played a little Roulette. The wedding was uploaded live on the tinternet so that the family could all watch it back home in the UK. My duties consisted of the basic formalities of looking after the wedding rings and making a congratulatory toast post wedding breakfast. Simples.
The only negative experience I had was that I got hit on a number of times each and every night by women who am not ashamed to say were solid 9’s compared to my ‘6 on a good hair day’. “Poor old you.” I hear you say. The conversations usually took the path of “I love your British accent” “Wow you must look after yourself” “Are you going to buy me a drink” to “So, I’m $300 for the first hour then $250 dollars for each additional hour”. They were ‘Ladies of the Night’ (or Ladies of the day, it was hard to know without a clock) If you don’t weigh in, you don’t Wrestle. I had no intentions of weighing in and my self-esteem was lowered no end. On numerous occasions I was nearly caught in a trap and by the end of the week I couldn’t tell if I was coming or going when talking to women. Were they ‘Painted Ladies’ or just tipsy hot women who were lowering their standards a tad? Eenie meenie miney ‘Pro’… One thing’s for sure, I had a suspicious mind with each and every conversation.
“You’re only supposed to blow the bloody wedding shoot.” Mr Caine offered his congratulation during the Wedding photos, no big deal. Top bloke.
In a nutshell
Planet Las Vegas is amazing. It comes at a pretty penny and if you’re not a drinker, gambler or appreciator of beautiful people then shy away from the idea. It’s a Stag haven. There is nothing you can’t do. The rule-book has been thrown out. In fact I would go a step further and say the rule-book has been buried in an unmarked shallow grave in the Mojave Desert somewhere. The Wedding Day experience was finely tuned, stress free and stunning. ‘Viva Las Vegas’.
‘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.
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.
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.”
Coming up – The history of the ‘Best man’ role. Sweeping a bride off of her feet, literally. Nobody likes a kidnap…
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.
’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.
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.
Next Blog Mother In Law
This debate is as contentious as what’s best, ‘radiator undies’ in the winter months or getting a cwtch from your mum after you’ve fallen off of your BMX in your primary years? Let the deliberation commence.
Argument ‘for’ tying the knot off into the wide blue yonder
I’ve been a lucky sausage and attended a hat-trick of overseas weddings. I’ve toasted to the happy couples in Brisbane, Jamaica and Las Vegas. Being a Welsh man, the sun is as likely to be seen in the sky as much as a vegetarian is likely to be seen in an abattoir. Therefore a wedding in more tropical climates than in Abercwmnosun is a guaranteed people pleaser. “The sun isn’t everything” I hear you old fashioned partisan traditionalists say. Well, when you have a Mojito in one hand, you’re perched on a seat in a pool up to your waist at a ‘swim up pool side bar’ and scantily clad beauties are frolicking around you then I beg to differ. Jamaica’n me nostalgic mon…
Another winner is that a wedding abroad in my experience has been as relaxed as a melted Choc Ice. Particularly in Jamaica. Our airport transfer bus driver on arrival was more laid back than a broken deck-chair. He was the most chilled out man I’ve ever encountered. It was fair to say he hadn’t ‘shot the Sheriff’, however he had most definitely blazed up a ‘Fatty’ while driving the bus. A cliff top wedding overlooking the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean was one of the most stunning weddings I have ever experienced. Yea mon.
If I could personify the Oz wedding as a Sheila, it ‘banged like a dunny door’. It was epic. Once again I experienced an outdoor wedding, this time overlooking a pristine golf course near Brisbane. The traditional free bar was a humdinger and with my pastey complexion I stood out like a Bull Dog’s balls. As soon as the locals realised I wasn’t a ‘Pom’ they gave me a fair suck at the sauce bottle and many a bond were formed. This provided its own uniqueness. Another benefit of a wedding in foreign climbs is that you can explore new and amazing sights. Home based weddings, as beautiful as they can be, can often blur into one another. A wedding abroad most certainly will not be forgotten.
Arguments ‘against’ flying the coop and keeping it gangsta in the hood
If you’re like me and you’re ideal temperature is 20 degrees Celsius, then being dolled up in your Penguin Suit while hotter than a mid-summer terracotta Otter in 30 plus degree heat isn’t the most comfortable of times. At least a home wedding provides a cooler climate so that you aren’t sweating like a Sumo Wrestler on a cross-trainer.
It’s more inclusive to all. Apart from a wedding gift the guests don’t have to cough up an arm and a leg for a flight. Also, you don’t have to experience great aunty Gladys unkempt foliage in a bikini if you handle your nuptials in your shire.
In a nut shell
On a foreign encounter you can contain your guest list to a chosen tight knit squad, so uncle Plonker and aunty Wassock can fall by the wayside and chances are you will not need your umbrella-ella-ella.
Getting married in your shire will keep the traditionalists happy and you won’t have to guilt trip family or friends into spending top dollar on a jet away. Your ‘It’s insanity if it’s not Christianity’ relatives will be happy that you may choose to do the deed in the big man’s house. Mo wedding guests mo presents..
As always take a gander at ‘our services’ if you require a leg up.
Coming up – Battle of the Bridezilla. “We’re gonna need a bigger Best man.”
I am going to share my adventures and the experiences that friends have had down the route of being an Usher/Groomsman. A ‘Parable’ is defined as – A story that is used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson. I can’t fathom a more appropriate explanation of the Usher’s role. Arguably, bar the speech, this is a tougher job than being a Best man. As the Best man chills at the alter grinning like a Cheshire Cat with the Groom on the Wedding day cwtched up on their cotton wool wrapped pedestal, the Ushers are getting their hands dirty on the front line. The Ushers are doing anything from Car Parking duties; showing the guests to their pews; acting as the last line of defence by the church door in case a volatile ex attempts to rock up; to shepherding the guests for photos; to acting as a peacemaker should any evening guests get a little fighty; to even cleaning up the potty should an excitable, petite guest try to chug two bottles of vino on an empty stomach in an hour and leave ‘Exorcist’ style projectile carnage in her wake. It was like a scene out of ‘Nam’ and not Chelte’nham’.
Last line of defence
The entire wedding expedition can be as unpredictable as a drunk Elk in an orchard long after apple picking season is over. If un-planned expect more cock-ups than in a Red Light District. If you are clued up on what is expected of you and are alert in case of any outlandish surprises then that will stand you in good stead. (See 7Ps blog) If the Best man is the Striker and in pole-position to score then the Ushers are the defenders at the back preventing any slippery attackers from hitting the back of their net. Initially you have the Stag Do juggernaut to contend with. The Stag Do (previous blog) can get unruly faster than you can say “Ow, that nipple tassel just hit me right in the eye.” Unless you’ve got a Best man who’s a total legend then be prepared to step up to the mark and help out when required. I’m not suggesting you do a ‘Donnie Brasco’ and snitch on all of the reveller’s shenanigans. I would suggest that if any ‘Loose Cannons’ (See blog) go Bat Turd loco then help the Best man out and reign them in a touch. On the Wedding week the best approach is to communicate clearly with the rest of the team so that everyone knows their roles. Weather that be directing traffic or ferrying around for last minute pick-ups at the Florists, Tailors and so on and so forth. If you avoid stepping up and taking on responsibilities expect to be as successful as the chat-up line “I like your eyes. Can I keep them?”
Too many bowls of ‘loud mouth soup’
On the Wedding day people are in the unusual scenario of being seated for an extended period of time, they’re dolled up in their best bib and tucker, have access to ‘free alcohol’ (to an extent) and are often seated with friends who they haven’t seen for ages. Inevitably some people will get excited. Enter Giggly Drunk, Tipsy Wipsy, Emotional Drunk, the Hulk Smash, Look at Me!! and the Projectile Canon. If you can go above and beyond and keep an eye out for the last three drunkard styles then you can avoid either separating fisticuffs, awkward moments or cleaning up the aftermath of projectile fine dining and ‘Time Travel Juice’. The most appreciated Usher involvement in my opinion is definitely if a guest plays the ‘Look At Me’ card. The Best man has a tough enough job with the speech so if someone heckles him in a menacing way it can be as awkward as Rain Man on a Speed Dating night. Be a metaphorical “excellent driver” and discuss with the other Ushers and Bridesmaids on a tactical pre-emptive strike.
In a nut-shell
Communicate with the Best man and Groom to make yourself aware of your expectations. Don’t get yourself stuck in a hole and try to dig yourself out. Get your ‘dancing daps’ on and live the Ushering dream.
Home weddings vs overseas weddings