Coming down the M1 on Sunday after waking up in the freakish non world of one of the endlessly repeated rooms of a Travel Lodge, I cursed my age and that of my friends. Getting to your thirties means two things, your conversation veers inevitably towards house prices despite all your best efforts and all your friends get married. It’s at times like this that you realise just how many friends you have compared to your partner i.e. not that many, and you start to judge them on how much you are willing to spend on seeing them get hitched and boy, do they getting hitched in droves. This was my third wedding of the year and the second in two weeks. Two weekends had taken on that slightly fraught quality that going to a wedding will give a weekend and in my slight delirium I’d started comparing the wedding parties outfits and quality of the favours at the two events. This was not a good sign.
Both events were lovely, of course. I’m a great believer in weddings and no matter how bad you personally might think any of it was, the two people at the centre of the event probably think it’s the best thing ever, so you should forgive them anything. Actually, the two wedding I attended were great with excellent lamb appearing on both menus as mains, which kept me happy until the wedding buffet turned up. I can’t resist a good wedding buffet.
Personally, I can think of nothing worse than inviting all the members of my family into a room and trying to feed them. It would be a fucking zoo with far worse table manners and high expectations. Luckily, most people have better behaved families than mine, so all the events I have attended lately have passed off without a hitch. Apart from the intended one, of course.
I’ve been on both sides of the wedding catering debacle on more than one occasion. I’ve been silver service waiter, chef and barman and I have witnessed my fair share of car crashes. I catered a wedding where we laid out all the food on tables on a stunning Saturday afternoon, only to watch it all get washed away by a sudden monsoon about fifteen minutes later. Literally washed away onto the floor. I was a waiter at a wedding party where nobody spoke through the entire meal, the only sound that of clinking cutlery. Yet another where the social divide between bride and groom was amply demonstrated by the mother of the bride playing the spoons in time to the string quartet, whilst the grooms family looked on in horror.
Wedding’s are so fraught with danger that it’s a wonder everyone just doesn’t get hitched in registry office with two Thai waiters from the restaurant next door as witnesses (yes, I know a couple who did it). One false move and you’ll offend vast swathes of family. Get the guest list a touch wrong and you find yourself nursing an usher with a fat lip and black eye. Misjudge the vows and you’ll have half the congregation vomiting into their hats. I’m perennially amazed that people take them on. But take them on they do and I think I still have a couple to go to this year. One features a hog roast in the evening. Now, that’s a wedding feast I can get with.