Saturday, 11 August 2012

Marriage à-la-mode

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm as prepared to recognise changing social ethics, and embrace them as my own, as the next Archdruid. But today's handfasting was really hard work.

In the old days, there just used to be "Groom's Side" or "Bride's Side". But in this modern world, we had "Groom's side", "Bride's side", "Groom's ex-wife who still claims to be a friend's side", "Bride's ex-husband who kids himself he's over it all now's side" (right at the back - definitely safest). Then there was "friends of the Bride's ex-husband and the Groom's ex-wife, who are possibly thinking of getting together themselves", and "scarlet hussy who broke up the bride's last marriage by vamping round her now ex-husband's side".

The "Groom's 'friend' from a phase when he wasn't so sure of his nature as he is today" side was necessary, as well. Just the four of them, but they did a lovely "YMCA". And if you think that was inappropriate, at least it wasn't as bad as the suggestion that just the one of them could sing "Don't leave me this way". While the groom's long-term girlfriend from after his first wedding had to be talked out of her own solo - she was suggesting "It could've been me."

Finally, in a rejection of sexist tradition and patriarchal society, the Groom was given away by the bride's sister - we're not at all sure about the significance of that, and I wasn't going to ask. While the Bride had a "Best man", whom she selected from a parade of her former boyfriends. The Bride's Father, meanwhile, is an "item" with the Groom's Mother - and, since that incident with the discovery of the size-11 slingbacks, so is the Bride's Step-father with the Groom's Gran.

So all in all an open-minded, free-spirited, joyous celebration of the generosity of modern life. I'll give them six months.


  1. Sounds just like a normal wedding. When are you going to get onto the controversial stuff:

    1. Bride and Groom are virgins and have never lived together.

    2. Bride and groom have had a long engagement while they saved for a deposit on their house and to pay for their wedding.

    3. Bride and Groom are both, confirmed, communicants and regularly attend their respective churches.

    4. There are no directly descended children available to be bride's maids etc.

    5. Both sets of Parents have just celebrated their silver weddings without a cross word or trial separations.

    6. The Best Man is going out with the maid of honour (who is a maid) and they are planning to get engaged once he has plucked up the courage to ask her father's permission. Neither live together with each other or someone else.

    7. The bride and groom love attending wedding preparation and have no skeletons in the cupboard to spring on you at the last minute. A faculty is not required, and the Vicar's discretion is redundant.

    8. The reception is to be held in the Village Hall. The WI is making the cake and all villagers are invited guests.

    9. The brother in law who left home will turn up in his Uniform as an Army Veteran, fresh back from operations.

  2. You can't expect any of that sort of thing to enter into the preparations for marriage!

    I knew of one bride who chose as the wedding site not the church she and all her family had been baptised in, but one built in an architectural style much more to her taste than the 'old fashioned' one she was technically a member of. And then there was that wedding couple from another denomination who let it slip how coveniently the church was located, quite near the hotel where the reception was being held, so there wouldn't be partking problems!

    Wedding are now almost universally a reason for a big party that looks good in the photos.


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