Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Jason's Guide To Wedding Day Etiquette

Absolutely knackered today. Last night was running a karaoke over at the Prince Of Wales. It was a good night. This is one of my regular venues, though it's unusual for me to work there on a Friday - back over there first Saturday in September. Although I got in at 1am, I am always wide awake when I get in from a gig so have to unwind with a glass of wine or two.

Anyway, after messing about on the internet for an hour or two I finally felt tired enough to go to bed by about 3am. Then the dreaded not being able to get to sleep routine started. It was just one of those nights where I was waking up every 20 minutes or so. Estimate probably had a grand total of about two hours sleep and absolutely knackered now. Fortunately children are behaving themselves.

As a sleep aponea sufferer there are times of day when I am frequently tired, early afternoon being one of them. When I have the opportunity I love nothing more than to take a catnap about 2 or 3 O'Clock. Even if this is only lying down for half an hour with a bit of light music it seems to rejuvenate me. Now having two small children in care makes this impossible, unless Claire is around, in which case I can indulge myself.

No chance of this today. We are going to a wedding. Lord knows what I am going to wear. I attempted to get into the suit I got married in - no chance. Practically burst the seams. That's what 3 years of contented marital bliss does for you. So I will have to try and find something else. Not that I particularly want to wear a suit anyway on the bus. Yes, that's right, we are travelling to this auspicious occasion on the S5. Reason being that it is being held in the centre of Oxford in the pedestrian zone. And my experience of the Park and Ride is forget it, what's the point of travelling to Pear Tree, paying to park and then getting on a bus? Might as well get one direct from Bicester. And travelling on the S5 in full morning dress might attract some odd looks.

Anyway, the ceremony is at 2pm, right in my sleep window. I must try and stay alert - and not do what Mr Bean did in the famous church sketch. This wedding is being held in Corpus Christi college so will probably be a bit of a posh do. I doubt very much whether they will have Sky Sports - Newcastle vs Arsenal kicks off at half five.

A few years ago I went to a wedding that was being held on the day of a crucial quarter final in the European Championships. It wasn't their fault, the draw had just put England's game on that afternoon, many months after the wedding had been planned and organised. Unfortunately they had decided to hold the reception in the Highfield Club which was showing the game in the bar next door and when the time came to do the speeches, half the guests had mysteriously disappeared.

Now my advice to all attending weddings, is that you must try and maintain a sense of etiquette, and behave well at all times. Therefore I have prepared a little cut out and keep guide for such occasions with a few hints and tips. Cast your eyes over the following 5 questions and think whether you would answer a) or b) to them.

1) After the registrar has explained the procedure and asks if there are any questions, what should you say.

a) Nothing

b) What won the 2:00 at Newmarket?

2) A waitress approaches you and says "Would you care for a canape, sir?"

a) "Mmm, they look nice, thank-you"! (NB: if you take a bite and don't like it, there's bound to be a plant pot nearby where you can dispose of the rest).

b) "Not particularly. Haven't you got any sausages on sticks"?

3) In the middle of the best man's speech you are checking your phone to keep up to date with the Arsenal game when you see that Walcott has scored. Do you?

a) Smile quietly to yourself, feel chuffed and take another sip of champagne.

b) Leap up and shout "GOOAALLL" "Get in!". Then sit down again.

4) The DJ is playing a few oldies early on to get the grandparents dancing. They seem to be enjoying it. But you're not. What do you do?

a) Appreciate that the DJ is there to entertain everyone, and he'll play a bit of music for everyone during the night.

b) Go up to him and say, "what's this shit mate? Haven't you got any drum 'n'bass. I used to be a DJ so I know what I'm talking about".

5) The bride's mother recommends the prawn vol au vents on the buffet, saying they made them themselves. It's quite a hot day and the buffet has been on display an awful long time. What do you say?

a) "They look lovely - but unfortunately I've got a shellfish allergy".
b) "Dunno about that. How long have they been hanging about"?

6) A dreaded relative (one of those you actively go out of your way to avoid) approaches and starts to embarass you in front of your wife/ husband by regaling everyone with tales of how you used to take your nappy off and leave it on next door's step and various other embarassing tales from yesteryear. Do you?

a) Humour them a bit, try and take it all in good spirit even though they have been taking the piss out of you for the last 35 years, consoling yourself that with a bit of luck you won't have to see them again for the best part of a decade.

b) Finally pluck up the courage after all these years to tell them to **** off, therby sparking a huge family row, and then make the situation worse by making glib comments such as "just like Christmas this, isn't it?"

Let's see how you did:

Mostly A: Congratulations. You are the perfect wedding guest. You know correctly how to behave and handle all social niceties. A credit to your family and friends.

Mostly B: Well you aren't going to get invited to many more weddings. On the plus side you'll have a few amusing anecdotes to relate in the future.

Right then, better go and get ready. Want to leave in plenty of time so we can stop off at McDonalds on the way.

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x x Jason

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