It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man, in possession of his own faculties, must be in want of a wife. But unbelievably, there are some cretins out there who are NOT married yet! Can you believe it?! There must be something very, very wrong with these people. But, luckily, some of these simpleton singletons may have stumbled across this book, or perhaps been given it as a gift. This means, of course, that their life is transformed and they may well be getting married. And if you’re the person who gave them this book (and therefore are directly responsible for making them a Proper Human Being) then they may invite you to celebrate their wedding. Weddings can be beautiful ceremonies; they can also be nightmares made flesh. Here’s how to deal with the whole hideous/wonderful process of being a guest at a wedding.
When you receive your invitation be sure to read it thoroughly – it contains important information on things such as meal choices, directions, wedding gifts etc. Once finished, discard the invitation. Don’t worry about RSVPing – they just put that on because it’s traditional and it’s a bit French so it sounds posh. (It actually stands for Récupérer S’il Vous Plait, which translates as “Please recycle”.) It’s best to wait for the harassed bride or groom to ring you – this is what they would prefer, and it’s always nice to have a natter. When you do receive this call, a week before the wedding, don’t worry if you’ve forgotten the meal options, or to book accommodation – the happy couple will be overjoyed to sort all this for you, after all they want YOU at their wedding, not the other way around! Also, don’t be afraid to complain about the food selection, or to mention your newfound allergy to wheat/yeast/carbohydrates/air. Any dietary requirements should be mentioned as close to the day as possible – the couple will enjoy the challenge. Of course, vegetarians should keep their food choices to themselves; if a vegetarian option is included you should be grateful that your frail belief system has been acknowledged. Nobody cares that you’ve eaten goat’s cheese tartlet with a balsamic reduction at every other wedding you’ve ever been to.
If you do decide to RSVP, maybe out of boredom, be sure to omit vital information from your reply, such as your meal choice, or the fact that you intend to bring with you an elderly incontinent relative not included in the invitation. When selecting a gift, ignore any on the so-called ‘Wedding List’ as these are clearly presumptuous and will only include overpriced aspirational items way above the social level of the couple in question. Instead, have a flick through the Argos catalogue, or pop down your local corner shop and see what’s on BOGOF. A nearby motorway service station can also be a rich hunting ground. Everyone loves Now That’s What I Call Hits! 1990 on tape.
On the day of the wedding, don’t spend too much time on your appearance – the couple would rather you be comfortable, so feel free to rock up in some old trackie bums and your favourite holey band t-shirt. Ladies: if you prefer to go all out for special occasions, be sure to cake on the makeup good and thick – remember, there will be photos! Consider a spray tan and false eyelashes, and when picking your dress and accessories your mantra should be ‘must upstage the bride, must upstage the bride’. Ignore any times stipulated in your discarded invite – these should be taken as a guide at best. They were probably instituted by an uptight bridezilla with control issues. Instead arrive at the time most convenient to you. Be sure to take careful note of the two people at the front of the aisle – if you don’t recognise either of them, you may have arrived on the wrong day. Some couples like to hold a reception line – this is a chance for them to look down their noses at friends and family, who are required to simper about the beauty of the bride, the charmingness of the groom, and the awesomeness of the ceremony. Don’t get sucked into their game: instead, make barbed remarks about the appropriateness of the bride wearing white until you are escorted away to the buffet table.
Approach the wedding breakfast as you would the food on a cruise – you’ve paid for this meal in the form of your present, so you should be allowed to gorge yourself to your heart’s content. Many couples include table wine or even an open bar for their guests – you should approach these offerings with the gusto they deserve. Be sure to make plenty of toasts – drink long and deep to the health of the couple, the longevity of the marriage, the continued financial solvency of the caterers – the list goes on. Everyone wants their wedding to be memorable, and a visit from the police, ambulance or fire service can be just the ticket for cementing the big day in the minds of guests. It might even make the local paper – what an unexpected treat!
Additionally, it is a requirement of law that to become a bridesmaid a young girl must be single, desperate and unable to take her drink. In some counties, local government may also institute optional clauses about attire, which should be flouncy babydoll meets jailbait. It is considered bad wedding etiquette for a single male to leave a reception without making at least one attempted pass at a bridesmaid. If no bridesmaids are available, a member of the wedding party is an acceptable substitution. When selecting your target let the rules of the Serengeti be your guide: the young, old and physically/mentally weak present the least challenge to a full-blooded carnivore. Go get ‘em tiger!