Ever wondered what men really think about all the pomp, ceremony and debauchery of weddings? Will Gore spends his summers dreading table plans, making smalltalk and dancing to Kings Of Leon covers (and he's got quite a bit to say about it...)
I'm a bit like Liza Minnelli: I have a weird face and have been to lots of weddings. Where I differ from the old dear is that, as far as I'm aware, I'm not a gay icon. Also, as of yet I've only ever been a guest at marriage celebrations, rather than regularly appearing as one of the betrothed.
In the last couple of years my wedding count stretches to about 25. By anyone's standards that's a ludicrous figure. I've been to so many weddings that it's starting to feel like I've been convicted of a terrible crime and am doing a weird form of community service as recompense.
If there's one thing I've learnt from my wedding days is that for all the originality people try to bring to their special occasion, there is only so much that can be done to make it unique. Weddings are essentially all the same.
There's the ceremony at the centre of everything, of course. Be it Church of England, Catholic, Hindu, or a Civil service, they all get to the same point, just at different speeds. Personally, I favour the civil ceremony because everyone's in and out nice and quickly – the McDonald's drive thru of wedding services, if you will.
No matter how much bunting you put up in the marquee, receptions follow a pretty similar format too, with the speeches, food and small talk. I've engaged in more small talk than the chattiest hairdresser and my heart jumps for joy in a way that's probably not healthy whenever I check a seating plan and find out I'm sitting with mates - people who know who I am, what I do for a living, and whether I've come far.
And then there's the music. Or more specifically, then there's the Kings of Leon. From wedding to wedding, whether it's DJ or live band, I've now heard Sex on Fire so often that I feel like one of those Guantanamo prisoners who has had the same song played to them on repeat in an attempt to break them. At this stage, I'd probably admit to the Kennedy assassination if the question was asked mid-chorus.
You might not believe me, but I don't wish to sound ungrateful. I actually love my family and friends very much, and it's been an honour to go to so many of their weddings. For the first time in my life, I'm not being sarcastic. So despite the moaning, I must now confess, plenty of good times have been had by all, myself included, along away. It would be churlish to deny it.
Highlights have included, in no particular order and in a range of combinations; Scottish dancing, snow, prawns wrapped in Parma ham, running out of petrol in the middle of the Isle of the Wight, neat gin, a Vegan buffet, punch-ups, Take That lyrics, crying, pan-pipes, fireworks and rubber ducks.
Ah, reading back through this lunatic list is making me smile. Wedding number 26? Bring it on.
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