Alexandra Jones has been to two weddings in her early twenties and both have given her the heebie-jeebies. Isn't just-out-of-university age a bit early to be tying the knot?
Picture the scene: a cold room above a pub in Kilburn, half-arsedly decorated (balloons, silly string, a few of those giant party poppers shaped like champagne bottles), a lacklustre DJ is playing the Grease Mega Mix. No one is dancing.
This could be the beginning of any episode of Silent Witness. And yet, it's a wedding, or rather the after party (is it called an after party? You know what I mean.)
Anyway, the groomsmen are getting in rounds of Jagerbombs whilst it's still happy hour, the first of which is downed to the dying strains of "Summer Nights". We all raise a tumbler to the bride and groom and that's pretty much it for the toasts. To clarify: this isn't made up, but was an actual, legally binding wedding, which was sort of the point because the bride's student visa was about to run out.
Family affairs notwithstanding, it is one of only two I've ever been to. At 24, I'm just at the cusp (or so I'm told) of that bit in life when all your friends start to get married and you spend every other weekend at a hen do.
To be honest, given that most of my friends are quite like me (i.e. a bit immature) I'm hopeful that I still have a few years until then, because judging by the two I've been to so far, weddings are best left to the grown-ups.
Don't get me wrong, I'm as big a fan of cake/public declarations of love/free bars as the next person. It's just that I think if you do it, you had better do it when you've settled into life, because it's only meant to be done once.
Your early twenties are for dying your hair impractical colours and snogging and sacking off the gym and dancing until your feet hurt and spending the money you should have saved to pay the balance on that gap year loan (seemed like such a good idea at the time) on vodka and going to gigs. Your early twenties are not for making lifelong commitments. I mean, even the thought of a 24 month phone contract gives me shivers.
The other one I've been to was a bit different. The bride and groom were devout Christians, the wedding was in a church and the party included a three-course dinner. I made polite chitchat with the bride's nana and when it was time for the first dance even shed a little tear at how deliriously happy the couple were.
Around the room, dotted between proud family members were the other twentysomethings, marked out by their slightly inappropriate wedding attire (leather dress, trainers, crop top).
We agreed it was great day, the bride was beautiful, etc. But as the wine flowed, we all made sly comments about how long it would last after the boredom set in.
The thing is, it's a few years on, I'm still no more mature and the couples are still together – still deliriously happy. So what do I know? Well, that I'm not ready to get married (and that's pretty much it).
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