Wedding Learnings

My big sister Jessica got married to Graham Simpson last week in the Lake District. She is now Jessica Simpson. Here are some Wedding Learnings.

If the bride is a badass businesswoman flying high on the crest of a going-global entrepreneurial tidal wave, and not very ‘weddingy’, it helps to have a Mum who is a badass events-organising behemoth. While this entails power-struggles between two bright, assertive ladies, it also means Brilliant Wedding on the cards, and that’s what we got.

Family Weddings are a novel way to find new ways of infuriating your mother. One is to move to Dubai 6 months beforehand.

Another is to get ‘relatively tipsy’ the night before, and tread a stiletto-heel-shaped hole in the 300-quid veil, which is then discovered 3 hours before the wedding

Fixing the hole by sewing heart-shaped lace on it does not necessarily fix it but does make a ‘funnee story’ the entire congregation knows about before the service thanks to a blaspheming mother

My brother Ben is exceptionally good at chauffeuring over 30 international guests around the Lake District without grumbling, and generally being a charming optimist throughout

Optimism pays off, because the gods of Lakeland Weather smile on Jess and Graham. Which helps in a landscape like this:

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My mother is exceptionally good at decorating small Lakeland churches

Hanging a painting of one notable absentee in the church is highly effective as both a perfect finishing touch and source of waterworks

The best man forgetting the rings is still not as bad as stomping a hole in the wedding veil. And he got them in time for the service.

Auntie Mary is an exceptional trooper for driving up the country by herself and partying hard, albeit terrifying a few of the younger single males

It is ill-advised to tell lots of people to meet the bridal party at the Queens Head pub the night before, when there are 6 Queens Head pubs in neighbouring towns and villages, and you’ve booked the wrong one

It is ill-advised as a guest to corner the bride the night before the wedding to tell her you’re disappointed with the accommodation/setting, and the bride’s mother may be restrained from giving you a piece of her mind

Everyone knows the culprit of the exceptional clouds of flatulence throughout the reception. And no it wasn’t me or Ben.

My sister is exceptionally good at making speeches, picking excellent husbands and not getting upset about holes in her wedding veil

During the speeches, the biggest laugh can be caused by a six year old who raises her glass “To Toast!”

The bridesmaid is not only best friend of both bride and groom, but the reason they met, and therefore has quite a substantially positive impact on a few folk’s lives. She’s also a bloody good poet.

Uncle Geoff wins a gold star for realising he forgot his suit upon arrival in Ambleside, then driving down to Preston with a very tolerant wife to buy a brand new suit

The Dukan diet removed a cumulative 24 stone (estimate) from wedding guests – this is equal to approximately 2.5 guests

Uncle Duncan (not a dietitian) retains an exceptional capacity to frighten small children by playing with his dentures at the dining table

Don’t be offended when Uncle Ken comments on your boobs

It takes a noble best man in a kilt to not retaliate when the fellow-Scottish kilt-wearing groom lifts up his tartan in the middle of the dancefloor to prove he really is a Scot

Don’t be offended if the DJ hastily takes back his microphone after your ‘rendition’ of the start of “I like to move it”.

But here’s my rendition of At Last for Jess and Graham’s first dance:

Do be in awe of the rendition of Sugar Hill Gang by the ladies from Charleston, South Carolina

Do be amused by a very british, very camp rendition of Hey Ya.

The popular South Carolinan dance ‘The Shag’ provides an infinite supply of jokes unrelated to technique or style when demonstrated on the dance floor

Ceilidhs are profoundly confusing

The evillest cat that has ever lived likes to slowly chew the feet off mice for hours next to groups of people outside the Langdale Chase hotel

Fireworks are the definitive way to make sure your wedding goes off with a bang. Yes I went there.

Picking Kenyan & Rwandan honeymoon destinations that are “Not massively kidnappy” does little to ease tensions of family members

All in all a brilliant wedding. Well done Jess and Graham, and mum, and the Simpsons, and Christine, and Ben, and Vic, and all the people that flew a long way for a perfect weekend, and the ones that didn’t, but gave it their all. And to Jess and Graham again – for the start of a very happy life together.