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The Non-Bride Chronicles: Thirsty Work

Illustration by Chelsea Bonus
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Serial wedding guests spout bile on the more contentious aspects of other people’s nuptials.

We reckon that for the few short months you get to be a bride-to-be, you should bloody well bathe in blooms. However, in the midst of living your bridey life, it can be worthwhile to think about things from another point of view: namely that of your wedding guests-to-be. How will they feel about the table plan you created based solely on who’ll look best together in photos? Or the hand-dyed table linen, which everyone better Instagram using your official wedding hashtag? And sure if you can’t laugh at yourself…

Illustrations by Chelsea Bonus


As a man of a certain age, weddings have become a bit of an ordeal. Not because the veil-twitching conversations about why I’m still single (I know, I can hardly believe it myself) can get old very fast, but more because of the lip-biting resolve required to get through an entire day of drinking alcohol, without becoming a drooling mess.

The balancing act of trying to stay sober, while maintaining enough lubrication to keep conversation going with, for instance, Auntie Krevlon (the cult member from London whom you haven’t seen since your christening), is a tricky one … “Did you know that fish are the reincarnations of alien souls?” “Well, I’ll be, Bernie, I mean Krevlon … fancy that … hmmm … I’ll just get us a couple of shots in … no, no, please continue, it’s an absolutely fascinating story.”Screen shot 2015-12-02 at 09.34.27

Eventually, though, everyone becomes more than slightly tipsified and, with metaphorical neck-ties tied on sweaty foreheads, the assemblage begins to resemble a fun riot. Men take their first tentative steps towards “dancing”. Women cry. Teetotalers look on in disgust. A few of us, while trying to look casual, begin to make initial contact with the talent at the other tables. Some conduct this ritual less casually than others, but that’s wedding breakfasts for you.

Come evening time, your stomach already feels like it’s churning the contents of a punch bowl at an underage house party. The meal doesn’t help. Adding a herb-crusted lump of “beef-or-salmon” and a mysteriously indeterminate “vegetable” “soup” to a mix of fizzy wine, holy communion and adrenalin, only serves to make any subsequent drinks orders into brow-furrowing decisions. Irish coffee? Water? Wine? A nice G&T? Who knows? But drink on, one must; not because anyone would bat an eyelid if you didn’t, but because sobriety might only make this day feel longer than it already does; and it’s currently running at half speed.

Meanwhile, over at the top table, the priest, rosy-cheeked and grinning, is making eye contact, for a little longer than is comfortable, with the best man … temperatures rise, but for different reasons. The father of the bride is crying into a margarita spritzer and the groom is dancing trouserless, while his ex pounds shots under the table. All of which seems perfectly as it should be.

Might as well have another drink.

 

By Eoin Higgins

*This article originally appeared in IMAGE Brides Summer/Autumn 2015



Need a bigger fill of our wedding whimsy? Pick up the new issue of IMAGE Brides Winter 2015/Spring 2016 right here!

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