Ms Hedgehog often but not always blogs about tango, which is how I caught up with her. But here she is on the subject of weddings:
I'm all for people getting married, if they want to marry each other. But a marriage ceremony (at least in the European tradition) is a very simple affair. It traditionally requires the couple, some witnesses, and some sort of official, and the conversation, with answers understood, is basically as follows:
•Who exactly are you two?She doesn't mention if she minds travelling vast distances to attend weddings, but if that's no problem, she would have enjoyed J and S's swift and charmingly low-key event.
•What do you think you're doing?
•Are you sure?
•Anybody else here got a problem with that? This is your last chance. No?
•Do you hereby marry each other?
•Right, then, consider yourselves married, and the rest of yous are not to interfere.
There may or may not be religious additions; I have no objection to sitting quietly and watching that part, although I'm not that keen on being expected to participate as a matter of course. But in my book, the meat of it takes about five minutes, or twenty-five with sitting everyone down and faffing about, and it should immediately be followed by some announcement functionally similar to this:
•The food is this way, the drinks are that way, the dancefloor is over there, and the band [or DJ, according to budget] will be on in an hour's time.
•We are now going to the pub. Follow me.
Waiting around for five hours making small talk in a cold tent in the middle of nowhere without access to food or a cup of tea is not a party. And speeches, if any, should be after the food.
My own (and only) wedding - more than four decades ago (yes, I was a child bride) - was also low key, but in another, entirely uncharming way. I'll enjoy telling you about it another day, when I don't have so many irksome, income-earning chores to attend to. All I'm prepared to say now is that my groom and I did not look like this
My divorce was a bit more entertaining. But that too will have to wait for another day.