Weddings are changeable beasts. I’ve attended two in the last wee while; the first my cousin Jamie’s and the second my favourite friend duo, Pip & Dan. Jamie’s was a bit of a bust, a real shame as Jamie is awesome, a real stand out amongst that side of the family. It was a deeply Catholic ceremony that not only sucked the fun out of the wedding but also out of my previous day’s existence. I skipped the reception as I’d had some good fun a few days earlier that I didn’t want to risk at the clammy hands of Catholicism.
Pip & Dan’s wedding was probably the best wedding I’ve ever been to. The only others that come close are my sister’s wedding, my brother’s wedding and my best friend’s wedding – all of which were important and excellent for different, highly personal reasons. The central joys of which were the particular people and occassions but those elements also produced the flaws in my enjoyment, as being involved more intimately with the worries and politics affected my experience somewhat. For pure personal enjoyment I’ve got to put Pip & Dan’s wedding at number one, aided, I suspect, by the appreciation of increasing age and/or maturity. It had a lot of build up (over ten years of wondering when, when, when…) followed by drama (guess who got knocked up?) and the proposal (s.h.o.t.g.u.n.). From pregnancy to rings on fingers was pretty damn fast, cowboys.
The wedding, ceremony and reception were at a vineyard in Martinborough, all on a sunny April Saturday. The ceremony was fairly short but punched well above it’s weight. The pure emotion on display was deeply affecting. Watching the importance of the ritual manifest itself in the groom and bride was entrancing and arresting, and the emotional cascade into the intimate group of people witnessing the event was evident in the bright eyes and quivering smiles, really highlighting the joy we all took in watching these two people we love and value commit such beautiful lunacy.
During the reception there were a lot of speeches, far more than I’d ever sat through at a wedding before, but the humour, charm and, again, emotion on display was so engaging as to leave everyone rapt in attention. Speeches are really the bottleneck of any wedding; there’s usually a best man with serious boundary issues and a taste for sex jokes, or a drunken uncle who likes nothing better than to whip their tackle out while making slurred commentary about geldings and last chances. More common though, is simply a string of overly long, boring speeches by nice yet dim people. So it was excellent and entertaining that all the speeches at Pip & Dan’s wedding were perfectly formed in pretty much all ways. Once again, everyone seemed to gabble on at the perfection of the oratory.
And then came the dancing. Boy, was there some dancing. Four hours of 70’s & 80’s dedication to sweaty socks and pelvic thrusts. Gyrations, bouncing, swaying, one instance of a knee slide and what can only be described as pseudo-pole dancing by a man who I will forever more admire for his commitment to his art. Wonderful fun that, for me, was greatly amplified by being surrounded by people I had known, to one degree or another, for many years (social anxiety being an issue of mine). And it never hurts to have the constant distraction of someone there who you’ve had a vague, unrequited crush on for a number of years, it adds that slight pleasurable tension to an evening; really, the perfect recipe for a great time. Which it was – a great, great time. Watching Pip and Dan tie the knot, partake of a fox-trot and bring a group of excellent people together to dine on excellent food, imbibe good wine, vicariously partake of nuptial joy and bust many fine moves made for a wedding it was a pleasure to be a part of.