That’s it. It’s over. I’m walking away.
Only because I’ve finally conducted my last marriage service of the year. That’s ten weddings this year (not including the many that my training incumbent and the other curate have done). Some of them will stay with me forever, others are, to be honest, a bit of a blur.
What makes a wedding memorable from the perspective of the person conducting it? Some of it is about the quality of relationship with the couple. Some of it is about the atmosphere in the church create by family and friends. Sometimes it’s the wedding planner or a photographer. Some weddings are memorable because they are wonderful joyful events, which become (rightly) the reason why people want to gather and celebrate. Others, sadly, are memorable because of the way they are treated (not usually by the couple) as a mere prelude to a piss up.
So, Claire’s top tips for your wedding.
1. Take it seriously. Your minster will. You are probably spending a lot of money on it.
2. Get married because you want to, not because your mum fancies it.
3. If your minister tells you to sort out your Banns, sort out your Banns. They will tell you what to do.
4. Don’t ever have a page boy or a young boy as ring bearer. No boy aged 3-13 has any interest in doing it, and they will hate the photos forever.
5. No-one needs more than two adult bridesmaids. They will just wind up each other and the bride, until she is completely upstaged.
6. The best man needs to be a bit reliable, just for the day.
7. One drink beforehand is fine. More than one isn’t. And don’t carry hip flasks. Especially don’t fill them with a mixture of port and brandy. It tastes vile.
8. If you want a candlelit wedding, book it for November, not midday in July.
9. Speak up, slowly.
10. Enjoy it!