A handful of people at every wedding are usually feeling pretty anxious all the way until mid-afternoon, or even worse, early evening. Once the bride has gone through the ceremony, she can relax and enjoy the rest of the day – for her, the work is done. But there are a few VIPs who still have an ordeal ahead of them.
The thought of standing in front of a room full of strangers and delivering a speech is enough to fill most of us with dread. Add friends and family into the mix, and it can take on nightmarish proportions.
As specialist wedding caterers (we have a creperie), we have probably witnessed more wedding speeches than most people, and we rarely see anyone who isn’t enjoying it once they’ve started – perhaps except for the assembled guests. We frequently have to set up our crepe stand earlier in the day, so we often hear the speeches themselves. The good news is: VIPS – you have very little to worry about. It’s all been said and done before.
I would estimate that 90% of them are virtually identical. The father-of-the-bride spends most of his time thanking people. The groom thanks people and then tries to ridicule his best man as far as he dare – without provoking him too much. And in his speech, the best man thanks nobody at all and does his best to embarrass the groom mercilessly.
As time has gone on and we have attended more weddings, technology is playing more of a part. Remember those embarrassing photos of you as a kid with no teeth at the front and your hair sticking up at one side? Well fear not, you’ll remember it soon enough alright, as it will be projected onto a wall or displayed on a large monitor for the amusement of your friends, family and assorted strangers.
Rather forget about those episodes on that fortnight in Magaluf when you were 19? Unlucky. All those memories are going to come flooding back. Probably with digital photographs as evidence.
But that’s about as bad as it gets. The ribbing rarely goes beyond things like that. There are always a few private jokes which only a handful of very close friends start laughing at and the rest of us have to use our imaginations to fill in the blanks, but in the main, the secrets remain secrets and the VIPs are glad to get it out of the way. Guests know you aren’t a professional, so they make allowances.
A glass or two of wine helps ease the nerves and once it’s all over the guests can look forward to crêpes and a dance.