When you get to our age, you find yourself going to a lot of weddings.
It’s how people in their late twenties/early thirties spend their weekends – we go to weddings, we go to hen and stag dos and we have conversations about how much worse our hangovers are now that we’re old. We’re a lot of fun.
And it’s very easy to feel cynical about all these nuptials. Weddings are tiring, our feet weren’t made for wearing high heels for 12 hours straight (particularly the boys), and our stomachs takes days to forgive us for eating our meals at funny times of the day.
But that stuff is all just logistics. The real reason we go to weddings is well worth getting a few blisters and a confused tummy for.
I’ve seen lots of my friends get married now. Real, dear, close chums with whom I’ve shared various periods of my life – school, university, jobs, that time when I learnt that I don’t get on with Sambuca… We’ve grown up together, one way or another, so when one of us gets married, it feels like a big day for all of us.
There’s not much else that we get to see our friends commit to that is so significant (though the pals who witnessed my ‘let’s wear nothing but fuchsia pink!’ phase might feel differently) so being there to witness it is a real privilege.
And for me, seeing a close friend walk down the aisle to marry the person with whom they’ll spend the rest of their life is enough to bring not just a tear but a flood to my eyes. While lots of people express joy through smiling, I do it by turning my face into a waterfall. I’ve tried not to do it, to think of all the make-up I piled on just moments before and hold it together, but I fail every time.
And if my friend getting married cries too then I might as well just call it a day and go to bed – I’m such a mess by the time they’re pronounced husband and wife that you’d think I’d been watching The Notebook. Whilst newborn babies manage to behave beautifully throughout the ceremony, it is me who needs to be carried out and wiped down.
But I actually think it’s a good thing. However you express pride in your friends, whether through tears, grins or high fives, it’s good to show it. One of the best things about being an adult is being able to look back on the times we’ve spent with our chums – the nights in eating cheese, the nights out dancing to cheese – and feel utterly amazed that somehow we’re suddenly grown up enough to do something as serious as getting married. The fact that one of our parents hasn’t stepped in to tell us to stop showing off and calm down still amazes me.
For all the panda eyes and weeping and resulting dehydration, weddings remain one of the best ways to spend a weekend. Seeing a friend looking happier than they ever have before (with the small exception of that time the DJ played a Five vs Blue megamix on their hen do – good luck beating that, hubby!) is just about as good as it gets.
And whether you’re likely to cry during the ceremony or not, I still recommend taking a packet of tissues with you to a wedding. At our age, the hangover you get the following morning is enough to make anybody sob.