Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Cultural differences

The cultural differences between the US and the UK never cease to surprise me. I really didn't think there would be significant differences between wedding customs. (To be fair, this is a result of my own cultural egotism, whereby I just assume everyone does things the same way I do, because obviously that is the best way to do them. I mean, duh!)

The things I have heard about weddings here in the UK, for the most part, shock and horrify me. Luckily for me, they also shock and horrify the Pirate. He loathes, as I do, the whole commercial industry that has sprung up around weddings, so we're both keen to keep things as simple as possible.

We did want to have a nice reception in a pub somewhere, where people could gather, share a tasty meal, tell us how great we look, and call it a night. But we have a rather large guest list (over a hundred and growing) and we couldn't find a pub that could accommodate more than 80. Deciding that the people were more important than that decor, we've opted to keep the huge guest list and have the reception in the banquet room of a big, corporate hotel. What it lacks in ambiance it makes up for in convenience.

So here's how it's going to be:

Ceremony at 3 pm on a Friday afternoon in September. We will have a choir, and organ, and brass quartet, and the volume and joy of the music will blow the roof right off the medieval church.

Upon leaving the church we will depart through an archway of swords (Pirate's friends all carry swords, naturally) and oars. It might be a little goofy, but it's us. And hey, they're all blades, right?

The guests will wander across the street to the hotel where they will have drinks and canapes in the bar while my husband and I (!!!) have loads of pictures taken with family and blade-bearers.

About 5 pm or thereabouts we will wander in to the banquet room. Dinner will be served in three courses. (NO buffit.) The cake will be the desert, because that's what the fucking thing is FOR. It will taste good, because I will bake it.any of the English guests are annoyed at not getting a second dessert, that's their fucking problem. It will be decorated with fresh, edible flowers.

Somewhere in there there will be some toasts raised. Pirate's father will drone on at length. Mine will be bashful, tear up, and sit down as quickly as possible.

There will be a dance floor. There will be a DJ (one of Pirate's friends). He will play the music that we specify, and if the Macarena or Chicken Dance come on at any point in the evening, I will break both his legs. (And don't think for a minute that I can't or won't.) People will dance or sit and talk as they deem most fun. The DJ will close up shop at midnight, and that will be the end of it. Period.

There will be wine on the tables at dinner, and we will provide something bubbly for toasts (and non-alchy for the fair number of tea-totalers in the crowd, probably Appletizer). But the bar afterward will be a cash bar. Booze is just too expensive, and my parents are already effectively paying for this twice what with the exchange rate and all, AND they're throwing a second reception back in the states for the Yanks who can't come over, so.... no free bar after dinner, and that's just how it's going to have to be.

It will be fun, it will be simple, it will not get out of hand, and it will keep the focus where it belongs -- on the wedding.

Bloggers are welcome to come to the ceremony (I'll give more details later), but for obvious reasons I can't invite y'all along to the reception as well.


Anonymous said...

Man, no chicken dance or Macarena? I can just think of all the time wasted by JW choreographing the macarena for the halftime show that one year. I can't believe you aren't going to put that to good use now :)

Well, be happy the list is only around 100. When we were planning our wedding, my soon to be mother by law had a list of nearly 2000 people, and that wasn't including the list from my mother which at one point was near 200 as she was being nice and keeping it low as requested.

Loganoc said...

Uh, I think I had a dream involving your wedding last night. Creepy. I think I was meant to help organise something and it all went pear shaped. Glad you got it all covered.

Geosomin said...

Sounds quite sensible to me.

Good call on the DJ. We couldn't get anyone to agree on music and we figured an all out rave psytrance affair would anlienate 90% of the guests, so we just had drinks and shmoozed. And the macarena should not be allowed anywhere. (soft spot for the chicken dance tho...)

Doesn't if feel good to have all the majors looked after? Now relax and enjoy being queen for a bit...

mary said...

So, sorted then!
Now you can enjoy the coming months with nothing to worry about except your dress.

Chaucer's Bitch said...

you WERE in the band! i knew it i knew it i knew it i knew it! (mostly because i didn't have any friends who weren't in the band.)

i talked with rick not long ago and he totally denies being you and i believe him, which leaves Nadeau the Potato, Larner, and Price. Considering the last time I saw Nadeau he completely blew me off, I highly doubt you're him. My money's on Jayson. Come on dude, admit it!!!

loganoc: i'm so sorry. i'll stop posting about the wedding for a while and let you dream about rowing instead (like me).

Geo: i'm actually quite nervous about the DJ. if it were some dude we hired i would have no problem laying down the law and threatening to tear up his cheque if he doesn't toe the line, but if it's a friend of Pirate's it's a lot harder to complain.

Mary: pfft. yeah, right! there's still the menu to be finalized, the musicians and choir for the church to be booked, music to be selected, rehersals, flowers for the boquets and the reception, bridesmaids dress, photographer, videographer, and the Traitor's Brunch the morning after to plan. Oh, and Save the Date cards and Invitations. And rooms to reserve and book for out-of-town guests, which is nearly all of them. Argh!

Chaucer's Bitch said...

AND the second reception in Amercia!!! *whew* i'm tired just thinking about it. time for a lie down.

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't ever recall saying I wasn't in the band as I spent 4 years with it during my High School time.

Ok, let's see, Nadeau the potatoe just had a kid and won't even return my e-mails so I highly doubt I am him, Price is way oversees in Japan and has not relayed his most recent e-mail address to me nor been on AIM to chat in a few months so I highly doubt I am him. I guess that leaves you with only one alternative left.



oread the SSA said...

I am very excited for you, ma'am, it sounds as though this has been (forcibly!) made to be very much about you and Pirate! No holds barred, screw the rest, etc etc! Good on ya!