Every once in a while I conducted a wedding where I wanted to laugh and vomit in equal measure. The wedding I want to talk about today was a prime example.
The venue was the Register Office, one of the budget venues in the city. Now this in itself wasn't an issue. Some of the best weddings I have ever been involved in have taken place in the Register Office with good people simply strapped for cash. Similarly I have attended weddings at top of the range, mega-expensive venues and they have been cold, joyless affairs.
However, the guests at this wedding weren't the classiest.
We were running a little late due to the previous wedding and when I went outside to tell the bride she said 'Great, I've got time for another tab.' She looked like a smoker with a pinched, lined face. I would have guessed that she was around 50 years old but was surprised to find out she was closer to 30. Her hair was that shade of unnatural red that comes from years of dying hair in poor condition, and she had it folded over and pinned up to the back of her head so that it covered her neck in an unsettling way.
The groom was in his fifties and this was his third marriage. He was thin and rangy with yellowing teeth and fingernails bitten down to the quick. Dark blue borstal spots studded his hands.
Once the ceremony began the bride and groom were super touchy-feely in an overtly sexual way. This happens at weddings more often than you might think in my experience. Perhaps it's because it's their wedding day and it's the high point of their relationship so they are hyper attracted to each other. Or maybe it's a nerves thing, which can manifest itself in some very odd ways. Some brides and grooms just love an audience and want to put on a show for people. Alternatively, the couple may just be very horny!
The bride and groom touched each other throughout the ceremony. Not just hand holding but stroking arms, caressing bottoms and grinding their hips together for the kiss.
The event that triggered the biggest outpouring of lechery was still to come.
At the end of the ceremony the bride turned her back on the groom and lifted the hair up away from the back of her neck to reveal the word 'Stan' tattooed in giant, flowery letters on the nape of her neck. Her skin was red raw and she explained that she had had it done just the day before.
Stan embraced his bride and planted his lips on her. They sucked each other's faces with such voracity I thought that they were going to sweep the Register off the desk and have sex in front of the guests. A whoop went up from the friends and family in the room, so they evidently approved, but I'm still not sure whether they were screaming for the tattoo or the kiss.
Sometimes I wonder if the bride is still with Stan or whether he's looking for wife number four and she's having laser surgery to remove her tattoo.
I have changed the name in this story, which is a real shame as the real name is even funnier!
Photo by Matt Haze on Flickr