5 Things You Will See At Every Wedding In The North West

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S Club 7 may profess that “there ain’t no party like an S Club party”, but they obviously haven’t had the life affirming experience that is a wedding party in the North West.

Unlike the S Club band members and other unfortunate individuals, if you have attended a wedding in the NW, you will be aware of the following key ingredients that make our nuptials and subsequent celebrations a thing of legend.

The Ceremony

Its truly inspiring to see the lengths that couples go to in order to ensure that their special day is truly magical, from poignant self penned vows, to quaint, traditional religious services, to the subtle touches and mementos that ensure that loved ones who are no longer with us remain central to the celebrations. The simplest of things all serve as a visual and audible metaphor of the love shared by the happy couple.

The Speeches

Let’s all be truthful, for the most part, the ‘speeches’ can be the thorn in the side of what is on the whole a fun day. The stomach churning obligatory opening line, “We would like to thank you all for coming”, and mundane list of people to thank is truly a test of one’s soul as you restrain yourself from lobbing a bread roll at the top table when the Chaplin seeks to lead us in prayer.

Although, how many of us recall weddings where a tipsy and equally brave best man divulges golden nuggets from the grooms previous endeavours? Or when the groom remarks that “it’s amazing what a bit of hair and makeup can do” when complimenting the bridal party? It’s the witty, often improvised, and close to the bone banter that we in the North West do all too well that ensures this stage of the wedding passes off to a chorus of laughter and not a tumble weed.

The Music

The inclusion of Nathan Carter’s “Wagon Wheel”, Tina/Ike Turner’s “Rolling On A River” and the Dirty Dancing theme song are as instrumental as the bride in regards to proceedings at a wedding in the NW. The arrival of the wedding band/DJ is often greeted by a handful of brave souls who dare to take to the dance floor (when in fact they have been limbering up and waiting patiently for the first dance to end so they could take to floor).

Fast forward an hour, high heels have been abandoned, the men embrace their inner school boys – cue the jackets being dispensed and ties tied around heads. Those gents who had one too many complimentary glasses of vino may even treat their wedding guests to their often not-too-aesthetically-pleasing torso as they lasoo their shirts with gusto. When the lights go up at the end of the night, the once elegantly turned out wedding party and guests are transformed into a dishevelled bunch who would pass for those attending a KISS concert, as the perfectly applied make-up vacates its once sublime canvas.

first dance

The Food

Food, glorious foods. If the tables were fitted with microphones we would hear the classic wedding food commentary: “I don’t mind turkey, only at Christmas and at weddings”, “Are your mash and vegetables hot?”, “Could we get another wee portion of roasties?”, or requests for the golden nectar that is gravy or pepper sauce. The “Match of the Day” food analysis is a staple at any wedding in the North West. Then we have the diet deviants, the Slimming World and Juice Plus massive who have lived like monks in order to fit into that perfect outfit and are firm in their assertions that they will “be good”.

North West

Roll on later in the evening, and they can be found attacking the candy cart like a pack of hyenas or at the bar swapping their G&T for a tray of sugar laden alcoholic drinks. Let’s be honest, a modern day wedding in the NW would not be complete without guests battling for five minutes before the ever popular selfie mirror or photo booth. The outcome of which will never see a frame or pride of place on a wall since we often resemble Ken Barlow more than Kate Moss, but it’s fun all the same.

DIY Boozing

Then we have the naughty DIY drinkers (perish the thought that we ever indulged in such an activity) where these scoundrels depart their table with an empty drink and pay a visit to their hotel room/venue toilet and reemerge with their glass replenished. Either that or the soft drink they purchased at the bar has, by magic, rendered their ability to make a coordinated movement decline over the course of the evening.

On the whole, weddings in the North West are romantic, filled with laughter, with just a hint of hardcore partying and naughtiness thrown in for good measure. One thing we do ensure are memories that will last for a lifetime, that and beer fear that may last days.

By Emmette Dillon, Excalibur Press