There are many reasons to try and get the day off when a large wedding is booked into your place of employment. It will be a very long day, many things will get broken, and the behaviour of the guests is often less than ideal.
We place bets on how many empty bottles of products we don’t stock we will be left to clear up, how many people we will need to charge due to the amount of extra cleaning required in the bedrooms and what time the police will need to be called.
Another particular dislike of mine is having to endure the speeches. Not once all summer did we have a wedding where the speeches lasted less than half an hour (despite them being scheduled to last ten minutes) and they are often incredibly tedious. They are usually full of ‘in jokes’ that most of the guests don’t understand and it is surprizing how many stories are told in wedding speeches that are highly inappropriate for the family audience in attendance.
It is a weird tradition that people are asked to entertain after dinner despite having no public speaking experience so generally either read from a generic script downloaded from the internet in an incredibly unengaging way or go on a long whiskey fuelled ramble full of repetition and stories forgotten part way through. We will need extra staff on the bar during the speeches as many people on the further back tables use this time to slip away for yet more wine.
Wedding speeches that stand out in my memory include
- A party game and the guests had to guess the ending of stories about the couple and move around the room depending on their answers. People getting the answers wrong were eliminated. So many drinks were knocked over in the process.
- A wedding that had nine speeches (though was scheduled to have just one) as their large competitive family all wanted a go too. It quickly became clear nothing had been prepared and the bride stepped in to tell everyone she had enough of all of them.
- A rewritten version of the Fresh Prince of Belle Air theme tune which was performed to the absolute bemusement of many guests unfamiliar with the early 90s TV series.
- A speech made in French as the groom had a degree in the subject. However, it seemed that he was the only person in the room who understood, and it wasn’t clear how much the speech giver understood either. We found out later he had just put a generic online wedding speech into Google translate.
So, for anyone planning a wedding, here is my advice. Don’t bother with the speeches. It will save so much time and stress and (most importantly) nobody will have to explain to Grandma what was said about the events of an 18-30s holiday in Faliraki.