If your friends are in low places… Get down to their level


Only friends in low places would skip your wedding for a concert

Garth Brooks’ decision to begin his comeback tour in Dublin has caused an unprecedented level of hype among country music lovin’ adults of all ages, but has also thrown a spanner in the works for those planning events this summer.
And when I say ‘events’, what I mean, of course, is weddings. No other event is planned with such precision, such attention to detail and such all-out hysteria if something, no matter how minor, goes wrong.
So for blushing brides and gurning grooms all over Ireland who have spent the past few months choosing chair covers and practising the polka, the news that Garth was coming to town might not be the joy it is to thousands of line dancing fanatics.
Some of them, it seems, have the type of friends in low places who would rather go to a concert than to their wedding.
Corkwoman Leighann Riordan, faced with the prospect of 40 of her most ‘Shameless’ guests choosing to listen to the Oklahoma warbler’s croonings rather than her vows, has decided to embrace the trend and have a Garth-themed wedding instead. Well, you gotta do what you gotta do. And given that she’s a fan herself, perhaps it’s given her some inspiration to make the day that little bit different. Stetsons and cowboy boots all the way, and presumably the song choice for the first dance won’t take much consideration.
The sad fact of the matter for most couples is that, while your wedding is important to you and, hopefully, your immediate family, for most other people it probably comes somewhere between getting the car serviced and taking the dog to the groomer’s. If it’s in the summer, people will be trying to sandwich it between their favourite music festival and their week in Lanzarote, and the sooner they get the details, the better.
And it behoves the bride and groom (or bride and bride, or groom and groom, of course) to remember that.
Concerts, extreme weather and sporting events can all overshadow what women, in particular, are constantly told is ‘your’ special day. What most of us don’t twig is that when you’re told it’s ‘your’ special day by anyone other than a salesperson in the wedding industry, it’s code for “now stop boring me with the details” and “only you actually care whether the font on the invitations and on your wedding booklet is exactly the same or not, so shut up about it”.
(When you’re told it’s ‘your’ special day by someone trying to sell you a dress you can’t afford, a hummer or a handmade chocolate effigy of yourself to go on top of the cake, step away. Now.)
As one of the legions who got engaged over Christmas, I’m only too aware that when well-meaning enquirers’ eyes glaze over, it’s time to start telling them about something more interesting, like the new shade of paint on the kitchen wall, or maybe even how fast it’s drying.
Your special day, in many cases, is up there with, ‘the day Shergar went missing’, ‘that special day Dublin beat Mayo in the All Ireland final’, ‘the day Hayley died’ (although if you had a Monday wedding, you only have yourself to blame), or even ‘the day Ireland won the Triple Crown’.

That last one is courtesy of my rugby mad parents, who only remember their wedding anniversary because the Triple Crown happened that day too. In fact – much to the delight of the hotel staff, I assume – the dinner was delayed so everyone present could watch the match.
Rather than letting world events (if Garth’s second coming can be described as such) get in the way of your wedding, why not take a leaf out of their book? In other words, if your friends are in low places, it’s time to get down to their level.

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