Wedding season is nigh. Summer is the peak period for nuptial invites to flutter through the letterbox and land on the doormat.
Although recent trends would suggest they land with more of a thud than with a gentle ‘whoosh’ such is the weight of the contents enveloped in a pearlescent exterior.
Like most occasions, notable birthdays, christening/naming ceremonies etc, weddings come in a glut. Which will, over time, eventually ease from a hefty deluge to somewhat of a trickle.
The year in which we were married, my husband and I attended no less than 14 tyings of the knot.
Not only are the ‘Hello’ mag spreads featuring the royal weddings a klaxon to sound the off for wedding season but so too is the persistent ‘ping’ from my inbox.
Dozens of emails advising me of ‘Best wedding guest dresses for less than €100’ pour in, accompanied by instructional directives on how to achieve smooth skin and the best fake tan options.
I ask you, who would be a woman during wedding season?
To be fair, the above only serves to generate a mild unease; suitably rectified by hitting ‘Unsubscribe’ to the myriad of mailing lists that you can’t quite remember signing up to in the first place.
No, the absolute sheer blind panic is reserved entirely for the moment you try to book a hair appointment.
I have however, learned a crucial lesson over time, and that is, to book well in advance. A few years back, I casually strolled in to book an appointment for a wedding we were attending up the country the next day.
Whilst initially I thought the receptionist was attempting to stifle a yawn, it quickly became apparent that she was choking on a barely contained laugh.
Not only did it appear that this was the only hairdresser in the village but also that they had been booked solid in advance of two months.
Therefore, my only option was to make a rogue purchase of some faux feathers which looked like they had been plucked from a peacock suffering the effects of some aviary form of mange.
I have a head which is not built for fascinators. Himself, upon seeing it, enquired with a bewildered glance, “What is that on your head? Is it on the right way?”
The irony that all of the concern surrounding trimmings and fripperies on my part is redundant by the time the obligatory drinks-reception glass of Cava is placed in my hand, is not wasted upon me.
Because, unless you are one of the royals, weddings, and in particular the reception, will all follow a similar and reassuring path.
For instance, you can place a hefty wager, more sizable than the one in relation to the length of the best man’s speech, that at least one of the guests at your table will have fallen asleep by dessert.
There will also be an appearance by a hurley at some stage in the proceedings, either in the form of a guard of honour or just merely for a puck about in the carpark to work off the ‘beef or salmon?’.
There will also be variables beyond your control, no matter how much you implore your wish for everything to go smoothly.
These variables will take the guise of a drunk uncle who has to be escorted from the reception, bickering bridesmaids, a guest who decides to dis-regard the seating plan to position themselves wherever they choose and some free-loader who takes the opportunity to order a Midleton rare for the bridal toast, despite other libations at their disposal in the form of an open bar.
Yet, when all is said and done, and the DJ takes to the floor to whip the crowd into a frenzy, after the smooth jazz offerings of the wedding band, with a hectic Joe Dolan medley; we all go the same way.
Namely, by assuming the ‘walk/dance’ hybrid as we make our way to the floor, saluting the drunk uncle who is being hurried out of the door by his indignant wife as he attempts to pocket a few cocktail sausages for the arduous journey to his room.
Because the fripperies, mangy feathers and drunk uncles matter not a jot. What matters is the fact that it was a grand day nonetheless.