Churches are full again. Grown adults let their parents tease them like kids in front of the family. People eat roast beef. Mammy might go a bit daft.
It was all there in The Irish Wedding (RTÉ One Monday and RTÉ Player.)
There were some new touches — such as prosecco in the hair-dressers. And along with the old-school Catholic weddings in a church, this pastiche of Irish weddings from across Ireland featured a same-sex marriage in a former chapel, an Indian ceremony, and a very posh affair in what looked like someone’s back garden.
But that wedding day vibe never goes away. A load of people clearly trying out a new hairdo; the bride and groom acting like they’ve met each other for the first time when they come face to face at the altar (don’t let Mammy know we’re having sex); the shocking sight of Irish people saying nice things about their relations in public.
It’s made by Alex Fegan, who brought us Abbeyfealegood, so he knows how to get an audience emotionally involved.
A lot of the laughs come from Mammy.
One mother steals the show when she talks about her fondness for the wooden spoon and the good old days when you could assault your children and get away with it. The crowd roars laughing and it’s clear that the Irish wedding remains a safe space, where you can still say things that would get you cancelled off Twitter.
The vows are much better fun these days. One bride gets a fierce fit of the giggles trying to recite hers, so much so that you start to feel for the groom. At another wedding, the bloke treats his vows like an open mic session at a comedy club. I think he might have a future in comedy, if not marriage, because his new wife didn’t seem that impressed.
I wasn’t that gone on the bits where they showed the speeches but then no one likes the speeches really, it’s time they got rid of them. The only thing we learn is the bridesmaids all look amazing and sure we knew that.
They played out with the first dance for our bunch of newlyweds. It was an elegant reminder that we all do more or less the same things on our wedding day, whatever our background and personal tastes.
The Irish Wedding is like an impressionist painting of that big day, taking bits from all of them to show us that some things will probably never change. I’d recommend a look.