All dressed up with somewhere to go

I’d been looking forward to it for ages; days, weeks, actual months. I remember when I received my invitation, sat in Creative Writing, my phone rumbled in my handbag and the question flashed across the screen: “Are you free the weekend of 22nd March?” my boyfriend asked, “why?” I replied.




The capital letters blazed bold and brash, and as my eyes widened in confusion the caveat followed, “Not ours”. I was uncertain as to how I felt about his clarification, did he honestly think it was necessary? I mean, sure things were going really well and I was pretty smitten but I wasn’t about to marry myself off, not without a dramatic proposal first at least.

It was the first wedding I’d been to in six years. Thankfully my friends and I are not yet at that stage in life when every weekend is taken up with weddings and baby showers; my income does not yet have to be spent solely on penis shaped deely boppers and gift cards for John Lewis. This was an invitation to my fella’s best friend, a little older than us and therefore a wedding isn’t totally out of the question! And, as my first wedding in a long while was incredibly educational.


Things I learnt from the wedding


– my boyfriend loves me enough to conquer his fear of fake tan. On me, not him. Putting on fake tan is a genuine fear every man should have.


– Never take kids to a wedding, the emotion of a speech is somewhat dampened by the sound of a baby regurgitating breakfast over itself.


– Always have a rock star present


– Invite a trained animal handler in case of fowl behaviour.


Something that was new to me for a wedding, but I was keen to get on board with- avid Daily Mail reader that am- was the celeb spot. There’s nothing quite like having a famous person in your midst to get the excitement flowing. And this wasn’t just some second cousin, thrice removed that had once appeared on hollyoaks, oh no, we were treated to a bonafied, top of the pops appearing, royalties still reeling in, genuine grey haired, now teetotal ageing rocker, none other than….. The drummer from Slade. Such was his name til we figured out what he was known as in real life. Granted it probably wasn’t the sort of celeb spot that would’ve made the pages of heat magazine, if I’m honest I had no clue who he was! Nonetheless my fella and his friend were so giddy they whipped up enough excitement for everyone. Pictures were taken, tweets twittered, as the groom- none other than Don Powells nephew himself made the much sought after introductions. The boys were thrilled and demanded all copies of the 4 pictures that’d been taken be immediately sent to their phones and instagrammed for posterity.

just  james and don


The other major factor that provided much hilarity and ongoing entertainment was that of the swan attack. As the photographer rounded us up in the garden, I noticed that swathes of guests were lingering behind on the patio; hesitant and fearful; pashminas and fascinators quivering with fear.  Rightly so it appeared, as a swan suddenly picked up its pace and initiated pursuit of some poor unsuspecting chap who paired his suit with a leather jacket. Having read Adrian Mole, I was well versed in the fact that “a swan can break a man’s arm” and I quickly scarpered to safety behind the bride and groom. I was relatively safe though, the swan having pinpointed its target and laid in, snapped violently and laid in a chase towards the chosen derrière. The chap in question immediately performed a quickstep Craig Revel Horwood would be proud of and bid a furious escape. The screams and yelps of fear dissuaded the swans hounding. Confident she’d no doubt scared us all into submission she began a retreat.


Keen to move on with the day, and moreover, reassert himself as the main man on site to be adhered to, the photographer waded in and began an attempt to shoo the swan back into the canal. The swan clearly had other ideas, and, wings spread, stalked its way along the path, seemingly unperturbed by the photographers set jaw and formidable lens. It was a stand off between two equally stubborn and determined creatures, both keen to take charge. The crowd, shivering in the March chill, waited eagerly with bated breath; hoping for a reprieve or a You’ve Been Framed moment worthy of £250. Fortunately, equally for the cold guests and the photographers pride, the swan surrendered defeat and with a final flap of enormous wings, decanted herself back into the canal.


The attack of the swan banter lasted all day, and combined with Don Powell provided excellent small talk and conversation points between relative strangers. The wedding was a success I think; I mean obviously in the sense that two people who were very much in love got married sense of a success, but also in general, and for me. I certainly felt like the day had been a success when, a couple of days later my fella received a tweet in which someone said I resembled K-Middy. Actual dream come true. Life is complete. I can stop now. I know I’ll never actually be the Duchess of Cambridge but goddamnit if being told by a stranger on the internet I look like her isn’t my soul ambition completed at the age of 25.

james and katie



  1. The event will go down in the annals of time as the Great Slade Drummer and Errant Swan Chase. Years from now, you are your possably-then-husband will say over your cocoa: “Do you remember that wedding we went to..?” Wish they were all this fun. And you do have a K-Mid going on 🙂


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