Having had three weddings, you would assume I've had enough experience to write a book on the subject. Wrong. Possibly a book on how to get it wrong would be an easier task. Your wedding should be treated as a military operation and a battle-plan is essential. I place before you now 12 rules of engagement that the groom should bear in mind based on personal experience and mishaps. There could have been 13, but that would have been asking for bad luck.
1. Turn up at the right venue. Sounds obvious, but it's an easy mistake to make especially if you've had a drink or twenty the night before. There's nothing worse than bowling up at the wrong wedding and attempting to steal someone else's bride.
2. Always remember what your bride looks like, particularly if you have been married several times before. Carry a photo to the ceremony just in case
3. Make sure your best man has the ring. Do not under any circumstances give it to him the night before, or he may use it to obtain credit at the tenth bar you stagger in to.
4. Very important this. Whatever you do, don't get a fit of the giggles during the vows. I suggest you avoid looking into your brides eyes during this part, especially during the bit about procreation.
5. The next obstacle is the reception. You are expected to stand in a line and make inane small talk with your guests. Thing is, who to kiss and who not to kiss. Clearly kissing old Uncle Albert is not a good idea, but the tedium of this ritual sometimes lulls you away into your private thoughts, and you can easily plant a smacker on an inappropriate cheek
6. Assuming everything has gone alright up to now, make a point of treating every guest as a long lost friend or relative even if you have no idea who they are. Try however not to enter into lengthy conversations. This is a minefield. Saying to someone that she doesn't look old enough to be your bride's grandmother only to discover she's actually her long lost sister, is not a good way to ingratiate yourself with her family.
7. This is also important. Avoid kissing the Matron of Honour on the lips, however friendly you were the night before. Could be a bit of a give-away.
8. Speech should be a doddle. They will laugh at anything you say. This is where you thank the bridesmaids, not in private later.
9. Then the first dance. Nightmare for anyone like me with two left feet but do your best not to tread on your beloved’s toes. It is also advisable to dance with your newly acquired mother in law. Be careful however where you place your hands. Don't want to give the impression that you have anything irregular in mind.
10. Don't have too much to drink. This is not the place for announcing home truths, it could cause problems, and a fist fight at a wedding is not a good start to your life of married bliss.
11. Almost over and you can relax until the time comes to carry her over the threshold. Try not to drop her, and under no circumstances suggest she joins Weight Watchers.
12. Enjoy the happiest day of your life and simply love one another!