Being a plus one at weddings.
A few weeks ago Penelope invited me to be her plus one at a wedding. I’d never been a plus one to a wedding so it seemed like a fun thing to do.
The had day finally arrived and so I selected a good suit, polished my most sensible shoes and chose a slightly risqué tie.
Penelope and I met at the train station and got the train together to the depths of the countryside. Penelope was wearing a cream top with a black pencil skirt and strappy silver sandals. She had just got back from visiting friends in the Mediterranean so she was looking very tanned.
The train journey was fairly long but we chatted away catching up about little things. This also gave me a bit of time to learn a bit about the bride and groom before we arrived. After the train we had a short cab ride to the venue. It was a strange wooden building that looked really old.
We were a little bit late but luckily nothing had started yet so we just sat near the back near someone who knew Penelope. He said hello and then started asking when we were getting married.
My slightly startled look and Penelope attempting to change the subject completely passed him by and so we had 30 to 45 minutes of wedding related questions, jokes, jibs and enquiries before the bride turned up and he wasn’t allowed to talk anymore.
The ceremony was lovely, a combination of Dutch and Vietnamese. I didn’t know much about Dutch weddings before but they are excellent. Here are some traditions of Dutch weddings
Whenever the groom leaves the room, all the men in the room rush over and queue up to kiss the bride.
Whenever the bride leaves the room, all the women in the room rush over and queue up to kiss the groom.
The bride and groom can be forced to kiss at any time by the guests. If the guests strike their plates or glasses with their cutlery, the bride and groom must step up on their chairs and kiss. If the guests stamp their feet on the floor the bride and groom must go under the table and kiss.
These are excellent traditions.
We sat down for our meal and between forcing the newly wed couple to kiss about a dozen times met some of the other guests. They were all paired up couples. Deeply in love couples so there was a lot of touching going on. They had some very sweet stories about how they all met. One of the men kept asking me if I was married and when I said no when I was going to get married. I didn’t feel comfortable in ‘blowing our cover’ so I sort of gave neutral answers.
Then some lions turned up.
Not actual lions of course, these were sort of pretend ones. They were like Chinese dragons but shorter, like the most awesome pantomime horse you’ve ever seen. They larked around jumping and doing tricks before leaping up to pick bits of paper up that were suspended on polls. It was really cool and supported by the loudest drumming I’ve ever heard in my life.
They also spent the entire time hitting on ladies. It was amazing. One the paper bit was over both lions harrassed ladies by jumping all over them and in the case of one of the bridemaids, pinching her arse. I’m not sure if that is traditional or just because the men being lions were a bit naughty.
We returned to our tables with our ears ringing and got some more drinks. Everyone was sozzled and it was only then that Penelope finally announced to the table that we weren’t going out. It felt like a great weight had been lifted.
More drinking happened. Then there was the first dance between the bride and groom. This ended with the groom having the tips of his socks cut off (again I’m not sure why). Then the guest were invited to dance too. Penelope wanted to dance and so we danced.
It was a very slow song and the dance floor slowly filled with couples snogging while I awkwardly slow danced with Penelope. Our faces were really close. More close than I felt comfortable with.
The song went on. It was being performed live. The singer was excellent but they also sang it at about half speed.
There was more slow dancing. A slow clock-wise circle where I didn’t know where to put my hands and I tried to avoid our faces getting too close. Penelope was looking at me really intently.
The song went on. There was more soulful gazing from Penelope and me going ‘Oh gosh, erm, well yes, erm, this is nice, erm, gosh.’
The song went on. Everyone else on the dance floor was now passionately kissing or worse. Leaving only Penelope and I slowly rotating while I tried to avoid looking her in the eye.
The song went on. It was the longest song of my life. I tried to make light of the situation by making jokes, Penelope just looked at me.
After what seemed like a decade the song ended. We returned to our table and drank some more. Some time later I got a cab to the train station alone. Penelope wanted to stay with her friends so she did.
Marriage percentage: 20%. Penelope is nice and all that, but I think the time when something could have happened with us was about five years ago. At the time I tried it on a few times and then sort of put her in the friend space.
Plus like I mentioned I’m rather taken with someone else who was arriving later in the week.