Despite being - as I had to assure about 10 people at on Saturday night - Not the Marrying Kind, I love weddings. I love the dressing up, the festive mood, the copious booze and the combination of a large dancefloor with some cheesy music. I love the way everyone's in a good mood, I love the speeches and, god help me, I even love being thrust together with a bunch of old friends and relatives you haven't necessarily seen (or missed) since the last time you saw them several years ago.
However. Much as I love weddings and almost everything that comes with them not everyone seems to share my sense of How Things Should Be Done. I'm not talking Miss Manners' etiquette or who is supposed to toast who in which speech, I'm talking about wedding faux pas that should never, ever be made but, judging by Saturday night's experience, still really, really are.
Let's start with attire. Now I don't have a problem at all with people wearing black or white to a wedding (so long as you're not, you know, wearing a veil or in any danger of being mistaken for the bride). Black is about the loveliest colour ever invented and if people with more confidence than me feel they can pull off white then good luck with them. Furthermore I applaud those girls who go with fetching pants and a lovely top and manage to look both polished and incredibly relaxed - I don't know how they do it (pants of any kind seem to make me about 2ft 6) and to these people I raise my glasses. But to you - yes you Miss Cleavage sitting in the back row of the ceremony flashing your pink bits and your boobs at the same time, I do not. I'm not sure where you gathered the idea that a scrap of shiny black fabric, slashed to the navel and hiked up to just below your arse cheeks consisted of a good wedding outfit but sadly you have been led astray. Also - and you know I'm telling you this for your own good as it has to be sad - to be frank it makes your behaviour on the dancefloor later look, er, even more suspect.
Which brings us onto Things That Shouldn't Be Said at Weddings. Let's start with black dress who came out with a corker on the dancefloor, shouting in the groom's (and everyone else's) ear while the Choirboys' Run to Paradise was playing "YOU'RE PARADISE (Groom's name)!!" Hmmm. Yes, quite. The same memo should probably be circulated to the wedding guest who regaled those nearby with her own choice of stimulant on her wedding night. Smelling salts and a cup of hot tea it was not, which is all good and fine when it's going on somewhere else but not so awesome when she's cornering you to tell you all about it and you've only got a last gulp of wine remaining in your glass.
Which, again, leads neatly onto intoxication. Drinking, clearly, is encouraged if not mandatory at weddings. It's everywhere, it's a rather good drop if you're at a rather good wedding and it provides the sort of social lubricant that is necessary if weddings are going to end with hugs and tears of happiness instead of fisticuffs and broken collarbones. So drinking is brilliant and even getting so drunk that you have to stagger to the car and spend the following day horizontal on the couch is permissible. Less permissible is being rendered paralytic in the toilets with an equally dolled up friend holding your hair back. Lord knows we've all been there before but at a wedding? Really? You really want to go there? The same caution should be applied to anyone thinking about stuffing cocaine up their nose in the girls' - because, sweetheart, you're probably not being quite as subtle as you imagine you are.
Finally let's talk about Not Going Home Again. I don't mean at the end of the night I mean how you cope with those people weddings inevitably reunites you with. Ex-boyfriends, ex crushes, ex friends - they're all there, they're all drunk and they're all probably exactly like they used to be when you decided you didn't want to hang out with them anymore (or they decided they didn't want to hang out with you). Weddings are, therefore, not the time to pursue old ties. The booze, the romance and the vague apocalyptic sensation that is the unspoken guest of all weddings will either make you look upon this person as The One Who Got Away or will plunge you back into the rage/depression they last invoked in you. Keep it at friendly smiles, polite chit chat and then seat yourself as far away from them as possible and grab a stinky cigar to keep them at bay. Better yet seat yourself next to Slutty Black Dress and trust a cheeky peek at the inside of her womb will keep most pests at a safe distance until the Choirboys fire up and you're ready to go back to the dancefloor.