How does it feel to be responsible for the most important day of a woman’s life? Tamryn Kirby was one of the UK’s leading wedding planners, and as such, has seen it all. Here she gives Confetti a glimpse at some of the most heart-warming stories along with some invaluable hints and tips for brides to be.
Of course, it’s not always the adults you have to watch. At one wedding, I lifted a tablecloth to discover three hiccupping kids aged six, seven and ten hiding under the table necking wine. It transpired that they’d mine-swept the surrounding tables after the meal and were busy gulping from bottles of Merlot and Chardonnay. Under-age drinking aside, weddings are always a hotbed of opportunities for embarrassment.
Of course, the best man’s speech often leaves the groom with a red face, but you’d be amazed by the amount of guests who are hell-bent on leaving the newlyweds blushing – particularly the groom. With so many people in one room who know your shameful or most secret stories, there’s definitely scope for some serious humiliation.
I’ll never forget the poor groom who happened to be quite religious and had chosen to remain a virgin until his wedding night. Unfortunately for him, all of his friends knew about it. Trying to head off any potential for pranks, the groom spoke to the DJ and gave him strict instructions that certain songs were categorically off the playlist, ‘Like a Virgin’ being top of the list. ‘If anyone asks you and you play it, I will kill you,’ he told the DJ with a smile. We could both tell that he wasn’t joking. It was a canny pre-emptive strike as, sure enough, throughout the night, a parade of the groom’s friends approached the DJ begging him to play that very Madonna track.
Another great set-up came during the best man’s speech. The best man in question was fabulously deadpan, and when he started talking about how the couple in question wanted to have an eco-friendly wedding, nothing seemed amiss. Next came the line about wanting to reduce their carbon footprint while on honeymoon. Again, no alarm bells. Then the best man announced to everyone that the groom was taking the bride on a romantic and exotic week away to fabulous . . . Wales!
The bride’s face fell momentarily and she blurted out, ‘No, no, we’re supposed to be going to St Lucia.’ To which the best man clapped his hand over his mouth and said, ‘I’m so sorry, Jo, but when I asked Andy about your honeymoon, he just said, “I’m going to Bangor for two weeks.”
The entire room (grandparents included) burst out laughing. There are also a lot of horror stories about guests trying to sneak into the bride and groom’s first-night room to ‘decorate’ it in a ‘funny’ way with things in the bed – shaving foam over the mirrors, for example, or even the odd blow-up sheep in the bath.
I developed a knack of holding on to the key for the bride and groom myself, or telling the venue to give the key only to the bride or to me. It’s easy to mix up any guy in the posh suit for the groom, but there’s only one woman in a big white dress!
Here are some of Tamry’s tales of wedding shame:
• ‘One of my guests got so drunk that she flashed her boobs at anyone who’d look, male or female, each time she went outside to have a cigarette.’
• ‘My sister-in-law was caught on camera doing a very sexy and knicker-revealing dance. It ended up on YouTube.’
• ‘At my wedding, all the men, including the groom, fastened their ties around their heads and poured beer over each other.’
• ‘A good friend, who only got married herself in April, ended up having a rendezvous in the bushes with another single friend – and I don’t think they were discussing shrubbery.’
• ‘The buffet came out at 9 p.m., and I didn’t get a chance to have any of the Brie I’d chosen specially – it had literally disappeared. A straw poll of the guests revealed that no one had sampled it. I later discovered that one of my younger and drunker guests had been challenged to steal the cheese – and had managed to wedge it into his belt line and under his shirt. He danced with it there all night.’
• ‘My teenage brother got so drunk at a family wedding that he had to be helped out of the venue by our parents. On the way, he announced he “wanted a piss” and promptly urinated all over my dad’s shoes.’
• ‘A female friend – who is not gay – kept telling me how gorgeous I looked at my wedding. Eventually, at about 3 a.m., she told me she’d quite like to shag me, and that if my marriage didn’t work out I should definitely give her a call. Then she kissed me very gently on the lips and patted my bum. I thought it was a huge joke, but the following morning she sidled up and whispered, “I meant everything I said last night.” Then she winked and walked away.’
Confessions of a Wedding Planner is published by Headline and is available to buy at any good bookshop or at Amazon.
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