I'm getting married in eight days' time. We would have done it yesterday, but Westlife had already been booked by Wayne and Coleen. Actually, that's not true. Our mate James is DJing for us instead, and we're having a slightly less glamorous ceremony than theirs on the Italian Riviera, by opting for Walthamstow Register Office instead.
But despite being convinced that my own nuptials are in the best possible taste, as opposed to all the other weddings that are far less classy than my own, I'm not going to join in the snobbery when it comes to Wayne and Coleen. For why shouldn't they get married the way they want to? After all, much as the many interested parties around a couple about to get married think the big day is as much about them as the two tying the knot, weddings are actually just about the couple getting married.
And while it's nice to have family and friends observe as you make a public proclamation of loving someone, and celebrate with you afterwards, that's what they are – observers.
In fact, getting married myself has made me regret the time spent telling one old friend that he should buy a new suit for his wedding and not wear one he already owned. He was far too nice to tell me to butt out and mind my own business, but I did apologise to him once I started getting married and people kept making similarly "helpful" suggestions to me.
For when it comes to weddings there is only one way to get married, and that is to do it exactly the way you want to. As one of my friends who got married last year wrote in the engagement card she sent: "The only worthwhile wedding advice is to decide what you want and ignore anyone who has a contrary opinion." This pearl of wisdom had been passed on to her by another friend who got married 18 months ago, and is one I shall be passing on to the next friend of ours to tie the knot.
The thing is, of course, that weddings are all inherently in bad taste, rubbing the noses of people yet to find love or who have fallen out of love that it is you that is happy, not them. Is there a way to stand at the front of a room with styled hair, over the top make-up and a silly frock screaming "look at me, look at me" without being tasteless? I doubt it.
I do, it is fair to say, make a habit out of defending WAGs. I've written in the past about why Victoria Beckham should be held up as a feminist icon, defending her from attack by men and women, and when Roy Keane spouted off about the footballers who won't move to Sunderland because their wives and girlfriends wouldn't leave behind the shops of London of Manchester, I defended them too.
This isn't because I see being a WAG as a valid career choice. Nor, I hasten to add, because of snobbery over shopping all day, eating lunch and having a generally nice time, but because it upsets me that anybody would define themselves by their man's job, be it the prime minister's wife or the butcher's girlfriend. But Coleen has never done this.
Having met her man when she was just a schoolgirl, and facing media interest that may have made it very difficult to do anything other than the mix of modelling and pseudo-journalism that she currently does, she has made quite a name for herself, to the point that some commentators have said that when Rooney's career is over he may be known as Coleen's husband, not the other way, which, if the implicit misogyny of the word didn't offend me, would make the rather nice acronym of HAG (Husbands and Girlfriends).
We're having a reading at our wedding from Jane Austen's Emma. It is the very last paragraph of the book: "The wedding was very much like other weddings, where the parties have no taste for finery or parade... 'Very little white satin, very few lace veils; a most pitiful business! ...' But, in spite of these deficiencies, the wishes, the hopes, the confidence, the predictions of the small band of true friends who witnessed the ceremony, were fully answered in the perfect happiness of the union."
As per the reading, I am not wearing white at my wedding, and nor will there be lace or satin. And while there was plenty of finery and parade for Wayne and Coleen's day, I hope the same holds true for them, that they have a very happy union and that they stick two fingers up at all the snobs who, under the guise of knowing what is classy, have forgotten that the least classy thing of all is snobbery.Reuse content