Here's an uncool thing: I am obsessed with weddings.
I gorge myself on wedding TV as though it were a complimentary cake tasting. When I first discovered Say Yes to the Dress I blitzed 70 episodes in a fortnight, and there's no episode of Don't Tell The Bride I can't gleefully recount from memory. In fact, weddings have become a recreational hobby – like bird watching, only with more tulle and slightly fewer tits.
I read bridal blogs ‘ironically’, peer into the windows of bridal shops to thumbs-up the good fittings, and stalk strangers' weddings on social media with all the fervour of a be-anoraked trainspotter. Last year I was a bridesmaid at two weddings in two weeks, and a guest at three more. During the second half of my 20s I’ve danced in a rustic barn conversion more often than I have in club.
But – and here's where my inner Katherine Heigl character dies with a whimper – I can't be arsed to actually get married. My boyfriend and I have been together for five and a half happy years now, we're both very pro-marriage in general – and yet, nah. The thought of doing a wedding ourselves makes me feel twitchy and exhausted.
Because the downside of being a recreational wedding-watcher is the overwhelming choice. I’ve admired country weddings and city weddings and seaside weddings and mountaintop weddings, weddings on trains, weddings on boats, weddings that looked like adverts for incredibly stylish cults, and weddings where everyone involved was clearly miserable but my GOD, the lighting design. If I suddenly ended up betrothed tomorrow, it would either be a wondrous Greatest Hits compendium of a wedding featuring all the best bits of everyone else’s – the weddingest wedding that ever did wedding – or I’d go in to meltdown and end up trying to hold an urban chic Greek Orthodox ceremony in an abandoned lighthouse wearing half a hoop-skirted taffeta meringue and half a directional jumpsuit.
And let’s not forget that a wedding lasts a day, while the anticipation could last forever. If I never have a wedding then we can never have had a wedding, which means I will never have to sit at someone else’s thinking “ffs, if only we’d had a hundred origami flamingoes suspended on ribbons from the ceiling of a yurt. Now we will NEVER GET THE CHANCE AGAIN.”
So for now, I’m happy to keep my seat in the spectator stands and do my bit for making wedding-appreciation a socially acceptable hobby. Overpriced, overhyped, and riddled with morally dubious messages they might be, but so is football and you don’t see anyone at the Emirates looking ashamed.
If you too would like to study weddings from an academic distance, these are the set texts I’d recommend.