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An ode to ‘Day Two’ (and why it trumps the actual wedding day)


by Geraldine Carton
20th May 2018
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Our nuptials know-it-all, Geraldine Carton, has gone to her fair share of weddings. This is why she has decided that the Day Two celebrations reign superior.

Weddings are great, but my god, are they full-on. Even if you’re not part of the bridal party per se, there’s the stress of getting your outfit, finding a suitable present, sourcing a trustworthy babysitter, and gathering the funds to do it all.

And when you are actually playing a part in the big day? Well, you’ve got the added pressure of adhering to all the requirements that the role entails. From the red-eye early morning start to the compulsory hair and makeup appointments, the rigorous picture-taking frenzy, and the overarching expectation that this will be The Best Day Ever, it’s easy to feel a bit exasperated and overwhelmed by the whole thing.

Described as a “marathon, not a sprint”, the wedding day expands over a long stretch of time, which means that remaining on your best behaviour for its entirety can be a real test of willpower. And as much as you might be encouraged to have a good time, it’s up to you to ensure that you don’t have too much of a good time (note to self: a slurry bridesmaid shouting profanities during the speeches is never a good look).

The speeches, the dress, the smiles, the pictures, everything is expected to be perfect, and the pressure can really mount up. In fact, so much time and money has gone into to making this “the best day ever” that anything less than 10/10 can cause serious rifts and rumbles.

Day Two, by contrast, carries hardly any of the expectations that the main event does. By now former strangers have already done the awkward introductions, they’ve laughed over how-long-will-the-speeches-last-for betting games, bonded in the late night bathrooms and may even have enjoyed a cheeky smooch behind the DJ booth…

There is a distinctly casual atmosphere now, as all pretences and formalities have been done away with and the bridal party get to breathe a sigh of relief that everything went to plan (that is, at least, if everything did go to plan). As yesterday’s three-course sit-down banquet is replaced with a hearty buffet bbq situation, the charred smell signals the delicious, much-needed hangover cure that is to come.

As the children play and men gather ’round the grill (beer clutched in one hand, the stereotype that men-love-to-watch-BBQs clutched in the other), while the singletons make eyes at their newfound crushes, there’s a distinctly harmonious feeling in the air. Exhausted and worse-for-wear as many attendees may feel, it’s at this point that everyone is officially allowed to forget their outside worries and r-e-l-a-x.

Now that the photo frenzy is no more, we can disregard the ketchup stains on our outfits, ignore our now-patchy tan, and simply enjoy the fact that two great people have come together in lifelong matrimony, and we’ve been lucky enough to bear witness to it.

Because that’s really what it’s all about, right?