In retrospect, the build up to the wedding referendum last May missed out on one very valuable marketing tool… we will have the most amazing, flamboyant weddings to go to! There would have been a 100% YES vote if we could all have attended a big, gay wedding… even Breda O’Brien would have thrown in her flannel teatowel for a rainbow one.
I had such an honour last Saturday the 3rd of October 2015 when I attended the wedding of Patrick Ryan and Sean Lundy. These guys met 18 years ago on Christmas Eve in The George.
I have never hidden my atheist light under a bushel but it was my first time to attend a humanist ceremony. I am normally bored to tears in a church bending , kneeling, sitting and listening to an old “celibate” man profess to know something about marriage and the couple involved. I will admit to spending my time rolling my eyes or checking twitter. The whole shabang-a-lang (™ Carla Brady) was held at Dunboyne Castle and the room where the vows were exchanged was intimate and lit softly with fairy lights. Patrick was escorted down the aisle by his proud mammy, followed a minute later by Sean with his. The air was charged with emotion and the room erupted several times with whoops and clapping; the grooms were relaxed with Patrick even waving at guests from time to time. The celebrant was a young girl called Eveanne O’Meara from Marry Me Ireland and could have presented a show on TV with her charm and humour. I actually thought she was a friend of the couple as there was a real familiar relationship between them. We escaped with only one entendre moment when Eveanne asked one of them to slip the ring on his finger and a roar of laughter broke out as the older members mouthed “what happened? to each other. Instead of prayers and hymns, there was Xanadu and stories of how the guys met and overcame a long distance romance (Limerick to Dublin)… secrets were spilled but by the end of the ceremony when “I do, I do, I do” played we all had aching faces from smiling and I slipped my hand in my husband’s and felt like all Lennon’s imagines were possible.
Photos were taken on the steps and we shouted sex instead of cheese because all wedding norms had been flung aside with wild abandon and we were going to go wild… there was a promise in the air (and prosecco on tap). There was no bride or bridesmaids to cosset and admire… although we all admired the grooms who were dressed immaculately. I did suggest to some beautifully dressed male friends of Patrick’s…( Dave (No bins in the stockroom please) O’Sullivan) to start a Queer Eye For the Straight Guy show in Ireland, starting with my husband who had refused to wear a tie and tried to escape the house with grey socks and navy trousers. He’s lucky he’s so damn hot (still on my wedding love buzz).
All of my work gals were there and looking amazing .. we had been planning our outfits for weeks so we used the interim to admire each other while berating ourselves… “ah no, look at my belly it’s bulging even with the control pants” (Funny story, when I was getting ready in the hotel room I asked Ossie would he do me a favour… he looked apprehensive and I asked could he reach down the back of my dress and pull my corset up tucking in any visible back fat. To his credit, he did all the while murmuring women). I was channeling Doris Day and Cyndi Lauper’s lovechild and Amy Lynch was a little more respectful to the 1950s housewife vibe (bar the piercings). There were a lot of fabulous knockers on display with Margaret Graham taking the gold and Nicky Byrne and Therese Slevin bringing up the rear (figuratively… I’m drowning in puns)… there was even a knicker “forgetting” incident that made us nervous for the dancing later (you know who you are). Some more prosecco was had and the social smokers began their night’s work.
I was sitting next to my husband and the beautiful Carla who was blinging in sequins. There was wine and fabulous food… which I won’t go into… (I’m a demolisher and not an describer of food … I’ll leave that to Catherine McAndrew who uses adjectives like divine and to die for in relation to salad (suffice to say it was yummy)) so I was blissing out as it was. So far, so traditional till I noticed that there were tambourines on the table and suddenly the opening theme tune of Superman began… and we all leapt to our feet as the grooms ran into the room, arms outstretched like the superheroes they are to a standing ovation and that’s when things suddenly got very gay. YMCA began and we all became a synchronised mob of dancers… a crappy flash mob that did too much cheering and laughing to have any sync at all. Patrick and Sean led from the front like George Michael and Andrew Ridgely circa ‘86. This mania was followed with the speeches; the best men speeches which were fittingly hilarious, touching and shaming. Sean is a die hard Madonna fan and his best man, Richard went above and beyond the call of duty making him a Madonna balloon animal which was grotesque yet admirable. Patrick’s best man David showed a video time-lining them as kids, teenagers and eventually as a couple that had my meticulous make up run into my cleavage. I can’t tell you the amount of times we all felt compelled to jump out of our seats and bang a tambourine… it was akin only to religious fanaticism. The boys made heartfelt speeches and what hit me hardest was their love and gratitude for that unsung hero, the Irish mammy. I can but dream of a moment like that in my future and I don’t know if I could bear the disappointment of the 3 of mine being straight.
The entertainment was kicked off by Veda Beaux Reves who wrapped things up with a spectacular Shake it Off that had the grooms doing fabulous things with swathes of fabric…. tambourines were shook to within an inch of their lives. At this point I was repeating a mantra of “please o please let me be a gay man in my next life”.
Next Spring Break took to the stage and I spent the next hour or so swimming in a sea of fabulous 80s-ness… I couldn’t even take a pee break and you all know how much I pee as each song was better than the last. My shoes were kicked off and I Molly Ringwalled my way around the dance floor with some Ren footloosing thrown in. A highlight was I wanna Dance with Somebody and I interpretive danced the shit out of that…
Things get foggy here so excuse anything I’ve left out but we moved to the residents bar and I was struggling to stay awake and was dreaming of a bath and hotel robe…. this suggestion got Ossie moving and away from his drink. We retired for the night and put the robes to good use.
I NEED more gay weddings in my life and may start to hang out at gay bars, befriending established couples and finagling my way into their colourful lives… in the meantime, all my love to the happy couple and thank you for distracting this bored housewife…. next stop, my 40th!