One of the first weddings I ever went to was the joining in holy matrimony of my two favourite teachers, Miss Grehan and Mr Bradley.
It was brilliant – I played the drums in the orchestra and thoroughly enjoyed myself. It felt like a big occasion, like me and my friends had been let into the world of grown ups for a while.
But then it came to the big moment for them to exchange vows, and Miss Grehan couldn’t get her words out. She was choked up with emotion, and, well – she could hardly stop crying.
How strange, I thought at the time. Why would you cry like that at the crucial point on the happiest day of your life? What a strange thing love is.
Fast forward 15 years or so, and of course I understand.
I have become Miss Grehan – I am WORSE than Miss Grehan. I don’t know when I became such a soppy git, but it happened along the way somehow.
Not only do I cry at nature programmes (it’s so sad when the poor baby elephant follows his mother’s tracks the wrong way through the dust storm) and films (which are not even real life, for god’s sake), but I cry when watching the wedding videos of strangers on the internet.
What am I going to do with myself? I can’t blub my way through my wedding day!
I refuse to be a red-faced, red-eyed monster with make-up all over my face in all the photos, smearing mascara over anyone that gives me a hug.
I’ve looked online for advice. But nothing I found was very helpful. Lists on ‘how to stop yourself crying’ have suggested the following:
Cross your eyes (Oh this will look great in the photos)
Laugh (this will make me look like a total nutter)
Look up to the sky (ditto)
Eat ice cream (don’t think they let you say your vows while eating a Magnum?)
Yawn (might seem a bit rude)
Do mathematical problems in your head (this might make me cry more)
Go somewhere alone and let it all out or just jump on a trampoline (the first option might work if I could run off to the toilets for a sneaky cry, but the second?????)
Go outside and lie down on the grass and look at the clouds (what, and get stains on my dress?)
Further investigation – from real life people on message boards – did bring up some more helpful advice.
One person advised just putting the biggest cheesiest grin possible on your face. If you really stretch your cheeks and eye muscles, the redness and puffyness just goes away, they said.
Another person said they “just yell at myself in my head – ‘shut up, stupid!’ – that kind of thing.” That could possibly work.
A wedding planner had even posted her advice. She told all her brides to keep their tongue pressed against the roof of their mouth. If it worked for them I should deffo give it a try.
But then I read the following entry: “I learned this the hard way: if the tears come, and you just blink them back furiously, they have to go somewhere,” it began.
“That ‘somewhere’, in my case, was down into my nasal passage and out my nose.
“I discovered this when walking down the aisle at my wedding. I hadn’t expected to get so emotional. So I had a big trickle coming out of my nose.
“I’m just hoping it was dark enough in the church so that people couldn’t really see it, or else they have been polite enough not to mention it.”
Oh dear, a leaking nose is a much worse prospect than leaking eyes.
Maybe I should just have a good cry after all?