Archive for October 20th, 2010

Gina Byrne is a countrified Dub in Tipperary and mother of two. She blogs at http://wordsbygina.wordpress.com and is on Twitter: @Gina_inTipp

In the beginning, there was asking for directions. Which men are no good at, apparently. Then came maps. Which women can’t read, apparently. Then came Sat Nav. Which may or may not get you to your destination, via an incomplete bridge, muddy lay-by or the third exit of a two exit roundabout.

So, given the modern-day choice of some or indeed all of the above, why – oh why – does anyone need one of these?

They festoon a worrying number of rural highways and by-ways lately. The soon to be hitched couple tie them excitedly to traffic lights and lamp-posts. They can be handwritten or printed, laminated or maybe decorated with mini balloons and gold streamers. Isn’t it just so thoughtful of them? Helping their guests find their way while simultaneously adding gaiety to their journey. Bless.

Hang on – let’s just think about that for a minute. Who exactly, going to your average wedding, needs them?

Immediate family:

– All probably brought up near to and Christened/ Communioned/Confirmed in the church you’re directing them to. Or if you’ve chosen a different (ie prettier, more rustic) church or a civil ceremony, then they’ve probably already been dragged to the choosing of same, rehearsals, decorating etc.

Extended family:

– Grandparents, maiden aunts, your parents cousins. They’ll have been on the phone several times already, asking about your wedding list, availability of B&Bs (“much quieter”) and making sure you remember that Uncle Sean can’t eat salmon. All of these conversations will have ended with a full door-to-door run though of the exact directions, by your Dad. And in any event, they will all just follow his car anyway, in a slow but happy snaking convoy from ceremony to reception.

Your friends and workmates:

– Easy. They will have immediately sourced and located the best pub to meet in pre-ceremony. Then similarly have printed out a Google Map pub-crawl route that will get everyone seamlessly from the 1st of the day to the champagne reception – via the poor designated driver. Often the pregnant member of the party, alas…

In any event, a bride (yes this is more bride than groom behaviour) who hangs these hideous signs wouldn’t have stopped at that anyway. Every invitation would also come with a colour-coded map and AA Roadwatch description of the route.

Also, any restaurant or hotel venue worth its salt has printable directions on its website.

In other words – everyone gets there. No one needs a sign. Except perhaps the odd bridezilla who may remain unconvinced. Perhaps she should think about this…

In all the joy and revelry of the day itself, no one ever does the journey in reverse, ie to take the signs back down again. So, your guests returning home are now confronted with your rain-soaked sign; names dripping like mascara, a flaccid balloon and a couple of sad streamers. Doesn’t exactly say Happy Ever After, now does it?

I’m telling you – it’s a sign…

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