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?ello? ?ello? ?ello? Is that the Wedding, then?


You hear them at champagne-flowing parties. You hear them in crowded trains. You hear them in bumpy buses. And much, much too often you hear them at weddings.

They're a curse and abomination to many people everywhere, but to a couple about to be married, they're the absolute limit.

The organ bursts into a triumphant wedding march, followed almost immediately by a high-pitched ring-ring, ring-ring of a mobile phone. "The wedding's just started," you hear someone affecting a whisper. "Call you back in a tick."

"I, Michael, take you, Wendy, to be my lawfully, wedded wife."

Ring-ring, ring-ring, from another direction. "Sorry about that, folks, forgot to switch off my mobile."

The celebrant pauses, greeted by breathless anticipation, but as he is about to make the solemn pronouncement, several mobiles go off at the same time. One is just the ordinary, penetrating shrill, the other begs Polly to put the kettle on so we can all have tea.

It should have been expected that this state of affairs could not, and would not be borne. As I speak, the fight against the invasion at weddings of the evil mobile is well in hand.

Keep an eye on the order of service that's going to hit you at the next wedding you're attending and don't be surprised if it goes something like this:-

(a) Opening song performed by Dimity, the bride's sister.

(b) Call to prayer by Reverend Marsden, the groom's uncle.

(c) Call to switching off mobile phones by the MC.

To reinforce the idea that mobiles will not be welcome at the wedding, couples now place on their invitation, just under the RSVP, a very distinct PS, "Please leave your mobile at home".

But because obsessions are obsessions, are obsessions, the bride and groom determined to have their guests talk to each other rather than into their mobile, have evolved yet another strategy.

As each guest is about to enter the room, he or she is presented with a long-stemmed red rose by a charming little flower girl. While the guest's attention is thus diverted, the best man or the maid of honour, depending on the sex of the guest, remove any mobiles detected on the person concerned. Immediately confiscated, the mobile is returned to the guest at the end of the festivities.

And if, as sometimes happens despite all precautions taken, the solemnity of the ceremony is broken by either a ring, or some light-hearted ditty, before the guest so much as moves his hand towards the sock where he's secreted the offending piece of plastic, he is quickly seized by a couple of burly ex-footballers, and ejected unceremoniously from the room.

So let it happen to every wedding guest who forgets to abide by the wedding guest code, "While at a wedding, I shall speak to every other guest at least once, and two or three times if practicable, and will not use a mobile at all".

Vlady is an Australian Civil Marriage Celebrant. She is an author of two books "The Complete Booke of Australian Weddings" and the Small Organisation Handbook. Vlady is a member the Queensland Civil Marriage Celebrants Association and Celebrants Training Association. She is also a member of Australian Authors and Romance Writers of Australia Association.

You can visit Vlady at her website http://www.vlady-celebrant.com


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2005