The Fiddler on the Phone

Gareth and I quite often forget we got married. It still feels like we just went on a really excellent holiday and there was that guy in the Elvis suit. That's why we can only blink confusedly when asked how the Wedding Party Preparations are going. Luckily Mary, Gareth's Mum, knows how lazy and inept we both are and has done much of the organisation already.

We had a Planning Summit around the dinner table last Sunday. It's surreal to find yourself with Parents-in-Law, but mine are lovely and I like going to their house. They have our wedding photo on top of the piano! I've never been on someone's piano before. They've tolerated our haphazard approach to marriage with grace and humour.

"So," said David, Gareth's father, "Your mother's now telling everyone you two eloped, haven't you Mary? Because it sounds more sordid that way!"

"Well! It's a good story!"

Gareth's brother entered the room and announced, "There's a fiddler on the phone."

"Oh! The fiddler!"

"The fiddler?" I whispered to Gareth as his Mum dashed out.

"Yes. For the ceilidh band."

There'll be none of your mulletted Foreigner-playing dodgy DJ's at our wedding party, thanks very much. We are having a traditional ceilidh dancefest, complete with twelve-piece band. It will be kilts ahoy. I can Strip the Willow with the best of them but I am already worried my wedding dress won't contain my boobs when confronted with such jaunty exercise. Then there's the high heels that make me stagger like a trainee drag queen. That was the beauty of running off to Vegas – I only had to look nice for ten minutes then I could get back into my slob gear.

The first order of business was the selection of items for the buffet. This involved Mary reminding Gareth and I that it was Our Party and it was really up to Us, Gareth shrugging, "I dunno", me giggling at how Scottish people pronounce it "boo-fee" and David saying, "As long there's no vol-au-vents! I can't stand vol-au-vents!"

"Now what about the wedding cake?" Mary asked. "Do you want a round cake or square cake? Fruit cake or sponge cake?"

I could see Gareth's head turning crimson, a sure sign of confusion and/or stress. "I'm not a fan of fruit cake."

"Me either!" I piped up, helpfully.

"Then we'll have TWO tiers with one of each flavour!"

"Good good, that's all settled!" David tapped his wine glass with a knife. "Meeting adjourned. Mary, I haven't seen you have this much fun since we were buying the new piano!"

This past week didn't sail as smoothly. First we started calling guests and found that many were on holidays or going to T in the Park. I don't know how you could turn down some accordion action for the likes of Snoop Dogg and Foo Fighters, but people have strange priorities. Then it seemed the ceilidh band were unavailable. Mary seemed gravely concerned that there'd only be half a dozen people in the giant room she'd hired, munching vol-au-vents in ceilidh-less silence.

"Don't you have any more friends?"

"I dunno!" There is nothing that skyrockets a mother's anxiety levels than a listless "I dunno" from an ungrateful child. She suggested we invite all my work colleagues, random strangers from the phone book, bums off the street; anything to boost the numbers.

My favourite stress-filled exchange of the week:

"What's wrong with you today anyway, you're very grumpy!"

"I've got a lot on at work, that's all."

"Oh. You're not taking it out on Shauna, are you?"


"Well a friend's daughter's partner just came back from Iraq and he's taking it out on her."

"I'm not taking it out on her!"

"Well, I was just saying."

Good news came though on Sunday – the ceilidh band have made themselves available, after Mary explained the Bride was Australian and would really appreciate a dose of Scottish culture. We may end up with more band members than guests but for the moment there's an air of calm on Planet Wedding Party. Ahhh.

About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m Shauna, an author, copywriter and content mentor. I love telling stories about life and helping others to tell theirs.

Find out more about me and how we can work together – I’m now booking for October 2021.

8 thoughts on “The Fiddler on the Phone

  1. Woohoo! Nothing but the best type of wedding entertainment. I love country dancing – have been doing it ever since I was a little kiddy. Pretty well the only thing we have arranged for our wedding is booking the band.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the possibility of wardrobe malfunctions. I have ceilidh’d the night away in all kinds of getups (not strapless, I admit, but I know others who have) and not come to grief.

    On the other hand, ballet shoes or similar might be kinder on the feet than high heels if you’re planning to dance a lot. They’re not that expensive. I usually wear highland shoes (because I happen to have them – I did highland dancing at school) but they might look a bit weird with a wedding dress…

    Come to that, the last ceilidh I was at I lost an earring. That might be relevant!

    So how would you pronounce buffet? B’ffay? BooFAY? To rhyme with “tuffet”?

  2. since you mention it, Shauna, you might respond, why, yes, I do have a wider circle of “friends.” No need to scrape the streets – your readership could people the hall nicely.

  3. I always wondered how to spell that.

    Pussycat: come for the charming anecdotes, stay for the lernin.

    Arg, sorry if I’ve posted this a billion times…

  4. i can easy-jet my butt over there before you cab say blueberry pie .. just give me the address and a date .. i already have a kilt 🙂

  5. Oh my gosh while I was reading that I was thinking ….hmmmm…how can I crash that party?

    And now it turns out YOU NEED ME…let’s see…(checks orbitz) when was that again? I’ve even got some good doilies for a wedding present that’ll take up only a little room in my suitcase.

  6. Hey Shauna, yes why don’t you invite your readers?? I’m sure we can fill a giant room or five 😉

  7. Ah bless, I will bring a rag tag band of dipsos and drongos over the border all bekilted (if the eBay biddding holds) to scour the hall, feast on the flesh ofthe vol a vents and ravage the pliant bodies of the ceilidh band.

    Just say the word buddy

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