The Insiders’ Guide To Marriage – Tips, Tales & How To Survive


We’ve taken normal 3 guys at various stages of marriage (pre-wedding, 1 year of marriage, 7 years of marriage – for the purposes of this article we’ll call them rare, medium and well done), and sat them down with a couple of pints to discuss the topic of marriage, before, during and after. Names are kept for fear of getting sentenced by the fun police, aka the wives / fiancés.

Welcome gents, we’re posing the big nuptial questions …

What age did you get married / are you getting married?

Rare: 32

Medium: 30

Well Done: 36

Where and how did you propose?

Rare: Up Meall a’ Bhuachaille, in the Cairngorms. After a beautiful walk through the woods passed a frozen loch we started our ascent up Meall a’ Bhuachaille to a Cairn at the 810m summit which looks out over Loch Morlich below offering stunning views across the Cairngorms, where my plan was to drop to one knee and pop the question. After setting a quick pace due to nerves of knowing what was happening at the top, an hour and a half later a very disgruntled, short legged, red faced mrs and I were at the top in the middle of a snowstorm unable to see 2m ahead of us. Shorts were a bad idea, but she still said yes!

Medium: In Tuscany (Italy) at the top of a mountain. Not on my steed, as my best man would have you to believe.

Well Done: The big apple, down on one knee back at the hotel after a big night. We agreed to keep it a secret for a while until I’d asked her dad for permission and that deal lasted a full 5 minutes.

Did you get the ring right?

Rare: Yes, it was a family heirloom so she had already told me that was what she wanted to use. Diamond necklace and earrings were used for the proposal so not to look like too much of a cheapskate.

Medium: Yes with the help of her sister, but she insists on getting the bloody thing cleaned every 5 minutes.

Well Done: I took a gamble and thought I’d pulled it off, it was 6 years before she told me she didn’t like it.

How was your performance at wedding planning assistance?

Rare: Ongoing, but so far she is doing most of the research and making most of the decisions and I’m nodding my head like the Churchill dog! Seems to suit both of us.

Medium: Pretty good all things considered. If I left it all to my darling wife, I would have had to sell my organs on the black market.

Well Done: Apart from the finance I was pretty hopeless.

How did the stag do go down?

Rare: It’s in the planning stage but at the moment her hen do it’s matching it stride for stride so she’s pretty relaxed with it. That or she has no ideas what my brothers have in store for me!

Medium: Very jealous. Her friends finances meant she stayed local, I took 16 guys to Valencia!

Well Done: She was very relaxed.

Any tips for the stag weekend?

Rare: It’s 8 months away and already things are filling up/getting more expensive so want to get it booked asap really to make sure we get what we want (not that I am getting any say in that at all).

Medium: Make sure at least one of your ushers is an 18 stone ex rugby prop who downs cheap Spanish wine like it’s blackcurrant Lucozade (so he bails you out on drinks).

Well Done: Do something you want to do and if you’re not sure where to go head somewhere new. Also, don’t overcook it the first night. I did, via a few spiked drinks, and was ruined for the next day.

As the wedding approached were / are you nervous?

Rare: It’s still 9 months away so no nerves yet. I think I’ll be ok on the day though.

Medium: Not really, only when I saw her walking across the sand with her dad Don Vito Corleone on her arm. Big gulp!

Well Done: Yes not jibbering but certainly had an anxious chuff or two. Luckily it was a hot day so nervous sweats were camouflaged.


Any wedding fails?

Rare: I’m sure there will be, we are marrying in a Marquee in the grounds of a big house with a swimming pool. I fear the worst.

Medium: On the dance floor, pulling out ‘the worm’ with a white shirt and a tie around my head. Not one of my best moments.

Well Done: I left my bag in the back of the taxi so I lost all my first night stuff including my sex panther style honeymoon aftershave. I had to leave the hotel in the morning dishevelled, still in my morning suit.

Worse thing that happened on the big day / has happened so far?

Rare: Nothing yet, except the cost keeps creeping up.

Medium: You get married in Italy in May for guaranteed sun right? Not the case, the morning of the wedding rain and tears everywhere! It soon cleared up and was perfect for the beach service. A lot of unnecessary stress caused. Good old mother nature!

Well Done: Bloody band (who weren’t that great anyway), told them we weren’t doing a first dance (one of our best joint decisions) and the bastards called us out anyway. Our first tune was Sister Sledge’s horrendous “We Are Family”, the idiots. I hate that song now. If there was one other thing I could change about the whole thing it’s that and one nightmare guest who got ratted and punchy, not my side I hasten to add.

Any tips for wedding planning?

Rare: Let her get on with it. She moans from time to time that I’m not pulling my weight but really she wants to make all the decisions anyway … and if she’s happy, I’m happy.

Medium: The wedding is for the bride, and the honeymoon is for the groom, that simple. Don’t get in the way, just smile and nod… within reason of course!

Well Done: Hand it over, keep out the way. The ladies are way better at this stuff and they enjoy it a lot more. Just show some interest once in a while and congratulate them on their decision making, even if it’s borderline acceptable for you, just suck it up. If you want / need to make changes do it subtly. Keep an eye on the temperature for the big day, when we got married it was 40 degrees! Also make sure your bestman has a decent speech, my bestman misjudged it and bombed, some of his jokes were terrible.

Any tips for honeymoon planning?

Rare: We’re having a delayed honeymoon so we can concentrate on the wedding planning for now and then the honeymoon can be done properly.

Medium: Don’t scrimp on it. You plan to only do it once so get exactly what you want. Also don’t conform to the norm, be different!

Well Done: As far as you’re concerned you want to get as much of the wedding budget on this as possible, it’s finally a time to enjoy yourselves. After a hectic run in, chilling out somewhere luxurious is a nice way to finish off.

In arse-kicker terms where would you rate your wife / intended? (Iggle Piggle / Makelele / Jonny Wilkinson)

Rare: Iggle Piggle / Makelele but she has plenty of time to change.

Medium: Wilko with a bayonet attached to his big toe (she is Italian after all).

Well Done: Johnny for sure (before I got married I had no idea I got so many things wrong).

Any tips for those getting married?

Rare: Set a budget and try to stick to it. It’s proving difficult but so far the most stressful thing is looking at how much 1 day is going to be costing.

Medium: Communicate and compromise. Listen to her rant and just give in. It’s a lot easier!

Well Done: Be prepared to compromise and to save time compromise early, you really will end up losing anyway. I always try and remember my dad’s sagely advice … “agree with what they say and then do what you want.”

Good luck.

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