The story that I’m about to tell you is crazy and ridiculous, but it’s also a true account of the little mistakes that almost ruined an otherwise perfect wedding. The names have been changed and the details have been tweaked slightly to protect the identities of the persons involved.14 September 2016, my best friend—let’s call him Michael—got back from the United States where he had been studying. His wedding was due in a month and he’d come home to participate in the final preparations. Michael and I had lived in the same neighbourhood, attended the same primary school, and become great friends. When he got back and asked me to be his best man, I was really happy.
No one had ever asked me to be their best man, so it was a great thrill to take on the role. I was single and I wasn’t thinking of getting married anytime soon, but I loved weddings, so I immediately switched to the ‘best man mode.’ In the days that followed, Michael and I met regularly to plan some logistics and discuss certain options. Since I was the outgoing one, Michael basically relied on my expertise and experience.
And things were going just fine.
But the devil is a cunning old man
Four days before the wedding Michael invited me to the hotel where he lodged and asked—out of the blue moon—if I thought it was a good idea that he have a bachelor’s party. He said he’d always wanted to explore the idea. I don’t know what planted the idea in his head or why his mind had conjured the thought up. But naturally, I had said ‘yes’.
As it turned out, agreeing to Michael’s idea was a mistake. But before you crucify me and say that I should have dissuaded my friend from pursuing a radical idea, understand that my job was to make the groom-to-be happy and to ensure that he had everything he wanted. Plus, I was great at organizing parties and I wanted to impress my friend. So right after he left, I swung into action—I talked to the hotel manager and got permission to host a small party in the hotel room. Then I dialed up some contacts and arranged for liquor, music, and professional dancers (or strippers, if you will).
I didn’t know it then, but trouble was lurking in the corner.
Now, on the eve of the wedding, around 6.45 pm, I spruced up, hailed a taxi, and went to the hotel. By 7.30 pm, everything was set. Michael was impressed with the arrangements. As the party kicked off and things moved into gear, Michael—knowing that he was never going to enjoy a pure sinless party ever again; or get the chance to drink, smoke, or dance with strange women—threw all caution to the wind. At first, I wanted to restrain him—and in hindsight, I probably should have—but the point of the whole party would have been defeated.
So I let Michael do whatever he wanted. But I kept myself in check.
The night passed quickly—in a blur, and I don’t really recollect much but I remember that things soon spiraled out of control; Michael and I got really drunk; and we partied with reckless abandon way into the night. When we woke up the next morning, we were lying half naked on the floor with two strippers sandwiched between us, our phones were gone, Michael’s wedding ring had been taken, and the suite had been thoroughly trashed. Apparently, someone had taken advantage of our little indiscretion.
As we stood up and staggered about the room in wonderment, Michael said, “Christ, what have we done?”
“My head hurts like hell.”
“I should have known that this was a bad idea from the beginning” Michael puffed. “Fun doesn’t like me.”
A wave of guilt hit me in the stomach as soon as Michael spoke. I felt terrible. I felt responsible. “Hey, it’s going to be alright. I’m going to get you to the altar. I promise.”
“But the rings are gone.”
“Don’t worry; we’ll get another on our way home.”
“Our way home?”
“Yes. Change of plans. You can’t possibly go to church from here. This place reeks of sin.”
Michael offered a sad smile. I smiled back and gave him a pat on the back. The time was 8.10 am. Michael found our clothes in the midst of the chaos, picked one of his briefcases, and said, “Let’s go.”
We rushed out of the room, got new rings, and headed to my place to get ready. The wedding program was supposed to start at 10a.m. and we couldn’t be late. Michael, lightheaded and forgetful, suddenly began to ramble about how he wasn’t sure he was ready to tie the knots with anyone, and how he didn’t feel like going anywhere. I knew it was the alcohol, so I hauled him up and got him ready. I wasn’t going to let an admittedly stupid adventure ruin a wedding. I couldn’t forgive myself.
To cut a long story short, we did make it to the cathedral on time, but Michael was sick and nauseous from excessive alcohol. When he walked to the altar, his steps were wobbly. When he held the microphone, his hands were shaky. Even as he recited his vows, his words slurred terribly and when he’d had to put the ring on his wife’s finger, he’d had a really hard time. To keep Michael from falling asleep at his own wedding, I’d had to pinch him occasionally. The bride had noticed. And she hadn’t been very happy.
We had been able to cover up the situation from everyone else and the day had been saved. The wedding had taken its natural course, and by the time the wedding was over, Michael’s face had become clearer. But I had learnt a valuable lesson - a bachelor party held on a wedding eve is not such a great idea. Michael and his wife now live happily ever after, but every time I look at their wedding pictures, I still remember how a little indiscretion had almost ruined their wedding and how things had almost fallen apart.