On top of the dress, the cake, the venue, the party and the honeymoon, you've got to plan the food as well?! Can't everyone just have chicken?

Image: Things you only know if you’ve planned a wedding menu

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"Hahaha," they laughed, tears in their eyes. "Who needs rent money when you've got sugared almonds?"

It doesn’t matter how nice and normal you believe yourself to be, or how many times you say you’re just having a bigger party than usual and simply need to end the day having signed the right bit of paper without setting anything on fire, weddings are weird and you're not as safe as you thought you were from the lure of the absurd.


Here's what you’ll learn by planning your wedding menu. Spoiler: it’ll mainly be dark and terrible truths about yourself.


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You are not as zen as you thought you were

“We’ll just go to the pub,” you say. “We’ll come from the registry office, have pie and chips with our mums and dads, then everyone we love can go for some casual beers. Genius. We are geniuses.”


A few months, thousands of pounds in deposits and lots of panic attacks later, your new definition of ‘casual’ has altered to include 3,975 sugared almonds embossed with your face.


The words ‘approved’ and ‘suppliers’ bring you out in hives

Try feeding 100 people without bankrupting yourself. Or figuring out a vegetarian option that doesn’t look like an insult spelled out in leaves. You’ve probably even developed the handy bride-to-be trick of jamming a fist into your mouth to stop yourself from screaming whenever they think of something that costs another £500 …

no money

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The most basic demands will make you look – and feel – like a diva

Wedding caterers love to celebrate your personality, individuality and all that is magical about you. As long as it can be expressed financially, in canapé form. Ask for something off script and expect your caterer to act like a record company boss telling Mariah Carey that she could not pose with a live unicorn on her album cover. Yes, the platinum package will double your planned spend, but it is your special day …


The most glorious moment of mental acrobatics you will ever experience is trying to work out the cost of champagne plus corkage

You know it’s £40 a bottle at the venue, so you wait until they’re doing it half price at the supermarket, then multiply your guests by the three glasses you think they’ll drink, and you know you’ll get five glasses in a bottle, and they come in cases of six, and you make a constipated face. However you slice it, toasting your wedded is going to cost the same as two-and-a-half months' rent.


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You start referring to dear friends and relations as ‘mouths to feed’

Especially vegetarians. Resist putting a note on the invite for veggie guests to bring their own picnics. Try and forget the fact it'd be cheaper to take each guest out for a really nice steak. Instead, you’re giving them a limited quantity of fizz and a big ball of tarragon wrapped in pastry. 


There will be cake anxiety

It’s normal to taste something six months in advance of eating it while a mercenary cake-pusher watches over you. As is the cardinal rule of all wedding cakes, it will look better than it tasted and you’ll lie awake at night wondering if you could get away with nine Colin the Caterpillars instead, stacked into a tower. If you do try and take a new direction, you’ll find that conceptually, your ideas are more unoriginal than Fast and the Furious 7. Turns out the pork pie cake is the cake à la mode.


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You discover a new and violent side of your personality

When a helpful family member suggests rearranging the entire seating plan to accommodate their suggestion of a chocolate fountain, or a whole suckling pig, you’ll need to sit on your hands in order to stop yourself flipping the tables on them.


Photo: Kim Marius Flakstad / CC BY-SA 2.0 / adapted / Flickr: flakstad