Often a wedding is viewed as a minor stage production with the bride and groom as the stars of the play. In such an event even the celebrant has to be auditioned. Should it be a man or a woman? Is an older person preferred to a younger one? What proportion should they have. Short? Tall? Comfortably rounded or aesthetically thin?
Choosing the celebrant is actually the least of a couple's problems. There are literally thousands of them panting for the opportunity to prove themselves.
If there is one challenge for the couple, it's the choice of the bridal party.
There have ever been complaints by bridesmaids how unscrupulous brides, in an endavour not to be upstaged by anyone on their wedding day, force them into the most hideous outfits imaginable.
On such occasions there is no reasoning with a bride. So what if the colour doesn't suit your skin tone? So what if the style of the outfit makes you look thinner, fatter, older, stouter or just plain ugly? It is my wedding, after all, is the stock reply.
Since bridesmaids are much more plentiful than the brides, we tend to hear their versions more often than that of the bride. And there certainly are two sides to this question of horror weddings.
In particular, brides who have chosen a bridesmaid newly married herself, are asking for trouble. Having planned her own wedding, this bridesmaid inevitably considers herself an expert on all things bridal.
In such a situation, unless a bride stands firm, she is well on the way to having a wedding just like that of her bridesmaid.
'But I was thinking of using John Denvers' 'Sweet Surrender' for my wedding march,' she might offer tentatively.
'You simply can't go past Purcell's 'Trumpet Voluntary'. That's what I had, and everyone absolutely raved about it.'
'But your wedding was in the cathedral, mine's going to be in the park.'
'I'm sure I don't know what's that about, either. I mean, parks are so out. But at least choose some decent music. I mean, Denver. Please!'
Whether the bride stays firm on Denver or not, will make little difference to the rift that will widen between the two with each passing day.
It might be hard to believe, but there are many weddings where the reception not only pulls a curtain down on the single life of the bride and groom, but also on many life-long friendships.