You sort of knew from the moment the wrong cake arrived for one unfortunate couple’s big day that Rhod Gilbert was never going to cut it as a wedding planner.
“It’s nothing like the cake we ordered,” sniffled the bride.
“It must be something like it, it’s cake,” replied Rhod.
“But it’s been paid for by my grandmother as a special present for me,” she added, by now faintly hysterical and fanning her flushed face with both hands.
“Okay, what about if I smash the s**t out of it and we tell everyone it’s Eton Mess,” Rhod added, somewhat unhelpfully.
And the fact he was fighting back peels of laughter as he said it probably didn’t do much to diffuse the tense situation either, although it did make for a very enjoyable opening episode in the latest series of his Bafta-winning BBC Wales Work Experience show, the funny man’s fourth to date.
Luckily however, this was just a dry run, a spot of role-play to give the stand-up a go at dealing with just one of the many possible difficult situations that can arise during the course of organising someone’s nuptials.
So crashing and burning in a way that made the Hindenburg look like a damp box of Swan Vestas didn’t really matter a great deal, although Rhod’s frank confession that he “really didn’t get weddings – the smell of icing sugar and sense of diminishing freedom” definitely didn’t bode well for the two sweethearts from Miskin, near Cardiff, who’d entrusted him with overseeing the most important moment of their young lives.
“The most crucial thing is you instil confidence in your bride because she’s probably been thinking about this day since she was about five,” said Samantha, the manager of a Swansea-based wedding planner school who was acting as Rhod’s mentor – his martial aide, if you will.
“Try not to ask them anything that might upset her – for example, don’t bring up previous relationships or ex-partners,” she advised prior to their first meeting with the happy couple-to-be at a nearby pub .
But within seconds of sitting down with them and the bride’s parents Rhod had already blown it.
“So, is this your first time getting married?” he asked, accompanied shortly afterwards by the distant off-camera thud of Samantha banging her head on the bar in despair.
As it turned out though, she needn’t have worried as Rhod went on to prove himself surprisingly adept at this wedding planning lark, the reception passing by without any bitter recrimination, hurled crockery or overly embarrassing drunken dad dancing.
Although, he still couldn’t understand the appeal of the some of the more outré ways with which to celebrate getting spliced.
“What we do is put the rings in a little pouch, tie it to him and he’ll fly it down the aisle to the bride and groom,” said one woman whose wedding business involved training owls to act as airborne best men.
“Then, once the bag’s off, he’ll flap away and let you get on with the ceremony.”
“Sorry, but that just sounds f****** mental,” replied Rhod, not unreasonably.
Well, they do say marriage is an institution – perhaps that’s precisely the kind they meant.