Three-day weddings are becoming the norm but Country Life has called for restraint. We asked about the extravagant ceremonies youve been invited to

Country Life magazine has suggested couples favour quality over quantity when it comes to weddings, with ceremonies now the nuptial equivalent of an arms race. We asked our readers to share their experiences of the luxury weddings they attended. Here is a selection of responses, with some names changed to protect peoples identities.

Hannah, 46, Boston: She rented out an entire country club in Long Island

There was ice skating on the frozen swimming pool of the club. Photograph: Alamy

A girlfriend from university rented out an entire Long Island, NY, country club. First, it was incredibly cold. Who has weddings in New York in January unless theyre raging sadists? This wouldnt have been so bad if everything had been inside, but the bride and groom decided to take advantage of the cold and have ice skating on the frozen swimming pool of the club. I cannot recommend not ice skating in an evening gown strongly enough.

Im told the cost for alcohol alone (with 500 guests) came to over $10,000, which had the benefit of numbing us to the excess. The highlight of the day was when the brides ex-boyfriend showed up uninvited and drunk. He stripped in the cold and demanded to speak with the bride refusing to put his kit back on until she did. All the best weddings are marked out by either their wretched excesses or their colossal failures. This one had both by the carload.

Stuart, 43, Cheshire: Cocaine was sourced easily from locals

Beach parties and drinking generally started at 10.30am. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

I went to a lavish wedding in Barbados several years ago, turned it into a holiday and stayed for two weeks. The wedding family stayed in Fustic House which cost 5,000 per night. The majority of guests rented large colonial-style houses on the Platinum Coast for the two-week period. Our house had two swimming pools and wild monkeys in the back garden. For the two weeks my partner at the time and I spent in the region of 4,000-5,000 between us.

In the week prior to the wedding, beach parties and drinking generally started at 10:30am. Lots of rum sours were drunk from morning to night. Cocaine was sourced easily from locals to the extent that when the group went into town the dealers waved at us. Those who took drugs went to bed when I was getting up in the morning at around 8am. One event involved going to watch Cheshire Polo (some of our group knew players in the team). We met the president of Barbados who flew in his helicopter to watch the game.

Amanda, 34, Birmingham: The bride ripped her dress getting out of the helicopter

We were chauffeured in individual horse-carriages. Photograph: Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters

I once attended an Anglo-Pakistani wedding ceremony at York Cathedral where we were chauffeured in individual horse-carriages to the Royal York Hotel where the bride and groom arrived by helicopter. The weather was pleasant as it was a hot summers day, but the helicopter landing was a shambles as the brides dress ripped while she was getting out. The groom didnt seem that bothered though as he already had a bottle of something in his hand.

The wedding was really out of this world. Chefs were flown in from Pakistan to help with catering and my dad told me the grooms father took a second mortgage out to pay for it all. At one point I questioned how I knew these people. It was like something out of a Bollywood film.

Steven, 37, Poole: After a week even quad biking around the island and endless drinking became tiring

Even quad biking around the island could not stifle to feeling that it was time to go. Photograph: Tim Jones/Alamy

My friends got married seven years ago during a two-week long wedding in the Caribbean. During the two weeks there were daily sails on personal catamarans, a day-long seven-island boat tour , snorkelling off a reef out at sea and a free bar as part of an all-inclusive package for guests. The wedding itself took place in the shade of some trees on the beach. Afterwards, there was a private disco and meal in a restaurant, followed by clubbing till 2am, then a casino. I spent around 1,700 when I was there.

Prior to the wedding the groom had a three-day stag night in the UK followed by another one in the Caribbean. We had a race car driving experience, surfing lessons and ringside seats to a drunken brawl after another stag ended up overdoing it. I must admit at the start of the second week I was ready to go, as the wedding was over and we were just waiting to go home our friends were staying there for another week for their honeymoon. Even quad biking around the island and endless drinking could not stifle the feeling that it was time to go.

Sarah, 48, Bedford: There were acrobats, magicians and opera singers

At dinner, there were magicians working the tables. Photograph: Graham Turner for the Guide for the Guardian

In 2010 I went to the wedding of my ex-husbands boss. The ceremony took place in a very fancy Footballers Wives-type hotel in Surrey. Wed booked an ordinary room but the groom had paid for everyone to be upgraded to suites with their own garden. He also withdrew 10,000 in cash the day before just to pay for all the various entertainers not including the cost of the hotel, food and drinks of course.

We arrived to a string quartet, and the acrobats appeared shortly after that and did a routine while we drank champagne before the meal.The starter was asparagus tart, and as there had been so much champagne before the meal, there was a rush for the loo before the main course. The smell of asparagus wee when you opened the door to the ladies was extraordinary.

We then went into dinner where there were magicians working the tables. Just before pudding, the waiters burst into song they were good and it was actually quite funny. The whole thing was absolutely ridiculous and had nothing at all to do with two people pledging their love to one another. And by 4am the hotel had entirely run out of champagne, apparently. Quite the most horrible and yet astounding wedding Ive ever been to.


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