Earlier this year, together with the Young Statisticians Group of the RSS, Significance ran its second Young Writers Competition. A selection of runners-up will be published on these pages and on our website,, over the coming months. Here we present the winner. Damjan Vukcevic talks us through independent variables, probability distributions, and robustness of models, all in the context of that nightmare that most of us encounter at some time in our lives – whom should we invite to our wedding?