If you had asked me a few years ago whether marriage was a likely path for me I would have laughed and quoted some feminist literature at you. I was always vaguely annoyed as a teenager that Jane Eyre, practical to the point of annoyance in Charlotte Bronte’s most famous novel goes on to marry Mr Rochester, providing the reader with a conventional ending in what never feels like a conventional novel. The teenage me would have died rather than become a slave to convention and in any case had a bit of a penchant for the more heart wrenching misery of Wuthering Heights. But, then as happens to so many of the staunchly single brigade I met the right man. A very wonderful, silly and decent feminist man who made me re-evaluate what marriage meant to me, to us and what it could be if we put our very own spin on it.
Frustratingly to get to the being married part there is the whole wedding debacle to navigate and this fills me with lace covered dread. I don’t want a fairy-tale, I don’t want to be cast as a princess and I certainly don’t want the fuss and expense that surrounds anything wedding related. Plus, you can take that view and square it for the other half, he would get married in our kitchen if possible, officiated over by my 7 year old and attended only by Lego superhero figures.
So is it possible? Can I dewedding our wedding?
After the first few weeks of planning I have come to the conclusion that it may be possible but the tightrope walk of wedding planning is a tricky one, and the temptation of the confetti covered bridezilla brigade becomes less insane the closer you get to it. My very unscientific and entirely biased view of dewedding tactics is below.
Firstly, if anyone you know or is connected to your wedding utters the phrase ‘your special day’ or alternately refers to you as a ‘princess’, kill them. Ok, well maybe not kill them, but certainly have stern words. Family and friends need to know from the outset that this isn’t that type of shindig and this should stop them from being pushy or alternately disappointed when you don’t pop up in an meringue dress or allow the usual three hours of speeches. Seriously though, it’s a mind-set thing, if you or your loved ones see this as your most special day, or that this is somehow the one day that the world will revolve around you, then this is when the crazy spending and ideas start to creep in. It will be a lovely day but it is not the yardstick for the rest of your life, this is the start of something good, not a highpoint from which life will gradually get worse. It is a nice party, you or it are not the centre of the universe – frankly that’s just a positive life lesson. Accepting this will take off the pressure.
There are no MUSTS. But you must have a marquee, but you must have 17 ushers, but you must invite your incontinent Uncle Bob you haven’t seen for 15 years. If you take away the musts you create a blank sheet from which you create what you want. Convention is a kicker, frankly most wedding traditions come from medieval ideals of marriage and femininity that deserve to be tarted up a bit. So no, I won’t be given away, my Dad will just come for a bit of a walk with me, and the other half won’t wear a ring because the idea of him connected with jewellery is so bizarre that neither of us can get on board with it. Anyone who tells you there is anything you MUST do, that isn’t the absolutely required legal bit is an idiot. Tell them so loudly lest they repeat this terrible behaviour in the future.
Under no circumstances allow bows to be placed on chairs. This may seem like a bit of a specific dewedding tactic but in my opinion the dressing of wedding chairs with bows embodies all that is evil about the modern wedding chairs. It costs an extraordinary amount of money, it is frippery for the sake of frippery and for the love of sense why can’t the chairs be naked! I feel like the bows on chairs is a start of a slippery slope that ends in a horse drawn carriage and synchronized dance routines – just don’t go there.
Hopefully my wedding will be simple, small and glitter free. And if you want to do the same you can, do what you want, how you want and turn your back on wedding fayres, family conventions and frilliness. Make it about you – but in the best possible way.