Happy New Year 2017!
Over the Christmas period my girlfriend of 16 years and I had a serious discussion about getting married. I’d never warmed to the idea before, firstly because my parents are not great role models for marriage, and secondly because of all the ridiculous conventions surrounding the institution of marriage which I strongly rebel against. So, why have I now changed my mind? Well, our world is in a state of chaos, more so than ever. First there was Brexit, then there was Trump. Our culture has become a lot more unpleasant. Homophobia, racism, Internet trolling, are on the rise. Poverty is widespread even in our so-called civilised western country, we are governed by a rich out-of-touch mostly white male elite, and many are barely getting by day-to-day. Mental health problems are on the increase, is it any wonder? J & I are no longer young. Every day there are new uncertainties. Everything feels less safe than it did even a couple of years ago. One thing I can be fairly sure of, is J will stand by me and I by her, whatever happens. She stood by me through my Aspergers diagnosis last year, in fact our relationship has become stronger as we now know my triggers and areas in which we need to work. So, after much deliberation, I am finally ready to say “I do.”
But we will not be doing it in the conventional way. Anyone who knows us, will understand that most of the conventions are alien to us. No one can tell us how to do our own wedding, and if people don’t like it, well, they probably won’t be coming! Yes, there will be a registry office ceremony. (We couldn’t marry in a church even if we wanted to. Don’t get me started on the Church’s views on same-sex marriage.) We will do the basic one, very quietly, with just our two witnesses attending – in our home town, these only happen on a Wednesday. Our outfits will be from Oxfam (jackets, waistcoats and ties for us both, not a dress in sight) and our rings will be plain bands from a fairtrade jeweller. Then we will have a party a few weeks later, for around 30 people, close family and friends, we’ll hire a venue and vegetarian catering. There will no doubt be alcohol, and some sort of cake, but these will not be the main focus of the party. We will provide our own entertainment on acoustic instruments. We will ask for donations to Stonewall instead of presents as we do not need anything. Invites will be by email and phone, no posh stationery. There will absolutely not be a hen party before the day – no tiaras, L plates or tottering heels. We will not go on a honeymoon as J doesn’t like travel. The whole jobbie should cost less than £500. I have never understood why some couples spend a year’s salary on their wedding only to spend the first few years of married life in debt.
The thought of getting married in 2017 makes me feel warm and cosy inside. Gay marriage still feels like a radical statement-when J & I first got together, not even civil partnerships were possible. I want to have her by my side and be able to say “This is my wife.” As a stable married couple we can hopefully be good role models for others.
If anyone else is thinking of getting married, I’d say 1) wait till you’re 100% sure, there’s no rush and 2) do it in your own way, it’s your ceremony and you want it to be a day you will remember for ever! 👩❤️👩🍾🎉🌈🎶
Weddings: doing it differently
Happy New Year 2017!