Darling readers, this is really a ‘from the heart’ feature that I never thought I’d be writing. If we whizzed back to January or February, who would have thought that by July, weddings wouldn’t have happened for months?
Who could have ever, ever have foreseen this? How we’ve all coped is, sometimes, beyond me and let me say here and now that my heart breaks for all of you who’ve had to postpone, are considering postponing or feel that all this has, in whatever way, tainted or tarnished the joy of getting married. When I say it sucks, it’s a huge understatement.
Today, Saturday 4th July, weddings can begin again. However we all know that what’s on offer might well feel like a pale imitation of the day that so many of you have been planning. A short ceremony with no music and no post-marriage celebrations sounds less than ideal. I know, and Annabel knows, that this is not what so many of you had in mind when you planned your wedding day and if this is something you’re currently struggling with, we want to just wrap you up with love and support and tell you that we wish, with all our hearts, that it were different. So very different.
But we are aware that, as the saying rather tritely goes, sometimes the show must go on and we know that we have readers and couples in our closed Facebook community who are getting married this weekend and over the coming weeks and months. Darlings, we salute you all. We will be with you in spirit and we wish you nothing but the very, very best.
So why am I here today? Well, I’m here to share a little bit of my story and to tell you, from personal experience, that getting married is always a big moment, even when it’s the tiniest ceremony.
Last summer, Annabel and her husband came to my ‘big day’. They were there for the big shebang but actually, if I’m truthful with myself, my ‘big moment’ happened five days before when my partner and I stepped into the tiniest office at Oxford Register Office with my Mum and a friend – not long after, we stepped out married.
For us, this ceremony was ‘the legal bit’. It was a little bit like an exercise in box-ticking that we had to do to get the piece of paper that said ‘yes, these guys are married, please treat them as such’. We had planned a blessing and a party afterwards for the following weekend and we’d almost purposely downplayed this moment. Only two people would share it with us, we didn’t have readings or music, it was just us in a room with a computer on the desk and the hum of city traffic outside the window.
But it was transformational.
And I don’t say that lightly because our blessing was beautiful, the big celebration was utterly memorable but that moment of marriage, whenever and however you do it, will always be special.
I can remember the feeling of the wedding ring on my finger for the first time. I can remember signing my name on the marriage certificate. I can remember the faces of our witnesses and I can remember the catch in my husband’s voice when he took his vows. This was our moment and it was so much more than I imagined it would be.
I’m sharing this for those of you who plan to go ahead and have your weddings, now that you can.
Because, and I promise you, whether you take your vows in a big public ceremony or whether you whisper them, through tears you didn’t expect, in a small municipal office wearing your everyday jeans and the barest scraping of makeup, you will feel the impact of them.Whatever size your ceremony – you’ll know what the words spoken throughout will mean, regardless of the surroundings or however many people are there to witness it and no matter whatever else is going on in the world.
I want you all to know, that whether you decide to go for it now and celebrate later or whether you hold on for the day you’d planned, marriage takes many forms but it all means the same thing. And it’s a big, wonderful moment, even when it’s a tiny ceremony.
It means you’re loved beyond measure.
And there’s nothing more important than that.