The day (or days, if you’re that extra) where your whole family gets together to celebrate your love and gift you things.
Personally, I never know what to do for the ‘gift’ part because engaged people tend to live together and already have tea towels and blenders.
When I have to, I have a browse online but who actually wants a Mr & Mrs cheeseboard or a poster telling you how to love? Obviously they already know how to love, because they’re getting married.
I’m stating this now: When Ian and I get married, please buy me stuff you know I want. Not silverware, not some random love totem, maybe a voucher for cocktails in London or money towards the honeymoon. But wrap them up in boxes because I like to unwrap things. Anyway, I digress…
Recently Ian’s Dad got married. It was a lovely, small ceremony even if none of us knew what was happening. (I kid you not, Ian had no idea he was going to be ring bearer until 9pm the night before.)
But the venue was charming and pretty fancy. I even experienced two new foods: Soufflé and Pavlova. Basically, the waiter came and asked us what option we’d like for the starter and dessert.
I wasn’t prepared for options, so instantly had a mini panic attack in my head, and debated the pros and cons for each option. I didn’t know what soufflé was, so I asked the waiter and he described it to me. He should have just said it was ‘fluffy cheese’ and it would have made my choice a lot easier.
Then he asked about the dessert and I asked him what a Pavlova was. At this point, I think he was just sick of my shit and just went ‘Yes. You’ll have the Pavlova’ and moved on to Ian’s gran before I could open my mouth. I’m glad he made that decision for me though, because it was amazingly tasty.
So there we were, sat around the table waiting for the food when the waiter came around with two bottles of wine. ‘Would you like some wine, miss?’ He asked.
From what I understand, if someone calls you ‘Miss’ then you are the type of person that drinks wine. The word ‘Miss’ has more importance to it that my name, which I hear every day. But ‘Miss’ is a very special occasion indeed.
To tell you the truth, I don’t like wine. But, it was going free so I thought I should earn my title as ‘Miss’ and nodded politely. He filled up the glass, went away and I had a sip whilst trying not to pull a face. ‘It’ll do.’ I told myself. ‘It’s free. And you are sophisticated. Or at least, you want Ian’s family to think you’re the type of person that enjoys wine.’
So I persevered and drank the glass. I did it. I earned my title and the social status that wine brings. I was feeling so accomplished, until the waiter came back and automatically just refilled the glass.
I opted to down this glass. Get it over with, nobody was paying any attention to me at this point anyway. Even Ian was having banter with his brother that I couldn’t join in with. And down that glass went. But the waiter kept coming and refilling. I probably should have admitted defeat, but I decided I’d rather be the alcoholic of the family instead.
After we had finished dessert (and 5 rather full glasses of wine) it was time for the toasts. The waiter came back. Wow, I noted. They really are attentive. He started with Ian’s grandparents: ‘Would you like some champagne?’ Then he moved onto Ali, Ian’s brother. ‘Would you like some champagne?’ Then to Ian: ‘Would you like some champagne?’
And then the waiter came to me. He took one look at me, didn’t bother to ask, and filled up my glass notably more than everyone else’s. I can’t decide whether I was giving off a ‘I want to pass out on the floor’ vibe, or whether he just hated me for not knowing what posh food is. Either way, I was gone.
Luckily, there was a little break between the ceremony and the late reception, so we all headed back for naps and to change my shoes. Why wasn’t I born with naturally long, skinny legs? WHY? So, I dumped all my girly things off, untied my hair and made myself as tomboyish as I could possibly be in my flowery dress.
The reception was also great. We saw some of Ian’s dad’s colleagues who look far too young to be teachers. And that’s coming from a 22 year old. Ian and Ali also had awkward conversations with their old school teachers, and I avoided talking about my job and instead focused on my successful degree and the weather.
I loved the whole day so much, but the only thing that could be improved would be if people stopped asking when Ian and I are going to ‘tie the knot.’ Like, I understand that people mean well and the conversation naturally flows. Most of them went like this:
‘How long have you two been together?’
‘Aww, that’s a long time! When are you going to get married?/When are you going to put a ring on her?/ It’ll be you two next then!’
Okay, we get it. Statistically, we probably are going to be next to do the entire ‘I do’ ritual. We’re the only other couple in the family, we’re young and in love so why not?
Money is the reason why not. We want to get married. We talk about it and our future all the time. But, I am high maintenance and I want the proposal, wedding and honeymoon to be perfect.
The problem with this is that it means Ian has to save to propose, and people asking why he isn’t popping the question just adds pressure to him and awkwardness to the conversation.
We’re open to talking about marriage but some couples aren’t. Some couples might not want to get married, and you asking that question could be making them doubt themselves. Or it could even cause arguments.
Overall, I don’t think it’s fair to tell couples ‘You’re next’ at weddings, otherwise we may as well do the same to old people at funerals.
Let me know what you think!