My wedding was 23 years ago – and our parents took on most of the planning for us. It feels like a lifetime ago – that itty bitty-straight-out-of-A-levels 18yr old girl is really not the woman I am today, four children and a long couple of decades later.
Some things are the same, obviously – the husband, for one (even that young, I knew a good ‘un when I saw one). But so many things are different.
It’s a conversation we have occasionally – being married to a wedding photographer, weddings are a bit of a regular topic in the house. And we’re probably in a tiny minority of households where the husband knows WAY more about weddings than the wife, and as the resident expert has strong views and sound advice to impart on every area of the wedding day.
So occasionally we spend an evening mug of coffee musing over doing it all over again, and renewing our vows. Not because we feel we have any need to; no life traumas have meant that we feel the need to refresh our marriage and re-present it to our world.
But sometimes we wonder how it would be if we organised it ourselves – what our wedding would look like now.
Because we (I, really – he’s 8yr’s older than me) were so young first time round, and in the middle of exams, my parents took on most of the organising. I picked the colours, and Mr LittleStuff designed the cake, and we had input everywhere… but it looked an awful lot like my older sister’s weddings. Because it was what everybody’s wedding looked like back then.
Big white dress? Check.
Silk flowers so that I could keep them? Check.
Receiving line for speaking to all the guests? Check.
Posing for an hour for formal photographs? Check.
Ceremony, pictures, reception, speeches, meal, first dance, disco timeline? Check.
Guest List filled with various relatives that we didn’t recognise or know? Check.
And twenty years later?
The dress sat in a box until it was chewed by mice and got thrown away. The silk flowers collected dust in the back of a cupboard until I… threw them away.
Photographs? No never look at them, have one small one (that I think was actually taken by my sister, not the photographer) in a frame. And the countless unknown guests? Yeah, still don’t know who they are in the pictures, and don’t ever exchange Christmas cards or speak to them.
So so silly, now. Back then, of course, we loved every second – it was exactly how we imagined it would be.
But naturally you change and grow as a couple over the years – and now I’d love to have a wedding that reflected who we are.
We wouldn’t want the big church do anymore – this time round, it would be for us and only us.
A small weekend gathering at a country house (seriously – meander through VenueFinder and there’s something for everyone. Special offer on a Christmas banquet at the Tower of London, anyone?) for just our very closest family and dearest friends. Maybe thirty of us, tops.
A dress that I love – and could wear again. Fresh flowers everywhere.
One spectacular meal, no cake, no big disco – just a weekend filled with my most favourite people spending time together, having fun and sharing our lives.
How about you – would you ever want to renew your vows? Would you do things differently, ‘marrying’ the same person again?