As now seems to be a ‘Clyde’s Corner’ tradition, I’ll begin with this month’s attempted justification for my lack of recent blogging activity. At least this time I have a legitimate excuse because….drum roll please….I got married last week! Yes, the ‘Bridezilla Diaries’ element of this blog will sadly be no more, so let’s make sure it has a good send off. Planning my wedding was, in many ways, the worst experience of my life – it plunged my mental health and relationship with my now-husband to depths so low they could only be seen by the Kraken in Pirates of the Caribbean. I came very close to falling out with pretty much everyone in my life at some stage or another, did not sleep for weeks at a time and seriously discussed cancelling the whole thing on at least four or five occasions that I can remember (probably more). People kept telling me “it’ll all be worth it in the end” and I just could not conceive of that actually being the case, especially since the majority of people providing this reassurance were either unmarried or had had much smaller weddings than mine. However, I can confirm, as a married person who recently had the experience of a wedding (they do say you forget trauma if you talk about it too long after it happened), I can confirm that, if done correctly, it is absolutely and utterly worth it (even if it is so windy that your veil hits the registrar directly in the face during the vows).
Like Christmas, there was so much anticipation and build-up to the day that, despite it being utterly amazing, I never really got ‘the feeling’ of it being my wedding day. Even whilst walking down the aisle with all my friends and family staring awkwardly at me, my heels sinking into the mud, veil blowing all over the place and my husband sobbing uncontrollably in the distance, it still didn’t feel like it was my wedding. That is one thing which I do wish other married people had told me – ultimately, it is just a day with your friends and family where you all have a party together, and that’s fine! That is still a great day, but if you’re waiting and waiting for it to ‘hit’ you that it’s your wedding, you’re probably going to be disappointed. I think I’m still in denial that it even happened and wasn’t all just a dream, because let’s face it, moshing out to Evanescence and My Chemical Romance in a gorgeous dress and sand-covered Converse is literally the dream. Or maybe it’s because marriage is too big a thing to really imagine; like outer space, it’s just too mind boggling to really think about so in the same way we describe infinite space as being “pretty big”, my wedding day was “pretty amazing”.
Having said that, it was a wedding, we have a big family and (let’s face it) this is me, so obvioiusly there was some drama. The night before, I remember sitting in my beautiful big room, finally able to enjoy some peace and quiet after spending all day and night with friends and family, and just sobbing uncontrollably. Every worry which I’d managed to suppress during the months leading up to it, every snide comment I’d faced and the overwhelming feeling that I was being a massive, selfish diva by having a wedding at all just came pouring out of my eyeballs like the lava at the end of Hunchback of Notre Dame. Through every conflict I’d kept reminding myself that it was ‘our day’ and ‘we should do it how we want’, but when the push came to shove I felt a horrible sense of guilt that the day ahead should be about other people, and that I was letting everyone else down. Inevitably, as is the case with most weddings, we did disappoint people in some ways – there is always something more that people want to do for you, or some other way they want to be involved and you do have to become comfortable saying “no”, which is really hard to do to family and friends.
However, despite the guilt, everyone who attended my wedding (even people who I never expected to admit it) made some reference to how amazing it was that me and my husband had had the day that we wanted, and how it had been ‘so us’. At the time I was obviously just so relieved and happy that everyone was enjoying the day as much as I was, and revelling in the fact that people finally understood why I’d made the decisions I had in the run-up; but now I’ve had time to come back down to Earth and reflect on the day, I do find it a bit sad that people had to say that at all. Of course the wedding is about the couple getting married – without them the day wouldn’t be happening at all! It’s 2019 and usually couples pay for their own wedding (or at least a large part of it), so where is the sense in dropping the average spend of £30,000 on a day that you’re not going to enjoy? It should be a total given that it’s the couple’s day, and I do genuinely find it sad that people were surprised by this – if people had accepted this a year ago I would have been saved from so much anguish.
Our day was made completely perfect by our wonderful venue and suppliers (in particular our amazing photographers who ensured we had free drinks in our hands at all times throughout the day), so I feel incredibly lucky to have made it through what is arguably the biggest, most stressful day of a person’s life, without a long list of regrets; but the one thing I would have absolutely done differently is how we managed the day before. Our wedding venue is an hour and a half drive away from our home, so a large chunk of the day before was spent packing our car and driving up the A1 with some family, and since a lot of our friends were staying locally we arranged to meet for dinner the night before to catch up. Although this was a lovely meal and a great time spent catching up with people and introducing everyone who hadn’t met before, I was totally knackered. Being tired before your wedding has even properly started is never a good thing, and I basically didn’t see my husband-to-be at all. We also had beautiful rooms booked and paid for, which we had no time to really enjoy. I remember settling into bed, later than I would’ve liked, dimming the lights and getting tucked under the covers with my book and thinking “I wish I had more than an hour to sit and enjoy this”. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that you see very little of your new spouse on the wedding day, and even though our venue were wonderful about ensuring we had enough time to enjoy each other’s company on the day, I do wish we’d had some quiet time together to relax and really take it all in the night before.
So, much like getting into the North Sea on a windy day, your wedding day really isn’t that bad once you get into it, and even though it can feel like you’ve royally pissed off every person you’ve ever met throughout the planning process, it is indeed worth it in the end; as long as you stick to your guns and blow everyone’s naive minds by ‘having the day you really want’. And if it all goes a bit pear shaped; photos can be edited, most people probably weren’t paying enough attention to notice the mistakes anyway, and you can always just get divorced.
Exhibit A of things going wrong, aka “we did not notice this cake has ribbon on each layer”