Minutes after the proposal on New Years Day 2018 came the surname debate. I've always said I would keep my surname. Many say that adopting a double barrelled surname is pretentious, but my reasoning is that if I let it go, the surname Synge will cease to exist (presuming my younger sister doesn't double barrel too) and that seems kinda sad... It seems only fair that the husband should have to face the administrative headache of changing a name too (that is if inflicting the endless spelling and pronunciation challenges that come with a surname like mine wasn't enough).
Whilst the ongoing heated surname debate continued in the background, wedding plans and ideas began. A date was set for May 2019 with a plan pencilled in to have a Church wedding in our Dartmoor village (where we live on the same road as the Church) and then direct 100+ guests to my parents house a few miles down the road for a marquee, countryside wedding. As a list of components and guests began to compile, the price tag increased and the stress began to outweigh the fun, we began to feel that the reasons for a marriage were being lost amongst reasons for a wedding.
The principle of inviting people who you hadn't spoken to in months, of paying £100 per head for the other halves you've never met, paying £1500 for a photographer when there would be 100 iPhones in the room and trying to compile a list of fifteen bridesmaids when you can't even name ten friends (go on, you try it) made me begin to question 'wedding traditions'.
Just a few to be questioned include;
Changes began to happen, the date moved by eight months and the guest list went from 100 to 25. Not because we stopped loving or speaking to 75 people but because to us, the meaning of a marriage (and a wedding as a result of a marriage...) means something different. All the key components will be there, the car, cake, flowers and dress, but the elements which we have prioritised are different. I didn't arrange a hen do in a spa, or a night out that ends with no memories, instead my cousin/best friend and younger sister surprised me with a day in Dartmouth where we swam in a secluded cove, ate strawberries on the rocks, had afternoon tea at a Marina and took a boat into the sea.
Having been away for two months I have not been privy to a large amount of the planning. I think the only task actually assigned to me has been to remain able to fit in my dress (fitted the week before I went away). The reality of it has been that as the original plans progressed, we realised that however much we changed the venue, the menu, date or the dress; there were 3 key components that would make up both the wedding and marriage...
...family, love and prosecco.