I’ve only been in one wedding as an adult and it went off fairly well–at least, the bridesmaid’s side of things went off fairly well. When the bride dropped the glass her groom was supposed to step on during the ceremony, we found a replacement. I got the ring bearer to the bathroom before his little tuxedo wasn’t so cute anymore.
The groom forgot one of his friend’s tuxedos, the mother of the bride was late, the weather was way too humid and sticky for October, but everything eventually turned out absolutely fine and the ceremony was a truly beautiful affair.
Since I’ve never truly been in the midst of a wedding disaster, I think I’ll focus on the funny conversation I heard last night, as my partner and I were wandering the winter light show at the local botanical gardens.
“It doesn’t count as a present.”
“You wouldn’t see it as a present?”
“Not if you proposed at Christmas.”
“When should I propose?
“Just not… now.”
“Well, I know that. And not Valentine’s Day–”
Now that I live in the south people are constantly confusing my long-time partner with my husband. While I understand the confusion–mid-20s, living together, oh my stars, we’ve discussed marriage often and made the choice to wait. We’re living together on our own for the first time, paying off debt and just trying to get our feet on the ground. Plus, I haven’t quite found a way to navigate marriage where it doesn’t have an air of antiquated patriarchal values around it.
That said, we’ve also spoken about what not to do–like proposing on Christmas, proposing in public, or proposing without having a pretty good idea as to what the answer is going to be. I’m of the mind that when the time is right, we’ll kind of just propose to each other and start off our relationship with the right standard set.
As far as others won’ts and don’ts–I won’t wear white, I probably won’t have bridesmaids and I won’t spend more than a few hundred bucks on my dress. Our current wedding plan for the wedding we’re not having is to rent a few food trucks and put a couple blankets out in a field. My cousins had a truly spectacular wedding last fall, for more than the cost of a new house. I don’t have an exact number, but I wager that I could travel the world for about five years on the money they spent on the wedding.
And maybe that’s what we’ll do instead. We’ll call our parents, grab a best friend or two and walk down to the courthouse. Maybe we’ll sign the papers and have a big raucous party in the backyard. Maybe our honeymoon will last a year. Maybe we’ll never come home.
What I can say for sure, however, is that we’ll never have a Christmas proposal.
My eldest son has been with his girlfriend for 13 years, but they moved in together just 3 years ago or so. They have no plans to marry . . . though that could be explained by the fact that Viv’s PhD is in Women’s Studies. She’s an independent woman!
I have a cousin named Gemma, although she pronounces it ‘Hemma’ (she’s Belgian). Merry Christmas to you and yours!