I don’t want a wedding. Ok, that’s not entirely true – I want a big party, I always want cake, & I’m thrilled to be officially teaming up with R for life. That stuff really appeals. I guess what I really mean is, I don’t want a conventional wedding. I don’t want chair covers and frilly centrepieces; no organza bows, ‘colour schemes’, seating plans & gift lists. No chicken or beef option; no ‘money behind the bar’. In fact, the harder I look at the world of wedding traditions, the less sense it makes for us. So much seems to be about simple nostalgia – play-acting out the rituals of times long past, even though we’ve all long since forgotten the point. How come only the men get to speak? Why do we have to photograph the fake-signing of the register? Why have a ‘first dance’, that whole ‘cutting the cake’ ritual, the hour of group photos that stress everyone out? If these things have significance to the couple, then that’s fine, but to us, they are nice but meaningless; as poignant & special as brussel sprouts in December. If there are speeches, then give me the mic. No, I won’t be ‘given away’ by a man that barely even knows me, passed on to new ownership like a part-used car. I’d rather dance in a big spinning circle with all of my friends than shuffle through the cringefest of a DIY Strictly first dance. & if a room full of adults cannot seat themselves amicably without placecards & table numbers, then we’ve gone way off path.
So in the end, my planning list is deliciously simple. I want a fabulous dress, because I always want a fabulous dress, and this time I get to really push the boat out. We’ve realised we want beautiful invitations, because it’s so rare for us to send any snail mail to friends and family, & it’s nice to make it special. I want flowers and photographs, because they’re a part of my everyday, and I want music and cake and food and gin. & that’s it, really.
So below is my assembled dream-team so far. What makes them especially brilliant is they’re all online insta-connections; two of them – my florist & photographer – live minutes away and I now count as real life friends too thanks to that app. Local and global, all at once.
In Northumberland, the sky is a different blue. It's icier somehow, fresher than our Yorkshire cerulean, and on rainy days it is the cold, bright grey of steel. The hills are amber and green, the [...]