Tuesday, 27 April 2010

a dilemma

It dawned on me the other day that so much about planning a wedding is trying to anticipate how you will feel, after the event, if you do - or don't - do things a certain way. Hence the emphasis on perfection, on spending money to do things 'right' so that you don't feel retrospectively disappointed a decade on from now.

What's brought this revelation on? The meeting with the Humanist. The bit that I thought was a formality has turned out to be actually a trigger to think about how exactly we want to do the 'i do' bit of the wedding, with an essential disagreement between BF and myself.

We know that we both want the same things: a nice ceremony, out in the open, up on the farm. Something personal and different. We'll have already done the legal bit in the register office that morning but we wanted something more meaningful to go alongside that.

So we met the Humanist, and she was lovely. I was convinced: BF remains un-so. The nub of our disagreement runs thus:

Me: the Humanist will do a proper job; run a beautiful ceremony and properly declare us married. A proper ceremony is important.

BF: the Humanist doesn't know us from Adam, and in the eyes of the law, she isn't really marrying us at all. We could get a friend to run us a ceremony up on the hill; he would do a sterling job and it wouldn't cost 500 quid for half an hour (Humanist weddings cost £400 this year, plus travelling expenses, and the cost will probably rise next year.) This would be more meaningful.

And this is pretty much where we still stand. I don't doubt that said friend would do an amazing job. He would completely. But I can't shake this sense of 'doing it properly'; worrying that in 10 years' time, I'll feel that something was missing. But at the same time, I recognise the essential truth in BF's feelings: in the eyes of the law, we're not more married by a Humanist than we are in the register office, and the Humanist ceremony is expensive.

I agree entirely with the Humanist principles and think they are a noble and lovely organisation. But when we're trying to keep things on a budget, £500 is a considerable cost. But is it a cost that's worth it?

So that leaves me, trying to second guess my future feelings on the issue and not making much progress right now.


  1. What could be better than someone who knows you both and how much this means to you conducting the ceremony, I think it would be beautiful you will always remember your wedding day for the reason you married, not how you did it.Saving 500 big ones is an added added bonus. Good luck and congratulations xxxxx

  2. Bloody wedding industry and there insistence on perfection. Part of me thinks that going through wedding planning and the compromises that you have to make prepares you to be a better wife. And then I think we've been together for years we've kind of got this compromising thing down pat. There are compromises that I have made and I wonder if I will regret them. But then I think the only regret I should really have is if O and I aren't married by the end of the day. If there are things that go wrong or we regret then we'll have a do over. We'll renew our vows on our 10th anniversary or we'll have a huge family get together for the hell of it. Have you approached your friend to see if they'd be willing to be your celebrant (or whatever the appropriate term is) perhaps it is too big an ask? Is this someone that means as much to both of you? As difficult as it sounds try not to let the decision be about money if your BF didn't click with the humanist then he might not be comfortable on the day. If all of that fails come to Scotland where you can legally be married by a humanist! xx

  3. As a big cheapo, we are having a friend marry us for free. We wrote the ceremony to ensure it is as "perfect" as I can stomach and the idea of having a friend I trust instead of a stranger who is only in it for the money reassures me. That said, you should do what makes you feel the most comfortable.

  4. *their* sorry it was bugging me, I do read through my comments before I post them - annoyed that I missed it.