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.