Getting married, hitched, wed, or whatever you want to call it is a life changing decision. For most couples who are married, I’m sure you look back on your wedding day as one filled with happiness, joy and great memories. Each wedding I have been to, including my own, I have found to be such an intimate and personal thing. No two weddings are quite the same, little hints and touches of the couple spread around to make it their own. After talking with my nan recently about her own wedding, I can’t help but feel that times have changed incredibly over the past decades, both for better and for worse! I want to share a few of our stories and some facts from a family law firm (Cardiff)* in this post on the modern face of marriage.
Going back to my nan, she told me that she got married at the same time as one of her sisters in a joint ceremony for financial reasons. It was a church wedding, a traditional catholic wedding which took place in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1963. Her dress cost £13 and both rings were £19. My dress, well price comparison is quite difficult, but it was a lot more than that! Our wedding- which took place 8 months ago- saw Paul and I married at a registry office as well as by a humanist in our own home the next day.
On my nan’s wedding day, she was told not to have any champagne at the toasting because she wasn’t old enough. I had a sip or two, and no one told me not to.
On the night of the wedding, my nan wasn’t told by anyone in her family on what to expect. My wedding night consisted of unpacking a marquee and looking over all the crazy photo booth images until 3 in the morning, then we fell asleep!
A non religious wedding weekend such as mine and Paul’s would certainly not have been possible for my nan, though I can happily report that it’s been 53 years since their wedding and my grandparents are still together and are the epitome of an old married couple.
Attitudes have changed so much not only towards marriage, but relationships in general. Introducing same sex marriage in the UK has brought us into a world that is so much more open and relaxed about marital ideals and what it means to marry the one you love. However, I do find that with a more relaxed view over the decades, the number of weddings that seem to expire has grown by far too much. How many divorced couples do you know? I conducted a poll on Twitter and 72% of people knew a close family member or friend who had gotten a divorce.
Photo by Camera Hannah
Can people really get married now without that tiny little thought in the back of their mind saying ‘well, if something does happen then I can just get divorced’? I feel this is a luxury that so many people (not all) take advantage of in countries where divorce has become so normal.
Of course I am happy that divorce can mean freedom for certain abusive and unfaithful relationships, but I do think that it is all too easy to say ‘I do’ now that it doesn’t necessarily mean ‘I do until death do us part’. In the source from the Cardiff law firm, 42% view marriage as a way to increase their financial security- I wonder if that percentage would have been higher or lower back in my nan’s day!
I believe that Paul and I waited the right amount of time before getting married, about 6 years, which included living together for a considerable amount of time beforehand. We got to know each other like no one I’d ever met before and we are soon to be expanding to three before we celebrate our first year of marriage.
We have been on countless adventures, starting out at a little Twilight convention in Birmingham, then travelling to the biggest comic convention ever in San Diego soon after becoming a ‘couple of nerds!’
67% of people surveyed think that there is less pressure from society to get married now than there was 10 years ago- I certainly felt no pressure to get married whatsoever before we were ready. Interestingly enough, 53% of people asked would want a civil ceremony. Does this show that marriage is becoming less of a religious thing and more like a status thing? I know I am certainly guilty of feeling that happy moment I could ‘status update’ my life on social media after the wedding. I’m proud to represent the modern face of marriage, and I plan to stay married providing Paul continues to be one hell of a tolerant husband!
How do you feel about your wedding day, whether married, planning or dreaming? Would you have wanted to get married in a similar style to my nan or to me?
Facts from survey (not including my Twitter poll) comprising of 2,000 GB men and women. Source: Slater Gordon. All figures from survey are from YouGov Plc.
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