We’re currently in ‘the lull’ in our wedding planning. Most of big things (the venue, the date, the dress) have been booked. But it’s way too early to finalise the stationery, start my DIY projects or buy the bridesmaids dresses.
This week we’ve finalised the details of our wedding ceremony. Before I got engaged, if I ever pictured my wedding, which was rare, all I could think about was the party. I am not religious so the legal bit was something to get through on route to champers and dancing. Now I’ve become obsessed with our wedding ceremony. Whenever I have trouble sleeping at night I run through the order of the ceremony in my head like rosary beads. HWSNBN standing at the end of the aisle, our families looking on, the long walk.
The ceremony will be short, half an hour at most, but it’s the focal point around which the rest of the day revolves. After the ceremony HWSNBN and myself will be husband and wife. (Still sounds weird). After all you really need is a bride, groom and Registrar for a wedding. The rest, well it’s just window dressing isn’t it?
Last week we met with the registrar to check we weren’t related! Let’s just say seven years on that horse has well and truly bolted! Thankfully the Registrar wasn’t fazed that HWSNBN couldn’t remember the date of our wedding, my date of birth or even how long we had been together. The marriage certificates are and in a fortnight I can pick them up from Town Hall.
Yesterday I received our ceremony pack from Aldershot registry office. (Yes I am getting married over the Hampshire border in Fleet, no judgement Surrey folks.) In the ceremony form you specify what will happen during the ceremony, within reason. For example as it’s a secular ceremony you cannot have any reading or music with religious connotations such as hymns. For somebody like me who likes to plan out each step in obsessive detail, filling in the form has been tremendous fun. But I realised after conversations with friends that a lot of people have never attended a non-church ceremony. So let me introduce you to the little haven of godlessness I like to call our wedding ceremony.
Rundown for our wedding ceremony
Guests are seated as music plays
This is where we break out the Alkaline Trio and Captain Beefheart to get everybody in the mood for luurve. Lies. My dad would kill me if I played Captain Beefheart when he wasn’t even in the room, I’m saving it for the father-daughter dance!
Enter the bride (aka me) with Daddy January
TOP SEKRIT music plays, no Pachelbel’s Canon in D for me, as we walk while I try not to dissolve into a pile of tears or trip over my own feet. This will be hard. I may have to practise. Why don’t they have classes in the running of the bridal gauntlet? (Dodge small children and overenthusiastic grannies in 17 layers of tulle and stilts. Go.)
Registrar performs introductions and talks about the meaning of marriage
Although I will try to listen carefully inside my head this will be playing. MAWRIDGE!
First reading (optional)
I have done readings before. I think it is an insurance policy because if I am reading I cannot cry, and if I cry the room will fill up with tears until we all drown.
Ie ‘I do solemnly declare that I know not of any lawful impediment why I, Rowan crybaby January, may not be joined in matrimony to HWSNBN.’
This in the moment in Jane Eyre where she finds out Mr Rochester was married before. Looking back, Edward Rochester = total dickwad. But just for your information if anybody does the joke interruption of the Registrar as he asks if any persons know of any lawful impediment I will kill you dead, K?
The bride is given away (optional)
This part is optional, which is good. Although I love my father more than life itself if he ever tries to give me away I will kick him in the balls and run for the hills, because I am a human being not a parcel.
You can keep this as minimal as possible (just answering yes to the registrar’s question) or you can make craft your own vows. Guess which option I am choosing because I like to make things
complicated meaningful. I may or may not have been mentally drafting these since our first kiss. HWSNBN has not yet started.
The exchange of the rings (optional)
I love the symbolism of the wedding ring just not the cost. Damn you economic crisis why you gotta make metal so expensive?
Second reading (optional)
As a lover of all things wordy it was really hard for me to choose just two readings. But I have. Expect a tortured post about this shortly.
Or the moment when we realise how unmusical HWSNBN and my future children will be.
We are declared husband and wife
Or the awkward moment where you have to kiss in front of your friends and relatives. At least give me some tequila first.
The signing of the marriage register
… while being shot by the wedding paparazzi. I will probably be grinning like a loon at this point or crying. Or grinning while crying. I look like Dawson when I cry.
Exit followed by a bear throwing confetti
That’s a Shakespearean reference don’t you know? I am SMRT!
So there you have it more than you ever wanted to know about our plans for the wedding ceremony. But we all know what happens to plans…