Tag Archives: marriage

Wedding Planning: So it Begins

I’ve told a little fib already, in that I cannot in all honestly claim that I (we) have only just begun to plan the wedding. When Mr Hello and I became engaged over my three week pitstop in England in July, we made the most of the time I was there and used the last few days to make some crucial decisions.

It all happened really quickly, easily in fact, in the beginning. We had a shared vision of the kind of wedding we pictured for ourselves: simple, elegant, modern, and that favourite chestnut of wedding blogland (don’t judge me) a day that was “us”. We found a reception venue first, a local art gallery and tearoom that we could hire over a weekend. It will be their first wedding hire, which is quite exciting too if I am honest, and unlike most of the other venues that I saw in Kent, neither a barn, grand estate house nor a village hall. We’re a pretty contemporary couple. Despite my love for all things vintage – Mr Hello has a bit of a penchant for objet d’art of time gone by too I might add – I just couldn’t picture myself in another kind of venue. It would feel like dress ups, and that thought made me wriggle uncomfortably in my skin.

So we progressed. We were unsure of the date, hoping for a little more time to save and recoup after our year apart, but being quite the international couple we had to take into account when family could travel, and so it began to seem more likely that 2015 was the year. I have to say as well, once we’d found the reception venue it was hard to not feel overwhelmed with excitement and want to plan everything right now. We took a little spin around some civil service venues in our town, and before we knew it, we’d decided. A local wedding. A local contemporary wedding, in the town where we live. With the people we love. What could really be more us?

Now we’re apart, wedding planning isn’t quite so straightforward, and decisions have honestly not been quite so mutual. There were disagreements and terse conversations, and all of a sudden the wedding didn’t seem like quite so much fun to talk about. It became something that was our default conversation, to the point that we sort of stopped having a relationship. It’s hard enough as it is to feel connected to someone when you live on the other side of the world, and damn near impossible because you’re mad at them for not budging on some insignificant wedding detail. A pause was most certainly required. So we paused, we waited, we stopped talking nuptials for a month or so. Now the talking is coming back a little, but not so much that we have nothing else to talk about, and slowly we’re finding a path forward together, making decisions we’re both happy with to a certain extent.

So. The fun part. who wants a sneak peek of our wedding motif? We’re not doing a theme as such, but have something that will be echoed throughout the day. Friends, esteemed colleagues, I give you:

That's all, folks!
That’s all, folks!

 

Mr Hello designed it (among other things) in over a week or so. Without giving the game away, I feel compelled to say that this boy is so damned clever, I think I might keep him. I know – it doesn’t really give you all that much information, but HECK, that’s part of the fun of it! More will be revealed soon…

What My Marriage Will Mean to Me

Very recently, I got engaged to a wonderful man. The proposal took place at home one evening, just the two of us and what I now believe to be some pretty special lemon cake. I’ve got mad baking skills, it appears! I couldn’t be happier with the way we decided to make a marriage.

Interestingly, I really don’t believe that marriage is a necessity anymore, and I know I’m not alone in that opinion. I am vehemently pro-gay marriage, however, because I believe that everyone should have the same civil rights. I did know, however, that marriage was a ride I wanted to take. Why did I feel so strongly that I wanted to get married? I’ve tried to answer this question over the last few weeks, and I’ve found there is no clear answer for me.

In part, it’s to do with the fact that my parents divorced. Their marriage, until now, has been the most important marriage in my life and as I’m sure you can imagine it was incredibly difficult to deal with, despite being (technically) an adult when their separation occurred.

I’d like to place a happy full stop to that marriage and start a brand new chapter with my own.

As I’ve grown and developed my own adult identity I’ve clarified in my mind the qualities that I really value. Commitment is high up on my list. You can’t have a marriage without commitment, although conversely it’s possible to have commitment without marriage. I’m excited to wake up next to my future husband every day and know that what we have is still there. That the default position is that we love each other and we’re there for each other. That we’ve given permission to one other person to slightly take us for granted. Your spouse is the one person who should be able to take it for granted that you will be there for them. That if times get rough (and they will) that you will be there beside them. That you are partners.

I also want to be a wife. I really want to claim that label for myself! It’s not the only word I’d use to describe myself – I’m pretty sure enthusiastic, passionate, somewhat absent-minded and untidy would also make it onto that list – but being able to say I am someone’s wife will make me feel incredibly proud. I’ll take that responsibility bloody seriously. As much as marriage is a private bond made between a couple, these titles we bestow upon each other are a public declaration of the choice we made. I am in love, and I want to be an archetypal lovebird and sing it out to the world! I am in love! I am a wife!

Marriage is not sacred nor spiritual to me. It’s a precious man-made ritual that doesn’t even necessarily last our whole lives. I’m ok with that, but I’m going to try damn hard anyway. To me, marriage is a living promise, that calls upon me to be truly present in my relationship. My marriage will be a touchstone, a guiding force and loving filter through which I can view the choices I must make in my life.

 

On Green Dolphin Street

Luckily for me, and not to mention your goodselves, I realised I couldn’t legitimately call myself a blogger if I didn’t use Instagram. So I recently scurried off to er, my phone and downloaded that lovely app. Just for you my sweets – is a badly taken, yet effortlessly cool picture of a bloody good book

It’s not a secret to those who have heard me speak about books in the last while (well, the last ‘ever’ really) that Sebastian Faulks is my favourite author. It all started with a Cate Blanchett film about WWII France, and I was hooked.

On Green Dolphin Street is a novel about an English couple, Charlie and Mary Van der Linden, living in quite-recently-post-McCarthy Washington. Charlie is an entertaining alcoholic diplomat slowly sinking into the void, and Mary is his inimitable wife. Their life seems lovely, if slightly fraying around the edges, yet both their worlds seem to change irrevocably after the arrival of journalist Frank Renzo.

I don’t want to give too much away, although I’m not sure I can help it – but if there is one thing that Faulks can write about, it’s passion. I find myself consistently groaning with the sheer weight of emotion in his books, and it would be almost too much to bear if it wasn’t so utterly lovely, so delicious and so life-affirming.

Most of my experience of Faulks has been through his French Trilogy of Birdsong, The Girl at the Lion D’Or and Charlotte Gray (that’s the Cate one!) and I thought it was the French aspect that made me swoon each time. I’m a raging Francophile, and I always associated the lingering romanticism of France with Faulks’ writing. But this time, the setting couldn’t be further away from that, and it goes to show – me at least – that the boy has style.

I think this book, perhaps more so than the French books Faulks has written, will inspire deep chats with chums. It was challenging without being didactic or overly sentimental. I highly recommend a read.