On the 14th of April, I celebrated my 8 year wedding anniversary with my husband Scotty in isolation.
Together we opened one of the super special wines we had laid away from our honeymoon in the Barossa. We enjoyed some Jamie Oliver spicy meatballs, and watched the handy cam footage of our wedding ceremony.
We got hitched at the big bluestone amphitheatre in Fairfield Park in Melbourne. A lovely spot that overlooks the pipe bridge.
On my wedding day I walked down the steep amphitheatre stairs. Stairs that 26 years earlier, my pregnant Mum had walked up and down repeatedly, to help induce her labour.
We had a massive wedding ceremony, and a slightly more intimate reception.
Swamped with so much planning minutia;
- The choice of colour palettes
- Finding THE dress
- Recruiting my sister to make 90 handmade cookies for my bonbonnieres
- Finding out that delivery of florals by the florist would cost me more than if I was to hire a limo to drop them off
- Making lists of the must have photos for our photographer
- Mum and Dad repainting the living room so it would be a respectable wet weather option
- Worrying about whether it would be frowned upon to have Aunty Mary there but not to invite the cousins..
I hadn’t actually given much thought to our wedding ceremony. I hadn’t really thought about what getting married meant to me, short of the fact that it seemed like what you did, with the person you love, when you ‘got grown up’.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of wedding planning, the reasons why you are getting married, and what marriage means to you, can fall by the wayside. Maybe you’ve never even really stopped to think about it?
Long after the flowers have dried up, your hundreds of guests have lovingly deposited your embossed invites in the bin and you’ve ‘grown out’ of your wedding attire – you will be married.
You will have your favourite person by your side, through whatever may come next – hell or high water, pesilence or pandemic.
Whether you are planning a cheeky little elopement or a massive party of love, why you are getting married should be at the heart of your celebration.
It was about a week out from our wedding. Scotty and I finally sat down with the materials that our celebrant had given us to start planning your ceremony.
Actually sitting back and thinking about the ‘why’, without all the noise of the ‘how’, was a really centering experience.
What Getting Married Meant to Us
What did getting married, and by extension, being married, really mean to me? To us?
Scotty and I sat down and had a conversation. And what we came up with was this.
That on our wedding day, we would set the intention for our married life.
It was to be a promise that everyday thereafter we would reset that intention.
We would make room for our growth as beautiful individual humans. As a united couple. And as the members of a wider family and community – the one we had been born to, and the one we had purposefully created for ourselves.
When you get married, you are standing before one another, full of hope, to say that you hope this lasts.
That you promise to be there. That you promise you might not always understand, but that you will try. That no one knows what the future holds, but that whatever comes, you will have one another’s back.
With eight years behind us, I know that being married to Scotty is so much bigger than the celebration we had on our wedding day.
Don’t get me wrong, it was a fabulous party to kick off our married lives together, but I know him now better than I ever did before.
For us, being married is a promise to try your very best, every single day. To acknowledge when you’re wrong, and not rub it in when you’re right.
For us, it is to notice when your partner is not doing well, maybe before they even recognise it themselves. It’s to reach out with a hand on their back to let them know you’re there.
For us, it is to give equal weight, and equal value, to the things we individually contribute to our shared life. The garden I sustain, whilst Scotty works his tech magic so that I can take photos on my phone and know that they will be backed up, and watch Brooklyn 99 on Netflix on devices in any room of the house.
For us, it is sharing the parenting of our beautiful boy. Admitting to each other that neither of us knows what the hell we are doing, and working together despite that, to raise him to be the best person he can be. A combination of the best of each of us, with his own unique quirky self.
Getting Married In a Pandemic
With all the restrictions changing from day to day I hope that you get the wedding you have planned and looked forward to.
But know that even if things look a little different, even if the chairs are a little bit more spaced apart, or if you have a closer circle of loved ones around you than you had originally thought, that’s okay.
At the end of the day there is no restriction on the most important thing about a wedding – the amount of love you have for one another, your dreams for your future together and the fact that you can make your commitment to one another a legal one.
This quieter time, before the crazy awesome wedding storm, is a gift.
Grab that bottle of vino that you’ve been saving for a special occasion. Crack it open, put the planning details aside, and talk together about what you hope for your future together. What getting married means to you.
Take some notes and send them to me. Tell me all about it.
Whatever the size, let’s make this ceremony a celebration of your love. A snap shot of your happiness today and a wish for your shared future together. A space where you set a meaningful and mindful intention for your married life.
Personal, unique and beautiful, and just for you.
Something you can treasure and look back on fondly while you’re having meatballs and wine in 8 years time.
*Originally published in May 2020
Photo Credit: Jennifer MacDonald of Liminal Wonderland