With all the talk of The Royal Wedding this month, all the fanfare has reminded me of why I ran away and got spliced. The rage to engage took us by surprise whilst holidaying in
Crete one summer. A simple silver band set with a sapphire bought from a local jeweller was slipped upon my finger and sealed with a kiss. Along with two of our friends’ who we had gone away with, we celebrated our official coupling with a toasting of champagne and pondered into the early drunken hours about our idyllic wedding. I fancied a kind of affair – a long floaty white dress with daisies weaved through my hair surrounded by a gathering of close family and friends. Woodstock
Arriving back home relaxed and in love, we were bursting to tell family and friends about our romantic engagement. But the minute that sparkler (well, it was a sparkler in my eyes) was shown those innocent wedding thoughts seemed a lifetime away. The heady excitement of the engagement lasted few precious moments as the realisation gripped me that I had quickly become public property for wedding fodder.
Although I had never planned a big bash it seemed like it was turning into one to rival that of a royal wedding. All anybody kept going on about was The Dress. At the time I worked as a fashion stylist so I really felt the pressure was on to look more than just amazing. “How about a Vivienne Westwood number?” said one friend, “or a Vera Wang?” said another. I appreciate that some brides-to-be revel in the whole ceremony of choosing and being fitted for a wedding dress, but for me, the actual thought of spending the price of a small house on a one-day-only dress brought me out in hives. Plus, I loved styling shoots, not necessarily starring in them. And that seemed to be part of the problem. We are not what you call a ‘spotlight’ couple. We don’t do flashy dinner parties, neither do we throw big show off shindigs and this is what my wedding was turning into. The guest list was growing as we were reminded daily who we had to invite. For the reception we had decided to hold it in our house – although the
theme was quickly falling apart at least I thought I could be bare foot in the garden. However, that caused problems too. How was everyone going to fit in? Woodstock
I didn’t feel joyful about my impending nuptials, I felt doomed. Everybody but me was directing it. I thought of the scene from one of my favourite films, The Graduate where Dustin Hoffman (Benjamin) falls in love with Mrs Robinson’s daughter (Elaine), and just as she’s about to get married he bursts into the church, snatches her away from the groom, they rush down the road and make their escape on a bus. I wanted that to be me. I wanted to be the runaway bride. And that’s when I had my wedding epiphany. I didn’t have to be a put-upon bride, I was in charge of this show, and I’ll play it out as I liked. I told my boyfriend I couldn’t go through with the wedding as it was, I felt trapped and unhappy. A big smile crept across his face. He felt exactly the same. After weeks of waking up with palpitations I took drastic measures…registry office/caterers/dress appointments all cancelled. We ran away to
one weekend and got married. As for the guests, there were none apart from the two friends who witnessed our engagement in Bath Crete and would now act as witnesses for our marriage. I was back at my desk on Monday wearing a gold band and surprising people with the news I had got married at the weekend.
Big weddings are a production and I personally celebrate and send congratulations to those who can pull one off with grand gestures and style. But for me, two was certainly company and anymore than four would definitely have been a crowd.