Wednesday, 2 October 2013

On Being Married

I remember distinctly the conversation, driving through Pontefract in our old Ford Mondeo circa 1996, me carefully deciding on my old, new, borrowed and blue, much to my Mum's amusement (I decided on old flowers - at the time I had no idea about the decadence of weddings, especially not the floral element of it all). That day was, somehow, always going to be: a beacon of sorts on the horizon; the day I'd commit to that other human and my life would truly begin. There were the playground games: sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G with some freckled boy standing on the other side of the rounders pitch, or the twisting of the apple stalk to discover the first initial of my future betrothed (I'm sure it snapped off at D at least once).

This idea stayed in my head throughout my entire wedding day; somehow, my life had always been moving towards this point when I'd choose someone else to share 'forever' with. It's another of those things that is pushed into our psyche by society and expectation and tradition and all of that, and one of the many things that I rejected outright upon realising the ridiculousness of it all. It suddenly became much less ridiculous, though, when I met Daniel, and when I realised that sharing a life path is neither easy nor obvious at times, and that these challenges can actually be fun and wondrous in their own way. I guess that what I mean is that I found somebody who made even the hardest bits of life (and there have been some massively hard bits over the past 5 years, that's for sure) somehow magical, and something inside me went 'pop' - right up there on that bridge over the M6 - and I was, in my own way that can't be put into words, committed. So I've been committed for a while now, and when it came to making those vows to Daniel in front of pretty much everyone we care about, it was the most natural thing I've ever done. The whole day was magical, each moment a complete surprise, but at the same time nothing about it was anything other than the absolutely normal thing to be doing that day.

I laughed the entire day, even though none of it was that funny really - it must be some sort of reflex that I have when presented with something utterly joyful (when Daniel proposed I'm not sure I actually even said yes, I just laughed uncontrollably and took the ring from his grasp). I haven't really stopped laughing for the past week-and-a-bit either, even though life has gone back to a very distinct normality, and it's raining, and the house is an utter mess. Because I thought that married life would just be like going back to how it was before, but with the slight inconvenience of a new ring each on our left hands. It turns out that I was wrong, and I'm glad I was; everything feels just a little bit different, slanted towards the future and big plans that we share now because we promised that we would. Everything feels a little bit more possible than it did before, and the future - by the very fact that it's not only 'mine' but also 'ours' - seems somehow more exciting, more of a mystery.

So married life: so far, so good. I thought I'd be terribly sad that the wedding was over and there would be nothing much to look forward to ever again (how depressing). But as my lovely newlywed friend Louise said on the day, there's a real satisfaction inside me now that we've had our wedding and that it was everything that we ever wanted. Now we can get on with the bigger, more exciting task of marriage and all the challenging things that it will inevitably bring. I like challenges, and I even have time for the massive life-changing ones, however scary they may be. It's just really nice to know that I have someone lovely there to go through it all with, with ultimate soup-making, bubble bath-running, husband skills that will surely be essential in the years ahead.

Thanks to my lovely sister-in-law for the photo :-)
And for the record:

Old - my Great Grandma's eternity ring (as well as my Gran's engagement ring which I've been wearing since we got engaged)
New - pearl necklace and bracelet which my Mum bought to go with my dress
Borrowed - a cotton hankerchief of my Mum's with 'D' for Deborah (my Mum's name) embroidered on the corner. This was for the tears that never came (I laughed instead) and remained tucked in my bra the entire day.
Blue - a bead in my hair which my amazing bridesmaid Emma painted blue for me - the rest of the beads were pearl-coloured. Also, my Great Grandma's ring had sapphires around it.


  1. Congratulations, Catherine and Daniel! (Late, but no less heartfelt) I am so happy for you!
    I love that you "laughed the entire day" and how meaningful your old, new, borrowed and blue were. Your writing is beautiful as always, and the photo is so cute. Thanks for sharing your special day. May you have a wonderful long life together, filled with bubble baths and soup-making and lots of other lovely things! Sending you lots of love, Marina xxx

  2. Hi Catherine. Many, many congratulations to you both! I can't believe I missed this post! I am so thrilled that your wedding day went so well and that it was full of love, laughter and happiness. May your life together be full of the same.
    Lisa xx