The nutty, the insane, and the outright crazy...
If you're ever looking for ideas on the 'whens, whys, where's and hows' for your Big Day Out, you don't need to go much further than the Facebook Page "Christchurch Brides".
But I say this for entirely different reasons than you might expect.
I lose sleep at night aware that some of these couples (and by couples, I mean women, as the blokes** seem to take very little interest in such a momentous occasion - but that's future post) live amongst us, and (if not already) are breeding.
I have two bits of advice to any couple (woman) planning your wedding;
It is YOUR day. Do what you want to do, not what others demand, not what you think is trendy, not what you think might make people remember it.
Take no notice of Hollywood. Julia Roberts' movies have created idealistic scenes of shite that are perfectly normal amongst the criminally wealthy and egotistical. But not here. Not in NZ. And certainly not in level-headed Canterbury (and in this might be a hint as to why your bloke is showing little interest in the planning).
Let's address the first point. Every couple I meet with 'doing it your way' is one of the first things I impress upon them. Even my role is just as an extra to the main event. I think a lot of Celebrants take their role a little too seriously, but the reality is we are really only required to carry out two questions, and some paperwork to make it legal. Everything else in the ceremony is up to the couple. Of course, Celebrants may well have a bit more experience in this field, so taking advice on how the ceremony pans out is important, but the final decision on what, where, and how it happens rests on you (more on this in a future post).
I often joke to the H2B ('husband to be' for the uninitiated) that he, like myself, is secondary - it is all about her. In part this is somewhat true, the Bride is generally the focal point of the wedding, but it doesn't have to be like that. And maybe there would be more input from the blokes if the emphasis on the day was for the both of you, it might make it just that little bit special.
But when I see, or am asked questions about 'should we do this?", "should we invite them?", and even "what colour should we wear?" I am dumbfounded. As much as I try to get to know you, I simply cannot be that involved, but I could suggest ideas, but in the end just do it, accept it, and own it!
I suspect there is a concern amongst the couples that people might think something was tacky, inappropriate, plain wrong, and because of this perception amongst couples the focus shifts towards point two above; planning the ceremony around everyone else.
Seriously? The people invited to your wedding and/or your reception should be honoured to be a part of it. No matter what you do, we humans, being fallible as we can be, will always find something to gripe about, so why stress over it? I have yet to be at a wedding where someone commented "I cannot believe she chose white table runners. Surely off-ivory Lithuanian cream would have been better!?"
Fuck off, you twat!
Some of the best weddings I have carried out (including my own - I was so lucky to have a wife more interested in the moment than the peripherals) have been simple, low-cost affairs. With expense comes more stress, worry, and things that can go wrong. What would be the point in having origami doves on each outdoor seat only to have a downpour wipe them out? Shepherd's crooks (yes, I have seen them!) are only good for lambing season.
However, as a post-script to this argument, I do also tell the couple that ultimately they are putting on a show, so while the emphasis is on you, be mindful that people have made the effort to dress up (hopefully), buy you gifts (hopefully), and sit through your soppy vows. Choosing the right songs, having simple, yet effective decorations, and even the weather will be more memorable than hessian place mats and photo booths. And in part this is where your Celebrant and Emcee (should) come into their own; the ceremony, vows, readings, and speeches, and how they are delivered will add that spark to your day along with those subtle touches, those things that make you, you.
**the term "blokes" is just generalist terminology and of course relates also to the 'other half' of a same sex marriage.