The best decision I ever made? Easy! The best decision was marrying Nick Costaras!
For those who weren’t aware – Nick is my second husband. I was married before – at the age of 19 – to a man 10 years my senior. We remained married for 5 years (and that’s a whole other story).
I was thinking a bit about weddings today. My first wedding was all about keeping up appearances and doing what was expected of me. I originally wanted Arum Lilies in my bouquet – but my mother-in-law-to-be insisted that lilies were funeral flowers and that it would be bad luck to carry them at a wedding. I put my opinion aside in order to please her (and went with white roses instead). At nineteen, I was young and eager to please… didn’t want to offend anyone – so the wedding was pretty-much planned around the wishes and well-being of everyone else. I followed all the wedding protocol and traditions – not because any of it was meaningful or necessary – but because I felt I ‘ought to’.
When I married Nick (on the 11th February, 2005) – I was older and wiser. Our wedding was simply a celebration of our love and commitment to one another – in the company of family and friends… oh – and a big, fat party (with lots of food and music!). I didn’t care a hoot about expectations and wedding etiquette and all the stuff one is supposed to do. We kept the traditions that were meaningful to us – (the ones we liked)… and we ditched everything else.
The stuff we ditched:
- There was no white dress (I designed my dress, my mother sewed it – and I chose a lovely champagne colour).
- No veil.
- No garter (or the toss thereof).
- No tossing of the bouquet either (instead, I gave it to a special friend).
- No “old, new, borrowed, blue” stuff.
- No formal speeches (we got the talking part over during the church service – our parents said a few nice things – Nick and I said a few nice things and that was that).
- No toasts (or awful Jolly-Good-Fellow song).
- No traditional wedding cake (instead – we ordered a giant chocolate fountain – filled with melted Belgium chocolate. By the end of the evening, the bowl was licked clean!)
- No traditional Greek gifts – aka: Bourbonnais – guests were each gifted with a fridge magnet which said: “I went to Nick and Heather’s wedding and all I got was this lousy fridge magnet”… oh, and a tin of smarties too!
- Also – we had our wedding photos taken before the ceremony (we had a late ceremony – and wanted decent light for the photos).
- Our wedding invitation was… a book… complete with games, quizzes and illustrations.
The moral of my story? I don’t think that weddings should ever be based on “rules” or “protocol” – or the way things “ought to” be done. I think every wedding should be as unique as the couple who are getting married. If you genuinely love all the traditional stuff – by all means, be my guest. But do it for YOU… not for your in-laws… not for the pastor… not for the family members… not for anyone else – but you.
Since I’m feeling all nostalgic about my wedding today (we’ll be married for 8 wonderful years next year)… I wanted to post some of my wedding photos here. Why? Because they make me happy – and they bring back all sorts of beautiful memories. And because I think Ryan Graham is an excellent wedding photographer!