On Tuesday 12th April, my wife and I got married!
Anxiety was one of the main reasons we made the choices we did for our wedding. We chose to marry at Crear, a gorgeous house in the middle of nowhere on the west coast of Scotland. They specialise in Wee Weddings, and this appealed to us as we deliberately wanted to keep it small to keep nerves on the day to a minimum. A large wedding would, for both of us, end up in panic attacks and no enjoyment – and what’s the point in that?
Here are the good, the bad, and the ugly experiences we had whilst planning our wee wedding:
- The venue arranged everything for us; the photographer, the flowers, the food, the accommodation and even a piper for our ceremony. All we had to do was pick an outfit and turn up. It meant once we’d booked, everything was automatically ticked off. Me -1, Anxiety – 0.
- The unbelievable support we received from many of our family and friends when we told them our plans was incredible. It was surprising how many people told us they wished they had made the same decisions as us for their own weddings.
- We had a Humanist ceremony:
We believe that marriage and civil partnerships are based on mutual love and respect. We also know that every couple is different and that is why our ceremonies are unique and personal.
It meant our ceremony was our story, in our words. It was funny and sentimental in all the right places, and our loved ones delivered readings which were personal to us.
- We chose to use a symbolic hand fasting gesture while saying our vows, and also finished our ceremony with another ritual where we drink to each other from a traditional Scottish quaich. Because our wedding was so small, our guests could also drink whisky from the quaich to celebrate our marriage.
- We chose outfits which felt comfortable and reflected our own style and personalities. I wore a loose fitting dress with converse trainers, and my partner wore jeans, a shirt and a bow tie. I didn’t hide my tattoos, I showed them off. We felt amazing. We also encouraged our guests to be comfortable and not worry about expensive dressy outfits.
- We got ready together, helped each other with hair and make up, and took a few deep breaths before heading downstairs to the hall. With my partner by my side for support, my anxiety was nowhere to be seen.
- After our wedding, we had a buffet meal, a small toast and lots of champers. By 7pm, we and our guests were in our pyjamas, relaxing and chatting in front of the open fire. It was exactly how we wanted to end our day; fuss free.
- Choosing our guest list. If you have a wee wedding, expect it to be near impossible to choose who to invite. We originally thought we would elope on our own, but decided against complete unknowns as our witnesses. In the end, we chose two family members to witness our wedding, and this in turn completed our guest list. It’s tricky, but if a small wedding is what you want then stick to your guns and go for it.
- Wedding body shaming. Yep, this happens to everyone, and I honestly don’t think people realise they are doing it. I decided not to diet for my wedding. I don’t ever diet, I hate the idea of going on a diet, and to be honest I am happy with my body. However, I often heard the words “I can’t believe you are eating that three weeks before your wedding!” If I want to eat seven custard creams, in one go, three weeks before my wedding, I don’t think that’s anyone’s business but mine.
- A few people found it difficult to understand that we didn’t follow a traditional wedding pattern, and whilst we were always more than happy to tell people our plans, on the odd occasion we had to justify our decisions. As a gay couple, we were asked questions such as; “Who is the man?”, “Who is wearing the dress?”, “Who is giving you away?”. When we explained that neither of us are a man, or no one is giving us away but we will walk in together, it was sometimes met with a strange look of confusion. Straight or gay, I think you are allowed to deviate from tradition wherever you want to, and should never have to justify this to anyone.
- Due to our anxiety and budget, we didn’t invite everyone. We genuinely believed that everyone would understand and be happy for us, but a few let us down. There is nothing you can do about how other people feel, or how other people interpret your decisions. Holding on to negative feelings like that does no one any good. We had to let it go and move forward with planning our wedding, focusing on the things which make us happy and the reasons we were getting married: because we love each other and want to start a family. You can never please everyone, but you have to remember that it is your day, and you should celebrate it the way that you want.
- I put so much pressure on myself that the day should be perfect, that I ended up an anxious mess two nights before the wedding. I broke a nail, and you would honestly have thought that I’d just been told the world was going to end in fifteen minutes. Thankfully, I was marrying the most amazing woman on the planet, who helped me through my panic attack. She made me tea, and reminded me that whatever happened, we would go to bed on Tuesday a married couple and that is all that matters.
Nothing went wrong on the day of our wedding. I was shaking throughout the ceremony through excitement and nerves, but my anxiety stayed away. Our wedding was happening, and it was happening beautifully. Everyone laughed, most people cried, we got drunk and woke the next day as the happiest Mrs & Mrs that ever was. I wouldn’t change one thing about our day, and I know that if we had had a big wedding, I would be writing a very different blog post on wedding day anxiety.
Do whatever you and your partner want to do, because you are the only people that matter, and I cannot stress this enough. Enjoy it and make it YOURS. That is all.