Thursday, 3 May 2007

Marriage vows

Jenny and I didn't intend to get married. We had been happily living together for 14 years and didn't see any point in doing the paperwork as we knew we were firmly committed to each other.

Then one day J was told that if she died her local authority pension could only go to her husband. Cohabitees of whatever vintage counted for nothing and wouldn't get a penny. We chewed this over for a while and wondered whether we should swallow our scruples and go legal or leave our future finances to chance.

We decided to get married strictly as a piece of creative accounting, with the simplest ceremony possible. No way was it going to escalate into a mortgage-size white wedding with all the trimmings, 200 guests, a five-course banquet and a fleet of limousines. We would just have felt consumed by something out of our control, like Jonah being swallowed by the whale.

Managing to keep our parents well out of it, we arranged a 10-minute hook-up at the local register office, with a couple of good friends to witness the magical moment when we gazed into each other's eyes and agreed to share our pension entitlements. Oh, and our passionate devotion.

Then, what better way to build up our strength for the nocturnal obligations of marriage than some sumptuous aphrodisiacs at our favourite eaterie, washed down by the best aphrodisiac of all, a few generous glasses of champagne. All in all, a very enjoyable and stress-free marriage which did the business without us feeling railroaded into some stifling extravaganza.

I know lots of people (like Flirty) will think I'm a hopeless spoilsport and party-pooper, pouring cold water on what for many couples is obviously an occasion for the biggest and most uninhibited celebration they can muster.

Well, if that's what works for them, I sincerely wish them every happiness, but personally I can't see how a £25,000 bash would have made our nuptial vows any more serious than a solemn promise in front of two valued friends. Different strokes for different folks, as they say.


  1. That is so much better than the big circus people make out of it these days. I think the whole point is lost in the show. I do however like the idea of dowries - my mother has been saving for years just in case!

  2. Yes I quite fancied a dowry myself but with our minimalist nuptials I don't think we would have qualified anyway. Mind you, if we saved £25,000 I guess that was a kind of dowry in itself. I do hope civil partnerships remain modest and don't turn into equally OTT occasions.

  3. I thought to leave you and Jenny an Irish blessing for the day that was in it...

    May love and laughter light your days,
    and warm your heart and home.
    May good and faithful friends be yours,
    wherever you may roam.
    May peace and plenty bless your world
    with joy that long endures.
    May all life's passing seasons
    bring the best to you and yours!

  4. Go raibh míle maith agat, wisewebwoman. Needless to say the photo isn't me!


  5. Thanks for that www. I fear most of my seasons have already passed, so I'm hoping for a jackpot from whatever remains! Actually I plan to grow old disgracefully and be the local Pesky Pensioner.

  6. Fully support your day, at least it was honest and real, a lot more than can be said for most weddings. So, well done you.

  7. I take it all back Flirty. I obviously got the wrong impression from some of your more hedonistic posts!!

  8. I wanted to just run off and get married on the quiet but the Italian is having none of it and wants his big day out. As long as he doesn't start demanding a nice white dress for himself (he'd never find the shoes to go with it)...

  9. Aw shucks Caro, a bit of a dilemma. Can't you persuade him it's much more romantic to just make off and tie the knot when the natural impulse takes you? Quite fancied a nice white dress myself but the price of bridal gowns was enough to make me weep.