I’ve just come back from a European adventure, engaged and for the most part it’s a glorious time.
There’s lots of congratulations; you’d think a relative had passed if you walked into my lounge room with the amount of flower arrangements we’ve received and the tears when you tell your nearest and dearest are touching.
But, some have tried to talk me out of it. It’s unfathomable how many married friends have told me NOT to get married.
Fortunately, it’s never about my partner or relationship (which is a relief). It’s the idea of marriage and how much I’m about to supposedly fork out, which have some questioning whether it’s worth it.
A girlfriend who walked down the aisle last year told me if she could have her time over she’d have bought a house not a husband. “There’s no pressure to actually do it. Nothing changed for me.”
“Is the stress worth it?” another girlfriend questioned. “You know my cousin’s hair started falling out she got so stressed in the lead up to hers.”
It comes from a good space — they think they’re helping. But it makes me a little sad.
The cost of a wedding seemed to be a huge issue for a few work colleagues. One said theirs got ‘out of hand’ and look back and wonder what they could have bought instead.
One work friend reminded me that she spent $95,000 on her wedding of 110 attendees. Then got divorced
— in a spectacular fashion. And never speaks to the majority who attended.
“Not everything lasts forever, just keep that in mind,” she said. Ouch.
An aunt told me: “Marriage doesn’t have the same meaning anymore, we should just get together and have a party.”
My question to her was — why? What gives you the impression that the idea of marriage has somehow been diluted over time?
Being able to stand in front of my friends and family and pledge to look after my partner whatever this wacky world throws at us is something that means everything to me. It does change things, it takes our relationship to the next level.
It would be an honour to call him my husband.
Another friend commented: “You’ve already bought a house together, that’s more of a commitment than marriage.”
Is it? Because there’s more paperwork with a mortgage?
I’ve found myself defending marriage. I even told a work colleague it extended your life. Did you know that happily married men outlive their single counterparts? (I googled it.)
A few friends asked if I would still go through with it if same-sex marriage isn’t given the green light post the plebiscite. I almost feel guilty saying Yes — like, I’m betraying my gay friends.
I don’t allow myself to think about that for too long because my heart knows same-sex marriage is inevitable in Australia.
If you’re wondering whether the comments have made me question whether I should get married — absolutely not. We want nothing more.
However, I’ve realised marriage isn’t right for everyone and its value is not the same across the board. Sidenote — holy moly, who knew weddings were THAT expensive?
But for me it’s not about how many tiers the cake has, it’s about the promise. Which still, despite our ever-changing world, has meaning for me.