The day you get married is believed to be the most beautiful one in your life. It totally can be that but especially the wedding is also a stressful experience that sets up expectations of others you’re often unwilling to meet and a lot of admin.
It all starts with gettting engaged which is really exciting. I remember I struggled to sleep for three days afterwards and kept touching my finger to check whether the ring was REALLY there. You have to inform all your friends and family about what happened and this adds up to the excitement. When the emotions settle, however, the time comes to start to think about the getting married part…
First of all, international marriages are not easy. The amount of paperwork needed is astounding and every document takes a long time to process, especially in a highly inefficient country in this respect like South Africa. Among others, I needed to get my husband’s certificate of no impediment, in order to get my own and then we still had to go through a formal interview that checked whether our relationship is legit and we’re not “a marriage of convenience”. The latter is a humiliating process no one should go through but South Africa is obsessed with the thought that every foreigner’s dream is to live here. The whole process of getting the documents sorted and getting the date for a civic ceremony took 6 months. Eventually we got married in an intimate ceremony with only four people present (including #englishrosiee) and proceeded to a day full of treats that ended up being really unforgettable and the best one in my life.
Now, wedding is a different story. People expect you to go full on and spend huge amounts of on this, let’s be honest, party. Sure, if you dreamt about a princess wedding be my guest but the way I feel is 1) it’s one night so instead of throwing buckets of money into it I’d rather travel with my husband 2) in a country like South Africa that has so much poverty it just doesn’t seem right to spend to excess and 3) fuck you wedding services providers I don’t see why anything that has a bridal service or wedding attached to it gets three times as expensive as a normal thing and I refuse to take part in this madness.
The other issue is of course the guestlist. People who haven’t made any effort to see you in over a year will also expect an invite. This is why it’s crucial to set your boundaries and establish who you actually want at your wedding. For me the list was limited to South African guests because the tickets are expensive and I didn’t want a disappointment from the side of my friends from Poland, telling me they can’t make it. With my family I additionally I didn’t want to play the role of an interpreter and opted rather for a seperate celebration in Poland.
Once you organize everything: the invites, the dress, the make-up, the food and most importantly the venue, you’re exhausted. Some of it is fun but it’s mostly frustrating and tiring. And the wedding itself? At some point with enough alcohol it’s really fun! At the same time it’s stressful before you get to that point. People stare at you (well, you’re the Bride) which I found very intimidating. The vows mean public speaking about your emotions which for me is truly nerve wrecking. Last but not least, things go wrong. Guests are late, the wind makes your photo shoot extremely difficult and ruins your bridal hair, people freak out last minute about delivering speeches changing the line-up, the layer of the wedding cake drops on the table… I also wanted to spend some time with the guests but even at a limited number of forty we had, it’s almost impossible. Eventually when all that could go wrong did, I just relaxed and enjoyed the evening, drinking way too much. In the morning I woke up with a massive hangover and thought “I’m so happy I’m married and I had fun but I’m so happy it’s over too!”. Then I puked a lot, starting our forever after with my husband holding my hair back. There’s a long story behind this perfect wedding picture on Facebook, huh?
So Dear Rinsers, what are your experiences with getting married? If you had none what would you like?