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How's married life?

29 January 202204:21PMlife

Pretty much the same, but people ask you that question a lot more.

Glib comments aside, I think it's interesting to reflect on why people assume things are going to be so different. We didn't do this because we felt we had to, or because we're particular believers in the institution of marriage. We did it because we love each other and we wanted a party, but we sure didn't go into it to change anything. We set out to formalise the relationship we already have.

the formalities

I think that was reflected in how things went down on the day. There's a whole lot of things that you're "supposed" to do in a wedding in the 21st century and I think we probably did less than half of them. As soon as you stop accepting "because that's just what you do" as a reasonable answer to "why", things suddenly get way more fun.

bubbles, because why not

We took every component, and examined it carefully, and if it wasn't shiny enough to make the cut, we ditched it. It was a magpie's wedding, carefully hoarded from the sparkliest objects we could find, and I honestly couldn't think of a better way to do it - because (he says confidently, only a few months in) that's how our marriage feels as well. We're not suddenly doing things differently because "that's just what you do". Why would we want to do that? We liked what we had before and wanted to lock it in forever, not tip it on its head.

Getting married didn't change what we thought about our relationship, but our relationship did change what we thought about marriage. Our wedding was descriptive, not prescriptive. It reflected, rather than redefining.

Which has been a weirdly nice confidence boost, actually. Realising that I - we - are the ones calling the shots in how we run our partnership and our lives and how we're seen by  and interact with the world has been weirdly empowering. It makes you feel grown-up, except it's our turn to decide what that means.

And when you put it like that, it really takes a lot of the pressure off.

take me away from all this

One of the most common bits of advice we got leading up to the big day was to lower our expectations, to acknowledge that not everything would be perfect, and that even if things went wrong we should make sure we enjoyed it. Except, in my experience, that turned out to be completely incorrect. I had this very vivid picture in my head of what I wanted the night to look like. I remember looking out over everything at one point and realising that it was exactly, one hundred percent accurate to that picture.

us against the world

(It's been interesting, since then, to go to another similarly personal and beautiful wedding, and realise that other people's versions of perfect don't match ours, and what was perfect for us was just that - perfect for us)

In fact, I think that advice might have been exactly backwards. Everything was perfect, not because it was actually flawless or because we had a zen-like acceptance of things going wrong, but because we were so high on joy that literally everything that happened, whether it was nominally part of the plan or not, was immediately beautiful and funny and precious.

pals

I didn't come into this because I wanted to offer advice, but I think if I were to have some, it'd be this - whether it's the wedding or the marriage, you're defining it, and not the other way around.

into the sunset together

I also didn't come into writing this intending to actually answer the question in the title, but I guess I kind of did - because if you can pull that bit off, both the weddings and the married life are pretty freaking great.

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