To have and to hold – one day or forever?

What is it we are all dreaming of? A marriage or a wedding? A life or just one day? We live in a world that wants the good without the evil, the rewards without the hard work and the highs without the lows. We are missing the point. You cannot love in fear of heart break, you cannot win without putting up a fight, you cannot live in fear of mistrust. I’ve come to realise that it’s not about meeting ‘the one’ who will be there when you reach the top, it’s about meeting ‘the one’ who will stay when you hit rock bottom.

Society has created many pressures and expectations on our cultures today. Social media has made it somewhat acceptable to air our dirty laundry in public but really requires us to display our show-reels as opposed to our out-takes. The grass isn’t always greener, we need to stop wanting what we don’t have and start appreciating what’s in our lives and not in the tabloids. I try not to broadcast every high, just as I try not to broadcast every low. I’m trying to live. I’m not trying to convince the world I have a life.

Recently however, I’ve been caught up in the evil web of bridezillas. When my fiancé and I spoke about marriage we agreed to elope, no rings and to exchange our vowels privately and intimately amongst the woods and the trees. We engaged just the two of us underneath a blanket of twinkling stars and to the sound of a fires spirit crackling in the fresh coastal ocean wind. We dreamt of how we’ll travel the world and of the days when we are old and grey, but the reality soon changed.

With the announcement came hard opinions and influences. An unexpected ring became an engagement party, which soon became an overwhelming amount of presents. The bridal party got bigger and bigger and before we knew it we were planning a huge wedding in Santorini and even considering a tv show. REWIND. None of that sounds small, intimate, earthy or low key. We were caught up in the glitz and the glamour, the wedding function poachers with pound signs in their eyes and all the wedding do’s and don’ts. The big day, the white dress and pleasing our guests became our priority. I thought I had signed up to a life time of marriage, through sickness and in health. Not a £10,000 showdown for Facebook.

When I think of my future I envision the day I give birth, giving my husband and our family a new life. I imagine pain and bravery and a hero to hold my hand. I think about my depression and the days I’ll want to stay in bed with the lights off and the curtains closed. I remind myself of the support I will need to give him even when I’m finding it tough. I smile though; because I know we’ll never stop laughing, we’ll never give up. That the less we have, the more we’ll give. And the more we give, the less we’ll need.

To have and to hold means ‘to possess for life’ not ‘for the day.’ I’ve soon come to realise that I need to do what’s true to my heart. I can’t even say I’m sorry that so many people won’t be invited, that no one will be fed and that we won’t be ordering 100 personalised favours. I want to marry the man I love. I want to hold his hand, look into his eyes and promise him I will always love him. I could be wearing a black bag, he could be in a black bag, all of our guests could be wearing black bags and it wouldn’t make our day any less special.

We are not planning on buying cut roses; we are planning on planting them knowing that we’ll still be around to watch them blossom.

So make sure that before you plan your ‘big day’, you plan your ‘big life’ first.

A girl journeying to the moon.