Who needs marriage when you've got Merlot? [AD]
Considering I run a family lifestyle blog, have 2.5 kids and a spouse that's been hanging around for over a decade (geez), you'd think there'd be a little more on here about the 'M' word; not my trusted companion whose always there to help out with a lazy dinner, Chef McDonald or my adored friend always there to curb the edge of a bad day, Mr Merlot Blanc, but *whispers* marriage. Martin and I have been together for 10.4 years, didn't do much for the first 7 and squeezed 2 kids, a mortgage and an engagement into the latter 3.4. We discussed marriage a bit before our engagement, you know, when Don't Tell the Bride is on and you casually inform them that you'd personally prefer a floor-length, off-the-shoulder number, just in case you were to end up on Channel 5 one day walking the aisle in a pink tutu, but beyond that it was never a big topic of conversation.
It would've been nice to pin the correct order of mortgage > marriage > motherhood, but life wouldn't be much fun if we didn't sometimes colour outside of the lines, so instead we opted for the much more erratic, pregnancy > shotgun home-owners > stilllll not married, instead. 8 years in and on my 28th birthday, Martin decided to panic-pop the question after joking that he'd exhausted the well of ideal birthday gifts (I did say, a set of diamond earrings would've sufficed) and here we are, 2 years into an extended engagement with no wedding plans in sight.
Don't get me wrong, I've always wanted to get married, to share a beautiful day with our beautiful people, but at a point in life where peer pressure doesn't really penetrate us, it just isn't a necessity. We have two very young kids of whom I would like to be old enough to enjoy our wedding (and frankly, as the world's worst helicopter Mum, I don't think I'd be able to relax as I'm sure at least one child would wander off and be found on the roof), a home that needs investment before we're able to eventually move to a bigger one and spending thousands of pounds on a wedding just isn't something we're all that desperate to do.
I know, I know, you don't have to spend all that money on a wedding, there's always marriage on a budget or Don't Tell the Bride but frankly, if we are going to take the plunge, I'd love go all out and do it without [much] compromise, it's just that we're in no particular rush. In fact, weddings are something of a rarity amongst our family, with three cousins in their own extended engagements, and not a wedding in sight (our poor grandmother is desperate to dust off her black pleated fascinator). I also have an Auntie and Uncle who've just celebrated their 37th year together, not a licence in sight.
So, as much as I occasionally stumble across a venue I think would be perfect and I imagine my Mother-of-the-Bride in her JD Williams embroidered dress and matching bolero, I know that for us, it's a luxury and not a necessity. Our home, our children and the relationship we tirelessly work on each and every day is what solidifies our standing as a couple right now. We'll continue to enjoy attending the weddings of our friends & family members for now and soak up the open bars and photo booth props until the day, if it comes, where we're ready to plan our own.