I never wanted a big wedding, and I could never imagine myself in a big white wedding dress. I hate being the centre of attention and I find the idea of spending such huge sums of money in one day on a ‘fairy tale’ wedding quite galling.
I got engaged to be married in Antigua in March 2014. I gave birth to my little baba in August. I started planning our wedding in about October. We were going to get married in Chelsea Town Hall, a lovely venue by all accounts, have lunch in Beaufort House, a private members’ club on the Kings Road (a prestigious road in Chelsea, London) and then evening drinks with a large number of friends.
It wasn’t going to cost a fortune, not by today’s grandiose standards where all weddings seem to involve a plane flight, three nights in a hotel, a steam train to the venue, six different outfits, four themes and speech upon speech upon speech about the wonderful bride, groom, and their family. But it was a hell of a lot bigger than I had ever wanted. My ex also made a point of telling me that it was traditional for the bride’s parents to pay for the wedding.
I can’t say that I ever really felt excited about our wedding. It felt like something that we should do now that we had a son, rather than something that we both wanted to do. As the day drew nearer I was beginning to dread it more and more. The lunch was always going to be stressful because half of my ex’s family aren’t speaking to each other; some long-running but trivial rift which was too entrenched and far too serious to be put aside for a family wedding. I’ve told you about my ex in-laws right? Arranging the tables to avoid the arguments was like trying to avoid the Cold War.
Then there were the arrangements for the evening drinks. I hadn’t met some of the people on my ex’s guest list. He invited his ex wife, which was fine, but his family don’t know that he is a divorcee. A divorce would have brought shame on the devout Catholic family. This was another set of eggshells that I had to tiptoe on. I felt as though I was becoming less and less a critical part of a day that was supposed to be about me, or at least partly about me.
Then there were the comments from the mother-in-law. We weren’t getting married in a Church which she was upset about. I don’t believe in God as you know. My ex gave my non-believer status as the reason for our out-of-Church nuptials to his mother. His previous marriage obviously couldn’t be mentioned. I was the one who was looked down upon: ‘it is such a shame, so sad that Pen doesn’t believe in God’.
Looking back on things now, I should have been boiling up inside. I should have argued back. I didn’t. I felt resigned and crushed. I was dreading my wedding day.
I don’t need to tell you why I split up with my partner. The reasons are many and are littered like dog turd throughout my blog. At some point I probably need to consolidate all of the reasons into one list, just in case I completely lose my marbles and fall for his looks and charm again. Highly unlikely.
Calling off my wedding was a massive relief. I sent a text message to my friends to tell them that they no longer needed to save the date. One of my friends replied saying that she couldn’t imagine how difficult it must have been for me to send that message. That’s just it though; it wasn’t difficult, in fact it was very easy. It felt really liberating.
My wedding weekend was the 27-28 June 2015. By ditching the groom, I got the wedding weekend that I really wanted.
I had a fantastic weekend and will tell you all about my ‘narrow escape’ soon…