So is it too soon to start thinking about the wedding? We’ve been engaged for two weeks and we have opened up discussions as to what the big day is going to be like. There are so far several options on the table, few of which we both agree on. Before we go into these options into more detail, it might be a good time to explain a little what our families are like, for Groom and I come from ever-so-slightly different backgrounds.
From the day I was born I was a cherished baby, particularly by our large-ish extended family, as I was the first in my generation. Most of our extended family lived in the Middle East and I lived in Cyprus with Mum, Dad and my sibling, (let’s call her Maid of Honour) who was two years my junior. Life there had a very relaxed nature and a tranquility that meant we grew up in a very unique place. Another two siblings joined us, both girls (we’ll call them Sister 3 and Sister 4) and so the six of us lived in our little world of comfortable chaos.
We went to an English school that only had about 300 students in total. This school became a second home to us and our teachers and peers truly became family. Everybody knew everybody and we loved it.
My family was by nature loud, warm and very close. The extended family had lots of arms and legs and there was a certain Middle Eastern/Mediterranean etiquette that we usually had to adhere to. A wedding, for example, is an excuse to invite not only immediate family and extended family, but it is also a time for all those family members to invite their friends, their neighbours, the neighbours’ families, the green grocer, his wife and kids, the bank teller and his family. And anyone they meet along the way. That every member who is invited will be able to in turn, invite everyone they have in mind is an expectation, so trying to keep the guestlist under control is going to be the biggest challenge by far.
Groom was born and raised in London to traditionally English parents. He is the youngest of three boys (well-placed to be looked after by the eldest of four girls I’d say!) and quite a bit younger than the other two. They grew up in the quintessential English lifestyle and his family is rather more reserved and quiet than mine. They are lovely people, who are so kind and generous, but they do differ slightly from my family. There are not as many of them to begin with. They are quieter and they don’t get as involved in each others’ lives as mine might be perceived to.
Wedding etiquette in Groom’s family is traditionally English, and whatever the trend seems to be at the time, seems to be acceptable to his family. Nobody seemed to take much offence and although everyone has an opinion, it is generally a quieter opinion than my family’s.
You might be thinking that our backgrounds are too different. Yes, they are different indeed but in terms of marriage, well Groom and I understand each other and that’s all that counts. Planning a wedding however: a whole other story.
We are currently discussing three options for the wedding:
1. A wedding in Cyprus: At first thought, this option is logical and does make sense. My family still lives there. It’s beautiful – think beach backdrop and pretty much guaranteed good weather. Many of my friends live there and Groom would love nothing more than to get away for this occasion. This is one of Groom’s preferences on the thinking that: abroad = less guests.
I know how many people would end up coming if we did it in Cyprus. Far more than Groom is willing to consider. Everyone and their mother (and father and brother) would have to come. Not the idyllic and peaceful affair Groom has in mind.
2. A wedding in the UK (Oxford): This is my preference. Groom is not keen as most of his side of the guest list would definitely come if it was done in the country (he grew up in North West London).
If you read point number 1, then I don’t need to say much more than the following: my side of the guest list is far longer than his, so if it’s numbers we are worried about then let’s stay put and trust me: here, it will be as contained as this wedding can possibly be.
3. A wedding abroad (completely different/new location): This is another preference for Groom. In fact I think this is Groom’s top choice.
This is what both his brothers did and I can see the appeal. I really can – it would eliminate most of the guest list and the people who matter only would come. In theory.
But if there is one thing I hate, it’s putting people out on my account. We spoke for example about getting married in Italy. And what would be more romantic than that? Well for a start, there will be people for whom it will be a lot of trouble and these people will feel like we are deliberately trying to get away from them. There will be several of these people. Things like this do not go down well in my family. (Remember: large-ish scale Middle Eastern/Mediterranean closeness and that etiquette).
And my opinion? Well, as I said, I hate when people go out of their way for me. This would be far too much trouble, people would feel that they have to come. The disappointment and upset that will surround it just is not worth it. I can hear you thinking: ‘it’s your day, it’s one day and it’s the biggest day of your life. You should do what you want.’ Correct, correct and correct. But feeling guilty about it would not make it the best day of my life.
My second thought was: do we all really want to go on a massive family holiday altogether? I mean really, let’s think about the day to day, minute to minute implications of this… Exactly!
So our wedding discussions and searches continue…actually they’ve only just begun.
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