I didn’t realise it’s been 3 months since the last update, until I got a comment from Tim today that wished us well finding the perfect venue. (Thanks Tim!) That tells you, I guess, how much has happened since the engagement party. NOT MUCH AT ALL!
But that’s perfectly alright, ’cause we planned it that way. We gave ourselves a year and a half to organise this wedding. Last week, Thursday, we had a look at a particular venue for the second time, to see what it was like set up for a wedding. We were satisfied that it suited our needs perfectly, so we made a tentative booking.
It’s the Kaitoke Country Gardens, a place which has been visited by me quite frequently over the years. They’ve got a fantastic garden setting, which is huge, with small hills, creeks, ponds and a waterfall. Trees too. Which is important, since we’re now planning an outdoor wedding in front of the waterfall, but under some trees. This is so I don’t have to wear sunglasses, which I normally do on a sunny day. I’ve got light-sensitive eyes, so having a wedding outdoors was going to be a problem unless I had something shading my eyes from the sun. Problem solved.
So we organised that, and were satisfied we had our venue. Costs were good, services were good, and the setting was good. Done deal.
While we’re still settled on the venue, the type of wedding is no longer a done deal. Let me explain…
Both Deidre and I are into emotional growth and spiritual ways of thinking and living. For myself, I had always been convinced that I would never get married. But then I started to change that attitude in 2003, when I started to realise that if I wanted to be with the woman of my dreams, I might just have to accept that getting married would be part of the package. It wasn’t until early last year, when I was exploring Taoism, that I realised holding onto a desire not to get married was simply preventing me from moving forward in my life. So a combination of things resulted in me being open to the idea of marriage.
Then I met Deidre, who has been completely focused on marriage for most of her life, always wanting to get married to her Prince Charming, whoever he might be. It turned out to be me, and so we got engaged and moved forward with plans to get married.
That’s the summary, of course.
Over the past week, Deidre’s own growth has led her to question some of the beliefs she’s held onto for most of her life. Beliefs around marriage, obligation, duty, etc. Many people get married due to pressure from religious leaders, parents and family, and from society and friends. They get married because they’re taught to believe that’s what they must do, and so they do. They believe that love is about commitment, and commitment is about marriage, and if you love someone then you should get married. They believe that without marriage, there is no love and commitment.
This is something Deidre felt was true, but which I never did. I always felt that love didn’t need a piece of paper to make it real, and commitment was in the actions of those who were in love, rather than in a marriage ceremony. The reality is, marriage is meaningless in today’s world. Just look at all the divorces!
So Deidre has started to expand her mental horizons, realising that she’s been wanting to get married only because of mental and emotional programming that she’s been taught over the years. She’s now questioning what marriage means, and how it’s going to be done.
This has resulted in her cropping over 30% of the people from the guest list we had. It went from almost 90 down to just over 50. We’re also reconsidering how we’re going to have the marriage, and whether it’s even going to be a marriage at all! We’re thinking maybe just a ‘party of celebration’, or something like that.
One of the fears she has is that everyone she’s known who’s gotten married has ended up divorced. Marriage = divorce. So naturally, to break that mental conditioning, if we don’t get married, then we won’t get divorced. So we’ll do something else, something other than marriage but will be as IF we’re married.
We’ll have only the closest of our friends and family, instead of those who were originally invited due to (Deidre’s) family politics and obligations. We’ll have it as far away from a religious ceremony as we can get, but have it as a ceremony of our own making. We’ll probably still have it at the venue we’ve settled upon, but it’ll obviously be a bit smaller than we originally planned.
And then today…..
Deidre joined me for lunch and during it she suggested we move the wedding forward, so it’s not so far away. I suggested this weekend… We laughed. She knows I don’t need the hordes of people or elaborate ceremonies for my love to be meaningful. She suggested April next year, a full 5 months earlier than planned.
I know why she did this, although we haven’t had a chance to talk about it. April is when we got engaged. It’s also when her father’s birthday is, and I know she would like to honour him by getting married on his birthday.
It was hugely significant that I coincidentally chose the exact day of his birthday to ask Dedire to marry me, which was something I didn’t know at the time!
Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous….
I told her that if we get married in April, which we certainly can do, then we’ll probably have less people, and we won’t be able to afford as much as what we originally planned. However, if push comes to shove, we can get a personal loan to cover the difference between our savings and the actual costs.
So now we enter a new stage of planning, getting down into the nitty-gritty of exactly what we’re going to do. Personally, I’m very happy that it’s moving forward in a way that makes it about us, instead of about what other people want or expect us to do.
More updates will come…