I’m going to let you into a secret: my wedding wasn’t the biggest day of my life. And I’m going to let you in on another secret: I’m totally ok with that.
(Shock! Horror! Record scratch, freezeframe, a single spotlight…)
It’s not because I don’t love weddings (I mean, obviously I do…I’m a wedding celebrant!) It’s not because I don’t think they’re important, or special, or exciting, or worth doing. But if it had its way, this good old ‘best day of your life’ wedding cliche would have us all believing that we only get one day of ultimate joy, and all of the rest of our days are, in comparison, small, insignificant, and rubbish. Which is in itself rubbish!
Not only does this wedding cliché put so much unnecessary pressure and expectation on just one day, but it also diminishes the rest of your relationship. You might have been together for ages, and I’m sure over those years you’ve amassed a number of incredible, unforgettable times and memories – why should they suddenly be pushed into the shadows?!
To quote the queen Rebecca Lucy Taylor of Self Esteem: "Getting married isn't the biggest day of your life. All the days that you get to have are big." (Someone have this in their wedding ceremony, please?)
The “big day”
My wedding was a really gorgeous, happy day. We got married at the Lantern Theatre in Sheffield, a little volunteer-run theatre that we were thrilled to be able to support with a chunk of our wedding budget. We had a humanist ceremony (of course), which had everyone in tears and was the best part of the day (again, of course!)
Mr Senior designed everything – from invites to décor and everything in between – and sure, I may be biased, but he’s very talented and it all looked completely beautiful. I also leant a hand to make the papercraft table centres, which we worked on together for weeks.
All night, the dance floor was packed – from our first dance song, Man in Me by Bob Dylan, to our final song of the night, We Could Have Been Anything from Bugsy Malone. We then rolled on to our mate George’s house, for more dancing in the kitchen! In short, we laughed, we danced, we cried happy tears – and had a wicked time. What more could you want?
(Plus, we both had a post-wedding glow for weeks after. There's something incredibly energising about having a whole day where everyone you love tells you that THEY LOVE YOU TOO, and that they love the person you love!)
So, as you can see: our wedding day was a profusely joyful day, and everything we ever could have wanted. And it is, without a doubt, up there as one of my favourite days ever. But it’s not definitively The Best Day Ever, as the wedding cliché may have you believe. That's because Mr Senior and I have been together many years, full of other amazingly happy, life affirming experiences (both before and after the wedding!)
Our other “big days” together
For example, we’ve holidayed to places we would never have imagined being able to go to, like Japan. We’ve also had the total joy of bringing our dog home, and welcoming him into our family unit – so many of my happiest days have been together with Mr S and the dog.
Other weddings are always glorious too, whenever we’ve attended as guests. In addition to whenever we’ve gone out dancing together, gone to gigs, or gone to Bluedot Festival…we have just as much fun doing these things as we did on our wedding day.
And naturally: a thousand and one small content moments. Swimming in the river on blazing hot summer days, seeing each other again at the train station after solo trips away, picking apples with our niblings (nieces and nephews) at our allotment – all of these and many, many more.
(It’s often these kinds of moments that I draw on to write your wedding ceremony, because there’s just so much goodness in these everyday experiences – often, they’re the bits that make you realise that you want to spend the rest of your days with your partner.)
And apart, too
Another reason you don’t have to follow the wedding cliché of it being the biggest day of your life is because: you are a whole person too. Of course you love your partner, but you have your own independent mind, so it’s understandable that some of your biggest days will happen without them being directly involved.
Mr S and I, for example, have our own projects and interests. And though sometimes we grumble (like when I lose track of time out on a run and make us late for family plans, or when he manages to bring a random conversation around to politics, again…), ultimately we support each other.
We also have big days with our friends, too; big days full of fun which don't necessarily include each other. I've been swimming in Lochs in Scotland whilst he's stayed home with the dog. We need time apart to appreciate each other, and frankly to have things to talk about!
Saying ‘good day’ to that wedding cliché
(Sure, goodbye would have made more sense, but then it wouldn’t have rhymed – and we can't have that, can we?)
It’s official: I’m calling time on the wedding cliche of it being the Biggest Day Of Your Life. Happiness in a relationship can be found in so many places, and particularly in the everyday moments we share, and the small acts of kindness.
My couples remind me of this again and again – like Owen teaching Sam how to play Mario Kart, or Nick remembering to put a glass of water by the bed for Naomi every evening – and who’s to say they’re not beautiful Best moments?
If you want to make your wedding JUST ONE OF the best days of your life, I think we might get along…get in touch here, and let’s chat!