It wasn’t the wedding I dreamed of as a kid, although I’m not 100% sure I really dreamed of a wedding. I certainly did not dream of being married. I wanted to be a pirate; but I think if I had worn panties, a waistcoat and a captain’s hat a few weeks ago when we got married, I might have gone home alone.
We were one of 260,000 couples who had to postpone their marriage due to the pandemic. I’m sure when you read this issue you’ll be thinking the same thing as me: if you own a wedding venue, you have to be absolutely loaded.
In 2019 Alice proposed marriage and I thought it was one of her best ideas yet, placing a last minute trip to Disneyland Paris and Marmite with an avocado on a second and third place toast. respectively.
I was 33 and had attended my fair share of weddings. Some that I had adored; some that I had hated. I won’t be specific here as many of my friends support me enough to read my writing, but we did enough market research to find out what type of wedding we wanted. We didn’t want to have to pretend to find God for six months to get in with the local vicar and we didn’t want a wedding that looked so fancy it would put me on the line all day (I’m very awkward, I once knocked over an entire drinks table while trying to pet a dachshund in a cafe in Soho).
We wanted friends, good speeches, alcohol, to say “yes” in front of our loved ones and then dance, dancing so much that you would be in physical pain for at least two days.
We (Alice) had planned the perfect day. Unfortunately, not everyone thought so; a friend whose hobby is being a bit of a cow is very anti-marriage because she thinks it is a horribly outdated ceremony and is reminiscent of a time when fathers owned their daughters until they were literally “Given” to their husbands. She couldn’t understand why two respectful lesbians were so determined to get married.
The main reason was that I love weddings. I love speeches, dress up, music, funny table names to remind friends that you are right to laugh and of course romance. And I don’t want you to take out your little violin but when I went out it was illegal for two women to get married, it was impossible. So now, because we could, we wanted to.
The big day was supposed to be in May 2020. Of course we canceled it in April and all of a sudden our dream wedding and honeymoon, and months and months of touring and filming ahead, have slipped into the sewers. Like everyone else, our lives have been turned upside down by Covid. But of course I’m well aware that thousands and thousands of people have had a lot worse. In my little corner of the world I had nothing else to do but stay at home anxiously watching the clowns of Whitehall screw up every element of pandemic handling and tweet banter about driving at Barnard Castle. while my industry was on life support.
I would like to tell you that I used this time wisely to learn Spanish, or origami, or write a novel. But I did not do it. The anxiety really held back my creativity so I just got worried and worried and turned into someone with a tracksuit for the best.
We have spent months trying to figure out what we should be doing; rearrange the wedding, make a smaller version, reduce from 170 guests to 30 (which would have created a number of annoying phone calls that I really don’t have the courage for).
As we both wandered around our local Sainsbury’s a year later, we finally made a decision. Alice joked, “We could just do it with two people at town hall, like it’s the 60s and one of us is pregnant.” Another of his good ideas.
Yes, I would have loved to do a big bang and have sore legs for days on end but all I really cared about was to become his wife. So that’s what we did. We stood for the briefest of service with two of our best friends, masked, and said “yes”.
A few days after our wedding, I took the stage to do my tour for the first time in 15 months. All day long I felt the old familiar nerves and excitement and of course these questions came back: Will they love me? Will I remember an hour of material? Am I still funny now that I’m a married woman?
I was a ball of energy like a puppy and absolutely thrilled to be back on stage. There was only one person more excited than me to return to work and that was Alice, who for over a year had been my solo audience and that’s a big request even for someone as supportive and kind as she is. The show was awesome, the audience was awesome, and I’m always so funny *.
* Citation required