I’m getting married this year. Yes married, not civilly partnered. Now we all know that society has galloped on an amazing distance in the past 20 years but that still doesn’t mean it’s plain sailing when it comes to non-traditional wedding planning – far from it. Don’t believe me? Read on…
We spent a bunch of time last year looking at possible venues to host our day. Pubs, clubs, hotels, stately homes, even a castle. All of these places want your money so essentially they shouldn’t care who you’re marrying. However, some of them need to practice their reactions a bit more. Take Sandra, a wedding planner at one of our possible hotels who sat us down with free coffee and biscuits – a good start. But then…
Sandy: “We throw in a bridal suite for the bride & groom with the package…” Smile faded as she realised she was talking to us and her usual speech wasn’t appropriate. She searched her brain while looking freaked. “Obviously not bride and groom for you!” Voice got more high-pitched. “I mean, bride and bride, bride and whatever!” Oh Sandy, you nearly had us.
I recently visited an independent jeweller with all manner of tasteful rings sitting on plump mini cushions in the window. The guy was very friendly and when I explained that we both wanted a classic plain band, he produced a tray of wedding rings and I began to try them on. But he seemed distracted.
“I’ve just got something else… And I hope you won’t be offended but these are very popular with the gays.” Uh-oh. “Really popular for civil partnerships, I’ve sold loads especially for lesbians.” I put on a fake smile and wondered what was coming. He came from the back of the shop with another tray, a triumphant look on his face.
“How about something like this?” I looked down. And there blinking up at me was a tray of titanium rings with rainbow swirls sashaying through them. Oh Mr Jeweller, you nearly had me.
Changing Our Civil Partnership To A Marriage
We registered for a civil partnership last year having got tired of the government dragging its heels on marriage equality – we figured we’d do it and switch up when the time came. However, the time came quicker than we thought and so now we’re trying to change our civil partnership intention to a marriage intention. Easy, right? Er, no.
Me: “Hello, myself and my partner have registered for a civil partnership in May but now we can get married we’d like to do that instead. Do you know what we need to do?”
Council: “I don’t think the law’s changed yet.”
Me: “It has, it’s been in all the papers.”
Council: “Really? Oh. I’m not sure. Can you call back next week?” Okay.
Next week arrives. I call back and explain again. Long Pause.
Council: “To be honest we don’t know, it’s too new. We’ve never done it before so haven’t got a clue. I know it comes into law in March so can you call back then?”