A decade ago, I stood in front of family and friends in a beautiful dress to vow that I would ‘have and to hold’ the English bloke that managed to steal my heart. Time has flown by so fast, that before we know it, it’s already our 10 year wedding anniversary.
The masterstroke though? Taking ‘obey’ out of our vows.
How we’ve managed to rub along for so long with all the indignities a blog/expat/cat-hosting husband has to endure I don’t know, but luckily he puts up with me (even when I make him guest blog). And that’s in spite of the rugby supporting, eye-rolling, distracted evenings, lack of domestic ability, teasing, occasional calling his homeland rubbish (but only on really bad commuting days – the rest of the year I adore it I swear), getting dragged around the globe, a so-called “terrible taste in music”, a complete lack of tea making skill and my newly discovered enjoyment of beer.
In turn, I have to put up with all kinds of shenanigans – bad jokes, being called Australian, the lifecycle of Football support (love it, hate it, love it, swear he’ll never watch it again, start the next season, ad infinitum), playing second fiddle to a small furry cat, being tidy to the point of throwing concert tickets out, learning who each of the members of Lynyrd Skynyrd are, listening to guitar music and so many other quirks. He is also kind, caring, vaguely amusing, sweet, brave and grills a mean fish finger sandwich on Sunday mornings.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
We have a similar sense of humour, love our little Tabby cat with all hearts, enjoy many of the same things, love exploring the world and just work. He’s my best friend, and so much more. Totally worth living on the other side of the world for.
How we met
Our eyes met across the bar, and I handed him his change before pouring a sparkling pint of bitter. I was running his favourite pub, and he, well, he never seemed to leave it. Us dating is one of the best things that ever happened to me (despite me saying quite emphatically on our first date ‘that I didn’t want anything serious as I was travelling’) and so when we first started to discuss taking the relationship to something more permanent, I knew what my answer was going to be. (Or did I?)
As we couldn’t do the traditional surprise proposal in a breathtakingly romantic location, my better half decided that he would make it special, our style. He first called my Dad in secret to officially ask for permission (feminists, yes, in this day and age it’s unnecessary – even more so when your Dad’s alleged shotgun is literally on the other side of the planet) as per tradition which gave him a thousand Dad brownie points right out of the gate.
Planning a weekend away in Ely, we walked into All Saints Church and began to drift through the nave, admiring the beautifully painted walls and just enjoying a quiet moment. Cue my shock as at the head of the aisle my beau sinks to one knee, extends a little velvet box and asks me to marry him.
I knew it was coming at some point (see above) but it still hadn’t prepared me for the real situation, and I may have panicked slightly (to the confused amusement of the European family who had wandered into the church behind us) and said no. In fact, I didn’t just say no, but told him in a crazy manner “don’t ask me, don’t ask me, I’m going to say noooo!”… read the full story here if you like.
Before ‘extra’ entered the lexicon of popular slang, we decided to be a little over the top, and organised two wedding days, a full day apart. Our first wedding day was in London, where we legally got married in a beautiful registry office (frequented by Paul McCartney & Ringo Starr) had a lovely champagne reception in the Landmark Hotel, before we finally made it to the restaurant that we should have had our first date in, with 90% of our nearest & dearest.
Enjoying an exquisite Mayfair hotel overnight, we awoke bright and early to drive up to Grimsby for the ‘real’ part of our wedding.
We made so many lasting memories that day. Our family and friends gathered together to celebrate our marriage officially in his parent’s local church, the 10th Century Saxon tower soaked in years and years of emotion.
One last look at freedom, before entering the Church… (and yes, I was my something blue – it was the beginning of November and the winter chill was definitively coming off the North Sea.)
10 years ago. 10 whole years ago.
Both the ceremony and our dinner in the country club afterwards was scattered with personal touches that meant the world to both of us. Moving speeches, Kiwi flavours, Grimsby shenanigans, childhood sweets and the laughter from family and friends that we hold so very dear.
And we haven’t stopped grinning since (except to argue about the rugby.)
To celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary, we’re off to dinner in the restaurant that we almost had our first date in – something that has become a bit of a tradition (bar the year we snuck into Fera at Claridges). We can’t wait to soak in all those memories – we’ve even requested ‘our table’ down the back that we love the most.