Site inspection

Disclaimer: engagement post. Abandon all hope ye who enter.

dore-divine-comedyIllustration by Gustave Flore

After being engaged for almost exactly seven months (yes, I had to look it up), Partner 2 and I are actually making steps towards actually getting married, or having a wedding at least. We are looking at our first venue, a beautiful island in Indonesia. Though I’m slightly more excited to spend a few days snorkelling and lying on a beach, the prospect of actually looking at a venue is giving this weekend away a very serious and business-like overtone. I can’t shake the feeling that I need a clipboard. I thought it was flashbacks from when I worked as an event manager but a quick google of wedding venue checklists revealed that perhaps I needed a series of binders instead of just a clipboard. My checklist at the moment is pretty much:

Is the food good? Y/N

Is there enough accommodation? Y/N

Apparently the venue must be ruthlessly interrogated, under the threat of duress if possible, on anything that may affect the potential event. Bird migration patterns, local historical events with anniversaries coinciding with the event dates, fluoride content of tap water, coarseness of beach sand, it’s all fair game. How awful it must be to be on the other side of this interaction. Having highly-strung, wild-eyed couples descending upon you and being quizzed with the enthusiasm of a bored airport security officer. Any stutter, pause or unsatisfactory answer runs the risk of the happy couple sprouting black wings from their shoulder blades and screeching “IT’S MY SPECIAL DAY!” That’s how I’m planning to behave anyway. Brideharpy Bridget at the ready.

harpy

On a slightly more serious note, looking at a venue makes this whole getting married thing seem real. The ring doesn’t do that, it’s too pretty to be taken seriously. Actually going to a place and assessing if it’s ‘right’ for our wedding? Bizarre.

I’ve been slow to shake the feeling that we’re waiting on permission from some mysterious higher-up. A government body perhaps, that deems people worthy of marriage.

Dear Partner 1 and Partner 2,

It is with deep regret that I write to inform you that your application to wed has been rejected. While we are unable to provide individual feedback, common reasons for rejection include:

  • Failure to lodge the correct paperwork,
  • Pre-existing marriage,
  • Inability to make a decision on what to have for dinner,
  • Singing the theme song to “Rainbow Road” from Mario Kart loudly at your partner in public,
  • Throwing a Frisbee into the sea and making your fully-clothed partner get it.

Please return your engagement ring to the relevant case worker assigned to your relationship.

Regards,

Committee to Oversee Marriage Appropriateness

We’re yet to receive our COMA results so this weekend is a go. I’ll post some photos when we get back. You can be the judge of how it went: I’ll either be wearing sunglasses and smiling with a Bintang in hand or I’ll be beating my wings and clutching the shreds of a binder in my talons.

My first wedding magazine

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Oh boy, it begins. I have my first wedding magazine. It was gifted to me by a friend who is getting married in 10 days and has no further need for its whimsical dresses and bespoke chopping boards.

I’ve only flipped through it at this stage, I’m planning on saving it for my upcoming long-haul flight as a bit of mental fairy floss once I’m sick of movies. Even the most perfunctory flipping reveals a few things. Lots of white girls with long hair in perfectly tousled waves. Forests. Forests are hot right now, or at least they were in February. There are lots of pictures of impossibly beautiful couples holding hands in the woods as though it’s the most natural thing in the world to hike in a white gown and suit. I wonder how their guests find these places, do they provide GPS coordinates? Or a map and compass? And what about toilets? Do they hitch a donkey up to a Portaloo and drag it into the bush or do they provide their guests with shovels to dispose of their waste more naturally? That adds a whole other dimension to the whole bridesmaids-helping-the-bride-pee thing. “Dig me a latrine, maids!”

Pinterest has been a great source of mirth for Partner 2 and I: particularly with its suggestions of “21 things you ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE AT YOUR WEDDING!!!!”. Those things invariably include Grandmas as flower girls and writing your menu on a mirror.

There just seems to be a lot of things that, all of a sudden, you desperately need to have. Monogrammed napkins for example. Seating plans, shirts that say “Wifey”, wedding diets,  cutesy poems explaining to guests that you don’t give a shit where they sit (hey, I haven’t seen that on a chalkboard sign before!), garters, favours, a theme! The theme of the event is wedding. Wedding. It’s a wedding. That seems like a very unnecessary thing to have to specify: please come to my event, the theme is birthday.

In normal, everyday life, these things are ridiculous, indulgent non-essentials. The domain of rich people with too much time on their hands. But suddenly when you’re getting married, they are somehow supposed to be your entire world. It honestly makes my mind boggle and my eyes roll involuntarily. I may yet give myself a migraine from overly aggressive eye-rolling.

h1rotp

 

 

As a disclaimer, all power to the people who want these things in their weddings. As sarcastic and snarky as my tone is, I truly do not mean any disrespect. This is a big time ‘good for she, not for me’ situation. All I want from our wedding is it to look like us. I can appreciate the beauty and romance of all the stuff: the photos in the magazine are gorgeous. But staring lovingly into Partner 2’s face while we frolic in a pine forest while dressed in clothes that cost more than two month’s rent (Singapore rent!) just isn’t us. We do name-calling and street food and wrestling on beaches and poo jokes (I now know what a waffle stomp is, thanks babe) and chasing our cat and tuk-tuks, not flower crowns or “curated food stations” or choreography. At the end of the day, and I am aware of how clichéd and cheesy and sanctimonious, the important thing for me is to end up married to Partner 2. Plus we have a trip to Vegas coming up so there’s always that…