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  • Writer's pictureMike Douglas

Getting Married

What a month it has been! I have had a few occasions where I have wanted to sit down and write what I am thinking or feeling, but there has always been something else to go and do or I have just got to the stage where I am too tired. But here we are, finally. A chance to reflect on everything wedding.

One question I feel you get asked a lot is “does it feel different now you’re married?” In truth I didn’t expected it to. We already live together and having lived together through covid I think kind of feel like it counts for about three times as long. Given the last 18 months have involved so much more time at home and together.

I also wasn’t expecting my relationship feelings to change because my 'big change' was in being ready to marry Laura, I didn’t expect there to be any additional change. But I have noticed something. It’s both sudden and kind of gradual. I do feel closer and more connected to Laura. Maybe it’s the rings, the public commitment to each other, maybe it’s having shared last names. I’m not sure what it is but it feels different, a good different. I’m still learning what this feels like, and I’m excited to see how it feels tomorrow and the next day, and the day after that.

I don’t believe marriage is for everyone, or every relationship. You don’t need marriage to be happy, successful in a relationship or to be close and connected. There’s no guarantee that any marriage will work or last. But for me it’s never been about marriage, it’s about my relationship with Laura. Now our relationship includes marriage, and that’s great but it isn’t dependent on that.

What a beautiful amazing day we had, and gosh how tired were we at the end of the night and for the next few days. As expected the day wizzed by. However I am delighted that for pretty much all of the church ceremony I felt very much in the moment and was able to enjoy, and now remember almost everything. Of course you can’t keep that up all day, our wedding breakfast and evening reception are very much more a blur. I knew part of the day would be, so I’m glad I managed to be present and focused on the part that mattered most to me.

The strangest thing was being with people to celebrate our day. We have done almost all our planning and preparation at home from a laptop because of everything covid. We have attended a wedding fair, booked cars, viewed food menus and venues from a screen. To actually be in the church with our friends and family, to sit and eat with people; it was incredible and still feels ridiculously fortunate.

We are both so grateful that we were able to have the day we had, and to have had it the way we did was amazing.

A huge thank you to everyone that supported us and checked in on how things were going as we made plans not really knowing what our wedding day would look like until about 3-4 weeks before because of restrictions and national guidance.

In our planning I made conscious efforts to not do anything in the same way as my first wedding. I wanted this to be our ‘the day’ rather than any reflection on it being ‘my second’. That even included not hiring suits from the same company as before, despite knowing they were a much better company than the one I went with.

While some of those decisions did seem a bit like being awkward at the time, it made a real difference to me on the day; because it was totally different and totally our day. So I’m pleased I made that effort to keep our day separate and special.

I think apart from the suits, looking back there wasn't really much else that required any real effort to make it different. I guess it is more of a mental process of wanting things to be different rather than actually needing to do that much. I am a different person now, our relationship is different, and so this wedding would never really have been that similar.

Either way I am pleased I made the effort to prepare myself and really made sure our day was special for both of us.

I am pleased so many of our friends were able to share and be part of our special day. The only sad part is not having enough time, or energy, to talk to everyone more. Hopefully as the world continues to open up safely and gradually we make opportunities to see each other soon.

Our wedding was a day we had both been being super covid careful for for the few weeks previously. But really it wasn’t much of a change for me. I loved the day and being with everyone, but it was a day I had considered and mentally prepared for. I am now starting to try and work out what I am comfortable with when I don’t have a wedding to protect myself for. I am again realising that I’m likely in a different place to many with the idea of mass participation events I would previously have loved, like festivals and race events, feeling very unnecessary to me. I think they will continue to feel like that to me until spring next year. I am however looking forward to meeting friends more often outside and gradually inside too.

It was amazing to have so many friends with us on the day. I was and am very grateful that I had friends from school, various jobs, sport and blogging with us. Not just to celebrate with us, but because including them felt like I was including all the different parts of me.

While I was super delighted that my dad and his wife were able to make it from Spain, unfortunately not everyone could be there. Some friends couldn’t attend because of covid symptoms/ exposure/ shielding and very unfortunately my sister and nieces were not able to attend. This really was a reminder of how lucky we were that everyone who was there could be there, including both of us.

We are hoping to have a small blessing later this year that my sister and nieces can attend, so we can celebrate with them.

A huge thanks goes to my Ushers and to Laura’s Best Woman for all their support; emotional, mental and at times physical. They were and are amazing.

Paul, Sophie, Darryl and Liam all have supported me personally so very much. They have each seen insights to my experiences with depression and separately held conversations with me about how I’m doing. Sometimes those chats are lighthearted and sometimes they’ve been dark and or difficult, but either way we’ve had them.

There’s been fun times too, but fun times are easy. I have come to realise my deeper relationships are ones where those sometimes ‘harder’ conversations can happen. Because of this, those ‘harder’ moments can sometimes stand out more to me than the fun times.

I’ve said it a lot but getting married isn’t something that I was looking for or particularly wanted. But getting married, being married to Laura is the best! I am so so so pleased we met at speed dating, that Sophie convinced me to go that night, that Laura was patient with me while I learnt to love, that Laura said yes and that we are here married today.

There is so much more to say, but a stream of different thoughts all going in different directions is quite distracting; we are currently looking at carpets and sofas for the lounge and thinking about a new kitchen. All while having both just returned to work.

For now, I will say our wedding day was THE BEST. I am so excited for our future as a married couple and heck, I am looking forward to the future, who saw that coming?!


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