When I was a whipper snapper in primary school and most of secondary school my views on marriage were pretty simple, you find a partner at a young age, marry in your early twenties and have kids soon after. Simples.
This view was created by my own paren ts. They starting going out at 16, married at 21 and had my older sister at 24, me at 27, blah blah blah. To this day they are still together and have been married for over 30 years and quite frankly I even couldn’t imagine them apart. They are a unit.
A lot of my friends at school also had both parents still together but the odd few were separated or divorced. My best friend’s parents were divorced but my view stayed the same.
It wasn’t until I was 16 when it started to change. I remember during an AS level general studies class everybody was discussing marriage and there were very mixed opinions. Some shared my opinion and some were adamant on not marrying and this was the first time I’d ever discussed marriage or heard others opinions. It did start to make me wonder but didn’t think too much of it.
Then when I was 17, my older sister who was 20 at the time was due to marry her partner. They met at 16 and she was 8 months pregnant when they had their wedding. It was the first wedding I’d been to and although it was great fun, I really didn’t see the point of it all and really questioned it further.
My sister and her husband’s marriage didn’t last a year and they separated. This really confirmed to me that marriage wasn’t for me.
I didn’t see the point in such an expense for the sake of a party and a piece of paper. From that experience I told myself that I’m not getting married.
From the age of 16 to 18 I was in a relationship with a girl and although I didn’t agree with marriage, I certainly agreed with long term relationships. A few long term relationships along the way as well as many short term relationships, I then met Poppy.
At the time I met my now wife, I was very happy being single. I enjoyed dating and was more into work and partying hard with my mates. When I was younger, perhaps I was looking for a relationship but when I met Poppy, it was the last thing I was looking for.
However, this little beauty just had me interested instantly. Physical attraction, sense of humour…we just clicked. Then, the unexpected happened.
I was 23 and she was 18 which is much younger than I’d go for but there was just something about her. She wasn’t immature like most 18 year old’s. She was intelligent and there was so much more to her than what meets the eye. I was intrigued by her and fascinated by her personality and her interests and at the same time she can have me rolling around crying with laughter. I instantly felt protective over her and it was clear from the outset that we’d become boyfriend / girlfriend.
Due to circumstances which I won’t go into too much detail but Poppy was due to find a new home in London but I asked her to move in with me at my house in Surrey. We’d only known each other just 8 weeks!
After being together for a couple of years, Poppy had mentioned marriage and she clearly wanted it but I maintained my previous view that it is a pointless exercise and dismissed everything she had said.
Skipping a few years, our relationship grew stronger and stronger and we had Taormina, our first child. Poppy was 21 and I was 26. At this point, Poppy clearly had given up bothering using the M word.
However, having Taormina really hit me. It changed my thoughts in many ways but seeing how much of a great mum she was made me think that perhaps getting married is the way forward. I mean, I had no plans on leaving her and at that point could easily see myself with her forever.
I thought, fuck it. I love this girl, I’m going to propose.
The above sentence isn’t exactly an accurate thought process as it did take some time to conclude what I was about to do and wasn’t taken lightly.
I bought a baby grow for Taormina when she was 4 months old saying “Will you marry daddy” and decided to propose on our holiday to Santorini, Greece.
I’m not exactly Mr Romance but that island is very romantic and absolutely stunning. It is a holiday that will always be memorable in many ways and I recommend any couple should go if you ever get the opportunity.
Poppy asked me to change Taormina and was the perfect opportunity for me to propose so I changed her into the baby grow and put a dress over it. As soon as Poppy saw her she recognised she was wearing a red baby grow, a grow that she didn’t pack. She knew something was up and asked what’s going on.
As if it were planned, our 4 month-old baby lifted up her top revealing the proposal message. I was kinda hoping for an answer but I think Poppy was so shocked that she didn’t really say anything and I prompted her for an answer. Of course she said yes!
Once the celebrations and telling families and friends was over we chatted about it and I explained that I won’t be calling her my fiance and don’t want to be called a fiance. I just don’t like the word. I feel as if it is almost a status word and in some case is used to keep one half of the relationship happy until they tie the knot… if they ever do. And I explained that I proposed to get married. So let’s set a date and start planning and saving.
I’m not a half hearted person, if I really want something, I don’t mess around. I will go out and get it. Our wedding was one of those things.
We set ourselves less than a year and both agreed an early winter / late autumn wedding. The reason for this was because we weren’t too fussed about weather, some venues are usually lower cost during off peak season and it just felt right. I also set a sensible budget that would buy a wedding that we’d like but wouldn’t break the bank. It meant Poppy would have lots of work to do to meet budget and we’d also have to do some hard negotiating. I don’t see the point in couples getting into serious debt and know quite a few who have. Unless you can afford and justify something like £30k+, I just don’t see the point in that sort of crazy money.
We looked at quite a few venues but one stood out from the rest. Lympne Castle in Hythe, Kent. I’m a castle kinda guy. I love old historic properties but this place was just incredible. It is set up so well for weddings and it overlooks towards the seaside in the distance from a height. The interior is a combination of stonework and wooden floors and wall panelling. We got some prices together and dates and it seemed like we were getting a fantastic deal so booked it!
I won’t bore you with the whole wedding planning but it came incredibly stressful leading up to the wedding. We had a young toddler and it seemed like Pops and I didn’t spend 5 minutes together as we were juggling work, family life and wedding planning and seemed odd that we were soon to marry but don’t spend any time whatsoever together. It was driving me nuts!
The wedding day came and I was so happy to finally have our day so we can go back to normality! This type of feeling just seemed crazy and I even questioned my previous views of marriage asking myself is it really worth it?
The answer is yes, it was totally worth it. My favourite part of my wedding was the ceremony. Poppy was 1 hour late. People kept trying to wind me up saying “do you think she’s done a runner?” Or “are you getting nervous?”. I was as cool as a cucumber. This is Poppy, I expected her to be late. She always gives herself too much to do and too little time.
We have a photo of my face when I saw her walk in and it means a lot to me because the face is the same besotted feeling I had when we first got together and I was just so happy to see her. She looked absolutely beautiful. I gave everyone a laugh by reciting my name wrong during the vowels.
The whole day was a great success and was one of the greatest days of my life and couldn’t have asked for it to be any different. Now that is exactly how I wanted my wedding day to be.
As for being married. Whilst writing this, we have been married for 18 months and I can honestly say that being married definitely makes a difference. It unifies two people. We both have the same surname as do our children. It just makes me feel like our bond is closer. I absolutely love calling her my wife oppose to my girlfriend or partner.
Having children puts great strain on relationships and we got married between having our first and second child but I feel although we don’t spend anywhere near the time we used to together, being parents and being married holds our little unit together.
I’m so happy and glad to be married. I look forward to many more years of adventures to come.