I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog front for a while, but this seemed worthy of a quick post!
On Saturday 24 May, I married my wonderful partner of five years, in the most amazing teal blue dress I’ve ever laid eyes on (custom made by Wendy Jonas, who is just brilliant.) Our wedding planning was guided by a desire for something fun and joyful, rather than traditional and sentimental, with influences from feminism, Shakespeare, computing, and our eclectic musical tastes.
Blondie’s Greatest Hits greeted our guests on their arrival, and our very talented friend Becca Cole sang us all – him and his mum, me and my dad, one brideswoman, three bridesgirls and two bridesmen – down the aisle to The Love Cats (The Cure), and back up it to I’m A Believer (The Monkees).
Our bridesmen read a reading from Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex (in French and English), our (fabulously suited) groomswoman read WH Auden’s Foxtrot From A Play, and my mum read The Art of Marriage.
A female registrar married us (and subsequently told us off for getting carried away with our first kiss!) No one was given away, no one promised to obey, and our mums witnessed us signing the register, because it’s currently the only way their names can be on the marriage certificate.
Our table names (the first thing we planned after getting engaged) merged Shakespeare plays with computing terms – from iMacbeth to As You Like IT, and Coriolinux to Much Adobe About Nothing – and our hand-sprayed pinecone centrepieces looked less DIY than I’d feared.
My little brother MC’d the reception, introducing our six speeches – my dad, his mum, our best man and brideswoman, me and him – that we’d split between courses, as “sorbet for the soul”. Fortunately no one seemed too distressed by the bizarre occurrence of so many women speaking at a wedding!
For the most part cheese was limited to the meal (where it featured in every course), although our band and DJ threw the “no cheese” rule to the wind in the evening with playlists full of Abba and 1990s boybands.
I’m probably biased, but the evening was the best party I’ve been to in a long time – as well as the most fun I’ve ever had on so little alcohol (it’s true what they say – you don’t have time to drink on your wedding day!)
Becca performed our first dance – Unintended, Muse – and finished on Mr Brightside (The Killers) before the band came on and kept us dancing with all our favourite people until our feet were sore and blistered, including an impromptu conga line out of the building, round the grounds and back in again. Oh, and our cake was pretty great too – here’s me having a sneaky first taste. (Cynthia from Pretty Gorgeous Cakes is a true artist of cake-based masterpieces.)
Only a handful of cards addressed us as Mr and Mrs His Name, I don’t feel any less married or any less in love for still being Ms Sarah Graham, and the wedding police didn’t step in because we’d messed around with gender expectations in the ceremony, bridal parties and speeches. Long story short: best feminist wedding I’ve ever had.
The honeymoon was quite good too: