Married a year, plenty of tiers

Married a year, plenty of tears and even more tiers.

It’s whole year since I wrote about getting married. One whole year since I woke up in a suite bigger than my house, in my favourite city next to the man I now call my husband.

So how’s it going? Marriage. What does it really mean? In all honestly I’m not sure I even know. It’s not what I expected, but I’m not sure what I did expect. Ok I know I’m going round the houses here, but I honestly feel a bit flat.

I love having the same name as my family, I love my husband and I loved our wedding but as far as actual marriage goes it’s been pretty unremarkable.

There was of course the initial wedding hangover, those really do suck. Wedding blues are real. All that planning, and all that pressure for one or in our case two, days.

There’s also the reality that people let you down with weddings. I came away from our wedding party after all the preparation wondering why people behaved the way they did, or why they didn’t bother showing up at all on what was essentially the biggest day of our lives. Of course some people have genuine reasons and I’m a renowned plan canceller myself, so I don’t hold grudges, but it’s definitely one of those things that whittles out the people who aren’t on you’re team, and in hindsight that’s ok. It just took a while to get to grips with.

Then you have the politics of merging families and friendships. You might have gotten away with avoiding most of the people you don’t like up till that point, but a wedding brings everyone together. It’s one of the reasons we got married on our own, so it could just be about us without having to worry about offending someone, people seem to get really offended about weddings that aren’t their own!

There has been no honeymoon period (or honeymoon) because Covid literally started for us as soon as we got back from Ireland. Shaun thinks he had it upon our return, he was in bed for two weeks with a fever and he couldn’t breathe, at the time he was diagnosed with a chest infection, he’s asthmatic so that’s not unusual in winter, but it didn’t respond to antibiotics and he lost his sense of taste for months after. Then after our wedding party in the uk we literally went into lockdown weeks later.

On the plus side, I know we were unbelievably lucky to get married in 2020 at all! With so many having their big days cancelled, and for that I am so grateful. We really did have the best wedding day ever and on a reasonably acceptable budget too.

There was a time, not too long ago where I didn’t foresee a wedding in my future. Yet at the age of thirty one I married my best friend and our dreams and plans of honeymoons and married life went kaput with the rest of the world, and whilst our celebration feels all too soon forgotten, we have memories to last a lifetime.

According to statistics printed in Bride magazine the first year is the hardest and I’m only a year in, but I’m inclined to agree. Apparently this is down to the stresses of modern living, the come down from the wedding and combining finances. But Shaun & I have lived together for six years so I’m not sure all of those are applicable to us. Maybe it is just the effects of covid, or maybe it’s that relationships are hard, and after the whirlwind of weddings and babies comes the real work! Like the realisation you have to put up with snoring for the rest of your lives, or that picking up dog shit in the garden is a way to earn brownie points.

In recent instagram polls I asked the following questions.

1. Is the first year the hardest? 24% voted yes whilst the other 76% voted no.

2. Marriage feels no different from before? 81% voted that this statement is true, marriage feels no different to before.

3. Wedding comedowns are the worst. 85% voted for yes, and 15% voted no, not sure of its relevance but most of the people that voted no, were male.

4. Has lockdown negatively impacted your marriage? Surprisingly for a long while the vote was overwhelmingly, no. But eventually finished on 42% voting yes, lockdown has in some way negatively impacted their marriage.

When I asked that final question, I had an influx of messages about how people were finding their spouse’s overwhelmingly irritating, but they by no means were filing for divorce. I think this is what resonated with me. This last year Shaun and I have probably argued more, spent less quality time together and just generally pissed each other off more than ever before. However we’ve also been there for each other and so despite feeling like I want to kick him in the dick, I’m still very much grateful that I have him to lean on. I definitely don’t regret getting married.

Usually we’d spend our anniversary weekend, which is also my husband’s birthday, in Ireland. But with Lockdown that’s not possible. Instead I’ve been frantically Pinteresting date nights at home and first anniversary present ideas. When all I really feel like doing is hiding under the covers covering up that 2020 Xmas and New Year bulge. I’m also pregnant now so there won’t even be any champagne or Guinness!

Despite all of this, I know with a full heart we are lucky to have each other and the fact we’ve survived this year at all is a blessing, the fact we survived it together was dedication.

Married AF

So, a  week ago, I did it. I gave up my maiden name, the one that’s always been the same as my Mum and Sister.

The one that’s seen me through years of happiness and heartache. I could of kept it, of course I could, but I wanted the same name as my daughter and if we’re being honest, I like how it sounds. I feel like I outgrew Steph Skelton a long time ago (if you know me, you’d get this) but it was the only name I had, so I was stuck with it.

Anyway – I’ve decided to write a bit about the wedding, why we decided to go away on our own and do it in private without an audience, and whether I feel like it was the right decision.

When we actually decided to go ahead and get married, not when we got engaged, but when we agreed to tie the actual knot, we decided we couldn’t be bothered to try and please anyone.

We didn’t want to invite people for the sake of it. We didn’t want to spend money we didn’t have (later we found out it’s impossible not to) We didn’t want to feel obliged to invite people we didn’t like, and most importantly, we wanted to make it solely about us. I was met with bouts of criticism over my decision. People told me I’d regret it, people couldn’t believe we weren’t taking our daughter, but the opinions we really cared about on a whole were positive.

Some of my friends have said they wished they kept their own weddings small, most of them supported our decision to do it exactly how we wanted.

So, do I think it was the right decision? ABSOLUTELY! One hundred percent, the best decision I have ever made. It was THE best day EVER. The ceremony wasn’t drawn out, but it was heartfelt. We had each written our own vows and they turned out to be almost identical. Cute eh? It was lush. Our only two witnesses were the photographer and his wife and they both cried, even tho they hadn’t met us before that day.

Love literally powered the day, as well as laughter.

I have so many funny stories, but because we are having a party in 2 weeks I’m trying to save them for that. I promise to come back to the details.

We walked the streets of Dublin in full wedding attire with a photographer in tow and a pint of Guinness never far from hand. It was magical. We chose Dublin because it was one of the first places we visited together and now we return every year on Shaun’s birthday. The people of Ireland are naturally, much friendlier than us Brits, and we didn’t buy our own drinks all night!

Suffice to to say we were drunk, and Saturday was spent in our suite all day with 3 lots of room service.

I can’t wait to celebrate with our family and friends but I’m glad the ceremony was just for us. It’s a time only we will be able to reminisce about, and one that nobody was able to dampen or disturb. I don’t mean that in a derogatory way, I just mean we got to concentrate on the people whose day it was, ours.

I don’t regret not taking our daughter, she will be at the party which she is classing as the ‘proper wedding’ and one day I hope she will find it romantic that her mum & dad we’re so in love they wanted to do it their way. So no, I don’t regret our elopement (it wasn’t a secret) one bit. I am looking forward to seeing everyone and doing the traditional parts of the wedding like speeches, cake cutting and a proper first dance.

I also feel like getting married has recovered some of the confidence I had recently lost. I’m overweight, and I’ve been battling with it for some time.

However, that day, I felt sexy, I felt beautiful and even looking back at pics in my undies with my gunt squeezed into Spanx before I got dressed (see attached) I feel content.

Shaun looked handsome AF. We laughed so much and it’s a bubble that I wish I could lock myself inside forever.

I made no secret of the fact I was worried about getting married. Cold feet if you like. I wanted Shaun to want to marry me, but the closer it got to the big day I wasn’t sure I was ready. It felt final somehow, and I was unsettled. I didn’t want to get married unless it was a fairytale, but life ain’t a fairytale is it?

That said, I think it’s the closest I’ll ever get to being rescued on a white horse. (Even if we had a chauffeur that talked non stop about his divorce) 🤣

I will cherish these memories for a lifetime and I will try and hold them close in future when Im feeling stabby.

PS: If you follow me on socials, photos are sure to spam your life, both wedding & wedding party ones are very much still to come. Getting married and feeling content has taught me to care a lot less about what other people think and spend more time caring about what I think about myself, and right now, I’m happy with me.