Posts Tagged ‘wedding’

Royal wedding

Sunday, May 20th, 2018 | Life

“So, Venla, now that all of the homeless people have been cleansed from the royal borough, our unelected leader can marry someone the rest of us would not be allowed to bring into the country. Can you give us a facial expression that sums up how many fucks you give about the royal wedding?”

Venla: “Yes. Yes I can.”

Wedding anniversary II

Saturday, October 28th, 2017 | Family & Parenting

Earlier this month, Elina and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary. By my calculations, we will probably get in another two after this, before the divorce year. So, it’s important we make the most of them.

Storm Ophelia was sweeping in. However, given the very limited amount of baby-free time we get, we decided to brave it and cycle up to Appley Bridge for a pub lunch.

The food at the Stansfield Arms was okay. They put onion in Elina’s salad, despite us requesting it to be onion-free. When they returned from the kitchen with a new one, it still stank of onion, so we had to give that a wide berth.

On the ride home, we were treated to a beautiful sky.

Why get married?

Monday, July 25th, 2016 | Thoughts

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I have always been a lot uncomfortable with the fact I married.

Am I unhappy with Elina? No. I left the wording that way for comic effect. What I am talking about here is what is the point of actually getting married? We’re not religious, so we could simply cohabit and that would pose no barrier to us having a relationship or starting a family.

So why marry? Here are some suggestions:

It’s a pleasurable thing to do

A lot of these reasons might be post hoc. I tried to put a reason to what I was doing after I had decided to do it. So lets start with one that eliminates all of that: I just wanted to emotionally, because it’s a pleasurable thing to do.

Which it is. It’s a fun day. Planning it is fun too. It’s a ritual, and humans love rituals.

You get to have a party

A wedding is big party that everyone makes the effort to turn up to. You get to see people you haven’t seen in ages, and celebrate with the people you love. Nothing brings people together like a hatch, a match, or a dispatch. In some ways, a wedding is a service we reciprocally provide to our family and friends so they can see each other.

It could add sticking power

How much a marriage causes people to stick together is debatable. They are quite easy to get out of these days. You can divorce. Lots of people do (though interesting, divorce rates have actually been falling for the past 40 years).

However, my hunch is that they do some good. For example, when we campaign for an election, we get people to sign a pledge card to say they will vote. Getting them to do that significantly increases the changes they will vote. Making a commitment in front of your family and friends is likely to create some social pressure.

Also, as Tim Minchin points out in If I Didn’t Have You, relationships are more about building shared experience than love at first sight. Having an experience, such as a wedding, could be a powerful emotional building block in your relationship.

Legally, it makes sense

First, it clears up a lot of inheritance issues. If you are married and your partner dies, you get their stuff. You can write a will and do other legal things without marriage of course. However, just the act of getting married gives you all of this stuff out-of-the-box, which keeps things simple and easy.

Second, because partners have certain rights, it makes it more worth making sacrifices for your partner. You can take choices with your family, educate, career, etc, knowing that you will have some legal recourse if it does all end in divorce.

Social pressure

We are all affected my social pressure to some degree. Perhaps I am less than most: I mostly married because people did not expect me to. One acquaintance, who kept nagging Elina and I to get married doesn’t know we have: I take off my wedding ring and pretend we’re still just boyfriend and girlfriend, just to annoy her.

However, other people may feel a strong social pressure. Maybe their parents or grandparents really want them to get married. Is it irrational to do something you don’t personally care about to please someone you love? I would suggest probably not (especially as such people often pick up the bill).

Visa reasons

I know friends who have married for visa reasons. That does not mean they are not in love. It just means they were happy cohabiting, but then the legal issues got in the way and the only way they could continue their relationship was by getting a piece of paper. That seems a legitimate choice to make in a world that only recognises loving relationships when you sign an official form.

The wedding speeches

Friday, January 29th, 2016 | Public Speaking, Video

Our Leeds wedding was a fairly traditional sit-down affair, which included speeches by myself and my best man Norman. My brother-in-law Simon was good enough to capture it all on video.

I’m pretty pleased with my speech so I am now going to arrogantly offer advice to anyone who has such as speech to do. Perhaps it will even be useful for public speaking in general.

I opened with a few jokes. I think it set a good tone for the rest of the speech, which was mostly jokes. You have to go big or go home here. It’s scary yelling out “AH HA!” in front of a room of people who may or may not have seen Alan Partridge but you really have to go for it if you want the effect to work.

In terms of preparation, I started writing the speech as soon as I proposed. This gave me a year to work on it. I did not need all of that time. I wrote most of it mentally in the first few months, and metaphorically put ink to paper a few months before the big day. A month or two is ample time to write it but I recommend getting starting in advance for a number of reasons.

First, it is easier to do when you have plenty of time. Writing a speech to a deadline sucks. You are more likely to get writer’s block when you know you have to write, rather than when you can be relaxed about it. Also, doing it well in advance gives you plenty of time to go over it and nearer the day you will have other fires to fight. You can even write it, forget about it, then do a practice run a few weeks before.

In terms of practice, I didn’t do much. But then I was pretty relaxed about it (until I had to stand up and realised this was it!). Having written it mostly in my mind, I knew the lines pretty well anyway, and I did do some practice beforehand, so it wasn’t totally just freestyle.

I used notes, as you can see from the video. Always have notes to hand. They are a comfort blanket. When I am giving a competition speech, I do not have any notes. But when it is your wedding and you are already feeling the stress, the last thing you want is additional pressure. There is alcohol to factor in too. Best to have the notes there, just in case.

The Finnish bit was read word for word. I originally wrote it in English than had Elina translate it. Then I took that to my Finnish tutor and we worked on the pronunciation together. My script is actually annotated with pronunciation notes to remind myself.

Speaking of Finnish, try not to butcher the names of all your in-laws. It’s something that I, alas, was unable to achieve.

Emotion plays a key part in your delivery too. I choked up when I was telling the story about Elina’s dad. I was not expecting that. Looking back at the video it doesn’t look as bad as it felt, but it felt pretty bad. Worth factoring that in as something to be aware of.

I suspect the best bits are the most personal. Those are the most moving. And sometimes the most funny: the joke about my parents marrying for tax reasons got the biggest laugh of the speech.

Gestures, I still haven’t figured this one out. I need to find something else to do with my hands. However, I’m not sold on the idea of keeping them by myself the whole time. It looks and feels strange to me. This area needs more attention.

With the length, I came in at 22 minutes. This would have been too long had there been a third speech. However, given it was just myself and Norman, and we are both good speakers, I thought I could get away with it. Adding a bit of vocal variety (“20 years Leeds!”) seemed to help add some animation.

I sent my speech to Norman a week or two before the wedding. At which point he realised we were basically saying the same thing and quickly went on the re-write! He kept his notes on his phone which worked quite well. It’s small, like flashcards, so doesn’t get in the way.

Confidence is key. Norman’s strong and bold delivery sets a good base, and his appropriate timing and pauses around the jokes adds to the effect. You could take this even further: breaking out into song for the Tim Minchin lines for example. Not a tactic for the faint-hearted though!

Again, the personal stuff works the best. I loved the references to Stewart Lee, but it didn’t get the same laughs as the rest. Telling personal stories to your friends and family is being able to make an in-joke that everyone is included in.

Leeds Wedding

Friday, December 4th, 2015 | Events, Family & Parenting

Thank you to those who celebrated our Leeds wedding with us! The photos are back and here are a few of our favourites.

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Essentials Hair Studio, Camblesforth

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 | Reviews

For our wedding we booked Essentials Hair Studio in Camblesforth to come to the venue and do Elina and my mother’s hair. It did not go well. They turned up over an hour late. Not really the start you need to the day.

I received no phone call from them to say they were stuck in traffic. They said they tried to ring the hotel but nobody answered. That is plausible, but does not excuse not ringing me. When we quizzed them on what had happened, one told my father they had been waiting outside the shop for half an hour, the other said they were inside dealing with customers. You would think the time spent sat in traffic would give them time to get their story straight.

Exactly how much traffic you can get stuck in in 11 miles of country lanes, on a Saturday morning, is a whole different debate.

The first time they did Elina’s hair, they had to re-do it because it was incorrect. We know because we have a photo record of it. So did they, so you wonder why they did not use this to begin with. Elina was not happy with it the second time either, but it was close enough and we were late for the ceremony, so it had to do.

We have filed a letter of complaint but have not received any reply.

EDIT: Since posting this, they have refunded us £20.

More Finland photos

Sunday, November 15th, 2015 | Photos, Travel

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Back in September I wrote about our trip to Finland and Finland wedding. A lot of the photos I posted were my own though, which meant I missed some of the group shots and wedding photos that I was on the other side of the lens for.

My parents were good enough to send me their photos though, so we’ve now got some photos of the two of us.

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Finland wedding

Sunday, September 13th, 2015 | Events, Family & Parenting

What do you get when you book a party barn and fill it full of Fins and Brits for a wedding? The answer is a damn fine party. I like to think that is down to the excellent team that Elina’s mum Riitta and I make. Riitta organised everything, and I resisted the urge to try and control everything, and everything worked out well.

We started with a champagne reception. Elina and I even had our own non-alcohol tray. We then sat down for a formal meal and then the cutting of the cake, which involved the usual awkwardness of everyone gathering round taking photos. Then we partied.

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The barn had seating areas downstairs, including a bar with saloon doors and a dart board, and then an open area upstairs with a poker table, pool table, ping pong table, two table footballs and an air hockey table. There was also a TV with a variety of games consoles and a karaoke machine.

Oli won the book on Kieran’s arrival time after he turned up 2 hours 34 minutes late, beating out Cara’s guess with four minutes to spare.

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I don’t have many photos of the day because I was busy being the groom and everything, but some more should hopefully turn up.

Elina and I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who made the trip over from the UK, from Sweden, and from the various parts of Finland too! It was wonderful to celebrate the day with so many special people!

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Engagement shoot

Friday, September 11th, 2015 | Family & Parenting, Photos

In August we did an engagement shoot, which apparently is a thing now. It was a good chance to get to know our photographer, Dan, droll over his camera gear a bit, and get some practice at posing for non-posed photographs. We’re also using the photos as part of our UK wedding so keep an eye out!

It was a lot of fun. I felt like a celebrity as we were guided round Temple Newsam while a giant camera lens was pointed at us.

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Giving notice

Monday, April 27th, 2015 | Life

Before you get married, you have to give notice. This means going down to your local registry office (as it has to be your local) and saying you want to marry. They then put a notice up for 28 days to allow people to object. How people object I don’t know, because I have never checked their notice board to see if anyone is trying to marry twice, but apparently they can.

Currently, it costs £35 each. However, as UK marriages are strictly limited to no more and no less than two people, why it costs £35 each rather than £70 per couple is unclear.

When we went down they checked our ID. We took passports and driving licences, which is all we needed both being EU citizens – no other documents or passport photos or anything were required.

After checking the ID we were then separated to ensure neither of us were being forced to marry. This is fine except she never actually asked either of us if we were being forced to go through with the marriage. Neither of us are, but it seems the whole point should be to ask us. Instead we just had to confirm each other’s full names, date of birth, address and occupation.