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Happy ever after

March 6, 2016

I rather love the idea of marrying yourself, which was all over the Guardian magazine on Saturday. There was a lovely glossy spread on a forty-something journalist getting all done up in a white dress and posing pensively amid gorgeous Japanese cherry blossoms (the company offering ‘me-weddings’ is Japanese), with no groom in sight. When I came to research it a bit, I found it is not a new idea at all. It’s been going in various forms in the US and Japan for at least four years.

cherry blossom

In many ways, it is a terrible thing, slapping all those lovely wafty togetherness dreams right in the chops with a huge wedding bouquet. But then, when you watch shows like Don’t Tell the Bride (Child Two and I are addicts) it quickly becomes apparent that the fly in the ointment of every wedding is … the groom. While Every Single One of the brides dreams of wearing a massive white frock and having a fancy reception in some huge Pemberley-style stately home, the grooms have not a clue and naively assume the wedding should reflect their interests. Wrong! A wedding is the fulfilment of a torrent of unrealistic dreams we’ve been pushing at girls since the moment of their births. From the ‘princess on board’ sign you put in your car, to the Disney Princess pyjamas teenage girls still love wearing, there is no end to the pressure to get married and live happily ever after. The easiest way of achieving this, by far, is to marry yourself. No chance of a divorce, and very few disagreements.

The princess dream is a very deep-seated one. I loved fairy tales as a child, and I read them to my girls. When I got married for the second time, I decided against a white dress …. until we went to a bridal shop, I tried one on, and could scarcely bear to take it off. I completely get why Jerry Hall (who chose St Bride’s in Fleet Street for her wedding, the scene of my own first go at matrimony) went with her icy Vivienne Westwood creation – and I also can’t help feeling the pics would have turned out better if she, too, had gone for a solo ceremony.

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