Tom's Column - October/November 22
I’m Getting Married – Do You Feel Old Yet? by Tom Beasley
If you've been reading this column since I first started writing it as a 14-year-old in 2009, then I'm very sorry in advance for what follows. You're about to feel very old because, at the start of October, I'm getting married. I forgive you if you want to just turn the page and forget you ever read this.
It has been a bit of a strange process to get to the actual ceremony, what with there being a pandemic in the middle of it all. My partner and I got engaged in late 2018 and finally decided that we'd start planning a wedding a year or so later. We went to our first wedding fair in the second week of March 2020 and, well, we all know what happened that month. Needless to say, the brakes went on rather quickly.
We were certainly thankful not to be one of the couples forced to move dates and wait anxiously around the various pandemic restrictions, with 2022 always the year we had planned for the ceremony to happen. When the first lockdown lifted, we decided to go as full steam ahead with preparations as we could and elected to look at venues in the first week of November 2020. And, well, we all know what happened that month. Needless to say, the brakes went on rather quickly. Again.
Thankfully, we got the venue booked in the spring of 2021 and, since then, there hasn't been anything to bring the thing grinding to a halt. Now there's a sentence that the phrase “touch wood” was invented for. I think I need to do a lap of the flat touching every cupboard and surface, just to be sure.
Since then, it has been a whirlwind of seating plans, Zoom meetings with vendors and dozens of lengthy car trips between London and Coventry. At times, it has seemed like the entire stock of every Etsy store on the internet is being kept in our one-bed flat. But things are revving up now ahead of the big day and it's set to be a terrific occasion for both of us, as well as our friends and family.
I've always adored weddings – an uncomplicated and incredibly earnest celebration of love and family, in which dancing terribly to songs from Grease is not only allowed but encouraged. I'm aware that my wedding-loving opinion is something of an anachronism among the millennial generation, with many people around my age increasingly shunning what they see as a patriarchal institution.
It's difficult to argue with that assessment given how nakedly old-fashioned many of the central traditions of marriage are. The idea of a father “giving” their daughter to another man, as if she's a book they enjoyed or a lawnmower they're lending out, is inherently a bit icky. But if you don't take the implications too seriously – as indeed we shouldn't – it's just nice to have a loved one by your side as you take the walk down the aisle in front of everybody you know.
Patriarchal traditions aside, weddings are exactly the sort of celebratory occasion many of us need after the two years we've had – and indeed the difficult winter we have ahead of us. I have no doubt that it will be a beautiful day and a chance to show just how much I love and appreciate the woman who has been by my side for 10 years. Eagle-eyed readers will note that I've been writing this column for 13 years so, if you're a day one reader, you've actually been around in my life longer than my soon-to-be wife.
Maybe I should marry you all.
© 2022 Tom Beasley
The opinions expressed in this article are personal to Tom Beasley. Tom Beasley is a freelance film journalist living just outside London and originally from Coventry. He can be reached at email@example.com.