real life

"Yes, I'm getting married, now leave me alone."

What people say when the wedding countdown is on…

I’m getting married in April. What’s your immediate reaction to that? Let me help you. Common responses include:

“Oh my God! This is a big year/time/day for you!”

“Ooh… babies are next!”

“Are you on a wedding diet?”

“He’s finally done it!”

For the past few months, some variation of the above is all I hear (yes, even from virtual strangers.) And I’m so over it. It’s gotten to the point where I’m terrified to tell people I’m getting married. I went shopping for wedding shoes the other day, and the sales assistant asked if they were for a special occasion. “Yes, a wedding,” I said. Then I paused. “Oh… well, my wedding,” I mumbled (and the sales assistant thought this was hilarious).

Now, I want to get it out there that this is not an ‘anti-wedding’ piece. My partner is the bomb and I love him. I’ve personally not minded either way whether we get married, and he’s a little old-school and was into it, so why not? Why not have a big party and an excuse to buy a new dress?

So at the end of the day, I don’t have an issue with getting married. I love a good bit of froufrou skirting, a triangle of wedding cake, and seeing people cry in public.

My issue is with everyone’s reaction to it.

“Oh my God, this is a big year/time/day for you!”

If getting married is the most important thing to happen to me, I must lead a damn boring life. I mean, I recently lived abroad; made a big career switch; bought a house; welcomed a second beautiful niece into the world; and have travelled all over the world, but no worries: getting a ring on my finger should be considered a big coup. My partner is wonderful, but he’s my partner – not an extension of me.


“Ooh… babies are next!”

Of course they must be. Because I’m a virgin, and we sleep in twin beds.

“He’s finally done it!” Er, okay.

“Are you on a wedding diet?”

This question is wrong on so many levels. The fact that it’s incredibly rude and could make most confident woman cower (not me – I’m proud of my guns) aside – why must I be thin on my wedding day? And then what – after that I can all let it go, because I’ve landed my man?

“He’s finally done it!”

I feel that our relationship wasn’t fully recognised by a lot of people until we got engaged – until my partner “made a commitment to me.” We’ve been together for nearly six years, have lived together for three, and co-signed a big fat mortgage nine months ago. Plus, we’re mad about each other. So, neither of us have needed a ring to seal in commitment – we’re committed to each other already. Our wedding should merely be a celebration of what is already known. I’m also bewildered at people who think that deciding to get married is a one-sided decision, from the guy – sorry, does marriage involve two people, or have I been watching too much Big Love?

I am more than my relationship, and my relationship is more than marriage. Commitment didn’t start when he proposed. It won’t start when we sign the paper. It started years ago, and we simply want to have a party to celebrate it.

Ally holds degrees in creative writing and advertising, and works in marketing in the not-for-profit industry. She balances the corporate world with her Brisbane entertainment blog, You can often find her lurking in the city’s craft beer bars, chasing neighbourhood cats, or upside down in a yoga headstand.

Which do you think is greater: the pressure on couples to get engaged, or the wedding pressure that follows? If you’re engaged or married, what were the most common things people said to you?

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