Reset the wedding list button... the kettle, the honeymoon or the chair
So while I muse over wedding season, reflecting on my own wedding day 16 years ago this month while looking at beautiful wedding features and articles out this month, I started to think about wedding lists.
Yes wedding lists. I must admit I do like to dream sometimes (well, often) about what I would buy for my house if money were no object, or if indeed I won the lottery. I am sure I am not alone here, although my ‘Aston Martin’ might likely be some fabulous thing for my home.
But wedding lists are somewhat like that, aren’t they? A time when you can throw caution to the wind, be totally selfish and go ‘I want, I want. I want…’.
But what does a wedding list look like in 2015 compared to 16 years ago? I very much hope that it doesn’t resemble what I was faced with: outfitting my entire home from one shop, be it John Lewis, Debenhams or Habitat. For reasons I will explain, we went the ‘money’ option.
I very much hope that people have strayed from this approach to their wedding lists. Who really does want a matchy, matchy house, identikit home, with bed linen to plates, electricals to garden furniture all bought under one roof? More importantly, who makes those decisions in one or two sittings? I didn’t get beyond the mixing bowl and towels on my list before ripping it up and tearfully, although at the same time with great abandon, realising that asking for money would be the best option. Yes, I could then be able to outfit my home at my leisure, on my travels, and, importantly, eclectically. I must mention that 16 years later I am still pulling my home and its contents together!
The average age for men getting married in England and Wales is just over 32, and for women 30. Now, given that most people have likely set up home before they wed, people have the day-to-day contents that keep a house running. And if you’re over 30 and that little more discerning you are no doubt raging against identikit homes and joining the national search for something different either in independent stores or on the internet.
We need to reset the wedding list button. Now I know there is a superb trend towards friends and family clubbing together to buy the honeymoon, for example. A sort of alternative crowdfunding if you like. For friends of ours, we put our monies together to buy a painting.
Now think to what you will remember 16 years on, as I am now. Would it honestly have been the matching towels now consigned to drying the dog down after the morning walk or will it be the honeymoon or the painting hanging in your hall, or the fabulous antique chair in your wedding colours in your bedroom? I think it might.
Indeed, the home is and should be where the heart is, and where a lot of our memories originate. So forget the kettle, and the 500 thread count sheets, say no to the dinner service, and the kitchen knife block. Will they be there in 16 years? No, long replaced. But that chair, that painting, that experience in Hawaii or that Objet d’art will.
They will be your unique and living memories. Good luck!