Shane and I have been together for over four years, this time, and one thing I have always said to him, well, nagged him about, was that I would eventually like to get married. I was always quite traditional and had it in mind from when I was young that I would like to be married before I had children. However I fell pregnant with Cassidy straight away once we started trying, so there went that plan! And we didn't really have the money to do a shotgun wedding at the time. And we probably weren't in the place in our relationship to do it at that time anyway, baby or no baby.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Over the years, I've left jewellery catalogues in his underwear drawer, on the kitchen bench and in his workbag, so Shane knew what I wanted and what the eventual outcome of this relationship would be. In fact, it was one of the things that we agreed upon early on. And when we did talk about ourselves now and then, we'd discuss our wedding and where it could be held, what we'd like, etc. Our dream was to elope to Las Vegas and be married by an Elvis impersonator. Seriously, I would have done it. But having 2 kids and not saving enough wasn't helping that plan much.
But the proposal never come. I don't actually know what Shane was waiting for, although he'd mentioned a few times about not having the money to buy the ring I wanted. I found this ridiculous mind you, as I'm not a big jewellery person and thought that anything over $1,000 was too much to spend on a ring. I also think that spending heaps of dosh on a wedding is a waste of money, especially as we already have a home and 2 kids. We are currently saving for a deposit on a house for when we move to Geraldton, so that's our nmber 1 in the financial department. I decided I'd be happy with $5,000 or $6,000 for a wedding and reception, which is about what my brother and sister did with theirs. Something simple and not at all extravagant.
So recently, I got thinking about marriage again. After Devon's birth, I am struck anew with having to explain to Doctors, Child Health nurses, etc, that my name isn't McLean as hers is, mine is different, she has her daddys name. Which isn't mine. And I don't like it.
As we were going on holiday, I approached Shane with the idea that we go to a registry office while we were away, in Albany or Perth or somewhere, and just get hitched. Like that. Nice and simple and easily done to show our level of commitment to each other. I was willing to forgo the whole white dress and wedding planning stress to have a simple ceremony for us. But my plans went awry, as although Shane was fine with the idea, he said that if he didn't invite his mother, she'd kill him. I thought he was joking at first. But he wasn't. We couldn't get married without inviting his Mum. Which means we couldn't get married without inviting everybody. EVERY BODY. In our whole families. Coz we started to realise who would get pissed if Cheryl was going and they weren't, so we'd have to include them, which means we'd have to include the other one, and that one from over there and the ones we hardly ever see but who are direct relatives and who are more interested in the piss up. Sigh. Once I went through a quick checklist of who would HAVE to be invited, we had nearly 50 people. Geez. Once I added all our friends, I had 62. Crap.
From there, it was easily decided that we should have a ceremony in Geraldton, as neither of us wanted to be married in Hedland, and also Geraldton is quite central to our huge family stretching from Hedland to Albany. As we were only a month away from leaving, the decision of when was also easily made as we just 'booked' it for our holiday in June next year. This was doubly smart as our holiday to Phuket next September could then double as our honeymoon. Heh.
I went and had a look at rings by myself and found that we don't have a huge range up here, but it didn't matter. As per above money issues, I wasn't in the mood for a square princess cut high set thing like I always thought I wanted. What I tried on were wedders, usually they would go with the aforementioned big spangling thing, but they suited my hand so much and looked quite dainty. I loved them. A few weeks later, I dragged Shane to the shops one Thursday night and fell in love with a wedder that had 7 diamonds in a channel (7 is my lucky number!). Within 2o minutes, we'd picked a matching plain gold wedding band and a matching band for Shane as well. Done. All for the low price of about $1300. So off to it's home in Shane's sock drawer it went. Noice.
One night we were sitting around watching TV and Shane said, 'I'm getting nervous about how I'm going to ask you to marry me.' and I said 'Ha ha, you just did!' So he said, 'So will you? Will you marry me?' and I just looked at him and said Yes, and we smiled. We chatted on for a bit and then he went and got the ring from it's hiding place (where I'd been trying not to look at it). He knelt down in front of me sitting on the lounge, then knelt with 2 knees coz it hurt and asked me again, then put the ring on. It was very sweet and very us, coz then we cuddled for ages still watching the telly!
Now, the announcement. As we were going to see a lot of my family, I decided to make Save The Date cards and give them out to our intended guests as my announcement, so this was done with most people. Mel and Justine in Bunbury got theirs at the same time, but Mel yelled out 'She's getting married!' while Justine was still opening hers and gave her the shock of her life! With my sister Jodie, who was the first person I was telling, I said, 'Now Jodie, I know we only just had Devon a few months ago, but I've got something to tell you...' And she looked at me, and I yelled 'Shane and I are getting married!' and I have to tell you she looked very relieved!
One awful thing though, that I totally didn't expect, was the reaction of some of the family I have who weren't invited. I have a very large number of cousins, a lot... a LOT. So I have only invited one and her husband and child. Sharon is the eldest grandchild and I am the 2nd eldest, so we are quite close and I went to her wedding (to Shane, ha ha) in 1998. However, when I told a lot of my cousins about our engagement, most of them followed their congratulations with 'Oh great, I'll be able to save up to come to your wedding!' or 'I missed Wayne and Jodie's weddings, so now I'll be able to come to yours!' and so on. I was devastated. I felt awful and didn't say anything at first, because how could I say to people that we couldn't afford to invite everybody I was ever related to? And especially as I hadn't seen some of them for over 5 years? They don't make the effort to see my Grandma and she lives in the same town!
By the time I got to Perth, when another fav cousin said she'd like to come, I couldn't help it and said I was sorry but unfortunately financially we were on a strict budget (which we are) and we might not be able to invite everyone we like. She understood so I was very lucky there. Because there are some people whom I haven't invited who I'd like to. And so begins a whole dilemma... Who gets priority? Someone you've known longer or someone you're closer to? What if they were practically your best friend but now they weren't? What if you've been to their wedding? Does that mean you should automatically invite them? I have to invite some of Shane's friends, but what if they're single? I can add a 'Plus One' but what if they're a total git? And so it begins...
So Shane and I are engaged. Ta da. Simple enough. Our friends Clare and Dags have been together for nearly 20 years, have 2 teenage boys and they aren't married, they've totally lost interest in it. But I'm glad we're doing it. I want to be a McLean too and show the world that I am committed to Shane and he should be committed, ha ha, no, that he is committed to me. One night I said to him, you know this isn't just a thing, this means we are gonna be married and it's forever okay? That's it, it's going to be for the rest of our lives, okay? 'Oh yeah!', he said, 'Of course it is!' What a darling...