Were you one of those little girls who kept a scrapbook full of magazine cut-outs, showing exactly how you wanted your wedding day to be? Were your Barbie dolls married in lavish plastic ceremonies to your brother's unwilling Action Man? Do you even now have Pinterest boards dedicated to big white dresses and princess-worthy castle venues? I may be in the minority when I say that I wasn't one of those little girls, nor am I now, as a 22-year old woman, entirely sold on the idea of marriage. So, when Slater and Gordon, family lawyers London got in touch with me to ask if I'd write a post on what #TheModernMarriage means to me, I thought this might provide an interesting opportunity to talk about why getting married isn't really something that features highly on my priority list. Let's go!

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👰🏻 Now vs. Then 👰🏻

I'm sure most people would agree that in 2017, marriage is not quite the essential rite of passage it was in times gone by. We no longer live in the age of Jane Austen, where it was a truth universally acknowledged that a man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. Today, couples can live together without marriage being a necessity, women aren't obliged to take their husband's name, and in many places, marriage is FINALLY open to same-sex couples. Nevertheless, many of the traditions of yesteryear continue in modern marriage, especially when it comes to the all-important wedding ceremony. 

The wedding takes place in a church. The bride wears a big white dress.
The bride walks down the isle, arm in arm with her father.
The happy couple recite vows and the groom kisses the bride.

I have attended very traditional wedding ceremonies in the past, where all of this took place, and they were absolutely magical. The bride was beaming from ear to ear, and everyone was having a fantastic time. However, for me, this kind of wedding day is pretty much my worst nightmare. Having all eyes on me whilst walking down the aisle in a big white dress that symbolises my virginity (LOL), being "given away" by my father (YUCK) makes me feel seriously uncomfortable. But, that's the joy of the modern marriage, because these days, you have the power to completely make it your own...

👰🏻 Doing Your Own Thing 👰🏻

One of my most memorable wedding moments actually came when I was working behind the bar at a wedding reception. The bride and groom began their first dance in a super-traditional way, swaying to the beat of a romantic song, UNTIL a minute or so in, the song cut out and Gangnam Style began to blast from the speakers! The bride and groom leapt into a fully choreographed dance routine, to the whoops and cheers of their shocked guests! This was such a fantastic moment, all caught on film by the wedding photographer - it has stuck with me for a long time and I always chuckle when I remember the look of surprise on the father of the bride's face! I loved how the bride and groom took a usual wedding custom and totally made it their own, something that I would also like to do if I ever opt for a more traditional ceremony.

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 👰🏻 Money, money, money 👰🏻

Another thing that really scares me about the traditional wedding ceremony is the cost. One of my Dad's pals is getting married soon and has already blown £35,000 on the day, which for me is just incredible. When you add up the price of the venue, the meal, the flowers, the dress etc. etc. it seems that the cost can easily spiral out of control. However, one of my good blogger friends, Ellis Jade, has really shown me that you can have your perfect wedding on a budget. Like me, Ellis wasn't one for being the centre of attention at a massive, elaborate service, so she and her husband James opted for a small ceremony with minimal guests, flowers from eBay, and a simple yet beautiful dress from Forever 21. I really admire Ellis for doing exactly what she wanted for her wedding day and for having a wonderful ceremony at a fraction of the normal cost!

So, what is #TheModernMarriage? For me, it's optional, adaptable, and most importantly, open to all. Will I ever get married? Maybe. (If an appropriate Benedict Cumberbatch lookalike comes along). But what I do know is that my wedding day, if and when it comes, is going to be very ME!

Would you like to get married? What does your dream wedding day look like? Tell me in the comments below! Or perhaps you've already had your perfect wedding day! Please share your memories in the comments and let me know if there's anything about it that you would change!

Until next time,

A x

*This is a collaborative post with Slater + Gordon