I have been struggling with this question for quite some time.
I am a big believer in relationships but never been sure about ‘holy matrimony’.
I am not religious nor old fashioned, so I have found the institution of marriage, a bit ridiculous if I am honest. Just like that gold carriage that they wheel out at the big pomp and circumstance Royal occasions!

However, before I explain why I think marriage is a bit ridic, I do have an admission to make: I am engaged to be married this September. Awks.
I feel like a total hypocrite because in the process of becoming an ‘honest woman’ (see what I mean, what a load of old tripe), I honestly do think it’s unnecessary.

Continuing in this honest vain, there are two reasons why we’ve gone from never to now; doing what we feel is unnecessary:
First up is that I don’t want to regret never having ‘the big day’.
What if I get to 60ish and wish I’d experienced it? I like to try and do as much as I can to alleviate regret areas in life, so this really would bother me.
Secondly, we both want a special day with those we love. The older you get the more sentimental you become and realise that some of those we love may not be here for too much longer. We want to make some special memories and have the photos to reminisce over, in the years to come.

Given this hypocritical stand point, I want to try and ensure we can do this very traditional thing, in a way that’s representative of our relationship: equal, modern and for all the right reasons.

On that right reason note, I think people should be tested before they are allowed to wed. Perhaps, with exams and everything.
I mean the police investigate people who are doing the legal thing purely to get into other countries, for god’s sake. So why shouldn’t they investigate whether people actually have honourable intentions and realistic expectations, before they go chucking £10K plus down the drain or trying to con their betrothed out of money or trample over their dreams to reach their own? That’s GBH in my eyes.

My partner and I have already tested and questioned each other. How will we cope with the usual, various crappy situations that life can often chuck at people.
You know, me becoming a moody mare after children/ post menopause and feeling depressed every time I catch a glimpse of my naked body….. … or him having a freak accident where his penis gets chopped off.
We decided how we would cope in both scenarios. Reconstructive surgery is good these day’s right?

If you can genuinely say that you are signing that legal document because you respect and care so deeply for the other person and you have never wanted to punch them directly in the face, then go for it.
If you can visualise the day you both develop hair in places you don’t want it, yet there’s barely any left on your head ….. and you STILL think that snuggling up on the sofa together to watch Prime Suspect sounds enticing, then the chances are you are in for a bloody good go of things.
That’s real romance right there people: Mutual embarrassing hair issues and a mutual appreciation of Helen Mirren.

My other issue with marriage, is that I find the tradition of the day really infuriating! A lot of it goes completely against common sense and yet people rarely question it.

Why does the Father have to give the Bride away?
Doesn’t a Mother do more for her children in the long-run? I know men can’t get pregnant so I guess this isn’t their fault but at least have a role for Mum’s that goes beyond standing around wearing a massive hat.

Why does the Groom traditionally do most of the speeches? He get’s to thank the Caterer’s and the Bridesmaids and yet how many Groom’s did all of that organising?! And on that Bridesmaid note….

Why does the Bride have ‘Bridesmaids’?
Maids FFS… are we living in the Victorian times? I mean, if my Groom wants to dress like Darcy, then I am totes up for it but that’s as far as my appreciation of Victorian values appearing at our wedding goes; MEN LOOKING LIKE HOTTIES – OK!
Women having subservient titles, ERRRRRR absolutely not! Best Women is a far more fitting, to match those Best Men.

Why is there a Best Man’s speech that still has to feature those ‘funny’ tales about the Groom’s single years, without any mention of the Bride’s?
Sex and the City entered our lives over 16 years ago people!
Women being as promiscuous as men has long been accepted, possibly even by my 90 year old Nan who doesn’t agree with women getting drunk (I have to say, I am actually starting to agree with her on that!).

The scene in SATC where Miranda is shopping for a non white wedding dress and get’s annoyed with a shop assistant who doesn’t seem to understand her non white request, is pretty apt here.
Miranda shouts “the jig is up”.. virgins we are not.
We’ve all had our sexual exploits and a woman should not have to sit there blushing whilst the Best Men shares tales with all their friend’s and family, about the Groom’s prior experiences with another ladies knockers.
It’s such bad taste in 2014!

Ladies and any Brides- to- be, get up and do a speech yourself. I think this should be mandatory.
Why would you let a Man do all the speaking on your behalf?

If you have a best male friend, then let them be your Best Man too, so you can have the p*ss taken out of you, in front of a room full of people. Equals by name and equal in nature.

Make real vows, not just ones that follow ‘tradition’, especially if you aren’t religious.
I want to promise that I will try and not take my husband for granted.
I want to promise that I will always try to be the best person I possibly can be, to keep him entertained and our mind’s alive.
I want to promise that I will try and make him belly laugh every day. Even in times of stress, rather than overload him with my problems, I will see the funny side and then go out, get pissed and rant at my girlfriend’s instead of him. Save him some earache, if my girlfriend’s agree.
I want us to promise that we will never be ‘We’ ALL of the time.
We are two individuals, who have separate lives yet love and value the special time when it’s just the two of us.
It’s as simple as that.

My final nail in the coffin of traditional weddings is thus:
The woman automatically taking her husband’s name.
Why, I ask? No really, Whhhhhyyyyyyy?
90% if the latest stats are correct, still abandon their past and accept the male family name.
I still don’t get it and nor have I heard ANY rational reasoning.
The amount of times I have been told I will want to change my name when or if I have children.
I want to double barrel them. Why shouldn’t my children also have my families name? It’s nothing short of outdated sexism.
Not only is it my identity and there will be a lot of my financial security and data attached to it but there’s also the small matter of family and ancestory. Now I can’t think why but I just feel highly protective of that!

I don’t need to get married. I don’t need my soon-to-be husband, to help me get a home and happiness.
I just want to share the happiness I found for myself and in myself, with him. He is awesome, makes me laugh all of the time – especially in supermarkets. He is my best friend and I also quite fancy him in most lights and outfits.

More importantly, if he can put up with me and my hypocritical ways, then I will try and do the vows justice, without laughing all the way through.
For the first time ever in a relationship, I will mean what I will be saying.
Even when times are hard; I am manically depressed after children leave me sleep deprived and brain dead and he has lost his penis in a strange engineering accident, I value and respect him so much as a human being, I will always find the energy to put the hard work in to keep us together.
So after years of debating and a bit of Shakesperian-style analysis, to wed or not to wed, “I do”…… but only on my terms!