Realistic Wedding Advice - The Redamancy Movement
Redamancy means “the act of loving the one who loves you; a love returned in full”, which is why I decided to call my wedding planning and styling business ‘Redamancy’. The very act of getting married to the one you love, and pledging to stay with them forever, is Redamancy. It’s the purest form of loving the one who loves you. In fact, I don’t think there is a more appropriate word or phrase to sum up two people’s desire to get married and spend the rest of their lives together than ‘Redamancy’.
But beyond its definition, Redamancy is more than a word or a brand. Redamancy is a lifestyle; a movement. It’s something to be a part of. It’s a conversation that we should be having with our friends and loved ones. It’s action that needs taking. With the focus more on the wedding than the marriage, divorce ratings are at an all time high, and with the average number of years that people stay married for lower than ever, it really is time to start fixing things.
As you will see from this blog - Redamancy is a realistic look at the wedding industry and weddings themselves. I wouldn’t be a wedding planner if I didn’t love all the pretty things about my job, and making people's’ dreams comes through etc. But I am also a realist - someone who likes to live life to the full, whilst also keeping a grounded approach to it all. Why? Because I think it’s so important that we don’t get carried away with wedding planning that we forget the real reason we’re exchanging vows. Life isn’t one big party; we have responsibilities, and forgetting to see the bigger picture in life can prove detrimental.
I have entirely lost track of the amount of people who don’t see past the wedding at all. For them, it’s all about the wedding and the concept of the reason why the wedding is taking place - i.e. as the first step in their marriage - appears to entirely escape them. A wedding is literally a celebration, a party even, that you invite your nearest and dearest along to so that they can witness you agreeing to marry the person you love and all that ‘stuff’ which comes along with it. That’s it. I meet a lot of engaged people in this job and it’s extremely rare to come across people who have actually thought ahead to the longer term. Some people actually don’t know whether their partner wants kids or not when they tie the knot, and then it becomes such a huge deal breaker a few years into the marriage when the conversation is broached. How can you vow to spend the rest of your life with someone if you actually don’t know how they want to spend the rest of their life? But the wedding is such a huge enticement for people that all of these realistic thoughts go out of the window.
It’s not just divorce that this happy-hoppy approach can lead to. Some people stick out an unhappy and incompatible marriage simply because they actually don’t believe in divorce; but you’re bound to end up with depression / some other mental health problem instead because that’s just what happens when you’re unfulfilled in life. Post-wedding depression is happening, it’s a thing, and we all need to wake up to the idea that if we don’t start fixing what we’re doing wrong it’s going to get a whole lot realer.
Basically, we need to be realistic about why weddings actually exist - and then put into context what itty-bitty little details really matter and which don’t, to that end. We need to start ignoring the pressure from those who don’t understand that the wedding isn’t the most important thing to ever happen in our lives (parents, grandparents and in-laws, I’m looking at you), and we need to start preparing more for marriage than for the wedding. For me, that’s why my job as a wedding planner even exists - to give you the time to focus on the things that are actually really important and leave me to worry about all the frivolities. Because the more time you spend obsessing and faffing about all of the details (which in the grand scheme of things are unimportant) the bigger the void you’re going to feel when the wedding is over, and your marriage - the reason why you had the wedding - starts.
Post-wedding depression is a dreadful illness. You feel despairing, hopeless, anxious, ill, disconnected from your life, all at a point in time when you should be your absolute happiest. And the saddest thing is that it can be so easily avoided if we approach wedding planning with a more realistic perspective. Don’t get me wrong - I’m not a Debbie Downer trying to convince you that you can’t have a stylish soiree or anything. I mean, have you seen the types of weddings that I love to create?! All I’m saying is that you don’t have to obsess and plan all of that stuff. Delegate it to someone in the same way you would your dry cleaning or gardening. You can still be involved in the process of designing your wedding and coming up with ideas, but you get to leave the stressful things to someone else, whilst you ensure your marriage is destined to succeed.
Redamancy isn’t about having a killer wedding - it’s about being smart enough and realistic enough to enjoy your wedding for the celebration it is, but put more focus on what comes after. It’s about changing our mindsets to put the emphasis where it actually should be. Do you want to have as much pressure on you as a wedding actually brings into your life? Do you want it to take up all your spare time, and ruin your social life. I’m going to guess that the answer to that is no. So let’s start by changing our mindset and see where it gets us - let’s just view it as the party it is and focus on actually getting married instead.
With that in mind, how long does it take you to choose a dress for a party? About half an hour of scrolling through ASOS, making sure they have it in the size and colour you want, and speeding through the payment process? I’ve literally ordered a dress the night before quite an important event and just selected Next Day Delivery at checkout - job’s a good’un. Would that ever EVER happen with your wedding dress? Hell no. It takes months of schlepping around bridal shops, wedding fairs, taking part in quizzes about body shape and looking at pictures from Bridal Fashion Week with as much analysis as Anna Wintour. We then go through fitting after fitting, punishing ourselves with strict diet regimes and exercise schedules. For a dress we will only ever wear once unlike a dress for a party which could be worn multiple times; and yet we put so much less thought into that than the wedding dress. And do you know how many people develop eating disorders as a result of losing weight for their wedding? A lot. It’s madness that an obsession over ONE DAY can make us so ill.
I’m mainly talking to women here because it’s a lot more common for the bride to take on the majority of wedding planning. But come on, ladies. We are so much smarter than losing our heads about florals and favours, and anything else wedding related. We’ve fought for our right to vote, we’re proving that This Girl Can… over and over again in the sporting world and we’ve still campaigning all the time for equal rights and equal pay. These are fundamental things that deserve our time and attention; we don’t need to put so much focus on throwing, what in reality is, a rather nice party. It drives me to despair that some wedding magazines state the importance of “nailing key wedding trends” like our life and worth has led to this point. It’s about time that we start realising that This Girl Can rise above the wedding pressure and chatter and have a successful marriage, devoid of any illness or regret.
Weddings are full of tradition, however they are also fairly archaic in their approach. This isn’t the 1800s, we don’t need to stress ourselves silly about playing host or gaining approval from the in-laws. Snooze! Have a bloody good knees up, but only focus on your wedding in proportion to how you would a 30th birthday party - it’s a milestone but it’s all a bit of fun. And it really does not matter if it goes a bit wrong.
If you agree with what I’ve said then Redamancy is the movement you’ve been looking for. I’m here to debunk pointless wedding myths, and the ‘must-dos’ that are sold to us as propaganda, and put the emphasis back on the stuff that really matters. Loving the one who loves you.
If you’re struggling with any of things that I have touched upon in this blog post, there are people you can talk to. Marriage is a hard thing to come to terms with, even if you never thought you’d feel anything remotely negative about it. Once that engagement ring is on your finger you can suddenly realise that your life and identity is about to change. If you’re grappling with any of these issues or just want someone to listen to you as you sort your head out then please go and talk to someone. There are a number of people who can give you some advice or just listen as you have a bit of a whinge over a cup of tea. If you don’t know who to turn to, then drop me a line and I’ll offer some suggestions.