Hannah ponders her brother's unusually full immersion in his wedding plans
My brother recently got married. It was a big affair in an expensive venue.
The hugeness of the occasion took a while to dawn on me. I didn’t realise when they announced it over a year before, nor the evening after the announcement when they slapped out a stack of wedding magazines and proceeded to flick through them during family DVD night.
I still didn’t catch on when I visited them and there were little cutesy chalkboards around the house counting down the number of days until she became Mrs Latham. I was given a save-the-date card – a simple little grey tag on shabby-chic pink string – and I was none the wiser. Then the invitations came and with them the website… yep, a whole website dedicated to the wedding.
By this time it was clear: this was to be The-Wedding-Of-The-Century, and my 37-year-old brother, who had a lot of catching up to do with his peers (all married, some with kids), had thrown himself into it with techie, geeky enthusiasm. Every... single... ounce of it.
There was a blog on which the couple posted about the outlandish hen do in Las Vegas and the raucous stag in Amsterdam (he wanted Vegas, then Bangkok, but his 3 best men and 1 best lesbian friend/honorary 4th best man couldn’t get with the bank loans for his once-in-a-lifetime send off). There was an online patchwork gift mechanism through which we could buy the happy couple breakfast on the beach in The Maldives, windsurfing lessons or his favourite street food dish in Bangkok for their honeymoon [how will our Grandparents cope with that gift process? I thought. They don’t even own computers]. It was all very slick and my brother was loving it.
A sizable amount of energy, effort and money was going into this One Day. What if she got her period, or couldn’t sleep the night before, or heaven forbid… it rained?! As I have been told many times, this is what many, many women aspire to. There are magazines for it. Despite the whole concept by-passing me, many girls grow up dreaming of having their princess wedding in a white gown. I read the same books; I’m not sure how I missed the memo. I wondered if my tomboy, lesbian gene was the one I was given instead of the princess bride one, but that doesn’t wash because plenty of lesbians also have white dress affairs in castle-like grandeur.
What interested me more was my brother and the reactions to him. He was totally immersed - living and breathing wedding plans - but in this respect he was definitely an oddity. Our half-sister commented that she’d “never seen a heterosexual man so into planning a wedding!” His now-wife remarked at the wedding that the run up “hadn’t been too bad because he’s done loads. It’s not like a groom to do that!”
Despite being vaguely aware that this is not the done thing, I’ve been asking myself why is it so odd that my brother was really into organising his own wedding? Isn’t it more odd to get down on one knee and profess undying love to the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, to then hand over all decision-making and planning for the day which will be biggest event you’ll ever throw? I was pleased my brother was showing some element of bucking the expected trend during such a ‘traditional’ occasion.