We’re getting married!
I know, this is probably the last thing you thought you’d read on a post with such a clickbait title. My apologies, it’s definitely good news! …but the title is a little bit true.
You see in the Quebec culture, marriage isn’t really a big deal. Actually most of my family friends and school friends aren’t married, despite being in long term relationships. My parents themselves only got married because of immigration issues – they didn’t have a big wedding and don’t wear rings. So I didn’t grow up thinking I’d ever get married.
Also as a feminist, I find it hard to reconcile that egalitarian side of myself with the idea of marriage. So many wedding and marriage traditions are antiquated and sexist and what does that say about us if we perpetuate them?
But about 7-8 years ago, while being slowly drawn into the anglophone community of North America and then in the UK, the idea started slowly imprinting on my brain. I watched Say Yes to the Dress and imagined my perfect wedding dress. I even started a *coughcough secret Pinterest wedding board.
And then I met the Brit and things changed a bit in my mind. A few months in, I got the feeling that this guy was my guy. I just knew it. Now, nearly five years later, I feel even stronger about it. We’ve gone through so much together. I know he’s the person I want to spend my life with. When I think of growing old, of having children, I see him by my side.
The reality is that as a foreign spouse, you kind of need to get married. It does make a lot of things easier and a friend of mine who is a lawyer told me that unfortunately, even in this day and age, being married gives you more rights than being an unmarried couple. With the end of my youth mobility visa last year, we slowly started talking about getting married. And if push had come to shove, we would have gotten married to hurry the visa, but it was nice that our visa was accepted on the basis of partnership and we could then decide if/when we would get married.
When I received my British visa last February though, we realised that it states ‘Spouse of Mr Brit McScotface’ on it. When we saw that, we both laughed ‘Hey we don’t need to get married now!’
As much as I also want to blame our immigration situation for wanting to get married now, I actually just do want to get married to my Brit. He’s my man and my family.
But because I feel like I’ve slowly been sucked into the societal expectations of marriage, it makes me want to push back. I kind of hate that I’ve been dragged into this societal concept and expectation of relationships, and what somehow defines ‘commitment’. I definitely do not need a ring or wedding to be committed to my Brit. We’ve just spent thousands of pounds applying for a spouse visa and have a mortgage together. I think we’re pretty serious. We’ve also lived through so many obstacles in the past years, but we pushed through. We persevered because we wanted to be together, and no marriage contract was needed to make us this committed.
But when it comes down to it, we are both enthused at the idea of planning a wedding together. Yes I’m already committed to the Brit and I honestly don’t think marriage will change any of it, but I like the idea of getting the people we love together for a fun occasion and celebrate that (hopefully) we’ll spend our lives together. I’m also quite enthused at the idea of making this a feminist wedding – of turning traditions around. Because to me that’s the best way to reconcile these two things.
And do you know the best part? We’re both on the same page!
What do you think about marriage? Any strong opinions?xx