No one would have ever imagined 2020 to turn out this way.
James and I had no idea that the day we got married at Hackney Town Hall was going to be the beginning of a 3-month lock down that will change every aspect of life in our society.
We got married on Thursday the 19th of March 2020. In fact, you could call this an elopement because the only other people there were our witnesses. If you had asked my younger self what I thought my wedding day would look like, I would have said… Not this!
But life is what happens to you whilst you’re busy making other plans.
Eloping the way we did was one of the best things we’ve ever experienced. Don’t get me wrong – one day soon when the world is back to normal, we will definitely throw a proper wedding party and ceremony, so that we can be surrounded by our friends across the world, and have our beloved parents standing next to us. I’m all about a good party and getting people together - so this will happen!
But eloping with no other distractions or pressure allowed us to really be in the moment. To feel the tingles and nerves when we looked at each other in the eyes and said I Do. It helped us to define what marriage really means. Because at the end of the day, marriage is about two people and nothing else.
People have asked me “what is it like now that you’re married” – for starters, nothing has changed (surprise surprise) but it just feels nice. To know that I now have my lobster for life, and that we can get through the ups and down together.
We were lucky to not be in the same boat as other couples who had been planning their big day for so long. The irony of getting married the way we did is that I just so happen to own a wedding invitation & stationery business; and yet I sent out invitations to the dinner via text messages! Our wedding celebration was reduced to a pub dinner at our fav The Well & Bucket because nothing else was open. We had booked a restaurant in Shoreditch only to show up with the lights turned off and no one there to greet us. All bars and restaurants in London had received the memo to close up shop from the government, because Boris was going to announce to everyone to stay home that Friday which kick-started the 3-month lockdown. So in true Cat & James fashion, we got drunk & merry with a small group of friends at the pub to mark the biggest day of our lives.
We cannot WAIT to throw a wedding party with our friends & families across the world. I for one, can’t wait to actually send one of my own wedding invitations out to everyone!
A Marriage to us is a significant chapter of our lives, but a Wedding is just as important for us to be able to announce our love to the people that we love!
Until then, we can sit back and take pride in being a part of history.
I truly feel for other couples out there who have yet to get married because their wedding was cancelled or postponed; but I hope that by sharing this story, I can show an example of ways to adapt to the unexpected. The important thing is to have each other, and if that means you’re going to tie the knot at a town hall to signify your marriage, then throw a huge party at a later stage to celebrate - then definitely do what makes you happy.
Written by Cat Nguyen-Walker