Urgh, what a few weeks we’ve had! We knew from the start of all this planning that we’d want to personalise our ceremony and to ensure that nothing against our beliefs was uttered. We checked out all the legally-required phrasing and checked with the Registrar that we could alter all the non-mandatory stuff before we paid our deposit.
Specifically, we didn’t want anybody ‘defining’ marriage to us as being between one man and one woman - neither of us believe that marriage should be that way and we’ve taken every care in every other aspect to ensure that we aren’t having a day that a same-sex couple couldn’t have (once the legislation comes into effect, that is!) - that means checknig that every supplier also supplies to Civil Partnerships, that the venue will open its doors to same sex couples post-legislation, etc.
Anyway, having paid our £130 deposit (which they insisted was due “IMMEDIATELY”), we emailed the Registrar to talk about changing some of the lines and personalising our vows a little. They came back saying that they were unable to change the bit about defining marriage, according to Scottish law. I argued this and they told me it was a legal necessity. I read through the Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977 (and the 2002 amendment) and asked a few friends about it. I also contacted the General Registrar’s Office for Scotland and everything/everyone confirmed that that phrase was not at all legally required BUT that it’s up to the Registrar what gets said in the end.
I speak to a lot of brides-to-be as part of this planning and most have found their Registrars to be really accommodating but ours is in the most popular location in the UK for weddings AND our wedding is in peak season so they want their job to be as easy as possible - that means sticking to the script, no matter what they promised us before taking our deposit. They were really insistant that they wanted to use that line and I got the impression from a few of them that it was because that’s what THEY believed marriage should be. We looked at a selection of Humanist and Interfaith celebrants who, apart from being active supporters of LGBT+ rights and equal marriage, offer a fully bespoke service (for the same price as the Registrar’s One-Size-Fits-All!) and they were all so friendly and kind and wanted to offer advice for our wedding.
The problem, however, was that we couldn’t afford any of them without getting the £130 back that we’d had to hand over the Registrar.
Anyway, you may notice that this is all past-tense and that’s because I’m VERY happy to announce that after days of badgering the Registrar’s office, speaking to managers and listening to excuses, I’ve finally managed to get our deposit back!
I’ve also found a lovely Interfaith Celebrant who is free on our date and who is going to work on a bespoke ceremony with us. It’s been really stressful because no matter how difficult it has been to pick the dress, the cake, the DJ, the photographer, the kilts, etc… none of that is at all as important as our actual wedding. It’s easy to get swept away in the fun of planning the party but the really important bit, the actual getting married bit, is what’s important and I am SO pleased that this is now going to be about us and inkeeping with our beliefs.
It’s a debate that’s heard often and I’m normally on the side of the book.
I had this conversation last night and it’s stuck with me since so I’m going to bore you guys with my summary now because it’s so much more than just that the books have more detail.
Assuming that the book came first, that is the format in which the story was made to be told. The story and characters exist as words on the page and the author guides you through their world but you fill the details in yourself, completely subconsciously. The characters, settings and feelings involved are brought to life in your own imagination and through that process, the story becomes yours. The words are the same to all that read it, but the reader experience is completely personal.
People often talk about getting lost in a book, and it’s true - when you’re reading there are no distractions. There’s no room for your mind to wander as every part of it is busy filling in gaps, adding little details, creating extra characteristics…
The reason you emotionally connect with the characters in a book is that you have built those characters. The characters exist your own head and, in that sense, they are quite literally a part of you. The pages of the book act as prompts to guide them through the narative but, in a very real way, every single aspect of the book is a piece of yourself that you’ve made. If something bad happens in a film, it may make you sad, but if something happens to a character that exists only in your brain after hours, maybe weeks and, in the case of series, sometimes years, of construction - it feels like something bad is actually happening to you and the emotional connection is infititely stronger. The same applies when something good, funny or nostalgic happens.
In a series such as Harry Potter or LoTR, you immerse yourself in these worlds over and over and even though it’s the author’s book, the world is completely yours and at no stage are you experiencing somebody else’s interpretation of it.
The Harry Potter films were fantastic but watching David Heyman’s characters go through their world can never compare to living and feeling JK Rowling’s in your own head. The same applies to every good book I’ve ever read; no matter how amazing the film adaptations were.
This might have made no sense at all to anybody and it’s a bit waffly as I just sat down and typed as I thought. I hope it does make sense to somebody though. It’d be nice to know that someone else takes these bound-paper blocks as seriously as I do.