If Guido had anything to do with planning our wedding we would only have a guest list of (and we are talking worst case scenario here folks) just four people. That’s Guido, me, a Registrar, and Gary and Ted – they’ve already confirmed their availability as bridesmaids. If I’m very lucky this might be followed by a lunch reservation in some dark corner at The Garrison Pub in Bermondsey Street. As Guido never bothers to read this blog I am happy to tell you that I’ve another covert guest list drawn up. I am even more happy tell you that it stretches over three pages in my notebook and that there are currently one hundred and four names on it. And no, it doesn’t yet include the Spanish contingent, nor the band.
“Will it be quick and painless?” asked Guido. He was making our initial registration sound like a visit to the dentist.
“It will be if we do it as soon as possible,” I said. I was lying. This would make absolutely no difference whatsoever but I thought it might move things along. “The Registrar will ask us lots of personal and detailed questions and then post our names to a noticeboard in the town hall like two wanted fugitive outlaws from the wild west.” For some reason cowboy hats and leather tassel chaps sprang tantalisingly to mind.
Declaring your intention to marry is the law here. Then anyone who wants to, can object to it. Like the person you might actually still be married to so you don’t become a bigamist. I can’t imagine anything worse than those stories you hear about from time to time where some demented loose cannon bursts through the vestry doors just as the vicar is about to say, and you may kiss the bride, shouting “STOP! STOP!” and causing a right palaver all over the alter. Anne Bancroft’s character in the film, The Graduate, did that right at the end and look at the state she got herself into.
“The Registrar will also want to make sure our intentions are for real,” I said. If they’re not, it’s what they call in the marriage trade, a complete sham. This was obviously making me nervous. Guido would not be staring into my eyes adoringly. Nor would he be holding me in a romantic clinch. This may give the Registrar the illusion that we were not in love and it was all just going to be a convenient financial arrangement. Which would add worrying weight in the sham department. At least we were both British passport holders and it would be impossible for us to be deported to Belarus just because Guido couldn’t immediately recall what date my mother was born or what colour our bedroom curtains are.
“On our wedding day we could get matching tee-shirts with slogans printed on them,” said Guido. “Something like – he’s mine, on mine, and I’m his, on yours – emblazoned across our chests. Something obvious so no one would be in any doubt. What do you think?” I obviously told him.
By the way, our bedroom curtains are cotton white and we have highly effective black out lining – just in case you were wondering.