December 13, 2019
We're not a traditional couple in any sense and I think the majority of people who know us have always known that.
We definitely don't try to be anything we have been 'told' to be when it comes to our journeys both together and as individuals. We don’t follow tradition and convention and we only do things as and when they make sense to us.
So you see, when it came time to tie the knot, we knew it would be different. For one, marriage was never really something either one of us wanted. Not really. We both knew that signing a piece of paper in no way makes either one of us more committed to the other person. We already love, respect and cherish one another without the need for an external (i.e. legal) validation.
And from a feminist point of view, I have always (quite cynically) seen marriage as essentially a transfer of ownership.
The woman is transferred from belonging to her father to belonging to her husband. I’ve never felt like anybody owned me. This goes against everything I stand for. So that was a strong point as to why not to get married.
Then there’s the commercial and overly-inflated side of a conventional marriage ceremony. I truly don’t believe that this should be the best day of your life. Sure, it could and probably should be a fun-filled day you will remember, but not THE best day of your life. You have already had and will have many more amazing days in your life. I don’t want to put the pressure on a single day to be about anything and anyone else than just the two of us.
And don’t get me started on the cost. The day could cost anything upwards from £15,000 and I simply cannot justify this kind of money. I’d rather spend that money saving for a house on or a trip!
We went to a friend’s wedding recently and while we had tons of fun, we both looked at each other at the end of the evening and said ‘This is so not us!‘.
So how is it then that I am writing this as Mrs Crawford you may ask? Let me explain.
At the beginning, Axl felt the same, not getting married was actually part of the plan.
That is until we started talking about growing our family.
As we begin to want children more and more and the baby talk has shifted from ‘if‘ to ‘when‘ we started to think about names.
Not baby names per se, but our name as a family. When we have a child, whenever that may be, the kid will take the father’s name. Our child will be a Crawford. So one day, we will be, Axl Crawford, mini Crawford and…. Didi Zheleva. This didn’t sit well with me. I wanted us to be a unit, to be a team, to be the Crawfords. I didn’t want to feel like an outsider in my own family. I didn’t want to be the odd one out.
So the more I thought about it, the more I came to the realisation that this actually means a lot to me. And come on, Crawford is a pretty cool name so why wouldn’t I want to adopt that.
Axl and I spoke about it and he saw my point. He understood what it means to me to one day share the same name with my child and for us to be a family unit. He too wanted us to be the Crawfords as well. Maybe we are a bit traditionalist after all?
Don’t get me wrong here, I know people who don’t get married, have kids, have different names and it works for them. I am happy for you! Do what works for you! I don’t want to come across like I am passing judgement. I know that how I feel about an issue isn’t necessarily how others feel about it and that’s okay. That’s the whole beauty of it, we are all different and should be free to live life as we see fit. I am only clarifying how I feel about the name situation about my own family.
Anyway, so this was our main motivation for getting married. And because the reason was mostly pragmatic, we decided to keep the marriage ceremony itself quite basic. We wanted it to be private. We didn’t want any family involved after all a marriage is a sacred ceremony. I want to declare my love to him and him alone, without having our families listen in on me voicing my deepest feeling.
So we decided to go on about it our way.
We booked to give notice, had our interview and booked for an intimate ceremony where it was just us two and two witnesses. That was it. That was enough for us.
And so the day arrived…
It was a chilly Tuesday morning. I wore a lovely flowery blouse and baby’s breath in my hair. We got married at the Birmingham Register Office. We were in and out in less than 20 minutes …. and it was perfect. I did get teary as Axl was saying his vow, it became real right that moment. When he was saying the words I thought ‘This is it, we’re really doing this‘ and my heart just burst with happiness.
I got a wedding ring because I like to collect jewellery as timepieces of important events. I wore the earrings my grandmother had gifted me before she passed, a heart pendant necklace that was a gift from my sister and a bracelet my mom gave me for my graduation… and of course, the wedding ring from my husband. So you see what I mean when I say that jewellery related to events holds a huge sentiment for me.
We got married, then went back home for prosecco and pancakes with our two lovely witnesses (Axl’s sister and her partner). We then went ice skating and grabbed some mulled apple wine at the German market.
Was it not for the torrential rain, we would have gone for a lovely dinner as well. Instead, we got drenched, got home, showered and ordered pizza which we washed down with some lovely Bulgarian red wine. So you see, we had a perfect day just the way we wanted it. No-fuss, no big expense, but a lot of laughter and smiles.
Do I feel more secure in our relationship? Not really, I never had my doubts, to begin with so I never expected anything between us to change.
Am I happy? Yes, I am! I am over the moon!
Do I have any regrets I didn’t have the big white fairy tale wedding most people dream of? Absolutely not!
Do I feel good about being Mrs Crawford and referring to Axl as my husband? You bet your ass I do! I still feel giddy about it.
What does the family think? Both our families are chuffed to bits. A bit shocked but very much happy for us.
So there you have it, folks. We got married!
I think the important take away here is that nobody can dictate how a relationship should evolve.
There is no mould, no one size that fits all couples and at the end of the day, you have to do what feels right to you.
Relationships are personal and special, they’re all about the couple and it’s got to be reflective of you and your choice. Whether that’s living together, getting eloped, having a big wedding or anything in between, you do you!