Lucky in Love

I’m not sure whether bridal charm of choice depends more on where you grow up, or family tradition. All I know is that I was adamant that on my wedding day I REALLY wanted a horseshoe. I don’t think I hinted to anyone that I was expecting/hoping for at least one trinket to dangle off my wrist, but boy did my family come through!

I hadn’t even considered how much I wanted wooden spoons until I was handed two. One had been lovingly handpainted by my sister and the other was fit for a Princess, white and glittery. From my Dad came the biggest, tackiest silver plastic horseshoe he could find. Good old Dad. From my Mom a much more restrained, gorgeous tiny gold horseshoe, and from my Uncle and Aunt a larger gold horseshoe embossed with hearts. Cousins on my new husband’s side gave me more modern interpretations of these good luck charms – wooden hearts on rope and letters on wire.

These good luck charms meant the world to me. I’m an old fashioned gal, and I know being adorned with a variety of clashing, clunking wrist furniture would not please every bride. For me though, the humblest wooden spoon filled me with an overwhelming sense of being loved. These offerings conveyed the sincerest of wishes for our marriage. They will be on show in my house always, as I will treasure them always.

Most of us know the rhyme ‘Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’ but did you know there’s more? ‘A silver sixpence in your shoe’ is apparently part of the same ryhme. Traditionally, the Father of the Bride provides the sixpence for his daughter to wear in her shoe as she walks down the aisle. How lovely, I wish we had known that.

Horseshoes are said to be lucky for a number of superstitious reasons. As well as being said to ward off witches, and the devil himself, the metal iron is said to be lucky as is the very shape of the shoe, representing a crescent moon.

Wooden love spoons were made by men in Wales while courting. The spoons would be carved intricately to show the depth of feeling the hopeful gent held for the lady.

The four leaf clover doesn’t seem particularly associated with wedding luck, but is considered lucky because of its rarity. They carry lovely symbolism, with their leaves meaning in turn: faith, hope, love and luck. Very apt for a wedding then.

We wish newlyweds luck with our words and gifts without really believing that any amount of luck can really make for a successful marriage. Still, it is a caring sentiment to wish the happy couple the smoothest transition into their new lives together; to wish them no untoward misfortune as they make their way together as husband and wife; to wish them patience and resolve in times of difficulty. We wish Brides and Grooms luck in marriage, not luck in love, because they have already had that in finding in each other.

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Marriage: a name-changing event?

One of the things you’ll want to decide in the run up to your wedding day is what to do with your names.You don’t need to decide so that you can tell the Registrar what name to enter on your marriage certificate, because no married surname will be entered on the mariage certificate. A marriage certificate changes your legal marital status only and not your name at all. Your legal names will remain as they were before the ceremony, on your marriage certificate. You will want to decide on your names however, so that your Wedding Celebrant knows what to announce you as at the end of the ceremony. Your guests will want to write your new married surname on cards and cheques. It’s a really nice idea to let them know your intended surname on the wedding invitations.

It’s no longer just the Bride who must decide to keep or lose her maiden name. You both have several options, but what are they?

No change. If you love your surname, and don’t mind it differing from your partner’s, you can opt to keep your names as they are. I wanted our children to have the same name as both of us so we didn’t go down this route even though I love my maiden name.

You both take the Groom’s name. If the Bride isn’t that attached to her surname, and the couple want to go with the most traditional name option, the Groom can keep his name, and the Bride can take his.

You both take the Bride’s surname. If like us, one of you has a relatively common or boring name and the other has a name that means alot to the family, you can both take the Bride’s surname. A good alternative to the traditional option if you want to share your surname.

Double-barrelling. If your names are equally important to you or you want to emphasise the joining of two families and you two as individuals, consider double-barrelling. The order is up to you and you can hyphenate or not bother. We went with the order that rolled off the tongue best and had the nicest ring to it. I also got to keep the familiar transition from first names to surname instead of it being interupted by the other surname. Win for me! We went with the double-barrelling option despite it resulting in quite a long name. One compromise is that we will run out of space for our names on certain forms and we now have to be more considerate when naming our children, but it’s worth it for the other reasons.

Meshing. A way around a really long double-barrelled name for those couples who dare to break the mould is meshing the two surnames together in an order that works. Half the surnames and butt them together and see what works. For us it would have meant CATLEY + RICHARDSON … Catardson? Richardley? Catlerdson? Richley? You can see why we double-barrelled!

What’s the deal with Deed Poll (UK)?

Deed Poll is the only way to legally change your name, whatever you choose to call yourselves. In theory you could refer to yourselves socially as your new married surname without changing your name with your bank, without changing your passports, without notifying companies you use, of the name change. The important thing to remember is that your passport must match the name you are travelling under. Your passport does not need altering just because you have married. Only if your name has been changed must you change your passport. What this means for us is that if we travel abroad our trip will have to be booked in our unmarried names until we change the passports. Banks will generally change your name if you present your marriage certificate, contrary to what the Deed Poll website tells you. If you want everything to match your bank account name, then your passport will need changing at some stage. This can be done without Deed Poll too, although the cost of a new passport could put you off by itself. The DVLA will accept just your marriage certificate to change your name providing that a clear link can be seen between the names on your certificate and what you are trying to change your name to. If you are meshing your names, you might have more trouble than if you are double-barrelling. As far as I can tell, you can name your children after your chosen married surname on their birth certificate without ever having legally changed your own surnames to the surname you give your children. And finally, because children (even babies!) now need their own passports, having a different surname to yours will not complicate your passport situation.

Ms. or Mrs.

Ladies, it’s up to you. While Mrs is the traditional title for married women, Ms might be more appealing to you and still set your status apart from the pre-marriage Miss.

Monograms

The nice thing is, no matter what you decide to call yourselves after your wedding, you can use all of the initials from your names in a monogram which can be used throughout your wedding. Your wedding day is that unique cross over moment of past, present and future. You are at once celebrating your former singles lives, and so your former single surnames; and your new lives together and your new married surnames. Monograms elegantly combine one or more initial into a coherent symbol. So you could try combining the initials of your first names or your old surnames, or choose to use the initials from your new shared surname combined with your first name initials. If you like the idea of a monogram, there are lots of monogram generators online. Do use them, instead of giving up (like I did) when my freehand efforts failed to impress my own exacting standards. Monograms can feature on all your wedding stationary, favours, your cake, and even in your flowers and are a lovely symbolic expression of the meaning of marriage.