In Flight Magazine - - IN THIS ISSUE - Nicky Fur­niss

“My ma­tric dance dress has to be PER­FECT!” This over­heard at the hair­dresser, while a teen tried to jus­tify why her dance dress came from a de­signer’s stu­dio and prob­a­bly cost more than the GDP of a small South Pa­cific is­land na­tion. “Who knows how many times I’ll get mar­ried, but I’ll only ever have one ma­tric dance!”

I couldn’t fault her on the logic – but also found it quite a sad in­dict­ment on the way we have come to view mar­riage. And wed­dings too, for that mat­ter.

My best friend re­cently got mar­ried. On the morn­ing of the wed­ding, her mum and her niece and the four brides­maids (my­self in­cluded) gath­ered at the venue to get ready. It was a lovely sunny day, and in-be­tween tak­ing turns to get our hair and makeup done, we col­lapsed on a large cushy sofa and sipped cham­pagne and joked and laughed.The bride prob­a­bly more so than the rest of us.

You couldn’t get a more laid-back per­son than my friend Nuria. She has never been one to sweat the small stuff, but even the most chilled of peo­ple are sus­cep­ti­ble to some wed­ding-day jit­ters and oc­ca­sional “Bridezilla” Jekyll and Hyde mo­ments. Not so, Nuria. But, in the end, I think this had more to do with the per­son she had cho­sen to marry, than her per­sonal de­meanour.

The make-up artist re-it­er­ated my thoughts. As I sat on a stool and she worked magic on my face, I – be­ing a typ­i­cal jour­nal­ist – quizzed her on all the wed­dings she’d worked at, which venues were the best, which dresses were the pret­ti­est.

She sur­prised me when she said: “I ac­tu­ally like the more ma­ture wed­dings the best.” (By “more ma­ture” she meant pretty much any­one in their midthir­ties and above.) “Why?” I asked.

“Be­cause for the older cou­ples, it’s usu­ally very ap­par­ent that they’re mar­ry­ing for the mar­riage and not for the wed­ding,” she ex­plained. “The younger brides often get caught up in the de­tails and how it all looks, as op­posed to the rea­son they’re get­ting mar­ried in the first place.” She went on to say the younger brides are the ones who are more likely to throw a tem­per tantrum be­cause the roses are not the “ex­act” shade of white they wanted, or be­cause the brides­maids’ hair looks bet­ter than theirs.

“With the older cou­ples, though,” she added, “you can often tell that they re­ally love each other, and the day is about the other per­son and not the ta­ble dec­o­ra­tions.”

It was then that I re­alised that that was ex­actly why Nuria was so re­laxed – and why, in­deed, Meghan Markle (now the Duchess of Sus­sex) looked so calm and happy on her re­cent wed­ding day. Be­cause when the wed­ding is a cel­e­bra­tion of your love for your part­ner, who cares if you for­got the garter at home?

So I guess, in a weird way, the vain teen in the hair­dresser made a good point. By all means, ob­sess about your ma­tric dance dress, and your shoes, and your hair, and your limo to your heart’s de­sire, be­cause you’re young and beau­ti­ful and it’s all about you. But when it comes to her wed­ding, I hope the only thing she chooses to flaunt is the per­son she’s cho­sen to marry, and that all he wants to flaunt is her.

And I hope the rest of us could be equally as blessed.

Happy Trav­els

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