Wedding Part III (Pt 1)

Here’s a theory: The fancier you make your wedding invitations, the more you increase the expectation that the wedding will be of corresponding fanciness.

Like a few months ago a friend of Gareth’s got hitched. The event was announced by a posh, creamy envelope swishing through the mail slot. The two of us gawked at the invitation in horror. The embossed lettering. The silk ribbon. The date spelled out in proper words. The lack of exclamation marks.

Finally, Gareth broke the silence. “How SHIT were our wedding invitations compared to this?”

“I knooooooooooow!”

We really did have rubbish wedding invitations. Some background if you’re new around here – Gareth and I eloped last March in the madness of Las Vegas. This was followed by parties in both Scotland (July) and Australia (October). Neither of us have ever been comfortable with being the centre of attention at social gatherings. For example, I loathed birthday parties as a child. Why give your classmates insight into all that dysfunction? Why try and meet their lofty expectations vis-a-vis party games and party food when you will no doubt fail them before you can say Home Brand Lemonade?

I initially felt the same about our wedding festivities. At least if your kiddy party was a fizzer, you could pap off the blame to your parents. But now we were the grown-ups, and I was consumed by this imaginary pressure to provide a Good Time for All.

Luckily Mary, my Mother-in-law-ship, was on the case – she’d organised the venue, the food, the flowers and the ceilidh band. All we had to do was the invitations. I knew Gareth was my soul mate the moment he uttered my exact fears: “We better not make them too fancy, we don’t want to get people’s expectations too high!”


I think I may have set them just a tiny bit too low by knocking up the invite in Microsoft Word in ten minutes. We did jazz it up with a photo from Wedding Part I complete with Elvis impersonator, but the effect was lost once it had been churned through the photocopier.

And for the final note of crapness, I mailed them off in poo-brown envelopes that I’d found up the back of the stationery cupboard at work, so ancient that I had to glue them shut.

Invitation before spellcheck.

Wedding Part II turned out to be a nice event. A good time was had by the guests in proportion to the expectations set by our lo-fi invitations. I never really stopped think how rubbish they actually looked until Wedding Part III.

The Mothership was at the helm this time and called me up to ask, “What are we doing about invitations?”

“It’s under control,” I said breezily, “I’ll just edit the date on the Scottish invite and email it to you. All you have to do is hit Print!”

“That doesn’t sound very classy.”

“People don’t expect me to be classy!”

When we arrived in Australia the week before the Big Day (which is now actually a year ago. I’m right on the ball with these blog entries, hey?), I was calm and serene. I was not feeling in the least bit stressed about the connubials. After all, I was a veteran by then! I was more concerned with catching up with friends and getting my mitts on my first decent mango in two years.

But this all changed at Jenny’s house. She was cooking us dinner when I saw the familiar picture on her fridge. Gareth, Elvis and me. But it was in colour. On fancy marbled paper. With elegant fonts.

“Oh no,” I squawked. “Is that the wedding invitation?”

“Sure is! Your Mum did a great job eh?”

“She did do a great job! That’s terrible!

“Why?” “It’s far too fancy,” I whined. “It’s too nice. It sets false expectations! People will show up thinking it’s going to be a really fancy wedding but it’s just a wee party with me trying not to burst out of my dress and they’re all going to be disappointed and HATE me!”

I should have known The Mothership wouldn’t just stick the invitation through the photocopier. She always has to do things properly. Now I had to deal with all this pressure.

I started thinking about my friends who were travelling from far flung corners of Australia for the party, and calculated that the greater the distance one had to drive to get to a wedding, the more one should expect to be shown a good time! I’d say this expectation increases by a factor of ten for every 100 kilometres travelled. And the prettiness of the invitation made it look like a Proper Event. Before when it was just a crappy Word document, I didn’t have to take it seriously. I didn’t have to worry about Wedding Politics, and who I had or had not invited; who I had or had not offended. I didn’t have to think about the Family Issues I’d been ignoring for years, with the paternal side feuding to the point of Jerry Springer-ness (actually I wish they would hit each other over the head with chairs; some mild concussion or amnesia would do everyone some good).

The Word document meant no pressure and low expectations, so I’d be able to tell any offended parties, “Oh you didn’t miss out on much! It was just a naff little party!”. But now I was wracked with guilt and panic. The Mothership reassured that my worries were unfounded. People weren’t expecting a Broadway production – they were just happy to come along and catch up with everyone; to eat and drink and find out if my Scottish husband was real or imaginary. But for the days leading up to Wedding Part III I was a melodramatic mess. It had taken six months, but I was finally having my Bridezilla moment.

About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m Shauna, an author, copywriter and content mentor. I love telling stories about life and helping others to tell theirs.

Find out more about me and how we can work together – I’m now booking for January 2022.

18 thoughts on “Wedding Part III (Pt 1)

  1. Dear Shauna – the more that I read of your blogs the more I realise that there are people out there who think the same as me. I don’t like to be the centre of attention at parties either and can completely understand the kid party truama. I always felt better after the party was over. As regards weddings,I could never understand the belief that little girls spent years dreaming about their wedding day and when they grew up, spent so much time and $ on it. Then again……….perhaps that’s why I’m divorced!

  2. My family is the same too. My son’s wedding party invitations were not dissimilar from yours (the party was 3 months after the wedding; a hog roast and ceilidh band).

    My daughter’s, a year later, were pretty but hand-written, decorated with dried flowers. The party was the day after the wedding, which was family only. Hog roast & ceilidh band – as the first time round had been a big success.

    My wedding party was more formal and so were the invites, but it was 3 months after the 3-guest wedding.

  3. I think it’s great that today with the use of PCs you can personalize your own invitations. Our wedding invites (25 years ago) were sold in packets of 10 from the local newsagent, & then all the information was hand written. My parents weren’t spending more $ than they had to. And where do these invitations end up? Usually, in the trash bin after the event, don’t they?

  4. Hey, my anonymous commenter is back! You may remember them from the Low Quality Supermarket, Low Quality Person comment from a few months ago. I’m assuming this is sarcasm Anon? If so, why hang around if you don’t like it, eh?

  5. Re Anon commentator – delete it! It’s your blog and you’re the editor. If it is a real non-sarky comment the person will understand and if it isn’t well why allow them to pollute your space.

    I have to say that elvis invitation was a bit pants. Good on your mum for jazzing it up a bit.

  6. Your mom sounds a LOT like my mother which is the reason we decided to elope as well. We flew off to New Orleans eight years ago this month and got stuck in a hurricane!
    After my mother got over the shock that we were already married, she threw us a “shower” with about 75 people! (A handful of them were actually OUR friends). It was way out of hand! Then we took the money that we would have spent on he wedding and bought our first house.
    Not exactly a fairy tale wedding but it worked for us. Sounds like it worked for you guys too.

    Can’t wait to read the next one!

  7. ganching! nah, i don’t really see it as pollution, it does liven up the place. it would be bloody boring if everyone just kissed my arse. it just annoying that it’s anonymous…

    cheers for the comments dudes, and the wedding stories… always like to hear how other people did it 🙂

  8. I so wish we’d done the eloping bit! Great move on your part!!! We waited 13 years until everyone was sure it was never going to happen, just to increase that ‘expectation pressure’. I designed & printed the invitations myself… and thought they looked fantastic… I also insisted on making my own dress (which turned out brilliantly thanks to hubby’s patient help) and the two bridesmaids dresses (not such a success). Much money was spent… a great time was had by all… (even though I’d invited my mother, my father, mum’s current husband and TWO of her ex’s – now there’s a family drama waiting to happen) and you know who the only disappointed one was? me! I’d built the thing up in my OWN mind so much, I couldn’t possibly live up to my own expectations. And the saddest thing? I keep wondering how long it will take for me to convince hubby to ‘renew our vows’ so I can do it ‘properly’ this time… man, am I building myself up for a fall!!! I wish I had your attitude ;D

    (sorry about the saga, but you DID say you liked hearing other people’s stories…)

  9. Happy anniversary! And by the way, K was entirely right about removing staples via the front. All these years I’ve been picking away from the back! My life is transformed.

  10. Hi Shauny!

    I loved your post and am ANXIOUSLY awaiting the next installment. But, I had a question.

    Do you celebrate all 3 anniversaries? Or just the first one? Is the first one, the “real” one, and the others just more one more good reason to have a party?

  11. Ahhh, the weddings. When I describe this weblog to others, I kind of add a final bit on the end… “oh, and she got married to the same person 4 times – including twice with Elvis”. It kind of leaves people in silence 🙂

    Word … aaaarrgh!

    Scott F 🙂

  12. I’m the type of person that stays up into the wee hours of the night reading because I have to know what happens next.

    I love reading your blog….but the suspense is killing me!

    Hope part deux is up soon!

  13. stephene – nah we just celebrate the first one on March 3, it would get too confusing otherwise. hehe.

    rhiannon is here this weekend so will write more next week… woohooooooo take care comrades!

  14. I’m just jealous you got married by an Elvis impersonator. damn that’s cool!

    Now hurry up and tell us about your bridezilla moment!! 🙂 still love your style, Shauna!

  15. Hi Shauny and Gareth, Congratulations on your first year of marriage. We too are off to Las Vegas next month and decided it’s time to renew our wedding vows after 36 years. So much choice ! Will it be the Garden Of Lurrve wedding chapel? The Cupids Las Vegas night flight, the Elvis themed wedding, the Paris Las Vegas wedding atop the Eiffel Tower, the Star Trek wedding on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise complete with Klingons in attendance, the Sky-Dive wedding floating above a huge electric fan, the Roman wedding in Caesars Palace ? See

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