This time next year Chris and I will be getting ready for our wedding. The planning is well underway and we’re starting to get really excited. We’re also really pleased that we opted for 2017 and not 2016, because this morning the news that the UK is leaving Europe would have cast a shadow over much of the day.
It’s bad enough that we’re leaving Europe, but now Nigel Farage and others are billing June 24th as independence day.
‘I don’t want to get married on independence day,’ I told Chris this morning. ‘We’ll have to cancel the wedding.’
That’s how I felt. I’m being forced to leave Europe when I really want to stay. My home town of Barnsley voted 68% to leave. I didn’t. I voted to remain. I even made a show of myself in the polling station because they gave me a pencil and not a pen and I didn’t want to risk anyone tampering with my vote.
‘The box is sealed.’ The man at the polling station talked me through the process, but handed me a biro anyway. ‘Someone could Tipex it out if they really wanted to,’ he added.
‘It’s fine,’ I laughed. ‘I just don’t want Boris changing my vote.’ I was confident we’d stay in Europe. I was even joking about it.
When we woke up this morning, my first thought was that it’s a year till our wedding. We’ve booked a meal at the venue this evening to celebrate. Then I remembered. ‘What’s the result?’
I turned the radio on. Someone was being interviewed and we couldn’t decide if we were in or out. Chris reached for his phone. ‘Out.’ He sat on the edge of the bed, staring at his phone. ‘Out!’
June 24th 2016. The day we left Europe.
I may have started ranting. Then Barnsley got a mention and I started ranting some more. Then Nigel Farage was interviewed and started going on about independence day, and I could have picked the radio up and thrown it through the window.
‘The wedding’s off.’ I sipped the cup of tea Chris had made me to calm down. ‘And we’re moving. We’re going to Australia. I’m calling Clare and auntie Lynn.’
‘Let’s not be hasty,’ Chris remained calm. ‘They’ll not have an independence day.’
‘They bloody well will. On my wedding day!’ I ranted a bit more. ‘Why out of all the days in the year did we decide to get married on June 24?’
When we first started planning the wedding we were going for 22nd July, which is the day we got together all those years ago (10 this year). We went to a colleague’s wedding as just good friends (see pics), but then we had a few too many, and had so much fun that we got together. July 22nd would have been a good day to marry, but it is the day after my birthday. I didn’t want to have two celebrations so close together for the rest of our lives.
So, we decided to choose another day, a day that was important to both of us, a day that reflected our life. We chose June 24, midsummer’s day because we love this time of year. We love the long hours of daylight. We love walking the dogs and running and riding the horses. We love being outdoors. June 24th seemed perfect.
The vicar at our local church said he’d already got a wedding on that date. We could have any other date but not that one, unless we got married at 11am. By this time I’d got my heart set on June 24th. Eleven o’clock is early for a wedding, but I was adamant that this was the day and time. It also gave us more hours to celebrate after the ceremony.
The vicar agreed. The venue we wanted was free. Everything has slotted into place. Then along came the referendum and talk of independence day.
As Chris left for work, I reminded him about our meal out tonight.
‘So the meal and the wedding’s still on?’ he asked.
Given that we’ve already paid deposits for the photographer, marquee, venue and the church, it will have to go ahead. June 24, our wedding day, and what could forever be known as independence day.
‘At least we’ll never forget our wedding anniversary.’