Jane Austen and Gretna Green

I hate my wedding photos. More specifically, I hate me in the photos. Everyone else looks terrific and the photos themselves are wonderful. It’s just me. I was 7 months pregnant when Ben and I got married and I was fat. I put on 17kg during my pregnancy with Daniel which is rather a lot. I also paid someone to do my hair and makeup and she didn’t do a very good job and now I cringe when I see myself in those photos. And lastly, the New Zealand sun is so bright, way too bright, and I’m squinting in all the outdoor photos. I also got sunburnt that day. Damn sun.

So for a little while now I’ve been hatching a crazy plan to redo our wedding photos. You know, before I get too many more grey hairs and wrinkles. I know this is really dumb and shallow but hear me out; there’s more to it. My plan involves running off to Gretna Green to renew our vows. I am a big Jane Austen fan and Gretna Green has always been a fascinating place for me. As a 14-year-old I fell in love with Mr Darcy. I never had any boyfriends at school, and let’s face it, how many 14-year-old boys can compete with Mr Darcy? Then I read every Jane Austen book I could get my hands on and Gretna Green features in lots of them. This is where young couples elope.

In the 18th Century, couples in England couldn’t get married until the age of 21 unless they had their parents’ permission. In Scotland, however, couples could marry without their parents’ permission from the age of 16. This led to young couples in England running off to Scotland to be married and Gretna Green was the first village past the border. So when the 16-year-old Lydia disappeared with Mr Wickham in Pride and Prejudice, Lydia’s family naturally hoped they had gone to Gretna Green. But alas they had not.

We had friends and family around us when we were married and that was wonderful and I’ll always remember it. Now I just want some nice photos. This time it’ll just be the four of us (Me, Ben, Daniel, Elizabeth) and a Highland Coo or two. images

22 responses to “Jane Austen and Gretna Green”

  1. You look great in all the pictures you share with us. You are so spontaneous. I can’t imagine you posing for a picture.
    Renewal of vows is a wonderful idea. 🙂

  2. Pictures don’t matter as much as the person you are marrying- For me, I think I would stick to the original ones!- perhaps that is why some people get married more than once? Still my kids are a bit put out they missed that party!

  3. I wonder if Ben would wear a tie for the occasion…? I think he had one for both graduations from Otago University. My husband wore a kilt for our wedding then had one made- He put it on for the first photos with the birth of each of our 3 kids- of course after all the messy stuff was done!

  4. I’m also a big Jane Austen fan 🙂 so I do see the appeal of Gretna Green. How about an anniversary party with photos maybe, if you didn’t want to re-do the whole wedding thing? Or any special birthday/event 🙂

    • Well, it wouldn’t be redoing the whole wedding thing. Just renewing vows, taking some photos, then having a nice meal with the family. I also need an excuse to wear a dress I have in my wardrobe. When we first got engaged I wasn’t pregnant and I bought a dress to get married in. It’s not really a wedding dress but it is very formal and I’ve never had anywhere to wear it. Then when I got pregnant I ended up being too fat to fit into the dress. It fits me again now of course and it’s such a gorgeous dress that I really want the chance to wear it at least once.

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