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