Registrars, Readings And The Rolling Stones

10/03/2011 09:41 | Updated 22 May 2015

You'd think my bridal status would have sunk in by now given that the big day is less than five weeks away. But it was only on Friday when we met with the registrar to talk through the order of the ceremony that it really hit me: I'm actually getting married.

Bizarrely the registrar is not based, as I'd imagined, in the beautiful town hall where we're getting married but in the bowels of a London hospital. When I arrive to meet The Rock Star at the gates, I'm late and flustered. "Sorry, sorry, I got stuck in a meeting then the bus didn't turn up for fifteen minutes then..."

The Rock Star hushes me with a kiss and I feel calm again. For about five seconds. Then we get completely lost in the hospital and almost end up in the renal unit before finally stumbling upon the sign for births, marriages and deaths.

This is not the romantic excursion I'd been anticipating.

A far cry from the dusty old men in long robes that performed all the family weddings I went to as a little girl, Andrea the registrar is a young laid-back woman with a dry wit and, interestingly, a gold tooth. We instantly warm to her. She's cool.

As soon as I've finished apologising for our lateness, I realise I've forgotten to print off the passport forms I need her to sign (my passport happens to expire a week before the wedding so I need her signature to get a new one done in my married name in time for the honeymoon).

She smiles at me, flashing her gold tooth and calmly tells me I can drop the forms off at the town hall and to stop fretting. I feel instantly calm again.

"This will cheer you up," she says, handing us each a piece of paper with the order of the ceremony on it. Skim reading through, my stomach starts to do somersaults (in a good way). Where there are dotted lines I mentally fill in the blanks with our names. This is really happening.

When Andrea gets to the bit about me walking in with my dad I start to well up. I look at Dave, feeling a bit silly, and his eyes are all watery too. He squeezes my hand.

"Georgia, is there a piece of music you want to walk in to?" Andrea asks.

"Erm, it's a Rolling Stones track," I say sheepishly, expecting her to roll her eyes with disdain.

She doesn't flinch, just nods as though she thinks it's a good idea and carries on. Confirmation she is cool.

When she asks if we have any readings in mind, I hand her three poems*. Again, I expect a disapproving response. They're, shall we say, a modern view of romance.

But again, Andrea seems to like them. She even says we should keep in a rather risqué line about panties on a bedroom floor.

We leave the meeting elated. It's official: we have a rock n roll registrar for our rock n roll wedding.

*Three cheese-free wedding reading ideas

I'll be There by Louise Cuddon: A touching tale of unfaltering love in the face if life's everyday ups and downs ("[I'll be there...] When the food you most like brings you out in red rashes / When as soon as you boot up the bloody thing crashes")

I Wanna Be Yours by legendary punk poet John Cooper Clarke: Who could resist these opening lines? ("I wanna be your vacuum cleaner, breathing in your dust / I wanna be your Ford Cortina, I will never rust")

Love is... by Adrian Henri (founder of the poetry-rock group The Liverpool Scene and mate of the likes of Lennon and McCartney): Another touching story of real-life romance ("Love is a fanclub with only two fans / Love is walking holding paintstained hands").


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