I know it's only symbolic in this day and age, but it comes from a time and a place where it wasn't so, and women were given - dowry and all - to the highest bidder. Married, divorced, widowed, single, in a relationship, we don't need to be 'given away' to know that we're worth millions to ourselves, and whoever is lucky enough to be in our lives.
The run up to Christmas is a golden time for engagement ring sales. If you listen carefully on Britain's high streets you can hear jewellers rubbing their hands together as clueless shoppers wander the streets looking for the perfect diamond ring in preparation for a New Year's proposal.
Your wedding day is a celebration of your commitment to each other. The people there should be happy to celebrate with you over a five-course meal, or a burger and fries. It is about the love, not the day.
To an outsider, my wedding was the same as every other wedding that season. Same wedding decorations, same flowers, same everything. I deprived myself of the excitement of looking at different designs, flicking through bridal magazines and pinning every beautiful wedding idea on pinterest. All because I saw wedding planning as just a task to be completed.
The girl who travels spent her teenage years plotting her escape; knowing that the simple life of 9-5 would leave her unfulfilled. Geography lessons excited her; she dreamt that one day she might climb that volcano, see the Great Barrier Reef for herself or step foot on the recently created lava islands that form the Galapagos.
When you've fought for your life, it's hard to plan too far ahead and rest your happiness on one day in the future. So, when we started talking about our wedding earlier this year, I knew there was only one way to do it. There wouldn't be an aisle. There wouldn't be a first dance. There wouldn't be a day in the Cotswolds.
Our perception of beauty and desire to be 'seen' starts when we are little. It is a learned behaviour, moulded by what society and our mainstream media portrays as beautiful or desirable.
There are a few ways in which you can make your wedding more environmentally friendly or 'green' without it costing the Earth. Small decisions can have a huge impact! And before you stop reading, I'm not going to suggest you get married in a field and then go foraging for berries! Nor will it cost you any more, actually my suggestions will likely save you some money!
Anyone who has gone through the wedding planning process knows that not only is this one of the most exciting times, but it can also be one of the most stressful. Firstly you are basically juggling two jobs, your normal job during the day and event planning in the evening! If that wasn't enough, you then have the added pressure of being 'wedding ready' for your big day
Well ladies and gents, we've talked about nice things like 'How NOT to buy a wedding dress' and 'Wedding Traditions', I figured it's time I got down and dirty with the TRUTH about wedding planning!
It's going to be the best day of your life but that doesn't mean it has to cost the earth. You really can get the wedding you want without a big budget. The easiest way to save money on your big day is to forget traditional trends. It's your day, make your own rules and you can make it unforgettable and affordable. Here's how:
Imagine spending thousands to ensure that one 24 hour period of your life is filled with beauty; from your outfit, to the ground that you walk on right down to the napkins that you wipe your face on and then the next day, you never get to see it again - because the memory card in your cousins camera failed or the flash didn't work on the disposables.
The best speeches - no matter who is giving them and for what purpose - have a few things in common - the speakers build connections with the audience. They look and sound comfortable and confident - their messages land and resonate with the audience.
You've had your big day, you looked and felt amazing, now what to do with that beautiful wardrobe filler?
As a modern western girl, who happens to be black, I felt completely ignored by the mainstream wedding industry and I wondered why, in such a multicultural UK? An unexpected familiarity began to remind me of some of the challenges with race and identity I encountered as a child and into my young adulthood.
Do I seem ungrateful? I don't mean to. If someone wants me at their big day, I'm the first one to dust off my fascinator and help them celebrate with quaffing some champagne. But I hate the thought anyone would feel obligated to have me there as an extension of who I'm with - it just seems a bit unfair.