Caroline & Perryn • July 2, 1993

While we're away on honeymoon, I've scheduled a series of posts about happy marriages I know, the ones that inspire me and give me hope. You can read them all here.

On what date were you married?
July 2, 1993, in Caroline's hometown of Edinburgh, Scotland

What do you remember most from your wedding? 
Caroline: The music really stands out in my mind – we had a wonderful soprano, Catherine Pierard, sing Mozart and Handel while we signed the register and a friend gave us a trumpeter as a wedding present, so we had the full Trumpet Voluntary as we walked down the aisle at the end.
Then the evening reception was a ceilidh, a Scottish barn dance, so there were fiddles and accordions and everyone danced for hours. My bridesmaid and I had put on a dance class for all our English friends who were coming to the wedding—as Scots, we were brought up on these dances—but the only person who didn’t turn up (because he was playing cricket two hundred miles away) was the groom himself! But not knowing the dances didn’t stop him on the day, he danced every one! I think the image of Perryn on our wedding day that will stick with me forever was him on the dance floor, shirt untucked, pouring with sweat, dancing like a maniac. We all had such a good time!

Perryn: What fantastic fun the whole day was – it was the first time my family and friends had met my theater friends and they all got on so well. We had a ceilidh band and we all did Scottish Country Dancing and it was a riot.  Honestly an event that fully lived up and beyond the expectation.

What’s your advice for building a happy and fulfilling marriage? 
Caroline: Love, of course, but underpinned by tolerance, patience and friendship.

Perryn: The best advice I can give is to make sure that you start off with finding the right person. This seems obvious but if the person you are with is your emotional and intellectual equal, you share the same sense of humour and the spark of friendship and attraction is there then it becomes much harder to screw it up!  People talk about working hard at a marriage and by that I think that they mean that you should not take your partner for granted—and that is not easy (but is hardly work!)

Anything you know now that you wish you had known when you got married? 
Caroline: To be honest, looking at our wedding photo now—from eighteen years, three children, four houses, three cities, one continent later—I barely recognize either Perryn or myself. We look so young and excited. I am very glad that no one told us that day what the next eighteen years would bring, I think I would have been frightened witless! I suppose, it’s like having a baby, all the fuss is made of the wedding day/the baby’s birth, but some thought really should have been given to the hard work which comes after. Because holding a marriage together amid all the pressures of careers, money, children, in-laws etc, can be hard work. Of course, it’s great fun too, but can sometimes feels like you are riding a roller-coaster with a blindfold on—you never can tell what exhilarating sheer drop or long hard climb is just round the corner.
But, since my parents are about to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, we have some solid role models to look to for the next 32 years of our marriage!

Perryn: I don’t care who tells you differently—You can never know on your wedding day that you have found the right person. I never knew how strong we would need to be with the challenges that we have faced, but when we were thrust into a situation that no one could see coming we both had no doubts about how we would deal with those challenges—together and as a team. I guess that means we found the right partner!

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