;-)) was the moment that Grant and I were declared husband and wife.
I don’t think there was a single person at our wedding who thought that Grant and I getting married, at the tender ages of 20 and 21 respectively, was a good idea – except Grant and me, of course!
We first broached the subject of our getting married with my father a year prior to the wedding. Expecting resistance, we launched a “two-pronged attack” and cornered my father together. As expected, his immediate reaction was “definitely not, you’re way too young”. I nearly threw a fit and Grant was conspicuously quiet … he’s like that, in his opinion the best form of attack is silence (personally I think he just doesn’t like to fight).
To cut a long story short, I cried a bit, threw a few tantrums and then hatched a plan to get married the day after I turned 21, when we would not need anyone’s permission. Fortunately my father came around (I think he realized this was one argument he was bound to lose) and the day after my 21st birthday, he walked me down the aisle, albeit a little reluctantly.
In hindsight I can see why everyone was so uptight about our tying the knot – Grant was still doing his stint in the army (compulsory National Service) and hadn’t even got a job lined up for when he came out of the army 6 months after the wedding. (I then compounded the problem by falling pregnant 3 months after the wedding – talk about living on the edge!!)
People kept on asking why we were in such a hurry to get married. Now I look back myself and I wonder what the rush was about? The truth is there was no real reason to get married at that particular time, but I think we were simply ready to get married. Grant and I had been together as a couple for 4 full years and we’d been at school together since we were 11 years old. We knew each other very, very well. Quite honestly, I think we both knew about 3 months into our relationship that we would be getting married one day. So it was just a matter of waiting for that day.
The added incentive to get married at that point was that, in those days, if you were in the army and married, they would post you as near to home as possible and double your (very meagre) salary. Once we were married Grant was posted to an army camp in Durban and could come home every weekend – for us that was a big deal!
So there we were, 21 years old, poor as church mice, married for 3 months and expecting a baby. Do I regret it? The only thing I regret is being an 80s bride – that hair! I don’t regret getting married young for one moment. There’s no doubt about it, times were often tough, but if I had to do it again, I would still get married the day after I turned 21.