For some reason, everyone I know has chosen this year, and this month, to tie the knot. Over the last few weeks, I’ve attended three wonderful, cake-heavy, dance-crazed weddings. I’m actually looking forward to a June breather – at my age, there are only a certain number of times one can, literally, Twist Again. But this surfeit of bliss raises two questions: what is it about May that makes it perfect for marriage, and could May nuptials, statistically speaking, make for the perfect marriage?
Let me just clarify that last bit: a new study from dating website Ashley Madison suggests there are certain months which lend themselves to a happy union. Now, in that the site is billed as the Tinder for extra-marital affairs, the data is probably as sound as the ice on your Paphos pool… but it’s interesting nevertheless. According to the responses from 108,193 of their members, it’s proposed that those who tie the knot in the winter months are most likely to enjoy a long-lasting, faithful union, while summer nuptials might ell end in tears.
But back to wedding season: a quick post on Facebook proved the trend. Almost half of those who responded had plumped for May for their Big Day. Their reasons ranged from “because it’s not too hot” to “lots of flowers around” and “my family could make it”. My favourite response came from an ex-colleague whose marriage was cemented on May 21: “Which is both of our Name Days!” Another friend (a mathematician) cited “statistics. We’re both teachers, so it had to happen during the holidays, and Easter was very late that year.”
Speaking of Easter, here in Cyprus the Orthodox church is pretty anti Lenten nuptials, so post-Easter (read: May) the marriage market tends to go mental. It’s a consideration many local couples take into account, along with the weather – which not only makes for great photos, it means your guests won’t disrupt your ceremony by continuously donning or divesting themselves of layers.
Head of Wedding Planning at Alexander the Great Hotel, Chrystalla is currently bang in the middle of the season. “We organise about 120 weddings each year, but May is always our busiest month. Couples seem to prefer the weather, and we get a lot of people flying in from the UK, Russia and Germany at this time. We’re already fully booked for May 2018, though we do have a few spaces left the following year…” September, she adds, is also popular – probably for the same reason: the weather.
But Chrystalla has noticed that while younger couples and those with families prefer the summer months (probably more able to withstand the heat) there’s a rising trend for autumn weddings. “Older couples seem to prefer October, when it’s cool and quiet; the start of the year is our least busy time.” A shame if the Ashley Madison survey is to be believed, because tying the knot in January apparently leads to years of wedded bliss. Well, in most cases…
While my colleague was married in January and has been in the happiest of couples for almost 20 years, George – a heat-hating friend – was not so successful. “She wanted May, but I held out for January because it was the only month I can wear a suit! Plus I was going ski-ing in March, so I wouldn’t have been around to help organise a May wedding. To be honest, the writing was probably on the wall from the get-go. We married mid-January and were divorced by April; so any survey which claims to predict your marital success by month is rubbish!”
It’s a good thing too, because any amount of my happily married friends have tied the knot in what are – according to the survey – the ‘maritally unsuccessful months’ of June, July and August. Including my mother, whose second marriage (to my much-beloved step-father) was cemented in the very place they’d first met: a pew in St Paul’s, Nicosia. “It was D Day, the easiest ever anniversary to remember, which I thought might come in fairly useful for my other half! We had a tiny, secret wedding, and the Dean and his wife cooked our wedding breakfast. It was simply wonderful!”
By choosing D Day as an anniversary never to forget my mother’s stratagem was more common than you might think. Emma, a childhood friend, chose February 14 for this very reason, and my colleague Mary married “on April 22, because we were both born on a second of the month, and two and two side by side is 22!”
“When it comes to choosing the month – and the day – of your wedding, this is a frequent trend,” suggests Stella Virdi of Exclusive Weddings Cyprus, a professional wedding planner with more than 15 years’ experience. “July 7 this year” – think about it! – “has been booked out for months, and August 8, 2018 is a similar story – there’s a ring about them, they stand out or they’re symbolic in some fashion.
However, May is definitely the busiest month, she concludes, “especially destination weddings where you’re getting the ceremony, a holiday and a honeymoon all in one. And whether you’re a local or a tourist, the reason for choosing May is ultimately the same: quite simply, it’s the weather! Oh, and nothing, no survey, no choice of auspicious date,” asserts the expert, “can predict the future success of a marriage… Whatever the reason or season, it’s down to the couple themselves to make it work!”
‘May’ they all succeed!
Original Article: Alix Norman, Cyprus Mail