To Have & To Hold… And All The Questions

Flashback to a few weeks ago, when I went to my friend’s beautiful wedding here in Arequipa. There I was craning my neck, trying to spot her in the distance, feeling the butterflies in my stomach flutter faster and faster, clutching my camera and waiting for THE MOMENT. The moment when she would start walking up the aisle on her father’s arm. When she would have to focus on smiling, on putting one foot in front of another without falling, and when she would see him in the distance. The man waiting for her by the altar. The man she would grow old with.

After I wiped that solitary tear away and settled down for the religious part, my mind started spinning with so many questions (encouraged by the fact that I may have zoned out a little…). Questions which I’ve also been asked quite a few times in the past few weeks, incidentally. But Em, you’re not even religious, why is this tugging at your heart strings so much? This idea of two people joining their lives together, in this place, her in white and him in a suit, why do you find it so absolutely beautiful? So unconditionally exquisite?

The answer is, I don’t know. Maybe in my mind I separate the notion of religion from the idea of marriage. What I can say with certainty is that the tradition of it, her walking up the aisle, the rose petals on the ground, him waiting for her up there, the exchanging of rings, everything about it opens up my heart, creates a rainbow above my head and makes heart shapes pop out of my eyes. I felt so raw, so exposed right there in the church, as if all the guests could see into my heart and were secretly complaining about all the red roses sprouting out of my ears. I clasped L’s hand tight, and felt the warmth of his skin as the questions continued to bounce around inside my brain. “But how would it even work? Who would marry us? That person would have to say everything in 3 languages simultanesouly… Would I actually wear white? What would be the message if the ceremony, if it wasn’t a religious one? Could we have a massive barbecue, a taco stand and a cupcake-decorating workshop instead of the traditional sit-down meal?” ARGH. I would hate to think it stems from me being an emotional, hormonal female, there’s nothing I reject more than gender stereotypes. But I mayyyy have been riding the hormonal train that day, let’s be real.

With so many parts of my life right now, I’m kind of coming to the conclusion that I just don’t know. How frustrating yet highly liberating at the same time. I don’t know why I don’t believe in God, yet right there and then in the church there were little flying cherubs playing the harp around my heart. Shout it out loud with me, all together now: I. DON’T. KNOW.

The bride in question, my friend Diana, looked incredibly beautiful and so, so in love. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

A few days before going to the wedding, my friend Rachel asked me if there were any differences between Peruvian weddings and American/European ones. The truth is, the only real difference worth mentioning is the Latino music and food (spicy nibbles all the way!).

I’ll let you see for yourself, in pictures…


Starting off with a cheeky outfit pictures in the mirror (#OOTN). When you don’t have anyone to take a picture of you, and you only have 4 minutes before you really should start panicking over where your keys are, and over how your clutch bag can’t fit everything you need to feel human and vaguely glamorous until at least 3am.

Outfit details: Sinéquanone dress from France (Summer 2014), heels from Éram, again from France (Autumn 2014). I indulged in getting my hair braided at my local salon, and greatly enjoyed that spot of me-time. Something about having my unpredictable mane in the hands of somebody else, knowing after half an hour I’d be feeling renewed and pretty and ready to take on the world once I stepped into that bright sunshine again with newly swishy hair… something about it feels so exquisite. That’s how I felt that night.

Anyway, back to the night of love, vows and loud Latino music.



The moment when my mascara mayyyy have started to run down my face…


and… the first dance!



My friends Jeame and Bernie


That moment when he jokes around, down on one knee but causes me a mini heart-attack…


Friends and the bride!



Sitting in the back of the taxi, on the way home with my head spinning slightly and thoughts zooming around my head with no coherent sense, I came to the realisation once again that the answers to all those wedding-y and marriage-y questions will come one day, in due time. I don’t have to figure everything out just yet. And dare I say, it’s kind of exciting not knowing where I stand about it yet, in a sense.

What about you? Where do you stand on weddings? (and hands up please if you end up packing tissues in that clutch bag along with your keys and lipstick…)


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  1. I used to be like you, going all googoo over weddings and marriage. And then I stayed single for forever and it felt like I met every douchebag on a dating site in London. And now I’m less romantic and starry – eyed and a lot more realistic. Maybe it’ll sound like a downer but I don’t believe in “the one”. How could I? That would mean pretending like there’s just one pair of jeans you could wear for the rest of your life. But there isn’t is there? There’s bootcut, skinny, straight, cropped, wide leg, boyfriend fit… They all fit you, just differently. Some you’ll have for years, others will break after a few months. I think we can love many times in our lives and each will be special in a way. For those who think me a total party pooper, of course I want to get married. The dress, the party, the idea of growing old together. .. But if it doesn’t work out, you don’t have to stay. Which doesn’t mean running at the first sign of trouble obviously. And you could do it more than once. And I’m definitely going for a non – religious ceremony. Not that it’s happening any time soon mind you.

    • Emilie Walker

      Don’t worry it’s not happening anytime soon for me either! 🙂 I really agree with what you said, especially the part about the different types of jeans.
      I don’t know if my BF is “the one” in the traditional sense, but I do know I can’t imagine my life without him, and for me that’s more than enough. And yup, for me too it would have to be a non-religious ceremony, otherwise it would be totally hypocritical! And I DO want the white dress and the walk up the aisle etc, I want all that so much, even though I’m most definitely a feminist and non-religious… odd. Anyhoo, I don’t think you’re a party pooper, you’re just honest and you know what you want, which I really value!

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