Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Proposal pandemic

Everyone is getting married.


At least that's what my Facebook feed has told me during recent months.

Clearly my friends are hitting that stage of life when it's time to "get serious", "settle down" or whatever other euphemism you'd like to use.

Whichever way you look at it, love is in the air.

But this marriage caper is serious business.

Not too long after the proposal comes the wedding planning.

It's a time when at least of one of the two involved pretends this is the first time they've ever contemplated their wedding day (but just happens to have all the suppliers booked and draft event running sheet completed the day after the proposal).

There's the venue (church, garden or other?), the catering (sit down or cocktail?) and of course the costuming to be considered.  And just who is going to sit next to newly-divorced Aunty Joan and listen to her waffle on about how Uncle Barry has run off... with the butcher!

Yes indeed.  There's some big decisions to be made.

I'm a fair distance from wandering down the aisle myself (unless it's by myself), but any talk of marriage reminds me of Lake Bled in Slovenia.
Lake Bled in the Julian Alps

Honeymooners may want to waft around Venice, but Lake Bled seems to be a magnet for marriage.

And for good reason.  It's ridiculously pretty.

Fortunately (for me) you don't need to have a ring on your hand to visit.

Slovenia has always struck me as a strange country.   It seems to always be mistaken for Slovakia and initially you're tempted to put it further east in Europe than it actually is.  I cruised through it from the Croatian coast on the way to Vienna in Austria.

But being slightly forgotten or misplaced on the global scene hasn't dampened its appeal.

Lake Bled epitomises the mountainous and watery beauty Slovenia has in store.

For newlyweds, it's Bled Island, with its centuries-old church, overlooked by medieval Bled Castle, that is the main drawcard.

Bled Castle overlooking Lake Bled
Bled Island on Lake Bled

Bled Island

The church and bell tower sits at the top of a Baroque stairway, featuring 98 stone steps dating back to the 17th Century.

The steps of Bled Island
Boats ready to head to Bled Island

Local folklore dictates that it is good luck for a groom to carry his bride up these steps before ringing the church bell and making a wish.  As a result, it's not unusual for the island to look like some sort of  formal bootcamp as suited guys throw their wives over their shoulder and charge up the steps (or at least try to make it to the top).

Lake Bled is also one of those unique locations that looks good no matter what the weather.  While all couples hope for blue skies on their wedding day, on a rainy day the lake becomes more intimate as the clouds close in and the lake becomes a giant mirror.

Lake Bled on a cloudy day
By the water's edge
Friendly local
There's not too many instances in wedding planning where I'd condone bridezilla behaviour, but couples take note - Lake Bled is one place that's worth putting your foot down and throwing a tantrum for.

And for single onlookers, the memory of grooms dropping their brides on Bled Island's steps (and the ensuing first fight as a married couple) will be your cheery companion for many years to come.

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