home / Tori Stories
Tori talks about marriage
Tori Amos married Mark Hawley on February 22, 1998.
Tori Amos and Mark Hawley were married in February in a small stone church north of London, not far from where he grew up and they both now live. Hawley has brought a new strength and joy into Amos' life, and she giggles as she reluctantly describes their wedding. "Got a nice ring," she says, displaying a flash of diamond. "Couple of 'em! It was really magical. He asked me, and I said yes. It was that simple. We're kind of shy about it. It's our little treasure."
According to her father, the Rev. Amos, the wedding was moving and traditional, with Dad walking his little girl down the aisle of the church. Tori insisted he remain off-duty. She said, "Dad you are just to be dad today," he recalls. [Us - July 1998]
"I never had a fantasy of being a bride as a child after I realised that Robert Plant would never marry me. And with Dad being a preacher, I saw too many weddings. You see, I don't think I could ever have gotten married in America."
It was in Britain, then?
In a church?
"Yep. A little old church in West Wycombe."
In this way, the details trickle out. She continues: "I don't feel an intense religious vibe here in this country. All that shaming and guilt I was brought up with, all that stuff I heard from my grandmother: you stay a virgin till you're married, then you give your body to your husband and your soul to Jesus and don't keep anything for yourself, Uh-uh, not me."
So did she promise to obey? "No, no, no. Love and honour."
And how does it feel to be married? There is a pause so long that I think she has forgotten I'm here with her. "I think I'm still in shock. I'm trying to be honest with you, and yet..."
It transpires that Tori is scared of what may happen to a woman when she marries. "I hired a physical trainer this week. I start tomorrow. I don't want to just like get married and then become a blob. I really... You see, I didn't get married because I didn't have anything to do. I really looked at this man and thought 'this person is incredibly unique and I don't want to be with anybody else.'"
This man? This person? She laughs. "I'm trying not to say his name. I know you know it but it feels more private, you know, if I don't say it. I wanted the wedding to be real private, just our friends. But family is tricky. It's like the fucking Waltons, my family - they'll all show up like critters crawling out from under the Appalachian mountains and be at your door with a banjo." Her father, however, did give her away.
"I thought about it, and if I'd got married in front of a judge, well, that wouldn't have meant anything to me. And, sure, I could have got married in the middle of the mountains and all the other nature spirits could have been there, but... In the end I tried to find a place that was very sacred. This place was an ancient site since the Bronze Age, and a pagan one before it was a church, and the vicar honoured that." [The Times (UK) - April 4, 1998]
"It wasn't medieval as much as... it's not like I ransacked the set of Camelot doing dinner theater up in Sheffield. We got married in West Wycombe and I just wanted something that... we wanted it really private. But there is a side to me that believes in magic."
It was the definitive fairy-tale wedding, then?
"Yeah. I really believe in that force, I believe in the elementals. I believe that when you call on certain forces and if you can respect them, sometimes, they are there for you. I figured if I had it where there were trees and water then maybe the fairies would show up." [Q (UK) - May 1998]
"Marriage changes your perception. It becomes a 'we,' not as a formality, but internally. Many people approach marriage without a reverence. I was never going to get married, so a commitment is very serious to me." [Chicago Sun-Times - September 24, 1998]
"...It's just how you look at marriage. You can look at it like the sitcoms on tv show it. But you also can see it like ancient mythology: a contract with another soul. Well, my idea of marriage is different from the stuff I saw on American television. Many women turn into some kind of a non-person after they're married. As if they're cut out of some housewife's magazine. I see marriage as an exciting and dangerous adventure. It is like I've entered another solar system. Emotionally I'm on a journey in space. What shall I find here...? I'm now more then ever fascinated by the dark side of the human spirit. I want to lick at what is hidden." [Oor (Dutch) - September 18, 1999]
"Marriage is an old ritual. A sacred ritual. Although a great many people break up in the end, I wanted to know how we would experience this ritual together. I've lived with other men, was monogamous and lived up to the mutual agreements. But thanks to this special ceremony the relationship is a just bit more valuable. Why? Because this ceremony has existed for centuries, it's a union with historical, cultural and spiritual value." [Oor (Dutch) - April 18, 1998]
t o r i p h o r i a
tori amos digital archive