Home Decor

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imageI love decorating a home and making it feel cosy. I often think it’s something you can’t rush but needs to evolve over time. Mr B has done lots of decorating, 98% in our current home. Every inch has been painted- walls and ceilings. Now we are onto the gardens. We used to say he does the decorating and I do the soft furnishings. I’m also in charge of colour schemes, since he really isn’t bothered whether there is one or whether things match.

Moving in with someone is exciting but tricky. Not only do you open yourself up to the other person seeing everything you own including anything embarrassing, but it also allows for disagreements in personal taste.
Apparently in a couple, when one moves into the other’s home, the owner can get annoyed when something is moved and the other person feels they don’t have a say (http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/2558978). It is difficult in my opinion- having moved in with Mr B into his house I know how hard it can be when it’s not an equally shared home. According to the following article, rooms get designated “mine” and “yours”. Apparently the answer for newlyweds is to combine styles (Luxurious Minimalism- by photographer Fritz von der Schulenburg and writer Karen Howes.) However, I personally think it’s healthy to each have a little space you can call your own, whether this be a whole room or a bedside table.

Our more recent tale (since buying a house together) is of the boat and the lamps… When I emptied the loft at my old house and moved everything into our joint home, I brought with me 2 lamps that I inherited from my gran. I love them, not only do they remind me of her but I love the vintage pictures on them. Mr B does not like them. He suggested places in the house they could go, that are not pride of place locations. All equivalent to putting them in the downstairs bathroom or even basement/loft. Mr B likes boats and seems to have some sort of obsession in wanting to collect them, so he purchased an ornamental boat measuring approximately 70cm. I would like to add he already has a boat lamp (that I’m equally unkeen on). And so the battle continues of how to not let the other one succeed in having their possessions (boats vs lamps) win.

The other thing about living together is sharing everything, there’s nothing that’s a mystery anymore. Mr B and I had a very domestic moment, when we were discussing where to put our toilet roll holder. It was not at all glamorous and was one of those conversations not to be had early on in the honeymoon period of a relationship. It was what I would call a proper ‘couple’ moment! So we were both crouched down by the toilet, measuring around for the toilet roll holder and deciding where it would be best to go. We had another similarly ‘couple’ moment but vaguely more appropriate, whilst sofa shopping- we had looked around and pretty much decided on the few we had narrowed it down to. What I would call the ‘carpet store’ music was playing in the background, it was very middle class, civilised, relaxed and extremely coupley. Mr B had a reflective look and didn’t say anything for a moment, then when I asked him what he was thinking he replied “We are married now aren’t we!”
“Yes, yes we are” was my reply.

Roles and division of household duties

I have a confession… Since being married, I have an overwhelming feeling that I should become the perfect housewife. I’m not necessarily proud of this- feminists would shout at me I’m sure. It’s never been a role I’ve aspired to. Yes I’ve always been quite homely and ran my own household, but to take charge completely, cook my husband’s dinner for him to come home too, decorate the house and do the cleaning- this shocked me. I also have to confess that I have a sort of 1950’s romantic idea of running the household. I think for me this vision is about the fact that I like to manage my own time, pursue creative hobbies that I have, be organised (which I am) and have a project. I love anything vintage, and I spent time with my Gran too on school holidays, at her house. She always had a lovely home- so loved, clean and well-looked after. A 2014 Telegraph report concluded that women do twice as much housework as men (even after they have done a full day at work.) Maybe we are just better at it, or do men just not see things? Mr B will have mould growing in the bathroom before he cleans it and every inch of the dining table covered with paperwork.

In reality I am sure I wouldn’t be stimulated enough to a certain extent- the school run (as I know from personal experience of working as a nanny) is highly repetitive. I also think it’s because I just want a change, and want to be more in control of my own time. Also, I like the idea of keeping my career, perhaps this is why women nowadays end up trying to do it all, we want the best of both worlds/even more than just two worlds! I have always said that I hate ironing, I actually don’t think I do hate ironing- I think what I hate is not having the time to do it. I went through a phase where I thought I really didn’t like cleaning, so for a year I had a cleaner. In reality I don’t mind cleaning, and on reflection I employed her because I didn’t feel I had time to clean my flat.

A Daily Mail report on a survey said that couples are happier and marriages last longer when men pull their weight in housework and childcare. This sharing means different things to different couples, eg taking it in turns to do a task or having completely different duties.
Mr B runs all our joint and household accounts, it’s not that I’m not capable it’s just that I’m not as interested as him, and since I work away majority of the time I’m not there to open bills. He also does a much better job, he’s the only person that I know that still keeps an old-fashioned written account book- every single penny is accounted for.

“Wives are usually better at saving than husbands..” (How to be a good wife.) Well, in our household this is definitely the other way around! One thing I took away from our marriage preparation course was that in a relationship, the person most suited to doing a particular task should be the one to carry it out. For example if the woman is better at managing the finances or if the man is a better cook then these are the roles they should take on. I like the bathroom cleaned to a certain standard, Mr B has admitted on more than one occasion to cleaning it badly in the hope that I never ask him again. However, if I want it immaculate then I don’t have a problem doing it myself. I hate gardening, Mr B loves it- he gets full custody of the garden!

Mr B and I are currently having debates about who should stay at home if and when we have children, it’s an interesting scenario and I can fully see why people employ an Au Pair or nanny. We have concluded that at the end of the day, the person with the higher salary should go out to work. We obviously may change this plan, and I’m only saying this is what we think will work for us not everyone. Perhaps if we were both in very high earning brackets then this would not be a factor. I read an article once about a lady who lived a vintage life right down to all her clothes, didn’t work, did not pay attention to politics, spent the day baking cakes and lived a relatively isolated life; on one hand I admired the simplicity of her world yet at what point does it border on ignorant. She couldn’t tell you who was prime minister- she had not taken an interest in this for at least seven years. This, for me, is not the life I want. Perhaps in conclusion, a middle ground is not a bad way to live.

So I’m off to sew some buttons, clean my flat and bake a cake now!!!

Our first falling out

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IMG_4561So after writing my last post I’m still in a happy bubble. Apparently this lasts up to 2 years, and is “like a security blanket” for Sharon Aris in her book ‘Being Married.’ It seems that sometime soon this love bubble is going to burst though. Apparently 1 in 10 brides suffer from PND- post-Nuptial depression (although it can affect men too), and I should expect a sinking sense of dread (‘Being Married- Sharon Aris.) Ah good, I look forward to that then.

It’s worth mentioning that Mr B suggested I rename this post to ‘My first marital grump’ (mine, not his)…
So our first marital falling out was whilst we were still on honeymoon.
Mr B and I had (or I thought we had) previously agreed that we would have a relaxing few days, lounging around and doing very little. He decided to take me on a walk and afterwards justified it as “I didn’t think it would take that long.” He told me I was wearing ‘inappropriate footwear’- yes, that’s because I haven’t packed for a walking holiday have I. This was our first falling out as a married couple. We didn’t argue, but I sulked and didn’t talk to Mr B for some time.
When we walked past the Sewerage farm, an hour before the falling out, alarm bells should’ve gone off for me.
Later on he informed me that he doesn’t remember at all, agreeing to the ‘no walking rule’ on minimoon. And on the way back to the hotel in the car had said “but I didn’t think that counted as walking, we didn’t start at 8am and walk all day.” My response- “It was up a cliff side and it was a good 3 miles, it’s walking.” I did later apologise for having a strop.
Mr B apologised and said he had been selfish, my reply was “mmm hmm”. I was annoyed. At one point I considered pushing him into some stinging nettles in the hedge. I actually had a debate in my head, weighing up reasons to and reasons not to. In the end I decided not to as it wouldn’t achieve anything, other than to satisfy my annoyance at the situation of cliff walking in pump shoes.
Near the car he reflectively said to me “I’m in big trouble aren’t I?”
“Yes, yes you are” was my reply.

I did some vintage reading on marriage, the advice I found included:
“Don’t ever allow yourself to be angry at the same time as your husband” and “Never allow yourself to drop into the vulgarity of shouting at your husband…” This is only allowed when the house is on fire or someone is in grave danger!
“Don’t forget that there is nothing which destroys beauty so quickly as a bad temper.”
(How to be a good wife.) All this was written in 1914.
Back in more modern times, Catherine Blyth- The art of marriage: “So if he picks a fight, you could say that, in his clumsy way, he is sending a powerful message that he cares and wants his marriage to improve.” If a husband knows how to argue well his marriage will improve.
Apparently arguments can be positive and the key is in respecting the other person’s right to a differing opinion and to work out what the row is really about.
To resolve and calm an argument we should:
1) chill- take a break from arguing.
2) make nice- show you’re listening eg “I understand”, complain about the issue not generally criticise.
3) focus on solutions.
4) create incentives rather than bully your spouse into what you want.
5) mentally stand in the other person’s shoes and decide if actually it’s not that important and is quite petty.
Apparently there are 10 issues which every couple will never resolve, marrying somebody else just brings us a different set of 10 issues! (Being Married- Sharon Aris.) Her research has also shown that fighting can be good and positive as it clears the air, but only if we fight fair. And only if each fight is taken on its own merits and not where every other little recurring thing is drawn into it.
Gary Chapman (‘Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married’) says that apologising is a sign of strength not weakness.

Back home, a few days later, we were opening all our wedding cards and unwrapping presents, which we had saved to give us something to look forward to on our return. My mother, as a jokey present, had given us both books entitled “How to be a good wife” and “How to be a good husband.” On receiving these I randomly opened mine up to a page, just to flick through and get a flavour of the book- here is the first sentence I happen to come across- “Do be careful, if going for a weekend in the country, not to let your wardrobe consist entirely of frills and furbelows. It may upset your husband if you can’t visit some beauty spot on which he is keen, because your shoes are only suitable for pavements.”
Mr B loves this joke and has reminded me of it several times since; I have had to eat my words and admit I didn’t take proper shoes (although I’m digging my heels in- pun intended- that it was not meant to be a walking holiday!)

My first reflections on being married

cakeThe day after our wedding, a family friend was helping us clear the venue and said to me that being married is wonderful. You have a best friend for life, and someone who will always take your side and support you. I found that comforting and very sweet, although it’s too early for me to say if that’s what I too feel is the best thing about married.

It does take a few days for the wedding adrenaline to wear off. I felt like I was in a happy bubble for the first few days, as if nothing could burst it and I could take on the world. My first overwhelming feeling (right after the ceremony and continuing into the first week of our marriage) was relief. Much like Frodo, after he destroys the ring in the fires of Mount Doom… I share his sentiment “It’s gone, it’s done.”

There’s such a huge sense of completion after all the wedding build up. And to get through it with relatively few hitches, sunny weather and hopefully happy guests feels like such an achievement.

The next day after we were married I did have an odd moment when I suddenly felt trapped, for want of a better word. We were sat on the sofa and I said to Mr B “What if we get bored of each other though?” Marrying him was the right thing don’t get me wrong, and I want to grow old together… It was just a reaction to the commitment I think. I just looked at him and thought “that’s it, it’s you and me forever now”.

To counter that, on honeymoon we were driving along a road in Wales, and I had an overwhelming feeling of belonging, I looked at him this time and thought “yep, you’re the one for sure”- like we are a team and it’s us vs the world.

On our minimoon I did something I’ve never done before- I was ordering some wine and I used his e mail address and went through his wallet for our joint account credit card. What had changed? Before then I would have asked… (whether right or wrong) I felt that being married allowed me to do such things in our best interests. It was an odd change, an odd feeling that I had given myself permission to do it, and something that surprised even myself.

Michele Weiner Davis, says there are 5 stages in a marriage:

1. You’re head over heels in love

2. Reality sets in and the little things annoy you

3. There are 2 ways to see things- the other person’s way or the Right Way.

4. You realise that you’re not always going to see eye to eye.

(At this point a high percentage of marriages end.)

5. Then, finally you appreciate your differences, you actually like your spouse again and you value the history you have together, and want to make it work.

What happens if you don’t get married? Maybe you move through these stages anyway. And surely you might already be somewhere along this process, if as a couple you’ve been together for some time before marriage?

Ultimately, do I feel hugely different? Not particularly. I asked Mr B if he feels differently- he said not. 3 weeks on he still says not, I can’t decide if this is a guy thing or a personality thing that maybe he was particularly prepared for marriage, which isn’t a bad thing. Personally, I do feel very comfortable and happy; I think more ‘us’ rather than ‘I’. That not a huge amount has changed is probably in part due to the fact that we live apart, as I know I have to mentally prepare myself for living back in London after one month of seeing each other every day (the longest time we have spent together, for a year.)

The day after our wedding when we saw people, mostly helping us clear out the venue, everyone kept saying “Congratulations Mrs B…” Or “Good morning Mrs B…” Maybe this will sound odd but it felt like I wasn’t ready to be Mrs anyone- I need time to change and get used to the idea (or maybe I just didn’t start mourning my single life early enough?) To me it’s a process, yes in the space of a few minutes I was married, but I feel I need time to get used to being someone’s wife- to learn what this means, to grow into it, to give up some of my old identity and ways. I’m sure people would say you shouldn’t change for anyone, but being in a relationship means you do change, and you have to otherwise you have nothing. Surely marriage is not “what do I want?” But it’s “what’s best for us a couple?”

I thought with all the wedding planning that I would see this as the end to a chapter (and quite frankly a welcome one after 18 months of wedding planning). However, it feels more like the beginning of a new one. I’m not sure specifically what I’m looking forward to- holidays, hopefully a family, living together… Nothing of any exclusiveness to marriage, but it all seems to mean more. I can’t quite put my finger on why, and it sort of annoys me as I was adamant that I would just take it all in my stride and I wouldn’t become one of those smug married women that I particularly dislike the attitude of!

Dr Phil says that we should wake up every morning and ask ourselves, “What can I do today to make my spouse’s life better?”

I like this. I like the romantic idea that if we both do this then we will be happy. I probably like it also, because I believe I’m comparatively quite selfish and I am aware I have to factor someone else in to my world, to make our marriage work. And at the end of the day, this is a change I want to make, for Mr B.

The de-wedding process, Mr B and forgetting my new surname.

28/08/14

So what, now I’m married?
A friend suggested I continue to write my blog, into the first year off marriage. So that is my plan.

The day after our wedding we spent the whole day in the process called ‘de-wedding’- unpacking boxes, washing and re-pairing up all our vintage crockery, deciding what to do with 90 water glasses and the carafes, 30 vintage books, 10 candelabras and many large picture frames.

I took my wedding dress into the dry cleaners. This was the conversation I had with the member of staff.
Him- “That’s fine, so it will be ready in one week, is that okay?
Me- “that’s fine.”
“What name do I put it under?”
“H*****. No wait, that’s not my name I just got married.”
“Well this is your wedding dress so you probably did!”
“Okay sorry it’s ‘B****’.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, should I pay now? Because my purse is in the car with my partner.”
“You mean your husband?”
“Yes. That too… Oh dear.”
Since then on 2 other occasions I’ve also forgotten I am now married. Once when filling in a form in a shop I replied “Miss, no wait Mrs, I just got married and forget.” And the second time I hesitated for some time over my surname, and the gentleman said “Have you just got married?”!

Also the day after getting married, my Maid of Honour and I were ‘face-dumped’- someone deleted us both on Facebook. It was the person I previously referred to in an earlier blog, as her and her partner had decided they were not going to come to our wedding. Ah well, they had an invite and seemingly didn’t want to be part of our day or our lives… and also don’t want to be friends on Facebook… Message received loud and clear!

Well we are currently on holiday in Wales, sorry ‘minimoon’, in Wales. I mentioned in a previous blog the irony of this- that Jon couldn’t get me to Wales in the last 5 years. Well it rained on the way here, so much we could barely see the road and all I thought was I don’t want to die on the way to my honeymoon! The iphone Sat Nav struggled to pronounce the destinations, Jon’s explanation was “Well it’s an American accent trying to pronounce Welsh town names, you’re into no-man’s land.”
It took us 2 hours on the first evening, to work out the Wifi, and even then it was often like dial-up. Grrrrr, I can’t live without Internet, how will I check Facebook?
We had the elephant family upstairs with small children. As they ran across the floor, our bed headboard actually vibrated A LOT. I don’t do mornings do didn’t really appreciate this, as you can imagine. They scream too, they are those type of kids. Sitting on the bed pre-dinner relaxing, they continued to thunder around. I told Jon me killing one of the children was imminently close, right after I do a Mr Heckles on the ceiling (with the ironing board as there’s no broomstick in the hotel room.)
Jon and I aren’t the best suited couple on holidays- he likes sightseeing and walking. I would like to sleep, read and take long baths. I also like sightseeing and City breaks, but I’m so exhausted I just want to do nothing.

Wednesday morning I managed to slice my finger in the hotel room. Fortunately my new husband (from now on, known as Mr B) had packed plasters! At least I know he’s good in a crisis.
Wednesday night (after an amazing meal at the hotel restaurant) revolved around being back in the room at a reasonable hour, to watch The Great British Bake Off, on iplayer. I thought it was cosy and romantic, Mr B’s view was different:
Him: Isn’t it a bit sad?
Me: no, I think it’s cosy and coupley.
Him: it’s a sign of the times.
Me: what, that we’re married?
Him: no, that period right before stagnation and then death.

A lost wedding cake, bike pants and the fire brigade.

26.08.14

Well, I’m married!
It was a beautiful day. The days of heavy rain sandwiched one day of just sun, which was our wedding day. Most things went to plan and I hope everyone enjoyed themselves.

The preparation the day before was crazy. We finished at 9pm, I collapsed at home to sushi, collected by my Maid of Honour and prosecco (much needed.)
The delivery of the wedding cake had dragged out the last couple of hours- My uncle got lost bless him. He rung a few times with no idea as to where he was and no Sat Nav on him. Eventually Jon went to meet him in a car park and my phone refused to pass on my Uncle’s number, leaving Jon driving around the (wrong!) car park trying to find him.

I was very nervous the morning of the wedding and couldn’t sleep at all the night before, I was awake all night (and the night after, due to excitement!) I had a moment of panic outside the ceremony room when I felt I suddenly couldn’t do it and fear took over. I stood there for what felt like an eternity, although Jon tells me it was actually about one minute.
At home that morning my father had phoned me, with the words “There may be a little problem”- not words a bride wants to hear, at 10am on the morning of her wedding. As it turned out he didn’t know how to tie a cravat, turns out no one does including Jon and an usher. So we googled it, and asked the photographer to check (the only other man in a house of 9 women.)

My Maid of honour looked lovely, with her ‘bike shorts’ underneith. She had purchased what I can only imagine were Bridget Jones-style support underwear, and when she put them on her fiancé said “Are you going cycling?” So there we were, wearing marathon pants and bike shorts. We were relatively rushed to get ready. My hair and make up lady had just come from a wedding where the bride was so nervous she had been sick in the taxi on the way to her wedding, not something I wanted to do.
I was so nervous at home before we left I took some tummy-settling tablets, they were buried under my bed so I had to make my Maid of Honour root around for them, dressed up ready to go. I’m not sure she appreciated that! Sorry hun.
I managed to not trip down the aisle, although I did have to negotiate stairs. As I turned the corner towards the ceremony room and everyone was standing, I remembered there were stairs up into the room and everyone was looking at this point. In my head I was panicking slightly but managed to left my dress up and not fall over.
The ceremony was quite long, and I found out afterwards that it was because the 2nd registrar had to re-write the certificates they had prepared because Jon had his dad’s middle name down slightly wrong- he said Jonathan not John. What they don’t tell you as a bride is that when I turned up my overwhelming feeling was that I wanted to say hello to everyone, but had to focus on the vows. I cried in the middle, how embarrassing! Whilst signing my name I was so nervous that half way through I forgot how to spell my own name!
At around 5pm my Maid of Honour and I were in a quiet room powdering our noses and the fire alarm went off! We left the room and I reluctantly had to wonder if the kitchen was on fire. It turned out that something had burned and caught fire, phew. We didn’t know what was to come, which was the fire brigade seemingly on automatic call!! So the fire engine came through the gates and pulled up outside my venue. Our coordinator looked embarrassed and as the best man came out of the Wedding Breakfast room where he was escorting the guests into, I asked him if this was his wedding present to me! The back story is that I once had to call the fire brigade when we had a real fire about 2 years ago, which ironically was referred to in the Best Man’s speech. Seems most of the guests were oblivious to this happening, yet my photographer was quick to have us pose with the hunky firemen, a photo I’m looking forward to seeing and no doubt my new Facebook profile picture.

I did a brief speech to say thank you to everyone involved and who contributed. I embarrassed myself by thanking my Uncle “…for MY beautiful wedding cake, I mean… OUR wedding cake, oops.”
So the jokes ensued the next day about whether I enjoyed MY wedding day and whether I’d already asked the photographer to photoshop out that guy that kept hanging around next to me in photos.

At the end of the evening we romantically walked through town to our wedding-night hotel. Most people were very sweet and said congratulations, one guy shouted “wa-hay”, hmmm not the contribution I hoped to my wedding day. When we reached the hotel it was a race to sit down on the sofa in our room. Jon won since I needed help to get my shoes off, then 10 minutes of help to get out of my dress. Then we collapsed into bed with exhaustion!

Valium, macarons and smoking.

22.08.14

So last Sunday I got stressed.
It was 3pm in the afternoon and I was telling Jon about all the things I was concerned about… He said nothing, he walked to the fridge, poured me a glass of wine and offered it to me with a look that said “I’m insure on the correct words right now, so please just drink this- it will help.”
Then on Monday evening Jon went out for a cigar at 11pm. He gave up smoking 18 months ago. His words were “It’s just hit me we get married in 5 days.”
My Maid of honour said “Cigars are emergencies? Intetesting. Whats the female equivalent? New handbag?”
I feel reassured that this is all relatively normal. I asked a friend how she felt before the wedding and how prepared she was. Apparently she was disorganised, put on black pants with holes in and when she was told she couldn’t wear them, sent her then fiancé out on the morning of their wedding to buy bridal underwear, and was on Valium for most of the planning! Wish I had known that was available quite frankly.

We noticed that we are both progressively using swear words more generously in the last week or so. I think it’s the stress.

So I had a macaron making afternoon, with friends over to make them on mass. They will be our wedding favours. There’s various recipes in my macaron book for fillings, including one where it’s a macaron burger- meat burger sandwiched between the macarons… Errr, no thanks.
I got quite stressed when I started to fill them and kept breaking them. Jon’s advice? Photoshop them in the photos. Hmmm, maybe not again.
Jon’s next attempt to reassure me was to say “At least people will know you made them!” Thanks Jon, so you’re saying they aren’t good enough to rival professional ones!?

All our confetti is made, Jon’s been making it- cutting confetti from an old book I got in a charity shop and a heart shaped hole punch. One which Jon broke within a day, figures… He went though 3 Pom Pom makers. We borrowed one off friends which he broke and then broke the replacement we bought too.
He said to me- “How come I’m doing all the girly stuff?” Apparently he wasn’t too happy about being delegated Pom poms and confetti.

Jon has been winding me up about being a ‘wife’ on several occasions, much to my disapproval. But the other day he said to me “…your husband to be… Wait, I’m going to be someone’s husband? Oh dear, I hadn’t thought of that.” So not so funny when the tables are turned then eh, Jon!

Jon said a notification came up on his iphone for tomorrow entitled “get married”… His action based on this reminder? He said “I pressed snooze.”

Marathon pants, beauty regimes and the honeymoon pack list.

16.08.14

So not long to go now.
We have been having our ‘marriage mentor sessions’, they were useful. We independently completed questionnaires regarding our views, priorities and beliefs. Then a qualified couple compare our responses and talked to us about how to make the marriage work. We covered family, beliefs, finances, sharing of duties, friends, sex, and expectations. They said we are doing pretty well as a couple and didn’t have any huge concerns about us.

Deliveries continue to turn up at the house. 4 boxes of wine, water glasses for everyone…

I spoke to a good friend of mine on the phone, she’s very grounded.
We were discussing wedding lingerie and I explained I’ll be wearing my ‘marathon pants’- to explain, these are the comfiest pants I own as I ran a marathon in them, they are not sexy they are practical. I have also purchased wedding lingerie to change into.
With regards to the marathon pants my friend said to me “I’ll give you some advice…” And I waited patiently for words of great wisdom or some profound insight into marriage…
Her reply? “Change out of the marathon pants”!

Many beauty appointments have been attended- hair cut and coloured, waxing (now feeling generally pretty hairless), nails and toe nails done, facial, eyebrows waxed…
This is on top of the preparation that will be done at home- body brushing, scrubbing, lotions, etc.
Jon’s preparation- “I’ll shave before the wedding.” Oh right good, thanks. Hate to think you weren’t going to make an effort.

We met our venue coordinator on site for a run through of a few things at the venue.

The lists are all over the place now. I actually have a list of lists to make and keep!

It’s impossible at this point to think of a life after the wedding. Note it’s become ‘the wedding’ not ‘when we are married’- it’s a separate entity of its own. There are 2 wedding eras in our life- before wedding and after wedding (BW and AW.) Nothing at all is currently being planned for the time era AW. Including how my husband to be, will actually get me out of my dress on our wedding night.

I’ve been looking too, at a list of things for the ‘Honeymoon pack list’- this apparently includes:
•A sealed copy of your will (really? there’s optimism)
•And a Deck of cards. Right yeah, playing cards is what most people plan on doing for a few days. (Actually sleep and nothing are my top 2 anticipated activities.)

Timings, sandpaper and Glue guns

So 2 weeks to go, before we get married. I have to confess I’m starting to feel a little stressed, just because it’s so close and after all this planning one hopes there isn’t anything I’ve overlooked. It’s mid-August and today is predicted thunderstorms, I hope it gets it all out the way, before the wedding!

The photographer e mailed us his schedule this morning, which has me ready for photos 45 mins after my make up and hair professional arrives… That is not going to happen! So I need to talk to him.

At 10pm last night, we were still writing a schedule for our venue coordinator- a list of what happens when, what equipment and furniture we need moved where, etc. This morning she tells me she is away, and won’t be there when we meet our photographer on site. It’s 2 weeks before the wedding, and I haven’t seen her in months. We have what I can only describe as the ditziest venue coordinator ever! She once cancelled a meeting that had been in the diary for weeks, because she was in a different county and wasn’t sure she could get back in time. She eventually turned up, looking hungover, hmmm. I love my venue, but constantly feel she’s too laid back to take anything seriously and repeatedly cancels on us and changes the plans.

I have sorted out my ‘bridal day emergency kit’, a few things to add on the morning but it’s essentially ready. Amongst other things, it includes chalk, stain remover, lipstick, tissues, deodorant, protein bars, tampons and plasters. I researched this list on the Internet beforehand, to get an idea of what items I may find useful on the day, and 2 recommendations (not made up, I promise) were… A hot glue gun and sandpaper. a) who has these at home lying around to pop in one’s handbag and b) really? What would I use these for!?

My maid of honour has a new bridesmaid’s dress! After all the stress and alterations, she found a new one in a high street shop on sale, recently. It’s perfect! The exact colour and I just wish we had found it months ago, never mind, we have it now.

I’ve had my final wedding dress fitting, and it’s perfect I love it. My maid of honour had a lesson on how to get me into it, which involved her taking a video on her phone of the instructions. Turns out it’s quite complicated! We are going back in a week’s time for another lesson! She asked me how I am planning on getting out of it, which hadn’t occurred to me at all. I said I think she will have to come with me and my then husband to our bedroom, and undress me.

The postman continues to turn up with parcels, including bits and pieces for the children’s favour packs I’m putting together and huge bags of sweets for the tables.

Things left to do:
•Finish the men’s and women’s bathroom kits
•circulate the plan of the day to all contractors
•forward ‘to do’ lists to contractors
•confirm the wedding car and hot dog car arrangements

Packing lists, forgetting to eat and table plan politics

IMG_2152So, one month to go! Reading back through some of my first blogs, I can’t believe I get married so soon.

So we have completed our table plan. It was more difficult than I thought, and we don’t even have complicated families!
I decided whilst doing it and said to Jon “single people are like chips, they are plate fillers on the wedding table plan.” So large families were seated first, to ensure they all sit together.
Do you sit people with friends or strangers? We chose to sit people with strangers, to make it fair to those guests who knew no one.
We have 2 gay couples coming to the wedding and, by complete chance, they ended up on the same table. I decided that won’t do as it will look like we are creating a gay table! To me it’s such a non-issue but then I over-worry about drawing attention to it and what other people will think!
Politics eh.
Do you then sit couples with children at a few tables or spread the children out? It’s very confusing! We decided to seat people mainly based on a) practically the size of each family and b) personalities that we considered would work well together. This involved both of us describing hobbies and interests of our friends, and matching them with a brief summary of the same about the other person’s friends, who we have not met. It’s like setting up a blind date!

We also confirmed our numbers of adults and children to the caterers… After 5 times of counting everyone I had 5 different totals. I decided that once I hit the same number 3 times, that was probably the accurate head count.
We then had to phone the caterers back the following week, as Jon suddenly realised and pointed out that we had forgotten to include ourselves for food! The lady said it happens ALL the time apparently.
Then, my mum was doing the wedding stationary and pointed out that we had also forgotten to sit ourselves together on the top table!
When planning a wedding one is so concerned to sort out everyone else, that I find myself putting ‘us’ last. Normally for a holiday I would have written a ‘to pack’ list weeks before and considered anything I need to buy way ahead of time. However it only occurred to me today that I will actually have to pack a suitcase for our honeymoon.

It’s very odd thinking I will never be single again…
(Thinking optimistically I know…!) I could be widowed or divorced, but not single.

My Maid of Honour has also found a new bridesmaid’s dress… I was quite concerned about the colour of the previous one as it didn’t match exactly. But I concluded that at this point in time it’s too late to change it! Having spent all that money on essential alterations to the top half (see previous blogs), I felt I had invested in it beyond the point of return. However, I’m very excited to see the new dress, which apparently matches our teal colour scheme better.

Next to do:
•create children’s entertainment packs
•make favours
•have shoes coloured red
•attend various beauty-related appointments I have now made in the week or two leading up to the wedding
•confirm all timings and contractor arrangements