Pom Pom makers, the minimoon and children.

6 weeks to go!

In dawned on Jon and I the other day… What are we going to talk about after the wedding? What did we possibly talk about before we got engaged? I genuinely cannot remember, what could there possibly have been to discuss, why weren’t we just staring at the walls. Because now, ALL we talk about is the wedding. Not even our marriage, just the wedding itself. We have almost daily agendas of items to discuss- Jon is very happy when there isn’t an agenda that needs going through. I am convinced that by Christmas we will be sitting in silence, having run out of things to chat about.

I have finally bought some shoes. Although I may swap them. Buying the shoes was more complicated that the dress! Finding the exact height has been such a challenge, since my dress was altered. They are not ‘wedding shoes’, just shoes from the high street. I have a ‘wedding’ pair on order, in case I change my mind.

One of the next jobs on my list is to make children’s entertainment packs. I asked Jon for childrens’ ages, from his friends and family, it turns out he’s not so hot on ages, replying “they are less than 4ft it doesn’t matter”. Makes birthdays tricky I think!

The pom poms are coming along well. We borrowed the original pom pom maker from a friend, whom I had to text message the other day, saying “Funny wedding story- Jon broke the new replacement Pom Pom maker he bought you. He has made so many that the hinges broke!! We will buy a 3rd!x”

We have booked our minimoon… to Wales. Unfortunately I’m not a fan of Wales. Jon asserts that I’m racist, I’ve just had bad experiences of wet weather every time I have been. And I associate it with walking (hiking) and camping- 2 of my least favourite activities. Jon has not managed to get me to go to Wales in 5 years together so far. So, it is ironic (and Jon is particularly pleased) that we shall be going there on our minimoon! Albeit in a very lovely hotel.

We also attended our marriage preparation course, which was interesting. It gave us some tools, with which to solve arguments and highlighted areas that we need to talk about for the future. It didn’t change my life, but was worth doing. There was one other couple on the course who, when they marry this Summer, will have been together a total of 9 months. He decided one day he wanted to “look for a companion” and so he joined a Christian dating site and they met. They have yet to live together as they are buying a house, and only see each other on weekends as they live on opposite sides of the county. I wasn’t sure what to make of the whole thing… I’m still not.

We started with airing any concerns that we had about the course- Jon wrote down “evangelical preaching” and for the rest of the day the couple running the course completely avoided mentioning religion and at one point actually turned to us and apologised, when they used the word ‘church’ once! Sex was not mentioned, in fact I don’t remember it even being referred to as a concept, which was rather odd. It was like it just doesn’t exist.

Next to sort out before the big day: The table plan, stationary, evening iPod music and beauty appointments 🙂

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Table plan, marriage prep course and Pom poms

So 50 days until we get married, which sounds more than ‘under 2 months’. A lot of RSVP’s are coming back in now, so the seating plan is yet to be written and we still need most of the venue stationary. Jon has a Pom Pom factory going on at home, I wanted them as wedding decorations in different sizes so most evenings he sits and makes them. He is aiming for 100! I’m not sure we need quite that many, but we do have to make extra in accounting for the ones the cat steals and hides. I think he’s a kleptomaniac- he takes our underwear, trots around with it in his mouth like a dog then and hides in under the bed.
So this weekend we have our ‘marriage preparation course’, so I’ll let you know how that goes. I figure it can’t hurt. We both had to complete a questionnaire of 180 things about our relationship, separately with no comparing notes. Everything from “have you talked about how many children you would like?” and “do you feel your families interfere in your relationship?” to “do you feel the sex is the only thing that keeps you together?” Some of the questions made me laugh, some were quite sad and some ( in my opinion) a little judgemental such as “I think things will change once we are married and are living together.” ‘Agree’, ‘disagree’ or ‘uncertain’. I needed a ‘sorry we already live in sin’ button, but they didn’t have one.
So a few weeks ago was my Hen Do. I had an amazing day, it was so lovely to have so many people I care about there. It suddenly hit home to me that I’m getting married. Until then it was just Jon and I making plans, suddenly it seemed public and other people were involved, and it became real! There were no plastic penises and I could still walk at the end of the evening having not got so drunk I couldn’t remember the day. Happy memories 🙂 I felt quite unsettled the next day, like I’ll never have a proper girly night out again once I’m married. I hope that isn’t what happens once I get married!
People keep asking me when we are going to have children, jeez already I haven’t even walked down the isle yet! It’s not a question I would ask people unless they brought it up, I find it odd that almost strangers think it acceptable to enquire based on the knowledge that I will soon be married. To be honest I haven’t had time to think about children anyway, I’ve been shopping for shoes. After 4+a half hours on London’s Oxford Street last Saturday, purely looking for wedding shoes with the exact (and seemingly non-existent) height heel, I eventually called my seamstress and concluded we need to have the skirt lowered so that I can buy a pair of shoes with a more commonly available heel height. The only ones I have found were ÂŁ200! Lowering the skirt will cost ÂŁ25, although she offered to charge ÂŁ225 so that I could justify buying said beautiful silver sandals that I found in Russell and Bromley.
I still need to buy a veil as well, my advice is not to buy one from e bay. It was worth a go and actually that quality wasn’t terrible, but the colour doesn’t quite match my dress… Back to square one for veil shopping then…

Less than 100 days, dressing up animals and the wedding taking over.

It’s now just over 90 days until I get married? Where has the time gone? I prefer to count in months (just over 3)- it seems longer and I’ll panic less about getting everything done. Lately the wedding has become an entity of its own. It’s like a really bossy and self-centred member of the family. One that’s demanding that his rights come first, follows me around everywhere, wakes me up in the night telling me I’ve forgotten to do something and constantly reminds me how long my current ‘to do’ list is. In short, ‘The Wedding’ has taken on a personality of its own. Both Jon and I now agree that to a certain extent we both can’t wait to be married, just to not have any wedding planning to do and to go back to normal life without all the lists of things that need organising. 

The bridesmaid dress from eBay has arrived, and needs some work at the seamstress. I’m not sure how to put this but the cups are… Large and pointy. My Maid of Honour will certainly make an impression, I’m just not sure it’s a classy one. So we had a giggle over that and took some photos. Today she took the dress to my seamstress who I have used for years, and was concerned about having to politely explain what the problem was. Fortunately, it seems it’s so obvious, that as soon as she took it out the bag the seamstress said “Yes I see” and no explanation was needed. It hadn’t occurred to me that I was sending Alex off to a stranger, to get undressed, a potentially awkward situation. After regrets about not wearing matching underwear and some groping and cupping of the dress area in need of improvement, it seems my seamstress is keen to alter the dress and I’m relieved it seems possible. Unfortunately Alex has to return tomorrow for a second fitting.

Next is to match the men’s ties and other bits and pieces, to the colour. My wedding lingerie is purchased, which was a mission in itself, apparently I seem to be an odd size for which nothing fits! Maybe if I had decent underwear I wouldn’t need ‘wedding lingerie’- a concept most definitely invented by corset designers wanting to up their sales. The next mission is to find my wedding shoes, the challenge being that I need a height of heel that appears to be very uncommon, to fit exactly with the skirt length now it’s been altered. Our young bridesmaid now has shoes and has visited the venue so that it doesn’t all seem very daunting, very cute. And… The day invites have gone out, yey! They look amazing my parents have worked so hard, I’ve made 5 stationary orders due to miscalculations, wrong orders, mistakes and changes of plans! Now my parent’s production line has moved onto the evening invites… I hate to tell them there’s menus, name tags, a table plan and other stationary yet too!

Jon has been busy ordering various things like water carafes, glasses and instant camera film. Our band played a demo of our first wedding dance song, and I got all emotional and upset, what a girl! 

I messaged Jon and told him we had forgotten something very important… To include our cat! It seems people do- whilst reading wedding magazines I found some pictures of ways to decorate one’s dog. Is he my little family? Yes. Do I feel the need to include him in my wedding? No, he’s a pet.

 

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Hats and being dumped by guests

Less than 4 months, eeeeek!

Very excited now. It feels very grown up getting married, the kind of thing that happens to everyone else including people who have their lives sorted.

My ‘to do’ lists of wedding planning at the moment seem to consist of very specific and random items. For example, check Jon has wedding shoes and does our photographer need feeding on the day. I read in a magazine that we should feed our suppliers, seems a little cheeky to me I just thought they would all bring sandwiches!

 

The invitations are being made as I write this. Literally- my parents phoned me to say they have a small scale manufacturing process going on at theirs.

 

There’s one less day invitation to make, since we got dumped by 2 of our friends (in a couple); it was a friendship on the rocks for some time now. They had both progressively let us down on several occasions and I had therefore not invited her to the Hen Do as I felt it did not properly represent our relationship anymore. When it got close to Jon’s Stag Do he said to Jon he didn’t think he could come anymore, and then said because of friendship issues they also wouldn’t come to the wedding. I’ve never been friend-dumped before! Well there’s a statement, they had our Save-the-Date card and then told us they wouldn’t come! My friends and I have done a lot of over-analysing since, and we’ve decided to move on. What is it about weddings that brings this all out in people? Friends are meant to be happy for us! Jon’s not really said anything about it which is odd, maybe guys deal with these things differently. So that left room quite frankly to upgrade someone else, from the evening party, to the daytime!

 

Our next door neighbours are getting married on the same day as us, which is a funny coincidence. We do all the usual jokes of “have you booked so-and-so supplier yet?”… “Quick, run inside the house and get them booked into the diary!” They are lovely, and we talk about wedding preparations quite a bit. She text me the other day to apologise for an argument they had been having about wedding invitations and hoped we hadn’t heard it, which we hadn’t at all. The next day, Jon and I had an argument about wedding invitations too, and Jon stormed off into the garden saying he was going to talk to next door over the wall, for sympathy. Very funny.

 

 

The stag do, outfits and alcoholic shots

To review my wedding planning rules I feel smug I am succeeding…

1. Don’t become Bridezilla, 2. Be organised, 3. Make sure it isn’t just what I want, but what we both want, 4. Don’t leave my guests either bored or hungry on the day, 5. Don’t become Bridezilla.

I do feel I am currently on top of all of these! I’ve had a burst of productivity over the past few weeks including:

  • One of the two bridesmaid’s dresses sorted (little girl’s ivory dress, very cute)
  • Purchased: 10 candelabras, 100m of red ribbon, 50m teal ribbon, giant garden games, wool for making pom poms, several stationary orders for invites
  • mahoosive pile of wedding magazines read
  • accessories sorted, and hair and make up trial done (3 and a half hours, I was exhausted!)
  • 40 minute conversation to the caterers
  • Adult bridesmaid dress ordered (I’m a little concerned about ordering online as we have yet to try it on)
  • Flowers consultation and florist booked in
  • Invitations in progress

The adult bridesmaid dress was ordered from e bay, it looks pretty. I found one that I previously liked and e mailed the link to my Maid of Honour, who took great offence to it and immediately messaged me saying “What are you trying to imply?” I had not noticed that it was a maternity dress. I suggested she wear it anyway, but apparently that was a silly idea. I think it would allow her to keep her options open! After hours of looking for the right shade of teal dress, I was ready to buy anything just to cross it off my list. I don’t suggest choosing very specific and relatively uncommon colours, for one’s wedding scheme.

I felt relatively smug when we passed one of the wedding dress shops that I had looked in and there was a sample sale, and a huge queue outside well before it opened. I genuinely wanted to shout “ha ha I have my dress!” and run off, not because I disliked the shop or the look of anyone in the long line, but because the emotional investment, frustration, expectations and time I had put into shopping for my dress had seemingly built up and turned me into this crazy woman I no longer recognised, and one I am not proud to be (even temporarily) quite frankly.

I was also scanning the list of things to do post-wedding, oh my goodness I was looking forward to not having a ‘wedding to-do’ list but it doesn’t end there… name changes, thank you cards, sorting photos and gifts, writing a will, dry cleaning the dress… I know I wondered what we would possibly talk about after ther wedding but this is crazy it never ends. Jon said it’s like methadone for a crack addict.

There’s still enough to do even before the wedding… My Maid of Honour text messaged me yesterday and asked if I have sorted my wedding perfume. Errr no, I won’t be buying special perfume just for my wedding. She agreed we’ve gone too far in doing that, it’s another level of organisation that to be honest I don’t wish to reach. I’ve never heard the phrase “My marriage failed, I believe it solely to be down to my error, in not purchasing the correct wedding perfume.”

I have my fiance back in one piece, following his stag do, so that is also progress. I was a little worried truth be told- women will hold your hair back whilst you throw up, men will tie you to a lamp post naked, and shave your eyebrows. He sneakily rung me for 5 minutes Saturday morning (phone calls and cameras were not allowed) and complained he had to wear an hawaiian shirt, much to his protest. I told him that I believe it could be a lot worse (based on the fact that jokes had been made about mankinis and that the Best Man had shots put in his pints on his stag do) and that he should a) take and wear the shirt with a smile and b) even say thank you. I believe the phone rule to have been broken by everyone as soon as (in his hawaiian shirt) he was placed in village stocks, and suddenly the cameras appeared. New facebook profile pic I think!? Jon offered to wear it for the wedding, naturally I objected and have seemingly agreed I would rather personally fund an expensive honeymoon to the Caribbean so that he can wear the shirt than have it in the wedding photos. I even gave him permission to have strippers on the basis that I would rather have him do it now and get it out of his system, but he pointed out his concerns as to the type of stripper one would get in a tiny village in the middle of the Cotswolds. I would like all extremities of behaviour out the way for the wedding, spurred on by the story my Maid of Honour told me about a wedding she went to, where the groom (who doesn’t usually drink) did shots at his wedding and when lost was later found by the bride outside, hugging a rose bush.

My hen do next, in a few weeks, which I am very much looking forward to. I have still insisted that it be a classy event, despite the amount of alcohol that is inevitable at a wine tasting followed by cocktails. I watched “Don’t tell the Bride” this morning for ideas… Big mistake, never watch that show for actual tips on wedding planning- She wanted a pink meringue dress and Disney wedding, he went to Moscow for his stag do (spending ÂŁ2000, with strippers and his passport hidden whilst there, fyi she said she would divorce him if he had strippers) and sent her to Blackpool, the invites were printed on card and the dog ate the whole wedding planner. However, all wasn’t lost as he did send her a McDonald’s breakfast on the morning of the wedding “to make her feel special”.

My wedding dress is bought!

Yey! I finally bought my wedding dress. After much stressing about not being able to find the dress I wanted, I had 3 wedding dress shops lined up last Saturday, and in the first one I tried on the first dress and said to Lily (the lovely lady in the shop who will do all my alterations) “Well, it’s the one isn’t it, it ticks all my boxes so if you can do such and such alterations, I’ll give you my credit card details now!” Very unromantic I know. Job done, by 10.30am!

On the Sunday I woke up and said to Jon “You know the best thing about having bought my wedding dress?”

Jon: “You’re happy with it and can’t wait to wear it?”

“No, the best thing is not having to go shopping for a wedding dress ever again!!”

I would love to post you a picture, but I’m afraid I can’t in case Jon sees it!

 

We now have a wedding website too, which is very exciting. It has all the finer details on it, such as hotels and our gift list registration. It took about 3 hours to set up with most of what we wanted on there, last Sunday. Filling in all the accommodation details was rather tedious I have to admit. I asked Jon why I had to do it, his reply was “Because you’re so good at things like this.” Hmmm, who needs a marriage preparation course, it seems Jon has figured out all the right things to say, without guidance. After about half an hour he said “this is boring” and went and emptied the cat litter tray which is the worst job in our house so that’s an indication of excatly how much he did not want to research hotels that had parking, anymore!

I have also booked my wedding hair and make up artist, ordered the stationary for making invitations, had a personalised stamp made up, researched harp music, researched dance lessons and marriage preparation courses, reviewed the band’s set list, and Jon has  decided on a lovely hotel for us to stay in, for 2 nights after our wedding- The Magdalen Chapter in Exeter 🙂

My pre-wedding beauty routine is planned and in action too. Since I’m essentially lazy and most comfortable in jeans and pumps, this has consisted of spending ÂŁ70 on new products, and actually washing my face before I go to bed. I do now have a diary of what I should be doing in the months and weeks leading up to our wedding, and am hoping this new approach sticks even after we are married.

I wanted our little bridesmaid Rachel to carry a basket of rose petals and sprinkle them up the isle. However Jon this this is too Disney-esque and in such a circumstance he would expect a teapot to be marrying us, and I had gone too far.

A bridesmaid’s dress for my Maid of Honour has been a difficult and time-consuming challenge. I want the budget of a high street dress and would like her to have the flexibility that she can wear it again. However, I am very  specific about the colour I would like her to wear, have been advised it’s all about the mixing of fabrics and that the style should obviously match, which seems to restrict me to more formal dresses from wedding dress shops or places like Dessy.com.

Does anyone have any advice or opinions on the matter of where to buy bridesmaids dresses? I’m struggling a little here…

 

 

 

 

Blog 7- progress and 6 months today.

Sorry it has been some time since my last blog post- I have been making lots of progress though 🙂

I am still succeeding at rule #1- to avoid becoming Bridezilla… to the extent where I was told on Saturday evening at a party that I have a long way to go before this is the case, and that despite my fears I do actually have to plan something! lately I have been very organised in fact, so #2 success!

It is now 6 months today, until the wedding. This has spurred me into action recently! The Hen Do plans are coming along nicely- it will involve afternoon tea, games, a wine tasting event, a sushi meal out and cocktails- very excited. We have also been planning wedding invitations designs- I’ve had appointments and liaised with 3 stationers; we have decided my mum will do the stationary for us. So we have nearly decided on the final design- I felt relatively overwhelmed at one point thinking how invitation design is one small part and there’s so much else to do! It’s the first bridezilla moment I have had when I started thinking how I wanted everything to match and be perfect, and can see how wedding planning gets stressful! We have booked the band, confirmed food choices with the caterers, booked a harpist, had lengthy discussions about our first dance song and are still none-the-wiser on a decision (songs I like, Jon thinks are cheesy).

Given that I live in London I wanted to have a traditional London cab take me to the venue and there is a company in Devon that offers this. However, on speaking to him I didn’t have the best 1st impression, by him saying to me “The thing I most like doing in life is spending time my grandchildren, but hey we all have to work”! This is my wedding day, you’re running a professional business and you’re saying that to me?! So I am re-thinking them.

In total now, I have been to a total of 6 wedding dress shops (1 of these twice) plus 1 outlet and 1 second hand wedding dress shop. I am exhausted and relatively bored of wedding dress shopping now! My struggle is finding what I want for a reasonable price, so recently I am liaising with a few seamstresses to see if they can alter a dress I love by Maggie Sottero, to make it exactly how I would like. The second hand dress shop was lovely but the dresses I liked were no cheaper than in shops so I didn’t really save any money. If you are ever thinking of going to an outlet do your research first! 1) turn up early and be first in the door, 2) take food and water, 3) plan nothing else for that day! I queued for a total of 3 hours…. 3 hours! We would never do this in a clothes shop! AND that is to find out that I didn’t love those dresses after all. I think an outlet would be great if one is not too fussy about the dress, if you’re going to make more of a “that’s pretty, I like it, it’s fine” approach, then an outlet is the way forward- there were very pretty dresses for ÂŁ300.

We are also buying vintage crockery from a friend of mine who spent hours collecting it 2nd hand, for her own wedding. So I am very excited about that and a little concerned that it will not all fit in Jon’s mini (and that our spare bedroom will be full!). However, it looks lovely and I plan on using it at my Hen Do too.  

So… progress all round. I’m feeling more on top of plans, yet also a sense of pressure to get more done. Jon and I have current lists of what we both need to sort, then Jon lost his list- fortunately I had pre-empted this and taken a photo of his list (you know, just incase the cat ate it or something).

I think I will blitz some planning this weekend.

No plastic penises.

save the date cards, pic

Blog post 6, 24th Nov 2013.

Ok so, to summarise on the success of my wedding planning rules so far…

I still believe I am succeeding at resisting becoming BrideZilla. I am getting more organised, although still some way to go… I haven’t gone ahead with any ideas and got carried away yet either! And since we have half sorted the food I believe we are succeeding at rule no4 to consider our guests.

Save-the-date cards have been sent out to most people, we have to admit to being concerned over numbers, cost and being overwhelmed on the day, therefore have held off sending them out to everyone yet. I didn’t realise one is meant to tie these in with the theme of the wedding… Someone said to me “ah butterflies how lovely as a wedding theme”… “errrr no, actually I just picked these up in Paperchase and they have nothing to do with the wedding, I just thought they were pretty!”, Oops (our invitations will be themed.)

My Maid of Honour phoned me within the last week, and pointed out that I haven’t set a date for my hen do, that there is no list of invitees and that since I work away I may only be back in the county about 8 times before my wedding, eeek. She has a point. I’m so lucky to have someone organised, and someone to offer to research ideas for me, love her. As for ideas, I said strippers were out. Not least because I would like to be able to invite my mother and also future mother-in-law, but also because I’m 32 and it just doesn’t appeal. My other rule for the hen night (which my Maid of Honour agress with) is none of those headbands with plastic penises bouncing off them- to me they epitomise the tacky wedding. They are everything I hate about hen do expectations- the pink sash, the drinking games, scaring guys who subsequently run away and the matching t-shirts. I would like to think mine will be grown up and classy… however I can’t promise not to get drunk he he. Ideas so far include chocolate-making (but my mother is allergic), cocktail making, a yacht trip (although I get sea-sick), or a villa somewhere (we have since concluded this will be too expensive.)

Next to plan: The hen do! Invitation designs still need deciding and exact food choices have to be done. We need to decide on the colours. We need to ask one of Jon’s neices to be bridesmaid. And I need to start shopping for my wedding dress…

9 months yesterday until our wedding! 🙂

Pies.

Blog post 5, 21st Oct 2013.

So since my last blog post we have decided our wedding caterers, which is progress.

Turns out that in Devon there are essentially only 2, so it shouldn’t have been too complicated. Being on a budget was our main issue- so many emails went backwards and forwards to the said two companies. Pies seemed to be our cheapest option from one caterer, which at one point I agreed to, until I woke up one morning a week later and realised I don’t actually want pies at my wedding. “So on the menu are some delicious pies, if you’re not keen on that there are also…. some pies”. There was no accompaniment, just pies. Odd wedding food option if you ask me. My fiancĂ© thought it amusing that he had to take another woman to our Wedding Tasting since I am working away. They didn’t seem too bothered by this apparently.

Wedding planning is odd, it’s easy to get swept up in other people’s suggestions (such as the pies), and having not been married before (and not necessarily knowing what I want for a lot of it) I get rather annoyed at myself for not putting my foot down more often- “No thank you, I don’t want gold embossed, personalised paper napkins at my wedding”. That was one my partner and I did manage to turn down at a Wedding Fayre. We have been to a total of 2 Wedding Fayres. My understanding is that they are aimed at the brides, but to be honest I found the experience bewildering. On arriving at our first, the lady on the door said to me “You look like a rabbit in the headlights”, which is precisely how I felt! Jon told me when the womens’ squeals were too high that only dogs could hear them, he was done and we would be leaving.

Since then we have survived a 2nd Wedding Fayre too (we were much more military and organised, not talking to anyone we didn’t want to), and even found our photographer who I instantly liked.

I believe I am still succeeding at goals 1 and 5 to not become BrideZilla, and getting there with goal number 2 to be more organised. As for goal number 3 to include my partner in all decisions, I thought I was doing well until he said to me the other day “I would like to be involved in some part of our wedding planning, at some point”, so maybe not.