Firstly, may I just say that I freaking LOVE Doctor Who, and as such, our Bella has just further cemented her place in my heart as the best thing ever in the world. Secondly, as I said to Bella after she had e-mailed me her piece, I truly believe that she is getting better and better with each submission. It’s exactly what we’d hoped for when we thought about having a ‘real bride’…someone who drew you into their story, who made you feel their excitement, their anxiety, their hope.
That’s exactly what Bella has done. With just 8 months until the moment arrives, Bella is drawing us ever deeper into her world…and it’s a fabulous place to be, readers.
It is now the year I am getting married. Not the year before. I can no longer say ‘next September’ when people ask when the big day is. It’s just September. This September. 8 months to be exact. That’s 7 of these posts left, 7 paychecks, a planned 80 trips to the gym (ha!) and approximately 14 copies of Heat magazine (I don’t buy it every week). It’s also £100 on anti-cellulite cream and £50 on spanx due to the (roughly) 72 gym sessions skipped and over 500 hours of wedmin-ing.
The first six months of our engagement was all about the feelings – in both brilliant and rubbish ways – but in truth it’s probably time I started nailing down those all important details. Invitations, décor, the practical bits and pieces…. The dress. Our ‘theme’ has shifted slightly from vintage country fete with a hint of 1930s glam, to full on 1930s glam with a country fete plonked on top of it, like Doctor Who when he turns up at Agatha Christie’s party – you know, the one with the giant alien wasp? Historial inaccuracies (from myself and the ‘Who) aside, we still want a relaxed, outdoorsy, slightly rustic feel, but with lashings of art deco styling, crystal perfume atomisers, a whisky bar and, er, lemon sherberts.
None of this will be a surprise to you AOW-ers, but wedding planning has given me a total wedlife crisis. I swore I wouldn’t be one of those brides who gives herself an ulcer worrying about the exact shade of vintage rose ribbon (although I did find it in Elys in Wimbledon. Not using it though.) Well ha to my first-flush-of-engaged-goodness self. Ha, I say.
I’m not sure what the right word is for how I am feeling, stressed would be too strong, worried too weak: I have concerns that it won’t be fun, and am second guessing every single decision to see if it is ‘us’ enough. Well pish to us (sorry, Betrothed) because honestly? We kind of just like stuff. Salmon and lamb aren’t ‘us’, we just like them (and are having them) so why on earth am I trying to ensure that every single piece of ribbon and stationery, the placement of napkin ties and of course, the dreaded favours, encapsulate a four year relationship that has had incredible times, some tough ones, and reflect two people’s tastes?
I find the nights the hardest. During the day I am happy with the decisions made (the fab Telephone message pad I bought at Liberty as a potential guest book stylee thing, the wallpaper samples I found that have inspired the invitation patterns) but the nights? Oh, the nights. I don’t want to regret a single decision, and I want Betrothed to have an amazing time. And I want my parents to be relaxed and happy. And I don’t want to drive my bridesmaids mad. And I don’t want to spend the next 8 months nurturing that ulcer. I just want everyone to have fun. That’s a lot of wants isn’t it?
“Life is full of amazing moments, but if you don’t stop and look around once in a while you might just miss it” – not a random divergence, I’m watching Independence Day (I used to think I’d marry Will Smith, when I was 15. Yep, 15 and delusional) and that little voiceover quote just popped up on an advert. I couldn’t put it better – I want to enjoy this once in a lifetime period of engagement, and not spend every week feeling this fear that I’m going to let everyone down.
I think, with very wise tough love from Anna K and Gemma, and of course the knowledge that so many bridelets have been through this exact same period of self-doubt, I can come to understand that there are eleventymillion options out there and whatever I choose will be ‘right’ for us, simply by virtue of the fact the we chose it. However, there are a few sticking points I would really love some input on!
To wedsite, or not to wedsite? Many of our guests are traveling from abroad, and a wediste would probably be useful in some respects, but do people actually look at them? Do guests actually RSVP through them? Or do they think they are a wee bit self indulgent?
And the bride wore… green? A very good friend of mine convinced me not to wear green (not strictly just green – Jenny Packham’s Joy dress in silver and green…) after I went on a mammoth googling session having realized my beloved dress from Phase Eight just was not going to work – as it’s a definite no now, this was her. Lush.
Have any of you fab ladies not worn white? If so, did you feel you’d missed out on some magical white dress moment? I’m not thinking of wearing bright blue, or fuschia pink (although if you did, let me see), but I definitely don’t want white. I have recently discovered Sue Wong, whose dresses are that perfect blend of art deco glam and relaxed elegance, see how pretty! But I feel possibly too pale for me. The embellishment is amazing though!
I am cautious about sharing too many fabulous images just incase I go for one of these…
Plus… who? Betrothed and I are classic includers (with a guestlist of 207 and counting) – because we hate hate hate leaving people we care about ‘out’. But what of their plus ones? We made a rule when we drafted the guest list: if we knew a friend’s significant other they would be invited, or if a guest wouldn’t know anyone it was only fair to ‘plus one’. But how do you define ‘know’? Met once at the pub? Know the name of? Facebook friends?!
We recently added two guests to our list – a groomsmen’s girlfriend (who is gorgeous and wonderful and I love – which is handy as we are having a wedding party table!) and a cousin’s girlfriend who will be meeting the entire family (his side, so the big side) at the wedding. Including both of these gorgeous girls is genuinely my pleasure - I have been a plus one at two of Betrothed’s family weddings and not only were they brilliantly fun, but it really cemented me with his friends and family – important in a fledgling romance.
But I am feeling an uneasy sense of guilt over friends who I know are seeing someone, but I haven’t met/haven’t heard a great deal about – are we dreadful for not ‘plus one-ing’? I have asked a couple of friends, with partners we don’t know at all, and they have been unendingly supportive about this – it’s not personal and it really is about space, cost and practicality, not about upsetting them or excluding their loved one. But I know there will be a few annoyed faces when the invites do arrive and that really upsets me. I feel like I have to justify every decision.
What do you think? Did you have a ‘plus one’ rule at all or was it the more the merrier? Did you (hushed tones) have a reserve list?
Any advice/wise words/similar dilemmas to share? Oh and if any of you feel like passing by the field on September 7th THIS YEAR and are handy with a length of ribbon, oasis for flowers and like going up ladders let me know, as I have just found my CAD marquee plans and the marquee is 48 metres by 60 metres… which I am in charge of decorating. No sweat, right?!