Tuesday, 21 December 2010

three stones

(source)

So, in the final Slimming World weigh in before Christmas, I hit a milestone. Or a mile-three-stone, as you may have guessed from the genius image above. It's funny, reading back to things like this post, when I'd just lost one stone, and thinking back to those first few weeks when I felt sure it wasn't going to work because everyone around me was losing at double the speed.

Truth be told, I'd hoped to be at four stones gone by now, but I am very happy to have hit three. I'd aimed for 1lb a week, making four stones in a year, but life does sometimes get in the way. But I lost this weight still going out for meals, still drinking, still enjoying myself, still eating bread, potatoes, rice and pasta, as well as all other foods. This now means that I've become a mad evangalist for Slimming World. Every time I hear about someone doing some daft diet I just want to shake them and tell them about doing it sensibly. But people won't believe you can do it without hardship, no matter what you tell them.

My aim is now to be 12-stones something by the time I look for a dress. That's another two stones or so off. I'm supposed to do it by March. Wish me luck...

Friday, 10 December 2010

writing the ceremony and the any campaign

Tis the season to neglect your blog, tra la la la laaa etc etc etc.

What can I say? It's almost-Christmas, and this means my early morning blog-writing slots have been taken up with planning parties, emailing friends regarding annual Christmas meet ups; buying invitation-making stationery items (helloo Martha Stewart paper punches) and investigating wedding cake options.

So today, we see our ceremony-conducting friend again, but this time not for a gig or dinner or at the pub. Tonight, we are having him round to ours for wine and takeaway and to talk about the wedding - ie, the ceremony, and what we might write.

It's at his instigation too - had he not suggested that it was probably time to do it, we might have procrastinated until we had a week to go. But he's got 'ideas' he says, and given that by the time Christmas and the New Year are over, we'll be just eight months away (HOLY CRAP), he's definitely right to make us start now. I don't think this will be sorted tonight.

We've got some suggestions from the various websites, but christ, is it hard to know where to begin. I like elements of the traditional ceremony and given that people think we're mad hippy pagans for holding the wedding on the top of a hill as it is, I think that having some of this structure will reassure some of those present.

We're also keen to avoid cringeyness - so we won't be inviting people to sing anything en masse I've not got experience of this ever properly working out. At least in a church people expect to have hymns but on a hill? Hmn. I don't think our guests are the type to burst out in spontaneous unaccompanied song. So some vague structure, no cringeing. That's all we have right now.

The ceremony presents logistical problems too. For example: music. We've got some songs in mind, but how do we get them played up on a hill with no electricity? Anyway, this is not Ceremony Friend's problem (it's the Best Man/Musical Director's. No, really! He's on the case.)

So here it goes. ACTUAL MARRIAGE STUFF is happening TONIGHT. Not cake, not make up, not bunting. Actual words that make us married. Well, not technically. This technically happens at 10.15am when most people will still be in bed, and we leg it off to the register office.

And on that subject, you may notice the lovely bluey-yellow button at the top right of this page. This is my indication of support for the Any Campaign.

This is a wonderful petition that highlights the madness that is English marriage law. Currently, you can't get married outside or in an unregistered building. Why? No one seems to be able to justify this ludicrous law. And it doesn't apply in Scotland, so it's clearly possible to get rid of it without the foundations of society crumbling away.

Anyway - go there, sign the petition and if you have a blog, pop the button on there and let them know. And maybe one day, your children will be able to have a mad hippy/pagan/traditional wedding on top of a beautiful hill.


Saturday, 27 November 2010

Engage-iversary

J and I got engaged a year ago today. We were in a pub in Oxford, celebrating eight years together, when he surprised the hell out of me with a Hula Hoop and a note in a ring box. A year ago tomorrow, we bought the ring.

Friday, 26 November 2010

many lovely blogs

The lovely My Spare Thoughts was kind enough to pass on this lovely blog award...



...and the deal is that I have to pass this on to 15 other blogs that I love. These are below, but I have realised that many of my wedding blogger pals are now wed - they've done it! I love reading their blogs, but would love to hear from any more ladies like me too - still at the planning stage!

Here are my 15, in no particular order...

Adventures of a Dizzy Girl - musings and wisdom from the wintery North (Glasgow, to be precise)
Anna and the Ring - everyone knows Anna - and she's just about to do the deed - any time now, in fact...
A Los Angeles Love - brilliantness from across the Pond
Ms Awsome Weds - these two ladies from across the pond blog about their recent celebration
Wellies and Vogue - oh the pictures, the pictures! Blog about wedding and life in the countryside and all of it envy-inducing
Peonies and Polaroids - wedding photographer's personal blog, with recent updates about having tiny twins. Beautiful
Eat the Damn Cake - a contender for best blog ever, which essentially says: love yourself you clever little beautiful things, and enjoy some cake while you're at it
Cake for Breakfast - Cloggins blogs about her recent wedding - read back and see her preparations
Any other wedding - Fliss and Aisling blog about recent nuptuals and other things
Henry Reigns - Kiara just got married! Congrats!
Becca Loves - keep following this one, more exciting developments in the offing, I'm sure..!
Another Damn Wedding - another just married lady, across the pond. Good stuff.
Daydreams in Lace - a UK wedded lady!
Lottie really loves - a wedding is coming up soon for Lottie...as ever, i'm hooked...
A Cupcake Wedding - wonderful stuff about how a wedding came together
Love My Dress - a blog that focuses on the beautiful and real and is run by a wonderful pillar of the wedding blog community, Annabel

Thursday, 25 November 2010

guest post at Any Other Wedding

I am very lucky today to have a guest post published by the lovely and newly-wedded Fliss over at Any Other Wedding.

The post is about that bizarre twilight time between unmarried and married - the evening and morning before.

If you don't already know AOW, then you should. It's a great site full of wisdom and honestly and humour. What more could you want from a wedding blog?!

Thanks Fliss!

updates

I've just realised that I left a few things hanging on this blog for a while, such as this post about my weight and going on holiday. I'm sure you're not exactly desperate to know how it turned out, but I'm going to tell you anyway...

After a three week break, I lost 1.5lbs. Which was good. And then the next week, I gained 2lbs. And then I lost 2.5. So where does that put me? I think since before leaving for holiday, I am 2lbs lighter.

I have been plateauing, and I am currently in the throes of 'upping my game' (or 'downing it'?) on the diet front. despite having been to a chocolate tasting evening last night (obligatory for work, to be fair) and having our year's anniversary of getting engaged on Saturday (which we only remembered two days ago, rather amusingly).

I'm going to start posting diet updates every week again. It's not that I had been off the plan, rather that I had been pushing it to its very limits every week - something I had got away with before, but now there's a fair whack of weight gone, it seems I can get away with no longer.

So that's the diet. I've also now got hair and make up people, and probably a baker too for the cake sorted. I'm feeling pretty ok about this now. Surely there's not much else to do (apart from rings, dress and booze, right? Or have I forgotten something else?)

And then there is this post - the one where I thought I might quit blogging because I sort of freaked out about the pressure. Which was silly, because the only pressure being applied was by myself. Would my wedding look like x ,y or z? Would I have that carefree sylph-like stylishness that seems such an essential prerequisite? Would my tables be photogenic?

Then I thought again about some of the blog weddings. There are couples, jumping, Converse trainers, stylish place settings, symbolic hearts and chalkboards and all the rest. But where are the people? Where are the dancing kids and uncles? Where is the drunk father-in-law? Conspicuously absent from the photoshoot. I'm now thinking of these as photoshoots, rather than weddings.

Our wedding will look like what it looks like. I will just buy the things I like (J will like them too, he's very relaxed) and people will eat and get drunk and if the place does not look like one hell of a party has taken place at the end of the night, I will be disappointed.

If it looks nice on photos - great. If not, then as long as it looks great in my head and my memory, and those of everyone else, I will be happy.



Tuesday, 23 November 2010

how to buy a wedding cake




...or find a hairdresser, or someone to do your make up, or anything, really, wedding related, if you don't want the traditional fruit cake brick, or helmet of wedding hair with ringlets poking out of it. If you want those, this list might not apply as those things appear easy to find.

1. Find someone online you like the look of - modern style, tasty looking cake (if we're talking cake), friendly, good reviews, nice pictures. This looks perfect.

2. Get a quote for what you want.

3. Freak the freak out. What??? That is SO MUCH money - I can't pay that!

4. Shop around.

5. Shop around.

6. Shop around.

7. Become increasingly despondent. All you can find are bakers who charge through the roof for what you definitely don't want. All the hairdressers can show you are pictures of ladies with solid and very flammable-looking hair piled onto their heads , sometimes with a strand teased out and fixed into a ringlet that will last the honeymoon. All the make up ladies show rows of happy brides and bridesmaids looking like they've been sprayed orange. All of these cost between 20 quid less or 150 pounds more (generally more) than the nice person you originally got in touch with.

8. Panic. What if the first person, whose quote now looks staggeringly, jaw-droppingly reasonable - and with no risk of solid piles of hair, or an orange face, or a fruit brick-cake - has been booked?

9. Email and essentially, crawl back. Feel embarrassed about how nice they are about it.

10. Repeat for pretty much everything you have to book. I have so far done this for hair, make up and a cake. Well done me.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

aha, there you are



So, my wedding mojo returned! It actually reappeared a couple of days before the wedding fair, when I got a couple of ideas from blogs - some lovely wooden place holders (see above) and then some hair ideas. I found myself ringing J to ask his opinion. And that's when it struck me...

If I like this, I can actually do it. This will really actually appear at our wedding - which is now just a few months away.

See, while I always wanted to get married, a wedding never crossed my mind. I came into this with no ideas whatsoever. Just a small guidance from J, who when asked what he wanted in a wedding, replied: "Hogroast. Beer - ale. Good music" and I thought: 'well, it'll probably be on a farm, then, if he wants a hogroast'. I'm love big country houses but never had a strong desire to get married in one. I like farms. That's all we had.

God knows how I have formed anything thus far. I just keep clipping out pictures and saving links and have this vague idea that somehow, it will just work itself out. I hope it does...

Thursday, 11 November 2010

pfft

That noise I made in the subject line was me shrugging. Wedding? Pfft.

Since returning from holiday, I've remembered that the cake maker cancelled. The other day, my hairdresser cancelled (you may remember what a struggle it was to find someone free on that day for under a corking 300 quid).

And what have I done about all this? Pfft. Nowt. I got another hairdresser's number. Haven't called it. I got some replies to emails I sent to cakemakers back when I had motivation. Not followed them up. I realised with a shock that I am meant to be sending invitations out in 8 weeks, and that I had a mad plan to make them. I did manage to muster up the energy to ask a friend (who once made invitations for a living) if she could maybe tell me what to do at some point in the next month.

I am going to the Vintage Wedding Fair on Sunday accompanied by another betrothed friend, all bar two of the best ladies (who LOVE this sort of thing) and some other ladies, while all the menfolk visit the nearby pub (I feel there may be many grooms in that pub that day - it'll be like a creche for husbands-in-training). I am worried that they will all be more excited than me, but also hopeful that this could potentially solve the wedding and cake dilemmas and help me get my wedding mojo back.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Fliss gets married!

The HUGEST congratulations to Fliss of Any Other Wedding, who gets married tomorrow.

Best wishes, lovely!

the timing

According to the wisdom of ages, it's 'all in the timing'. It's a useful little phrase, but one that is entirely useless, unless you know what 'the timing' is.

Luckily, when you get engaged, there are plenty of people willing to tell you the right time to do everything. But you know where this is going. Most of them tell you to chill out, as if booking a hairdresser with more than a year to go makes you an obsessed Bridezilla.

When we decided on a time to get married, there were plenty of people in shock that we'd got just over a year and a half to wait. Therefore the refrain of 'you've got AAAGES' was heard time and again. And I came to believe it myself. Friends had got married nine months after getting engaged. It could be done.

Forgive me if you know all this, or if you just don't care. I wanted to seem laid back, unflustered. So I waited.

It was something of a shock, therefore, when I tried to start booking people at what I'd been told was a reasonable length of time from the wedding (around a year to go) that many people were booked up (especially the cheap ones) and had been for months. Damn. And when I mentioned to people that I was having trouble finding a hairdresser who didn't want to charge me £250 to do something to my hair, they expressed the same sentiment: " Really? But you've got AGES to go!"

Similarly, when I had to change the registry office location, I had to literally beg the registrar to squeeze us in. Genuinely beg. There was nothing for us, and this was with 14 months to go. That's what happens when you get married in a rural location. Not many registry offices in the vicinity.

That was when I decided to stop listening to most people, unless they'd done this themselves. You are planning a big party - probably the biggest you'll ever throw. This is no time for creating stress. This is no time to be procrastinating over whether you're bothering a hairdresser 'too soon'. They don't care - they like to get bookings. It's good for business. Ditto everyone else you will deal with. Save it up because everyone tells you to and you will generate yourself a whole heap of stress.

Oh, and halfway through writing this post and as if to prove my point, the hairdresser I had triumphantly booked before I went on hols called to say she's decided to take a longer maternity leave and so had to cancel. Damn.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

this could go one of two ways

So ladies (gents?), I am about to go on holiday for two weeks. This is great news, and also, slightly panic-inducing.

Not that I'm ungrateful for the wonderful holiday. But I am slightly panicking about its effect on my diet, which despite my best efforts, has seen me hover around the same 5lbs for about two months now.

I am surprised at myself for being so bothered. I am both desperate to relax, and desperate not to regain this damnable weight. I can't believe I am worried. I'm disappointed in myself for feeling this way, though will feel mighty disappointed in myself if I gain weight too.

Part of me is planning to make butter, on the basis that I can only eat what I make, and making butter involves a large physical effort, and I'll feel quite proud of myself if I manage it.

Another part of me is planning to go running and walking up massive hills, so that I can eat some cake.

I've never been this worried before. I've always just sodded it and enjoyed myself. I don't really like this at all, and I can only assume it's the natural progression of dichotomous (real word?) thoughts from the post below.

Yes, I am on a diet that allows me to eat as much as I want of most foods. I can have figs, artichokes, wild musrooms, risotto, pasta, potatoes, steak. But sadly, the list doesn't include criossants, stinky and disintegrating french cheese and red wine. Those count. I can have them, but I can't have them with abandon.

Why am I depressed about this? I don't know. I feel pathetic, but may actually cry if I gain more than a couple of lbs.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

some things i've learned

Some things I've learned about dieting:

(image from here)

- it's not that hard. You can do it, you just need to follow a few rules.
- it's damned hard. You have to follow the rules for a long time. I will probably have to sort of follow them forever.

- it's not just about food. There are bigger things in your life and you can appreciate them more once you've broken down that relationship a little bit.
- sometimes it's about a lot more than food. That cheesecake my friend baked to celebrate buying his first flat? Yeah. I'm going to eat the piece he cut for me. Who wants to be that girl, the one who turns down a small gift, a celebration. Food has meaning greater than satiation. But not all the time.

- some things can be turned down easily. It's just about saying "no".
- life is not about saying "no". It's about saying "yes", and living, and enjoying yourself. You need to go out to dinner.

- you can speed up your weigh loss by eating more fruit and vegetables
- in order to speed up your weightloss, you HAVE to eat more vegetables. And no, you can't put butter on them.

(edit - i thought of another one:
- small things don't matter. This bit of salad dressing/bit of x, y, z won't hurt.
- all the small things together? Yes, they matter. They are all that matters.)

Life is not just about looking a certain way. But it makes a lot of things in life easier (climbing stairs, shopping for clothes without crying) if you err towards the regular sized end of the spectrum. I'm all for being happy whatever size you are. But I wasn't.

Everyone, I would suggest without exception, is too hard on themselves the majority of the time. I would like to find whoever came up with the idea that you can have 'fat ankles' and give them a smack. They are ANKLES. They perform a useful perambulatory function and hold your feet onto your legs.

Life is full of dichotomies. You want one thing, but you know you should do another. Self acceptance versus empowerment and change. Diet Coke versus wine. Short-term enjoyment versus long-term satisfaction. The fact that I've always loved my body and been grateful for all of it versus the fact that I have still cried in changing rooms. How do you square that?

Anyway. Sometimes there isn't much coherence to things and that applies to writing blogs too. Random thoughts today.

PS All of this makes me glad that I found the best damn blog in the world. Eat the Damn Cake by blogger Kate Fridkis makes me overwhelmingly happy. When I see a new post appear in my reader, I save it up for later, for time when I've got a cup of tea and can fully digest and appreciate her words of wisdom and joy. Kate writes about how she never understood why anyone should feel unattractive, while understanding that we do, and we're human. And she advocates remembering that sometimes (all of the time?) you should just eat that slice of cake and be happy. A message we can all get behind, I think.

Friday, 1 October 2010

urgent help needed

OK so it turns out the register office I formerly suggested was 'grotty' now only has two slots available, and even those are squeezing us in. And I checked it on Google Street View and it's not actually that grotty at all - or better than I remember.

I have to let them know today which is better (and neither is ideal):

10.15am, at which we get married in jeans and then go back to the venue and relax and get ready

11.45 am, at which we get married in wedding attire and then go back to the farm and wait for guests to arrive before we do the bit up on the hill

I need to let them know by 4pm. Help! Which is better? J still doesn't care if it's the day before but I do. Will I care if I do it in jeans? Help!

the process of actually getting legally married...

...is turning out to be harder than we thought.

One of the things we learned during our visit to the venue at the weekend was that our plan to go to the nearby registry office in the morning before the outdoor ceremony will probably not work. This is given that it's a Saturday, the office is in a small market town and the traffic is always horrendous. Just to get there, we'd be looking at an hour. Then an hour back afterwards. I don't want to be sitting in traffic for two hours on the wedding day.

But here's the thing. There is another registry office closer. But it's horrible. Horrible building, opposite a supermarket car park in a town that is often dominated by the odour of the nearby chemical plant. It's not what I had in mind (the other registry office is in a beautiful tudor building).

There's also a local hotel that will just do the ceremony. The room hire is £180 - reasonable. Getting the registrars to come out - £320. Making the total cost £500. Not reasonable, given that going to the small room at the registry office is £43.50.

J thinks we should do it the day before. He feels that it's 'just a piece of paper, just signing a contract' and I know that this is a totally logical position. But I really can't feel the same, no matter how hard I try. I really don't want to be married when we go to sleep the night before our wedding. It feels like a sham. We can't afford £500. So the grotty registry office it is. (For new readers - hello! - we are being married up on a hill by a friend that afternoon. This is the real wedding - the declaration in front of all our family and friends, but we have to do the legal bit first.)

So ladies, and any gents that might read this, I urge you to sign the ANY campaign petition, set up by photographers Tino & Pip, which needs to reach 1000 signatures in order to be delivered to the government. This campaign urges those in power to reconsider the laws that state you must be married between the hours of 8am and 6pm, in a building with foundations and a roof.

Fellow bloggers - will you help spread the word?

thank you gaynor!

Just a little post to say a big THANK YOU to Gaynor at Our Day By Design who has informed me that I have won her blog competition for a £50 voucher from CSN Stores!

Thank you Gaynor and CSN! I shall enjoy trawling through the sites to find something to go with my cow rolling pin...


Monday, 27 September 2010

venue visit

(photo by me)

This weekend was spent visiting the venue with both mine and J's parents.

Beautiful countryside and weather, copious amounts of tea and lots of blackberry and sloe picking meant that what could have been a stressful couple of days was actually utterly lovely. My mum found a four-leafed clover at the farm, which she wrapped in tissue and made me press in a 1950s film encyclopaedia that J's dad had found for us at a charity shop that morning ("I thought you could put this in your loo. It would be good toilet reading.")

(photo by me)

There were scones, there was booze and it was peaceful. They walked up the hill with us to where we're going to get married and declared it lovely.

They talked about their own weddings: my parents was in a church and then a church hall for the reception, six weeks after my dad was made redundant. They cancelled everything when he lost his job, but everyone rallied round. A friend took the photos and another friend became their chauffeur, even buying a velvet jacket, a cap and flowers for the parcel shelf of his brand new cream Ford Cortina. Food was brought to the hall made by aunties and apparently everything went off great, aside from my Grandad pouring a pint of ale over my mum's dress, but she didn't mind. They've been married 28 years.

J's parents were married after knowing each other for just a month, and having only had two dates. They both worked for the foreign service in Africa and were about to enter a war zone. The only reason they were allowed to get married so quickly was because they both had security clearance (any man in the service who wanted to get married had to have his wife-t0-be cleared, a process that could take months). I believe they have been married 30-something years.

There were just two hairy moments. The first was crossing a dual carriageway with my mother-in-law to be driving us ladies to the florist. The sun was glaring, she had no sunglasses and we were trying to turn right. "Tell me when to turn, I can't see a thing!" is not something you want to hear on any road, let alone a fast one.

The other moment was when the same mother-in-law to be confessed that she had started buying baby clothes. N0 - there is no secret - I'm not pregnant. She just really really really would like it if I was. Cripes.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

crappy dress shopping experience

(image from here)

So you know I'm losing weight. Part of this - or rather, the end aim of this, is that I want to be a certain weight before I start looking for a wedding dress.

Currently, I've got a little way to go, but I'd hope to be at this weight by next spring, which is six months ahead, though it might be later.

So yesterday, I decided to ask in my local bridal shop: how late can you leave it to buy a dress. See, I don't know what I'm doing here, and I figure they might.

I walked in - there was an 'open' sign on the door, after all, and I just had a little question.

At the end of the shop were assistants helping a lady into a giant dress. But there were many assistants - maybe about 8 - and only four of them were doing anything (cooing over the bride to be, mostly).

Four of them were just standing there. And then I walked in, and the bell rang on the door, and they continued to stand there loking at me.

After about 10 seconds of staring at me like I'd dared swear in front of the Pope or performed a dance dressed as a dog turd, one of them came down to me.

"Yes???"

"Hi there. I'm getting married next year and I just wondered how long in advance I should be buying a dress. I'd heard six months, but does it really need to be so long?"

BLANK STARE.

Another assistant comes over, clearly incredibly annoyed that I have dared enter the shop.

"Yes????"

I repeat the question. Her answer:

"Yes. It has to be six months. If you want your Dream Dress." She definitely capitalised it. And now she clearly considers the matter closed.

"What happens if you have less than six months?"

"Well they you might not get your Dream Dress. You might have to wear one of these, which only come in certain sizes [casting a glance up and down my still-buxom frame] and other people will have worn them."


So anyway. I have yet to try on a wedding dress and one toxic shop has already soured the experience.

I probably won't be buying my dress there.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

it's the whole thing

I went to a wedding the other weekend. It was a truly amazing day - and after a week of torrential rain, the sun came out over the cliffs of Cornwall.

In the late afternoon, in that lull between formalilty and drunken abandon, the groom said to me:

"It doesn't feel like enough, really. We just stood there and said: I do, and I do, and signed our names. I can't believe that's it and we're married."

But that's not it, I thought. It's not just the name in a book and the 'I-do-s'. It's the whole thing: the rituals of the whole day. It's the feasting, and the dancing, and the symbolic cutting and sharing of cake. It's the feeding your loved ones. It's being showered with petals and the singing. We're just another tribe, after all; marking these important days with rituals, because that's what you do.

I think I said some version of this to him, much less poetically, after having two cocktails and a load of fizzy stuff. Not sure if it came out quite right, but I've thought about it since.

That's why it matters, sometimes to other people, that you do these things. To the 'elders' specifically: the white dress; the name changing; the little things that carry on.

I thought I would be rebellious, to start with: blue dress, my own name. But seeing that these things matter to people makes me think again. Why do they want them? Why do I not want them? I can see why it would be upsetting to lose these things.

wicked invitations

No, not mine, but Kiara's from Henry Reigns.

Check those bad boys out. They are blummin ace. Retro book covers - such a genius idea!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

genius idea

Map envelopes - print them yourself. I can TOTALLY see a use for these...

http://www.mapenvelope.com/

what i lose by not having bridesmaids

As soon as I knew I was getting married, I decided I wouldn't have bridesmaids. Partly this is because I don't love the idea. I've been a bridesmaid twice and I think my mind was made up then.

But also partly it's because I don't know who I would pick. I don't have any sisters or close cousins. I don't have any natural choices among my friends - no one I'd consider close enough.

But I do have a large, looser group of friends, many of whom have been invited to be 'best ladies' - which means they can wear what they like, that they may be asked to help with some things, and sport a flower somewhere on their person on the day.

This brings its own set of problems: if it's just a loose grouping, then where do you draw the line? How close do friends have to be to wear a flower? And who do you exclude? This is a dilemma indeed. Because I really can't just have everyone. And there are some people I don't feel close enough to, but who may expect to be included.

Today, I've been musing on what I'm missing out on by not having a chief 'maid'. Someone who is OBLIGED to listen to my moanings (heh) and help me through this. Someone I can call just because I am floundering. Someone who gets as excited as I do about the whole thing. Someone to come dress shoppping with (those accompanying me will be mum and mum-in-law - is this an insane decision?). Someone to feed me Gaviscon and croissants on the morning itself.

I'm lucky to have a group of lovely ladies. But after all that, I am now considering formalising or upgrading them to 'maids'. Mostly because otherwise I run the risk of having 15-25 best ladies, some of whom I haven't seen in yonks, but who must be included because we half the other girls from the same group of friends are on the list.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

resolution

So I think I've worked out why I was feeling so curmudgeonly.

When I had ages and ages to go, talking about this stuff was fun, inconsequential. I liked wallowing in the ideas and thinking about stuff.

Now, I don't have ages to go. I have less than a year, and to be honest, that sort of crept up on me, even though we marked the day with a picnic/engagement party. The summer was jam packed, with barely a free weekend. The autumn is shaping up similarly, and you know what winter is like (well, the fun bit before Christmas anyway. The depressing bit after is quieter... though probably won't be next year...) I don't really have any free time until November. I need to do invitations by Jan. The card we bought is now hidden in a cupboard and we've done SOD ALL.

Now, it turns out, I quite like the thought of keeping something for myself, having done all this sharing. The wedding is for us and our family and friends - I have ideas now and I just have to get them from my brain and into physical form.

So I don't think I'll be sharing the intricacies of my invitations. I might moan about them, or muse on elements of them here or maybe a quick 'how-to' if I found something useful, or if I think someone else might, but I'm not sure that I'll be blogging a six stage post on the paper stock, the envelope liners (a whole new concept to me) and all the rest.

I might be instead posting on things like the idea of changing my name, or how to work out some of the harder stuff. Stuff that the wisdom of the lovely community can help with. And probably some questions on why everything has suddenly become so damned expensive.

Friday, 27 August 2010

in which I offend everyone

Dear readers, help me. This post was written last week - one of many posts where I try to come to terms with feeling, well, a bit weird about the whole blogging thing in general. I have been puzzled, bewildered and downright down about the whole thing. So yes, it's cynical. But I think all of the below still stands. I'm uncomfortable, and struggling to reconcile blogging with me. Quitting blogging is on the cards. Please help me work out what to do.

Now: the post...


So you may have noticed that I haven't posted a lot lately. Yes, I've been busy with work and all the rest, but that wasn't the reason. It was a conscious decision. The reason? I've turned into a complete cynic. It's not pretty. I had to step back.

It started with a small reaction to oversharing. "Why," I thought, "must I share my every waking thought with the world?" Small moments were being ruined by my brain making a mental note: "ooh, significant! Must blog this!" So I had to take a step back. My life does not need another layer of mental commentary and when I'm having a nice time, I don't want to be mentally wording a witty blog post about it.

Then I went to see the friend who will also be our photographer. Some interesting conversations took place (and I realise, the following will be mortally offensive to some people. I am sorry, people. I like you. I really do):


Me: [performing a mime] "So they stand there, holding their trousers and dress up so you can see their shoes. Which are normally Converse."
Them
: [Photographer friend plus wife] What the f*ck? You can't see their faces? They take pictures of their shoes???

Me
: Yes. And they jump a lot. And sometimes they hold things up like signs saying Mr and Mrs, or Polaroids of their face.


I later showed the assembled a pic of a couple both holding signs on an engagement shoot with arrows to each other saying something like 'cupcake' and 'muffin' and the look of horror on their faces was exquisite. Then Photo friend said: "I feel like I could throw up." Then there were jokes about him doing some shots right there and then of us gazing dreamily at each other and lying on the grass. This was a JOKE, btw.

And I thought: when did it all become such a display? This isn't me.

And I know it is not: no wedding is a show (except are. And you're on show. And people are judging you. So it sort of is unless you elope. And even that is a statement about how you want to be seen).

I feel there is a bit of a p*ssing contest going on here, with everyone competing to be the most alternative alternative there is; to spend the least, to be the most crafy. Or competing to see who can opt out of all this the most.

And we're all agonising over the details, or making a show of not caring. And it's even such a cliche to say that none of this matters, and that your wedding will be different. Because will it, really? We've covered every base, considered every option. I am starting to feel like there's nothing left for me. I'm losing excitement.

And by opting out of what I feel to be traditional and trying to do something different, I now feel like a cliche myself. I even read the other day that 'bunting was over'. Well excuse me. None of my friends or family think it's over. It's just a fricking wall decoration. I think blogging is harming my sense of perspective.

Not everything is a statement of adherence or defiance to tradition, or to a new, modern vision of alternative perfection. It's not always a statement. Except it is if you blog it.

Friday, 13 August 2010

by the numbers

This week:

Friends of friends I have Facebook wedding stalked: 5
Coffees drank: 1 (willpower cracked 20 minutes ago)
Lbs gained: 1
Wedding things done: 1 (my sort of rate)
Time taken doing said wedding thing: 2.5 minutes
Times other people have mentioned the wedding: 8, and this will potentially quadruple this weekend. Maybe even sextuple or octuple.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

home

(The M1 north, in the rain. Taken by me.)

This weekend, I went to visit my parents at home. It was a regular visit; a trip out, a family meal. Spot of shopping with my Mum. Pork chops for dinner.

My old room has just been redecorated, almost a decade after I left to go to university. I returned at holidays, and for a few months afterwards, but the room stayed the same until a few months ago.

Now my brother has left home too, his room is a sort of mixture of half of his things, with my Mum and Dad's stuff slowly encroaching (I noticed sewing books, where once was an over-sized stereo).

His notice board, once filled with homework to-do lists and missives from ex-girlfriends is still there. The only thing on it now is pinned in the bottom corner: a photo of my Dad, aged 20-something, laughing at something and looking for all the world exactly like my brother.

Before I left, I went upstairs and wandered in absent mindedly. I stood there for a while, looking at that photo and his pictures still on the walls and thinking about the baby he's having with his partner. Philip Larkin kept going round in my head:

Home is so sad. It stays as it was left,
Shaped to the comfort of the last to go
As if to win them back.



Friday, 30 July 2010

a traitor to the cause?

You may have noticed that there have been no diet updates for a while. This is not because I've fallen off the wagon - I definitely haven't. But because I felt like a bit of a traitor to the cause.

Non traditional wedding blog land - which I think I can safely say, is where we pretty much all live - is all about being searingly honest and practicing love and self acceptance. I keep reading blogs where people talk about how they've accepted their weight in the run up to their wedding, and blogs that make a point of celebrating deliciously curvy brides.

These are great things. I love that it's this way. Self-acceptance = effing brilliant.

But I felt like that by posting my weight loss up here, I was somehow being a bit of a traitor to all that. Shouldn't I be practicing being happy as I am?

(You should all know, by the way, that I'm talking about more than a few kilos here. I still have much weight to lose.)

I don't think it has to be this way. Self acceptance is good, but then so is self-awareness and knowing what matters to you.

We all know that weddings are a stake stuck in the ground of life: a markerpost, an important point that we want to remember. That's why we spend money on them and spend so long thinking about the ritual of it all, even if we're going against the tide. Rituals they still are.

I had decided long ago to lose some weight. I was sick of feeling like I wasn't myself, and like my body was an impediment to my life. The knowledge of the wedding added to that: the stake in the ground held a post saying: 'this is the start of a new phase in your life. How do you want it to begin?'

Yes, I'm a dieting bride-to-be. What a terrible cliche. But we're all going on, or have been on journeys here (ugh, I sound like I'm on some sort of reality TV show) and here I am, on two.

We make a big point of being accepting of curves and of people of all shapes and sizes. I certainly know I do. Happiness, not size, is what matters.

But dieting is the big shame, implying judgement of people who aren't dieting and of people who accept their shape. It's neither of these things. But considered, sensible dieting - a change in the shape you accept - should be as celebrated and accepted as any blog post on why you love yourself, and everyone else, just as they/you are.

I love that I'm losing weight.

(For those of you wondering: just over two stones (12.7kg) lost, four or five (25-31kg) more to go)

Thursday, 29 July 2010

on asking your friend to marry you

So at the weekend (you may have seen the drunken tweet), we asked our friend to marry us. Not as in put rings on our fingers (duh!), but as in conduct our ceremony.

A friend who's never done anything like this before. For two people who dont' really know what they're doing but just have an inclination that this could be fun and mean something good.

But to begin the story proper, let's go back a few steps.

When we first got engagaed, J joked and said we should ask this friend to marry us. He's got the right sort of personality to manage a crowd, and once, years ago, as a sort of joke, got ordained on the internet (not that we're religious, it just seemed like a relevant daft detail to add in here). I agreed that he would be brilliant.

But I didn't like to ask a friend, and as you may have seen from previous posts, I thought we should get a humanist as a sort of middingly official option.

So we went and met the humanist. She was very nice. But J was not keen. Not keen at all.

"Why would we have a stranger do it? We might as well go to a church and have a vicar that doesn't know us as have someone else who doesn't know us."

Also, humanists weddings aren't cheap.

J was set on asking the friend from the start. I wanted to as well, but part of me felt bad asking a friend and thought a more formal option would go down better with our families.

As it turned out, I was wrong. We would ask our amazing friend.

So we met our friend at the pub. I'd asked J to let me be the one to ask him. We started drinking.

We drank some more.

Then we squeezed in another before going to the restaurant.

Then we tootled off for dinner. We drank an entire bottle of wine over starters. Then we got a second

J kept looking at me. I couldn't honestly conceive of how to broach the subject. So the second the friend mentioned the wedding (in passing, I may add), J leapt in.

"Actually, we needed to ask you something about that."

Cue me. Everyong looking at me.

"Ummm... Well. Umm."

Then altogether in a rush:

"Wellwhenwefirstgotengaged, Jsaidweshouldaskyoutomarryus, half-joking"

Then calmer:

"But then we thought about it, and it didn't seem like such a joke. We went to meet a humanist but it's not for us. We thought a friend could do it, maybe - but the only friend who we know could do the most amazing job, is you."

If I didn't know how to ask, then he didn't really know how to answer. He said yes immediately, though flustered and he kept saying it was the most amazing thing to ask and a complete honour."

We all hugged many times. By this time, however, we were red wine-happy, muddling our words, knocking bits of food on the floor and very nearly causing a red wine lake across the table. I think there might have been some slightly misty eyes. There were certainly some brilliant hangovers.

Monday, 26 July 2010

congratulations...

...to My Spare Thoughts', who is now betrothed!

Hope you had an amazing day - and continue to have them for evermore.

We want to hear all about it!

quick repositioning

Sooo. Last week, I may or may not have been thinking that I wasn't so fussed about the little details - that they seemed like a lot of work and that maybe they weren't important.

Well, in the grand scheme of things, they aren't important - not compared to basically joining myself to another person. But after spending two full hours on the amazing iDiY last night, I sure as hell want some of these nice bits of stuff.

That's why it's good to have a blog, see. So all you lovely people can share in my stupid circular thought processes and fickleness.








(All photos from iDiY)

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

the details

I love looking at wedding pics. On Facebook (hello friends of friends - do you know I'm stalking your wedding?), on blogs, in magazines.

I find myself cooing over all the little details. OoOOOOoooh. Look at those lovely little things on the tables. Look at the favours. Look at those cute letters and the arty craftness of it all.

And then I think: Hmm. I am not sure about this.

If you look at our wedding, from a distance, I like to think you'd see a big group of tipsy people all acting daft.

If you look at the photos, I think you'll see people. And then more people. Maybe us. And then maybe a nice view.

In years to come, I'm going to want to look back at the pictures of people, and us. Maybe one or two of the view.

I'm not sure I will ever want to look at an artfully arranged table displays or other bits of crafty ephemera or photos of my shoes looking arty in the grass with the wedding rings around the heel? Or will I?

If there are details, I think they need to be edible. Sweets are good. Letters are horrendously expensive. Bunting is good - it can be made in large volumes and at low cost. Massive jars of sweets are good. Tasty.

But what else will people remember? Do these things matter?

Monday, 19 July 2010

washing up


So we were trying to have a serious conversation about the act of marriage.

Or rather I was.

J was trying to wash up while I cooked so that we could both sit down and drink beer/gin. I like to do this sometimes – try and have serious chats about marriage at inopportune times – because I’m an idiot, and I worry that we’re not thinking hard enough about it. When of course, that’s not true at all.

This particular conversation centred around the fact that marriage isn’t passive: J had said something about getting married just confirming our relationship and I disagreed. I said that it was something active, something we were making a statement about and a break from our families in order to create something new*. (Note: J didn’t say it wasn’t any of these things. I KNOW he understands this too. But you know, I am an idiot and felt that the point needed reiterating.)

*I may have been reading a few wedding blogs along these lines.

Me: [Very serious] It’s not passive. We’re not just blindly following a path that leads to marriage. We’re actively creating something new. I’m going to be your family, your immediate family. We’re creating a new unit...

Him: [Robotic voice] Unit 5718 has been created. Former units: IRRELEVANT.

And then I started laughing, and told him that if he could just carry on like that, we’d be fine.

hmm

Total number of wedding things achieved this weekend:

1. Buy card for trying out invitations.

That's it.

Ta daa!

I need to get better at this.

Friday, 16 July 2010

lovely thing #4

I realised I haven't done one of these for a while. This is my occasional series of lovely things I find and decide I'd quite like to have at the wedding.

Here is lovely thing number four: sparklers. I bloody love fireworks and sparklers are part of that. I'd really like fireworks at the wedding, but they may be a bit pricey - need to investigate.

Here is a brilliant pic (from Love and Lavender)

Thursday, 15 July 2010

lists

Today shall henceforth be known as the day of the lists.

During my journey to work, I had no less than three moments of 'oh shit I can't forget that' wedding panic. On arriving at my desk, I started three separate lists ('add to guest list', 'buy for wedding' (list includes 'straws - yes, insane) and 'invitations') and started to plan what I would be buying in my lunch hour.

Is this what every day for the next year and a bit will be like? Damn. I'm going to be making a lot of lists.

Monday, 12 July 2010

proposal






I realised, after reading a few other blog posts about engagements, that I've never written here about mine/ours.

The reason it took so long is basically because it contains a rather unique detail that would mean I would be instantly unmasked if anyone I know were ever to stumble on this blog.

So here's a disclaimer. If you read the story below and think you know me in real life, please do not mention it to me. Just read on, chuckle to yourself and don't tell me. I don't mind you reading my blog, but don't let me know.


Insane disclaimer over. Now for the story.

I've been with Mr Bunting for nearly nine years now. When we got engaged, it was during a weekend away for our ninth anniversary.

We'd talked so often about getting married, and he'd never wanted to. There had been a time when I desperately, passionately, wanted to be his Mrs. He was away a lot for work: I wanted to be something legally; his next of kin. I wanted to be official.

But he didn't see the point, and I completely came round to his view. It's ok: we were a modern couple and I a modern woman. We didn't need it. In fact, I started to embrace this mindset a little too eagerly, I think, for when it came, I was in this completely 'other' state of mind.

But to rewind. I had booked a hotel for our anniversary; the first time we'd ever celebrated it with something other than a steak or a takeaway. Two weekends into the future, we'd be going away for a weekend with both sets of parents. Then a week after that, we'd have a Christmas party with all our friends. Once proposed to, I immediately thought he'd seen an opportunity too good to miss, but he maintains this fortuitous set of future plans never entered his head.

He'd had a few hard weeks at work. We'd spent many days talking quietly, having long walks, helping him feel better.

When we went away after this, he was shifty. We walked around the new Ashmolean and I kept feeling his clammy hands, which he blamed on the air conditioning. I didn't twig.

Later on, he wanted to walk along the canal. I said I wanted to go around the shops and look at the Christmas lights. He acquiesced: unusual for a man who hates shops.

Two hours before we were due to get our train, he dragged me to a pub. We sat outside at a creaky table in the corner, raised on an odd sort of decking pedestal. His behaviour got more odd and his eyes misted up as he reached over to his bag, got down on one knee and produced a beautiful wooden box, and inside...

a hula hoop. Salt and vinegar flavour.

He was down on the floor and I was, I think, hyperventilating. Oh yes, very much the disinterested modern woman. I had thought he didn't want to, and I couldnt' quite understand what had just happened. Then I started laughing. It took me about 20 minutes to say yes while I hyperventilated and he cried and told me that it was the past few weeks that had changed his mind.

I didn't believe it until I asked if we could buy a ring the next day. Until then, I thought he meant 'let's get married at some indeterminate point in the future'.

That night, we went back to the hotel and got amazingly drunk together over a lovely dinner that I can barely remember eating. I found out that morning he'd ordered a bottle of champagne to be sent to our room when we got back, and told the hotel of his plans to make sure he wouldn't bottle it.

I told work colleagues on Monday, but just one friend (the only other engaged one) before telling our parents together two weeks later (a lovely secret), and our friends at the party.

And yes, I still have the hula hoop: ring #1.

weekends

Two weekends ago, we went to Cornwall. We went to see Doves and Mumford & Sons at the Eden Project (readers from the early days may remember how much I love Mumford & Sons) and it was goddamned bloody brilliant.

I now don't just love Mumford & Sons, but massively fancy the lead singer. Oh for shame...

I'd sell a kidney to see them on their London tour later this year, but it's sold out already. (I went online the second we got back to try and buy tickets for their London gigs, which had just gone on sale. I was so dismayed to discover they'd sold out that I seriously considered shelling out £70 for one on a ticket exchange).

When we arrived on Friday, we discovered there were still tickets left for Calvin Harris on the Saturday, so we ended up seeing that too.

So this is what that weekend looked like:
















Check out that sky. I kept craning my head back to look at it.
There was a bit of this:

















And these flowers, which I pointed out to J (oh yes, you get an initial now. I felt stupid referring to him as bf) were the colour I'd had in mind when I'd told him I might want to get married in a blue dress. I'm not sure the picture does them justice.
















This weekend was wild swimming and fruit (and veg) picking. We jumped in the river Thames and gorged on broad beans and raspberries. This was my view on Saturday, and what the whole weekend looks like in my head.


Thursday, 8 July 2010

some musings on hen nights














Some years ago, I worked on a boat. One of those boats that trundles up and down a river full of drunk people on Christmas parties, or, more often, drunk women on hen nights. (Stag nights/groups of men weren't allowed, as they too often ended up overboard.)

One night we had no less than seven hen parties on the boat. All small groups of women. All wearing pink sashes and penis deelyboppers and trying to snog the DJ. At one point, one of the women started slagging off the bride in another group. They starting having a bit of an argument.

The evening ended when some more women got involved and a fight broke out, culminating in a headbutt that knocked out three teeth. We had to call the police and send them wait for the boat at the next lock, whereupon an amusing period of time passed where we had to keep the women bodily apart while the boat rose up comedically slowly in the lock. Then we bundled them off into the arms of the law, missing teeth and patches of hair.

The rest of the evening was rather subdued. Another fight happened when we got back, but it was in the car park and so the captain decided to leave them to it.

Other than the ones I served at during my long years of student bar work, I’ve only ever attended one sort of hen night – a meal in a horrendous steak house, followed by drinks in a dodgy bar. It wasn’t great.

The other day I was invited to another one, up north. There are so many activities, bar visits and meals scheduled in that a conservative estimate of cost comes in at around £250. This is for someone I’ve not seen in a decade. I’d like to get to know her again, but I’d like our first meet up in ten years not to cost several hundred pounds.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

read this

I've never read Brides.com before. But this is great. Have a read.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

the long engagement

So I just read this post from the lovely Cloggins.

In it, she asks: Is having a long engagement just an indulgence? Could we have done everything in a weekend, or three months?

For my money, the answer is undoubtedly yes. You will get as caught up or not in weddings as you want to be.

There are all sorts of factors that might mean you have a long engagement. We're having one because it means (a.) I can lose weight (I'd been trying for a while so it wasn't a snap decision) (b.) we can save money and (c.) we can get the cheap venue we like. Also, I don't like stress. I had anticipated that it would involve more than it currently seems to, and had wanted to leave enough time.

But really, though
we have over a year to go, once we knew what we wanted, most stuff sorted itself out pretty quickly.

I'm lucky that the venue does the catering but really, if I did nothing else for a year bar buy insurance, a dress and some flowers, we'd be fine.
Getting obsessed over invitations etc is fun if you like that sort of thing. But you can always phone or send an email. That's not to say I'm not getting involved - I intend to fully enjoy this time.

But if we'd had the money and I'd been happy on the weight front then we'd have done it asap.

If you want to let yourself be consumed by it and enjoy it, then you will. If you have a weekend, then you'll book it in a weekend.

I'm a strong believer that with this sort of thing, you only get as stressed out as you want to.




Saturday, 26 June 2010

weight update

I realised the other day that I haven't done one of these for a while.

Basically, the gastroenteritis had the added side effect of making me lose just over half a stone in a fortnight. So now I've officially lost 10 per cent of my body weight since January and also hit the two stones off mark. This is almost a third of the way there.

So: good progress, though still a long way to go!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

gocco massacre

So last night, I went to see the lovely Anna for a spot of dinner and a play on her gocco machine.

This was predicated on three things:

1. I hadn't got a clue what a gocco was (I thought it plugged into a computer. Yes, I'm stupid.) Once I found out, it seemed like fun.
2. It seemed like a cheap way to make invitations
and
3. Anna assured me it was a piece of cake.

Let me tell you this right now:

There was no cake. Not even a whiff.

This may be down to a couple of things: me making a bad call on the design (which to be fair, took two and a half minutes in my office before rushing out the door) and me being a person that attracts mess like a small child attracts mud to their shoes and and food splatters to their face.

But a lot is spoken about gocco in this section of wedding blog land. So I thought you might appreciate seeing what the cute Etsy cards and whimsical blogs by non-messy craftmasters don't show you.

Here's what happened:

1. I made a design. It was for a little engagement party/picnic we're going to have. I found a cute little picture of a picnic table and downloaded a free font. I wouldn't normally use images found online (I KNOW it's bad) but this was just a trial and like I say, I had approximately three minutes to do it. If the IP owner of the clip art ever reads this, I apologise and will buy you beer/gin.

2. I printed it out, and then ran to get it photocopied before the print shop shut. Just in case this didn't work, I had also spent my entire lunch break looking for pens that would work with a gocco. (Sharpies and Staedlater drawing pens, if you're interested) and buying card.

3. Then I went to Anna's. Post food, and armed with ginger beer, we set to.

Here's what 'setting to' looks like (note the newspaper-covered table. This would later prove to be the wisest decision we made all night):











This, my friends, is a gocoo machine. Anna's gocco machine, on which she made her save the dates, which look bloody lovely. It is much cleaner now than it was at the end of the evening.

4. We started trying to print things. The first thing we did was make the screen. Here's what that looks like:











So this was my 'design'. I know it's rubbish, but like I say, this was a little test.

5. We tried to block out the screen so that we could make the table brown, the things on the table red, and the writing black. The little foamy bits you use for this are quite thick. This I hadn't realised and was the crux of the problem. We couldn't separate out the red and the brown bits.

6. Et voila, here's the first attempt











Please note, the massive gap between the table and its load. Bean suggested that rustic crapness (ie looking homemade) was supposed to be part of the gocco charm. I'm not sure I agree - or possibly feel that this is beyond rustic crapness.

7. At this point, we tried to remove the inky bits of foam, and this is where the hell started. However hard we tried, we couldn't seem to get it all off. So it would be:

press a card
realise foam still present
use cotton bud stick to try and remove foam
re-ink
press
repeat; repeat; repeat, scream, repeat

Eventually, all we had was a mucky table covered in inky sticks, a mucky Claire and some gocco-ed cards that looked like they'd been made by someone who was bleeding profusely from the hand

Here you go:









To quote Anna: "There's bad, and then there's looking like it was made by a three year old." Never a truer word was spoken.

However, this was an important learning process. Here's what I learnt:

1. If you're going to gocco something, make sure your design has got gaps between things that are supposed to be different colours. CRUCIAL.

2. If you're going to gocco; make sure that it is something that would benefit from being gocco-ed.

This might sounds stupid: I shall explain. This 'design' I made would have looked as good printed on a decent normal printer. The point of gocco is to make something with zingy colours or some other element that would not look as good produced this way. Anna's save the date did this brilliantly, using a zingy purple that would never have looked as good done on a printer.Does that make sense? I'm not sure, but I don't know how else to put it.

3. Make sure you have newspaper down and wear old clothes.

Anna may write a corresponding post talking about how easy it was for her. And I don't doubt it. Look at the lovely cards she made. It can be done if you leave gaps and don't try to be overadventurous with colours.









Herewith endeth the lesson. I suffered so you don't have to.

** With muchos thanks to Anna for her patience, wisdom and quantities of ink.

Monday, 21 June 2010

sooo...

...any of you following my tweets may have seen that the last week was something of a non-event for me, as I spent the whole thing in bed with horrible gastroenteritis. So wedding planning and chatter was pretty much off the menu (what was on the menu, I hear you ask? cream crackers, water and rehydration solution. YUM!)

This week, I'm going to be having a crack at gocco, with a long term view to perhaps making some invitations. I'm just checking if it's bloggable...hopefully there'll be an update soon...

I know it's still a long way off for invitations (OK, just over a year is not that long any more) but if I'm going to make the things, then I'm going to potentially need quite a long time as I don't anticipate being amazing at this stuff (having not made things like this since childhood). Also, I want to send the invitations out just after Christmas. Most weekends are booked up for the rest of the summer. Most will be booked up at Christmas. So I should invest a little brain power in it as often as I can otherwise I'll be staring the festive season in the face with no crafty bits of card to show for it...

Oh, and I also put in a request with my Mum for her to start on bunting. She IS good at this stuff, a crafting supremo. Let's hope I inherited some of those genes...

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

holiday

So, I've been on holiday. Hence all the quiet around here in the past few days.

After the making of the spreadsheet and the mild sweats and tremors that it induced (the figures weren't high for 'wedding land' but they were bloody high by my book) we decided to have another crack at a guest list and got it down by 20 people thanks to the imposition of a few sensible rules (I have a huge family. The rules are very necessary if it isn't to be 75 per cent my relatives).

I also had a night of utter panic when I thought the venue cost had increased by a grand. Seriously, utter panic: thinking of cancelling the lot and losing the deposit sort of utter panic. Sod it, let's just go to the pub and the register office utter panic. Needless to say, it was completely unfounded utter panic.

I also mentioned dresses again. I've let my liking of non-white dresses be known before. But it didn't really wash with bf. "Just for one day, can't you look like a bride?" Fairenuff.

Friday, 21 May 2010

spreadsheet wizardry

So as step one of my 'actually doing stuff' movement, I've made a spreadsheet.

I know that sentence is probably the worst opener to a blog post, ever.

But it's serious: if we're going to keep the cost down to something approaching a 'budget' (though how you can ever use that word in conjunction with a wedding is madness. 'Budget' options are still insanely expensive when viewed through the lens of normal life) then we have to do this.

Every year, we have a big Christmas party for all our friends. And every year, we grossly underestimate the amount we spend. But we tell ourselves: it's just once a year, it will be miserable January soon and we'll be eating lentils all month anyway. So sod it, it's only money, get that bottle of rum.

It's always a damned good party. But it always costs more than we think it will.

So I want to try and at least know what's going to come up: what we might be spending our money on. So far, I have the following categories:

Dress
Shoes
Alterations
BF's suit
BF's shoes
Venue+food
Cars/transport
Ceremony
DJ
Booze
Cake
Invitations, RSVP, Information Card, Addressing and Postage
Flowers
Miscellaneous

It's that last one that scares me. Miscellaneous. I have a feeling this could spiral because there are things I haven't thought of.

So what have I missed off? And what might be a reasonable budget for those things not included?