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:

BF's suit
BF's shoes
Invitations, RSVP, Information Card, Addressing and Postage

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?

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

a tiny shift

Here's a tiny thing that happened today.

I showed bf the Cox & Cox wedding catalogue. He did not recoil. He appeared to show genuine interest. On seeing some pretty bottles, he said: I like those. We could have something like that.

This follows him emailing me some little cake figures ('toppers'?) the other day. HIM sending them to ME. Let's just digest that for a moment. Not that I give a damn about cake toppers (famous last words?) but previously, I had been lead to believe he didn't give a damn about any of these bits. I'd had to drag him to meet the humanist, and that's a big, needs a lot of thinking about, thing.

I feel quite excited. It's summer: it's technically much more than a year away, but in a year's time, I would like to have done almost everything and be enjoying the lovely summer without too much stress.

I think this means I can start actual planning (not just wide-eyed staring at wedding blogs) with impunity. Yes, it's more than a year away, but now when I mention it to people, it doesn't get that shocked response. It's a respectable time frame for actually doing stuff.

Ready, set, go!

*fires starting pistol, runs off excitedly to look at cakes made of stilton*

one and a half

So last night at slimming club, I lost 1.5lbs. This also meant that I got my 1.5 stone award, hooray!

Let's break those figures down shall we...

That's something like a quarter of the way there. Or at least, a quarter of the way to the point where I've told myself I can start looking at dresses.

That's 21.5lbs lost (I'm half a lb into the next half a stone)

In 3.5lbs I will have lost 10 per cent of my starting body weight.

And in kilos, I've lost 9.75.

I know I've still got a long way to go, but this is pretty cheering.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010


Grr. The past two weeks have been slooow on the diet. I've just lost half a pound each week, which, while of course two tiny steps in the right direction, is frustratingly slow. A fortnight ago, I was 2lbs off having lost a stone and a half. I though I'd crack it in a week. Now I am still 1lb off it, goddamnit. I should be past there by now.

You know I'm doing Slimming World, and it really is the best diet (they say it's not a diet, it's a way of eating, but it gets a bit tiresome saying that all the time though it is true), and on their website, there's a place to fill in your weight loss every week. This generates a graph which shows you when you might expect to reach certain targets (and your main target weight). Two weeks ago, mine had me at target in March next year. Now it says November: AFTER the wedding.

I know the graph fluctuates all the time but I am feeling very frustrated right now. Planning on drastically upping my salad intake this week as a result. Pfft.

Friday, 7 May 2010

too much, too soon?

So right now, it's one year and four months, or 484 days* until we get married.

I don't need to underline, I'm sure, what a helluva long way off that is.

One the one hand, I'm glad to have the luxury of time to think about and to do things. Surnames, ceremonies, savings and dieting all need wiggle room and a bit of time to get right.

But on the other hand, I know that some things won't take that long to sort at all. I can't shake the feeling that this isn't as hard as I thought it would be.

Sure, some bits will be. But the logistics? I don't know. It seems very do-able, even if I had just 6 months to get it all done. Or even less: six weeks would be OK at a push, I think. Am I being massively unrealistic?

And on some, imaginary, third hand, I wonder there's such a thing as too much time to think. I find myself, more and more, feeling like I am pre-empting the excitment and potentially making the process less fun by soaking in wedding blogs and things every day at this point.

I worry that I've made my mind up about things too soon: the surname issue (for another post); the ceremony... what if I change my mind in six months time after having pinned my colours to the mast now? And doing it so publicly, on the blog and all.

I don't want to find myself with nothing to get excited about this time next year, having everything already sorted.

When we go out to meet friends, I have a variant on the following conversation many times a night with different people:

Them: [Excitedly] How's the wedding planning going?
Me: Well, we're not really doing much at the moment. It's a long way off. But we have met the humanist and we've just started thinking about x y and z.
Them: Woah, you don't want to get stressed out about it! It's ages away!
Me: But...I'm not... I was just answering your question....
Them: No no no, it's too early. Don't think about it yet, you'll get stressed out.
Me: Um....

My current thinking is to keep it low-key right now. Actively not think about it, except for monetary issues, dieting and planning how much booze to buy (fun). I think we could mark a point at which this thing can begin in earnest: perhaps one year to the day when we could have some friends round for dinner, or have a picnic in the park. Perhaps that might be nice.


* yep, I joined the Knot just to find that out

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

remind me never to talk about our wedding in the daily mail

Christ on a bike. Check out those comments:

Lucy Mangan: I admire you a great deal. I love your writing for its honesty and frankness. You were one of the reasons I became a journalist (ooh, clues clues. I'm not a journalist any more so it's a bit of a red herring...)

But I can't help feeling your honesty and frankness might have got a better reception in any other newspaper. In the entire world.

(I would almost urge you not to read the story and add to their precious readership figures, were Lucy's article not so damned good.)

Seriously, don't read the comments. Nothing is off limit for the Daily Mail commenter: the dress, the choice of husband, the atheism and of course, the overall appearance (weight/face). Nasty, nasty.