Well, it’s been quite some time since I last blogged. Over a month, to be precise. So I must apologise for my tardiness in getting a new blog post out to you, before I write a brief update of where we’re at in wedding planning and how I’m feeling about the big day that is fast approaching.
Because we’re now in to single figure countdown. That’s nine days, people. NINE. One week and two days. Or less than 216 hours if that’s how you like to look at things. This makes me feel somewhat apprehensive, slightly nervous and very excited.
Now I’ve learnt a fair bit about weddings over our 8-month engagement, so I thought it apt to share my learning so far – my three point analysis of wedding planning, preparing for marriage, etc.
- Weddings take up far too much head space. As much as you can try to keep the wedding small, and try not to think about it too often, it’s inevitable that you can very easily end up feeling like all you’re doing is wedding. We’ve been living wedding for the past few weeks now, and it’s getting incredibly tiring. And even more boring – for me, and I’m almost certain those around me.
- Keeping the engagement short is best. I’ve never really understood long engagements where couples get engaged just to be engaged. That seems to feel like a half-hearted commitment to marry to me. So when Jeffrey and I got engaged we didn’t even consider not starting to plan our wedding straight away. Maybe it would have been nice just to enjoy being engaged, but it felt like once we’d taken the plunge, deciding to get married, it was right to get on with it. And am I glad?! 8 months of wedding planning has been quite enough, thank you. Had we had the 15 months we’d originally anticipated it would have been filled with pointless wedding crap and we’d no doubt have ended up spending more than we wanted.
- The wedding doesn’t really matter. It’s about the commitment. About coming together to start married life. It’s about the marriage. Not the dress, the colour of napkins or the ribbons on the chairs. And, while we’re planning the wedding and I may have got somewhat caught up in it, my reasoning for number 3 is this. Whatever happens, and unless someone doesn’t show up or someone declares an impediment, the outcome is the same. You end up married, which was the goal in the first place. My evidence? The very popular BBC3 programme Don’t Tell The Bride. Besides the key shared experiences of all couples taking part in the programme – where the bride does nothing while the groom experiences fun and stress with his Best Man as they try to organise the wedding of the bride’s dreams and end up inevitably messing up along the way – there’s one other common thread. Whatever wedding the Groom pulls together, even if he ends up choosing the wrong venue, the wrong style dress and doesn’t book the all important make-up artist, the bride loves it all. You know why? Because at the end of the 2 weeks of stress and anguish for both, the couple get hitched. And who can’t be happy at that?
Point 3 is my most recent discovery. Ok, so I have known this all along, but as I said earlier it’s incredibly easy to get caught up in wedding planning and making sure everything’s just right. But with just nine (eeeeeek) days left till our wedding I’m starting to realise this more and more. Some ideas I had of decorations and things to make went out of the window weeks ago. As the weather is in it’s hit and miss stage, I’m semi-laughing at the face that if it rains and I get wet my dress may well turn incredibly see-through. And if it’s chucking it down? Well, I’m just going to insist people go and buy colourful umbrellas for photos – no black please folks.
So what’s making me slightly nervous and apprehensive? It’s two things mainly. And these feeling first reared their head 3 weeks ago at our friends Ben and Karen’s wedding in Market Bosworth, Leicestershire. Waiting in the church for Karen to arrive, my senses were on high-alert. I was incredibly nervous, a feeling I’ve never experienced at a wedding before. When they said their vows I was pretty emotional (ok, I admit I am often an emotional wreck at lovey dovey stuff, but this felt different).
But I don’t feel nervous about getting married, more having to do it in front of 57 people. I know many women look forward to their wedding day, the day when they can be a princess and the centre of attention. But this I’m dreading. The idea of 114 eyes on me trying to hold myself together on the biggest day of my life is giving me butterflies.
The second thing making me slightly apprehensive is the name change. I’ve commented on my decision to double-barrell my name with Jeffrey’s for reasons you can read here. But today, when I said goodbye to a colleague before I’m off on leave, she asked what my new name will be. And all I’ll say is that I felt so glad to not be letting go of my name completely. Adding Jeffrey’s surname on to the end of mine feels strange enough (though I am glad to be doing so), without me having to abandon mine completely.
The wedding of Simon and Kaleigh (above) on Don’t Tell The Bride almost never happened as Simon chose to hold the wedding in Las Vegas and failed to fly out some of Kaleigh’s closest family. After many tears and promises from Kaleigh that the wedding was off, they ended up marring and Kaleigh loved the day.