Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Posh blokes in suits

We've finally done it. It's taken three saturdays. Several miles of traipsing around London. Countless trips back and forth between Regent Street and Jermyn Street comparing and contrasting. Much swearing at the hapless tourists who seemed to be deliberately clogging up the streets and shops we needed. And it's actually taken longer than the choosing of the wedding dress. But last weekend, my husband-to-be finally chose his wedding suit.

And very nice it is too, in a dark grey with a bit of a grainy texture. (Or sharkskin as the posh suit shop called it.) He's going to look very handsome.

Shopping on Jermyn Street was an experience too. I've often wondered where posh people buy those tweedy sports jackets, chequered shirts and mustard moleskin trousers. And now I know.

With the grandiose and over-the-top magnificence of Fortnam & Masons regally perched at the top of the street, walking down Jermyn Street is like wandering around one of those working museums you see on Channel 4. All the victorian-esque shops seem to consist of dark wood and brass fittings, with ceiling-high, narrow shelves of shirts and rainbow displays of ties. They are all staffed by carefully groomed and slightly snooty gentlemen, effortlessly gliding around the shop floors with tapemeasures round their necks and calling everyone sir. It's a far cry from the low-crotch-skinny-jean wearing, gum chewing, bored, hungover, Top Shop sales assistant.

And all the shops have the same odour about them. Sort of musty and old. But new at the same time. With an ever so faint top note of cigar and fifty pound notes. It's the natural smell of posh people.

Needless to say, we felt slightly out of our depth at times. Kinda like two hungry Dickensian waifs, with tatty trousers and grubby faces, looking on in wonder as a man with marbles in his mouth thinks nothing of spending £1000 on a couple of shirts and a jacket.

It truly is another world.

Mom's third wedding worry

Just had another genius text from Mom. The latest animal activities in the 'shire are causing her yet more concern. I can't rewrite this, it's far more amusing to just relay the conversation:

Mom: "Fun and games here! one of the big shire horses over the road is lying down in the stable and can't get back up so they've sent for the fire brigade. Fire engine blocking the lane, straps and tackle. What if that happens on your wedding day???"

Mom: "There's another fire engine just turned up and two more men in a red van! I love firemen!"

Me: "Oh my goodness, does it really require all them blokes to pick up a horse?"

Mom: "Not really but it's not too busy round here fire-wise although they had to come to the lady up the road on sunday night, her boiler caught fire. You think you've chosen a quiet little wedding venue?! Wrong!"

Four hours later she sends an update:
"So, two fire engines with full crew, two back up vehicles and a total of 20 people later, the horse is up! And it was Bernard* over the road with his mini JCB that did it in the end!"

So there you go. According to Mom, there's clearly a very real danger of two dozen bored firemen gatecrashing the wedding. Of all the concerns I thought I might have about the big day, that was NOT one of them.

*For those who don't know, Bernard is the mildly eccentric gentleman that lives opposite Mom. He owns a lot of the land in the area and he's going to be a 'lending' us some car park space on the day. He's fond of cherry brandy and the Daily Sport, and likes chopping down his trees and then cutting them into logs. And obviously, he owns a JCB.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Mom's second wedding worry

Just had a text from Mom. She's cleaning out the chicken shed, and noticed that all the chickens are getting a bit frisky. The milder weather has apparently fooled them into thinking it's spring or something. She said "they're all at it like mad!" and then expressed concern that they'd be doing it on our wedding day, which would certainly make for an interesting backdrop on photos.

I think Mom needs to realise that a few copulating chickens will be the least of her worries. Her newlywed daughter will be smashed on champagne and dancing to Bucks Fizz (thanks for that musical request Jenny!) with her wedding dress tucked in her knickers.

So how's THAT gonna look on photos????

Thursday, 13 January 2011

What goes on tour and all that

It was always going to happen, but now it is, I am nervous. Yup, my fiance is plotting his stag do. And the stag collective have decided to terrorise enjoy a few drinks in Edinburgh for a weekend.

And I know it's obvious, I know it's a cliche to worry that your husband-to-be is going to get his eyebrows shaved or something. But I can't help it. I mean boys are daft when they get together aren't they?

But actually, it's not really that I'm scared of him being cling-filmed naked to a lampost. Or that he'll be plonked on a train in his sleep with a one way ticket to the Outer Hebrides. And I'm not even worried that he'll be so drunk he'll wake up in the penguin enclosure of a zoo. He's an adult, he can deal with all of that I'm sure.

No, what concerns me, is that one of his mates has mentioned there's an indoor snowboarding/dry ski slope type of place not too far from Edinburgh. And him and his mates all love that sort of thing. They are the sort of lads who think nothing of donning a wet suit and skipping into the sea with their surfboards, no matter what the season or weather conditions. And in his younger days, my fiance used to be a skateboarder. Naturally, eyes lit up when he heard about the possibility of a bit of snowboarding.

So. If they decide to go all alpha male and take the stag weekend to the slopes, fake or otherwise, what concerns me are the inevitable activity-related injuries. Mainly a broken leg. It'll no longer be a wedding in wellies. It'll be a wedding on crutches. Oh crikey, I don't want to think about it...

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

A pair of hobbits

oh my word are we really going here!? Squeal!

I'm very excited this week. After sweet-talking/forcing our respective places of employment into giving us three solid weeks off, we've booked our honeymoon flight tickets. We are officially going to New Zealand!

I can't quite believe it, it's somewhere we've both always dreamed of going. And even more exciting, we plan to do it in a camper van! With so many things to see and do, it really is the only way to explore. It's gonna be fab.

Now, as my husband-to-be is a huge 'Lord of The Rings - The Movie' fan, I am anticipating much hobbit related high jinks and japery during are honeymooning. (He's already added hobbit feet to our online wedding list.) But by complete coincidence (or is it Paul??) it turns out Peter Jackson will be over in New Zealand filming his new movie The Hobbit while we are there.

My fiance has already joked about getting some work as extras or trying to wangle our way into the background of a scene. Not sure our camper van will fit in with Mr Jackson's vision of Middle Earth though. But hey, if we can get Bilbo Baggins' autograph, then we will certainly try.

Lou & Paul partying in their camper van

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

They're out there

It’s a moment I never thought would arrive.

After months of desperately trying to find pockets of spare time to actually design them, after several debates about typefaces and after the inevitable minor clash betwixt copywriter and designer ("not too many words, they'll spoil the design!" etc etc) the invites have all been printed and posted. Wow.

We can’t wait for the RSVPs to come back, because on each one we asked our guests to tell us three songs that are guaranteed to get them on the dancefloor.

There are two reasons for this. One, obviously we want everyone up and having a great time. No excuses. And two, selfishly it gives us a head start in compiling the song list for our DJ, Ross. It'll be much quicker if we already have 75 songs to give him.

(When I say 75, obviously I am being optimistic and hoping no-one puts the Venga Boys, Jive Bunny, Morrissey, Black Lace, Iron Maiden or the bloody Grease Megamix. Because rest assured readers, none of those will make the playlist.)

P.S. Thank you for all your hard work, my talented husband-to-be, they look gorgeous!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Hello cabbage soup

Ah here we are. January 2011. It's my first day back at work and already Christmas seems a million miles away. Despite severe weather conditions and small earthquakes, we did make it to our cottage in the Lake District. We were so relieved, we got drunk. And remained drunk for the entire two week break. It was a marathon of beer and wine consumption and a diet that consisted mainly of beige food. With lots of sofa-snoozing in between. It was bliss.

And now we are back, I am breaking into cold sweats every time I think about getting into the wedding dress. All that eating and minimal-movement has certainly taken it's toll. Especially when I know we came back with quite a lot of leftover festive food. The two boxes of mince pies, selection box and chocolate orange are all laughing at me, I can hear them every time I walk into the kitchen. They know I am weak. They know I can't say no. They know I am a right greedy cow.

But there can be no more pie-based snacks. There can be no nibbling chocolate or cheese from the fridge because 'it doesn't count when you are standing up.' The serious countdown has officially begun. It's full steam ahead on the wedding planning and I have just under five months to ensure I don't end up wearing the marquee, rather than partying in it.

So I have to get back on track and focus on the frock. Lots of cycling and plenty of vegetable soup. That's my plan. Ryvita anyone??