Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Four more sleeps

Lou wishes she'd taken her wedding diet a bit more seriously

Today is my final day at work before we get married. SQUEAL!

This evening we head off to the 'Shire to prepare for our Big Day. And what a surreal feeling it all is. I can't believe we have reached this point, it always felt like it was a million miles away. And now it's here.

It's hard to describe how I feel - rather like a big pile of nerves and excitement all bundled into a butterfly farm in my tummy. It's just such a big milestone, a mammoth turning point in life. But it's all so lovely too. I can't wait to see all our favourite people, and most of all I can't wait to call my fiance my husband. Oh god, I'm filling up!!

Last night was a massive packing frenzy - we each had to pack twice. Once for the run up to The Big Day and second for our honeymoon. How I have managed to pack three weeks worth of clothing into a rucksack is still beyond nothing short of a miracle. But there's something quite nice about being super-strict and only taking the bare minimum. Something I have never been able to do in the my entire history of packing for trips. I can't even go to work without taking a jumbo rucksack full of stuff I never use or need.

Tomorrow the marquee arrives - I can't wait to see that go up. I have never been truly able to properly picture how on earth we'd fit 50 people in a tent on Mom's garden. (Despite the marquee man reassuring us it would definitely hold 100.) So I hope that all works out ok.

And in between getting all jittery, making lists and having anxiety dreams (the one about the goth/vampire party in the toilets next to the tent was more than bizarre. Not sure what that says about my subconscious? And the one with the see-through wedding dress was a worry. Note to self: double check no-one can see my knickers) I've been fannying about trying to work out a little speech.

Now I don't want to ramble on, as I am sure no-one wants their toes to curl in their nice new wedding shoes as I reduce to a blubbering emotional wreck and declare my love to everyone. Which could happen if I have too much champers. I just want to say a little tiny thank you, because throughout the planning, I've been utterly blow away by how supportive and helpful everyone has been and how people have bent over backwards to help.

If it wasn't for many of the favours we'd pulled in, we'd be huddled around our four man tent with a family bag of kettle chips and a bumper pack of sausage rolls.

Finally, I've been saying all along that I don't care what the weather does, but its been glorious for weeks on end this last few months, and it's spoilt me. I'd love it if the sun shone on the day. But hey, there's nothing I can do, it can't be controlled. And anyway, it's an excuse to wear my wellies if it rains.

So I might try and hop back on here with a quick update if I get a mo. But my Fiance and I will be up to my armpits in fairy lights, fairy cakes, teapots and bunting for the next three days I imagine. And Mom's internet connection is a bit dodgy, rather like when the internet was first invented and you have to watch the screen loading for 30 minutes before you could do anything. I think it's powered by hamsters.

So if you don't see me...I'll be back in three and a half weeks with a FULL report! Wooooooooo!!!

Monday, 9 May 2011

Can someone call Richard Curtis?

I can’t quite believe it. Of all the things I have been fretting about, like freak weather conditions blowing the marquee away, concerns about my dress fitting my ever-expanding backside, incidents with cow muck/a chicken/toilets, I didn’t anticipate this one:

Our vicar has had a stroke.

Fortunately it was mild, but the poor bloke is in hospital and under strict orders to stay there. So he can’t do our wedding.

When my fiance broke the news I thought it was all over. But before I launched headfirst into my first wedding meltdown and took deep breaths into a paper bag, he said there was a stand-in – the vicar who read our Banns. Massive sigh of relief.

But it's a shame, because Reverend Patterson has been on the entire wedding planning journey with us, and we've grown quite attached to his placcy bag collection and shoddy memory. The stress of wondering whether he’ll actually remember our names or even know what day to turn up has all been part of the rollercoaster of emotion that has come hand in hand with our organising.

But his understudy, Reverend Deakin is a really nice bloke and he did a lovely job of reading our Banns. And the good news is, he also looks like a sitcom vicar. Hooray.

I just hope nothing happens to him in the next six days - after all he is well into 80s. I guess I’d just have to wheel Rev Patterson in on his sickbed, maybe decorate his drip stand with flowers.

Anyway, I shouldn’t worry, we're in the countryside - you can’t go more than six feet with bumping into a vicar, they're everywhere.

Failing that I'll give Rowan Atkinson a ring. He'd be great in our sitcom at our wedding.

Big sack of poo anyone?

I might enter Josh into the Apprentice (he'd probably do a better job then some of the idiots on there)

So my little brother Josh, who is our Usher, is becoming something of an entrepeneur lately.

He recently bought 200 spanners for £40 at an auction by mistake (he got carried away with the nodding, winking and waving) and is already doing his best to sell them off on at a time, with a view to making a profit. Whether he will or not is another matter entirely, but the thinking is there.

And his latest venture appears to be horse manure. To make a bit of pocket money, he cleans out the stables at the farm over the road, and the owners very kindly said he could collect any manure he shovelled.

Then he cottoned on to the fact that there will be lots of people around his house in just a few day time. He has a captive (and slightly drunk)audience.

Last time I checked, he'd already gone on Facebook to offer one of my Best Girls a bag of manure for a fiver.

I bet there aren't many brides who can say there wedding day included a big turd sale. And as one of my friends pointed out, at least he's making sure we get our money's worth out of the marquee.

"I'd like to thank the bridesmaids, the best men and oh, would anyone like a big bag of shite?"

Friday, 6 May 2011

The plan for the table plan

Yet another Blue Peter moment at home last night. I used more of Best Girl Emma's test bunting to create our table plan. I just need a frame to pop it in I think. That mini bunting has certainly come in handy!

Next is the slightly trickier task of actually working out who sits where. I might need a bottle of wine to help me with that...

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Some royals, a couple of fridges, a dress and lots of signwriting

So Bank Holiday Number Two was a very successful weekend on the Wedmin front. We crammed a heck of a lot in.

Friday was mostly spent absorbing every minute detail of the Royal wedding. Obviously it was doubly fascinating because of our collective interest in weddings at the moment, but I couldn't believe how glued to it we all were. I watched all the way from 9am til 1.30pm, then we all carried on watching the re-runs and repeats. We must have clocked up a good 12 hours of coverage.

But in between cooing & commenting over Kates frock/lovely skin/calmness/unpleasant looking tiny bridesmaid, and drawing comparisons ('that'll be you next' etc etc etc) we did tick off a few tasks.

First up, we tested our sign writing skills. An A3 blackboard I'd ordered to display the menu had arrived, complete with special blackboard pen, which gave us many minutes of fun. What is it about writing on chalkboards that's so much fun?? I am SO keeping it to play with post-wedding.

In fact, it was so joyous to play with write on, a small scrap ensued between my fiance and I over who was going to actually write it. I argued that my writing was better, and I was concerned about his copywriting skills after reading his first draft:

But his typographical/designer skills over-ruled, so while he did that, I set about making our pub sign for the bar. While in the Lakes last year, we visited the famous Honsiter Slate Mine and found the ideal piece of slate on which to write the words The Three Kings. The idea being, this would be our handmade pub sign to prop against the bar in our marquee, to recreate the pub where we first met in Clerkenwell. Altogether now ahhhh.

Next up was a sign to stand at the end of the country lane where our church and venue are, to guide our guests in the right direction. Otherwise, there's a very real danger people could end up in a random farmer's field amidst some rather disgruntled cows. So Rob found an old wooden chest, Josh painted it and I set to work with a marker pen:

Finally on the sign writing front, I made a sign to direct people to park in Bernard's front yard. And Best Girl Emma's test bunting came in useful for disguising the fact it was actually made from a wardrobe door:

In other news, before we arrived for the weekend, Mom and Rob had been on a small mission to collect some wine coolers borrowed from the electrical shop where Rob worked for many years. (as this wedding has proved, it's not what you know....)

Now, I know they are just fridges, but still, I thought they were rather exciting! How nice would it be to have a massive kitchen to house them and a wine collection big enough to require it's own refrigeration??! Still, we can enjoy that luxury for one day at least. Here's Rob, shortly after he wedged them both into the launderette: (apparently you can set them warm up reds too!! Like a wine oven!! Wonder if anyone will notice if I pinch one?)

But, far more importantly than fridges and blackboards, we attended evensong at Morville Church, to chat about the order of service with our vicar. We had noticed in the parish newsletter we had been congratulated on our marriage - three weeks early. But a local told me they are always too early with all announcements. He said, "They thanked the people who had fitted the new cattle grid in the church car park before they'd even done it." So we were in good company.

To my huge relief the Rev was anticipating our visit, and didn't say anything like "oh I thought I married you both last week?" or anything. And I noticed he had updated his Sainsbury's carrier bag filing system to a Next carrier bag (good handles). During the service he mentioned our upcoming wedding to the congregation and joked about us having trees in the church like Kate and William. Which was sweet, and also reassured us that he was on the ball with things. Phew.

After the service he sat us down for the 'vicar chat' about the importance of marriage and christianity and so forth. Then suddenly he said, "Do you actually like each other? It's ok to love each other but are you friends aswell?"

A stunned silence followed the bluntness of the question. How do you answer that? What if one of us had said, "Oh shit Rev actually, no! I can't stand this person! Cancel everthing, I'm off! See ya!"

Luckily neither of us did say that. Instead, we both giggled nervously and said yes we were best friends. (After my fiance jokingly said "well she's alright I suppose?". At least I hope he was joking.)

We then scheduled in the rehearsal, and the Rev asked about readings. We said we'd like a verse from the song of Solomon. "Woo! thats a bit racy, practically x-rated some of it!" he chortled.

I was stunned – is a vicar allowed to refer to a part of the bible as being x-rated??
I assured him we'd skip the porno bits and focus on the verse about togetherness. (and then back at home I double checked to make sure the reading didn't sound like a script for a top shelf movie. It didn't thank goodness. That could have been embarrassing for Aunty Dy to read out eh?)

Back at Mom's house, we were really touched by the behind-the-scenes work that's been keeping my stepfather Rob busy for the last few weeks. His greenhouse is full of little plants and hanging baskets that he's bringing on to decorate the outside of the house for the wedding. It's all going to look so pretty! He'd even found a lovely little flowering plant that had the pinks and greens of our invites in it - how thoughtful is that? We are so lucky to have Mom and Rob helping us out backstage to pull it all together. I'll never be able to thank them enough for all their hard work.

They even very kindly offered to chauffeur us to and from the local pub in Much Wenlock for a much needed breather from the wedding preparations. It had been a full on week at work and we were a bit tense about planning everything. So we decided to stop, but down the lists and sign writing equipment and take a moment to remember what it was all about. And then get rather drunk on Prosecco. So thanks to Rob for being a taxi service while we did that. Here we are, getting on it:

And next day, we couldn't resist a walk up to our church to picture the scene that would unfold here in just two weeks. TWO WEEKS!!!

Here's Toby admiring the view from behind our church - isn't it wonderful!

I also managed to get my dress back from Joan the poorly dress fitter. Big phew. And considering she'd been so ill, she had done an amazing job. It's now the perfect length and looks just lovely. It fits absolutely perfectly too so there's no way I can gain even half a pound before the day. Not too much pressure! Just lettuce and icecubes for me for the next couple of weeks then...

Joan made me laugh a lot as I tried my frock on too, because she's the sort of person who says exactly what she thinks - and as we chatted about the Royal Wedding and how lovely it all was, she said "Didn't Prince Andrew's daughters look a right pair of buggers! And who was that little bridesmaid at the front? She was an ugly bugger too!" I was partly tempted to invite her along on the day to give her own running commentary on how my guests looked, just for comedy value.

So there we go. Two bank holidays later and we are in the final countdown. I can't believe it's May. And I can't believe we've reached this point in proceedings. As I write there are just 10 days to go. Oh. My. Word.

I need to take lots of deep breaths and do my best to just wallow in this final bit of build up. After all, these are my last remaining days as a spinster of the parish!