Friday, 20 January 2012

Long time no see

For the few lovely ladies who I know are still followers of this little blog, I just wanted to drop in and advise that I am still here, and that more than that, I am now a successfully wedded woman.

Things got a little hairy for a while (demanding job, doing up a whole house, planning a wedding in 7 months..) and I just retreated from sharing it for fear that putting it all in writing would somehow magnify everything. If I admit to it, I can't hide from it. So, I hid, and things got done by sheer dumb luck and hard work from both of us, and we were wedded. And it was Wonderful. And they we went to Norway! And that was also Wonderful.

So.. thanks for sticking around :) I really don't know what will happen to this little corner now, whether I will perhaps put up bits and bobs from the day.. we shall have to see. It's been wonderful, anyhow.

Thanking you muchly x

Monday, 28 March 2011

Befriending our wedding

This wedding is a strange beast. On one hand, we (I especially) decided on a short-lead engagement specifically to avoid spending too much time on it. I love weddings (had you noticed?) and I was afraid of myself; afraid of becoming someone who lives and breathes Wedding and who loses perspective because of it. I was afraid that the longer I had to plan, the more embroiled in the details I would become.

Yet, I now admit that I may have been wrong in my approach. Lately I have been feeling ..disconnected from the day.

I enjoyed not having the freedom to make any decision I wanted- having only one date available at our venue, for example, was a simple and refreshingly easy decision. I could pick between two options: yes or no. But now I am wondering if maybe part of my way of connecting to things, be they events, objects or choices, is through deliberation. I have always mulled my decisions over - I am the person who reads all the reviews, examines all the alternatives, before making a choice. I am she, who spent 9 months deliberating over buying an iPhone. I am she, who has plowed through 6 different honeymoon options before settling (I hope).

So now I have this wedding, this amazing wedding, that doesn't feel Mine. I haven't connected with any of the choices we have made yet. Normally this process of connection would be gained through whittling down options until at last arriving at a choice you know you have Made Well, but when that option, the only one you know how to do, has gone, what do you do?

I an going to have to get to know it. Back to front, I am going to have to approach each choice and re-learn it, befriend it. We made them for good, valid reasons, so these are good, valid choices. Piece by piece, I need to reclaim them. I need to tame this strange wedding beast of ours.

And maybe even befriend it.

Wander Pandas

That is what Rich and I call little escapades; trips down mysterious side streets, a stroll up the river side, a casual perusal of beautiful shop delicacies. It makes me laugh, and it is also MUCH fun to say. Shall we go for a wanderpanda through the places we are considering for honeymoon spots?

(I say we, but really it is me dilly-dallying between them, going back and forth, and generally changing my mind the moment I feel I've settled on a locale):

1) My first love, Disneyworld

I am a child at heart, and who wouldn't want to go there? Oh, except that it's really hot, and Rich doesn't do heat. And not beautiful. But I so desperately want to go!

2) We briefly considered Las Vegas
And by briefly considered, I mean I had looked up hotel prices and transfers and the location of those giant fountains. But then I realised that all the other cool stuff we wanted to do (Hoover Dam, National Parks) is friggin miles away and also it is in a desert and what happens if your car breaks down in a desert bad things you probably shrivel up and die let's not go there anymore.

4) Canada: Vancouver - Banff - Calgary
Oh me oh my have you seen a photo of Moraine Lake?

It is truth and beauty. Imagine the joy of having a piece of toast on that deck. I would still very much like to go here, only Rich has already been once, and also the Moraine Lake Lodge closes by 1st October so we would have to rush to get to stay there. And everywhere is small towns, so besides staring open-mouthed at the stunning scenery there wouldn't actually be much to do.

3) The Alps
Mountains, Gandalf, Mountains! Except, Beloved Sister went there for her honeymoon. And also it is geographically fairly close, so I feel we would be missing an opportunity to travel further afield with this much time off. Also, I've been (once, but I've been). Oh, and I can speak a grand total of none of the about 5 languages they speak in the various parts.

4) Canada, again
Screw Vancouver, I say. We could fly to Calgary, and get the glass-domed train up to the awesome Rocky Mountaineous parts, and.. and.... it's all really expensive. And all the previous issues still stand. Drat.

5) The Alps, again?

6) Ooh, Norway!

Fjords! This incorporates nothing good about any of the other places! We cannot speak the language! Rich has been to Scandanevia! It is expensive!

7) ...Disneyworld?

8) My latest, genius move: ALASKA
Okay, you guys, I think this is the one. We are natively in the language (nearly).
There are Fjords.

And a city, with Stuff To Do

I think this is The One.

Friday, 25 March 2011

My signature piece

When I was just a little person, maybe 12 or 13, I bought the first item of clothing I really loved: a bright pink cardigan. This was before they had come back into fashion in the UK, and I rocked that pink cardigan SO HARD, even though they were definitely not trendy. It became my kind of signature outfit piece and I kind of adored it.

I maybe kind of still own it 10 years later, except Rich refuses to let me wear it since it is now all mis-shapen and old. However, no matter because at last count there were no less than TWENTY cardigans in my wardrobe.

Seriously, I own more than twenty cardigans. Even I can admit that that is kind of ridiculous.

But I want another one.

A wedding one.

Because of pictures like these:



And also because I just super adore cardigans. They make me feel like Me. I know I will feel beautiful in my dress, because it is beautiful, but once it gets dark on that cold September evening I know I will put on my happy colourful glorious cardigan, and feel truly at home.

So, what shall I buy?

I had hoped to be able to find one out and about - some kind of lovely, cashmere-y type item that Rich and I could choose together (- since he couldn't help me pick my dress and I MISSED him when I couldn't have his input, this will help soothe that :) ). If all fails, I will always have my trusty H&M (oh, H&M. How many days I leave the house wearing items entirely sourced from your delightful walls is embarassing), however I had hoped for one that would be more.. special, I guess? Since this is the only time I will be willing to spend over £40.00 on a cardigan, it seems a shame to get one for £12.99, no?

But I have no idea where to look. I've tried googling 'cashmere cardigans uk' but shockingly that hasn't exactly produced any great goods of wonderment. Neither has etsy, but of course that's probably because I'm not looking in the right places (there is always a nook somewhere in etsy housing something exquisite that is exactly what you were trying to find).

So does anyone know of such a nook as this? Somewhere you've bought something a bit snuggly and a bit snazzy that might be worth a look-see? I am struggling.

Much thankfulness in advance for any and all suggestions :)

Monday, 21 March 2011

This is she.

Last weekend, I did it.

I nonchalantly went into a dress shop, and bought the first dress I put on.

Haha, I kid, I kid. I did actually buy the first one I put on, but BOY were there some fun hoo-hahs along the way. Nonchalant is not my style.

So my first error was not knowing what I wanted in the first place. This was the first dress shopping trip I had ever been on (for myself), so I had a vague idea what I didn't like (not too many Things on it, no beading, no crystals, not The Usual if I could help it..) but turns out there is a whole world of dresses that fit that category, and dress shop assistants don't respond too well to Um Well I'm Really Not Sure What I Want So I Have No Idea How To Choose Between These.

Also, dress shop assistants don't respond well to their worlds being subverted in any way either.

"You don't want to be the centre of attention?"

"You don't want to feel like a Princess??"

"You DON'T want a tiara???"


Minds. Blown.

All of the above are true for me, which makes it difficult for them to use their usual sales lines, unfortunately. One poor lady was literally speechless after I told her that the reason I was unsure about one particular dress was because it was rather conspicuous.

"But you WANT to stand out - you are The Bride!"

"Except I don't. That's exactly what I don't want to do."

"Don't you want to feel like a PRINCESS?"


shocked silence.

It would have been more humourous if she wasn't deadly serious.

But I did try on a few wonderful dresses. In third place was Ian Stuart's Sancerre:
Gorgeous, exactly what I had thought I would love.. and I did really like it. Lots of bows. Bows are good.

I loved the dress in abstract, but I had difficulty loving it on me.

Second place, and very nearly first place, was Maggie Sottero's Carmella:

Please ignore the model's mangled photoshopped body - this dress is beautiful. I felt beautiful in it. I felt so lovely that I was incredibly close to buying it. In fact, if I hadn't tried on the dress I now have, I would have bought this, I'm sure of it. The issue was that everyone who saw it on me thought it wasn't bridal enough, and in the end I figured I could always buy a dress like this to wear to someone else's wedding. But there is a twinge of sadness because honestly? I felt so comfortable and lovely in it, and it's hard to turn that feeling down.

I took my best friend back with me the day after and we just stared at me in this and my final dress for about an hour while I ummed and ahhed. I have difficulty deciding what to eat for dinner, so deciding between these was torture. I had no idea on what criteria I should be making my decision. Comfort? The general feel of the day? The weather? The price? Both had equal points.

I hated that hour.

However! The dress I bought literally makes me more excited to be having a wedding, which is an amazing feeling. This is she:
Premiere by Ian Stuart. The gift of a loving grandmother who cannot come dress shopping with me, but wanted to give a wonderful, meaningful gift. And I love it.

Although it appears that I accidentally bought Belle's dress? Turns out I will be a princess after all.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

I have an aversion to the words belly band

I'd just like to put that out there. Looking through all these beautiful stationary items, and then reading the word BELLY seems somehow incongruous.

Dear stationary designers: please come up with a new name for those, kthnx.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

A Bag of Fears

When I was younger and angsty-er, I kept a daily diary which was filled, page upon page, with my worries and fears. I would write huge lists of my worries. I am a worrier. I thought I had grown out of it with the passage of time and the maturing of my soul, and I guess I mostly have, only this whole Wedding shebang seems to have dredged up all my old youthful tendancies for worrying about everything.

I found through writing my diary that putting my fears on paper helps; once they are written down the worries are no longer in my head, they are encased in words and in a physical form which means I can shut them away, close the book, and sleep at night. So, in the interests of my sanity, here goes (please be aware that I am aware that these are mostly ridiculous and unfounded, but.. welcome to my brain):
- I worry that Rich regrets asking me to marry him
- I worry that our small wedding is an indicator that we don't actually have that many friends or people that care about us
- I worry that I don't have enough close friends and that this is because I am not very good at making friends
- I worry that the majority of my close friends are from school which means I failed at university by not making another big set of friends. I worry the school friends will judge me for not having more university friends.
- I worry that our wedding will be boring, and that people will go home early
- I worry that people don't really like me that much and would rather not come at all
- I worry that we will invite people and they will wonder why they are invited, because they did not think we are as good friends as I seem to think we are.
- I worry that people will judge our choices and thus us, negatively
- I worry that I will be an imposter in a big fancy dress at our low-key casual event and I will look horribly out of place
- I worry that I am so keen on having a low-key event because then people will have lower expectations and will not be as disappointed as they will inevitably be with the day, not because it is what I want
- I worry that Rich is not enjoying planning this with me
- I worry that my desire for things to be done to my standards will exclude people from helping or offering to help me with things for the wedding
- I worry that I will miss a great opportunity for having a community-event through my own snobbery
- I worry that by worrying so much, I am not able to sit back and enjoy our limited engagement time
- I worry that I will not learn how to enjoy it at all and I will miss it entirely

Things I am not worried about:
- Marrying Rich, and being his wife.
- Having this wedding with our friends and family.

I guess it's a start.