I put in my requests before Christmas, as you have to request annual leave far in advance, especially as I was requesting three weeks off, in July. Then I requested that I work Monday - Wednesday of the week I finish, and Friday - Sunday of the week I get back, giving me a total of four weeks off work. I imagined I'd finish work on the Wednesday and rush home to begin what was, in my mind, full on wedding mode. But perhaps due to our incredibly organised nature and very good planning, we haven't really had all that much to do! Yesterday we had a wander round the shops, bought a few items that we had forgotten, like chalk to write on the blackboards, and I re-read through my speech and printed it off. But we had finished the tiny list of things to do by about 6pm, so had a lovely lazy evening in front of the TV together. I went to bed last night thinking that I must be missing something, this is the week before our wedding, for months I had had visions of running round like crazy people, doing all these little jobs, and yet yesterday was so....calm!
Today has continued in a very similar vein. We have been invited to a joint 50th / 25th / 21st birthday party this evening, so are going to that later. But apart from that, we only had one task today - to pick up Sarah's wedding dress. So we got up early and did the 45 minute drive to her dress shop, but everything went without a hitch and we picked it up and drove home again. We now have two wedding dresses hanging up - but we have promised each other there will be no peeking, we want to see each other for the first time as we walk down the aisle.
|I don't know how it'll fit - it's four times longer than she is!|
I have spent a bit of time this afternoon wondering how we have managed to avoid all of the "one week to go stress" that seems to invade so many people. Being at the end of the planning a wedding process, and having survived pretty much unscathed, I wanted to write my own mini guide of how to survive planning a wedding or civil partnership!
1) Begin as soon as your engaged, and have a date in mind. We knew we wanted a summer wedding (don't anyone mention that Britain doesn't actually have summer anymore!), and we knew wanted a weekday wedding. We started to visit venues a month after our engagement, and this has allowed us to take our time through all of the decisions, big and small.
2) Be realistic. We have worked our absolutes souls to the ground to pay for the wedding, and whilst we think it is worth it, and would do it all over again given the choice, be realistic in how much you have to spend. Weddings can easily spiral out of control in terms of cost, particularly as you see what other people have had, and start to look online and in magazines. Be sure of what you want to stretch the budget on and agree to save money on other aspects.
3) Concentrate on the important people. i.e. the two of you. We have had so many ups and downs with the guest list, and people letting us down in various ways throughout the planning journey. However we have a saying that we stick to, "the important ones will be there, and the other's really don't matter", and it's so true. My other saying that has become pretty well used over the past two years is "I'll be there, you'll be there, I don't really mind who else will be there". The day is about the two of you, yet it's so easy to forget that with all the family / friends dramas that come with it.
4) Make it about you. We have seen so many weddings in magazines and on Pinterest, that all seem to run with the same themes, and they all begin to blend in to one. As they all look the same they lack any emotion or personal feel. Following trends mean that not only will your wedding photos look very out of date very fast, but also, this day is about the two of you, not about impressing people with bang up to date trends. Our wedding mainly centres around our beautiful tree filled/themed venue, gorgeous vegetarian food, tea, and cake!
5) Have back up plans. A wedding is something most girls have dreamed of since they were little. (Ok, maybe not S, but she still remembered the crystal encrusted shoes she saw in a magazine when she was about 12, and has a very similar pair from the same brand as her wedding shoes). Its hard not to have a perfect, exact image of what your day will be like, especially once you begin planning. But from not being able to use the exact words we wanted, our first choice of band refusing to play at a lesbian wedding, and our table plan changing more times than I can remember, lots of things change, or don't go the way you want them to. We get married in 5 days, early July, but have always taken into account the fact it could rain, and what we would change if it did. We have been told there are so many details that make up a wedding, its likely that not all of them will go to plan (we've heard of couples forgetting to cut the cake and it being eaten the next day by the venue staff, and a close friend of mine forgot her own name during her vows and gave her husband to be's name instead!). The point is, it's about the two of you, and the people that love you, not every tiny detail being perfect.
6) Enjoy every moment! Working with a lot of women mean that between us we have been witness to a fair few plannings of weddings. It is fair to say that a lot of people get incredibly stressed during this time, as they worry that everything will be perfect, that they have made the right decision, if their flowers will match the invitation ribbons etc. We haven't! We have had wonderful afternoons in our PJs, with mugs of tea, discussing our ideas; we have had really great days meeting suppliers, attending wedding fairs and open days; and if we have disagreed on an idea we have discussed it and found a middle ground. More than anything, we have enjoyed every little bit of it. From buying our shoes, to designing the stationery, from making the confetti to choosing our venue, and every other decision in between, big and small. This has been one of the most amazing adventures of our life, and we have stepped back and appreciated just how lucky we are, to be organising the day of our dreams, with each other, our soulmates. I mean what could be better?