The Husband to Be has joked about a money saving strategy he has come up with for the wedding. It’s like a wedding ‘swear box’, if you will. His suggested banned words are: DIY, blank canvas and put your own stamp on it. You see, I've recently been heard to say these word quite regularly because when it comes to planning this wedding I’m thinking like a pro – Kirstie Allsopp.
‘Kirstie Allsopp’s Whimsical Handmade Wedding’. I can see it now. A patchwork of carefully crafted rustic loveliness all so fondly collected from car boots, grown, arranged, upcycled, glued, painted, appliqued, shabby chiced, sewn, baked and presented on the big day in a fairy light filled tipi for the lucky bride and groom – me and The Husband To Be.
It has crossed my mind to post her a letter outlining this idea in the hope that she’s looking for inspiration for her next hit TV series. She would love it and more importantly so would her producers. Her people would call my people and we’d be filming in the chintzy craft studio of her country cottage the next week. With Kirstie onside, this wedding planning business would be a breeze. There’s just one hitch – I don’t want to be on telly. (As a teenager at Twickenham, I was made to sing ‘Oh When The Saints’ on TV next to my overzealous parents and am still mentally scarred.) So, I don’t think we’ve got much of a chance enlisting Kirstie to magic up our perfect DIY wedding with her own fair hands.
But that’s ok, because as it happens, the wedding industry is tuned in. You can buy whatever wedding paraphernalia you fancy in this homemade style. If you’re prepared to pay over the odds, it’s a cinch to create that dream DIY look without lifting a finger. But that defeats the object doesn’t it? Surely you couldn’t spend the day pretending you’d spent hours labouring over the sewing machine fashioning the bunting from floral vintage tea dresses and knickers, when actually you re-mortgaged your house so you could buy it from notonthehighstreet.com. Surely for it to be authentic it should all be borne out of your love, and creativity should pour out of your loved up hearts to create a day that is truly ‘you’.
And herein lies the problem. Every now and again, Kirstie’s handcrafted world of sugar and spice and all things nice becomes a little bit too much to bear. We’re still over a year away from saying “I do” and on one occasion I've already found myself with my knickers in a twist over a planning predicament. Another time, my brain was in wedding overdrive so much that it took me over an hour to get to sleep. I hasten to add that this wasn't stress induced insomnia but rather as a result of revelling in my first (champagne fuelled) foray into the wonderful world of wedding dress shopping and unexpectedly finding The Dream Dress within five minutes of being in there. Result! (Apart from the fact that for an equivalent price I could buy something with four doors and a roof.) I very much dislike it if it takes me longer than five minutes to drop off so I decided I needed a cure for my wedding fever. Who would help me see perspective? I decided to turn to my favourite book – How to be a Woman – written by my second favourite famous woman: Caitlin Moran. She’d have some wise words on the matter, I thought.
“I mean, it’s OK in the end – once everyone settles down, and stops making a big fuss about it.”
Okaaay, I guess I did say I wanted a wedding antidote...
“Weddings are our fault, ladies. Every aspect of their pantechnicon of awfulness happened on our watch.”
Well, that’s a bit extreme.
“Weddings do women no good at all. They’re a viper’s pit of waste and despair.”
No, hang on - I needed some perspective, not to be put right off.
“IT’S THE BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE!”
I’m lost. I got the impression you weren’t a fan.
This is it! I KNEW she’d make a good point. She’s got it spot on - this is what is at the crux of my problem with Kirstie. If you’re not careful, all these wedding magazines and wedding blogs and wedding TV shows suck you in. They suck you in! They suck you in and leave you feeling pressure to make The Big Day into The Best Day Of Your Whole Entire Life EVER. But this is a problem! If you put too much emotional investment and too much time and too much money into trying to make this ONE day (actually, more like ten hours) perfect, there is a hell of a lot of factors which could leave you disappointed.
What if you wake up with a streaming cold or an unsightly blemish in the middle of your forehead? What if you find that the cat’s vommed in your shoes? What if the wedding car breaks down and you end up in your dad’s Honda? What if the photographer gets stuck in a traffic jam and arrives after the ceremony has finished? What if it’s pouring with rain and blowing a gale-force? What if there’s a crisis and someone who you really want to be there can’t make it? What if you sleep so badly the night before that you wake up with a raging headache? (I couldn’t sleep the night before Kate and Wills got hitched so who knows what state I’ll be in on the eve of our wedding! I’m doomed to be baggy eyed!)
Caitlin makes a very good point. I got a dose of perspective and this was what I needed. But then she spoils it. Her sermon about “demented wedding lust” goes on. And on. And on. This was perhaps a little too far down the other end of the spectrum to feel comfortable – I felt myself defending Kirstie and the blogs and the desire to spend money on it all. Caitlin gave me a much appreciated smack of reality but if Caitlin and Kirstie got in a fight, I’d side with Kirstie. Bring on the bunting!
Crap, I’ve forgotten to mention something. The wedding. No, the wedding. See, perspective needed!