Shopping for “Schtuff” In Person and Online

The wedding rings have arrived in the jewellers but we’re struggling to find the time to go there and make sure they fit before getting them inscribed. Deciding on what went in the inscription was another of those “easier than I thought” tasks.

We spent hours in House of Fraser sorting out the Wedding List. We just need to go over it again one last time before it gets published because we went a bit crazy scanning things, then later removing them again & adding replacements.

It turns out we’ve got some flexibility with the seating plan. Now that all the expected RSVPs are back, we could give that some focus. However, Vicky’s PC gave up under the strain last week so that’s gone in for repair.  It turns out that the graphics card went “pop” at some point.

Writing my speech has stalled. “I’m ruminating over it!” is how I’ve justified that to myself.

We’ve sorted out all the accommodation for the honeymoon. There’s 1 place where we stay for 1 night only; that’s the price we pay for staying near Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard for a whole 5 days. The plan now is to fully explore each place virtually as much as possible before pitching up.

I think it’s all coming together quite nicely.

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Writing a Groom’s Speech and More Ring Shopping

The wedding rings are ordered. The look of glee on the jeweller’s face when we went back to Fattorini’s! She must be on some kind of commission. They’ll take a few weeks to be made. Then a quick check to make sure they fit before being inscribed. What with, we’re not sure yet.

I have no idea what’s being organised for the stag do. It’s all gone suspiciously quiet in my inbox.

Quite a few RSVPs are still outstanding even after the requested date. If you do get a wedding invite, please, on behalf of your hosts, return the RSVP as soon as you can and definitely before the requested date. It’s a slow torture coming home each evening to 1 or 2 replies, sometimes none for days.

Apparently “Thanks for coming – you’ve been a right laugh!” is not enough as a groom’s speech so I’ve done some reading and prep. work. The good news for me (and probably for everyone else too) is that it’s expected to be fairly short – about 5 mins. – and the structure is prescribed:

  1. thank everyone for coming and playing their part;
  2. say a few words about getting wed; &
  3. introduce the best man.

Easy! Even I can manage that I think.  I’ll post my speech’s framework after the big day.

The most exciting thing that’s happened recently for me is booking accommodation and a hire car for the honeymoon.  I’d opt for putting together a bespoke holiday any day over a travel agent’s package so we’re really looking forward to that.

Cheesy Music and Hiccups

So, the invitations have been sent out and the RSVPs are beginning to come back.  There’s an unspoken understanding between us that…

  1. neither of us rush to pick up the mail too quickly when we get in from work; &
  2. we each open half the replies that arrive back each day.

There was an unexpected hiccup at the Rendezvous Hotel.  We made a block booking of rooms for people staying over.  However, the hotel changed their computer system after I made the booking and now the reference number I put on the information sheet that’s gone out with the invites is useless.  I’ll admit I gave them a bit of a hard time over that.

There’s an empty wedding list setup with House of Fraser.  We can’t add anything to it until 3 months before.  We moved in together over a year ago so many of the things traditionally bought as a wedding gift, we already have two of.  However, there are a few items we would like to replace.

As an alternative, we’ve setup up a JustGiving page to raise charitable donations for Mountain Rescue England & Wales.

I did some digging on popular first dance songs and got too long a list far too quickly so I’m in the middle of culling the non-starters.  I’ve made Vicky weep a couple of times when she’s heard a few of my first-cut choices.  Nothing by Aerosmith, Shania Twain or Bryan Adams made that cut.  Don’t get me wrong, I think they’re talented artists with some very powerful, emotive songs and I don’t mind them being played at the wedding; they’re just not going to be the first dance.

I’ve had a brand new, wing-collar shirt altered so that I don’t look like a short-armed gorilla on the day.

We’re getting there but I’ve still got a To-Do list as long as your arm.  At the moment, for every item I cross off, I seem to add at least two more.  I’m looking forward to the day when it starts to shrink again.

Invites and Dresses

Well, time’s marching on as predicted but there’s still loads of time until July, right?

The invitations are just about ready. There’s still 1 or 2 little niggles to fix on the latest proof. The wording is such that the evening invite only needs a couple of words changing. They will need to be kept separate though just to avoid an embarrassing mix up.

Vicky’s calendar is starting to fill up with appointments for hair trials and dress fittings. The bridesmaids’ dresses have been chosen and ordered. From the brochure, it’s strange (at least to me) what passes for a bridesmaid’s dress these days. Not only are there some unusual cuts but there are also some surprising colour combinations.

We ordered the wedding cake at the weekend so that’s another tick in the box. And we left the place without scoffing a load of the hand-made sweeties they make in the process.

The dates have been fixed for the stag and hen parties. I was in trouble with my best man’s wife because the stag do was scheduled to be on their wedding anniversary. But then I also got told by a new bride that anniversaries don’t matter. Is it any wonder us men get it so wrong with all these mixed messages?

Half Way There

Well, in a little over 6 months, it’ll be Mr. & Mrs. Alex Fleming.  I know we’re not the first but that’s big!

I swear by to-do lists and so I gathered some together to get an idea of where we should be up to by now and more importantly, what we might have forgotten.  It was quite satisfying to see that we’re pretty much on track.  There are a few things we haven’t done yet which we should have by now according to this list but we have already ticked off some of the up-coming stuff.  So it balances out quite nicely.

I started reading up on wedding traditions and related folklore.  I saw one about doing very weird stuff with lozenges.  I’ll leave the possibilities up to your imagination.  Suffice to say at that point, I stopped reading.

Last weekend, we both independently chose the same set of vows.  It’s surprising how much of a boost little things like that can give.  Some things we expected to be easy haven’t always been while other seemingly more difficult stuff just fell into place.

The florist is happy to put together buttonholes with heather and white flowers.  This was one of the things given more prominence than it really deserved.

I spent a whole day researching and booking flights and the first few nights of the honeymoon.  I found that Expedia do not always quote the cheapest price or the most direct flight.  We booked direct with both the airline (for the most direct flights) and the hotel (because it was much cheaper).  My credit card got such a shock I haven’t dared use it since.

The wording for the invites has gone off to the design/print company and so now we’re just waiting on them coming back with ideas.

All in all, a very productive holiday season.

Wording on Wedding Invitations

There’s a whole set of traditions and social etiquette that comes into play when putting together wedding invitations.  You can spend ages (as I did) reading up on the dos and don’ts only to realise that it really only matters if you let it.  Most people are happy simply to receive an invite.  If they’re going to bitch about something that trivial, you probably don’t want them on the guest list anyway.

So for those who are more pressed for time, here is the wording we decided on.  Feel free to reuse it.

Day Invitation

________________________________________

[bride] and [groom]

request the pleasure of your company
at their marriage
at [ceremony venue]
on [date and time]
and afterwards at [reception venue]

RSVP by [date] to [address]

Evening Invitation

________________________________________

[bride] and [groom]

request the pleasure of your company
at an evening reception
to celebrate their marriage
at [reception venue]
on [date] from [time]

RSVP by [date] to [address]

There’ll be Music and Flowers

Finally!!!  The music for both the ceremony and the reception is decided.

A friend of ours is a music teacher but she also plays in a string quartet and so we’ve asked them to play at the ceremony.  We’ve listened to those wedding music CDs I mentioned before.  For me, it’s not so much about demanding certain pieces; more about the pieces I don’t want.  I’ve told Vicky that she’d better not be too late, leaving me to listen to some obscure playlist.

For the evening reception, we’ve booked The Bedroom Orchestra (aka Tristan Mackay).  He’s a regular busker in Leeds city centre and there are loads of clips of him doing just that on YouTube.  I will admit to being a little dubious about whether, as a one man band, he could create the party atmosphere we want at the reception but after speaking to him on the phone, that fear quickly went away.  We decided against Three Men and a Bass in the end.  There were just too many instances of them not getting back in touch for long periods of time; they didn’t seem to want or care about the booking enough.  If it was going to be this hard getting in touch with them this long before the wedding, how hard was it going to be in the weeks and days in the run up to the big event?

We recently got a text message from our florist; she’s had her baby and all’s well.  We also got her quote along with the ideas she has for the various floral arrangements.  They look really good!  Having said that, there’s a discussion going on about what kind of button-hole I’m going to wear.  I’m told that traditionally, it should be a heather but I’m struggling to find out if that’s true.  Anyone got any reference points for me?

The best man now knows he’s wearing a kilt and is not nearly put out enough for my liking.  He’s still promising a speech to top all wedding speeches.  Apparently, his wife is vetting them and has ruled out three versions to-date.