There’s a Dress, a Magician and a Florist

We have a dress! Or rather Vicky has chosen a dress. I know nothing more about it other than it’s from Wedding Belles of Otley. I also know that the bridesmaids’ dresses are 2-tone pink. I’ve seen some cloth swatches and some pictures of flower bouquets and they look a really good match. As for sorting out my own attire, I must admit, I’ve done zip about that. There’s still loads of time! (Famous last words)

The magician is sorted. We met him at the Devonshire Arms to discuss what we were looking for. It’s bread-and-butter stuff to him. He showed us a couple of tricks and I could work out how one of them could be done; I just couldn’t see him doing it!

The guest list is pretty much there too. I don’t think(!) we’ve forgotten anyone . Now all we have to do is work out where people are going to sit. We had thought of just assigning people to tables and letting them place themselves but we’re mulling that over some more.

Sorting out the evening music (which is one of the things people will really remember) is proving more difficult than it really should be. Three Men and a Bass have been recommended to us but getting a dialogue started with them is like pulling teeth. We’ve given them a deadline so we’ll see what happens.

We met with our preferred florist yesterday. The deal with the Devonshire Arms includes table centre pieces but the room itself will need some inspired decorating as it’s a very bland space; it could be used for anything from a board meeting to a funeral service without too much effort. Susie loves it simply because, as a result of its sterileness, the scope of how it could be decorated is wide open.  Also, you’ve got to hand it to her; her dedication is unquestionable!  She met with us even though her 3rd baby was due any day now.

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Wedding Fayres are an Eye-Opener

Oh my {insert your preferred deity here}!!!!!!

We went to the Wedding and Lifestyle October 2010 event at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate at the weekend.  The showground itself is massive but the event was relatively easy to find even with a smart-a%@e for a parking attendant.

Inside hall 2 were a myriad of stands and small business owners plying for trade, thrusting business cards and pamphlets at us, accosting us for contact details to put on their mailing lists “…for all the latest offers”, etc.  Under any other circumstance, I would be saying “I’m just browsing, thanks!” but I think I was just too gob-smacked by it all.  There were service providers there offering stuff that no bachelor would EVER dream of when organising a wedding.  Who’s bright idea was it to tie up the napkins with ribbon?

Eventually, I did get to chat with some “normal” people like the heavily pregnant florist from Ripon and the self-confessed would-be bridezilla photographer.  It was a little disheartening telling people like this that we’d already sorted whatever they were trying to sell.  Thinking about it now, I should have taken their business cards and given them a mention here.  I’m ALWAYS doing that; some of my best EUREKA moments arrive 48-ish hours late!

As for the rest, the catwalk show could’ve been a lot more polished to get the maximum effect.  As it was, it came across as cheesy. The “man creche” was empty; it just didn’t appeal.

For brides-to-be, I think events like this are a must.  For virgin grooms-to-be, I would say the same thing but for a different reason.

It’s ages away but it won’t be long in coming!

There are two phrases I keep hearing of late. The first is “oh it’s ages away yet!” and then in almost the same breath “It won’t be long in coming!”. How is it possible that both these statements are true at the same time? Still things are moving along quite nicely.

We’ve been to the local registrar’s office and given notice of marriage. The “individual interviews” were far from private. Anyone in the waiting room could hear the questions asked and the answers given. Including those put to the other couple who were there for the same reason. He was a fleet manager and she got his birthday wrong. Oopps!

We’re organising a buffet the night before the wedding for people who will have travelled a long way. It’ll be a very informal thing, just a “thanks for coming!” kinda thing. We’ve got an appointment at our local hotel to sort out that menu, etc.

Organising an appointment with the magician is proving a little difficult. The date & times we suggest don’t suit him and vice versa.

There’s still the music side of things to sort out and neither of us has done anything about wedding attire yet. Still lots to do!

Sorting out bits and bobs

There’s not really been much progress of late. Other things have distracted us both from doing very much. So the To-Do list looks something like this at the moment…

1) select music for during the ceremony – I know that Vicky’s given this some thought as there are some wedding music CDs knocking about;

2) find a (jazz?) band for night do – we have listened to some samples online and we’re waiting to hear back from 1 enquiring e-mail;

3) sort out some kind of entertainment (magician?) for wedding breakfast – there will be quite a few kids at the wedding breakfast and rather than them getting bored during the speeches, we’re going to distract them in some other way;

4) contact the florist and room dresser about the colour scheme – I’ve always said that I was getting married in a kilt and so this is waiting on me finding a tartan. I’ve got 1 in mind; I just need to make a final decision. I haven’t told the best man that 1 yet. I’m not sure how that’ll go down.

All the big stuff – engagement ring, venue, registrar, stationery, etc.

The biggest development this week is that Vicky choose an engagement ring. We had a browse in Leeds last week but nothing jumped out at us. Secretly, I think her heart had already made her mind up. That’s not a bad thing because I hate shopping and especially browsing. So we went back to Fattorini’s at the weekend to order it.

The bonus was they had the “precious” in the right size so Vicky was able to wear it out of the shop. I’ve seen her ogle her own left hand a few times with the first ring on and it’s happening just as much if not more now.

We’ve been through the contract with the Devonshire Arms with a fine tooth comb. There’s 1 or 2 things in there that raise an eyebrow but no earth shattering surprises. For example, accidental insurance is not included. They also reserve the right to increase the contract value by up to 10%.  So that’s been signed and sent off. There’s still a LOT of TBCs on it; it’s more of a framework agreement at this point but that’s what the next 11 months are about.

We’ve got an appointment in September with the local registrar’s office to go and give notice of marriage. Our local registrar’s office is in a different county from where we’re getting wed so it’ll be interesting to see how joined up they are.

We’ve started looking at wedding stationery. All I can say is that there are some very clever marketing people. I’d never even heard of “Save the Date” cards before last week let alone been sent one. Most of the rest of it seems straight forward. We’ve decided against going overboard on table decorations and concentrating instead on dressing the room as a whole to create just the right atmosphere.

We’ve been talking about who will play a part on our big day. Some people already know because we’ve already asked them. Others don’t yet for various reasons. The other dilemma is I could easily fill the guest list with just the family and friends I would like to invite. Vicky doesn’t have as big a family but I think both of us are going to disappoint a few people.

Although it’s far too soon to decide on a cake, we’ve been browsing. Well I say browsing; we’ve been to two, Bettys and Patisserie Viennoise in Otley. Bettys put us off straight away by limiting the possible choices. Off-the-shelf options were nice enough if a little uninspiring. We could have a custom cake but we would have to visit the bakery and talk to their master baker.

Patisserie Viennoise were the complete opposite. For starters when we walked into the shop, the smell of cocoa was fantastic! It was a really hot day outside but I still fancied a hot chocolate there and then. Nothing was too much trouble for them. They had 5 or 6 albums full of custom designs from novelty to traditional and loads in between. All we have to do is place an order in the spring telling them what we want and it’s sorted.

We’re Getting Wed!

Wedding planning is going to be a big part of our lives for the next 11 months. It’s an exciting time for us with lots of ideas floating around and I’d like to share some of that with you if I may.

I’ll start of with a little background. I met Vicky at a black tie do for the local Ramblers organisation and we started seeing each other about a month later. That was 8 months ago. You may think that that’s quick but when it feels right, what’s the point in hanging around going “Will I? Won’t I? Should I? Shouldn’t I?” Life’s too short! Don’t get me wrong; we both have our moments but we’re adult enough to admit when we’re in the wrong and make amends.

We like the outdoors and so I had the bright idea of proposing on a mountain summit on a fantastic day with glorious views in all directions. How romantic is that!! Unfortunately, British Weather had other ideas. Every summit we were on was either blowing a whooley or a white out. Not what I’d envisaged at all so I kept putting it off until the next summit and then the next….

We went to Wales recently for the weekend and scared ourselves silly on Tryfan; another opportunity missed.

And so it was that on a cold and windy day, in a white out on the top of Snowdon, I finally popped the question. I didn’t get down on one knee simply because the ledge we were sheltering out of the wind on was far too narrow for that kind of thing. (It was quite funny at the time watching seagulls trying to regain some dignity after crash landing because of the swirling wind.)

So the idea behind this thread is to keep you up-to-date with how we’re getting on. Feel free to leave any suggestions, comments, etc. at any time. Friends got married recently so there’s an open invite to them to come around to ours, ostensibly for some food but we’re planning to bleed them dry of any useful info. or tips they may have for us.

So where are we today? Vicky (rather obviously) said “Yes!!”, the venue, wedding car, photographer and registrar are all booked. We’ve been ring shopping and it’s been short listed to 2 possibles. (I bought a token ring for the asking.) However, we’re going to browse for a little longer before deciding.

That’s about it at the moment. There are times when I feel we’re in good shape with preparations and others, when I look at the To-Do list, when I just think “Argh!!”