We set the date nine months ahead. Booked in September 2013 with the date set for 21st June 2014. Plenty of time you might think, so why did I begin to bombard the lucky bridesmaids to be with constant texts and emails urging them to choose a dress asap? The answer is because I'd suddenly become of of those women I'd previously scoffed at. Bridezilla.
The colour scheme, photographer, venues and cake were all decided on and booked within a week. I was off to a flying start. My husband to be got involved immediately, checking out wedding cars. But then nothing. He wanted to have conversations about things irrelevant to us getting married. How could this be I wondered. But I continued in my quest to wrap everything up at top speed. Until Christmas was upon us, and for a while all things wedding were on hold. The first thing I thought though, on new years day was 'I'm getting married THIS year.' By the end of January the invitations were out. We wanted to give people the chance to plan round it, as for almost everyone, it involved travelling and staying over in York. We got some replies back within a couple of days and it started to feel real at this point.
Our Friday evenings from then on involved sitting at the computer, doing seating plans (This turned out to be our biggest headache of all, guests were coming then they weren't) and writing lists, and choosing music. Of course we had a drink or two, and had some productive nights...apparently! Not a lot of our written ramblings made much sense the next morning, so we had to start again the following week. And so on...
We'd been given a wedding countdown and when the weeks went into single figures panic set in. I felt sick, my stomach felt as if I'd spent hours on a roller-coaster and I couldn't sleep. My nerves were in shreds. But why oh why was I nervous? It had absolutely nothing to do with being with my future husband for the rest of my life. I wanted this more than anything, so what was it? At this point I googled 'nervous brides,' and sure enough there appeared to be a lot of people feeling exactly the same. None of us knew why, but came to the conclusion it was a mix of being the centre of attention, and just simply wanting everything to go well. I'd also given myself an added pressure. I'd decided months before to write a speech in verse, which I'd told the register office I'd be doing at the start of the service. What possessed me? But I knew I would regret it if I backed out.
The day before the wedding an unfortunate salesman chose that time to call me, wanting to sell something. I told him nicely that I was busy, as I was to be married the next day. He proceeded to inform me that it was more important than ever that I listen to him. Once again I told him I didn't have time. His answer inflamed me: 'You mean you can't be bothered to listen.' This was when I finally lost it. I happened to be walking the dog at the time. I'm sure I don't need to elaborate but people in the street inched away from me, and the dog was happy to cut short his walk and leg it home, tail between his legs. But I digress...
That night we arrived at our hotel in York. After giving the reception room the once over with family, we all agreed it looked gorgeous. A sense of relief washed over me and for the first time in weeks I started to relax. Nothing could go wrong now...could it?
The morning of the wedding I woke to sun gleaming through the windows. I waited for the familiar nerves to kick in. Nothing.
The morning was enjoyable, hair, make up, all the usual bridal preparations. Then disaster struck. No amount of planning in the world could've prepared me for my poor sister's bridesmaid dress letting us down at the last minute. The zip was stuck. We pulled and tugged but it was going nowhere. Thank goodness she'd had the forethought to pack needle and thread. My hands were shaking too much to do anything with it though. This is where my daughter saved the day. Now let's just say she is NOT known for her domestic skills, so I could only look on in horror, and then admiration, as she sewed her aunt into the dress. As if this wasn't bad enough, the car people rang our room to say we had to leave early, as traffic was bad. I pulled my dress on as the girls sewed the final stitch into the dress. This was not the way I'd imagined it to be at all. No time for admiring comments to the 'lovely bride,' or relaxing with the bottle of bubbly staring at us mockingly. It was time to go.
The traffic was clear, and we ended up too early, so parked the car in a lay by. It wasn't long before guests came by knocking on the window. So much for my grand entrance!
Once I started walking down the aisle though, I was focused on one thing only. The look on my Groom's face as he watched me walk towards him. That was what it was all about. Not the table decorations and cake (Lovely as they were)
We had a fabulous day, and I'm pleased to report my sister's dress held up well. She almost ran down the aisle (I don't blame her) but the videographer slowed it down beautifully on the DVD!
She told me later that her husband had trouble cutting her out of it that evening, the stitching was so tight. I was astounded. My daughter certainly has hidden talents there! Anyway, she'd asked her husband to 'Rip off my dress.' He reported that it was a long time since he'd heard her say that :)
So...enjoy your day, and remember what it's really about. No matter how much you plan, on the day it's out of your control. But do you know what? It doesn't matter if things go wrong because it won't be the end of the world. Not unless you get jilted at the alter of course... (Only joking)
One important bit of advice though. If you can afford it get a DVD done. Most photographers will do a package. The day passes so quickly, and we almost enjoyed watching the DVD more than the actual day. Especially me...I can watch it and relax, safe in the knowledge that it all turned out well in the end.
One more thing...Some of our favourite photos and moments of the DVD are of the sewing of the dress. We told him it wasn't a good time to be taking photos and filming. He ignored us and told us calmly that we would laugh about it later. He was right!
Have a great wedding...and don't forget to take needle and thread!
I'd love to hear stories about your wedding, and any concerns of brides to be. Please click on 'Comments' below, or go to 'View my full profile' and get the links to my Facebook and Twitter.