Two months ago I had a telephone conversation with my eldest that went like this….
Him…Hi Mum, I’ve got something to tell you. Now promise me you won’t freak out. (which of course I promptly do!)
Me…(nervously) Go on…
Him…Me and Sam are going to get married!
Me..(no longer freaking out) Oh, sweetheart, that’s fantastic news.When?
Me…Next year, or 2017?
Me….(freaking out BIG time) Wow…so soon!
At which point I grabbed my bag and Mr R’s credit card and headed for the shops to get myself in a suitable Mother of The Groom outfit.
It must only have been a few weeks previously that I was wistfully thinking that I really fancied going to a wedding, but as no invitations were likely to drop on my doormat I could only but dream of attending one. Little did I know that my wish was about to come true!
Now two months is hardly long enough to organise a wedding especially if your budget is non existent. But organise it they did with a lot of help and generosity from parents. The guest list was tiny, the reception was in a family pub. Everyone paid for their own meal and I made the cakes. There was no Hen or Stag do, no photographer, no music, no bubbly to toast the couple. No evening do.No honeymoon. But do you know what, it didn’t matter one bit. The day was perfect. It was a day filled with love and happiness. It was their day and that is all that really matters.
It’s a week later and life has returned to the usual hum drum routine. I got my wedding invitation and I’m more than happy. The newly weds are busy packing as they move into their new home next week.They sure don’t like to hang about. A baby, wedding and a house move in less than four months….flipping heck!
Their wedding was simple and bijou. It got me thinking about how their nuptials compared to my own and my mum and dad’s.
Mum and Dad married in 1958. Mum was 21 and Dad 28. They married at 9am to give them time to travel by train to their honeymoon destination in Norfolk. Mum made her wedding dress and those of the bridesmaids. Like Sam and Sam, only a handful of guests were invited. The wedding breakfast (literally) was a buffet in a room above a Carwardines coffee shop. It was a strictly alcohol free affair and of course there was cake, a three tier extravaganza of royal icing piping. Sadly Mum’s lovely dress ended up as net curtains. Times were hard for the newly weds and having grown up in post war Britain it was a case of waste not want not!
My first wedding was in 1989. I was 29 and my first husband was 28. In the days before the internet planning was a case of trawling through The Yellow Pages to find venues and suppliers.Everything seemed to take so long to organise, and the choice was limited in comparison to today. We married in my parent’s village church and held the reception in a hotel near Tetbury. I chose it because it looked nice from the outside! Styling the venue didn’t go beyond adding place names on the tables ! My mum made my very Princess Diana style wedding dress and the bridesmaids dresses. I have no idea why I decided boaters would look good plonked on my bridesmaids heads. The guest list was long and the wedding was very traditional.I had no idea who half the guests were !
Not content with one wedding, I was greedy and had two. Almost three years ago I married my lovely Mr R. This time around there was a wealth of choice to be found just a click away. Styling was no longer an after thought and played an important part of the day. Many of my suppliers were found through social media and I went a bit bonkers on Pinterest looking for inspiration. The ceremony and reception took place in a restaurant with a cocktail bar and private rooms in Bristol. We chose the venue as we loved its vintage feel and fab food. My dress was in a sale, and to be honest. my only disappointment of the day. I really didn’t like it much. I made the cupcakes, and chose a slightly Parisian feel to the styling as we had got engaged in France’s capital city. We only invited people who mattered. This time we didn’t have to invite relatives we had never clapped eyes on. It was a wonderful day. Relaxed, informal, beautiful and very very special.
Weddings are such a personal occasion. Be they lavish, pull out all the stops, affairs, or simple and bijou. Of course economics plays a big part. The cost of a wedding can be mind boggling and it could be easy to get carried away and end up starting married life with huge debts. I’m so relieved that Sam and his new wife did the sensible thing and kept within their incredibly small budget.
I absolutely loved planning our wedding almost as much as the day itself and would quite happily do it all over again. But me and Mr R are for keeps so my wedding planning days are over. Still, we could always renew our vows at a later date, or perhaps I could consider a career change. Just think, a year filled with weddings…bliss!