We’ve now returned from our honeymoon, bringing several months of wedding-related activity to a close. Our wedding day feels like half a world away, given the 10 days in Malta which have gone in-between. The day itself was wonderful, seeing all of the family and friends dearest to us in an amazing setting and having, speech anxiety aside, a huge amount of fun.
The wedding went literally without a hitch. The Grim’s Dyke Hotel were magnificent in their organisation and really let us get on and enjoy our day without any concern for logistics. Everyone was extremely complimentary about the food and arrangements; even an aunt of mine who arranges huge events for a living and can find fault from 500 paces said it was perfectly organised. Praise indeed.
Harrow’s registrars were lovely and ensured the ceremony struck the right balance for our wedding, of it being an important statement of commitment, while also being a day for joy and fun. Again, the registrar led their part of the day, making it stress and hassle free, with us just following the instructions, which by that point was perhaps all we could manage anyway! An undoubted highlight was the always slightly tense question by the registrar asking if anyone knew of any reason why we shouldn’t be married. At this Tara’s father shot a look over his shoulder and the guests crumpled in laughter. Superb comic timing.
Have I moaned already about the stereotypical hen do? I’m sure I have. Spa breaks and brewery tours just aren’t me. So my trusty pals made food the focus of my hennery on Saturday, and the day was all the better for it.
We started with a couple of coffees at Le Pain Quotidien (annoyingly misspelled on FourSquare) on Marylebone High Street, which is definitely the easiest fun place to get to from Rickmansworth (don’t start, Watford fans). Caught up with chief collaborator Alys just by the big Methodist church – she was definitely looking more glam than I was – and met Sarah and Lucy outside LPQ. Didn’t have to wait long for a table and spent about an hour sipping from those lovely handle-less bowls they give you and very briefly looking at the paper. Virtuously rejected breakfast, although the food they do there is just lovely, so as to leave room for cheese at our next stop.
Changing one’s name is definitely the most onerous thing one has to do when getting married. No doubt some of you will be snorting at that sentence and thinking of all the other things that are far more work. Nonetheless, when you work in a school, it’s a right pain in the arse for the following reasons:
- No one reminds you to tell the head’s secretary that you’re changing your name. I think it was when the timetables first started coming out that I twigged that the coding was wrong.
- Not only that, but I’ve had to ask for a special set of initials – being ‘TA’ in a school would be extremely confusing, as it usually stands for ‘teaching assistant’.
- You have to tell the children well in advance that you’re changing your name so that they have time to get used to the idea (as with any other piece of information, such as “this is your fifteen minute warning to pick up your pen…”). Then they can enjoy practising it and trying to use it. This confuses the less bright ones, who then think you’ve got married over the weekend and proceed to try to hug you. In fairness, it does affect them slightly – their form name changes by one letter. They don’t seem to mind. We minded very much when our form tutor got married at school, because we desperately wanted to remain ’10OC’ – read it quickly and you’ll see why. I’ve said to them that I don’t really mind if they can’t manage the new name for a bit. Change is tough for 14 year olds.
- Everybody seems to take it personally if you don’t tell them specifically that you’re getting married. The large diamond/Facebook doesn’t do the trick, apparently. Should I have worn a big sign all year saying “I’m getting married on…”? This applies to the kids who aren’t in my tutor group as well, so when their timetables came out they came flooding in to ask who this mysterious “Mrs X” was.
- I can’t write my new surname without consciously thinking about the letters. Too many tall consonants. Must practise.
- Also, I keep forgetting I have new initials when coding up all the stationery.
- Irritatingly, the data system has decided that I no longer have an initial – I have become the entity “Mrs X”.
I’m sure everyone who changes their name when they get married has similar issues (I haven’t even started looking at important things, like bank accounts and passports). Maybe I should just have persuaded Dan to change his name instead…
Haven’t posted for a while – wedding things have been happening in a fast and frenzied fashion.
Would you believe that people don’t want to buy us towels and a garlic press? I was under the impression that wedding lists were meant to be domestic and boring. Tell you what, though, we’re going to have a hell of a chuck-out after the wedding. Bye bye all the crappy Argos and Tesco cutlery and kitchen stuff we bought when we first moved in together.
Just the peripheral things left to do now and I realise I’m supposed to be some kind of monumentally stressed-out Bridezilla by this point in the process, but I’m failing heartily. We’ve paid the hotel (don’t get me started on how much we’re paying for one day of our lives), met the registrar and just about decided on the music. Still loads of things to pay for, although our parents’ generous contributions have helped with that (particularly paying for the Dress). Found out yesterday that the alterations to the Dress (inevitable, you’d have thought) are going to be an extra £125 – and the seamstress doesn’t take cards. Hmm… having said I’m not stressed out, it’s sounding like I am. I’m not. Really. I’m just appalled at how much everything costs. I’m sure we paid less (ignore the deposit for the purposes of this sentence) to buy our flat.
So, the shoes crisis. The issue was that I proposed wearing DMs as an alternative to totally un-me bridal shoes, which will also hurt. I don’t usually wear heels. I certainly don’t wear 3″ heels. Mother had a small fit and we’ve had to come up with a compromise to keep everyone happy. Thus, I shall be wearing proper shoes (from Shu Shu in Pinner) for the ceremony and photos (keeping their use down to about an hour and a half) and metallic pink DMs for the rest of the day! I’m going to keep an eye out for thick socks with hearts on them to go with the boots.
The meeting with the registrar did make things seem a bit more real, particularly as it was held in the room where they do civil ceremonies at Harrow civic centre, so we sat in the chairs they use and Jan, the registrar, mimed out the beginning of the ceremony. Choosing readings has been difficult – once again it’s a question of finding something that’s not cliched and sappy.
So, four weeks to go until it’s all over and we can jet off to Malta and some peace and quiet!
As I write, I’m alternately bathing each hand in a solution of warm water and lovelyglubblyflower essence to soothe them after so much cutting of ribbon, folding of card and writing and re-writing of guest lists. Much of the rewriting has occurred because we couldn’t remember what we’d written last time, rather than because we’ve decided that some people aren’t socially acceptable. We’re just making them wear bags over their heads instead.
We had a hell of a time deciding where to go on the honeymoon (which we’ve finally booked). First, we thought Canada for the moose and bears. Dan’s been there a couple of times, though, and it’s difficult to see all of it in one go, so we downscaled to Alaska – similar content, smaller surface area. We poured over tons of brochures from our local independent travel agent in Rickmansworth, scoured all the websites we could find and consulted Alaskan tweeters, but it all looked a bit busy for a honeymoon in the end. We can spend a week zooming across mountains in a train and whitewater rafting when we haven’t just organised a wedding!
Thus, in an atypical move, we’re going somewhere nearer, hotter and better supplied with interesting archaeological sites: Malta. Not only does everyone there learn English, Maltese is virtually impossible to learn (or pronounce, looking at the place names, e.g. Xewkija), so my usual guilt at not being able to communicate in any living language will be less pronounced.
We’ve also booked the photographer and the band. My mother’s working on the invitations, so pretty much all we have to do now is check the guest list, buy outfits and wedding rings, sort the flowers out and do the seating plan. Oh, and, most importantly, decide on the wording of the ceremony and what the first dance is going to be. But these things are all less pressing – we have six months to do all that.
Makes you wonder why people get stressed out about weddings.
It’s been a while since I posted to the blog, although it’s due to workload rather having something to write. In a blink of an eye we’ve gone from putting up the Christmas tree to having reached the end of the year. Time then, I reckon, for a look ahead at what 2010 may lay in store…
Our personal highlight will be our wedding, which will feature heavily in the first half of 2010. There’s still much to plan, people to invite, but we reckon it’ll be a fantastic day and, if we admit it, chance to see many friends and family we don’t see at all often enough.
Part of the wedding process of course is arranging the honeymoon. We’re still looking at the options as the typical sun-drenched Caribbean beach isn’t really our thing. Residing in the lap of luxury will certainly go down nicely, but we’d like some points of interest in the area and some local cuisine to sample. Suggestions are welcome.