Wednesday, 21 July 2010

It's overload

So many of our friends took really wonderful photos of our wedding which they've sent us on CDs or posted on Flickr and Facebook. Plus we have our fabulous, terrific, handsome and sweet photographer Peter's photos (almost a thousand!)

It's wonderful to relive all the special moments and see all these people's different points of view on the day (or rather weekend). It's also pretty overwhelming in such huge numbers. I feel a bit like Mama did when she looked at all our flowers in buckets the day before the wedding - how on earth do we arrange all of this into something manageable and pretty and worth looking at?

(she totally did of course - with the help of some pretty special flower faeries!)

Sunday, 11 July 2010

We're married!

and back from honeymooning.
Still trying to come back down to earth - I'm sure I'll have more to tell you very soon. Suffice to say it was beyond the most wonderful wonderfulness we could possibly have hoped for.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

cluck cluck

It's my Hen weekend!

I have no idea what's ahead. My only stipulation was that we stay in London (getting everyone to come out to Italy is a big enough ask), there is little chance of bruising and, at some point, we're dancing.

I've taking the day off tomorrow to potter about; pick up our wedding rings; tidy the house - and myself - up a bit (I'm thinking bright orange toe nails - what do you recon?)

Then I'm having dinner with my old uni friends, some of whom have come quite far for the weekend, and popping out to see a friend's band.

Saturday - I have no idea.
Sixteen of my friends and siblings are meeting up to do .... something.

I'm a flutter with anticipation.
However, as my very bestest friend has organised it, and she knows me so well, I'm pretty sure it won't be too embarrassing or strenuous!
Just good fun with my favourite ladies.

[a little selection of my favourite ladies]

Thursday, 3 June 2010

under ... where?

Time is running out and, as I am sure you can imagine, I have a million and one things to do (most of which should have been done ages ago, of course) that I almost feel guilty for sitting and chilling even for a moment.

However, a friend of mine, who got engaged not long after me, and is getting married a few months after, asked me for some important advice. And since it is really very important advice I thought I should pass what I told her on to any other prospective brides out there.

Now I realise that these interwebbed days, the chances of us betrothed ones getting great, sane, thought provoking advice, if you just go out and look, is improving by the minute.

But this isn't a big issue thing - it's a very small one.

But a vitally important one...


Now I do like good underwear (and yes, that can mean sexy as long it's pretty, not slutty sexy). And everywhere I looked I was presented with prettily presented wedding garments, coyly photographed and usually with fairly hefty price tags attached. So I thought I'd splash out, save up and go superficially lovely with what's underneath. I was thinking Fraya, La Perla, perhaps some cheeky Myla, or maybe that traditional bride stalwart Rigby and Peller. I ooh-ed and ahh-ed in anticipation.

But here's the thing - my dress. My dress is so beautiful and as much as I love pretty little lacy things, I did not want the beauty of my dress ruined by the the dreaded VPL. Oh no.

When I mentioned this to Rachel at my first fitting I was shocked how quickly she answered me.

"Debenhams Invisible Underwear."

Now I know it's not the prettiest - and probably not what your husband to be is hoping to find underneath your petticoats on your first night. But trust me, if your dress is even a little bit form fitting, don't even think about anything else. I mean it - there is nothing more invisible.

And maybe get the saucy stuff out on honeymoon.

first photo from Gilly Hicks. Second via La Perla.
Oh and this is a pretty handy piece of kit too.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

A Month and a Ring.

Yup, (thanks Knot for bloody reminding me) it is one month to the day until blast off.
I'm half excited, can't-wait, try-wiping-that-grin-off-my-face; and half blind panic about how much there is still to do. (I daren't tell you how many things - it makes me sort of blink a lot!)

So to distract me from that, let me tell you a little story. A story about my future husband - Nick - and the ring trilogy.

chapter 1 - a borrowed ring
It was late 2008, and Nick was looking at rings.
He looked but couldn’t picture any of the millions of platinum solitaires before him upon the hand of his best lady-friend. So he stopped looking and instead he borrowed his late grandmother's old emerald ring, polished it up and, surreptitiously procuring a needle and thread, sewed into the pocket of his trousers (so it wouldn’t get lost or pinched on the journey ahead.*)After a quick word with his best lady-friend's father about his plans, Nick hopped on a plane to Brazil, lady-friend by his side. They celebrated Christmas, and they celebrated their friends wedding, and then, just before they celebrated New Year, he unpicked his careful stitching and gave the emerald ring to his best lady-friend, asking if she wouldn't mind being his lady-wife. He hastily added that this ring was just a temporary place holder but of course she was too happy, tearful, jumping over waves and dancing to really care**.

[Blurry but happy on a Brazilian beach]
(Because the question he asked and the answer she gave were what really made them so happy and a ring is just a pretty symbol.)

Chapter 2 - no ring, no pressure
On their return to cold, wintery England, they took themselves down Hatton Garden and tried on lots of rings***. Then the future lady-wife said to Nick that now he knew what suited her, the final choice should be his alone.
Well then, as you know, businesses started tightening their belts because of Crunchy Crash and Nick and his lady-friend had to do the same. So she told him not to worry about rings and things - food and bills were more important for now - remember; his question and her answer were what really made them happy.
Seventeen months went by and lots of exciting plans were made and every now and then Nick's lady-friend had to remind herself not to grow too attached to the emerald ring on her finger that was just a temporary symbolic thing for what really made them happy.

Chapter 3 - Ring-a-ding-aling
Then one sunny Monday night, while his lady-friend poached haddock in milk and butter, Nick felt a bit restless and excited. He told himself he should be waiting for a really special moment but he just couldn't. So he told his lady-friend to wash the fish scales and greasy butter off her hands right now because he was too excited and couldn't wait a moment longer!!
So she washed her hands and then held them out and closed her eyes and when she'd done that he took his Grandmother’s ring off her finger and replaced it with a new one. And his lady-friend suddenly couldn't open her eyes - seventeen months was just too long a build up and she felt a bit queasy. But open them she eventually did and was astonished to find the most beautiful, most sparkliest, glitteriest thing she had ever seen attached to the third finger of her left hand - and it was hers to keep forever!

And because she couldn't stop staring at it, nor stop being amazed that he had designed it all by himself in total secret and couldn't stop telling Nick that it was so so worth the wait, and because neither of them could stop reminiscing about the question asked and the answer given on a beach in Brazil, and how really happy they were, the milk boiled and the fish over cooked.

But, for once, I didn't care.

[just can't seem to take a picture that does it justice
and I'm aware that this looks like I have a lightsaber attached to my hand
but hopefully you get the idea - sparkly!]

*This might seem an odd thing to do - but it's very Nick, so there you are.
**Not just randomly jumping – in Brazil on NY eve you have to jump over seven waves at midnight for good luck – as if I needed any more!
***This is when I discovered that most rings, particularly platinum ones, or ones with the stones in a row, or square cut, or too standy-up, make my hands look like spiky whitchy claws. Nick has managed to design one of the only rings I’ve ever worn that give my hands anything even vaguely approaching elegance.

all pictures mine (apologies for the quality)

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

40 days and 40 nights

that's all there is to go ... holy crap!**

Although thinking about it, when I give up chocolate for lent, forty days seems like ages.

And with that tenuous link I thought I'd mention a few things about our church wedding...

[our little church where we are getting wedded]

I've mentioned before that we're getting married in the little church in our local village in Italy and because I am a Catholic we can do the whole ceremony, including all the legal bits, right there in church on the day.*

The Deacon there has been so sweet and helpful and he found us an English speaking priest based nearby who would perform the service for us.

We were pretty nervous about meeting him. The service is after all the most important part of the whole shebang and the officiating priest can make a huge difference. For example, it’s up to him whether we have communion during the service or not (we really didn’t want it as it would make the service so long). We also had another unorthodox request - we really wanted my mother’s cousin, who is a priest and knows us both well, to have a part in the service, preferably doing the sermon. Thing is, he’s a Lutheran priest not RC. Would this priest be ok with that? I couldn’t see why not since it’s all the same God after-all, but you never know. Nick managed to convince himself that our guy would turn out to be a real fire and brimstone ‘you’re all going to hell’ kind of dude, would speak with a incomprehensible drawl and generally steamroll his way over everything ... and we had no alternative!

So yes, we were nervous about meeting him.

Father Brian turned out to be an Augustinian friar based in San Gimignano. Originally from Boston but living in Italy for nearly forty years, he has a really calm and easy going demeanour - we both immediately felt we were in the safest pair of hands. He loved the idea of Mama’s cousin being involved and gave us a pretty free reign with the order of service. And my parents liked him because he was an academic and chatted about history and architecture - as we left his Cloisters my mother said ‘never mind him being your priest, I want him as friend!’

So nerves all gone and sighs of relief sighed (or excited jumping up and down in my case.) And a bit of quirkiness for our guests: an American Catholic priest doing all the weird and wonderful bells and smells stuff we do, and a German Lutheran priest, with his funny ruff collar and a very personal homily.

So now we’ve chosen our readings and our readers. We’re doing traditional vows. We’ve chosen our entrance music. We've picked a few hymns which we need to narrow down to three. Just need to find some recessional music (all suggestions welcome!)

*(Unfortunately Italian state doesn't recognise weddings of other denominations hence most English people marrying in Italy have to do a registry office ceremony beforehand.)

**OK - now it's 39. I wrote this yesterday but didn't get around to publishing as something rather exciting happened yesterday. Will fill you in anon.

Friday, 14 May 2010


Nick's off on his Stag Do. He doesn't know where he's going - it's a surprise - but knowing his best-men, a weekend of hedonism and shenanigans that I would rather not know about, lie ahead. Ah well, as long as he's having a good time and comes home in one piece!

Speaking of Stags - does everyone already know about It's that shockingly rare thing - a good wedding website for boys - woh! And not only that - it's British (double rarity!) Everything I've seen before, if not just a condescending 'corner' on very female orientated sites, is either "how to put up with the crazy Bridezilla" or has "we're Crrrrazy! beer! tits!, polyester suits!" features. Charming...

But iamstaggared is grownup without being bland, just the right side of metrosexual, has some pretty good advice, like on confident speech giving, some stuff for bestmen and fathers, and most pertinently, stag-do damage limitation control. Nick likes the site but I can't be sure he's read that last one...

Meanwhile I'm watching Audrey in a Givenchy wedding dress (she, not me) and painting my toe nails, trying to resist the chocolate pudding in the fridge* and sort of relishing having the flat to my girly self just for a little bit.

*I failed, of course
** suddenly realised this comes off as a bit of sales pitch - it isn't, I promise.