Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Spring is sprung flower love

[images via 1st row l>r: Martha Stewart, Saipua Flowers, MS;
2nd row: Jose Villa on Snippet and Ink, Leigh Miller photography, Style me Pretty;
3rd row: MS, Meg Smith Photograp
hy, Saipua Flowers]

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm drawn more and more to the idea of wild or native flowers in unarranged arrangements. I love mix
ing herbs, leaves and lots of different blossoms, putting some of them in jam jars and hopefully have lots growing all around us too. I made the above collage on mydeco.com - love the site but it was a real pain and took ages for it to be rendered and then made available for me to copy. But, hooray! Peacock Feathers recommended Picassa which I shall be using from now on. Get ready for lots more random collages of things I like - I'm planning on revelling in the possibilities of anything and everything until the day comes when I will have to start knuckling down and making some final decisions (not for ages, surely?!)

So on that note - here's a another collage, nothing to do with the wedding but everything to do with Springtime and my happy smiley mood.

[all images my own from my folks' lovely garden]

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Weird Dreams

Every now and again I have strange wedding dreams - usually slightly anxious ones where something weird happens that seems like a huge crisis in my sleepy world. Last night however was a little different. It was my wedding day or the day before. As happens in dreams, I was somewhere that was supposed to be the house in Italy but sort of wasn't. We had everything still to organise and everything was very home made. Little sister was collecting an assortment of plates and anything you could sit on for the dinner (up turned buckets, a tree log.) Meanwhile I was writing a long list of things we still needed on a post-it for Papa who was about to go on a shopping trip to the local co-op. On the list were place cards and suddenly it occurred to me that the post-its would do perfectly. I remember wondering why I hadn’t thought of this before!
Mama and Papa were picking wild weeds and branches and sunflowers that were growing everywhere. Everything was very calm. I was a little worried that I didn't have a chuppah yet, but we just took a sheet from the house and decorated it with the branches and wild flowers and it looked perfect.

[image left via Arum Fleuriste, image right via nvhurr designs]
Weird, because although I am very interested in the Jewish faith and their pragmatic approach to life's celebrations and hurdles, I'm a Roman candle and have never even been to a proper Jewish wedding - maybe it was the long chat I had had earlier that day with a Belgian work-friend about her Passover celebrations that lingered in my brain. Anyway, when I woke up it slowly dawned on me that I couldn't really have a chuppah in a church and a vague feeling of disappointment followed me around all day.

[image via Bloomsbury]
I did like the scheme of the flowers being natural and simple, like bunches of wildflowers. Mmmm, save that one up for the idea’s board! (vetoing the post-its though – however colourful!)

[image via David Gunter on Flickr]

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

In Boy's words

I was planning to write an outline plan of action for the wedding day. Then Boy sent an email to his best friend from University who has moved away to Singapore and since he copied me in, and I love his enthusiasm and he pretty much hit the nail on the head -
I thought I’d use his words …
From: BOY
To: uni.mate@singapore; mate's.boyfriend@ singapore
Cc: bells @ nozze
Sent: Tuesday, 7 April, 2009 22:33:40
Subject: Fw: Italia shapes & japes!

So … we've pretty much planned and set out our whole Italian long wedding 'weekend' and it's going to be


we want people to come for as long as possible around the actual wedding day itself. And are getting loads of info and prices for cheap but fabulous nearby places - rooms in castles, pools, etc and pretty hilltop winery type things. All accommodation is within 15km of wedding and the house. and ideally we're looking at places where lots of friends can stay together as this is more fun for all. (i.e. local)
there are 2 local old wineries converted into accommodation / villas each sleeping up to 50peeps.

plan so far:
up to June 25th - lots of preparation etc. . ...

Friday June 25th 2010
hang out in day, hopefully with arriving friends - final prep - then having a party night before wedding (called a Polterabend) - german thing - will be fun.

Saturday June 26th - wedding in beautiful local church in Paese* / walk to aperitivo's at near by Rocca di Paese / little break to catch breath / then dinner, speeches, party at the house - booking Bob’s* band but this is hush hush to everyone - only you know (and Bob!) - huge dinner on 1 massive long table running along terrace between the big house and capanna, then Party / Band & DJ's (Bill* etc.) general dancing the night away - Then to the 'after-hours party' area away from the house but in the grounds - party until sun rises (we're preparing a separate party area so we can all carry on through - for kids and any party-head oldies. Think 'Cafe Del Mar meets a Disco in an Olive Grove' kind of thing!!

Sunday June 27th - pool side breakfast / hangover / more wine & limoncello? .

I'm enjoying just writing this stuff down!! Damn it's gonna be good!!

it will be amazing and you two must, must be there (for the whole weekend at least) - but why not make a few days of it?.

sweeet - can't wait to see you

love spring x

*I've changed names and places etc - I'm new the whole blogging thing and I'm not sure yet how anonymous I should be.
Anyway - aperitivo is the pre-dinner drinks reception and the Rocca is a big old fortress. Paese means village and is the teeny tiny place nearest to our house. The Capanna is a little stable at the bottom of our garden

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Three down, fifteen to go ....

I have now been engaged for three months and one week. It is apparently fourteen months and nineteen days until my wedding day. And we have managed to do a fair amount …

Weddingy stuff we have achieved in 2009 so far:

  • Boy asked the question and I said yes – lots of tears, excitement and fireworks - hooray! (Technically it was 2008, although it was already 2009 back home so I think that counts)
  • Told all the most important people during vastly expensive phone calls – most of the rest found out on awful Facebook which we would have avoided if we could but we couldn’t
  • Came home to London and told them all, all over again
  • Had our announcement in The Times and The Daily Telegraph – so all our parents’ friends now know too
  • Read lots of wedding websites and brides blogs and started to get imaginative
  • Went to Hatton Garden to get ideas for the ‘ring of dreams’ (that’s all Boy’s department now though)
  • Started to share notes on a Google Doc on anything we thought of that we particularly liked
  • Started to write a guest list – gave up when it started to dawn on us quite how huge my family is and quite how many friends Boy has (oh no!)
  • Shared all this with parents and parents-in-law-to-be during a lovely lunch where everyone had tons of great ideas and no one pooh-poohed anything – again hooray!
  • Also discussed money at said lunch – agreed we didn’t want a big show-off affair. Parents and Parents-il2b generous, everyone realistic
  • Turned 30 (oh no!) but best friend organised big fancy dress party – oh yes!
  • Asked my two best un-married friends to be my maids-of-honour – lots of tears and excitement
  • Asked my two little sisters and my sister 2B to be my bridesmaids - more excitement etc
  • Went out to Italy with Mama, Papa and Boy to recee, thinking we’ll get lots more ideas and hopefully pin a few things down
  • Suddenly everything clicks. A structure is formulated and a plan comes together
  • Papa loves the prospect of having a son – they cut down trees and dig holes and do all the things that daughters only do reluctantly. I love Boy a lot.
  • Come home and share the plan with the rest of the family – everyone thinks it is GREAT!
  • Read too many wedding websites and brides blogs and started to feel a bit jaded
  • Decide that once we have locked down the bigger logistical things (church, venue, caterers, etc) we’ll take a break from planning over the summer and come back to it refreshed and invigorated in September
  • Decide I will definitely not try on any dresses until it is less than a year until my wedding (probably)
  • Start keeping a blog
  • Read wedding websites and brides blogs – but with a happy sense of perspective and measured excitement
The important thing for me at the moment is to try and maintain the joy and delight of Boy asking me to marry him. Luckily he’s so enthusiastic about everything that it’s not hard. I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to have a boy who doesn’t roll his eyes about anything wedding related or think his job is just to turn up, but reminds me everyday how lucky he feels too. Hooray hooray hooray!!


author's note - I wrote most of the last post ("I do I don't") some weeks ago before I started blogging but thought I'd keep it for posterity anyway just to see how things change (or not)


Monday, 6 April 2009

I do, I don't ...

At this early stage I only have a vague shimmery, just-out-of-reach idea of what I imagine the wedding to be like.

But somehow whenever I try to explain it, it ends up like a list of “don’ts”. I seem to be clearer on what I do not want rather than vice versa. Is that bad? By the same maxim, whenever I start looking at wedding dresses or style guides or such like I find myself more taken by the really tasteless or ridiculous; laughing hysterically at bridal magazines and wedding catalogues. Poor Boy has got quite fed up with me saying “look, I’ve found the perfect dress!” and then showing him something like this:

[image via uglydresses.com]
Or emailing him links to horrible usher gifts or wedding themed loo paper!
Do all brides go through this stage or is it just my warped form of procrastination?

[image via Fab Gifts4all.co.uk]

I will write my list of wedding "don’ts" but wish to emphasise a very important point to anyone who happens to read this – these are our personal preferences. I’ve been to lovely weddings that have many of these things; I don’t think there is anything wrong in any choice made by any couple if it feels right for them. If you’ve always dreamed of wedding themed loo paper, have it! I do really hate it when people say “you shouldn’t have this” or even “every wedding has to have such and such”. Someone said to me recently, “I can’t stand morning suits, noone looks good in them.” and I hadn't even asked for their opinion!

Anyway – here it goes in no particular and pretty random order:

  • we don’t want round tables – long narrow tables are less formal and you get to talk to people opposite as well as next to you - fun!
  • we don’t want matchy matchy colour schemes (where the flowers match the bridesmaids match the waistcoats match the napkins etc etc)
  • we don’t want it to look too stiff and formal (probably no morning suits then!)
  • on the other hand, we don’t want it to look too stingy or slapdash (as Boy says it’s getting the balance between home-made charm and a shoddy looking kiddie party!)
  • don’t want the bridesmaids in block colour dresses – possibly not even matching dresses (not sure why I feel strongly about this but I do)
  • we don’t want a symbolic ceremony but a proper serious catholic church wedding
  • no venues with carpet! (so many beautiful wedding photos blighted by ugly patterned carpets)
  • we don’t want to have to leave the party early and miss all the fun!
  • we don’t want huge arranged flowers – the setting should be beautiful enough without them
  • we don’t want status food or drinks (my theory is the more people you feed the less fussy the food needs to be – save Cordon Bleu for dinner à deux)
  • I don’t want hundreds of bridesmaids (problem – two sisters, one sister-to-be, one sister-in-law-to-be, four best friends!)
  • we don’t want to cripple all our families financially. It is after all one day out of our whole lives. Also we both have two younger siblings each who all deserve wonderful weddings too one day
  • I don’t want Boy’s family to feel like just guests but fully involved members of the 'decision making committee' (especially since it is taking place at my parents house)
  • lastly, we don’t want to be in England
This last one has been sorted out but maybe I should explain. Although we could have a lovely wedding in a marquee at my parent’s house in England it never felt like an 'us' option. I’m not 100% British and having a 4Weddings & Funeral style event, although lovely and classic, felt like it would renounce a significant part of my heritage. We also wanted something different and memorable that didn’t follow the blueprint set by the many weddings we have attended (we’re in our 30s!) which can start to blend into each other. Most importantly the house in Italy is a place we have shared and both love. We went on our first holiday together there, Boy had his 30th birthday party there with all his best friends, his parents and grandfather have been and loved it and not a year has gone by in the last six (or for me, practically my whole life) when we haven’t been at least twice. It’s still the traditional bride’s father’s house but with a significant modification.
Hmm - seems like pretty negative post - but I'm still feeling positive and I know I'll start getting my head around what I do want soon!