Posts Tagged: Linda

Apr 11

An invitation to rain

It’s going to rain on my wedding.

That’s what I’ve been told anyway. Not by a weather expert, not even by a spiteful ex (though I’m sure I don’t have any.) No, I was given this lovely prediction by the lady who’s making my wedding invitations.

Honestly, you should have seen my jaw hit the floor.

rain-blog-story.jpgIt was the second time I’d visited the cosy little stationary shop with Linda. After looking through countless folders of invitations which more or less looked the same to me, we had decided on a lovely card with hand-written calligraphy in dark green.

We’d rejected having a border though, as the effect reminded Linda of the sort of cards that people used to send round in Spain informing of a death in the family. I certainly don’t want anyone to be thinking of funerals when they get the invitation.

So we’d got onto the part of instructing the shop owner what we wanted written on the cards – half of which are being done in English, the other half in Spanish.

When it came to telling her the wedding date – September 17, she started to tut.

“Oh dear, there’ll be bad weather that weekend,” she said peering sternly over the rim of her glasses.

“Oh really?” I asked in disbelief.

“Yes,” she informed us. “the first two weeks of September are always good. Then the weather gets bad. It’ll probably rain.”

I just sat there with my mouth flapping like a frog trying to catch flies. Linda, however, didn’t miss a beat.

“Well, we can’t change it now,” she answered back. “We shall just have to get ourselves some beautiful white umbrellas. Problem solved.”

I didn’t know whether to be amused or annoyed. You’re not supposed to say things like to brides, are you? I thought you should tell them everything will be perfect and that it’s going to be the most gorgeous and perfect day ever, with brilliant sunshine and birds singing and flowers in full bloom and stuff like that?

But rain? And this lady works in the wedding industry for Pete’s sake. Surely she should be thinking about what’s good for business before opening her mouth. If I’d been a sensitive-type-tantrum-throwing bride I could have stormed out of the shop saying I would take my business elsewhere. That would have showed her.

“Take no notice of her,” said Linda after we left. “That’s the kind of thing my mother-in-law probably would have said to me. She’s just blunt, that’s all.

“The main thing is she does her job well – she’ll make you some lovely invitations.”

And she was right, but the whole thing got me thinking. What if it does actually rain. Sure, I live in Spain, but that doesn’t 100 per cent guarantee me beautiful sunshine. In my mind’s eye I see myself skipping down the (sunshine-lit) road with J, hand in hand from the church to the reception venue. But what if I have to dodge puddles on the way?

Maybe we should order some of those beautiful white umbrellas. Just to be on the safe side.

Mar 11

Six months to go

In exactly six months to this day, I will be getting married. How did that happen?

Fast forward to the big day, and by this point I will be approximately 30 minutes from making my entrance at the church. I will be probably having some sort of deep and meaningful with my bridesmaids/my dad/Linda/my mum, or all of the above.


six-months-blog-s.jpgI’m sure I’ll have already made a mess of my eye makeup (deffo need to invest in some waterproof mascara).

Hopefully I will be calm and collected and looking radiant. That’s the way I see it in my head, anyway.

Six months away from W-day is the perfect stage to be at, I reckon. It’s close enough so that you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s far enough away to give you that “I’ve got plenty of time to sort that out” feeling.

Not that I’m procrastinating, of course. Oh no, heaven forbid.

I would never do that. I’m sure that J would tell you that I am a total cabezota (stubborn head) when it comes to getting things done. If I get something in my head I won’t stop until I’ve got it done, no matter how much I annoy everyone.

Because now – and I can hardly believe this – I’m at the stage where I can write lists of things that are left to do, and not feel overwhelmed.

When I think back to when I started out on the long road of wedding planning, and how daunting it all seemed, I’m amazed at how far I’ve come.

I spent days looking at wedding venues on the internet and just thought “this is going to be hell”.

But it really hasn’t been so far. Sure, there have been some stressful bits along the way, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself through it all. Now we’re at the half way mark, and I’m really starting to believe we’re going to pull this off. More than that, we’re going to create something pretty darn special.

And a lot of that has been down to my wedding planning secret weapon, my mother-in-law Linda – who takes no crap when people are being rubbish, has impeccable taste, always offers good advice, and has so many good contacts from the three other weddings she’s planned already. I really am so lucky to have her.

In the past few weeks we’ve managed to sort out some musicians for the ceremony, meet with our priest (who assures me that my paperwork won’t be a problem, wow) and figure out what we want in terms of the invitations. It’s all rolling along nicely.

So while I’m feeling all smug and organised, I thought it would be a good idea to do a ten tips I can offer brides-to-be, based on my experiences so far. So here goes:

wedding-blog-s.jpg1) Just do it
The first step is always the hardest, but you’ve got to take it. Buy a wedding magazine, start browsing venues, or book an appointment at a wedding dress shop. Once you’ve got the ball rolling, you’ll feel better.

2) Find your own Linda
Unless your sister or best friend has got hitched, you probably have limited experience of planning a wedding. So the best thing you can do is draft in someone who’s been there, done that, worn the dress. Mothers and mothers-in-law may or may not be a good choice, depending on the relationship you have with them. So, if need be look further afield – aunties, cousins, friends. And if you’re completely alone (and if your budget allows for it) you might want to consider hiring a wedding planner

3) Start early, and give yourself plenty of time
The main times I’ve been stressed have been when I’ve struggled to get the people I want for the job because I’ve left it to late. Look at the photographer saga - I thought seven months was more than enough time to find the snapper I wanted, I was so wrong. So the best thing you can do to make things stress free is start looking at venues, for a dress, the caterer and the photographer as soon as possible, and overestimate the time you’ll need. The early bird catches the wedding worm. Prioritise – there are some things that can wait till later in the process, like picking your wedding disco music, choosing the rings, sorting out the readings for the service, etc.

4) Lists are your friends
You’ve got a million ideas buzzing round in your head, so get them down onto paper. It’ll clear your mind and help you prioritise. Don’t get overwhelmed though, deal with things one at a time, and set yourself deadlines if you know you need and extra push.

5) Make a wedding scrapbook
If you see something in a magazine or on the internet that you really like – whether it be a dress, hairstyle or bouquet – cut it out and stick it in a folder or book. Then you’ve got it all in one place. Otherwise you’ll find yourself in the situation later where you know you’ve seen a pair of shoes you really love, but you can’t remember where.

6) Don’t expect your other half to be as obsessed as you are
Why doesn’t he care about the flowers or which photographer you choose? Because he’s a man, that’s why. Maybe you’ll find yourself with one of those rare ‘Groomzilla’ types who want personal control of the seating plan, but chances are, he won’t give a monkey’s. So take charge of the fiddly stuff and give him jobs he’ll be interested in – like researching the honeymoon or sorting out the DJ.

7) Keep an open mind
Don’t rule anything out on the premise that ‘It’s just not me’. Try every dress on in the shop and go see as many venues as you can. You’ve never done this before, remember? How do you know what you’re going to like?

8) Remember, it’s your wedding – nobody else’s
Don’t be worried about what your friends will think of your dress, or the song you choose for your first dance. It’s your special day, so pick something YOU like. Don’t totally disregard advice, though. If someone close to you is telling you a fuchsia pink dress is not a good idea, it’s only because they have your best interests at heart.

9) Compromise
You want a quiet wedding and your mum – who’s forking out for the big day – has in mind a guest list of 400. Or you want an Eighties disco while your other half wants heavy metal classics. Weddings are epic argument territory, so you have to compromise and talk through things properly. And apparently that’s the secret to a successful marriage too, so think of it as good practice. Nine times out of ten you’ll find a half way point, a solution that keeps all parties happy. But if you don’t, don’t resort to emotional blackmail. Nobody deserves that.

10) Enjoy it
If things all go to plan (and why wouldn’t they?) This is the only wedding you will ever plan. In your whole life, ever. It’s a once in a lifetime experience and you should try and treasure every moment. Even the stressful parts. It seems like a nightmare now that every venue you look at is over priced and looks like a Butlin’s ballroom. But trust me, you’ll look back and laugh about it all once you’ve found your fairytale location

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