Monday, May 31, 2010

Wedding Food Tasting Extravaganza

This bit is most fun. 

We got the sample menus ages ago and forgot about them.  More than 4 weeks before the event generally, you have your tasting evening. 

This consists of every member of staff at your venue fawning over you for the evening as you sample most of the delights which you hope to present to your guests on the big day.  It's difficult to narrow things down if you like your food like we do, so we asked for extra dishes, not just the standard two.  To be fair to them, since there has been so much horrible stuff going on with the venue recently they coughed up and gave us what we asked for.  [Note: first time we've felt like they were going to make some effort to make our day nice. Thank goodness for small mercies - we were much more relaxed after the evening.]

It's difficult narrowing down your choices as I said, but when it came down to it there were clear winners in every round.  I just hope everyone else likes our courses as much as we do! 

Oh, and we got to sample a load of different wines as well, which was MOST fun.  [Note2: bring a driver with you if at all possible.]

We even got to bring our favourites home with us.

See? They DO know how to turn on the charm.

There was some debate over who we should bring to the tasting, if anyone at all.  Some people choose to bring the parents, some choose to bring the chief bridesmaid and best man, some choose to bring nobody at all.

Whatever you decide to do, just relax and enjoy your evening - enjoy people making a fuss - and get used to it!  And remember to make the most of it with your Handsome One, because apparently the day itself passes in a blur and you won't remember the small details - nice to remember the tasting event as a nice evening together. 

Saturday, May 29, 2010

It's Leinster Time

Time for some Leinster action, time to switch off from wedding planning and head to the Royal Dublin Society and cheer on the men in blue. 

I love some of the banners the Supporters Club put up - Sexton's On Fire and D4tress, which I think is particularly entertaining...  Ross O'Carroll-Kelly would be supremely proud. 

So C'MON LEINSTER!  Time to rock.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Wedding Tan Possible Solution

Rather than having another disastrous experience with a spray tan I decided to give the old tinted moisturiser another whirl.  If I'm very, very careful it just might work. 

All I'm looking for is a healthy glow atop my current freckletastic face.  The recent sunshine has meant that my freckles are out in full swing and hey, I like them, so at least that's something. 

My first tinted moisturising experience all those years ago was when J&J holiday skin came on the market.  They sold out everywhere and our entire office had THAT almighty whiff even though just 2 of us were trying it out.  I put it all over my face that first day, in innocent/ignorance. 

Since then I've tried many different types and always end up reverting to Dove.  It smells the least obnoxious and goes on naturally, onto my skintone.  Whenever I wear it people say I'm looking well - as opposed to when I tried out the spray tan and they actually commented on the tan itself. 

So I'm sitting here typing away having started to put a little on daily, for about 4 days now.  And it seems to be working!  I look a little healthier and I feel a bit brighter in my clothes so at least that's something.  Ideally I would have the time to sit out in the garden for 20 mins every day but right now all my spare time is taken up with shopping and organising and meeting suppliers. When I'm not doing that I'm having to meet with family to discuss various things.  The joys.

Dovetastic... I think we may have a winner...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Volcano Threat

How did I miss this last week? 

News that the dragon may be done to sleep for another little while.  The Eyjafjallaj√∂kul Volcano seems to have gone quiet - this could mean...  That our guests will be able to fly, and that maybe possibly hopefully our honeymoon can happen....  Dare we hope?

It has been adding to the stress, I must admit.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Honeymoon Clothes

Shopping

Shopping

Shopping

I love an excuse to shop.  For new luggage (swit-swoo), for new swimwear, for new shorts and dresses, ooooh I love to shop.

The part of the shopping that's painful is the bank account situation.  Dagnabbit.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Hot Tip

When trying to grow your nails (and as an ex-nail-biter to boot) don't grow them so long in your excitement that they break (badly) half-way down the nail bed.  Especially don't do it by agressive gardening (i.e. losing temper with stubborn weeds dagnabbit) in the vain hope that spending time out of doors will also flourish your "tan" (for "tan" read "freckle farm").

That will be all for today. 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Les Fleurs


A wee fleur for the mums
A wee fleur for the bro's & sisters
A buttonhole for the dads, witness & my Handsome One
A wee BooKay for my witness
A wee BooKay for me

A splash of fleur-related colour on the alter, at the church door and the top pew ends

A wee splash of colour on the dining tables

An enormous number of flowers draped over as yet unfinished changes to function room (better to be prepared, in case they really don't finish in time)

Remember when I advised you to delegate?   Thank the gods I did just that.  When florists start talking about the fleur names in Latin my eyes glaze over.  All I want to say is "can't you just make it nice?" coz I really don't know what they're on about at all.  Thank goodness for having fleur-related people in the family.  Fleur-relations.  Phew.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

World Cup Wedding Clash

A surprising number of people are asking if we're going to have a big screen at our wedding...

We thought carefully about dates and things so that this wouldn't happen - we're avoiding anything that's relevant to our small island nation. 

So we find out now that it doesn't just clash with one sporting event, but two.  Neither of which Ireland is involved in, therefore I think I'm well within my rights not to give a hoot. 

No there will NOT be a big screen at our wedding.  At first I thought people were joking but now I'm getting texts & emails about it.  Guests.  Genuinely concerned that they may not be able to watch their men folk running around after a ball.  Because we'll be feasting on a meal that a lot of planning has gone into.  Planning, mostly for them.  Not for me remember, I wanted none of this, and now that we've put all this damn work in, said guests... 

I just can't even finish that sentence.  I'm getting really fcuking fed up at this stage. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tanning

Got a sample spray tan done at the weekend to see if I'll get on this summer for the big day. 

I am - let's face it - caucasian.  I'm Irish to boot.  You know what this means right? 

Pasty white skin, going to look pretty strange in the dress unless I try to "healthy" myself up a bit.

So I asked for a healthy glow and OMG I'm still scrubbing 4 days later.  I'm RAW from the scrubbing.  And I still look filthy!  What's that about!? 

It's bonkers, maybe it's just that I'm not used to it but if this is the lightest they go...

What to do?!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Wedding Bra, Wedding Shoes

Well this was interesting.

Went into a few shops over the last 2 weekends looking for underthings for The Dress.  I'll be needing the bra for the final fitting, not to mention shoes.  Hhmmm, shoes...

Two SUPER helpful places I went to (didn't need to go any further) were Brown Thomas and Peaches & Cream.  Both shops have super helpful ladies in there who don't gush and "OMG" too much when you tell them you're getting married soon, they just guide you to the things that will look good on you.  Geniuses all. 

There was a young lady in Peaches & Cream who is worried about not having her bra in time for her first fitting which is in three weeks' time!  How MAD am I thinking it's totally normal to go searching for unmentionable underthings after you've started your fittings?  Quite, apparently.  The lady in there was so prepared she had brought her dress in with her.  Fair fricking play to her for being so organised.  I'm all over the bloody place and not at all bothered.  Sure it's just a bra. 

Re: Shoes?  Have a look here and just GUESS.  They're SO PRETTY!!!!!!!!

Nails

So here's the plan:

3 weeks before my wedding I will get one of these, a three week manicure from the lovely ladies in Nails Inc.  The gel polish will protect my nails for the lead up to the big day and make sure they grow nice and long.  Then the week of the wedding itself I will get a fresh one which should last up until the honeymoon.  Should be fun! 

I made the appointment this morning.  Have to book weeks in advance in Nails Inc...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bride-to-Be Guide to Handling Pre-Wedding Stress

You may as well know, a host of things will probably go wrong as you try to organise your day - big wedding or not. I'm not being pessimistic, just realistic. Suppliers may falter, family may cause hiccoughs, people may pass away unexpectedly, an ash cloud may descend! The point is, you have to be able to take care of yourself and not let all the stress get to you so much that it takes over your life. It's only one day, remember?

Some ways that I have been able to survive:
  • Substitute camomile tea for some of your cups of coffee - less jitters, less nerves
  • Before you go to sleep, use some lavendar moisturiser on your shoulders, neck and hands so that is soothes you to sleep - you don't have to go to L'Occitane and spend a fortune, Boots have a lovely one!
  • If things do start to get to you and you feel anxious all the time, pop into your local pharmacy and talk to the nice ladies behind the counter.  They may recommend a natural plant/herb extract which could help you relax, such as Kalms - they're not that expensive and the wee bottle lasts for ages
  • Try to make some non-wedding time for you and your spouse-to-be; by this I mean, go back to something you used to love doing before you got engaged.  Be it a walk on your favourite beach, dinner in your favourite cheap&cheerful, a trip to the IFI or a match in your local GAA/soccer/rugby club to get the blood pumping. It's amazing how helpfully refreshing a match can be. I screamed and roared at Leinster in the RDS last Sunday and felt amazing afterwards - so relaxed!  Forgot all about the venue from hell for 2 hours and just had a blast with my betrothed - cannot recommend it highly enough to ease the stress. 
  • Politely ask people who ring you 7 times a day about wedding things, to please not call you quite so often as you are quite busy, and need to structure your wedding-talk time a little more.  So only call at lunchtime or after work about wedding stuff. 
  • If it helps - turn off your voicemail!!  Similarly annoying, 7 messages a day when you dial 171 can get to you.  Your mobile beeping, emails whizzing in, landlines hopping - it all works against you to create an atmosphere of pressure when lets face it - that's not what it's meant to be about.
Ultimately, communication is key.  If anything is getting to you, tell the people around you - that's what best friends, bridesmaids, sisters, aunts, grannies, cousins and mums are for.  They love you and will only be too delighted to help in any way they can. Sharing is caring, right?!  

Delegation is also extremely important.  Try to put anything that goes wrong into a category.  If it is family related, get your Pops onto it to help sort it out.  If it is flowers-related, get whoever in your clan is the best gardener to have a word with the florist and sort it out.  If it is food related, get the cuddly-grub-fan in your group of mates to help you with some suggestions.  NB: Ask. For. Help. 

This is not what you want:

You want to be like this!!!!

Or like this!!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dress Fitting and Whatnot

The dress fittings have commenced. I've been ordered to purchase shoes and unmentionable underthings to ensure all the remaining wobbly bits are secure. Honestly, it's like a military operation. Good friends all signing up to come with me for these horrific experiences, although part of me knows that it's just to point and laugh (for if you cannot laugh at your friends....well where's the fun in that?!)

It's funny, I don't know why everyone wants to be a part of all these annoying things so much. I don't enjoy them terribly much (not liking my shape may have something to do with it but I'll have to suck it up [and in] and just accept that I am this shape and that's that) and I'm wondering why there is so much enthusiasm to attend avec moi?

I don't disrespect them enough to ask, I just find it interesting. If a little puzzling.

My good (recently married) friends have warned me about this. In the last 2 months leading up to The Event, apparently your life turns into a series of to-do lists which you scratch off and amend every half of every day. It's true! All of it. Lists, lists, lists. Even Handsome One has some. He was NEVER a list sort of guy at home (had many at work I believe) and now he's in a panic if he loses the small piece of scrap paper that he wrote many important things on. Panic does something to his memory too, because he can never remember what he wrote on it. It's so funny! Writing things down manages to aid my memory, which is handy.

After much hilarity looking at wedding candle TAT (if you're bored, do google them, they can be so tacky and amusing, I find it v.funny) we've had the sensible chat with the vicar and are going to just use normal candles in his lovely candelabra-yokie. Apparently the good lady who does the church flowers puts some nice fleurs around the candles and makes them look all purty. Suits us!! Yes indeedie, let someone else worry about them... It's the symbolism that's important to us, nothing else. I likes the vicar. He be sensible and whatnot.

When I say normal candles I mean something like this...


The Handsome One is sorting some stuff out for us this week. If I get involved in any more of the problem solving I may just start shouting at someone. I never - ever - wanted to turn into a Bridezilla and thankfully thus far I don't think I'm getting there. In fact some married-friends are wondering why I'm not kicking up more of a holy stink about certain venue related things. The truth is, it's not that important. What's important is that my family have their flights booked and they're coming over (I LOVED getting those emails with landing time details, so exciting), what's important is that we have our rings, and a date with a vicar. If the walls fall down during dinner it'll make a great story for the grandkids.

That said, I'm very, very glad that my Handsome man is going to sort a few things out and not take and crap from anyone. He's not opening a discussion, he said, he is just going to insist upon a few things. Calmly.

Hero.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Plague!

Email inbox - full of unresolved questions from suppliers regarding minute details

SMS inbox - full of messages asking (a) if we have a wedding list [no] and (b) what the accommodation situation is for the night of the party

Office line - constantly ringing from work and non-work peeps asking about wedding related things

Dreams - full of wedding related themes

Before I fall asleep - wedding related anxiety, asking questions in my head, running through to-do lists

Remember at the start of this blog, 15 months ago, I said I didn't want a wedding?

FORFCUKSAKE!

Who was I kidding. This is bliss!* Wonderful, seriously, who wouldn't want the stress. Turns out, even though I no longer have time to play sports or plan a diet (eating on the hoof is the WORST for me), turns out you burn calories in a direct correlation to the size of the knot in your stomach.

Cool.

* denotes sarcasm

Monday, May 10, 2010

Watching Weight

Ahem.

Somehow, I don't think having an entire collection of WeightWatchers Belgian Chocolate & Vanilla Mousse pots counts as being careful about what I'm eating.

Oh well.

On to the large box of WW Profiterols then.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Romantic Songs

This isn't going to be the sort of gathering where you have speeches and cake cutting and first dances; this is just a party after a private ceremony. How and ever...

Listening to my favourite music medium of late, The Radio, one of my favourite songs came on, and I listened once again to the lyrics. They make up the sort of message I'd like to deliver to The Handsome One - the top 5 lines are about marriage in general, while the bottom 2 lines are really just about the honeymoon ;)

I'll be your dream, I'll be your wish, I'll be your fantasy
I'll be your hope, I'll be your love, Be everything that you need
I'll love you more with every breath: Truly, madly, deeply
I will be strong, I will be faithful
'Cause I'm counting on a new beginning, a reason for living, a deeper meaning...

I want to stand with you on a mountain
I want to bathe with you in the sea


OK so, enough of the slushie love stuff. Back to planning and organising and barking orders like a tyrant.

The song is Truly, Madly, Deeply by Ozzie chaps Savage Garden - I've amended them slightly

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Goodness. Me.

So you know about skeletons in closets and all that sort of jazz. You possibly have a few. It seems that the "normal" in normal families is that we each have our strange and wonderful different things about our heritage and backgrounds.

I've been fretting for months about a possible explosion at the forthcoming nuptial bash. It happens in families, although most will put a sock in it for the sake of the bride and groom.

It seems that my family is no different. An RSVP arrived this week from the black sheep of the family. We've rowed over whether to invite this sheep because they rub my parents up the wrong way. Our concerns were personal, so rather than create an issue for the rest of the clan (imagine: "where's so-and-so?" then it would all come tumbling out...) we decided to invite everyone, try to keep as many people as happy as possible and hope for the best.

The RSVP arrived in the negative, but with a long letter of explanation attached. Lots of lovely words of kindness for The Handsome One & I, and then the explanation: they can't stand the rest of the clan (those for whom the invitation was primarily extended) and with the auld vino flowing at the party, couldn't guarantee that there wouldn't be a brawl. OK I'm paraphrasing for dramatic effect but that was the gist of it.

Who'da thunk it?

It's so strange. I'm both relieved and puzzled all at the same time. It means we can relax and not worry about fits of anger (woo, we sound like a bunch of crazies, honestly we're not *that* bad) but seriously. Who knew?

I think I must have been an ostrich in a past life. I've no idea what's going on...

Families, eh?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What do you love about getting married?

The best bits of getting married and planning for marriage to the one you love

- Spending lots of time with The Handsome One
- Getting a Licence to Wed - a very fun experience - oooh, licence to wed
- Posting the invitations (no escape now!)
- Having some deep & meaningfuls about life, beliefs, the future, our happiness together
- Thinking about how much we mean to each other - and telling each other
- Spending even more time with The Handsome One
- Friendships coming out in full bloom to lend a hand at stressful moments
- Those same friends celebrating important life long friendships in the form of hen and stag parties
- The chuffed look on people's faces when you tell them you want them there with you for some special moments - be it a dress fitting or shoe shopping
- The excitement that everybody else feels (and expresses!) because you have found the one you love
- Phone calls coming at the right time from the best kind of people, just when you need them
- Hearing words of wisdom from wrinkly relatives who wistfully remember their own marriage ceremonies and wedding breakfasts back in the 1940's!
- My mum telling us "apparently it rained on our wedding day - I didn't notice"
- Unexpected hugs from out-of-office work colleagues who may not see me again before the big day
- Booking honeymoon
- Starting to purchase clothing for said honeymoon
- Having a pre-marriage course with a marriage counsellor telling us we're going to be alright and are a steady ship heading in the right direction so far (key: communication)
- Choosing readings for ceremony
- Choosing music for ceremony
- Planning an hour or so between ceremony and meeting crowd at party to spend with new husband in some peace and quiet
- Getting excited about calling each other "wife" and "husband"
- Looking forward to having all the silly planning out of the way so that we can just simply go in there and commit to each other for the rest of our lives
- Getting emails from distant relatives with "Flights Booked!!" in the subject line
- Getting text messages from friends going "I've just bought my outfit for your wedding!"
- RSVP cards flooding in
- More conservative ladies asking "Where are you going to live after you get married" and our confusion at that - "Why, our house of course..." (Currently) Living In Sin FTW!
- Thinking about what a lovely whirlwind this romance has been...for all five years!