Everyone give her a big welcome to the polka dotted pages, her first post makes for a fascinating read. Jo is clearly already brimming with bucket-loads of RMW-esque vision…
Well hey y’all!
Ahem, sorry – still mentally in Tennessee after my night with Dolly Parton last Friday.
So, it’s been 2 months since I discovered I was RMW’s Rustic Romance Real Bride for 2011-2012. TWO MONTHS?! Errrrm, where has the time gone, people? I’m guessing it’s probably gone the same way as the 10 months since Mr A proposed…which means we’re half way through our engagement. And we’ve done, well, very little actually!
This summer was meant to be all about sorting the big and expensive parts of the day: venue, photography, catering, but thanks to a few issues needing to be ironed out with our venue, we’re yet to sign the contract, and therefore can’t book anything else, as we don’t actually have a confirmed date(!) or any W-day insurance.
So, I’ve done what every girl would do. I’ve bought another dress. So now I have two wedding dresses. I shall be wearing both on our W-day. AT THE SAME TIME… My beautiful, bargainous Lusan Mandongus as the dress it’s supposed to be, and the equally gorgeous, and even more bargainous Christiana Couture dress as… a veil!
Let me explain…
Back in July, I mentioned to Mrs A senior, future ma-in-law (and all round legend), that I would L-O-V-E a cathedral length lace veil. At that point, I’d found a plain tulle veil edged in thick lace for a WHOPPING £350.00. Sorry folks, but I just couldn’t justify spending that much wonga on something I’d only have on for a few hours. She suggested making one, if we could source some really lovely lace. An excellent plan!
Weeks later, I went to an awesome charity sale, selling everything from books to blankets, and everything in between (and I mean EVERYTHING). I joked to the friend I was with the I was on the lookout for an antique lace veil, then promptly started trawling through jewellery, books, furniture, homeware like the magpie I am, before finally ending up in the clothes section. Spotting a wedding rail amidst the chaos, I spotted what I thought was the DREAM VEIL scrunched up on the floor.
It was actually the train of a rather fantabulous dress, nestled between a terrible early-90s meringue, with lots of puffy attachments (no offence intended to anyone approaching their china W-anniversary!), and an awful shiny number from the 70s that made me sweat just looking at it. I stood there for a while, mouth open like a goldfish, thinking that it was too good to be true – enough tulle/lace to make a veil (Cathedral length if extra tulle could be added). As if to seal the deal, the price was just £30.00 (reduced, for some reason, to £25.00 when I came to pay).
I spent most of that afternoon debating whether or not it would be sacrilegious to pick such a beautifully made couture dress apart, but came to the conclusion that I was rescuing the dress from more time spent in somebody’s wardrobe or attic?!
When I showed it to Mrs A Snr, she said it was serendipity, which I think is absolutely right! A few hours later, she’d removed the tulle from the main part of the dress, and bought extra tulle and a veil pattern the next day. When I realised I hadn’t taken a ‘before ‘ picture of the dress to show you lovely peeps, she pinned it back together and took some pictures. 2 weeks later, she’d made a mock-up out of net, and is experimenting with ways to ensure that it becomes the perfect veil – speedy work, and she said she is loving the challenge. So much more fun than just buying a veil, no?
In other news, our vintage china collection (cups, saucers and cheese/cake plates) is complete, and I’ve managed to hire it out to other brides a few times, recouping some of the cost (whoop!). It’s been great fun to collect, trudging around car boot sales and charity shops. Some of the sets are so pretty, I know I’ll want to keep them all after the wedding (in a cottage with barely enough room for normal mugs and plates, let alone a whole world of teacups!).
My teeth have already moved quite a bit after only three weeks and two sets of Invisalign aligners (definitely less gappage than before). Charlotte’s ‘Plastic fantastic’ post, and Vix’s debut ‘Tank girl’ post earlier this week have been űber-helpful in putting my ‘have I done the right thing in spending all this moolah on my gnashers?’ qualms to bed. Thank you ladies! Only nine more aligners, and four months to go!
We met with the photographer we’re hoping to use a few weeks ago – the wonderful Guy Hearn. I worked with him on a wedding when I worked at Blenheim Palace, and during the wedding breakfast, he showed me the pictures he’d already taken, and I was hooked! Of all the hundreds of weddings I’ve ever worked on, Guy’s incredible photos stand out in my mind, along with his fun, yet genteel manner, and the ingenious way he manages to capture the full spectrum of W-day emotions whilst being very discreet. He is a true gent, and I wasted no time in getting him put on the recommended suppliers list at work, whilst simultaneously vowing to call him up if I ever got engaged. Fast forward 3 years (almost to the day), and after hearing me go on, and on, and on about how fantastic Guy is, Mr A finally got to meet him, and thought he was ruddy marvellous too. Hurrah!
As I type, Mr A is putting together our save-the-dates. Getting married on a Thursday in half term means all our guests (except the fellow teachers), will need to take the day off work, plus the Friday if they come to our yummy brunch the day after. In the interest of being eco-friendly (and bank balance friendly) we’ve taken photos of ourselves in lots of different places, holding signs asking people to ‘Please save the date for our wedding’, and turned it into rather splendiferous slideshow. In the words of Miranda’s mother, making it has been “such fun”! (I love that programme), and they’re ALMOST ready to send! Eeeeek!
By the next time I write, we should have paid our deposit for our venue (creases almost ironed out!), booked the band and photographer, sorted our W-day insurance, and sent out the save the dates. Fingers crossed, I’ll have an appointment with the bridesmaids’ & flowergirls’ dress maker, and florist, and will have somehow managed to persuade Mr A to let me have our handsome ginger cat, Elvis, as ringbearer. My pleas are currently falling on deaf ears(!)
I jest, of course, but just wanted to introduce him to you all! Rather like Alex84’s choccy Labrador, he means a great deal to us (and has had 8 boxes of china taking up the whole of his living room floor space for quite a while now).
So, anyone else wearing two dresses on W-day? And please share your tales of wedding related bargain hunting – I do love a good bargain, especially when completely unexpected!
PS: Do you think it’s acceptable to have a Dolly P themed hen do?!