It's been a while since I've written about The Wedding, and given that it is approaching quite rapidly - less than three months to go - things that have been put off until now are suddenly in need of our prompt attention. Wedding fever, as a friend put it, has started to take hold.
I have just reached the end of two very wedding focused days, and I feel practically brain dead as a result. My ability to make a decision - which is shaky at the best of times - has deserted me completely, and I miss it.
Things started out superbly on Sunday - we took our parents to the venue to try some dishes from a sample menu so that we can find the perfect meal to feed to our guests. Some dishes were a delight to eat... and some were not. These two facts led us to a fairly unanimous decision by the end of the meal, and we were easily able to confirm our choices for the wedding breakfast before we left the building:
Fabulous, dahling. (And trust me, it is - even if you can't read my scrawly attempt at calligraphy).
So, onwards to decision number two - the cake. Yesterday morning, me and Mum went to meet the cake lady - a sensible arrangement given that Fiance has advised that he will be happy with the bakery-based arrangements as long as the cake is made out of cake, and that I am full of ideas about the pattern, the colour, the shape, and ensuring it consists of layers of both sponge and fruit cake.
Despite my preparation, it turned out there were still a couple of important cake-related things I hadn't thought of. Like if we definitely wanted sponge for the bottom layer and fruit cake for the upper layers, we'd have to keep the layers separate using a cake stand - a fact which I had neglected to recognise earlier despite it being pretty obvious that a wimpy sponge wouldn't be able to hold the weight of a hefty fruit cake without the use of steel reinforced marzipan.
The question that threw me the most though was what would be going on top of it - my reaction when I realised I hadn't given this any consideration whatsoever went along the lines of 'arrrgggghhh, I don't know, stop asking me questions I don't have the answer to', which I think I controlled by maintaining an outwards appearance of human-mimicking-rabbit-caught-headlight. The cake designer was obviously used to dealing with easily bewildered brides-to-be, and calmly handed me a bunch of wedding cake magazines for me to peruse at my own leisure so I could go back all inspired with what exactly should sit atop our cake.
Magazines in hand (mistake - they were heavy), we headed into town where I nearly found my ideal bridesmaid dresses during a three hour shopping marathon in Debenhams - waiting for me in the Jane Norman outlet were dresses of the perfect colour, the perfect shape and as for the price... well, at £13.50 a pop they were a fraction of what we've been intending to spend (I feel obliged to point out that they weren't cheap dresses - they had been knocked down to a giveaway price as part of the end-of-sale-price-drop-bonanza). Sadly, however, it turned out they were not to be the perfect dress - I tried two on, both of which had unworkable zips that stuck at a certain point and refused to move any higher. Or any lower, for that matter.
By the way, the wardrobe malfunction was nothing to do with the size of me, or the size of the dress - the zip got stuck even when it was on the hanger. But just for the record - Jane Norman, there is no way that was a size 10.
Bearing in mind that I was guessing at whether they would fit my bridesmaids, and the distinct possibility that the zip could give way on the morning of the wedding, a prudent decision to not make the purchase was taken. A prudent decision that I was incapable of making and that came mainly thanks to my mum stepping in with her voice of reason as she realised my brain was stuck on a hamster wheel, going round in circles about what to do.
The potential bridesmaids dresses left behind, we took a break from the shopping to grab a bite to eat and to take some time to look through the cake magazines. It was a painful process - being faced with hundreds of pictures of cakes was somewhat intimidating when I didn't really know what I was looking for, and I felt my head fuddle as I turned each page and found myself faced with yet more options. Once again, Mum came to the rescue with some sensible opinions and gentle questions that helped me to narrow down what I'm after. Eventually, it became a productive browse, and I now have a couple of ideas that I can go back with to seek a professional opinion on which would work better. This is a rather bad impression of what the ideas look like:
And yes, that is a faint image of Winnie the Pooh that can just about be seen on the bottom left of the paper. I've only just noticed him - and he seems to be looking at the bottom image with some excitement. I wonder if he's indicating his preferred design? I'm happy to look to anyone else for an answer - even if that someone else is a cartoon character printed onto notepad paper that completely accidentally happens to looks like it is giving an opinion.
There was only one more decision I was asked to make yesterday, and once again I failed. This time, it was during our trip to pick The Wedding Dress up (wooooooo, I have my dress!) and to try it on before taking it away for alterations. While I was being laced up, I asked if I could try on a veil too, as I hadn't got one sorted yet. They were most obliging, and after I tried on a lovely example, the shop assistant asked if I wanted to order one. My brain had melted by this point, and while I didn't really want to pay them anything else because of the far from ideal customer service I had experienced previously, the convenience of sorting it there and then was rather enticing. I turned to Mum. 'I don't know, what do you think', I said, while my eyes pleaded TELL ME WHAT TO DO! On this occasion, it was the assistant who came to my rescue and said we can always order it at a later date because it only takes three weeks to arrive. I was delighted - I had been handed a get out of jail free card by the establishment itself, which meant I didn't have to feel guilty for testing their stock before going and buying the winning item from another shop.
My conviction for not giving them any further money was entirely confirmed when the dress was presented to us for transportation - no box, no tissue paper, just a wedding dress sized suit protector and a hasty farewell.
I had to wander half a mile from the shop to the car, carrying my prized dress across weary arms that had been burdened with the magazines and a handbag full of junk for most of the day. I did not feel like an elegant bride-to-be by the time I placed the dress as tenderly as I could into the back of the car, and slumped like a sack of jellyfish into the front seat.
This wedding planning malarkey is harder work than I gave it credit for.