When three became one

Don’t worry, I haven’t got the title of that Spice Girls song incorrect, I’m referring to how I used to have three bridesmaids, and now I only have one!

I never thought I would have a problem with three of my closest friends, who I’ve grown up with since high school. We’ve seen each other move into different careers and had highs and lows in our personal lives, but we’ve grown into women who have made a success of their lives. So when I asked all three of them to be my bridesmaids, I thought the plans for the wedding would be a breeze with their help on my side. How wrong I was!

It’s turned out to be one of the most difficult aspects of the whole day and I’ve become increasingly more anxious and concerned about it. It all started when two of them had a falling out. Now this happened before I asked them to commit to being a bridesmaid but they both agreed they would be amicable for the sake of one day. Alas, this was not to be. It’s turned into childlike behaviour with little digs and comments about each other to me. They haven’t dealt with it themselves and instead are playing me as the middle man.

Where it went wrong

It all came to a head when one of them arranged a second hen do and purposefully left out the other, so she felt excluded. The excluded one then came to me and expressed her anxiety at the situation and bowed out of bridesmaid duties. I understood her concerns but still felt something different could have been done. She’s not tried to work it out with the other bridesmaid and hasn’t put much effort into making sure I feel less stressed about the whole situation.

Due to this derailment I didn’t feel right having the other one as a bridesmaid, who had ultimately caused this drama by her own actions. So I told her how I felt and that I would be removing her from duties. This didn’t go down too well, but ultimately she understood.

Shouldn’t we be grown-ups?

Now why, at the age we are (mid-thirties), has this happened? I’ve spoken in previous blogs about how this is the one day when a bride should be able to have things her way, but I’m now left in a situation that isn’t what I wanted. I have one very committed bridesmaid, who completely understands how I feel, but I’m left disappointed with two people who I thought could pull themselves together for just one day. I never thought organising a wedding would cause so many dramas but now I’ve had time to process the mess I’m left with five months before the big day, I feel a sense of relief. I now don’t have to worry about the two of them staying in the same room the night before the wedding, I don’t have to worry about any awkward meetings with them leading up to the big day and thankfully I don’t have to worry about them ‘working’ together on the day itself.

Moving forwards

It may have taken a major falling out and some harsh words, but there are bigger and better things to be worrying about than a petty falling out between two people who can’t get on for the sake of one of their best friends. I’ve got enough on my plate, talking of plates, I still need to put the order in for my chocolate wedding cake – I’ll definitely need it!

Where’s life’s pause button?

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Spend more time doing what you love

I recently moved house and with it started working part-time during the interim period of looking for a more permanent full-time job. I thought I’d have loads more time for doing the things I want and relaxing without rushing about with life admin.

How wrong was I?

I’ve found myself working during the morning and then not sitting down again until I’m settling down for my evening meal at about 7pm. I feel busier than when I had a full-time job and am left wondering how on earth I fitted everything in while also working a 37-hour week. Over the last few days I’ve been trying to find an answer to this conundrum. Yes, I’ve signed myself up to more yoga classes, but these are mainly during the evening. I’m also able to take the dog out on longer walks throughout the day and I’ve been able to spend more time writing blog posts. However that doesn’t explain how I was losing so much time. Then it hit me, the answer to all those lost hours throughout the day was social media!

The time I’ve spent looking on Facebook, Instagram and The Daily Mail website is increasing every day. I wouldn’t mind but I don’t even like the way the Mail stories are written and believe very little of what I read on there. The scrolling through Instagram and Facebook is pointless too as I feel a huge sense of under achievement once I tear my eyes away from the screen an hour or two later.

Adding more hours to your day

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Put a stop to spending hours looking at social media

So, I’ve made the decision to limit my time on these websites. I’ll only visit them once a day for a maximum of half an hour, plenty of time to catch up on what’s been going on in the world. I’ve also put myself on a ban from The Daily Mail and already feel better in myself having not read about the trials and tribulations of celebrities.

One thing I went through a phase of doing is not watching television throughout the weekend. If you can do this it really makes a difference. I found I had more time than ever to just chill out and really relax my mind and thoughts. When you sit down in front of the TV your mind doesn’t switch off so it’s not as relaxing as you think. Without it you’re able to concentrate on the simpler things in life and feel as though the world isn’t going past you like a bolt of lightning.

I highly recommend switching off and reconnecting with the things that really matter, you’ll feel the benefits and wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. Life is short enough already, so don’t waste it on reading about other people’s lives.

Concentrate on the one that matters…your own.

Battling against the pressure

Getting married is stressful! Regardless of what people tell you about making it all about you and doing what you want, there is always something that crops up to sway you away from that path. One element that is high on the never-ending to do list is finding ‘the one’. I don’t mean finding yourself a groom but instead finding that one dress that makes you feel like royalty. However does it really need to make you feel like Princess Catherine or Meghan Markle? Shouldn’t it be about making you feel comfortable to help you enjoy your special day?

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Your dress doesn’t have to sparkle on the outside to make you sparkle from the inside

Finding the right shop

I set out on my journey of finding this elusive dress and felt increasingly despaired at every dress shop I visited. There was nothing that made me feel special and I thought the day would never arrive when I looked in the mirror and thought ‘that’s it’. I finally found myself in a converted barn in Framlingham with just one of my friends and the owner. The business bought dresses from the previous season and sold them at a fraction of their original price. There was no pressure from other people as we were the only ones there, the appointment time was lengthy so there was no rush and the owner really listened to what you wanted. In fact the dress I finally settled on was one she chose for me and is something I wouldn’t have tried on if I’d seen it on the hanger.

The dress isn’t flamboyant, it doesn’t make me look like a loo roll cover and there are minimal sparkles on it. It’s a simple, yet elegantly plain dress that will never go out of fashion. More importantly it felt like me and is really comfortable. Remember there will be lots of food on your wedding day so you need something that gives a little anyway to help hide the food baby!

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Choose a dress that feels right for you

Do it your way

I also bought my dress before setting a date for the wedding as this also took the pressure away from having to find one before a particular date. It’s seen as the wrong way round to many people but it worked for me and I would recommend it to anyone. As someone who gets slightly anxious I knew this was the best decision for me so ignored the words of others when told I was looking too soon.

Granted since that day I’ve seen others that I think may have looked better but I’ve trusted my instinct and stayed with my original choice. Plus I know my fiancé will be happy I chose one that I felt comfortable in.

Now I just need to organise the rest of the day!

The politics associated with wedding planning

In October 2017 my boyfriend proposed to me and became my fiancé. Thus started the process of organising a wedding day. For someone who hasn’t kept a wedding book nor has any idea of what they want, this has proved tricky.

Understanding the technicalities

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We set out with the intention of only inviting people we wanted to share our day with. The words ‘it’s your day, you can do whatever you want’ were ringing in our ears thanks to our parents’ kind advice. Due to this advice it was an understandable shock to the system when the same voices expressed concern over certain people who weren’t invited. People who we don’t speak to or even worse even knew existed. ‘You’ve got to invite them, I went to the past two weddings they were at’, well if a good attendance record gets you an invite to the most memorable day of two strangers lives then sign me up!

The problem with inviting the couple who live at number 28 on the street adjoining your grandma’s house, is the cost implications. The day is already expensive and overpriced (thanks to the wedding industry) so adding two extra people on adds up to a lot of extra money. It comes to the point where you have to put your foot down and say no. This leads me on to the term ‘Bridezilla’. Is this really such a bad term? Is it not understandable when you realise how much pressure and hype surrounds a wedding day and for everything to be perfect?

Now I understand some people take this to the extreme – making obscene demands to wedding guests, however I’ve had the term thrown at me a few times when I’ve said no to requests or when I ask for certain things to be in place on the day. It’s not unreasonable to make a few demands, especially when you’re paying over the odds for it anyway. What frustrates me is when people get annoyed with me for wanting what I want. Those reassuring words about it being our day said at the start of the process quickly fade into the distance and are replaced with ‘you need to invite him because it would be unfair not to’.

Remember:

  • You can’t please everyone and more disagreements happen when you try
  • At the end of the day you’re not going to please everyone, if you do upset people due to silly disagreements then try and decide whether they’re worth having in your life anyway
  • It’s the only day you can get away with being demanding so do what you want to do (within reason)
  • Your family and friends should want this to be as special as it can be for you so make sure they rally round and support you

Current stage

We have just finished designing our website with all the details of where to be and how long it will last. This was the easier option for us as it kept the price down (no postage or paper invitations) and keeps everything in one place so is easy to track. We’re currently gathering up email addresses to send the invite to the lucky few people and then we’ll wait for the RSVP’s to come flooding back (hey we can dream!).

Things we have done:

  • Booked the venue
  • Bought THE dress
  • Decided on bridesmaids
  • Bought bridesmaid dresses
  • Chosen our cake
  • Selected our wedding breakfast (Spanish tapas)

Do it your way

To sum up we are getting married in the North East of England in a French/Mediterranean chateau with Spanish food for the wedding breakfast. If that isn’t doing exactly what you want then I don’t know what is!