19 Just one week to go – Sam’s Wedding Diary

Written by    Last updated: September 3, 2006

With a week to go and the weather over 30 degrees I’m finding it hard to keep my cool. Turns out I’m not the only one.

My poor sister has been desperately trying to decorate the chocolate cake but can’t get the chocolate curls to set in the extreme heat. While she was battling with fans in her kitchen, I was over the other side of London collecting my wedding dress. The designer Annette Carey and I were all smiles until she unzipped the cover to find an assistant had left without finishing it…

However, nothing fazes Annette and she simply hand‐sewed the finishing touches while I waited and we chatted excitedly about the big day. Believe me it was worth the wait! The dress really is beautiful and she even took the time to hand‐sew a small blue ribbon into the underskirt for good luck ‐ as well as one of my dear, departed nan’s earrings into the dress.

So I now have something old (the earrings), something new (the dress), something borrowed (the veil), something blue (the bow). Having safely deposited the dress (covered in a double duvet ‐ the best way apparently to transport it without creasing it) in a friend’s house away from the groom’s prying eyes, I rang the florist who was struggling with roses that were opening too soon due to the heat. At least a hot day is perfect for the beautiful countryside venue ‐ Milton Abbey and the forecast predicts it will be fine, albeit a little hot. See Confetti Weather for your forecast.

Meanwhile it turned out that Rosemary, the lady who organises weddings at Milton Abbey, was also having problems of her own and phoned to casually ask if I thought anyone would surprise us with a ‘fly by’. Apparently a couple who had got hitched at the Abbey a few weeks ago had a pilot friend who flew by in a helicopter. This created great amusement at the time until someone in the village complained about the noise and called in the MOD to investigate. I assured her that we didn’t know anyone who could fly…only mates that think they can when they are drunk!

With all the major plans in place ‐ the dress, wedding rings etc ‐ I thought I’d better focus on make up and accessories. Although you can never own too much make up, you can wear too much, according to many make up artists.

“Don’t dramatically change your hair and make up on the day,” said one woman. “You’re wearing a dress you’re unlikely to have ever worn before, so you want to keep something familiar for your groom to recognise or he may do a runner.” With that in mind I visited a variety of department stores and make‐up counters including MAC and Laura Mercier. If, like me, you can’t get someone to do your make up on the big day, most will give you a make‐over for free if you buy a few products at the end of the consultation.

Estee Lauder at Selfridges in London will even pluck your eyebrows and waive the £15 if you buy one or two products, and believe me, that won’t be difficult. Some make‐up artists warned me against using light‐reflective make up as the flash of the camera can make your eyes resemble a reverse panda. Other tips include wearing waterproof mascara on the day but not in the lead up to the wedding as this makes your eyelashes dry and brittle.

As for accessories, there’s some excellent costume jewellery to be found at Mikki, Harrods, John Lewis, Liberty and Swarovski.

Once all the shopping was completed I remembered I had to print the Order of Service… It’s certainly not easy getting married (or cheap) but it is enjoyable, providing you leave enough time to enjoy it. And when the strange dreams start, which they will, just have a giggle and turn over. It’s the nightmares that are less fun. I woke with a start this morning when I remembered I’d forgotten to print the menus. With one week to go it’s a good idea to complete the checklist.

Even if you do forget something ‐ don’t stress! With friends and family calling, texting and emailing about the big day, I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been this excited. I can’t wait to walk up the aisle and see Jamie waiting with a big grin on his face.

This time next week I won’t be a spinster anymore. I’ll be happily married and on my honeymoon in Bali.

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