20 17 weeks to go – Henrietta’s Wedding

Written by    Last updated: September 8, 2006

I counted up exactly how many weeks we’ve got left and found it is only 17! I can’t believe that it’s nearly here. After all this time, everybody says the next few weeks will fly, though I have to say, I wish we were getting married this Saturday.

We’ve had our first minor hiccup. RT picked up our invitations from the stationer, which we thought looked absolutely beautiful. They’re one of the things where we’ve been chosen something quite traditional. We ordered the thickest most brilliant white card and had black raised lettering ‐ exactly as we wanted, or so we thought. I met Mum the next evening to choose patterns for my bridesmaids dresses (good result but more about that later) and immediately whipped the invitation out of my handbag. She’d seen the proofs and the samples, and been to choose the end version with us, her face dropped just ever so slightly ‐ I thought she didn’t like them. Eventually she told me that she thought the printing was off centre. We looked, double looked and then used the tape measure in the shop to check. Sure enough they were ‐ 2mm out. Now this might not sound like a lot (well it’s not is it?), but once you know, you really notice every single time you look at them. RT and I hadn’t seen it in our excitement, but I’m sure our guests would. So I rang RT, who said not to worry and that he would ring the stationers first thing in the morning. Sure enough they have done, and the invitations are currently being re‐printed and will be picked up on Thursday ‐ hopefully right! If anybody had ever told me a year ago that I would be worrying about invitations being 2mm out I would have laughed, but it’s amazing how you want everything to be just perfect. Still, if this is the worst thing that goes wrong we’ll be doing well.

The bridesmaid patterns were really easy to sort out, we picked one for my sister, which whilst not identical to my dress at all, certainly looks like it comes from the same family. We also picked up two patterns for my tiny niece (we just couldn’t decide) both of which are absolutely adorable. Now all we have to do is find the material and once Charlotte’s bump has receded (she had a baby boy 5 days ago), we’ll be ready to get going. Actually we’ve got ages yet! We’ve pencilled in the first weekend in May for our friend who is going to make them to meet us all at Mum and Paul’s house ‐ no bad thing as I still can’t decide on colour!

The colour is the one agonising decision that I keep changing my mind over. Last week, I took the day off work and Mum and I went to our reception hotel to talk over food, wine etc. We also met with the florist. She was brilliant and was able to interpret exactly what it was I wanted and translated this into ideas for amazing table centres, bouquets and button‐holes. We all agreed on the colour, as well as shape and size. When I left Mum that evening I was happy that everything was being sorted. It’s just that now I’m just now changing my mind about the colour of the bridesmaid’s dresses. The problem (if you can call it that) I’ve got is that The Bay Tree is decorated in very heavy tartan, wintery type fabrics. It looks stunning, but unless I choose white I’m worried that everything might clash. We could still have exactly the same type and shape of flowers we’ve decided on, it’s just I might change the actual colour. I’ll need to decide within the next few weeks as we need to start buying fabric for the dresses. For now it is the stuff of a few sleepless nights!

We ordered our rings as well. I absolutely adore mine, it is the most beautiful wedding ring I’ve ever seen. We went back to the same shop three times, over as many months, but kept going back to the same ring ‐ which admittedly is the first one RT picked out. On the day that we actually ordered it I just couldn’t take it off. I kept looking at my hand in the mirror admiring how the wedding ring sat with my engagement ring ‐ stunning! In fact, after RT had paid for it, we decided to leave it in the safe at the shop otherwise I’d be forever trying it on. I’m going to pick it up a couple of weeks before the wedding when they’ll clean my engagement ring so that they’ll look perfect together. At the same time we’ll pick up RT’s ‐ a “boy’s version” of mine. He looks amazing wearing it, I am going to be so proud to see the ring which I give to him on our wedding day on his hand for the rest of this life.

The same weekend that we ordered the rings we went and ordered RT a new morning suit. We went to Marc Wallace (can highly recommend him) for what I thought was going to be one of our easy decisions – I wasn’t aware of how much thought and decision making went into morning suits. After arriving we looked at material swatches, different weights of fabrics and even discussed how many buttons RT should have on the cuff of his jacket. Two and a half hours later we left, slightly poorer but really really excited, now that we can picture exactly what he’ll look like in his suit. I think it’s great for RT that we’ve done this, so much focus is on the brides dress and all the effort that goes into it, this way he’ll feel really special in a suit which has been especially made for this day – I just can’t wait to see him. Once it is finally made (in about 6 weeks) we’ll go back and choose his shirt and waistcoat and he already has his eye on the shoes he would like.

A lot of people tell / advise their best man & ushers what to wear on the day, I think people like everybody to look the same particularly for the photos. We’ve decided that apart from Morning Suits we don’t really mind what our wedding party chooses to wear. Our current thinking is that we’ll ask 2 of the best men to wear a pastel coloured waistcoat (the other will be in a kilt) but I don’t mind if they’re not all the same, one of the best things about our wedding is that everybody is so different – and really we want to celebrate that and not make everybody look the same.

The other thing that I’ve come to realise, and has become increasingly important to me, is just how involved and excited everybody is about the wedding. Last night, for example, I spent a good half an hour on the phone to an old friend extolling the virtues of having a basque made for under my wedding dress – when else in your life would you do this? I have my three closest girlfriends doing readings on the day, but I’ve got other friends involved in different ways. One is organising my hen night for me (and doing an amazing job – I can’t wait) and others are helping sort out little bits and bobs. No one person knows everything apart from Mum, RT and I so there will still be plenty of surprises. When I look back to the weddings which I’ve enjoyed and thought the most about, it’s always been when the guests have been really involved in making the day happen – this is exactly the way we want it.

RT’s family are really revving up for their trip. Hardly a day goes by when they, or some of their friends who are also coming, email us to talk about what to wear, where to go, what to do etc. It makes the whole thing seem so much more like an event! I think the week of the wedding might be harder work than for other brides and grooms, as we’ll have people staying with us and people to help get to places. At the moment I’m sure it’ll be fine and just add to the excitement building!

One last thing and then I’d better get on with some work, as this is Valentines week RT and I have got some really special things planned. On the 14th he’s taking me for dinner to the restaurant where we had our first date and then on Saturday we’re going to stay the night at The Bay Tree. We’ve booked ourselves into the bridal suite and are having dinner in the restaurant (first time so fingers crossed). We’re going to drink the champagne and wine which we think we’ll have on the day – all in the name of taste testing of course! I can’t wait – the next time I’m at the hotel formally it will be as Mrs. Thornton on what I know will be the best day of my life.

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