At the moment, the question I dread most is this: "And how are the wedding plans coming along?". In recent months I have noted this has gone from polite enquiry to something weighted with genuine concern. I find it hard not to grimace. It's not that I've not done anything about The Wedding - the truth is that it's absorbing every waking minute - I just don't seem to be getting anywhere.
The problem, I've discovered, is me. I just can't make a decision and stick to it. This is my penance for scoffing at friends that have taken the leap before me; the discussions of colour scheme (does it really matter if the invitations don't possess the exact same lilac hue as your knicker elastic?), and the endless debates about whether it's ok to override the mother-in-law-to-be and dismiss the time-honoured fruit cake in favour of a renegade Victoria sponge. It all seemed so utterly ridiculous, and frankly irrelevant.
And then he proposed.
At first it was fine – amazing in fact. But as the wedding date approaches (9 July to be precise), it turns out that although I have unending talents when it comes to concocting vague notions about what my wedding might be like, I'm terrifically useless at nailing down the details.
Things haven't got off to the greatest start, and no one knows this more than my long suffering family and Jon, my fiancé. I have changed the venue three times, losing a not insignificant sum in deposits along the way. The date has been changed four times – so much so that several friends and family members suspect that the whole thing is a figment of my imagination.
Then there is the wedding dress. As someone who has spent the larger part of their career writing about fashion, you'd think I'd at least excel at this bit. It has become a running joke in our office about the endless stream of boxes from Browns and Net-A-Porter's bridal boutique. Needless to say, Jon is thrilled to be exempt from this particular decision-making process entirely.
In addition to the endless parade of dresses that I have bought and returned, I've also bought a fabulous 60s dress from a vintage bridal fair just off Portobello Road. This dress is perfect in every way, except that as with so many vintage dresses, it's truly tiny. At the time this didn't seem an immediate cause for concern. I'll lose weight I thought; come January it'll be Slimfast and daily 10k runs all the way. But in the cold harsh light of reality, it has dawned on me that short of getting a couple of ribs removed, a bust reduction and a certain about thigh bone shaved off, it is never going to happen.
So there the dress sits, forlorn in my sister's wardrobe. It is from this starting point that my mum, my sister and I will go wedding dress hunting, again, on Saturday. As mother-of-the-bride, my mum's friends have been asking her if she's cried, glass of champagne in hand, as she watches her eldest daughter try on wedding dresses – but she says the actual experience is closer to trailing a stroppy teenage version of myself around Topshop. She has a point.
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