11/07/2011 20:03 BST | Updated 10/09/2011 06:12 BST

Why a Whiff of an Engagement Creates Wedding Mania

My beau and I had both done the big white weddings so when we decided to tie the knot we wanted something intimate, discreet and most of all more "us".

After all the Royal wedding chitchat I poo-pooed anything vaguely resembling meringue.

No doubt many young things would be theming their day around Kate and Wills - same engagement photo poses, Prince Charles imitators at the reception, even Mr and Mrs souvenir tea towels... can you imagine?

But I had been the wedding planner from hell before - for my first marriage - and was never going back to that dark place again.

The guests were to be treated like royals no less...

I personally delivered organic chocolates to every guest in their room the night before.

I had terrifyied caterers when they failed to make Cosmos as I had specified.

I insisted that lemons were covered in muslin for the smoked salmon starter.

I collected same size pebbles from the beach (it took me weeks) and wrote each name in silver and gold as a place holder.

In fact I was so into the wedding I totally lost sight of the actual marriage. I remember feeling rather put out on my wedding night that my husband wanted to watch Match of the Day after hurriedly consumating our union. It was an ominous portent.

Apparently, as I later found out, all our guests had placed bets on how long it would last.

This time around, we've both vowed not to become bride/groomzilla. However as soon the word got out, especially to our gay friends, it was mass hysteria.

Simon, my assistant, was over the moon but less so that we only had 10 months to plan. My hairdresser also went bananas. He put in sample hair extensions that made me look like a cross between Jordan and Lindsay Lohan. Dire!

On the plus he introduced me to a top wedding designer called Celestina Agostini. She does wedding gowns differently. In fact at my first session I did not try on a single dress. It was more like a heart to heart. She wanted to sense the mood and vibe of our relationship and wedding before choosing the style.

The venue had been the big question. Corsica was too far for travel averse British family, London too British. So we settled on the perfect hotel venue - les Etangs de Corot (see previous tale).

We could take over the sweet little building and dinky garden, have a fine dining sit down meal, a party and a red wine facial the next day. Not forgetting the opera singing as we dined. And oh yes, as my assistant reminded me, the dove released as we said our vows.

One evening I started quizzing my beau on the brand of cigars he wanted to smoke on the day - I stopped mid sentence.

I could tell from his grimace that I was guilty as charged. I was on the brink of sounding like Bridezilla again. Thank goodness for my beau who could take me in his arms and say time and time again this was our day.

He is the veritable Mr Big. In fact he is so full of poise and charm that he's agreed to a mini royal wedding party in Paris. BBC live plus scones and jam and Pimms (naturally) - all sampled in the French sunshine.

What a perfect Franco-british union.