Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Mag Hags

In all my adolescent life I have avoided one section of WHSmith’s for fear of appearing too presumptuous: wedding magazines.

A whole different breed, they’re not like the other magazines: they’re glossy and have a grinning woman on the front, but inside they have painted bird cages and biscuits shaped like teapots. When I gave it to Brawny, his forehead wrinkled to such an extent that I thought I was betrothed to a Basset hound.

Faced with the prospect of planning a wedding, I had the same reaction as the majority of my male friends (sorry guys). Surely there’s not much to deal with, right? I mean there’s the venue and my dress and Brawny’s suit and the cake, but that’s essentially it, isn’t it?

Wrong. Well not 100% wrong, more like partially right. There is the venue and the dress and suits et cetera, but there’s a world of other stuff to think about. Okay, so I don’t necessarily need teapot biscuits; they’re just sundries. But just imagine that I cover the basics.

Take me, for instance. I need a dress and some shoes, obviously. I may want a tiara or hairclip to keep my hair up, and a traditional veil. I’ll also need underwear. I’ll might want two lots of this because I won’t want to wear my Wedding night lingerie (you know, the special stuff) under my dress, in case I choose a dress that it won’t fit under, or in case my Wedding lingerie is a bit uncomfortable – don’t look at me like that, sometimes scanties are. That’s why we girls don’t usually wear our frilliest and laciest all day every day.

So we’ve covered what I’m wearing…almost. I might want hair and make-up done. If you don’t know anyone that will happily do it for you, you’ll have to pay for the privilege. And what if I want a spray tan, or a manicure, or a pedicure?

And what about the rings? Or the flowers? And of course there’s the Groom’s outfit – admittedly you can hire that, but it still costs money. And he’ll need a fitting appointment, as will the Ushers and Bridesmaids. Sometimes they chip in for their garments, which helps. And what about their shoes? Cufflinks? Neckties or cravats? Maybe I want the girls to have matching bags, or fascinators?

Already our sums are starting to climb the heights, and it’s not just money. We’ll all need to find the time for fitting appointments and Hen or Stag nights. The girls might want their hair cut, a manicure, a facial, a spray tan done. The boys might want a trim or a neat shave.

And then there’s (deep breath) printing the invites, wedding favours, decorations, thank you notes, gifts for the wedding party, the flowers, the cars, the reception, the marriage licence…

You might say it’s extravagant. After all, it’s one day. All this expense, all this time and trouble, just for one day! You must be joking, right?

Yeah, it is one day. But it’s also your day: your day to show the extent of your love for each other in front of your friends and family. It’s a chance to show your combined personalities: that’s why people have a colour scheme, or funny cake toppers, or different flowers. Nobody really wants a ‘Tesco value’, cookie-cutter wedding.

The trick is, I discovered, to do what you want. Our Bridesmaid Ro went to a wedding recently where the bride and her father danced down the aisle to Beyonce and the readings were performed by a pair of dinosaur hand puppets. Fantastic! She’ll be telling that story for years! Isn’t that great? Wouldn’t you love your closest friends to still be saying in five years’ time “Hey, remember at Brawny and Neety’s wedding…”

So I’m putting down the bridal magazines for now. Sure, they’re cool, but they assume I don’t have a lovely and talented bunch of friends that will happily bake a cake or fix my hair or help arrange flowers.

For now, I’ve got bigger fish to fry…now where can I get a wedding cake in the shape of a turtle?

^ From Cake Wrecks (url). Made by Studio Cake. If you get time, check out both great sites. 

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