Good morning to you all and happy Friday! It’s lovely to be back blogging again, although for the last two months it has felt as though time is sprinting along without me. Since my first post back in March, I reached the milestone age of 21. I spent my birthday weekend attempting to have a civilised brunch with my girlfriends, where I managed to eat my way through at least three patisserie boxes, and in the evening I went out for dinner with my family and Sam. Living so far apart means Sam and I often go for months without seeing each other, so having him there made the day extra special.
We have been engaged for nine months now, with sixteen left to go. At this stage we should probably have some kind of idea about how we envisage the day, but as decision-making really isn’t my strong point – this has proved to be quite tricky. I get an idea on Monday, convince myself that it’s the best wedding plan ever, then change my mind by Wednesday.
Thankfully, Sam has his head screwed on slightly tighter than I do, so he’s blacklisted some of the more extreme and frankly unaffordable ideas (goodbye epic wedding circus bonanza). We know for sure that it is going to be a relatively big wedding by modern standards, with around 150 guests or more. My dad alone is one of 10 children, and at last count I had about 40 first cousins. Despite the numbers, we’ve been brought up more like siblings so I couldn’t imagine walking down the aisle without them there.
Anybody who is planning a wedding with over 150 guests will be all too familiar with the experience of spotting a beautiful venue, perfect location, reasonable price… and then noticing that the maximum capacity is 120, it’s like a recurring nightmare! Although for such a master of indecision as myself, it is probably a blessing in disguise that 90% of the options had to be immediately abandoned.
After many fruitless searches, we managed to find a stunning eighteenth century estate in Surrey that has plenty of space for all of our guests. I won’t refer to it by name just yet, as I know some of our guests will be reading this, so I wouldn’t want to spoil the fun of opening an invitation and not knowing what it will say inside!
As I am sure you are well aware, venues do not come cheap, but Sam and I made a decision that has saved us at least £7,000 – we are getting married on a Monday. It’s not a bank holiday Monday either, as those are just as expensive as weekends, it’s just a regular Monday in August. If we had infinite money it probably wouldn’t have been our first choice, but we’ve been quite surprised at how positive our friends and family have been about the suggestion. It’s definitely something to consider if you want to save the pennies. It would be great to hear from others who are considering or have experienced a weekday wedding, especially if you have any advice on making things easier for guests.
Trying to plan a wedding that feels like ‘us’ isn’t as easy as I thought. Sam happily spends most of his days wearing a Spiderman onesie and I can still get away with having a soft spot for Justin Beiber, so we want our wedding to feel as youthful as we do. At the same time, we both love a bit of tradition and formality, and want the day to feel like a sophisticated celebration; so now we just have to find a comfortable balance.
As I come from a Zambian background, we’ve also got cultural aspects to consider. I will be having a traditional Zambian bridal shower (known as a Kitchen Party) in the months leading up to the wedding. It’s called a Kitchen Party because everyone is supposed to bring you goodies for your new marital kitchen, but it mainly involves singing, dancing, older women passing down advice and some traditional rituals. We have been thinking about ways to subtly incorporate Zambian ‘Chitenge’ fabric into the wedding day as well, we’ve come up with DIY Chitenge napkins or pocket squares, or possibly working the fabric into the flowers. If I’m persistent, I might be able to convince Sam to wear an elaborate printed bow tie, but so far he’s not budging!
That’s all from me for a few months now, as Sam will be taking over blogging duties on the next post to share the thoughts of a future groom. I guarantee that all words will be his own, with no sneaky editing from a certain nosy fiancé, so I relinquish all responsibility if he says anything crazy!
Lots of love,