My good friend, Long Tall Ally recently asked if I’d like to write a guest blog for her readers covering my views on my impending nuptials. By nature, I’ve never been one to hold back on offering an opinion, least of all to a captive audience and thus here we are; you the obedient reader and me the overwhelmed writer.
I’m definitely a traditional romantic. Having drugged her Dad and taken pictures of him in compromising positions with a fully gimped midget in order to blackmail him for his permission, I proceeded to plant the seeds in her mind that I wasn’t ready for marriage and didn’t agree with it just to throw her off the scent. The tears and bag packing suggest that I perhaps went a bit far when I queried “Why in the blue hell would I want to marry a big ugly moose like you?!”, but it was all worth it to see her face when I proposed on a gondola in Venice. Lots of tears later, I was an engaged man wiping his eyes dry. It was a happy day for all as we rushed back to the hotel and rang everybody we knew to tell them the good news. In retrospect I think Katie’s milkman was a little surprised to get the call as was the cash assistant from my local garage, but we just wanted to share our joy with the rest of the world.
I told several close mates of my plans and they all gave a beautifully stereotypical view on my decision. “Why do you want to get married at 26 you loser? You’ll never get to shag another bird again…” was the generally misogynistic consensus; clearly none of them are Premiership footballers… I used the old cliché “Why would I want to eat a burger out when I can have steak at home?”. One of my mates then quite beautifully, and in perfectly keeping with the ongoing metaphor, explained that “Sometimes you are out, you’re hungry and you can’t be bothered to go home and cook something up from nothing”. My argument that “burgers are bad for you though and lead to heart disease” seemed to fall on deaf ears and even I had gotten somewhat lost in the metaphor. I suppose my friends just didn’t get it – perhaps they hadn’t had that perfectly cooked and seasoned bit of steak that I’d been ‘tucking into’ for the past couple of years, or maybe they just preferred a three course meal? The various food based metaphors will now cease – as a metrosexual male I don’t even particularly like steak – I’m more into seared scallops and dauphinoise potatoes.
I consider that modern girls are of the ‘Hello Generation’, the only weddings they are really exposed to are the ones they see in Hello magazine – an outrageous celebrity affair with full size nude ice sculptures, juggling elephants and wedding dresses with enough material to clothe the entire African continent. As such a marriage in a registry office with a few close family and friends followed by a posh meal in a private function room of a restaurant simply doesn’t cut the mustard and fulfil the dreams of a mega wedding. The problem facing us was that our modest budget was suited to the small intimate wedding; my fiancée had grander ideas however.
Due to massive families our modest and affordable aim of 50 people escalated to nearly 100 people – and that was just for the service, we had even more for the reception. As a control freak I was hugely uncomfortable that this was becoming unmanageable…my custom made ‘Ed’s Wedding Spreadsheet’ couldn’t cope with the numbers involved. How could we possibly have our wedding without inviting my incontinent, cross dressing, vegan Uncle Alf? Apparently “Quite easily – I’ve managed having not seen him since I was 4 years old” was not the correct answer to keep the parents’ happy.
We decided to write down what was most important to us so that we could cut costs; the art of compromise in action meant that to accommodate Katie’s desired dress budget, us paying for her three bridesmaids to be beautified was scrapped and my insistence on a veritable banquet at the wedding breakfast meant that arriving by helicopter flanked by Playboy bunnies was no longer an option. Fortunately we both scored the cake very low on our wish list – neither of us had any intention of paying the extortionate fees we’d seen around so we decided on a standard M&S cake which we’d decorate, or rather ask someone with better hand eye coordination to sort. To further cut costs, Katie asked her family friend to drive her in his posh car, we decided to make our invites ourselves and a friend of mine blagged us one of the ‘Hello’ magazine photographers for us at an outrageously low rate, all of which finally bought us back on budget.
I guess what I’ve learnt is that planning a wedding is no different to the rest of a relationship. It’s all about communication and compromise and if you work together; everything works much better. I’m still trying to convince her to let me have at least one Playboy bunny though….
Editor’s Note: Ed is a talented musician and producer, check out his website http://www.edjamesmusic.com or check him out on Twitter @edjamesmusic