Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Bunny T-Shirt

Dear Father Christams,

I know Christmas is months away but it's cold here and it feels like it should be sooner.
I would like this t-shirt please Father Christmas. I think Peonies might also like one so could you get one for her too please?

Thank you,

Friday, 10 July 2009

Back to the beginning

There's less than a month to go. We're actually leaving in just under 10 days. When I think about this my head freezes and my heart feels like it's skipped a beat or added in an extra one so I'm actively not thinking about it. Instead I thought this was probably as good a time as any to finish telling my story. Our story. Something I've been particularly slack with.

So I was up the part where the destination wedding idea had been chosen, and then rapidly binned, when civil war broke out in Thailand.

Now I know as I'm writing this that it sounds as though I am complaining about the very choices that some would love to have the chance to experience but trust me; there is such a thing as the tyranny of choice. We were painfully aware that every option had it's own pros and cons. See the lamb? That was me. Except less fluffy and more firmly attached to a Sauvignon Blanc.

Although both our families had emphasised that we should do 'what we wanted' and 'what we thought best' we felt an overwhelming responsibility to try and keep everybody happy. Because even if they only stated them very, very, quietly or not at all; we knew exactly what those little comments, looks and sighs meant. Everyone already had a little image in their own head about where it should be and what it should look like.

I knew that my mother had wanted to be more involved in my sister's wedding but for various reasons had felt a little pushed out. I also knew that as a mum of boys; my mother-in-law-to-be who'd always wanted a pretty pink, dress-wearing girl, had daydreamed about this wedding more than this particular girl had. I was never the pretty pink dress-wearing girl. I'd grown up running away from dresses straight into dungarees, trees and skinned knees so never identified with that 'princess' story but I wanted them both to get what they wanted from it too.

I really started to realise then that the wedding isn't really about you. Or your partner. It's about two families, it's about them seeing you as a grown-up, letting go, celebrating that you've made it to adulthood without them forgetting you in the cereal aisle or causing you to require several years of therapy. In perhaps the same way that a graduation ceremony isn't really about graduating; it's all about the mothers.

So trying to balance pleasing both families (i.e. mothers) whilst keeping the wedding within a manageable budget and costs down for guests just seemed impossible.
We spent that Christmas period with our families in England who wasted no time in nagging us to make a decision so they could get on with the important business of choosing frocks and selecting wine. There were many Christmas-cheer fuelled debates in front of a roaring fire ("what shall we do? I don't know! what do you think we should do? I don't know!" and on and on...) whist we endlessly debated the options. When I think back on this now I wonder why we didn't just flip a coin or pull options out of hat.

Whilst a destination wedding would have suited us given that neither of us wanted a huge white wedding, it had taken us a long time to find the the place we were initially planning on in Thailand. We currently live in Australia, about as far away as we can be from any family or friends before we'd start circling back.
Having the wedding here would certainly have been the easiest option for us in terms of planning but the flight and accommodation costs would have been prohibitive for many people, especially our friends. It would also have meant that we would have had to wait another year for the summer as the seasons are back to front!

So we were back to the first option; a wedding in France close to my grandparents' village. The downside to this was the practicality of it. It's literally in the middle of nowhere. We would have to plan accommodation for everyone from the other side of the world. But as soon as we'd agreed on it, it felt right. It was easy (and fairly inexpensive) for guests from England, it meant that my grandparents would be there and it definitely would not be formal. Perfect.

Of course that brought up the next problems - venues? How exactly do you organise a wedding in France from the other side of the world?