Thomas's parents' last scheduled visit to us before the summer. The law in Scotland says you need 15 clear days notice to get married and we were 16 days from the only Saturday they were planning to be here. Easy decision! We'd bought the rings anyway when we got engaged so that was one expense off the shopping list!
Anyone who had read this blog since we got engaged back on 11-1-09 probably knew I wasn't much looking forward to getting married. Don't get me wrong, I was very much looking forward to being married, it was just the actual ceremony and the plans surrounding it that were stressing me.
Before the work bombshell, we had more or less settled on some combination of a do somewhere in Ayrshire on 6-6-09 with a picnic in Culzean and a meal and ceilidh at Dad's golf club inviting many people from here and abroad. I was also hoping to get a wee week in Santorini or NY thrown in. But life had other plans, and when you are faced with being unable to pay the mortgage and feed the kids suddenly you don't want to be spending your month's (or several month's) salary on a meal for your pals - however much you love them!
With just 15 day notice to the wedding, going on a diet was the first pointless item on the list to be shelved, not just for me, but for my parents and no doubt several others. That was one piece of stress out the window.
Next I went through my cupboards to see if I had a dress and dug out what I'd worn to Siobhan's wedding for me and each of the kids' best jeans and t-shirt. At this point my parents stepped in and offered to pay for outfits for the 4 kids and me, citing the fact that they had not bought me a dress the first time I got married. I imagine mum probably talked dad into this! Thanks mum (and dad)! Work commitments meant I had just one afternoon to find something for us to wear. Another piece of cake - no stressing for months over finding just the right dress and whether my shoes were the right shade to match. It also meant buying things from M&S and Next rather than bridal specialists so expenses were a shadow of what they'd have been in June.
Derek came to Thomas's rescue offering to swap his usual Buchanan tartan kilt for a suit so Thomas could borrow his whole traditional dress kilt for the day. It was so special to be given that opportunity free of charge. How lucky they are almost the same size... 1 small problem, but I'll blog that separately! Thanks Derek!
Next was location. With my brother and his wife living off Park Circus we could walk to the wedding doing away with the need for wedding cars or bus hire.
Flowers were next to go. No buying bridal bouquets at £100 when a small bunch of M&S roses at £6 could be split between Lots and I on the morning. Brita also rustled up a pretty floral display for the table.
Wedding cakes were crafted amazingly by Miriam, despite flying into Scotland arriving after 6pm on the 27th! Amazing, and they couldn't have tasted better if we'd spent a fortune.
Hair and makeup by me definitely came in cheaper than official alternatives!
Lots and Dad took many of the photos - I was finding taking photos of myself somewhat tricky!
Finally, Amanda selflessly volunteered her flat as a venue making our wedding possible and provided a buffet and some booze, while we provided the champagne and cakes. Amanda, you're a star!
My friend Karen summed it up for me when she emailed after the event: You seem to have stumbled upon the happiest and least stressful way to have a wedding!
She was so right. Instead of stressing till June and snapping at everyone, we just did it and enough of our friends dropped everything to make our day wonderful. They managed to help us forget our current problems and didn't seem to angry at missing out (for now) on the traditional 3 or 4 course meal with cheesy speeches.
After everyone had gone, Derek and Amanda ordered us a nice curry from the Shish Mahal so we did get a wedding meal without doing the dishes, and even kept our 3 big kids overnight.
I can say, hand on heart, that it was my 'perfect wedding'. The timescale was just right for my nerves, the registry office beautiful and the party was so special. Thanks to everyone who came, those who sent their love if they couldn't come and our 2 families for making our day truly wonderful.