Married.

It’s our wedding anniversary today. 2 years. 63,072,000 seconds. 1,051,200 minutes.17,520 hours. 730 days. 104 weeks and 2 days.

In that time we have moved house, moved jobs, fallen pregnant, had a baby, had the worst fights of our lives and subsequently the happiest moments.

Marriage is hard. It’s a daily reminder that you have to work for the things you cherish the most, and that the results are more rewarding than money or gold.

Happy Anniversary to my husband. The man who loves me the most in the world. I love you back. Thank you for giving me our perfect child, constant support (and advice when I don’t actually want it) and for believing in me every step of the way.

Here’s to the next 2 years, and many more after.

95 - Almost There - Kate 22 - Ceremony 54 - Ceremony 122 - Ceremony 23 - Couple & Bridal Party 49 - Couple & Bridal Party 76 - Couple & Bridal Party 132 - Couple & Bridal Party 215 - Couple & Bridal Party 104 - Details & Decor 61 - Reception 130 - Reception 140 - Reception wedding anniversary

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The Happiest Day Of My Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know, I know. We got married months ago and I am only now sharing some pics from the Best Day Ever. Also – these photo’s seem to have loaded from back to front so you will be taking a bit of an obscure trip through the journey – but that just adds to the excitemenet, no?

09.11.13 – Truly, the most amazing day in the world.

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Our great friend Don Packett made the best MC, ever.

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Possibly one of my favourite things from the day – our personalized Rupert and Bella cake-toppers made by our friend Maureen. The cake was 3 layers of delicious stinky smelly soft cheese. We served this as canapes with the pre-dinner/photo hour cocktails.

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Handmade magnet name tags – in shapes of birds and hearts

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A sweetie bar for ‘Padkos’

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I still think someone won the lotto and are just to cheap to tell us 😉

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33 - Details & Decor

 

I just loved doing these – and I have a feeling the trend may pick up (remember, you saw it here first). Personalized place-mats for everyone – created by me, designed by Kim.

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240 - Couple & Bridal Party

226 - Couple & Bridal Party

 

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Running up and down the WITS stairs with balloons – not something you can say you do everyday

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Good Looking Bridal Party, eh?

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88 - Couple & Bridal Party

My favourite photo of the day

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63 - Couple & Bridal Party

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1 - Couple & Bridal Party

 

3 generations: Granny, Mom, Me, Oma

 

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122 - Ceremony

113 - Ceremony

 

My gorgeous friend Ilona was our witness for the signing of the marriage certificate. 

 

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We decided on a Unity Candle for out 2 moms to light and pass on to us

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Double chin = Happy.

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32 - Ceremony

 

Entering the Chapel was terrifying. All I remember was Amy saying to me “Act like an iPhone, look around and take as many screengrabs as you can. Smile at everyone”. I was so busy doing that, that it was only at the end I realised I had completely forgotten to look for Barry!

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11 - Ceremony

 

I love this photo of Barry and his best man Chris

 

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Dad, Who’s Wedding is it Anyway?

1 - Ceremony

158 - Almost There - Kate

114 - Almost There - Kate

96 - Almost There - Kate

 

Wedding Shoes when marrying a shorty have to be flats. Added bonus – they are so comfortable!

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71 - Almost There - Kate

 

We all got ready at my folks house – which was a lot more relaxing than a hotel. Plus my dad rather enjoyed Moet with the maids. 

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Being a Groom is thirsty work.

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Suppliers Details (cos, they were awesome!)

Dress: De La Vida

Groom and Bestmen suit: Khaliques

Makeup: Candi Makeup

Hair: Next hair

Flowers: The White List

Design: Kim Banks

Decor: Mostly DIY and White List

Venue: Olives and Plates and WITS University

Photographer: Laura Jane

 

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I Need A(nother) Stiff Drink.

I’m tired all the time, my hair is falling out in fat chunks and I’m living on wine and carbs. No, not pregnant (thanks everyone, for naturally jumping to that conclusion) just exhausted and in a bit of a quarter year slump. Not surprising that the last few months have been CA-RAZY! In the last 4 months so much has happened and gone down that I’m not surprised my scalp resembles a Chinese Crested Powder Puff (Also, does the dog on the right not look like Bon Jovi??). Here’s whats been happening:

Powder Puff

1. We got Married (Two piccies, because, I can)

Married! Married!

2. We got back from Honeymoon to the news that my mom in law had suffered a very bad stroke after the wedding. The next few weeks were severely stressful with tears, hospital visits and scary ‘what ifs’. (Side note – she is 100% recovered :))

3. We were broken into on Christmas.

4. So…. we decided to sell our house

5. I turned 30 and felt like this (except I didn’t even get a cake)

Birthday Cake

6. I sold my house on my 30th birthday

7. We found our dream home, put in an offer, lost the offer, put in another offer, and got it!

Look – garden, pool, space for actual people!

House

New House

8. We are moving to said house. Tomorrow. And I’m working. Which means poor husband is going to be multitasking the bejaysus out of the day.

9. I’m going on an adventure weekend with Mercedes Benz as part of their launch of the new GLA. This weekend. Moving weekend.Look ma – I’m famous! —> http://www.glaadventure.co.za/the-bush-adventure

10. We gained a little niece. World – meet Emma (also, isn’t my nephew the cutest??)

Daniel and Emma

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My January Must Haves

15 days into the year and we are all officially in the swing of things. Work is manic, schools are full and our roads are saturated with already-frustrated drivers.

One of the good things about a new year – apart from attempting almost impossible resolutions – is testing out new products and items. This January has seen me using, reading, watching, listening and doing some new things.

Here is my top 10 must haves of January 2014.

1. MAC Extreme Dimension Mascara

I love anything MAC and about 90% of my makeup kit consists of their products – their mascara however has always left little to be desired. Until this bad boy came along – it’s so effective (and trust me, when your eyelashes are sparser than a metro cop at a broken traffic light you need all the help you can get!) that people have asked me if I’m wearing extensions. It goes on clump free, its semi waterproof – I know this as I’ve had my fair share of meltdowns wearing it and the packaging is fab! Available for 215 ronds from Macs new online store .

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2. Burts Bees Lip Balm

OK, so this isn’t a new obsession. I have been endorsing and promoting Burts Bees for years – in fact it is the only lip balm I will use. Unfortunately it’s not available in SA yet – so if you happen to be traveling overseas… wink wink.

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3. Scanner Pro

I’m a bit of an app whore – I download everything and use noting. Until I came across the Scanner pro app for my iPad – and can’t stop using it. We are currently sitting without a printer at our office, and therefore getting documents to clients has been a nightmare. With this bad boy its a matter of using the camera function to scan, saving the document and emailing it. Honestly one of the most useful apps I have come across in ages.

4. Avicii – True

My love affair started with ‘Wake Me Up’ – it became my anthem for every moment in 2013. Currently I’m loving ‘Hey Brother’. If you enjoy a bit o’ country, you will enjoy this new offering from the band.

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5. Chef ‘N Veggie Chopper

This was one of those ‘filler’ items on our wedding registry and has now become a daily necessity during cooking time. I love it because it honestly does what it promises – chops and dices in a few blade rotations. Barry loves it because it mimics the motions of starting a lawn mower with its pulley cord. Friends – spoiler alert – you will all be getting one for your next birthday/wedding/batmitzvah or baby shower. You are welcome.

Chef n Chopper
Chef n Chopper

6. Property24.co.za

We were robbed …. again…. on Christmas last year. For us it was the final straw – why live in a security complex when security is clearly lacking? I now spend my free time browsing house porn on property24 and weighing up selling my body for extra cash or robbing a bank in order to afford it. There’s also a property24 app which handy for a techie like me.

Oh, look at ye house I can never afford
Oh, look at ye house I can never afford

7. Dexter

Never has murder been so attractive. We watched Series 1 through 7 in about 2 months towards the end of last year. To say we are obsessed is an understatement. I need Season 8, in my life, right now.

Nothing like a good cuppa kill to start your day
Nothing like a good cuppa kill to start your day

8. The Night Circus

I’ve just stared reading this book after rave reviews from everyone I’ve spoken to. I have no idea what happens or what its about. All I know is that I’m loving it. Also, magic.

The Night Circus
The Night Circus

9. Online Shopping

I swore to myself I would find a better work life balance in 2014. One of the things Im doing to help with that is try and do most of my shopping online. 3 of my faves? Mr Price (delivery in 24 hours) Pick n Pay and Yuppie Chef. Sorted.

10. Boschendal Blanc de Noir

The weather has been hotter a Pool Party in hell – so red wine most of the times is out of the question. White wine is niiiice but I’m currently loving the slightly off white blush from Boschendal. Ugly new packaging aside, its the perfect sun-downer drink. Cheers

Don't judge this bottle by its cover
Don’t judge this bottle by its cover
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The Rankin Wedding – Love Is In The Details

For the entire year spent planning our wedding I had been dying to blog every single day and share the home made items, ideas and crafts we had been making. The problem was that I needed to keep everything on the DL to ensure a surprise for my guests on the actual day (this is me assuming my friends even read this blog, but nonetheless). I’m a firm believer that ‘Love is in the Details’ and wanted to make sure that my personal touches were all over our wedding day. I think I achieved it and the feedback received shows me that so many people noticed and appreciated all of the little things we added to #TheRankinWedding.

Apart from using my Pinterest board (also a secret board up until now – enjoy!) for inspiration I also invented a few things which I’m really proud to say have never been done – so when I see them done again I will try to take it as flattery and not be upset that my ideas were stolen 🙂

Here are just a few items that we made for the big day – a HUGE thanks to my mom who never waned from craft duty and my now husband for helping with all the ‘girly’ things with such enthusiasm.

Chalkboards go a long way in adding special messaging to your event – I bought these from Mr Price Home for around R50 a piece. I also found a white paint marker which had excellent results – plus it has the benefit of not smudging. You can get these markers from most craft and art stores – and they come in various colours and sizes.

Chalkboard Decor
Chalkboard Decor

I really wanted a fun takeaway for all the guests – so asked my friend Kim to design some ideas I had – I made up 12 different badges and each guest got one on the night. There was even a ‘Rupert Approves’ one – of course!

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For the actual guest gift we bought 100 lottery tickets and made a ‘slip cover’ for them. You probably can’t see in the pic but they read “Thanks for banking on our love – your attendance tonight means we get 50% of the winnings”. Unfortunately no-ones won anything…yet!

Lotto Ticket
Lotto Ticket

These place-mats were my own idea and I am ecstatic at how they came out. Instead of having separate printouts for the program, menu etc. I combined all the information plus details on the bridal party and a few fun wedding facts onto a disposable place mat. There was even space where we wrote a personal note to the guests. I’m claiming this one as a hit! (Once again, design was put together by Kim)

placemats

I had always wanted our dogs to be a part of the wedding – but having two crazy Boston terriers on the actual day just meant trouble – so I decided to have mini replicas of them made for the cake – they were definitely one of my favourite things on the day!

cake toppers

To give the guests something to do we during cocktail hour, we decided to make individual name tags which doubled up as fridge magnets) which had the guests name and table numbers on them. These we strung onto a tree and guests had to pick their way through the branches to find their name. These took forever to make – my mom, Barry and I had an assembly line and sat for several hours painting, sanding, gluing and tying – getting the tree to the venue and hanging them was also a nightmare but I’m so glad we persevered – it looked stunning!

name tag 2

name tags 1

During the speeches – instead of warm cheap champage we bought several bottles of Don Julio tequila and guests all got a shot for Barrys toast. We had 4 preggy ladies there so they each got a milkshake (Pink for the ones pregnant with girls and blue for those with boys)

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Lastly – I had always wanted to have wedding photos taken with balloons – and so we asked a friend to bring them to the venue for us. Don’t you think the photos turned out well?

balloons
balloons

I may be posting some more pics of the actual wedding soon … watch this space!

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#KatesFavouriteThings – The Story of my Bachelorette

‘We started planning this a year ago’ Amy told me on the morning of my bachelorette – and I can believe it. Put three A type personalities in one room and you’re guaranteed that the result is going to be the best day and night. Ever. 

One of the things a bride looks forward to the most (apart from the obvious) is her hens party – it’s a day guaranteed with bubbly, friends, fun and spoils. My poor girls had a big challenge ahead of them though. I don’t enjoy nightclubs, I’m so tired of the Gatsby and Playboy theme and quite frankly, a plastic penis just bores me. I knew they had a challenge on their hands, but I was never worried, and it turns out rightly so – these gals know me inside out!

I was woken up to this ‘Love Actually’ moment by Barry. (Lies, I was already awake I hadn’t slept a wink!)

My 'Love Actually' Wake up message
My ‘Love Actually’ Wake up message

Knowing me so well I was greeted shortly thereafter by Amy with a cappuccino and a toasted sandwich as well as a beautiful dress to wear. We chilled and I got ready and then I was whisked away to destination number 1…

An art class with a hunky male nude! (sort of) 🙂

Art Class
Art Class

I loved the class – we laughed hysterically at the 21 year old model, clad in denim shorts and cheeky grin. I also love how, at 9 am, a breakfast of champagne is perfectly acceptable.

After the art class Amy took me to destination number 2 – while the others went off on a secret adventure. Destination 2 was The Life Day Spa and we indulged in some pedis and chill time around the pool.

Pedis by the pool
Pedis by the pool

Cue destination number 3 – the ‘main event’

The Arrival at The Fourways Farmers Market
The Arrival at The Fourways Farmers Market
Pretty ladies in sundresses and hats
Pretty ladies in sundresses and hats

More bubbly in my ‘Big Jimmy’

Hello Big Jimmy!
Hello Big Jimmy!
Favourite Things
Favourite Things
Favourite Things
Favourite Things
Kate's Favourite Things
Kate’s Favourite Things
Kate's Favourite Things
Kate’s Favourite Things
Mom and me
Mom and me
Grannies and me
Grannies and me
Lovely Ladies
Lovely Ladies

The venue, food, people, pressies and effort was amazing. Pity I was too excited to eat becasue the spread was a stomach ulcers dream – pickled everything, Cherry Coke, licorice, Skittles, Cheese, sweet sweet cheeses, champagne, Marmite everything, a popcorn machine and so much more.

That night we went back to my folks for sushi, games, Bloody Mary’s, tequila and a quick change before we headed out to mystery destination

Beefcakes
Beefcakes
#4… (cue a small amount of willy and naked men – cos, you just have to!)

Beefcakes
Beefcakes
Beefcakes
Beefcakes

The perfect party planned by 3 incredible bridesmaids, my mom and a whole bunch of helping hands!! A day and night I will never forget

Bridesmaids
Bridesmaids
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12 Things I’ve Learnt About Planning A Wedding

Yesterday marked 5 months until our wedding, which means we have officially been engaged longer than the amount of time left until we say ‘I Do’.

Planning this wedding has been relatively stress free, give or take a few hurdles, and I wanted to share the 12 things I have learnt.

1. Enjoy it – I got engaged and was immediately told by an ex-manager that there would be ‘no wedding planning or talk in the office’. That completely broke me and I found myself avoiding the topic and ignoring the experience all together.

2. Involve your grooms parents – I am very non-traditional when it comes to who wants to get involved and believe that both moms should play an equal part, after all it’s just as much her child’s day as it is mine.

3. Don’t mention the ‘W’ word – Suppliers have literally doubled a quote upon finding out it was for a wedding. That being said, some suppliers do need to know as they will be there setting up on the day. If you can avoid letting someone know (retinue outfits and gifts, non-traditional cake toppers and accommodation/honeymoon) then do so.

4. Don’t expect too much – Sadly, the first few months of wedding planning felt more like a business transaction. Venues treated us like a cash injection and suppliers were more interested in our money than our vision. 

That being said…

5. Work with suppliers you love – I bought my dress from a boutique who treated me like a princess from the second I walked in the door (even though I was hanging like a fruit bat and not wearing any makeup). My flower and decor ladies Carey-Anne and Donna from The White List have gone over and above, meeting me after hours (with wine!) and have used their resources to ensure my end vision is achieved. My photographer, Laura Jane, is a gem and every time I see a blog post with her latest images I get goosebumps. 

6. Don’t be bullied – at the end of the day it is your wedding. If you mom/gran/mom-in-law or friend insists on a sage green paper for the wedding invite because its just ‘soo dreamy’ you need to Learn.To.Say.No. Appreciate any monetary contributions towards your day, but remember that the decision in most cases should always come down to you and your hubby to be.

7. Accept help – I’m still battling with this one as I hate inconveniencing people, but if someone does offer assistance, grab it with both hands.

8. Shit is gonna hit the proverbial fan – We lost our venue a few months ago and I thought this wedding was never going to happen. Turns out the new venue is even better than the first and I cant wait to get marred there. Often, these things happen for a reason.

10. DIY is King –  What’s the biggest joke at a wedding? The Budget. Weddings, my friends, cost a fortune. If there is anything you can make by yourself, or get a friend to make, then do it. We are so blessed to have a friend Kim who has designed all our wedding stationery – she has saved us money, time and made the experience a more personal one. Plus she’s bloody talented and just ‘gets me’.(Blatant flattery and bribery, Kim ;))

11. You will change your mind – Growing up most people dream about their big day and envision the dress, the decor and the groom. I had a very set idea in mind. Then I started planning, and everything changed. Be open minded about trying on different dress styles, looking at different venues and opening your mind up to alternative ideas.

12. It’s too soon to panic – No, really. You can only control the controllable. When in panic mode I suggest a 3 step process:

– Pour a glass of wine

– Phone a friend

– Pour another glass of wine

Here’s to the next 5 months of planning and enjoying every minute!

I would love to hear your feedback on your own wedding planning too and any advice you have for me 🙂

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Could this be the happiest wedding in the world?

“If I ever got married, I would have a spit braai on the lawn.” This is what our friend Khali said to me several years ago during a lunch with friends.

You see, Khali is a wedding planner/creator/memory maker extraordinaire. Her work is well known throughout the industry and as founder of the South African School of Weddings and The Wedding Specialist, the pressure to perform when her big day came, must have been immense.

Well her time did come, and the wedding was everything and nothing we expected.

The entire event from start to finish was a surprise. Not even the bridesmaids or groomsmen knew where it was or what it would entail, and try as we did we couldn’t even get Khali to disclose on the secret location.

The guests were all instructed to arrive at her offices at 11 am. There we were greeted by traditional drummers, packets of padkos and an entire team of SA School of Wedding staff on standby. A while later all the guests boarded traditional taxis, complete with tin can runners, and set off to our mystery destination. We heard rumblings of ‘Soweto’ and ‘Rooftop’ but not even Khalis assistant would let any clue slip.

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I’m sure the line of 20 minibus taxis filled with formally dressed wedding guests must have been a helluva sight!

We eventually arrived at the destination. A school field in the middle of Westcliff. Interesting, I thought. And interesting it was. The field had been transformed into a colorful wonderland, complete with white marquee, a reception area overlooking the city of Jozi, a coffee bar, gelato bar, sweetie bar, cocktail bar and the world largest cheesecake. The use of every single color was so refreshing as was the chic french style music and the multiple surprises throughout the day (picture ‘waiters breaking out into operatic song and a cake the size of a small car).

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This may have just been the happiest wedding I have ever seen. If the start of their life together was this bright, I can only imagine what’s to come.

And in case you’re wondering – they served lamb on the spit. On the lawn. But in true Khali 6 star style.

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Our Johannesburg Engagement Photo Shoot

My very clever and very good friend Clair, of Fraser Photography fame, generously gave us a couples photo shoot as an engagement gift….more than 6 months ago!

We finally got round to doing it, and I cant explain how much fun we had! I picked Juta Street in Braamfontein as I love the coloured walls, the textures and the vibe, and I thought it would add character to the pics.

We had to lose all insecurities and brave posing on the streets, in restaurants and propped against walls. We even got some of the locals involved – much to their joy!

A great afternoon out – and a huge thanks to Clair for taking such fab, fun photos – and to Barry for going along with our crazy ideas.

The best part of it all? The copious amounts of wine we all drank that night. It really does help to be choms with your photog and her hubby 😉

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The Guilty Bride Syndrome

I’m a guilty person by nature. I feel bad about everything!! Bump into me with your shopping trolley, and I will apologise profusely. Look at me and whisper to your companion and I assume you are judging my entire being. (Back fat, food in teeth and split ends included). Last week my car was keyed for no reason and I berated myself for days, wondering what I could have done to deserve it. Turns out it was a common occurrence in that specific parking lot, and I happened to be an unfortunate target. I had done nothing wrong, yet I assumed I had. I’m that person who smiles sheepishly at a waiter when the table next to me shouts from bad service, and then tips them extra when the payer isn’t watching

In November I got engaged. Cue happy tears, laughter, too many Facebook congratulations to count and a general feeling of euphoria. Which lasted for 48 hours. Within days of bouncing back to reality I had been told how awful wedding planning was by friends and acquaintances, told to keep everything wedding related to my private life by certain work people and treated like yet another cash injection by everyone ranging from venues to photographers and in everyone inbetween.

Because of this, 3 months later I have been too afraid to even start getting excited about my big day. When people kindly mention it I joke how I would rather elope. When someone shows an interest, I brush them off and say ‘oh gosh, it’s ages away, lets talk about you’ and when I realise that weddings are indeed a business and things get booked, fast, I tell myself there are a hundred other more imprtant things to focus on than A WEDDING.

Just yesterday I was talking to colleagues, (indulging in a few minutes respite from my desk during their smoke break. Amongst these trusted colleagues I brought up the taboo issue of my nuptials, mentioning the exorbitant price of the venue and all the homemade and DIY things I wanted to do to offset that. One of them (colleagues) mentioned – but that’s what your bridesmaids are for! Never! I exclaimed, having been a bridesmaid more times than I can recall – I would never ask them to get involved this early on. Then I clicked – why is it that I would put more hours and effort into my friends wedding than my own? Why do I feel guilty about wanting to plan a day which is all about me? I feel guilty about the attention, I feel guilty about people making me feel special for a change and I feel guilty that this event has sucked me in, and captured my attention.

I shouldn’t feel bad about wanting a beautiful day, a day filled with things I have planned, created and imagined. A day when Barry and I are surrounded by the best people in our lives. I’m a smart, grownup woman, capable of many things, multi tasking included. I can manage time better than Big Ben and even the ‘W’ word won’t turn me into a dithering wreck. This will be my day, and going forward I vow (pun intended) to ensure that when I smile at an idea or spot a dress I love, I won’t hate myself for not focusing on what other people want me to, but rather enjoy the experience. I mean, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, right?

Brides, fiancées and just those dreaming of your big day – I would love to hear your feedback on your experiences and emotions during this time of your lives.

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