It's seven weeks until the wedding and I have five pounds to lose. It may well have been a mistake to buy a dress last summer, which now doesn't fit but I haven't seen anything I like better. It's a fuschia pink, silk, shift dress from Hobbs. I have the shoes and the pashmina, both in black and am still to buy the 'fascinator'. A friend said to me that a 'fascinator' sounds like a sex toy but I can reassure any worried reader who is not up to date with wedding lore, that it is a feathery thing worn on the head at a jaunty angle instead of a hat. I am relieved about the hat because having rather a large head and lots of thick hair, hats tend not to be a good look. The question remains: what is so fascinating about a 'fascinator'?
My daughter's wedding has been easy for us because she and her partner are organising it themselves. We have been spared the responsibility of searching for a venue, ordering and sending out invitations and poring over the social minefield of the seating plan. They have chosen Hitchin Priory Hotel in Hertfordshire, which is close to where they live. The package comes with a wedding planner, so now that the flowers, the wedding car and the photographer are booked, there is little more to do except get nervous (her) and spend money (me). I am accused of spending more than the bride but my argument is that in order to look passable, I have to commit money and time to the project, whereas the bride could turn up having just got out of bed and still look wonderful.
The biggest challenge has been writing something to read during the ceremony. For those not yet involved in the wedding industry, there are pages of readings and speeches on the internet. Studying these gave me insight into the themes; some dwell on love and romance, others on the joy of the wedding day itself and some, not without an edge of bitterness I felt, dwelt on the trials and endurance ahead. In the end I wrote my own poem, which has been approved gladly by the young couple. It now has to be scrutinised by the registrar. After the wedding, I will post it here.