Sunday, 27 February 2011

Mummy's day off - in search of Vera Wang

These shoes were made for shopping!
I had a mummy's day off last Sunday, grabbed my two best friends, flat shoes (which I had to purchase the day before, I'm not a flat shoe kinda gal!) and headed for the hysteria that was inevitable at... The National Wedding Show.

I was expecting it to be like a scene in friends, you know the one, Monica handing out whistles (my friend Sophie) Rachel hiding under a rack of dresses (my friend Gemma) and me, Phoebe, sitting on girls just to get THAT DRESS!  But it was a lot more 
placid than I expected, not a bitch fight in sight (slightly disappointing).

After an hour of browsing the standard booths of photographers, florists and venues, there it stood, like a beacon of light, I was a moth to it's flame, the VERA WANG sample sale! Now this is what I came for...  excitedly, I grabbed both their hands and raced over.

Browsing the racks, surrounded by women who looked like they could 
Kate Hudson in THE DRESS
actually afford the dresses I was drooling over, I found it.  The one from Bride Wars (well, it looked kinda like it, and the girl said it was similar.) To the changing room we headed... I was handed a pair of Jimmy Choos to try it on with, heaven.

As I looked at my reflection, and the two teary eyed best friends it the background, I felt like a princess.  Then my eyes were drawn to the little tag dangling from the side.  I won't disclose the figure, I wouldn't want to cause harm to anyone with a nervous disposition, let's just say it could feed a family for a year - and this was supposed to be a sample sale!? Suddenly I fell down to earth with a massive bang.  I made my excuses and promptly left, I obviously had to give my other half a call to confirm it was okay to purchase it and would be straight back (yeah right!).

I needed cheering up, so we went on the hunt for as many free cake and champagne samples as we could find.  After 3, ok maybe 6, champagne samples and a large glass of Pinot blush at lunch, I was back on it! Sod ruddy Vera Wang, let's find a venue.

I fancy a winter wedding, think boutique hotel, large fireplaces and a jazz band singing 'Let it Snow'. Simple yet sophisticated.  We had our brief, let the searching commence. Weddings in Dubai, nope, weddings in Cyprus, nope, stately homes, no no no!  Then we found it... The Olde Bell, tick, tick, tick! Minimum spend... £14,000! I must have looked shell shocked as she instantly started saying, 'well, we might be able to do something about the price if you had it mid week blah blah blah', I zoned out... £14,000!

I think James realised it hadn't gone well from the look on my face as I walked (well, sort of stomped) through the door.  'How'd it go?' he asked sheepishly.  I told him about the prices and we agreed to discuss it later.  After lots of cuddles with Belle, I was grounded, we did her bath and off she went to bed.  So we sat down to the review the day.

If James had his way we'd elope, just the two of us, then have a party on our return, so the prices I was throwing at him were (understandably) dismissed.  His opinion is that the money we'd spend on a 'party' (grrr, wedding!) we could spend on a bigger house, contributing to a better future for our family.  Damn it, why is he always right?  We'd love to have another baby in the next few years too so spending thousands on a wedding day (not party) does seem like, dare I say it, a waste.

The most important thing is that I become his wife, and I can't wait to be his wife.  Not only had he looked after Belle that day he had done the whole house and made her dinners for the next week, I'm one lucky lady.  But why can't I shake the little girl fantasy of a 'dream' wedding?   Not even a dream wedding... a small, 60 people, no sit down meal, no flowers, no bridesmaid, small elegant wedding. A 'semi dream' wedding if you will.  But even with the cut backs this option is still the difference between us having a 2 or 3 bedroom house.  I know I need to concede, but something inside is stopping me.

So, for now, no more Four Weddings, Wedding House or Don't tell the Bride on TV!  Thank you Vera Wang, for making me realise the truly important things in life, my baby girl and hubby to be - being a family, however and wherever we decide to get married.


  1. Great post Shelley!

    I'm in exactly the same position, we've been engaged over 2 years and we keep (I keep) flitting between luxury wedding and sensible simple type wedding. We haven't even started saving yet for a wedding and with Baby M due in 5 weeks, obviously any spare money is being lavished on his arrival. Even after he arrives, i think we'll think of more 'sensible' things to spend the money on such as a house deposit!

    I sit here writing this in my rented flat, with baby on the way and checking myself that i am such a lucky girl and i should appreciate that.

    I just want to marry him, i do dream from time to time, don't we all? I feel your pain, haha!

    Great blogging, very true and close to my heart! x

  2. It is very hard. The choice between being sensible or going for the dream. A wedding day is after all a big day in any woman's life, if not the biggest day. But £14k just for the venue is crazy! Can you consider a dream wedding but on a smaller scale and compromise? So maybe go for the dress of your dreams but a very simple/inexpensive venue? (I came over from mumsclub to say hi)

  3. Wedding shows are really meant for those who can afford to drop that kind of cash without thinking about it as carefully as you and James are. Have a bit more of a hunt around. It may take creativity but you may still be able to have the wedding of your dreams without the price tag. :) But blimey, that venue costs more than my whole wedding did!

  4. As someone who has done the wedding thing, I am with your hubby to be on this one! Looking back, the money we spent could have been used towards a pretty amazing down payment for the home we have now!

    I say go on a really rocking vacation and do it there! Then come back and have a party (think fun reception!) after!

    Thanks for stopping by!!

  5. Great post! I was just looking at my wedding photo today. It was astonishing to think that it will be 14 years soon. And I can't remember walking down the isle. It's more like I was's all a blur. But what isn't a blur is a good marriage and three beautiful kids, 3 dogs, 1 fish! I know you'll have the best day, even sans Vera Wang and Jimmy Choo!

  6. Thank you for your comments girls, it's a toughie, but I'm sure we'll sort it, just couldn't find the 'special but cheap' booth at that wedding show! Oh well, the free samples were fun though! :)

  7. Thanks for following me on Twitter -- that's how I found your blog and I love it!

    I totally get why you're torn - you want the awesome wedding but the financially sound "happily ever after," too. Maybe you could do something small and affordable now and throw yourself an amazing anniversary party in 10 years? I know, it's just not the same. Best of luck, can't wait to read how it all turn out!

  8. Good luck figuring it all out! Weddings can be very stressful this way...

  9. Knew there was a reason I hadn't got married...

    seriously though, I'm sure it can be done on more of a budget than that and still be fabulous. All three of my sisters got married and had great times and I don't think the (very) different budgets made that much of a difference in the end - it's the ppl that count.

  10. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED our wedding day and I would do it again in a heartbeat but you're so right that it's a lot of money and money doesn't make you happy. It's the people you share your day with and the man by your side that make your heart sing. And it sounds like you've got a great one by your side x

  11. Maybe you could do something baby and affordable now and bandy yourself an amazing ceremony affair in 10 years

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