Today is the start of another publisher feature week, this time for Harper Impulse during which I am planning to try and review all of their eBooks that I currently have on my Kindle as well as bring you a selection of additional features from some of their authors.
My husband says I should be dead. That, if you think about evolution, a person who can’t shut the living room window without standing on a chair and who doesn’t have the strength to punch a heart through a sheet of triple-folded tissue paper should have gone out with the dodo.
I tell him I am, in fact, the next evolutionary step: that everyone knows things get smaller as they get better—iPods, iPhones—and that it’s a selective advantage to make me cute enough that he’ll shut the living room window and punch hearts in triple-folded tissue paper for me.
He opens his mouth to argue, but I push a brown cardboard box towards him. It’s two nights before our wedding and he’s still got 20 handcrafted glassine bags to fill with red and yellow heart-shaped confetti.
How were we not tearing our hair out? Well, yeah, there had been a million things to do, but in the past six months we’d ticked them off methodically.
And all because we got off to a good start. Here’s how to do it…
Step One: Money Talks
Bleh, I know: flashbacks of being 15 and asking for an advance on your pocket money so you could buy that going-out top. But you can’t go planning a wedding in a manor house for 250 guests if your budget only stretches to a pub lunch for 20. Sit down with both sets of folks and get an idea of what they’re willing to contribute—that’ll help you suss out the shortfall.
Step Two: The Who’s Who
While you’re there, ask the important stuff: how many people do they have to invite—random work colleagues don’t count, the family friend so close you thought he was your uncle does—and whether anyone has special requirements you need to be aware of, like nans who are too frail to travel and disabled rellies who need a venue with no stairs.
Step Three: Do the Maths
I know, maths, *groan*. But this isn’t all squared paper and Mr Matthews telling you off for passing notes. And at the end of it you don’t get marked, you get your soul mate, sooo… Be realistic about how much you can afford to save a month, and work out how long it’s likely to take. That way you can get an idea of when you might be able to set the date. My advice: don’t actually set it until you’ve got the cash in the bank. Life has a tendency to make your rent go up and your car break down immediately after you shell out.
Step Four: What a Groom Wants
As much as your heart beats faster when you see those pink roses or you can’t think of anything classier than that restaurant halfway up the Gherkin, your wedding is about both of you, which means he’s going to have to have some say. Make sure you’re on the same page before you get too carried away—here are a few quick-fire questions to get you started:
1. How do you want the day to feel? Glamorous/Classy/Romantic/Relaxed/Fun/So laidback it’s horizontal/Other (please specify)
2. What do you want the guests to take away from our wedding? It was so them/I never would have thought of that/That was the best fun I’ve ever had at a wedding/Aren’t they adorable together?/Whoa, it was so beautiful/Damn the food was good/Other (please specify)
3. What time of year do you see us getting married? Fresh, pretty spring/warm, hazy summer/cool, harvest-y autumn/glittering, dramatic winter
4. Is there anything you really love that you want to make sure is part of the day, e.g. hobbies like reading or drawing, favourites like colours or songs etc.?
Step Five: The Hoard
Get yourself a stash. Of wedding magazines, of websites and of blogs you love. Keep in mind your buzzwords—relaxed, fun and so us; classy, beautiful and damn good food—and get to work on your mood boards: go the old-school scissors-and-Pritt Stick route or get yourself a Pinterest profile.
Step Six: The Deciding Round
If you find you’re as obsessed with a boho jaunt in a field as you are with afternoon tea in a barn, it’s time to let your venue do the talking. Pick somewhere that fits in with the stuff from the other steps, and everything else will fall into place: the peachy colour scheme won’t work with the red wallpaper, or the big gown with the endless train will be too much in the little orangery. But it won’t be back to the drawing board, oh no—because you’ve got exactly the mood board for this…