Thursday, 26 May 2011

Hindsight (and cake)

Today a lovely lady came by to check out all my vintage china, birdcages and general other wedding paraphernalia (aka “wedding 5hit” by Nicky G), which got me to reminiscing. Having to look through all my photos to find pictures of the little details and my centre pieces as ideas for her to steal meant I sat here at my laptop for a long time scrolling through the pictures of our big day, and good lord do I love my wedding pictures! My one piece of advice – get the best damn photographer that your budget can stretch to. Once all is done and dusted, your memories and your photos are all that is left. And as I recently discovered… sometimes even those memories fade…

I never thought I’d start to forget the details – at the time the tiniest thing was life or death to me. Sleepless nights, stand up rows, blood sweat and tears, furious tantrums – the works. Everything had to be perfect and my OCD went in to overdrive. Wise friends, family and industry professionals told me that years in to the future these things wouldn’t matter and I’d look back and wonder why I fussed so much (and spent SO much money) on the minutiae. Things that our guests probably appreciated at the time, but wouldn’t have blinked at, had they not been there and certainly wouldn’t remember. And, it turns out, neither would we.

The other day someone asked me what one item, with hindsight, I would have cut back on.  Without even thinking I reeled off a whole list of things that now, just seem ludicrous to have splurged so much of our budget on. At the time though, I was very much of the mindset that if I could solve a problem (and I encountered lots) by throwing money at it, then that’s what I’d do. There was just so much to think about, to do, make, assemble, decide upon, get sorted, delegate, make work, make fit etc  etc  etc, that for a few things, I just gave up trying to find cheaper solutions and just paid for it simply to get it off my list and out of my headspace.

Now I’m not saying it was wrong, or that I could have made/found better for less money, what I’m saying is that did we even need most of it?

On the same day I was asked about what I would have foregone, I was also asked what flavour cake I had. And do you know what…

I couldn’t remember.

This upset me on a number of levels:

1)      I spent months I tell thee, months, perfecting that cake. It was to be the next biggest “personality” item after The Dress. I researched every option to within an inch of my life (and Nick’s sanity). I sampled more cake in a few weeks than I would normally eat in a year, and I eat a LOT of cake. So I put a LOT of effort in to that cake. I got special cake insurance for crying out loud. I was never just going to head to Waitrose to buy off the shelf wedding cake(like the Duchess of Cambridge)*… not that there’s a problem with that… I just wanted something “different”.
2)      It reminded me that, after all of the hard work and stress in point 1) I didn’t actually get to eat any of the cake itself. All that work and I didn’t even get a slice. Not even a crumb. The girls in the office tell me it was yum – all the different flavours were, apparently. I wish I knew! In fact I wish I knew what they were, let alone what they tasted like.
3)      It finally dawned on me that I really would start to forget these things. Who’d have thunk it? It really is true. Those things start to fade, and not just because of the amount of alcohol I consumed.
But after this evening’s little meet and greet, my heart was warmed again.
I might not remember what cake flavours we had, and I might not remember how many tables we had and I might not remember what hymn we sang first or what the veggie option was – but I will NEVER forget the feelings I had before I walked in to the church, and that scene from the end of the aisle. I will never forget the morning I spent with my girls and my mum getting ready. I will never forget the nervous japes my daddy and I shared in the car en route to the church, the feeling in my tummy as I walked in, the moment I saw my future husbug at the end of the aisle, the way I got my left and right mixed up (a lifelong problem!) with the rings, the problematic word in the reading – in fact all the words of the readings, the little ones happily chitter-chattering away in the church, the quiver in my voice during the vows, the sound of sniffles from the pews (bleurgh!), the speeches, the laughter and the tears (you know who you are!!), I will never forget the feeling of the squeeze of my hand and I will NEVER forget the overwhelming feeling of happiness, love, friendship and togetherness I felt for the whole day. The way that every single person there wished us nothing but happiness and I will NEVER in a million years forget how I humbled I felt by everyone’s wonderful wishes, overwhelming generosity and the support they gave us.
So it just goes to show, I’m not always right (shock horror indeed). The ganache in the cake, the ink on the menus, the hand cream in the loos and the ribbon on the napkins didn’t really matter after all…
In fact, did we even have ribbons on our napkins?
I’m a complete stresshead and I’ll always be a planner, a stresser, a worrier, a control freak and an over-thinker. That will never change. But I did learn a valuable lesson – it wasn't about "letting go" of the details and trying to stress less. That'll never happen. It’s was finally realising that it's not the wedding that matters, but the marriage. Awwwwwww.
And on that very uncharacteristically soppy note I’m going to sign off and find Mr G for a cuddle and a cuppa and make him look through our wedding album and gush at our happy faces… and then debate over what flavour that middle tier really was. I’m placing my bets on lemon drizzle…
Happy days
Mrs G
* Just to point out, again, that I chose Fiona Cairns for my engagement cakes looooong before K-Middy did! I’m just saying…


  1. please don't tell me your selling your wedding china? I was hoping to use it when i finally get wed!

  2. Nope - just renting it!!! I'll still have it! :-)