Saturday, 14 July 2012

Planning my wedding - Spoonie Style Pt2

 * As I have no idea how to have part 1 show before this one read it here  Wedding Plan Part 1

They say timing is everything well in the case of a Spoonie style wedding it is, along with a healthy does of realism..

As much as id like to swim along in a sea of ecstasy dreaming of a whole day where i am simply filled with the elixir of love, and will awake at dawn refreshed and virginal* ready to marry my one true love. The reality is something very different..I can almost here Barabra Cartland turning in her grave as i type..While of course it will be romantic and lovely it will also still have fibro in it..

Keeping in mind that:
  • I will get fatigued during the day
  • I will need to sit down 
  • I will need a rest at some point
  • I will try to over do it
  • I will ignore all my best intentions on the day
Keeping all of those things in mind, I have planned around them so I can at least mitigate the parts that will have the potential to ruin our day..I have to remember If i push it too hard then LM has to deal with it too..

Type of day you want 

That of course is personal choice,  we considered the following:
  • Morning ceremony followed by lunch - No evening reception
  • Full on sheebang morning ceremony, afternoon and evening reception
  • late Afternoon ceremony - evening reception
  • Eloping
It might seem odd to do this, and of course finances, how big or small your family is, how many friends you have etc - those are important. BUT before you even go there put you at the heart of this - by you I mean both of you. Forget for a moment all the flim flam of other peoples expectations..Everything else hangs off this decision.

Big Tip 1 - step back and write down together what's the most important thing to both of you 

For us besides a lovely cremony and actually getting married. It was having our loved ones and friends share our day. We then worked out the best way to achieve this and make sure i could manage and pace our day. We looked at each type of day and made our decisions with the knowledge of what we wanted.

I cannot emphasise enough that doing this step 1st before anything else helps the rest fall into place because you can stick to your guns if needs be, or be clear with others what you want. 

We decided on an afternoon ceremony, we are getting married at 3pm with my best women instructed that from 12pm no one not even my mother is to just pop in  and chat.

Why? You might ask - well chat costs spoons so by making sure i have down time before hand means im not exhausted before i begin. My two best friends are fabulous but formidable and if i get past them i have 4 others waiting with gaffa tape a ball gag and hand cuffs to ensure  I REST!!!

Timings for the day
  • Ceremony at 3pm
  • Post ceremony drinks and photos - 40 mins max - we have gone for as short turn around as possible to limit the spoon usage and means i dont do too much talking.
  • Sit down for dinner at 4pm (ish) -this allows me to time my tea time drugs for 6pm
  • nap and rest time - post dinner 1 hour 
  • I reappear at 7pm (ish)
  • Disco and evening Reception beings at 7.30 pm 
  • 1st Dance
  • Ignore all common sense have a glass of wine and dance beyond allotted spoons

Top Tip 2 Make a list of  a few really important things you want and stick to those - share your theme and accept offers of help.


You might not think there is much to think about here besides music, readings and has the best man got the rings!  However, if like me walking very far unaided is hard, or the dreaded standing for more than a minute or two is no go then the mechanics of the ceremony needs planing too.

Most weddings have the Birde and Groom standing, sitting, standing sitting and standing again etc - for me that would be a night mare. So we have already thought about it to make sure I do as little of the jack-in-a-box act as possible

Our Ceremony plan

I walk in on the arm of my Best Friend aka Mrs Woman
Smile as I know LM will be at this point crying - he cries at DIY SOS
Give him a hug and sit down - Our celebrant (we are having a humanist ceremony) will say hello and throughout the readings and intro we will remain seated.

Only when we make our vows will be stand up - if the room could take it I would have the chairs arranged in such a way we were in the middle seen by everyone and not needing to stand so its my compromise.

I will be standing for no more than 2 or 3 mins and if its too much then LM will just have to go down on one knee and slip my ring on my finger that way.

After the Ceremony 

As you can see we have thought about limiting the amount of time I have to chat to lots of people, have made sure i can go and rest after dinner and come back for the dancin. Everyone will be made aware this is the plan - but most of all My Best Women know the plan and I wont be letting anyone down if i slip off for a nap.

 The only person i need to convince of this is me :)

Top Tip 3 - Talk to your venue make sure they are aware of what you need not just what you want. Find out what is the turn around time between ceremony and eating if that's what you want. You dont have to do it in military precision but having a plan prevents misunderstandings on the day.

Top tip 4 - Delegate - Pick one person who you know is organised and will do whats needed that person is your coordinator on the day. Best Bird is mine - she knows exactly what i want and will make it happen. 

Gosh sorry i seem to be doing lots of detail - I hope this is useful, there are lots of wedding planning sites out there but they don't talk about the kind of issues I face. hence this yet again long post..

And i haven't even gushed about my time I promise and pictures of my shoes - the ones that arnt flat or very sensible and definitely fall into the Non Spoonie Foot Wear Categorie..but I was sensible enough not to go for the 6" red Ruby Slippers I wanted*

*Well if its good enough for Maddona Like a Virgin... 
*I chose our colour theme LM noddeed and pretended to listen
*Only because i couldnt get my hobbit feet in them - common sense had nothing to do with it

Friday, 13 July 2012

Wedding planning Spoonie Style - Pt 1

I get married in less than 2 months, to say im exicited and nervous is an understatement. However, hunting around the Internet for guides to organising a wedding, I'm struck as i often am, that very little information exists out there for a bride that might need to do things a little different and have needs that other brides don't..(I realise men get married too and LM is fully informed on all things..but when i talk colour scheme his eyes begin to glaze over)

Things you just wouldn't think of if you don't live with any kind of impairment, in my case a chronic illness that has the ability to strike at will and no amount of hoping or "resting" will prevent it.

I had to plan and think latterly with some things, this is just my guide to how Ive planned a big wedding for 86 Guests.

Once the excitement and gushing over the ring is our case the engagement also included a little old lady with a dog* shouting at us for daring to stand on the side of a gorgeous Northumberland River (well LM was I was on a bridge overlooking said river) - it turned out later she had dementia and had decided on a wander unknown to her family..which did make it a little better but did somewhat take the shine off his proposal..

Budget - £3K - compared to many weddings its a pretty modest budget.

Finding a Venue

Given our budget we couldn't just turn up to the nearest stately home with rooms and say there you go petal organise it we had to think about stuff so we looked at
  1. 3 place wedding (town hall, reception, close by hotel)
  2. 2 place wedding (town hall, hotel for reception and sleeping)
  3. 1 place wedding (all in hotel)
 A bit like Goldilocks we tried the 1st 2 ideas out for logistics and kept coming back to the simple fact trying to make sure I had enough energy to travel between 3 places, and not end up broken and in bed by the time dinner was served simply wasn't feasible.

I did try to pretend for a while it would be manageable as id found a lovely venue - but having a pretty venue that you fall in love with when the logistics don't work is simply adding pressure and the potential for ruining your day is huge.

Venue: Things to thinks about
  • Layout - how far is it between rooms, will you have to walk a long way to get anywhere?
  • How many steps does it have?
  • How far away are the loos?
  • If you use a wheelchair is it accessible?
  • How close is your room to the reception?
  • How willing are the staff to be flexible to timings?
  • Is there a room with no music to retreat to?
after a bit of a panic after loosing out on a couple of venues, and trying to find the right date..we spread out net wider and found a lovely venue in an old coaching inn.

Good Points
  • Its lovely with real character and charm as well as being well within budget 
  • The reception area is close together no long spoon sapping  walks down long hotel corridors
  • Its a ground floor venue - the ceremony room is next to the reception room that's next to loos no steps and enough space for Maude the wheelchair if i need it
  • The bar area is attached to the reception space again no steps or long walks. 
  • We have exclusive use of a downstairs bar so if the music is too much i can retreat but still be with guests
  • The staff have been very flexible with our requests* 
  • We have booked all the rooms the hotel has for our guests
Compromise Point
 I wont say negative as i don't think they are but unless you have a massive budget   you end up compromising somewhere
  • No lift to our rooms - I can manage stairs but when tired that's a struggle..however with the help of LM its just another night of being helped to bed :)
  • Tight on space at times so noise levels will hurt after a while - comes to my next point timings 

Yay you have found the perfect spoonie venue and now you can just get on and plan. It's all plain sailing,  you just need to find a dress marry your loved one and its easy right?

Sadly no not really, although its been fun planning and I'm sure I'm not different to many other brides to have to think round things but this is a big fat spoonie wedding.we have to add in nap time and think about how to manage a  whole day of talking, standing, laughing and generally being sociable with lots of people when my usual day is me my lap top and I, and even when i am out more than 5 people and a couple of hours can leave me so exhausted LM gives me the look and decides its time to go home eeeppp!!!

The 5 P's of planning

Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.. there is another version but I'm be being a lady dontcha know. In other words be honest with yourself, and if you cant be make sure you have best women like mine that between them declare...

"Now who is going to manage Beth on the day" - lol i was both amused and  apart of me was saying but but but i will im a growd up..however im also a spoonie and think i can do all this stuff when i cant.

Ive realised this has turned into an epic blog and ive got as far as the perhaps this will be a series of blogs over the next week

 Episode 2 will see the bride work out the timings for the big day and find a dress
 Episode 3 will see LM worrying about how the bride will get through the day..Gin of course!

* LM pointed out that i needed a comma as it looks like the dog was shouting at us rather than the old lady..but for comedic value ive left it alone