Up North.

IMG_2226Last weekend I went up to Edinburgh to see Dan’s parents and his family – the first time I’d seen them since August last year. My Mum and Sarah came with us too. My Mum is captioning High Society at some point soon and she needed to go and see the show in Edinburgh to start the prep work. It was lovely to see everyone, and we had a great time with Rory the dog. He’s basically a giant oversized puppy, not completely sure what breed mix he is, but his lovely brown eyes remind me a lot of Rocky, Dan’s family dog, who passed away almost two years ago.

High Society surprised me – it was funny, well written and had some very familiar songs in it, like Who Wants to be a Millionaire. I’m a fan of old movies – you know, the kind with Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe and Marlene Dietrich – and I think in some ways, they have a warmth that you don’t always find in present day films. I’m not saying that I’m harking back to another time and getting all nostalgic – I know that every era has its problems – but there is something very seductive about the glamour of the 1950s and 60s. High Society reminded me strongly of films like How to Marry A Millionaire – which ends with everything topsy-turvy, and has some brilliant comedic turns from Marilyn Monroe. It started as you might expect it to – dazzling and a bit old fashioned, but by the end everything had changed, and it celebrated human mistakes and frailty.

I also indulged my love for Beanscene whilst we were there – I’ve described my love before for this chain of Edinburgh coffee shops. It’s sort of like a jazz club-coffee shop-tapas bar, definitely a place to relax and talk. I love their pizza – suitably garlicky and covered in tasty mozzarella.  There are a few dotted around the city – there’s one near the Scottish Parliament and there’s one on Nicolson Street, which is the one I go to most often. We also had a lovely meal with Dan’s parents at The Pink Olive (just off Nicolson Street) on Saturday night – inspired combinations of food and really delicious cocktails. We were able to order from the pre-theatre menu which is reasonable (you have to order before 6.30pm), about £10ish for two courses and £13ish for three courses.

IMG_2214I’m getting quite excited about the wedding, even though it’s a little under a year away. We’re doing a lot of DIY things, so it’s going to be fun making those little touches that make this day all about us. The guest list has been the hardest thing because Dan has a massive family with lots of cousins who have children of their own, and I have a little family, partly because my Dad is an only child. My Mum has two sisters who have two children each, so it’s quite a little family – although we are inviting some of our closest friends. Its difficult because the venue has a maximum capacity of 80 for a sit down meal, and 120 for the evening, but we’re trying to keep it smaller than that as we’ve always thought we would have an intimate wedding.

However – its very easy once you sit down and start thinking about who to invite to let it get bigger than you thought it would be. In the end, we’ll probably have about 72 people (including children) in the daytime and everyone together in the evening will probably be about 120 maximum. I feel for people who have to keep the numbers down, because of course you have to pay for every person there, and it can be a big worry if you find out you’ve left someone out by mistake! There’s no danger of that here, but it’s still one of the hardest things about this wedding planning malarkey.

IMG_2308Although I’ve said I would write about the aspects of wedding planning on the blog, I think I might have to keep that under wraps until after the wedding. There’s a definite sort of ‘theme’ to our wedding – a subtle theme that suits both of us. It’s not the kind of ‘dress up as a Knight’ kind of theme, more a theme that we can work into the little details, like the table decorations, the venue decorations, and so on. I think we’re both wary of going overboard, but I think once we’ve figured out the logistics of things, it will all come together. I can tell you that it’ll be kind of vintage style – not like from a particular different era, but more like a slight rough old fashioned edge to
things. We’re also writing our own vows, which brings it’s own challenges, but we’ve managed to write a paragraph each by completing this questionnaire to help us define our relationship, what we imagine the future will be like, how we would describe each other and what marriage means to us. It really helped and I think we’re both happy with what we came up with. It’s sincere but a teeny bit funny too.

Money is also one of those things that can be a bit of downer, but we’ve figured out our budget and we’re going to stick to it as much as possible. The DIY stuff will keep things down – but we’re so lucky that my parents and Dan’s parents are helping out a little bit. For the most part though – the big things are getting paid for (the venue, the registrar, etc) and we’ve given notice and have our notice certificate. I know some people might think it’s too soon to start planning a wedding that is about a year away, but you realise that there is a lot to do, especially when you’ve got stuff to DIY and there’s a strong vision for the theme. There are a lot things that are getting made for us – amongst them my wedding dress and hopefully our wedding rings – by people in the family. Dan is so enthusiastic about planning everything together – he’s been doing most of the emailing to the venue and the DJ and stuff (we’re going to be Mr and Mrs Zilla together…).

Sometimes, reaching out and taking someone’s hand is the beginning of a journey. At other times, it is allowing another to take yours. – Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration.

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