Well good morning to you, my lovely little readership- how are we all? I’m feeling every so spritely having had some good news from Dominique Bader, my sha-mazing wedding photographer. A certain photographic package shall be arriving TODAY which means the wedding blog posts shall begin with aplomb next week! Whoop!
But I couldn’t let this week go without saying hello, filling you in on the last couple of weeks and sharing a few of my post-wedding reflections. Are you ready? Let’s go.
A Very Mini Moon
With a DIY wedding (which means a take down of epic proportions), my beloved Canadian family over for the wedding, and a much-anticipated Californian honeymoon adventure booked for the end of July, Paul and I were never going to venture far for our mini-moon. We’d done A LOT of driving over the wedding week, so we wanted somewhere not too far away; a place to unwind, enjoy some nice food and just be together.
We chose a little portion of the south coast, which had us visiting Rye, Hastings and Camber Sands in the space of twenty four hours. First stop was Rye, a pretty little harbour town that I’ve always wanted to visit but doesn’t have an awful lot going on. We wandered and window shopped and lunched at the quirkily decorated Ship Inn, before hopping back in the car and taking the scenic route to Hastings.
Our bed for the night was at the Zanzibar Hotel in St Leonards On Sea, a short(ish) walk from Hastings along the seafront. A boutique hotel made up of 8 ‘themed’ rooms, I’ve admired it from afar for a little while. Booking last-minute proved to be a good idea, as we got a great deal on one of their best rooms, Antarctica, which was large, white, had a fantastic sea view and a, erm, ‘spa shower’ which also housed a sauna, steam room, massage jets and ‘therapy light’ (read: disco light). It was a novelty, at best, but I don’t think we’ll be investing in one when we win the lottery. The room, however, was beautiful.
That Thursday afternoon was pretty miserable weather-wise, so we decided to save Hastings Town for the following morning and instead spent a VERY lazy couple of hours in our room. Something which we rarely do and which was, quite frankly, utter bliss. In the evening we put our glad rags on, and despite the offer of eating at the hotel’s very well-rated restaurant, Pier Nine, we were tempted instead by a new addition to Hastings, and the current number-one ranked restaurant on Trip Advisor, the Two Bulls Steakhouse.
Holy piece of cow on a plate- they know how to cook steak. It was our mini-moon so obviously we went straight to the most expensive cuts on the menu; the 12oz Chateaubriand fillet for me and the whopping 17oz Porterhouse T-bone for Paul. Both were delicious (mine was better), and we even squeezed in a little white and dark chocolate pot at the end. We spent the rest of the evening canoodling in a candle-lit bar and talking about how great our wedding was whilst getting steadily inebriated. Standard.
The next morning we nursed hangovers with a breakfast feast in bed before having a proper wander round Hastings during the day. I actually really liked Hastings. I’m sure many consider it a poorer man’s Rye but I loved the buzzier atmosphere and quirky shops. It was a glorious day and once again, after the adrenaline of the wedding weekend, we were quite happy just to sit on the beach and chill.
Oh, and we nearly sat on a starfish.
Last stop was Camber Sands- a slight detour on our journey home but as the sun was shining it would have been rude not to. We ate fish and chips and sat in the dunes and people watched and canoodled a bit more, until it was time to get home and feed our cat.
All in all, it was a pretty perfect twenty-four hours with my newly-aquired husband. I think I’ll keep him.
The Post-Wedding Blues
The ‘post-wedding blues’ are seen by many as a bit of a cliché; a light-hearted mockery of the bridezillas of the world who, having nothing left to plan/control, fall in to a mild state of depression. Those that fall victim to the PWB are sad and wedding-obsessed and clearly have nothing better going on with their lives…
Erm. Well… that would be me then.
The post-wedding blues hit me quite hard and quite immediately. I’m talking about it like they’re a thing of the past and they nearly are, I think, but I’m not entirely out of the woods yet.
I loved EVERY SECOND of wedding planning; even the stressful/time-consuming bits like table linen gate. In fact I thrived on the stressful/time-consuming bits because they gave me a challenge I had to conquer. Finding the solution was going to be so satisfying. With wedding planning, the planning beast inside of me was released and creative control was mine. And the best part of all? Having money to spend. We were so incredibly lucky to have a fairly decent budget (around £15k) thanks mainly to very generous family members, and for me, having been skint for ever it was such a novelty to be able to buy things! But it’s back to window shopping now, and ‘being careful’, and counting the days ’til payday. So not fun.
And then there’s the excitement, the anticipation. Seventeen months of getting flutters of eager delight that make you clap your hands in glee and exclaim “Oh my god, I can’t WAIT!”. What can’t I wait for now? In all honesty, nothing. There are things I look forward to, of course… I’m massively looking forward to our honeymoon, to turning 30 (any excuse to throw a party), to having children, to all the many wonderful life experiences that lie ahead for Paul and I. But nothing as mind-numbingly, hand clappingly, butterfly inducingly thrilling as a wedding day.
But that is the self-indulgent side of me talking. I think/hope/know that once we have our wedding photos we will be able to see our day for what it was; a day. A wonderful, important, magical, sunny, technicolour day- the best of our lives, in fact- but just a day. I know that there is so much more to come! Starting with the launch of Utterly Wow, a super-dooper wedding to coordinate in July, and then, of course, The Honeymoon Of Dreams.
The Wedding Cliché
Weddings really are one big cliché , aren’t they? When I first got engaged I was so determined NOT to be a cliché. I didn’t want an ‘average wedding’, I didn’t want to be a bridezilla; I most certainly did not want to get the post-wedding blues! But hey, s**t happens. Looking back, our wedding was far from average (well we think so anyway) but there were still some clichés/superstitions/common wedding perceptions that rang very true. Hear ye, hear ye…
- Finding The One– Being a bridal consultant I know for a fact that The One doesn’t actually exist. It’s not about finding the one dress out of all the bridal shops in all of the land that is destined to be yours; it’s about finding the one that makes you feel fluttery and special and puts a big fat smile on your face… and then stopping. Before you find The Next One. My circumstances were different as I was always going to get my dress from my boutique, and I had a very generous boss which meant budget wasn’t such a priority… but I still knew the moment I put my dress on. I pretended I didn’t know for the sake of having that last appointment with my Mum and all three of my bridesmaids, but I knew. And it felt good.
- Last minute weight loss– All bloody year I ‘watched what I ate’, and tried the 5:2 Diet, and joined a gym and then beat myself up when I didn’t go… and I weighed exactly the same at my first dress fitting as I did when I got engaged. But then in that last week, the magic happened. Was it stress? Did I lose my appetite? A little bit of both perhaps. All I know is that I dropped what felt like 3 or 4lbs in that last week, and my stomach was the flattest it’s ever been on my wedding day. It’s now the fattest it’s ever been as I can’t seem to stop eating post-wedding, but we’ll move swiftly on from that one…
- The pre-wedding cold– Maybe this had something to do with the weight loss but the week before the wedding I got a stonking cold. It magically lifted by the wedding day.
- The weather- I tried to be so cool about the weather. I deliberately picked a spring wedding so that we wouldn’t rely on it being a sunny day. I told myself that whatever the weather, we would have a wonderful time. And then I started praying for sun. And checking the weather app every five minutes. And unravelling all my coolness in one fell swoop. It was FREEZING the week of our wedding; we’re talking barely double figures at the end of May. And as we set up on the Thursday and Friday it rained solidly for 48 hours. But lo and behold the sun came out on the Saturday morning and hung around all day- perhaps the most welcome cliché of all :)
- The Best Day Of Our Lives– It really was. ‘Nuff said.
Finally, I just have a little appeal for those who have been or know California well. We have our last two stops to book accommodation for and I’m struggling. Los Angeles and San Diego, two nights each… where do we stay?? In LA we will mainly be spending our full day exploring the many famous beaches I think, rather than heading inland to do touristy things. Therefore I would like to find lodging in Santa Monica, but my, it’s expensive. Would anyone recommend otherwise? West Hollywood perhaps?
And then I really don’t know very much about San Diego. On our full day I should think it will be mainly beach-based- with perhaps a little explore of Coronado. But in the evenings we’d like to head downtown to explore the city properly, so I’m thinking perhaps we should stay in the Gaslamp Quarter? Or maybe Little Italy?
Our budget is roughly $200 per night, excluding taxes. It looks like you get more for your money in San Diego and we would quite like to finish our trip somewhere a bit special… but that would leave less budget for LA which makes finding decent accommodation pretty tricky.
All recommendations gratefully received!
Well that’s it from me. It’s good to be back, and I look forward to boring you stupid with wedding tales from next week. If there’s anything in particular that you would like a full report of then please do let me know! I’ve already had requests for a breakdown of alcohol bought and used, and a lowdown on what make-up I went for in the end, but if there’s anything else you would like me to focus on then do shout. I really don’t want to milk this wedding for ever (just a couple of weeks will do ;)) so speak now or forever hold your peace…
‘Til next time!