So, you’ve been engaged a month or two and it’s all gone a bit “quiet after the storm”. You’ve sworn off alcohol until your first born graduates from university and you’ve sought the advice of a structural engineer to determine whether your home can withstand the added weight of all these cards. Phew! What a whirlwind!
You settle on the couch in your favourite onesie, sure it’s all that fits you now anyway, and you open the old laptop. Someone told you about a website you should visit, said it’s the bees knees and the cats ankles for planning weddings. It all sounds a bit confusing and, sounding eerily like your father, you wonder what on earth is wrong with a good old fashioned scrapbook, a few bridal magazines, including of course North West Brides, and a tube of Pritt stick. Then you type in “Pinterest” and hit the enter key and if a choir of angels could appear in your living room at that very moment they’d sing hallelujah – and then scold you for eating a bag of Doritos to yourself you heifer you!
The feeling of awe and dizzying amazement I experienced upon discovering the wonder that is Pinterest will live with me for a lifetime and a half. At first I didn’t have a hooha what was going on but soon I was pinning away like a good thing! I pinned first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I pinned in the evenings, with one hand in my Doritos, and in my onesie in work – did you think I was joking about having nothing to fit me? I had boards within boards, sub boards, stand in boards, back up boards and just in case boards. I had boards for hair, makeup, dresses, flowers, cakes, veils, shoes, venue decorations, table centrepieces, chair covers and also, inexplicably, a board for various dishes featuring guacamole. I was having an absolute ball! Unfortunately I had to accept that my imagined wedding was going to cost somewhere in the region of the annual budget of Uzbekistan.
Now while I certainly do aspire to swim Scrooge McDuck style in my mansion of gold, I’m not quite there yet. What I do have is a bright red piggy bank into which I only allow myself to put “big coins” i.e. €1 and €2. Ah stop laughing you Sterling ladies! Realising of course, that I’m not actually six years old and saving for a talking doll, I also have an honest to God savings account in a real live bank into which I pour a considerable amount of my hard earned cash never to touch my paws again.
Saving for and spending money on a wedding is truly an eye (and purse) opening experience. Your own inner sense of thriftiness completely abandons you. Whereas pre-engagement you would have argued €5 off a dress with a button missing, post-engagement you is all “oh, five hundred extra you say? Ah sure that’s nothing! Let me just run to the ATM!” Who was it that said a fool and his money are easily parted? Well let me tell you, a bride and her money are racing towards each other in slow motion only to be tragically stopped from ever meeting by a wedding planner with a clip board and her hand out!
As for me, well I’ve never saved as hard in my life – not even when I set my heart on that talking doll. I spend one evening with my head in Pinterest and I’m saving like my life depends on it. Soon, I find myself facing some very uncomfortable questions. Questions such as, “Could I always have saved like this?” and “did I really need to spend all that time living in *insert dingy early accommodation here*?” You know what? When thoughts go down that road, it may be time to step away from the Pinterest. Let’s face it, centerpieces only get in the way of the wine anyway and someone has to say it, girls, we should really leave the doves in the sky. Our weddings are still going to be fabulous even if we’re in the church and our trains are still in the carpark. Step away from the Pinterest ladies. There is life after the wedding and it begins with a honeymoon! Maybe browse a few travel brochures. Where are we all jetting off to? Yeah, I know, say it with me – we’re going to need a bigger piggy bank!