The Countdown Begins

Help! There are bazillions of folks dropping in from the Bloggies site and here I am without Quality Entries to woo the voting public. All I can offer is Mild Hysteria since it's just five weeks today until me and the Kilted One get hitched.

I bought some bridal magazines. I still don't know why I did this. Perhaps I wanted a two-hundred page reminder that I have no money, time or style. Wedding Day magazine had a story on how to plan a wedding on four different budgets: £1000, £10 000, £100 000 or ONE MILLION POUNDS! For £1m they suggested buying your own Mediterranean island and icing your wedding cake with solid gold.

I was more interested in the £1000 job. They told me to save money by purchasing a vintage dress. Who actually finds decent vintage clothing unless they're a titless size 2 or work in the costume department of a happening TV show? Vintage for me will involve going to the Romanian Orphans Charity Shop in Tollcross and asking, "Has there been any donations in white polyester? Puffed sleeves? Pit-stains not too prominent?"

You and Your Wedding sounded like a friendly enough title, making the event sound comfy and managable. They probably also do You and Your Cocker Spaniel and You and Your Tracksuit. I pondered the article, Are You A Summer Bride or Winter Bride? Pollen-choked daisies or whiskey shots by a roaring fire? I don't bloody know.

Where is the option for Threat of Deportation Bride? Surely that's a niche market, I can't be the only Scot-loving Antipodean who likes to leave things to the last minute. There's no scope in these magazines for people in a hurry. They just publish bossy little Wedding Countdowns that start at least a year in advance, so you'd best take advantage of their subscription offer!

Apparently twelve months ago we should have met with our priest or rabbi and finalised the guest list. We should have picked the rings at Christmas and the Going Away Outfit should have been rotting in my wardrobe since November. What the hell is a Going Away Outfit?!

Most damning of all I was supposed to start a "skin, hair and nails regime" eleven months ago. My skin regime consists of me glaring at the alarm clock at midnight thinking, "I should get up and wash that mascara off. I should moisturise. I shouldn't sleep in stinky gym clothes".

Furthermore, the bags under my eyes are so dark and fat that it looks like I've glued on a pair of slugs from the garden. My sleep has been rubbish since Engagement Day coz I keep waking up middle of the night going "Hee hee hee!", still euphoric and unable to believe he wants to marry me. Sucker! As for the nail regime, I've never had a manicure in my life, unless you count pushing my cuticles back with the front door key.

They also tell me that beautiful bride needs to use a body brush and exfoliate regularly. The only time I exfoliate is when I have a bath at Gareth's place and have to use his Towels of Torture. He reckons fabric conditioner is environmentally-unfriendly, so the towels are so stiff you can snap them in half like a Salada biscuit. I admire your eco-warrior streak, but when I move in THIS IS GOING TO CHANGE, BUDDY! I may as well towel off with a cheese grater.

About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m Shauna, an author, copywriter and content mentor. I love telling stories about life and helping others to tell theirs.

Find out more about me and how we can work together – I’m now booking for January 2022.

36 thoughts on “The Countdown Begins

  1. Congrats on your upcoming nuptials to the kilted one! You should send him here:

    I tried on a beautiful wedding dress once at this vintage place in the grassmarket, the name is the street number? I can’t remember it exactly. There’s also Herman Brown up the street from there, who has really nice ladies and maybe they can point you in the right direction if you’d like a cool vintage dress.

    One of my good friends is a very good florist located in Stockbridge, i’d be happy to give you her number

    I have a sneaky suspicion i might also be a Threat of Deportation bride one day (American with a handsome Scot), so i’ll be watching your plans!

  2. “Titless size 2” is going to be my new name for everyone I’ve been calling “stick insect”.

    As for the manicure business, I don’t go very often (1 x year), but they’re nice. Worth the splurge for the big day. Mine never last more than a day or two, though. I’m forever bashing my fingers. If you don’t want to splurge, but want to have a kind of faux french thing happening, here’s what I suggest — buy a 3-way buffer (like a file — usually half white, half pink on one side, grey on the other) and buff the crap out of your nails. It’ll get rid of any ridges. Get a white pencil (Sally Hanson makes a good one) and colour underneath the end of your nails. They’ll brighten up and glow a little more. Now shelack your nails with something clear or transparent pink and voila! Faux french manicure a la j! Try it in the meantime, if it’s enough, why not save the money for something important…like upgrading your Romanian polyester special. 🙂

  3. FIVE WEEKS!?!?!


    So where do we send the gifts? The cards? are you registering anywhere? It take a while to send things from Tacoma, so you gotta let us all know early enough, okee?

    ok, I’ve calmed down.

    and to think there hasn’t even been a proper picture of the boy on this site yet…

  4. You’re not meant to call him a sucker until _after_ the wedding 🙂 Especially as he reads the blog.

    I highly recommend the toilet-paper-wedding-dress as a last minute substitute, but you may want to keep an eye on the weather and any drunk Scottish uncles who may decide to blow their noses on you…

  5. May I humbly recommend you take notes from a gay marriage ceremony? There’s something to be said for awfully matching pastel suits and vows under a backyard canopy, surrounded by bemused friends.

  6. i planned my wedding in, um, six weeks? only he was coming from scotland to aus and not the other way around. but there was that whole *must get married before tourist visa expires!!* thing. we had it at home and my mum made my dress. and then we went to a restaurant afterwards and then had two nights in a hotel for the ritual post-nupital bonkfest. gads was that really two years ago? sheesh, i’m getting so old *moans* anyway, congratulations and it’ll be wonderful whatever you do as long as what you do is what you want and not what someone else wants. what a very long sentence.

  7. Gosh I’m jealous! Just smile and whatever you are wearing, you’ll look beautiful…

    Lucky shauna lucky shauna lucky shauna lucky shauna lucky shauna lucky shauna lucky shauna lucky shauna lucky shauna lucky shauna lucky shauna lucky shauna.

  8. Five weeks, eh? Here I am planning for 26 weeks from now and I think I’m pushing it! Thank god someone else is crazier than i am!
    Don’t those checklists just piss you off? They have seriously started some wedding-anxiety nightmares (ALREADY!). Like you I was supposed to have most stuff booked three to six months ago, and be starting my exfoliate ritual.

  9. Pah, weddings needing planning? A pretty frock, visit to the hairdressers and some sort of bridey-looking headpiece involving netting or at least a flower tucked behind your ear and you’re a beautiful bride. Done deal.

    I sound like some sort of grain-toting feral in a hessian bag with that comment, but it really is true.

    I’ve only had one manicure, and it also lasted only a few days. But it really is worth it, even if you have no nails like me.

  10. Hurrah! This is awesome – I don’t have to do any sort of research for my wedding, just got to read your comments for any info and advice I’ll ever need. And it’s all good, no crap to filter through! Yes, my pretties, keep up those comments. Uncle Monkey loves your wonderful brainmeats…

  11. I would be HONOURED and DELIGHTED if you would get married in my wedding dress….

    That is, if you can see yourself in a emerald green size 14 satin knee-length cocktail dress….

    ….AND I still have the emerald green satin killer heels from hell to go with it!

    What more can redhead (probably with a bluey tinge to her fair skin by now) want!!!

    oooooh, Shauny, I’d be soooooo proud!!!!

    Just say the word……

  12. GIVE US PAYPAL! You can rely on your fairy Godreaders. Pleeeaaaaaaaaaaase? I bet $2 /1 pound each would get you the glass slippers, a manicure and an island retreat…(all we want is one (1) picture of the happy couple)…

  13. “What the hell is a Going Away Outfit?!”

    As far as I know it’s the outfit you put on after all your photos but before you leave the reception -if- you plan to change at all. I just got in the bridal car with my dress still on and changed into something at the hotel.

    From someone recently married I should probably give you the one tip I wish someone had told me – don’t mention to any of the people you’re buying wedding stuff from that it’s for a wedding. Prices go up 150% on average. Just tell them it’s for a function.

    Good luck and have fun :)!!

  14. Hi, I’ve been reading your site for a while and every entry makes me laugh. My all time favourite was the story about you and your sis and the plastic bags. And your blog has inspired me so start my own and try to make it half as entertaining as yours.

    Anyway that sounds really sad but what I am getting to is that I totally agree with Denny. I’d love to send you a small wedding present as a thankyou for the chuckles your writing gives ….

  15. Oh I know what you should do. You should spend 50 pounds on a ticket to Amsterdam and go to Alber Cyupstraat Market, where the vintage shops are UNBEATABLE. Plus you wont find any titless size 2 because the dutch eat all their cheese. Preferably between Feb 3 and 8. Don’t worry bout dinner and drinks, they are on me!!!

  16. I had four weeks to plan our wedding, the trick is, ignore the wedding bit and focus on the party afterwards. I also tried for Vintage but couldn’t find anything, especially here in Amsterdam where vintage shops are not exactly thick on the ground. As it was summer we settled for what you’d wear to a dressier BBQ. I actually found my outfit the day before the wedding so DON”T PANIC! It will all still work out! I found it best not to mention to shop assistants that you wanted something to get married in as then they always went for something blancmangy, unless of course thats what you want. Could also be fun!

    PS. I live one street away from the Albert Cuyp Market, and shop there every day. I’ve never seen a vintage shop??? There are some in the neighbourhood but not many….

  17. AHA! (Penny drops) Maybe Argy meant the Waterlooplein market? There are a lot of vintage stalls and some shops there although mainly jackets and sports, not many do dresses. Still, you never know you’re luck!

  18. Apparently I’m not allowed to refer to the s word.
    But I was going to say that January is a great time for bargains. Try Monsoon for their interesting formal wear and even if the thing you want is not on s… they are not too pricey.

  19. Congrats Shauny.

    My wedding is in 1.5weeks! As i’m from NZ (currently in Montreal) and my love is from England (currently in Bahrain), we’re marrying in Vegas then meeting friends and family for a formal dinner and ski fest in Whistler, Canada. A very simple yet exciting way of celebrating our new life. My advice is to spend on the holiday.

  20. Are you going to do the whole Gretna Green thing – the UK’s answer to Vegas for quickie weddings ?

    I’m getting married in three months and am struggling not to turn into bridezilla…

  21. I’m going it the other way around: the looooong term wedding planning, to give my folks and his folks a chance to get the money together to get here. After reading those timeline checlist things I started having anxiety dreams about getting married in a binliner with tinsel in my hair (instead of a nifty headpiece) about a year and a half before the date we’d set!

    Ignore the dumb wedding industry. They are even more into making us feel inadequate than the diet industry.

  22. Ooh I have had an epiphany!

    The wedding from “I married an Axe Murderer” major tartan insanity, piper powered McKaraoke.

    Trust me , I’m mental

  23. Hi, I’m yet another person who’s enjoyed reading your blog for a while. I really like hearing about your experiences in a different country as that’s the situation I’m in too.

    Congrats on getting married and sympathies about having to organise it all at short notice. But on the up side, at least this way you only have five weeks of worrying to do. 🙂

  24. I know how you feel about the whole wedding and money thing. It’s outragious! I looked at a lot of the books at the used bookstore and opted for “Let’s Elope.” If it were up to me, I’d meet him at the courhouse for lunch and get it over with! Good luck w/ all the plans.

  25. I’m at my fiancé’s for the weekend and am guiltily reminded that my mum wants some Wedding Decisions out of him while I’m here – he’s not very decisive by nature and it is his wedding too. At least the Mothership only has five weeks to talk about weddings, is what I say. (The fiancé is currently in blissful oblivion, reading my New Scientist and unable to see what I’m typing. I suppose I’d better disturb him, poor little crumb…)

    I told him about your wedding plans and he said he wished our timescale was like that!

  26. Dude, Shauners, you mean you didn’t start the regime the second your eyes linked across a crowded room? And you’re not having your gown hand-sewn by a conventful of nuns? Geez. The Wedding Police are gonna incarcerate you for sure.

    Because, I mean, how elaborate was MY wedding??? A dress I bought in a mall chain store…a bouquet I bought in a hobby shop…a minister we called three days before the nuptials…and a ceremony in a gazebo locally famous for being the site of the last lynching in town. In the shadow of the Civil War Fountain. Because there was a battle fought where we got married. How hot is that?

  27. i just wanted to mention that this entry was tongue-in-cheek and everything is under control (except for an outfit) and i’m not whoring for cash 😀

  28. OMG – stop making me laugh like this.. your makeup comments.. the towel.. the bridal magazines. I am working and am trying to concentrate but you sooooo make me laugh!!!

    Keep it up, I love it and can’t wait for the wedding.

  29. You might not be whoring for cash, but we’re whoring for a way of getting a present to you. Hang on, does that even make sense?

  30. Brilliant blog – you may well get my vote!
    Tell your eco-warrior to look up Ecover who make enviro-friendly fabric conditioner – and very good it is too.
    Best wishes for the Big Day!
    Molly x

  31. cheers molly! he already uses Ecover dishwashing liquid i think so surely this will be a winner. SURELY. are you comment stalking today gareth? write down that name!!!

    if anyone wonders where the last entry went i accidentally wiped it.

    and jim, if you or anyone, bless yer cotton socks, are genuinely whoring for gift details, just email me and i can give you an address. but YOU CRAZY!

    happy monday to you all!

  32. for godsake where is your giftlist. otherwise everyone will have to send you books from amazon, when we all want to send bathtowels!

  33. I planned my wedding in 3 days. We found a minister, a place to have it, my dress, rings and a suit for hubby. In a way it was nice, because I never had time to stress out or wonder if everything was perfect. By the way, I love to read your posts, you make me laugh so hard!!! ~j

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