Sunday, 27 November 2011

The small matter of....Music!

A new post in the space of a week. I'm on a bit of a roll here! Long may it continue. So what to blog about today? How about music for the wedding! For the last few months we've been musing over ideas for what to play at various stages of the day's proceedings. It seems like there will be three quite distinctive parts to the day. The ceremony, the reception and the evening bash. So we've decided that each stage will differ musically from each other. That was the easy part. Deciding what to play is proving a little more difficult.

One of the many qualities that first attracted me to my Mr R, besides his charm and good looks, was his tremendous love of classical music and how knowledgable he was about the subject.
I've loved classical music ever since I was a little girl. Mum had a small collection of classical LPs which I would play over and over. Hard to believe now, but I adored ballet as a child and had lessons from a toddler. I  would prance around our tiny sitting room to the likes of Mendelsssohn, Tchaikovsky and Mozart in my tutu and ballet shoes. As a treat I was taken to the ballet at the Bristol Hippodrome dressed in my very best maxi dress and shiny patent shoes. On one occasion I went to see the Vienna Boys Choir and fell head over heels for all of those lovely sailor suited boys.

A dream never fulfilled. To be a ballerina.
My first crush...The boys of the Vienna Boys Choir

My first ever LP was the soundtrack to Bambi. Not an easy one to prance around to, especially Pip Pip Little April Showers!  Mum's LP collection was steadily growing and my musical tastes began to widen. I started to listen to the likes of Herb Alpert, Burt Bacherach, Edith Piaf and Glen Miller. All pretty grown up stuff, but I was a normal prepubescent girlie and had my bedroom walls covered in the Donny Osmond and David Cassidy posters carefully pulled out of Jackie magazines. My friends and I would sit and swoon for hours listening to  David's Cherish LP over and over  wearing our I love David scarves.
My hero, my love. I so wanted to marry you!

The years rolled on, and my musical tastes changed.From Elton John to Blondie,. Genesis to The Bee Gees. Joni Mitchell to Leonard Cohen. I still danced, but I'd long hung up my tutu and became a disco diva, dressed in my 80's lycra, leg warmers and sporting a rather wonderful poodle perm.
 A look I'd sooner forget!

My love of classical music never diminished though. But I my collection of classical CD's never went beyond compilation discs such as The Best Ever Classical Music ...Ever! One thing I did know though was that a certain Mr Mozart could do no wrong. He was my hero in the classical world.

My hero, my love. I would have married you if I'd lived over 200 years ago!

Then I met my beloved Mr R, who opened my eyes, or rather ears, to a whole new world of classical music. He made me sit and really listen to the music. He took me to my first concert in donkeys years. Not to a big concert hall, but the rather beautiful St Georges Hall in Bristol to listen to, amongst other pieces, Dvorak's 6th symphony. I sat on the edge of my pew throughout, loving it. My breath literally taken away. It's fitting somewhat that St Georges is just behind our wedding venue and we hope to have photos taken in the grounds.
St Georges Hall. Bristol, where I discovered Dvorak.

Mr R and I have very different tastes when it comes to classical music. He is fanatical about Beethoven, whom I find boring. He thinks that Mozart churned out hit after hit and everything was very samey.We both love Brahms and Richard Strauss's Four Last Songs leaves us speechless everytime.
 But please don't think that I'm a classical music geek. Absolutely not. You'll still find me prancing around the kitchen to the latest Take That. Or swooning over Micheal Buble!

So, back to our wedding music. What have we chosen so far. For the ceremony we have decided to include our love of classical music. For my entrance we have chosen a cello version of Morriconi's Gabriel's Oboe. Chosen in memory of Mr R's dad who will be sadly missing from the day. It really is a beautiful piece. For our exit we are thinking The Wedding March from The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart....of course !
After the ceremony the music changes pace. To tie in with our vintage parisian feel to the wedding we have discovered a fantastic collection of you guessed it...vintage parisian music!
Then the party begins and it'll be time to hit the dance floor and boogie on down! Pity that I'll have to leave my lycra at home for this occasion! So what, if we decide to have one, will we choose to dance our first dance to? At the moment I'm hankering after Queen's Don't Stop Me Now....classic!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Making do.

I cannot believe that it has been almost two months since I last wrote anything on my little blog, Standards are slipping, which just won't do. So it's time to put things right, put my thinking cap on and get those fingers tap, tap. tapping on my keyboard.
So, what's happened in those two months. Well, I suppose the most exciting thing to report is the I've actually gone and bought myself a wedding dress! exciting,tell all,you may well ask. But sadly I can't for fear of my beloved taking a rare peak at my little blog and the surprise being spoilt for him on our wedding day.You will just have to be patient and wait another eight months before all is revealed.
Now you would think that I would be jumping up and down with excitement that I have bought the dress of my dreams, but in all honestly I'm not. Don't get me wrong.It really is a lovely dress.But I don't love the dress and surely I should!
 Shouldn't I be jumping up and down with excitement now that I've bought The Dress?

Ever since we decided to set a date for the wedding, the matter of The Dress has been troubling me. Here I am, on the wrong side of fifty, short, but far from petite, who would love to think outside of the box and not end up with a traditional A line strapless wedding dress. Maybe I didn't really want a wedding dress at all, but something beautiful and elegant and well.. different! I had visions of beautiful satin numbers reminiscent of the of 1930's glamour when dresses were called gowns.My dream dress would be cut on the bias with a wonderful cowl neckline dipped at the back. But to wear such a dress, I would need to grow more than a few inches and lose rather a lot of pounds, not to mention practically living in a gym to tone up all of the flabby bits!

I've lost count of how many wedding dresses I've looked at on the internet and in magazines.Every now and again I'd see one that I actually liked, but they were all no goes because they were way way out of budget.And that was part of the problem too. I needed to find a dress that was a bargain.And I mean a really good bargain. Not a designer dress that was in the sale and reduced by a couple of hundred, but a dress that itself only costed a couple of hundred at the most! I looked at dresses from shops such as Monsoon. Gorgeous dresses at great prices but on me they looked like shapeless nighties!
Was I searching for the dress that did not exist? Was I being too picky? Should I have heeded  my mother's advice and opted for a floral pastel chiffon number with shoes and handbag to match and turn into a spitting image of Hyacinth Bouquet?

Anyway, to cut a long story short.A couple of weeks ago I made the decision that I should just get on with the dress buying business because I could go on dreaming forever for my fantasy dress and in the end, end up with nothing!  I dragged my friend along to the bridal boutiques of Swindon. Or rather,she dragged me! I was adement that the dress had to have straps, be understated and definately no bling!

Dresses were tried on. Some discarded the moment I took one look in the mirror.Talk about looking like a fairy elephant!  Some lasted a little longer. I listened to my friend's advice. I trust her opinion absolutely. She would never fob me off by telling me something looks lovely when clearly I resembled a sack of potatoes in it!
Me !

One dress I tried on lasted longer than the rest. It was pretty, simple and with a lot of pulling of laces I became lump free, although any thoughts of breathing could quickly be forgotten. Even better it was in the sale and a bargain. That would make Mr R very happy indeed. So without further ado the dress was paid for and I was assured that the seamstress could cope with a few minor alterations, like chopping off copious amounts of material from here there and everywhere!
There's going to be a lot of snipping away going on with a pair of these to get my dress to fit perfectly.

So, I've now got a dress that as lovely as it is, isn't what I wanted.It's not unique or even very different from countless other dresses, but I'm resigned to it, and at the end of the day it is only a dress. I can still add my own personality to the overall effect by adding my choice of accessories. Maybe I can think out of the box when it comes to choosing them. So what's next? Of course it has to be shoes. And if you think that I am fussy when it comes to dresses.Well,you aint seen nothing yet!