OFF TO London to help Sally with wedding plans. It’s September 5 and hurtling towards us like Harry after a rabbit. I keep calm by calling to mind a friend whose daughter gave her just six weeks’ notice of her forthcoming wedding. She made the bride’s and bridesmaids’ dresses, food for 100 guests, including a three-tier cake and 200 profiteroles (with the immortal words: “to be honest, once you’ve made one profiterole you’ve made 200 haven’t you?” – she was asking the wrong person). She then installed a secondhand freezer in a neighbour’s garage near the venue, hired a van, and drove the lot to London the day before the event. My sort of woman, then.
With this shining example before us, Sally and I make several vows: to get up at five in the morning on the day, go to Covent Garden and return with armfuls of bargain flowers. Beth will then spend a happy hour winding fuschias and sweet peas round the ends of the pews, while I’ll get busy with a few glass vases and a chunk of oasis. Morag’s an engineer so could probably wire up a few bouquets, and Charlie can do the table decorations.
We vow not to spend money on an enormous cake: 120 guests equals approximately 250 cupcakes. I’ve got a little book of jazzy recipes and Ian can surely make a neat spiral stand with some of his railway wire, around which we can wind some decorative pink ribbon. Oh yes – and no elaborate desserts: we can easily knock up a few sherry trifles between us.
Which is how we end up at Angel Florists in Islington. “So that’s three pedestals, four bouquets, six buttonholes and 12 table decorations, please” we tell the nice lady who’s obviously spent a large part of her life with brides and their mothers telling her “nothing too elaborate you understand. Just simple and tasteful” (ie we haven’t any money). Then onto the internet to look for cake makers, and a quick thumb through the M&S desserts catalogue, drooling over the banoffi pie and strawberry cheesecakes.
Moral of the story: Know your limitations.
The pics show views of Chapel Market and the Bowlers where the evening reception will be held. Nobody, but nobody, has only one wedding reception. When did that happen?