Thursday, 3 January 2013

Toasting the Bride and Groom to be... With What?

Hello and welcome to my first post in a new blog.

I’ll begin in the manner of Lovecraft/Poe by mentioning that I think I may be going mad and then promptly going into denial about it. You’re the mad one, not me.

I just happen to be getting married. Again.

But first, why the blog and why A Frugal Wench? Well, I did have another blog over on Live Journal for my outpourings, but Live Journal is currently working like an absolute dream – by which I mean an absolute dream like a successful Lib Dem election manifesto promise.

My blog covered a number of things that interested me: science fiction conventions, comedy, books, poetry, performing, my dad nearly dying in a flash flood but being more put out that his sandwiches had got wet…  loads of things. Lately though, I’d been erring towards topics of money-saving and frugaldom quite a bit. I just failed a ‘no supermarket shopping for a year’ challenge at the 9 month hurdle. So that’s why ‘frugal’.

‘Wench’ is a Middle English word for girl that is now used archaically by a lot of people in a slightly derogatory way. Wench is a word that has always made me bristle, but then I used to hear it quite a lot growing up because I’m from the Black Country where it is still in common parlance, especially among the working classes. As a teen, I may have used to tell my family to, ‘Shut up, that’s sexist’, but I think I may have actually meant that such dialectical speak might draw undue attention to our underprivileged origins. Although we’d be mostly sitting in a working men’s club listening to the Jive Bunny Remix, so I’m not sure changing our language would have altered perceptions much.

But now I live in Northampton where I have a smashing life and some purple-tinted specs to look back at the Black Country with. It’s not rosy, but hey, the place was not so bad really. They have a better bus service at least. That said, I love Northampton – it’s such a fascinating place to live, and there are so many creative, interesting and kind people around, inspired by its pretty buildings, its industrial heritage and the beautiful countryside surrounding.

I lived by myself in the Black Country for a while which is when I first got interested in downsizing and frugaldom. I loved my little house and managed my small salary well, managing to travel to France on holiday with my family, go to conventions all over the UK and fund my MA in English. But I fell in love and moved to Northampton 4 years ago and since then life has just got busier and busier. And when time goes out the window, so do all your good intentions.

Last year, my OH and I both realised our lives were racing away, we’d taken our eye off the boil and we had to take control. We’ve had some success: I managed to have enough put by to cope when the boiler broke, and N tackled his health and fitness and managed to lose 3 stone before Christmas (sexy!). But the wedding… oh…

We managed to book our ideal venue, but for 3 months earlier than we were expecting. We have eighteen weeks and 2 days to get everything done and paid for. We want this to be a celebration of us and don’t want to skimp, but fair to say money is a worry and it’s mainly worrying me. So, this will not be a £200 wedding like I read of on other people’s frugal wedding blogs, but that said I don’t want us to be shackled to wedding debt and miserable for years to come. Champagne wedding on a lemonade budget? Don’t make the mistake of thinking lemonade will do. Every time I mention something that even whiffs of lemons, the atmosphere turns very bitter indeed (by the way, just in case you hadn’t got it, the lemons are metaphorical. But not in a U2 –‘look we spent loads of money on a giant lemon to walk out on stage from’ way. Hopefully).

But anyway, I invite you to accompany me on this journey, share in my quest to save the pennies while still having fun and turning myself from a frumpy, dumpy Mrs Pepperpot to a stunning bride. Oh – and I have a sort of look I’m aiming for.

This is Romola Garai in Crimson Petal and the White. I think she’s great. We’re having a bit of a Victoriana/Steampunk theme for the wedding so yes, in case you didn’t know what the book and her character, Sugar, were about, the look I’m going for is ‘Victorian whore’. Of sorts…

And I’ll be looking for lots of tips and ideas, and maybe some help in creating some nice surprises for my husband to be.

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