Friday, 19 March 2010

I Knew It Was A Mistake And Some Reminiscences

Yesterday, when I was on the bus travelling both to and from my hospital appointment, I sat squinting with the sun shining in my eyes. So last night I changed my glasses from the ones with ordinary lenses to the ones that have photochromatic lenses. Because I can't see without my glasses it makes sense to have a pair with these relatively expensive lenses so that I don't need to wear sunglasses. I shouldn't have bothered because today has been very grey; the sky completely covered in cloud and this afternoon a significant amount of rain. I hope that my swapping glasses hasn't put the mockers on the weather for too long.

I've been out most of today; this morning I had to go to the Post Office to post There and Back's birthday card and birthday present, and this afternoon I met up with Lily for a chat and a cup of tea or two. There was a fair bit to chat about because we haven't seen each other since I was in hospital and she kindly visited me a couple of times. A lot of the conversation was about her recent placement at an outlying hospital and how it has allowed her to cross off another specialty from what she might do once she is qualified. We also chatted about her wedding plans and how things were starting to come together.

It reminded me of the planning of my own wedding nearly 34 years ago. The thing that amazes me most of all about what has changed in the intervening years is the sheer cost of everything these days. Shortly after my Mum died, Dad and I were sorting through a lot of her things and amongst the papers that she had tucked away in the desk unit was the bill for my wedding reception. Dad only had to pay a nominal sum for the venue (I think it was £10) and we had decided to have a buffet because we wanted to be able to spend as much time as possible chatting with our guests before leaving to catch the train for our honeymoon. The buffet, which I remember as being pretty sumptuous, including things like smoked salmon, asparagus and prawns which were definitely items in the luxury category then, and the champagne for the toasts came in at £4.50 a head for something like 100 guests. The waitresses who spent the afternoon plying the guests with food offered their time for nothing (although I know that Dad did pay them) as many of them had known my Dad for many years and had known me since I was a toddler.

My wedding dress was made by Mum and cost the huge sum of £15, and that included the cost of the pattern, while my headdress and veil cost me £30. My husband had a three-piece made-to-measure suit from a bespoke tailors and that cost something in the region of £45 (a bit of a luxury but it lasted for years), Our wedding cake, which was three tiers and heart-shaped was made by a lady who used to make wedding cakes for Harrods (we found her through a friend of a friend) and cost me £30 including the hire of a heart-shaped cake stand and knife with which to cut the cake.

Our honeymoon was at the Castle Hotel in Taunton (it had a bridal suite with a four-poster bed) and cost us approximately £300, which was for 10 days full board, and included the cost of extras such as drinks before dinner, wine with our meals and the occasional afternoon teas with dainty little sandwiches and scrumptious cream cakes. I think that our wedding car (a white Rolls Royce once owned by Rod Stewart), the photographer and our wedding album, and flowers came to less than £100.

In comparison with the price of weddings today, ours was cheap. But, and it is a big but, although it cost a lot less than today's weddings, it was a very special day which we all remembered as being both beautiful and very special.

1 comment:

Achelois said...

That made beautiful reading and thank you for sharing such a special day.