Yes, we have the certificate to prove it. We have officially passed the course. Admittedly the FMA got an ‘A’ and I got a ‘C+ could do better if he didn’t spend his time making gags’ but I imagine that’s not a surprise to anyone.
If you don’t know, if one wishes to get married in the/a Catholic church then one must do a course with Marriage Care. Sounds oppressive, right? Sounds like a hurdle to go through and a hoop to get over? (or similar) Well, we were surprised to find it a lot more fun than that. Basically it’s a relationship advisory session – with a focus on commitment, conflict resolution and communication – with 10 other couples – with two session leaders who were the wry, witty, realist and humane Ingrid and the mildly distractingly attractive 30sthg lawyer Shellane. There was lots of chat and no role playing. Or praying. Or group hugs. Thank you Ingrid and Shellane, it was well worth while. But get the heating fixed.
Oh, and to all the other couples who are pulling their hair out because the ribbon from the bridesmaids dresses doesn’t match the ribbon on the stationary … Ffs, get a grip.
In other news…
Gifts: We’ve gone vouchers from John Lewis, good booze from Highbury Vintners or charitable donation to my mum and dad’s charity ‘Kimberley Kids’ which supports township kids in South Africa. More info on the Wedding Info page.
Flowers: sorted. Venue, RIBA: sorted.
Dress code: I’m delighted to hear that a number of guys are joining me in morning dress. The more the merrier – come on gentlemen, it’ll be cool. Ladies, glamour is good. Kids, fancy dress is good. Actually, fancy dress gets big points for anyone who is brave enough.
Invites: We’ve been gathering address details and getting stuff sorted. Most people who need to have the day free know by now … and the formal confirmation of that will be with you next week.
When I was a much younger man, I got married. A variety of circumstances and choices meant that I invited less than half of my extended family, *and* chose not to invite any children. Everything’s easier with hindsight, isn’t it?
So, this time the invitation list is going the other way.
Family – My parents have been good enough to pull together the extended family list, *with* all the kids invited. And when you’re 38 your cousins have a lot more kids than they did 15 years earlier. Most of them I’ve hardly ever met but BDMs (as the newspaper guys call them) are the significant points where families get a good excuse to come together.
Friends - Of course, the other thing about being 38 is that you have a lot of good friends you’ve built up over the years. What with the entire Ayers/Curran extended family and the Clough clan there’s a pressure on numbers. We did think of hiring the O2 centre, but thought that we’d just have to draw a line somewhere. So we’ll be welcoming everyone we can for a good knees-up and obviously, if you don’t get an invite, then it just means we don’t like you enough.
Formal invitations – will be coming out in a couple of weeks.
Catching up – Let’s be honest, the day I’m getting married isn’t the best time for having any kind of decent conversation with all the people I haven’t seen for a year, two.. five or, in some cases people that I’ve hardly ever met. So I shall be taking the regal approach – introducing the FMA and looking forward to talking properly another time. Forgive me (us) if we don’t get much time to catch up.
In the meantime, this week has been one for another kind of list:
Gift List – If you feel that you’d like to give us a gift, that’s lovely and you’ll find all the details on the Wedding Info page (also on the tab at the top of this page). If you think we’re too old to be getting gifts, or you want to give it to your favourite charity, then that’s wonderful too.
We’ve already got two houses worth of stuff to fit into one and you know what I’m like about trying not to buy loads of new things, recycling etc etc … so at the moment we’ve got a few larger items from John Lewis in mind (the HD projector is the best idea yet) to which you could make a voucher contribution if you wished. The other list we’ve set up is for Highbury Vintners (that way we’ve got an excuse to open some good stuff when you come and visit). Of course, the FMA would love it if you bought a lifetime supply of golf stuff for me too. Titleist pro v1s, since you ask.
And finally, as this has been such a dry update. Here’s something from Dara O’Briain to lighten the mood:
Week 2 concluded – and just returned from celebrating with the wider Clough clan in Oxfordshire.
Engagement present-giving is, it’s claimed, a Scottish thing and so we now benefit from the addition to our 2 households of some lovely gifts. No idea where any of it’s going to go once we combine both sets of everything… there may be a radical sorting of stuff and a bumper charity sale to be had.
Plans have been talked about – but no specifics on place or time. Only a few things are certain: a wedding ceremony, a massive party, karaoke (likely to be a first song not a first dance – start thinking of your tune now) and a cake table for everyone/anyone to bring their best work for general consumption. And death. And taxes. Oh, and we’ll toss a coin to see whose cake we cut for the pictures.