Friday, 22 October 2010

Readers, I Married Him

Yes, I did. And it was the most wonderful, exhilarating, romantic, beautiful, moving, exciting, emotional and special day of Pete's life.

JF fulfilled his bridesman duties spectacularly well.

My Dad could barely contain how overwhelmed he was at seeing his precious daughter all grown up.

This guy turned up in fancy dress, which was a bit weird.

I did a joke during my wedding vows which I'm pretty sure drove Pete or the registrar or both close to cancelling the whole thing.

There was a lot of this sort of bollocks.

We really did have the reception in a stately home on a council estate. We kept it real, obviously.

At one point, everyone was wearing aviators. Yeah, the Top Gun theme was playing.

Things started to get rowdy then but we managed to calm them down before they got through the first verse of "Tomorrow Belongs to Me".

The best man's speech was even more risque than we could have hoped for.

Commemorative tea towels now available for £7.99, along with plates in the shape of my face.

Our first dance was the most romantic moment of my life.

Then JF and Dr G started a disco inferno.

At the after party, Pete tried to explain that he liked it so much he had put a ring on it. Rupert may have misconstrued this.

At least I managed to maintain an air of bridal elegance and natural radiance throughout the proceedings.

There are no photos of the after-after party. I wonder if the two strangers who followed us home from the after party took any?

So that was My Special F***ing Day. It really was brilliant. I loved all of it, even the moments when I was filled with sheer blind terror at the reality of making a legally binding commitment in front of nearly everyone I have ever loved who isn't dead. Thank you so much to everyone who helped to make it so very, very f***ing special.

And that's it for this blog. Thank you to everyone who read the site and said kind things about it. It's dedicated to Pete, with love.

And they all lived happily ever after.*

* Except for when they went to Ikea three weeks later and had a row about shelves.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Desperately Seeking Eric

Subject: Re: Szmanda

From: ellie@*********.net

Date: 23/07/10

Dear Eric Szmanda's agent,

Despite sending several emails, I still have not heard from you re: Eric Szmanda attending my wedding on his birthday.

I would appreciate a reply. If Eric Szmanda will not be joining us, I will offer his invitation to someone on the waiting list. I know Grandma
would love to be a part of the big day after all.

Obviously I'd rather have Eric Szmanda there, though. The more interviews I read with him, the more I just feel there are so many parallels between the story of mine and Pete's love and the life and work of Eric Szmanda.

For example, take Eric Szmanda's explanation of his long-term commitment to CSI: Las Vegas: "My character's gradual evolution from lab tech to CSI level three has kept me interested and challenged on a creative level." He could be talking about us.

Plus, I am sure any wedding breakfast speech he delivered would be full of wise words and piercing insight.
After all, who could disagree with the statement: "If anybody found a five year-old boy stuffed in a tupperware box, they'd be taken aback."

There are just 24 hours to go now but that's plenty of time to fly from LA to Lewisham. Accommodation shouldn't be a problem - I just checked and the Novotel still has Superior rooms available. Although a star of Eric Szmanda's stature would probably be more comfortable in one of the Executive ro
oms (hair dryers and Nespresso).

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,


Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Always the Bridesman

Jon F has fully thrown himself into the role of bridesman. On the day, he's going to take care of the more manly duties while the bridesmaids and I get ready. As Jon puts it, "You'll all be worrying about blusher and garters and whether people can see your hip flasks through flimsy satin."

He's also going to get a guestbook for us ("John Lewis do a nice unicorn and sealskin blend") and is hunting down an oyster-coloured silk iPhone pouch.

But most of all, Jon F has been brilliant at helping me to remember I am a strong independent woman. For example, I am not sure whether to wear flowers in my hair. When I have attempted this look before it has been met with scathing disdain by Pete.

However, Jon F has some wise words. "Don't let him oppress you at this early stage," he writes. "If you want to wear flowers, wear f***ing flowers. It's your big day, not his. Or, I can make you a tiara tonight."

At least the colour scheme for the evening buffet is sorted. When I explained my stylistic vision for it to Pete, I asked if he minded that some people might think it is "a bit camp".

"No," he said. "I have already accepted that the only way this wedding could be any gayer would be if it were a civil partnership."

Can't wait to see Jon F tomorrow. He's going to join me and the bridesmaids at the nail bar to put the "man" in "manicure".

"I've not cut my nails for a week now, to give them more scope," he writes. "Thinking either palm trees or "chastity" in arabic."

Meanwhile, Minkley has run his wedding outfit by me for approval:

Two thumbs up!

Three More Poor Quality Sleeps

Just a few days to go now. How exciting! So exciting that I feel like jumping up and down, and waving my hands in the air, and spitting the little bit of sick that comes up at passers by.

I had several nightmares last night. In one, I dreamt that it was my wedding day and nothing was ready and it was a total fiasco. But it was all right, because then all my friends revealed they had played a hilarious practical joke on me, and the wedding wasn't for another four days!

In another, I dreamt that it was my wedding day and nothing was ready and it was a total fiasco. But it was all right, because then I woke up and realised it was just a dream, and the wedding wasn't for another four days! But then I realised the wedding is in another four days, and nothing is ready and it is a total fiasco!

I'm sure it will be fine. Despite the fact we haven't bought all the booze yet. Or anything to drink it out of. Or got enough high chairs. And the coach company's gone bust.

We haven't written our vows yet, either. Following endless arguments about whether to use quotes from Happy Gilmore or the lyrics to Angry Anderson's Suddenly, I have come up with a compromise - multiple choice vows.

For example:

"Do you promise to:

a) Love me forever and ever, till death do us part
b) Love me for about four years, then have an affair with someone at work
c) Love me for as long as it takes for you to realise you're gay"

We might just go with the wording supplied by Lewisham Council.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Take a Vow

So then. Two weeks.


"You must have everything sorted out now then," says everyone.

"Oh yes, everything's sorted out," I say, while a montage flashes through my head of the disco lights and the security deposit and the extra buttonholes and the beer kegs and the seating plan and the mini-cabs and the wine glasses and all the other things we haven't sorted out.

Then there are the vows.

Several months ago, sitting in a brightly lit room in Lewisham registry office, the idea of writing our own vows seemed bold and romantic. Now it just seems difficult and stupid.

I turned to our friends for inspiration. Jon F suggested I begin with, "I made it through the wilderness; somehow I made it through," to which Pete could respond, "Didn't know how lost I was until I found you."

Barnes came up with the idea of me saying the following to Pete while he stands with his back to me, arms folded: "Salt and Pepa's hit, and we're in effect. Want you to push it, babe. Coolin' by day, then at night working up a sweat. Come on girls, let's show the guys that we know how to become number one in a hot body show. Now push it."

Then, suggested Barnes, Pete could jump round to face me and I could jump round so my back was turned to him, with my arms crossed, "perhaps nodding to the beat". Pete would pledge his undying love and commitment to me by reciting, "Yo, yo, yo, yo, baby-pop, yeah, you come here, gimme a kiss. Better make it fast or else I'm gonna get pissed. Can't you hear the music's pumpin' hard like I wish you would? Now push it."

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

Friday, 9 July 2010

Sailor Jerrymandering

It's over.

Despite a valiant and inspired last-ditch attempt to secure sponsorship by Cat, the man from Sailor Jerry, he say...

From: Sailor Jerry PR Dept
Subject: Sailor Jerry - National Media Coverage

Hi Cat,

We really appreciate your email, thanks for getting in touch about this opportunity.

I'm not sure that this is quite right for Sailor Jerry, however we wish Ellie and Pete the best of luck for the future.

Best wishes

Sailor Jerry

I can't believe it. SEL-FISH. After all the free publicity Sailor Jerry has had on this blog, not to mention in Forest Hill Wetherspoon's when I stand up at 11.24pm on Friday nights and shout "Let's all have a Sailor Jerry's!" and everyone cheers, except for the old man in the coat with sick down the front who sits in the back and thinks it's still the war.

I'm just going to have to find an alternative.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Going for a Song

Less than TWO MONTHS TO GO! We have finished sorting everything out now though, apart from the transport and the drink and the flowers and the tie and the honeymoon and the invites and the vows and the shoes and the legal documentation.

Oh, and the music! We're asking our guests to come up with suggestions. Here are some helpful ideas I received from Dan K.

"Regarding the wedding playlist, perhaps you might like to consider the following.

1. Before the ceremony, when guests are assembling in the conservatory...

The Geto Boys - Mind of a Lunatic, Trigger Happy N***a, Let a Ho be a Ho
The Smiths - Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now
Kanye West - Gold Digger
Pet Shop Boys - What Have I Done To Derserve This?
Beautiful South - Don't Marry Her, **** Me

2. During Ellie's stroll down the aisle...

Iron Maiden - Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter
The Ramones - The KKK Took My Baby Away
Morrissey - You're The One For Me, Fatty

3. While the books are being signed, and we all stand around waiting for the champagne...

Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Blind Hatred Finds a Tit
Everclear - So Much For The Afterglow
Futureshock - Why, Why, Why?

4. Your first dance...

Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart
Khia - My Back, My Neck, Lick It
50 Cent - P.I.M.P
Timbaland feat. Nelly Furtado - Maneater
Sir Mix-A-Lot - Baby Got Back
DJ PK - Smack Her Wit A Dick

5. As the happy couple head off into the night...

The Doors - The End"

Thanks, Dan! And thanks also to Dan W, who introduced me to the Greatest Song Ever Recorded. I think we've found our wedding band!

Monday, 1 March 2010

Love See No Colour Scheme

Pete and I attended our first (and undoubtedly last) wedding show at the weekend. We decided to go after a leaflet dropped through our door advertising the Wedding Fayre at Kingswood House, a stately home set in acres of glorious South East London housing estate. We wouldn't normally have been interested but the presence of the letter Y in the word Fayre alone suggested we just had to attend.

It was as spectacular and sophisticated an event as you would expect a Wedding Fayre in South East London to be. Highlights included swans made from real feathers and bad papier mache, chocolate stilettos, more pink fairylights than have ever previously co-existed in one place and a Nat King Cole tribute act called Colin.

However, my attention was drawn to a stall in the corner where two ladies sat surrounded by balloons. We wandered over and they showed us a photo album of the different balloon decorations you can have for your wedding, of which there are many thousands.

"Or how about this?" said one of the ladies, pulling out a huge, silver, heart-shaped balloon. "You can have your names and the date of your wedding printed on it, underneath where it says 'Our Special Day'."

"I like it," I said. "But can you change the wording to 'My Special Day'?"

The lady looked a bit confused, so I didn't bother asking if there was room to insert an extra word between 'Special' and 'Day'.

"What's the colour scheme for your wedding?" said the other lady.

Pete and I looked at each other blankly. "Umm... I'm not sure we really have one."

The air became suddenly still. The balloon ladies stared at us, wide-eyed and open-mouthed, as if they were Victorian spinsters and we had just told them our hobbies were gin and buggery.

"But... When did you say you are getting married?" one of them managed to stutter.

"July. The 24th. Not very long I know. Ha ha."

"And... You haven't decided on a colour scheme?"

"Um, no. But, you know, five months is long enough to decide what colour the balloons should be, isn't it, ha ha. Ha?"

Apparently not.

It sounds like we need to decide on a colour scheme pretty sharpish. Why not vote in this week's poll to help us decide?

The Name Game

It's been a difficult week. I almost called the wedding off after my faith in love was shaken by the news of Cheryl and Ashley Cole's marriage breakdown. But as Cheryl herself would say, you've got to Fight Fight Fight Fight Fight for this Love. I'll just have to hope Pete doesn't turn out to be a serially adulterous pornographic text messaging ratbag who's probably gay anyway. Fingers crossed!

I expect Cheryl Cole will be changing her name (after all it's already been unofficially changed to Brave Cheryl Cole, although I wish the papers would go a bit more old school and opt for Cuckolded Cheryl Cole). This got me thinking - what am I going to do about my surname after I am married??

Obviously my first instinct is to keep my name. It's against all my feminist principles to adopt Pete's, thereby implicitly accepting the intrinsic patriarchal oppression of the marriage construct, and also there would be loads of forms to fill out. I did suggest that Pete make a small gesture towards redressing centuries of imbalance by taking my name, but he says he just doesn't "feel" like an Ellie.

I'm not going double-barrelled because it would just feel like a lie, so I have come up with a "third way" and invented an entirely new surname for us both to adopt. It's taken a while, but I think I've settled on the perfect solution, a name which reflects both our personalities but which is also sophisticated and elegant enough for professional use: DANGERFIRE.

I haven't decided whether we should always insist on full capitalisation, but in any case Mr and Mrs Dangerfire certainly has a ring to it. Plus it goes perfectly with our chosen names for our children (Gold, Snake or Fist for a boy; Diamond, Beyonce or Lady Diana Spencer for a girl).

So at least something good has come out of Cheryl and Ashley's split. I hope that comes as some relief.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Vera Wan*, more like

I have a wedding dress! Or at least, I have chosen a wedding dress. Turns out you can't just walk into a shop and buy one, as with normal dresses. You must choose one first and then they make it for you. I like to think of "they" as a team of happy singing mice, like the ones in Cinderella.

However, I think we all know the likely reality.

Anyway, the important thing is I have a wedding dress. And it's not horrible, despite the best efforts of the lady in the wedding dress shop in Sydenham. Yes, Sydenham. "I am no snob," I said to myself. "The wedding dress shop in Sydenham is sure to be good enough for me. Why should it be any different to other wedding dress shops just because it is in South East London?" Because it is in South East London, I should have answered myself.

The lady in the wedding dress shop was very nice, and I cannot fault her in terms of cheerful demeanour. However, I think my vision of my wedding dress (stylish, sophisticated, understated yet impactful) clashed with hers (what would happen if the Emmanuels, Jackie Onassis and Anne Summers got drunk near a sewing machine).

The lady brought me dress after dress, and forced me to try them on even when I said things like, "Hmm, I'm just not sure about the giant crystal bow, especially what with all the lilac netting." I had to stand on a podium in the middle of the shop so Alice and my Mum could look at me and try not to cry. Mainly with laughter.

At one point I agreed to try on a necklace. The lady came back with a tiara, which she jammed onto my head as though experimenting with a glamorous new method of trepanning. I looked at myself in the mirror, on the podium, and gave a little wave. I can't think what it all reminded me of.

"I think I ought to go away and have a think about things," I told the lady.

"Just so you know, you can buy this sample dress if you like," she said. "It's much cheaper. Only £450."

"Um," said Alice, "I'm not sure it quite fits."

"Well," said the lady, jamming two fingers into the bodice and halfway through my spine, "She'll just have to lose weight, won't she?"

We made our excuses and left.

So I didn't end up buying my wedding dress in Sydenham. I bought it somewhere else, but I'm not going to reveal where or what it's like in case Pete is reading this. Here's a hint, though; imagine what this dress might look like on the other side of the pond...

Now I just have two more dresses to find!

Chasing Eric

Sorry it's been so long since my last update. I've just been so busy. It's a real struggle trying to fit work in around my wedding commitments, let alone this blog!

I still haven't heard back from Sailor Jerry, OK!, Hello or Eric Szmanda. I am very disappointed. At this rate I am going to have to lower my expectations and go for Aftershock, Take A Break and Trevor Eve instead.

I'm not ready to give up yet though, so I've sent another email to Eric Szmanda's agent. Fingers crossed!

Subject: Re: Szmanda

From: ellie@*********.net
Date: 18/02/10

Hello again,

I have still not received a reply from you re: Eric Szmanda attending my wedding on his birthday. Perhaps Eric Szmanda needs further incentive before he is willing to commit?

If so, how about we promise him a m
ore significant role in the wedding? The groom has technically chosen a best man but I'm sure he would be willing to step down - after all, this is Eric Szmanda we are talking about!

Alternatively we are willing to offer Eric Szmanda a fee for attending, providing he reprises his role as Level 3 CSI Greg Sanders. I quite like the idea of him "dusting for prints" during the ceremony, taking DNA samples from guests, using the little torch and orange sunglasses to check for blood and semen etc. Could be quite fun I think?

Anyway, must press on - there's so much to organise before the big day that frankly right now, Eric Szmanda is the least of my worries!

Best regards,


Thursday, 14 January 2010

Another task ticked off the To Do list

Subject: Bidding war
From: ellie@*********.net
Date: 14/01/10

Dear Hello / OK magazine (delete as applicable),

I am getting married on Saturday
24th July. Not long I know, so I would like to open the bidding war for the photos. Please can you advise re: first steps to getting this kicked off?

Yours sincerely,


Poetry Corner

Brammers informs me he is working on a special celebratory poem to mark the occasion of my wedding. This is great news. For some time now I have considered appointing a biographical poet laureate to cover significant events in my life. With his extensive specialist knowledge of videogames journalism and the WWE (1995 - 1997), Brammers could be the ideal candidate.

He writes: "Here is the first draft of the celebratory poem. Please bear in mind that I have struggled to find the right poetic "vehicle" to express the many emotions I am simultaneously feeling whenever I think about your wedding.


Roses are red
Violets are blue
Ellie's getting married
It's her special f***ing day

"To give you an idea of how I am approaching this, I have also included a few aspirational images from my "mood wall" that have assisted in the creative process."

He's definitely in the running for the post.

Friday, 8 January 2010

A new idea

Subject: Wedding sponsorship

From: ellie@*********.net

Date: 08/01/10 13:28

To: Sailor Jerry contact form

Dear makers of Sailor Jerry,

I am a big fan of your delicious rum. I particularly enjoy the subtle hint of vanilla, the delicate undertone of lime and the way it tastes like Dr Pepper with four extra spoons of sugar in. Well done everyone.

Following my extensive research on wikipedia, I understand Sailor Jerry is based on recipes handed down by ocean-going sailors who had access to the finest spices from the furthest corners of Asia and the Far East. I like to reflect on this and imagine their exotic adventures while enjoying some Sailor Jerry down at my local Wetherspoons in Forest Hill, South East London.

Which is where I was last night, in fact, drinking Sailor Jerry with my fiance and friends while discussing plans for our forthcoming wedding. That's when we came up with the idea.

We are holding our wedding reception in an unlicenced venue and are supplying all the alcohol ourselves. As Sailor Jerry is our favourite drink, and hugely popular with all our friends (except Oli, but he's half Swiss), we would love to offer it to our guests.

Unfortunately, our budget for the wedding is extremely low. I know Sailor Jerry is only £1.50 in Wetherspoons (with mixer) but there will be over 100 people at the wedding, so I calculate a potential Sailor Jerry's bill of over £5000. Not to mention the transport costs involved with transferring all those glasses from the Wetherspoons to the reception (I did ask if we could have the reception there but apparently they don't allow dry ice).

So... What if Sailor Jerry was to sponsor our wedding? In exchange for some of your delicious elixir we'd be happy to let you decorate the venue with Sailor Jerry merchandise - beer mats, t-shirts, life-size inflatable models of Sailor Jerry himself etc. We could print a tagline of your choice and URL on the wedding invites, and we'd be sure to say a big thanks to Sailor Jerry in all the wedding speeches (there are likely to be at least 14). There are plenty of other options we could discuss e.g. dressing the ushers up as sailors, bridesmaids as dockside wenches, tattoos etc. What do you think?

Best regards, and thanks again for making such a lovely drink,


PS I don't know whether this helps, but CSI: Las Vegas star Eric Szmanda will be at the wedding (TBC).

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

You say tomato, I say foie gras filo parcels with a pomegranate jus

Being engaged has taken my relationship with Pete to a new level. Never have we been so together and connected. Since the process of planning the wedding began we have felt inextricably bound, as though strapped to a runaway rollercoaster that screams relentlessly and inevitably through a terrifying endless void, having paid £15,000,000 to get into the theme park.

That's not to say there hasn't been the odd ruction, of course. Here are a few of the things we have argued about so far: Food. Drink. Vows. Music. Transport. Whether wearing a black suit, white shirt and thin black tie is indeed "cool", or in fact "Far too nineties. Who am I marrying, Mr f***ing Orange?"

Whether 36 sombreros is too many or not enough. Whether there should be a raffle. Whether we should buy a reasonable amount of alcohol or far too much, with a view to there being leftovers for after the wedding (thanks to Mr Miller for providing the argument-winning line, "It's not like you're buying bloody hummus.").

Whether the statement "I know this guy who's going to do the bar / flowers / photographs / DJing / food" should be taken literally, or whether the listener should psychically interpret it to actually mean, "I know this guy who once told me, in a pub, in 2006, while drunk, that his sister's workmate's cousin once worked in a bar / did work experience at a florists / has quite a good digital camera / knows how to work iTunes / tried to set up a catering business but failed."

Still. Dr Phil says, "If approached properly, arguing can actually help the relationship by instilling the sense of peace and trust that comes from knowing you can release feelings without being abandoned or humiliated," as I reminded Pete after I locked him out of the flat in his Speedos.

A light bulb moment

Saw Barnes at the weekend. He's given me the most fantastic idea.

Two words: "Dry ice."


Best man or Gok Wan?

Pete's best man, referred to here as Kitchon for obvious legal reasons, has been in touch. Clearly he has been reading this blog, for he writes: "I would like to put your mind at ease. There will be no service station shoes at YOUR wedding. I will work with you to ensure that Peter makes the right 'style choices'." Phew.

Kitchon continues, "I would like to suggest our partnership in thi
s project remains secretive, since our man will be easily spooked if he suspects he is being told what to wear. The objective here is make Peter think it was he who made decisions, when in reality he is following YOUR stylistic vision. Please send me information on your wedding themes, colour wheels, tone & texture books etc."

Already, Kitchon has come up with some excellent ideas for the mood board:

'Some day my prince will come...'

"This is more traditional a look," he writes. "Big in Denmark I'm told. Capes are a lot of fun. Obviously we'd change the feather to compliment the signature colours of your bridal gown and a small boy could be rented for a negligible cost."

'July the 24th be with you'

"This is a timeless look and I love the spats - nice touch. However, it would require a bit of updating. Four button jackets are a bit 1995, so we'd change down to a two button jacket."

'Save a horse, ride a cowboy'

"A hot look. However, we'd have to get Pete on the Maximuscle quick sharp. Barnes and myself are ready to go."

I love them all! But which look will Pete feel most comfortable in? Please vote in this week's poll to help me decide...