Ok, I'll admit that I was a bit piqued when Kate and Wills announced their engagement and intention to marry in the same year as my wedding. I was irritated that despite having been engaged first, and already planning our wedding, they'd be able to have one on a bigger scale, and more quickly. Then I was incensed when the press started on about their wedding being responsible for every other wedding that came after it. Errm no. It's just that we less rich and privileged couples need time to save for the wedding and even then we have to make concessions.
And these concessions hurt. I didn't expect that! I expected the odd twinge of jealousy, but not the way that realising that you just can't afford something you've always dreamed of hits you like a train.
That aside, I still think we're having more fun than the famous wedding couple. OK, they wont be compromising on the material side of things, but who's to say this is what they want. I saw an interview with Prince Harry on the news in which they asked about the wedding. He looked really restless like he just wanted to go and shoot at stuff. Harry is my favourite Royal just because he refuses to act as anything other than he is - a young guy. Anyway, in the interview he said something along the lines that they would have prefered a small, quiet wedding but they are who they are. So who's to say Kate isn't quietly seething because she doesn't want all the celebs there?
Not having a big budget can make wedding planning challenging but it's a lot of fun. Kate is missing out on the joy of bargain hunting for her wedding. I'm still riding high on getting a pair of shoes that cost £80 in the shop, brand new off ebay for £13. Turns out they're the perfect height for my dress and everytime I see them, I grin. Likewise, I managed to get 20% off the dresses for my flowergirls, and my veil cost a quarter of the amount the bridal shop were charging.
With so many suppliers lined up to provide services for the wedding, they'll miss out on finding out just how talented family and friends are and how far they're willing to go to help. We've got aunts taking care of the flowers, a friend designing the invitations, my bridesmaid is doing my makeup, and my future husband's friend's wife will be doing my nails. I've been knocked off my feet by how much people we care about have been willing to help, from my parents paying for my dress and cars "No daughter of mine will be wearing a dress that someone's had sex in", to my in-laws paying for our honeymoon. With a limited budget, people taking the time and paying the money out to come and join us on our big day also means so much, be it the family members coming from a city 50 miles away, or the friends announcing their intention to fly over from Australia as soon as we announced our engagement.
The ring too. My ring may not have cost the earth. It might not be from a deceased family member, but it's mine. I didn't pick it, husband to be did. He actually wanted to propose 6 months earlier but had to wait for his bonus (no, he's not a banker) to be able to afford it. Then he went and carefully chose something I'd like. He knew enough to know that I wouldn't want a solitaire diamond because most people have those. He found out my ring size and it fit perfectly and it meant so much that he'd done all that work.
On the day of the wedding, poor Kate is going to be subject to such intense scrutiny. What's she wearing? What does her hair look like? Does she cry? She'll get the inevitable Princess Diana comparisions which is dumb because she's not her, it's a different day, a different age, and hopefully Prince William isn't marrying her wishing she were someone else. If there's any hint of back fat, bingo wings, anything less than perfect she'll be slagged off in all the papers. It's expected that I wont look perfect and any bitchy comments will be made out of earshot and I'll never know. Kate will have constant reminders in every newspaper for weeks, months and years.
At our wedding, I'll be spending a lot of time in the receiving line (at the insistence of my future husband and my mother). I'm not looking forward to that but it's less than 80 guests. With thousands of guests Kate and Wills will be standing there for hours, their faces sore from smiling, desperate for a drink. They'll never manage to get round everyone, whereas I'll be able to freely mingle and dance with the majority of my guests.
Ahh guests. Another place where although not perfect, at least I wont have to worry about being upstaged. There will be nobody famous at my wedding. My prettiest friend is not a bridesmaid (not that I've picked munters, I just went for family members). Nobody will be wearing an outfit that cost more than mine. I hope nobody else will show up in white or ivory.
So, while our wedding might still be a fair way away and on a budget, it's ours. Our music, our cake choice, our dress choice, our guest list, our families joining into one extened alliance. Ohh what a scary thought.
Days to the wedding: 149
Level of mentalness: Low (apart from thinking my wedding is better!)