After the emotional excitement of 'we're engaged', the last month has been all about practicalities. Where, when, who, how? It's time to get down to specifics.
First up: where? As a Scot, who was born in London, grew up in Glasgow and back in London - I've always felt like I have one foot on each side of Hadrian's Wall. My fiancé Pete grew up in central London but is a big country boy at heart. When, was easy: summer, so in the interests of maximising the chance of a sunny wedding day, I plumped for an English wedding. Surprisingly, my mother was fine with this - no wailing, no Saltire waving. My grandmother did get in with a 'Well, most Scottish girls come back to Scotland to get married.' But on the whole: pretty painless.
Next: how? As Pete's father is a Church of England priest and I'm pretty religiously non-committal, it was an easy agreement to get married in a church. My strategy thus far is: minimise choices, minimise conflict. So we narrowed down three options: our local church in South London, Pete's dad's church in North London or Pete's old Oxford college chapel. Country boy and country wedding won out: Oxford it is.
Choice, as my strategy suggests, is not my forte and when the next step - reception venue - reared it's so-many-choices-I-don't-know-what-to-do-with-myself head, my first reaction was blind panic. 'But where do we start?!' I wailed. Pete, ever the practical engineer type, suggested a spreadsheet - guestlist and budgets. We've both got big families but miraculously drawing up a guest-imate list didn't draw us into blows (I chose to ignore when Pete put an ex-girlfriend's name on his list and quickly tried to scroll up the screen - like I wouldn't see...). So we're now on the hunt for a reception venue within striking distance of Oxford, with room for 120 for dinner, plus more for evening, that we can bring our own champagne and don't have to turn the music off at 11pm. Oh and that's within budget... Not much to ask for, eh?