Columns/ Opinion

Columns/ Opinion

Lucy Diamond Is Getting Married

By admin on April 4th, 2008

lucydiamond.jpgOur monthly column from author Lucy Diamond, who is marrying the father of her three children this August…

I had my first getting-married nightmare last week. A proper terrifying, wake-up-with-your-heart-pounding nightmare. In it, I was standing with my lovely partner, about to be married in front of all our guests. Then I looked down at myself and realised I was wearing… the most hideous blue floral maternity smock with enormous lacy Peter Pan collars. “I forgot to buy a wedding dress!” I screamed in horror.

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Columns/ Opinion

GUEST BLOG: Brigit Sapstead

By admin on April 2nd, 2008

2008_03282007January0063.JPGBrigit’s last guest blog before the Big Day…

I have decided to become a Weather Girl! As the big day approaches, all I can think about is isobars and wind direction. How sad is that! The weather map has a huge big smiley face on Friday 4th April. Let’s hope it keeps smiling.

There’s nothing like a big event to banish flu bugs! Fiance succumbed to something horrid about a month ago and I glibly labelled it ‘man flu’. Then off I went to Turkey on a press trip, no hot water, felt terrible and started a fever! I have vowed never to shirk in my duties as caring nurse and wife! Still, planning 4/4 comes first and I smugly admit to wiping down my own brow and getting on with it!

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Columns/ Opinion, Flowers/Decoration, Green/ Organic/ Eco Weddings

Bridalwave column – My Eco-friendly Wedding. Part 3: The flowers

By admin on March 28th, 2008

Katie gets marriedPart 3: The flowers

I’ve always felt uncomfortable about the number of flowers on sale that have been air freighted in from foreign countries, grown in large fields using pesticides, with no respect for the local people or ecosystem. And I’m not alone: just as consumers are increasingly starting to understand that food should be eaten seasonally, more people are also beginning to see flowers as a seasonal resource.

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Columns/ Opinion

Smug Married: Stress

By admin on March 27th, 2008

me.jpgKeris Stainton‘s fortnightly column on married life…

A while ago there was a spate of articles about how men also suffer from hormone related mood swings. It was tagged “IMS” for Irritable Male Syndrome and, as soon as I read about it, I told David, “This is you.”

Of course, that was before I became aware of my own PMS issues. Until a few months ago, if you’d asked me if I suffered from PMS I would have said absolutely not. And yet. Every now and then I just find David so damn irritating that I could just wring his neck! Did I say every now and then? I meant every month.

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Columns/ Opinion

Smug Married: Ker-ching!

By admin on March 14th, 2008

me.jpgKeris Stainton‘s fortnightly column on married life…

Ah the money issue. According to Dr Phil (and I’m not going to argue with Dr Phil), it’s the number one cause of divorce.

When me and David first lived together, I insisted that we keep our (paltry) finances entirely separate. This seems to have based on the fact that my male family members were always telling my female family members to get off the phone. I wanted to know that I could talk on the phone for as long as I wanted without David coming in and tapping his watch.

Eventually, I accepted that this wasn’t a great reason not to combine finances and so we did.

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Columns/ Opinion

Lucy Diamond Is Getting Married

By admin on March 14th, 2008

lucydiamond.jpgThe third monthly column from author Lucy Diamond, who is marrying her partner of ten years this August…

“So, how are the wedding plans going?” people keep asking.

Well… Slowly, is the answer. After a flurry of list-making last month, not a lot else has happened on the wedding front.

We’ve got plenty of time, I keep telling myself. Months! It’s only a big party when all’s said and done, isn’t it? What’s the urgency anyway? I want our wedding to be laidback and enjoyable, not a series of stressful shopping missions and planning conferences.

“Don’t worry about it,” a friend said on the phone the other week. “My sister’s getting married the month after you and she hasn’t done much either, other than sort out her theme.”

“Her theme?” I repeated, puzzled. “What do you mean, her theme?”

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Columns/ Opinion

GUEST BLOG: Brigit Sapstead

By admin on March 13th, 2008

SwanHotel.jpg

How many 40-something brides-to-be end up arranging most of the wedding? While Brigit Sapstead is content to sort the catering, the venue, she was delighted to hear the news that fiance had fixed the honeymoon…

“It’s just as well I love surprises! But, what on earth am I supposed to pack?”

We all know that plans change. Just as well that it’s a female’s prerogative to change their mind. So, when wedding planner Ali mentioned that she had come across a venue stylist in nearby Glastonbury, Brigit decided to change Wells Museum into an Hawaiian beach scene for the afternoon champagne reception! Themes Incorporated have an Aladdin’s cave of props and goodies to deck out a party.

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Columns/ Opinion, Green/ Organic/ Eco Weddings, Rings & Jewellery

Bridalwave column – My Eco-friendly Wedding. Part 2: The rings

By admin on March 13th, 2008

Part Two: The Rings

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Katie_Lee_thumbnail_profile.JPGDespite the fact that I’m still very far away from even venturing into a bridal shop to try on dresses (my sister booked me in for some appointments, but I conveniently came down with the vomiting bug that weekend), we already have the rings sorted out. I’m actually quite surprised by that – and not just because my organisational skills have so far been less than good. I’m surprised because I’m actually really uncomfortable with the idea of wearing a wedding ring at all. I’ve tried to psycho-analyse myself to work out what the problem is, but I think I just have an issue with wearing a badge to tell people something that is ultimately just my and my other half’s business. I always feel a bit odd going into a business meeting with people and spotting their wedding rings. Suddenly I’m party to their private business and can start speculating on what their other halves are like and how they might behave at home.

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Columns/ Opinion, Dating & Relationships

Can you keep the love alive even when you disagree?

By admin on March 12th, 2008

bridezilla.JPGAmdist the sea of press releases currently drowning my inbox is an interesting one about love and relationships. “Can Democrats and Republicans Find True Love That Lasts (With Each Other)?” asks the release with “America’s Love Doctor” Linda Olson asking if it is possible for people with completely opposing interests to be in love. The release points at the relationship between Democratic commentator for CNN’s “The Situation Room” James Carville, and his wife Mary Matalin, a powerhouse Republican consultant. That’s a big split in interests for sure.

Below are a few tips from “America’s Love Doctor” on “how even the most hard-lined Republicans and Democrats can work toward happiness together by making complex matters of the heart just a little more simple.” So far, so good. Political angle makes it all sound very solid.

There are some interesting – and fairly common sense ideas for ensuring relationships work. For example, “Try changing up the way you normally argue about hot button topics or what news channel to watch – new communication skills are the key to better relationships! When you begin to communicate in a positive, workable way, your relationship with your lover, kids, and friends will begin move in a positive direction and become more pleasant.”

Now, which news channel to watch isn’t a hot button topic in my house but yes, I see where she’s going. Be positive!

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Columns/ Opinion, Green/ Organic/ Eco Weddings, Real Brides, Venues

Bridalwave column – My Eco-friendly Wedding

By admin on March 6th, 2008

Part One: The Venue
Katie_Lee_thumbnail_profile.JPGLet’s not beat about the bush: when it comes to your wedding day, it really is all about *you*. But there’s no reason why the happiest day of your life (or one of them, at least!) has to come at the earth’s expense. At least, that’s what I think.

This year, after 12 years together, and 8 years of happily living in sin, Al and I finally decided it was time to get our act together and get married. But since we’re both a couple of eco-bores, we thought it was only right that we try to do the whole thing with minimal impact on the environment. I’ll be sharing all my experiences here in this weekly column, so if you’ve got any suggestions or can provide any personal experiences, please do leave me some comments – or contact me on shinykatie[at]gmail.com – I’d love your help!

Keep reading for the first instalment – The Venue

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Columns/ Opinion

Smug Married: And baby makes … four?

By admin on March 6th, 2008

me.jpgKeris Stainton‘s fortnightly column on married life…

Back in September, I wrote about how my husband, David, would like a second child, but I wasn’t ready. (Read it here.)

Well I’m still not ready, but I *am* going to be 37 in a couple of months so if we’re going to do it, I’ve accepted that we’re going to have to do it sooner rather than later.

Plus I’ve started to think another child might not be an utterly heinous nightmare. Don’t get me wrong, the idea still doesn’t fill me with bliss, but it doesn’t want to make me throw up or cry either (and yet the thought of giving birth again still does).

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Columns/ Opinion, Venues

GUEST BLOG: Brigit Sapstead

By admin on February 25th, 2008

BrigitWeddingPics003.jpgBrigit Sapstead’s second guest blog on the trials of planning her wedding…

The bedraggled bride-to-be pitched up in Wells for an appointment with Sarah Duthie and Helen Garrett who run the show at the Bishops Palace. They stepped into the breach when the caterers pulled out. Aagh!

From the moment you enter the Palace ground via the drawbridge and gatehouse, you are transported into a different world. I was the mediaeval princess floating along the ramparts, attended to by my serfs in the in the vaulted Undercroft. Who would have thought that the most romantic place for a wedding could exist in England’s smallest city?

Back to reality, these two chicks know how to pull a wedding together and I am reassured that there will be plenty of good food, buckets of champagne, and sunshine Our only issue is the starter – not so sure that soup is a good idea for 80 odd guests, no doubt there will be many slurpers. Sarah and Helen presented me with the Bishop’s tipple, a bottle of Merlot and something else – read on to find out what happened!

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Columns/ Opinion

Smug Married: Happy Anniversary

By admin on February 21st, 2008

me.jpgKeris Stainton‘s fortnightly column on married life…

In my last column I mentioned that my and David’s 12th wedding anniversary was coming up. It’s actually on the 12th February so we don’t bother with Valentine’s Day. Incidentally, the 12th Feb is not only the date we met, it’s the date we started going out together (one year later) and the date we got married (one year after that). David has only one “important” date to remember and it’s so close to Valentine’s Day he’s unlikely to forget. He doesn’t know how lucky he is.

So anyway, the proximity to everyone else’s romantic day means that a) our wedding flowers were overpriced, b) if we want to go out for an anniversary meal, we need to book well in advance, c) we’re unlikely to ever go away for our anniversary since anything resembling a romantic mini break will have been marked up by at least 25% for the best part of February and d) every year everyone asks us what we’re doing/have done for Valentine’s Day and we always have to explain why the answer is nothing.

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Columns/ Opinion

GUEST BLOG: Brigit Sapstead

By admin on February 19th, 2008

Trying%20on%20in%20Monsoon.JPGWomen over 40 are increasingly marrying again, but getting married in mid-life throws up different issues from marrying when you’re younger.

Brigit Sapstead is having her wedding at Easter in Wells Cathedral and it will be a great time of joy and celebration, but she’s found that things are more complicated the second time around.

In particular, finding a dress has had Brigit tearing her hair out and she still hasn’t found the right thing. “I want something in which I will look radiant but not tarty, traditional, but not meringue,” she says. “But there is nothing for a 40-something who wants to look chic. I haven’t got the budget or the time to trawl the shops for the perfect dress”

This season especially, Brigit points out, the designers have done mid-life women no favours. “This season everything seems to be sleeveless and strapless, and I know I am going to be cold.” she says. That leaves her searching for a pashmina or some other sort of cover-up.

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Columns/ Opinion

Smug Married:

By admin on February 7th, 2008

me.jpgKeris Stainton‘s fortnightly column on married life…

I realised yesterday that there is one crucial aspect of married life that I haven’t yet addressed. No, not *whisper*bedroom activities (although, if you are interested in that area then I’m happy to share an amusing anecdote, but you’ll have to read until the end). No, it’s the in-laws.

And why did I realise this yesterday? Because I had the following conversation with my mother-in-law:

MIL: Keris?
Me: Hello.
MIL: I just wanted to ask you something…
Me (internally): Oh no. (externally) Oh yes?
MIL: Now I know you’re going to laugh…
Me: Oh no.
MIL: Are you and David all right?
Me (laughing – she was right!): Yes, we’re fine!
MIL: Oh, I just wondered because last night you seemed a big niggly with one another.

Now let me explain why me and D were niggly with each other because MIL wasn’t wrong, indeed we were. Our 12th wedding anniversary is next week and we had arranged to go out for a meal this Friday night (i.e. tomorrow night).

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