Well helloooooo, what a wonderful start to the year it’s been for me.. not only do I have a wonderful wedding to plan to my fabulous man, but I have also been asked to cover the Oscars this year in Los Angeles so THAT’S fantastic news! Many of you may already know that I’m a film nut, I live and breathe the art of film (I watch a movie a day) so to be going over to Hollywood this year of all years is tremendously exciting!
That aside, I’ve been so delighted with all the wonderful comments and feedback from everyone regarding my wedding blogs….thank you!!….. it’s pretty personal and I’ve been honest from the get-go but sometimes putting your thoughts, fears and worries on paper for people to read can be daunting, however in saying that, it’s been superbly liberating!
So… it’s been a mad capped frantic start to January, I ate and drank my fill over the Christmas and I surrendered in every which way you can.. I couldn’t PLAN anything for the wedding because Italy was shut down over the festive period but I did manage to relax and take a deep breath because I knew these next few months are going to be crazy cuckoos!
Aside from munching on the last box of Roses and guzzling the lonely bottle of Prosecco, I’m done with all the indulging. This Christmas more than ever I gave myself a hall-pass to rail-road my way through mince pies, bottles of plonk after plonk, Doritos, barrels of chocolate and vats of tinned sweets. I even headed to McDonald’s to get the last supper in.. (the last time I’ll eat that rubbish for the next few months). Yes… I hoovered up all the badness and now since January 1st, I have my healthy halo on and have been oh-so-good. My pints have been swapped for protein shakes and I have pried those cosy couch rabbit fluffy pyjamas out of my chubby hands and bought some new gym gear so to kick start the ‘wedding body prototype’.. I’ve even signed up for 8 weeks to get my cloggy Christmas skin zapped and polished to perfection with the lovely Peggy at Monkstown Laser Clinic… I’m determined to have A-lister pores come September!
I’d be only lying to you and myself if I didn’t say that I really struggle with my weight and I really HAVE to try my level best not to fall off the wagon. I’m a sweet and savoury monster so really anything that’s remotely ‘fun’ in the way of food I LOVE. Since my successful power lifting documentary on TV3 last year I have educated myself about me, my body and what I can and can’t get away with food wise. So for all you poor unfortunates like myself who even look at your friend’s slice of carrot cake and the weight goes on you?… Yep, that’s me too!! So I’m back….!!…eating good and being good and feeling a damn sight better for it! If I can manage to cut the vino for a few months and get myself back to the old me I’ll be happy. I don’t feel that I need to be a pin walking down an aisle, that’s total tosh!!… I have womanly Rubenesque curves and I plan to accentuate them, but I’m a smallie and I’d like to be the best VERSION of myself that I can be for MYSELF… so bring on the green tea!! Eugh..
Nuff about the wedding wobbles, let’s talk about the wonderful human nature element of the wedding itself. I mean what is it all about really?.. For me, the honest answer is being there with all your family and close friends and sharing an intimate moment of love, friendship and kinship with another whom everyone can witness and celebrate! I am however a realist and I don’t expect for anything magical or sublime to happen on the day or for Richard and I to be better people or more in love after the event… all I wish for is for those closest to us to be with us in that moment and to cherish the time we have together… to witness the wonderful rich tapestry of years of families and friends united for the day. To me it’s that simple. I want the day to be filled with emotions of goodness and pure happiness even just for 12 hours, I know that already I have a wonderful partner in Richard and I hope me for him and God bless that what we are joining together lasts and is joyous for us both. We all have sickness, depression, woes, worries, anxieties and tragedies that follow us around day to day – whether it’s you, yourself or those surrounding you – so all you can hope for is that for the one day, everyone can leave sadness aside and be surrounded by an orb of love and light… that’s to me what a wedding is.. a marriage???.. Well come back to me next Christmas!! Ha!
And so it’s been time to pick my ladies in waiting…. my bridesmaids!! Totally hilarious concept when you think about it, I mean what exactly do they do? I’ve been a bridesmaid 5 times and I can tell you it was more about nights out, trawling through embarrassing old photos and giggly dress fittings than anything else! Of course it’s the honour of it all and for that I’ll always be grateful to my own 5 girls for allowing mad-capped me share the altar with them. However, aside from the scratchy dresses and the ball of emotional mess with all the errands and running around, you’re still just a best friend who is happy to help. Picking my bridesmaids was a tricky task as I have a few very close friends who have been with me throughout all the years thick and thin, that bank of friendship stands for something so I found myself wanting all 6 girls there beside me.. it was a hard call and I had a lot of sleepless nights and in depth conversations with myself about it.
Having no brothers or sisters growing up made my friendships with the girls even MORE unique as I see them as family. I’ve known one since I was 4, most of them since I was 11 and more recently at 19 but all encompassing, they individually have shared my joys, worries, hardships, successes and failures and above all laughter. They have shaped the woman I have become in ways and we have all influenced each other. We’ve lived in a one bedroomed crummy apartment in New York to 3 in a bed for a blazing student summer in San Francisco to waitressing in Paris.. we’ve partied like rockstars in our glory days to flying 8,000 miles to one’s rescue when there was a break-up. I’ve shared births, deaths and marriages with these fine ladies and each one has her own flavour. Some are now USA bound and others living in the UK so having them beside me in Florence would mean the world. I love their bones… they are my ordinary women with extraordinary hearts…. between the break-ups, bad decisions and belly laughing… I simply HAD to make a call.
So, I flew over one weekend to see my mum’s sister and as a deciding treat I stayed overnight at Dukes St. James Hotel in London which is one of my favourite hotels in the city. So, I booked myself in and said I’d make my decision there. I used to come there regularly for delicious afternoon tea with family for what we used to fondly call ‘G and Tea’ which always worked out very well after a fair few!!…. On this occasion however I wanted to have a slightly clearer head and thought that I could do some wedding deciding over a beautiful meal. So with my Aunty Grainne in tow I splashed out and took her to Thirty Six, their signature rustic restaurant. We chatted it all out for hours between budget, bridesmaids and what would work fairly! We quaffed red wine and motored through dark chocolate puddings.. by the end of the scrumptious feast we had come to the conclusion that I would have 3 Bridesmaids and 3 Usherettes! You always hear of the men having Ushers but what about the women?.. I was determined to create a role for my 3 fabulous friends and so I thought what better way than to have them there standing with me; part of the bridal party with corsage in tow with a dutiful honorary role. I was thrilled with myself – see I always come up with the solutions after a bottle of vino!!
So yes, there it was decision made, now although it was tough as I love them all so dearly and had been bridesmaid myself 5 out of the 6 times, one girl in particular had said she didn’t want me to be put under any pressure to ask her, she totally understood it was a hard decision and was more than happy to step back, which was genuine and a really cool friend thing to do. But her saying that did help enormously as I was so worried about offending people and upsetting them when really you need to do what’s best for you, and your friends will naturally understand. Plus, mid-thirties a lot of pals have stood in that role a few times over and I’d say if you were to put it to them, they’d rather be a guest and just be there for all the fun!
So, I headed back to Dublin after my stint in London and was delighted – now I just had to tell them!
I got cards made up for the Usherettes from a printing company with their names on it surrounded by flowers and ribbons and wrote each one an individual note about our friendship and posted it to them along with lots of sparkles. My 3 bridesmaids got a similar handwritten note along with a long love letter too which simply stated on the front ‘I can’t say I DO without you!’… so there you have it.. I’ve got my 6 ladies in waiting all excited for the big day. It was a harder call than I imagined because they all mean so much individually but I am thrilled that they all are so thrilled and they are all sharing the Riva Lofts in Florence as our Bridal Party ‘House’. The girls have booked their flights and we booked out the 13 rooms for pool parties and general chit chat so the wedding is an excuse for a holiday and a proper catch up!
I really can’t wait… I’ll have them all around me in Florence and nothing can quite beat that in my books!!
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Lisa Cannon is best known as a presenter on TV3's hugely popular movie show, Box Office. She blogged all about the lead up to her Big Day in Italy in September 2015.