With less that 100 days to go before the eldest of my two younger brothers gets married, no phone call to any members of my family can be finished without 'wedding talk'.
Have you decided what to wear? Heels or flats? Really high heels or kitten heels? Is it bad form to wear black? Is it worse form to wear white? Hat? Do people still wear hats to weddings? Are you getting changed for the night do?
And my answers? No. Probably heels. In-between. Not really. Maybe. Not sure. I think so. I don't know, yet.
Confused? Me too!
Luckily, just as I was beginning to panic about being completely unprepared, Kaleidoscope came to my rescue by asking me to take a look at their lovely Wedding Boutique and select a couple of items for the big day. When I chose them, I hadn't found 'the dress', so I opted for the classic, neutral Boucle shoulder bag and cappuccino-coloured patent court shoes. However, at the weekend, while ambling around Chester, I found the perfect outfit and it goes beautifully with the bag and shoes so they turned out to be very safe but absolutely wonderful picks.
And now I feel almost ready.
I just have to choose something to read in the church (the happy couple have vetoed my first choice of Oasis' Wonderwall) and practise the Ross and Monica dance from Friends with my youngest brother ready to perform in the evening (I only partly jest about this. We've threatened to do it and given a few glasses of champagne, I can't guarantee that it won't happen).
Other than that, all that remains is to gather together my 'wedding survival kit' ... all the little bits and pieces that I need to carry in my handbag to see me through the day. Over the years, and with having two little boys to chase after, I've learnt to pack light. I've narrowed it down to these essentials.
First and foremost, the ultimate wedding accessory? Confetti! Don't forget the confetti. Petals or paper for outside the church and then something a little sparklier for the reception.
And then there's mints and sweet treats. I couldn't not pick love hearts, could I? The mints are for me and the love hearts are to bribe the boys with in the church, hence the two packets. Needs must!
I always carry paracetamol in my handbag. I'm prone to headaches and the sooner I nip them in the bud, the better my chance of not needing to lie down in a darkened room. Although, I'm led to believe that the hotel where the reception is being held has lovely rooms so maybe it wouldn't be the worse thing in the world. Cheeky afternoon nap in-between the festivities.
A nail file and nail polish might seem a bit strange but I hate broken nails and chipped polish. I fixate on them and end up nibbling my nails. Taking a minute to fix them means that I won't end up with my fingers in my mouth in all of the wedding photographs.
Of course, tissues are must to dab away the tears when the bride walks down the aisle, and sunglasses come in super handy for hiding those red eyes or pretending that you haven't noticed Great Aunt Mabel heading towards you for your annual interrogation.
And when there's tears, a bit of a makeup touch up doesn't go amiss. Powder and lipstick are my weapons of choice to see me through from ceremony to night do. Yes, I'm reasonably low maintenance. If there's room, I might add mascara but it's not an essential for me.
Last but not least is hand cream. I adore Laura Mercier creams because they have the best scent. When your perfume wears off, you can rub this on your hands and arms and you'll still smell divine.
That's all that features in my wedding survival kit. Have I forgotten anything? What would you pack in yours?
A huge thanks to Kaleidoscope inviting me to choose the gorgeous bag and shoes free of charge. I love them and can't wait to wear them come August.