I'm not someone who has always had a dream of what her wedding day would be like. I never drew pictures of wedding dresses when I was a child (unlike my own daughter...) and I've never hankered after the fuss and attention of a wedding.
Our plans for this summer are to have a marriage without a wedding. So there will be no fancy car, no wedding cake, no official photographer, no honeymoon, no disco, no hen party and no floral arrangements. Just G and me at the local 'mairie' for a 5 minute civil ceremony, with our parents and our children, and then out for a long lunch and a few kir royales.
And yet...despite this much wished for simplicity and minimalism, there is still The Dress. I am making my own and I've come to realise over the past few weeks that I have been avoiding starting it. I've done plenty of knitting, read several books, been baking up a storm and was diverted for several weeks by an Important Sewing Project for my sister-in-law's birthday. All this to avoid embarking on an item of clothing so loaded with emotion and meaning as to almost have a personality of its own.
Everybody remembers The Dress. I can remember all the dresses from pretty much every wedding I've ever been to. I can picture my Mum's dress so clearly just from years of seeing the black and white photo, sitting on top of the piano, of her and Dad's wedding day. The Dress is charged with sentiment and emotion. I will remember this dress for the rest of my life, and people might see pictures of me wearing it long after I am gone.
So yes. Denial has suited me just fine for the last couple of months.
But we leave for France in a matter of weeks, so I'm running out of time. I have calmed myself down and decided that it is just like making any other item of clothing. I cut, pin, sew seams, iron on interfacing, embroider and hem. I've done all this before and if I stop being so dramatic and emotional I can do it again.
So it is underway. I tell myself I am making a simple Colette wrap dress from embroidered cotton and silk, that will be worn to a wedding this summer. If I don't like how it turns out I've still got time to call this a practise version and make myself another one. I'm not sure my nerves would cope well with that though so I'm being as careful and precise as I can without getting too overwrought.