Saturday, 4 July 2009

a quandary or northumberland via a short diversion through our differences

Let me preface this by saying, again, apologies for the length, it just seems that when I start to write I cannot stop!

Now we have probably dequandaried about whether to have a hoopla or hooplow. The boy wants hoopla and I am almost certain I want that too. Although hoopla is definitely the wrong word. My thrifty little angel wants to celebrate with his nearest and dearest but is no entirely sure how.

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) we are both the exact opposites when it comes to decision making. I am a sniper when choosing anything. I simply cannot bear to traipse around shops all day, although I am somewhat partial to surfing for hours on end (no slow moving people or crowds). If I find something I want, I know that if I do not buy the shoes, book, picture, at that exact moment it is very unlikely that I will ever actually buy it. I am a magpie; I am drawn to something now! I do understand I that this is not necessarily the best state of mind to shop or decide in!

However, I can lust after items for months, for example this ostrich feather duster, and once I have bought said item I move on very quickly to a new object of my affection. I most often lust over more expensive things and this whole wedding situation is not helping my covetousness.

Conversely, the boy is all about the long game. He loves to shop. He loves to make spreadsheets of his wantings, he loves to wander (in my opinion aimlessly) to shop after shop trying to find the perfect new “outfit” (ah my lovely dandy). Ultimately, he often purchases the first thing he sees. I literally could not cope with this state of affairs. So unless I’m feeling particularly poor and hankering after something we do not go shopping with each other if we actually need something. Please don’t get me wrong I love wandering our lovely streets and shops with my boy but not if either of us needs something specific!

So the next quandary is London or Northumberland or somewhere else?

I hail from London and have lived here all my life. I may be one of those intolerable people who would never want to leave London (although I have experienced small town life when working on a small island in the Pacific where everyone knows, everyone’s business and that was fun too). The boy is from north north Northumberland.

To me it seems a little strange to marry somewhere which holds no family or other special connections. Although I can see that it could be a place where new memories will be made but still, I like the idea of venue already meaning something.

However do I mean the place or the venue itself? Indeed London is as diverse place as you can get. Northumberland a vast wilderness. London means a great deal to me, I was born, bred, educated and met the love of my life here. There are places which certainly mean more to me – South East London was where I grew up, West London was where I completed my undergraduate education and where I currently work. I met my true love in whilst living in Notting Hill Gate (the salubrious name belies our seriously insalubrious hall of residence!)

Northumberland is where my boy spent his formative years. It is a truly beautiful place. The boy once said to me whilst we were still “courting” as we snuggled one cold April afternoon on a pristine beach that he wished the sun set in the east so we could watch it fall below the horizon – how sweet. Oh even after almost 9 years he still makes my heart melt. It has some beautiful estates and castles which would be perfect for a weekend of fun and frivolity.

So either London or Northumberland (and with this we include the general Newcastle/Durham area) would be fitting because both places mean so much to both of us. However, there is nowhere in particular which we hold as important to us as a couple. We are both somewhat private people and important events (like “the proposal”) have taken place in private.

Putting aside our hearts for a second, logistically it would be simpler to host our wedding in one of the two “homes.” Indeed I have scouted many locations and found so many lacking, particular in London. Is this because deep down I know what I want? Certainly a London wedding would be hugely different from what would be possible in Northumberland and I love the possibilities which this itself presents.

I do think I already know what I want – I think I just need to convince the boy. Unfortunately this will require an ever more detailed spreadsheet and reconnaissance.

So what to do, how do we choose? Am I over analysing? Help!


  1. Oh, what have you secretly decided on in your heart? (I'm so nosy!)
    I always liked the idea of meeting in the middle and picking somewhere that can become meaningful for both of you. Also that way we wouldn't be penalising either side of the family!

    Do tell what you think you're going to do! :)

  2. traditionally, it's the girl's choice, no?
    but who cares about tradition nowadays.
    start poking around at different venues/caterers in both, and see what pops up.

  3. Sniper vs. comparer ... oh, you just described myself and Econo Boy to a T. I love him dearly, but the boy once spent 15 minutes choosing between two plastic pitchers, neither one of which cost more than $5. It's enough to make a power shopper weep. (On the other hand, I am the one who returned to our new apartment with a dish drainer too small to fit the dish rack we bought. They looked like the same size so I grabbed them and moved on -- this time it backfired. Oh well.)

    I can't wait to hear what you guys decide! There are so many wonderful places in London, but I've heard Northumberland is gorgeous.

  4. Sounds to me like you've made up your mind but if your heart can't decide than maybe you should let your head rule and do a list of pros and cons for each place - eg. how far guests have to travel & will they have to book hotels, how flexible are venues on dates, how easy is it to meet vendors, possibly even how your families feel about each place etc. etc. (not that I did any of these things – just went with our hearts and told the family how it would be!)

    Good luck - it'll be beautiful and yours either way!

  5. ps - have you looked at the Hurlingham Club for a London venue? I'm going to a friends wedding there next month and she says they have been great...just a thought

  6. I'm curious what you've made up your mind about too! For us we ended up picking a place closer to my parents house (more woodsy, everyone has to travel) than right here in Boston because it was much cheaper for us and we can still make Boston memories as we continue our life together here. We don't really have a "special place" as a couple either but I think we'll end up making one by going on a little trip right after the wedding somewhere like Maine.

  7. Thank you so much for your comments. I will let you know tomorrow what my heart is saying!! Oh the suspense!

  8. what a predicament. we knew we were either going to get married in los angeles or in los olivos (2 hours north of here). it was very tough to decide. we picked out venues in both locations and made appointments to see them. there were a few we liked, and a couple we loved. but when we first saw the place we ended up picking (in los olivos), it was like we both instantly knew. we even gave eachother that "this is it" look. so, that's a way of looking at it. don't pick the destination, let the destination pick you. :)

  9. Thank you for your comment, I enjoyed reading your blog as well! As for your location/size problem, we went through hell deciding for ourselves but I agree with the rest of these ladies - follow what YOU 2 want, not what others expect of you. Personally I'd pick somewhere you both love. I have family in the UK and was in a wedding in Edinburgh last fall (so I love that you thought of Scotland!). If I were as close as you, there's a few gorgeous bed & breakfasts on the Isle of Skye that would def. be on my list.

    I also agree that 'Coupling' is one of the best shows ever although the US version was absolute crap (I was in love with Jack Davenport long before Pirates movies). Another show we Americans stole from the UK is 'Queer As Folk'. When deciding between City Hall vs. a large shindig I came across a quote from QAF that I've always found helpful: "A word of advice my sweet, mourn the losses because they're many, but celebrate the victories because they're few." So for us - a large shindig it is.


So, I really love all the sweet and/or informative comments that you lovelies leave. Yet if you feel the need to be unnecessarily rude or offensive I will delete your comment and not feel bad about it. So just be constructive alright! Hugs to all you wondrous others.


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