Guest of honour

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My wedding frock? It was from an aesthetically challenged shop in Haarlem, The Netherlands. It was hidden among a rainbow spectrum of sequin-embellished numbers and cost 700 Euros. I just knew she was a keeper because there was none of that ‘boning’. I was also with my best mate, who was trying on some of the more extravagantly-coloured frocks – we had some laughs; that dress made memories before the big day.

But as fun as that sesh was, I had mid-level palpitations nearer the time that I’d made a grave mistake. Compared to the swathes of gowns in Wedding Magazine, my frock was looking suitably Tesco Value – first world problems, yes, but those glossy rags mess with your head (a Swarovski-encrusted vodka luge; why don’t we have a Swarovski-encrusted vodka luge – who are we?). What was a ‘well-funny’ fizz-induced purchase might actually be a big regret… I was wrong. Two minutes into wed-gate, I had forgotten who I was even marrying let alone the threads keeping me sheathed. It was probably then that I also realised that being on a pedestal and throwing ridiculous money at a shindig was not my bag – I was a much better guest than main attraction (surprising for me, too).

Much like motherhood, I’ve enjoyed the bits that come after all the baby shower/ birth carnage where all eyes (well, four or so people who vaguely care) are ON you. I know they’re special times; I’ve read about it in books and stuff, but it’s the seemingly boring moments of eating toast in bed with the clan that make me thank my lucky – and slighty rusty – stars.

Even better is when you get invited to a wedding as a plus 1 where you know neither bride or groom and end up getting proper mash-up and being ‘that person’. It’s the maternal equivalent of dumping the brood in a posh gaf or restaurant and offering up an entire box of felt tips for them ‘to be creative’ – no paper present. You can be THAT person when no one knows you and it’s such a relief in a world that wafts Instagram polish at every turn.

Then there’s the wedding line where the whole wedding fam line-up to thank you for coming. As a rogue plus one, you’re asked ‘ah so how do you know Lucinda and James’? ‘I don’t, I’m a freeloader who will eat ALL the cake and have already requested Mmm Bop by failed teen 90s stars Hanson I am THAT person.’

How my wedding experience and motherhood unite, I don’t really know. All I know is that in both situations it’s the stuff that the world doesn’t force us to celebrate that make me snort-tea-through-nose laughing. It’s the crumbs in bed after a lazy morning eye-twitching away to Cbeebies, backing your best mate onto a loo in her wedding dress and getting mash-up in a Lebanese dress shop that could ignite at any moment.

This post was written in partnership with fashion website Lyst

 

Anna Whitehouse

Founder of Mother Pukka, Anna Whitehouse likes super hero cape-making classes and dislikes the naming of celebrity couples (TomKat, Brange etc.) She tries (and often fails) to parent the shit out of life.

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Turns out I’m not an afternoon person either.

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