My heart sank when I realised it was now December. While admittedly I was tucked up under new sheets, on a new bed in the almost-completed loft conversion and this was considerable progress from a few weeks ago, the house renovation is not going to be finished in time for the wedding.

In eight days my family will arrive. In eight days I will wake up to the beginning of a weekend of family, friends and festivities and while I am excited as hell about that, I’m concerned about the state of the house.

Last night I put up the first Christmas tree in the living room. This room is finished and as decorating it took me about seven hours, it was a big task to get out of the way. I sit here now looking at a twinkling tree but outside the hallway is still not plastered. I have boxes of decorations labelled by area but the window baskets at the front of the house (fresh greenery and gold baubles with storm lanterns underneath) are barely visible for the rubbish the builders are yet to take away.

I’m ok. My dress has been pressed and is hanging in the nursery and a week today I’ll be getting my hair and nails done. The food is ok. The drinks are ok. A million tiny things still need doing in the house and the builders have gone AWOL. I’m a control freak at the best of times but with a houseful of guests imminent I’m rather eager to have the house bathroom finished.

I can accept the painting may not be finished but I need the hand basin mounted! I can live with the plasterer leaving as my family arrive but I want the front garden to be welcoming and my wreath on my door.

I’m trying to stay reasonable and to keep my calm but it’s tough. The project has been far bigger than anticipated with electrical work, complete replastering, dry rot repairs, and rotten window lintel repairs. When I said I hoped it’d be done in ten weeks, everyone thought it’d be done in eight. We are nearing the end of week twelve. There isn’t much blame to be laid, although I’ll probably be complaining about the surveyor. For the most part everyone has been fantastic.

It’s just one of those things.

It makes me appreciate how much I’ve changed over the last few years. A few years ago I’d have been hysterical. In fact, when looking for a wedding related document a couple of weeks ago I found my write-up of my first wedding that I’d put up on a wedding planning forum (funny the stuff that seems to disappear into the depths of your hard drive). Looking back it was so sad; the girl writing it was so desperately unhappy and trying so hard to make everything perfect in the hope that this would make people (her new husband in particular) love her.

I’m not going to play down the importance of marrying someone who is right for you over someone who isn’t but was I the person I am now back then, I wouldn’t have married my ex-husband. Not because of him per se but because you should feel happy about getting married and I wasn’t.

What is keeping me sane is the fact I’m getting married. The fiancé keeps texting me reminders; on Tuesday he told me I was a fortnight from boarding a plane to fly to New York. NEW YORK! I’m going to New York for my frickin* honeymoon! So the bedroom doors probably won’t be painted in time for the reception, I’m going to see the tree at the Rockefeller Centre! And it’s not just the flashy stuff. Amidst the meal planning and organising I’m doing, I realised that we hadn’t made plans for what we’re doing for lunch after our legal paperwork the day before the wedding proper. I suggested Nandos. It’s near the registry office, there’s a car park. Nandos, it’s the perfect choice for our first meal as man and wife in the eyes of the law.

We’re having fun. I love that we’re having a romantic little wedding breakfast for two at an everyday place. I love that there is something just for us before the ceremony for 18 and house party for goodness only knows how many.

What is different this time is that my dreams are not tied up in a day. In many ways what is stressful about the house is that my dreams are tied up in that. It’s our home but hey, it’ll be done by Christmas. I suppose I see the potential for fun in next weekend as being relatively unrelated to the venue being perfect and everything running like clockwork. Whether or not a good time is had by all will largely be determined by the people. Everyone is coming to see the fiancé and me. Sure they expect to be fed (which is reasonable given the wording of the invites) and will need a working bathroom but beyond that, things are just little details. Everything could go hideously wrong and it still be a great day.

A friend (one I hadn’t spoken to in ages and who is coming) asked me today whether I was excited and I stopped enough to realise yes, yes I am. It’s been a tough few months living in a building site but the end is nigh.

It will all come together in time. I could do it this weekend. It’s just putting on a dress, marrying my best friend then making merry with my mates.

Bring it on.

I’ve no intention of getting precious and Bridezilla about things. Once upon a time I went on an adventure to the Far East to find myself and figure stuff out. I became a KL Partygirl and Partygirl’s don’t pout their way to a happy ever onward** they run at it in high heels with a smile on their face!

* I have never used this word before, I’m trying new things.

** The fiancé subscribes to the belief that Happy Ever Afters are stories that haven’t ended yet.

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