Lynne Mortimer: Registras are busier than the Ocado delivery driver these days

Lynne Mortimer - the mother-in-law from hell?

Lynne Mortimer - the mother-in-law from hell? - Credit: Archant

It is with enormous pleasure I announce I am to be the mother of the bride.

My lovely daughter Ruth and son-in-law-to-be Kev have this week shown us their venue and given us a save-the day card so it seems to be pretty definite, even if they pursue my idea of a pirate-themed wedding, that I shall be needing a new hat.

“Darling, this isn’t just about you,” said my husband gently as I made plans.

“Of course not. I know that,” I said, secretly making plans.

Not that I shall be going on and on and on about the wedding...


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You have to be quick, these days. The wedding is in October 2016 and, when Ruth phoned 16 months in advance, to book the registrar, there were only two time slots left. Now Ocado has more than two time slots for the middle of the next week and they deliver all over the place... though I suppose you wouldn’t want your marriage certified by Martin in onion van.

It’s all going to be in a barn so I’m thinking gingham dress, white socks and pigtails. Not really. I’m thinking credit card.

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This will be my husband’s chance to give our daughter away (yes, wheel out the creaky old joke: What, couldn’t he get anything for her?) and make the speech demanded of the father of the bride. Ruth is quite keen for me to say something too but I said she needn’t worry about a formal speech because I would be happy interrupting her father, as usual.

The wedding is very much their own and my list of 400 distant relatives has been kindly but firmly rejected as have my suggestions for music... although I can’t see what is wrong with having the Birdie Song for the first dance.

So much has changed since I was a blushing bride... the Millennium, for a start.

Venues were churches or register offices. Stag nights took place the evening before the wedding and seemed designed to make sure the groom feel so awful he would be quietly compliant throughout the ceremony. I once spent a few days in Dundee on business during which one young man woke up early on his wedding day to find himself chained, naked to a lamppost. It was nothing to do with me, I hasten to add. Moreover, this was before the days of the strippergram – not that I was ever a strippergram (We are all thanking our lucky stars for that. Lynne. ED)... OK, I’m going to quit talking about stag dos while I still have a grain of dignity left.

Hen dos were as rare as their teeth.

Then, there’s the dress to think about. Should it be long or short; sleeves, no sleeves; lace, voile, silk damask; ivory, cream or something bolder? Any of those would be look good on me, I think.

Oh, and Ruth will need a dress too. She is currently obsessed with an American television show called Say Yes to the Dress in which brides look for their perfect wedding dress. I can’t see it being a problem, though. You can buy a wedding dress for £25 on eBay.

I wore duck-egg blue for my son’s April wedding in 2011 with a huge hat that nearly took my husband’s eye out when we danced. I won’t be going for scrambled-egg yellow.

Ruth, meanwhile, has engaged bridezilla mode. She is growing her fingernails so that she can try out her wedding nails and is anxious to practise her wedding make-up. I’m expecting a full dress rehearsal sometime in November.

I saw her eyes glint as she told me that one couple she knows took their wedding wines to the caterers tasting session so they could try out the meal with the appropriate wines. This is what they do nowadays. Nothing is left to chance, it is all tried and tested. My wedding breakfast was salad, there’s not much you can do with a spring onion and a cucumber at a taster session.

When we took our vows (King James version) our vicar, having been appraised of my bolshie nature, gently broached the subject of the bride’s vow “to obey” her husband. Needless to say, it didn’t make it into the ceremony... or since. But I did plight him my troth and he seemed content with that although we never really used it. I think we may have put it up in the loft.

See more from Lynne Mortimer here

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