James and Rox got engaged in January 2010. Hes a 6ft 3in Brummie, and shes a Yorkshire lass who tops out at 5ft 2in on a good day. They were together for seven whole years before James proposed, so either Rox has the patience of a saint, or he was well worth the wait. Sadly, its the former. James will be representing the boys every week up until the big day in August.
Its widely accepted that most men are fairly disinterested in the minutiae of their wedding preparations. Therell be plenty of brides-to-be reading this wholl swear that their budding grooms are different to the rest. Theyll be convinced that their men genuinely do care about centrepieces, and that even when theyre watching football, theyre actually thinking about wedding favours. Im sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but a large proportion of prospective grooms simply arent as enthused about the wedding preparations as their partners are, despite how keen they might appear. Girls arent the only ones who can fake things.
Fortunately, there are also plenty of guys out there who are fully involved in the whole process. As Ive mentioned before though, it works both ways. Im only interested because Rox genuinely wants me to have an equal input, so I dont feel like a junior partner in proceedings, which is really important to me.
However, no matter how liberal and modern we feel were being, there is still one decision that is absolutely none of my business: the hallowed wedding dress. But in the beginning, even this was a joint venture for us. While you catch your breath, let me put this into context. We currently live in The Midlands, which is where I come from, but Rox is a Leeds girl so she doesnt have that many girlfriends down here yet. Consequently, Im usually her wingman when she goes clothes shopping, to the point where she rarely buys anything without my approval these days.
So when it came to the wedding dress, we simply applied the same rule. When her friends in the north found out that I was involved in the wedding dress selection, there was outrage and uproar. Wed apparently broken the most sacrosanct of nuptial traditions, and we would be damned for an eternity of wedded unhappiness if I didnt butt out.
Neither of us is even mildly superstitious, but everyone we asked thought that my inclusion in this decision was an affront to everything that is sacred, so I backed off.
Secretly though, Ive still being putting my two pence worth in behind the scenes. Rox has taken the very brave step of getting her dress made by a friend of a friend of a friend. If all goes to plan, shell have the dress of her dreams without the price tag of her nightmares. Last weekend was crunch time for the choice of material, and Rox couldnt make the big decision alone. Since Gok Wan was busy, she asked me. I was presented with a selection of swatches and instructed to choose one - fortunately I picked Roxs favourite. Phew, sidestepped that landmine.
I still have no idea what the finished dress will look like, but at least I know Ill like the feel of it. This whole process of preparing for our wedding continues to be a wonderful learning curve for me. I now understand the importance of silk thread counts, and the next time Rox asks me if I like organza, Ill know that its not a euphemism. Who knows what other life-enhancing skills Ill pick up next week?
W Day: 214 days and counting
Catch up on James eleventh week of wedding planning (and links to earlier weeks) here.