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I am, at the moment, quite consumed with thinking about getting married in November. I know that when I start making lists, my brain needs quieting down about whatever it is I am making lists about. Usually it is food: from dinner party shopping lists to everyday ingredients for nice dinners at home, just the two of us or with our grown-up sons and their girlfriends.

The list in progress at the moment is not about food at all: I have decided to pay a caterer to do the wedding food: cocktail style finger food, platters carried high by discreet  waitrons, as the late afternoon slips into evening. All that needs to be done next week, is to have a final meeting with him and decide on the actual menu. Which I shall post here. I had a vague fantasy that I would cater for this third wedding of mine, myself. I had visions of long tables laden with bread and salad and wine and antipasti platters, as in the almost last scene of Mostly Martha, a movie which I loved for obvious reasons..all of which I would of course have cooked, baked, bottled!!

But in the end sheer practicality and budget won out. Still, what I will have, is a rolling lawn and an enormous oak tree at a wonderful house of friends of ours, and a sprawling patio should it rain, with tall cocktail tables and chairs scattered around, candles lit when dusk settles in, fresh flowers… ribbons maybe in the oak tree… and a lot of sparkling wine, similarly carried about, Great Gatsby style.

I don’t have a theme, not even really a colour scheme except that the linen draping the cocktail tables is cream damask. So a day or two before the wedding I shall decide on flowers, depending on availability: I think mostly white and cream and green: colours which I fill vases in our home with almost always…

And my dress: I had an idea that a favourite aunt of mine would make me a fifties style, cream or emerald green or rich brown brocade dress, but she declined, not feeling up to the intricacies with arthritic fingers. It was hard for me to hear her say that: this aunt of mine who was always youthful and almost avant-garde compared to my mom: that she feels she is too old to take this on. She made my matric dance dress, now 33 years ago. I felt like a princess in the pale pink calf length dress with the skirt swingingly cut on the bias and thin straps over my young shoulders. When she said no, I for a moment, considered making it myself, but gave up the idea when I thought about the precision it would take and the stressfulness of such a venture. I looked at ready-made dresses, but did not find anything which suited my personality and figure, and budget! So I am going to wear a dress which I bought 16 years ago, and still fit into. Some of my guests will recognise it: I have worn it about 4 times to other weddings over the years. But it’s very plain, down to my ankles: a crushed silky satin, slightly shimmering like the inside of an oyster shell. And here we are back with food again! I may decide to offer fresh oysters with champagne as people arrive: it can be the  theme! Given my oyster coloured dress!

My list at the moment is about what I need to do in which order, over the next six weeks: Make the chuppa. Buy the champagne and wine. Practice the song(I am singing a very beautiful and meaningful song to my beloved). Practice to not cry while I sing. Lose 2 kgs. Meet the caterer. Finalise our gift registry (at Yuppiechef of course). Think about flowers. Buy candles. Ask a friend to make a speech. Prepare my own speech.

This feels like my first grown-up wedding. My first was organised at quick notice by my mom and her sister: this same aunt who is now 70 years old. I was pregnant, and the only aspect of that wedding where I had exactly what I wanted, was that I wore a hat instead of a veil. My second was almost an elopement: we had been planning to go to Dullstroom for a long weekend and decided to get married then at the nearest magistrates office, in Balfour, and organised that in double-quick time. No family or friends, in a bare walled, state issue court office. I wore a hat again. The strap on my wedding shoe broke as I put it on and I had to wear ordinary sandals: I should have heeded the warning. That marriage did not last either.

This feels like my first Big Day. With the right man, at the right  time, for the right reasons. Witnessed, and shared with friends and some family, drinking champagne and eating food beautifully prepared in the glorious kitchen of the rather stately home of our friends: I intend having a wonderful celebration: exactly how I want it. I did not think I would ever want to be anyone’s wife again. And now when I say it, it has a mouthfeel of a deep dark chocolate ganache… and when my soon to be husband and forever lover says “My Wife, I know I shall cry..