Middleton-class: a Bath Spa student reflects on her wedding journey

In the midst of wedding prepartations, Bath Spa student Jemima Hodson takes time to reflect on her journey and compares it with another bride-to-be, Kate Middleton...

In the midst of wedding preparations, Bath Spa student Jemima Hodson takes time to reflect on her journey and compares it with another bride-to-be, Kate Middleton

Every girl dreams of being a princess one day. And for Kate Middleton, her dream is finally coming true. Like Kate, I met my fianc� while studying, and after the ups and downs of all relationships, the proposal came and my dreams are becoming a reality – although without the royal crown. The whole world has been talking about 29 April 2011. The wedding date that two families in a small town called Bromsgrove are talking about is 2 July 2011. Even though Kate and I have resembling middle-class backgrounds, the planning of each wedding is completely different, with one being attended by 2,000 guests and the other inviting 200.First off, there is the budgeting that every bride and groom have to explore; this is obviously different, with mine costing �10,000 and the royals’ further into the bracket of �20 million. And that is a ‘modest affair’. Next is the bride’s dress, the part of the planning that every bride actually looks forward to. With swarms of British designers hoping to make hers, Kate has had no worries about whether her dress will make her bum look big. I, on the other hand, have been soul searching though the good, the bad and the ugly. Clifton Brides was my very first experience. The sale gown I tried on was perfect, apart from one tiny detail. It was a size 16 and I am a size 6. Travelling across cities, I tried all sorts: meringue-like dresses, vintage styles and �2,000 gowns that I could never afford. The more bridal shops I went into, the fussier I got; I wanted an ivory A-line dress, diamante, a sweetheart neckline, no lace… and the list continued. It was exhausting and I know that Kate didn’t have to wade through those seas. But when I found my ‘Phillippa’ dress, I was glad to have done the wading.Unlike Kate, I am the only girl of four, so I had no sister to capture the title of Maid of Honour. However, my best friend, who has been as close as a sister could be to me, enthusiastically accepted the role.The main things a bride needs to plan have been completed – the traditional church ceremony and a fairytale hotel, the spectacular dress, the girls’ attire and the dream string quartet. For the favours, I’m not, like Kate, splashing out �5,000, but a friend is making purple ceramic hearts to tie in with the theme, costing me only a thank-you card. My fianc� has booked a �2,000 honeymoon in Corfu. It’s not a �400,000 honeymoon like Kate’s, but it’s a five-star hotel in a hot country – luxury.There is still plenty to do, but with my wedding scrapbook and a wonderful fianc�, there should be enough time to add the finishing touches – like sending out the invites! Even though us middle-class girls have grown up and followed different paths, we will still both be saying ‘I do’ to the man of our dreams, and the rest after that will just be another story to tell.

Useful contacts:

Clifton Brides (Bristol and Bath); cliftonbrides.co.ukDebenhams (Bath, Bristol, Taunton); debenhams.comEllis Bridals (Clifton, Street and Taunton): Ellisbridals.co.ukIan Stuart Bride (Bath): ianstuart-bride.com LK Bespoke Bridal (Yatton): lkbespokebridal.co.uk

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