The big day is closing fast, final preparations are being made, but trouble befalls Pixie, who reveals some details she really wanted to stay buried...
Less than a month to go now, I really wanted a June wedding but we couldn't get the time off during the exam period, so we're having a July wedding instead.
Julie and Jackie are chief bridesmaid and best man, but we're not sure which way round, luckily as they're twins they're the same size and shape, so will fit either outfit, we'll probably end up tossing a coin on the day. Pixie and Tina are my other bridesmaids.
Geoff has pulled some strings and we're getting married at an estate in Cheshire in proper celebrity style, but without the celebrities and their associated hangers on.
At the moment all is still relatively calm, Pixie is sorting the flowers, Tina is sorting the decorations and the food, Jade, our new friend, has designed the invitations and posted them. She's also arranged the photographer, I hope it's not one of her glamour modelling connections as I want this to be a proper decent wedding and I'm keeping my dress on as long as possible. And what a dress it is going to be, Pixie designed it, and a couple of her friends are making it. The dress will have a single shoulder strap, leaving my right shoulder bare to show the top of my rose tattoo, the bodice is going to be decorated in cream lace and silk roses, each one hand made. The dress is knee length, I didn't want it to be any longer, but there is a short train from the waist in a nod to tradition. Pixie is making some cream silk ballet slippers to finish the outfit off.
The bridesmaids are going to wear simple cream dresses, we're buying these as both Pixie and Tina are big girls and neither of Pixies friends was comfortable making a dress that would both flatter their curves, but still be conservative enough for a family wedding, there will be children there after all.
Gary and his best man's suits are from Hugo Boss, we wanted something sharply tailored but classic, and Gary said they didn't bat an eyelid when they were presented with Jackie's measurements to make a man's suit, let's see how they cut a man's jacket to fit a pair of 36D breasts.
Well that's where we're at, women at work tell me tales of how stressful it is planning a wedding, but this one is going like a breeze, maybe we're doing something wrong and it'll all end in tears, or maybe the women at work approached their wedding as if it was going to be a battle and it became a self-fulfilling prophesy. We'll just have to wait and see.
Saturday morning, I'm lounging on the sofa watching Saturday Kitchen, James Martin is showing me how to make a Thai dish of beef, veg, rice and what sounds to be a horribly hot spicy sauce, I think I'll give it a miss.
Gary shouts from the kitchen, "Post's here, junk, bill, junk, junk, letter from Geoff, bill, junk." He wandered in and tossed the letter from Geoff on my lap.
I opened it and out plopped a letter and a smaller envelope.
My dearest Amy and Gary,
I hope this letter finds you well and not too stressed by the pending nuptials.
You have both been in my thoughts very much of late, and I have been wracking my tiny befuddled brain to think of a suitable gift for my best girl and her man, and do you know what, I can't think of a thing that you would accept with the grace that I would give it, so please, please let me know what you want, the sky really is the limit, but I know you would be too polite to ask for it.
In the meantime I would like you to know that I have your honeymoon planned, you need take nothing but some clothes and your passport, the rest is in my hands. You'll be pleased to know that Julie, Jackie, Pixie, Tina and I will be with you, but not too close. Beyond this I'm telling you nothing of the destination.
Now, time to talk cars, I know you love the Aston but it has inherent compromises, mainly the lack of suitable back seats, so please, do not feel bad about wanting something more practical. Myself, I would keep it and simply buy another car, but you have neither the space nor the wasteful nature, so you will want to trade in the Aston. My advice is to get a Bentley Continental GT, the V8 S is probably most suitable, it's not much bigger than the Aston, but has proper back seats. It is a much nicer car than the Aston Martin Rapide as well, although somewhat tainted by its image as a footballer's car. The W12 is faster, but I think the V8 is a more usable car day to day, but try them both. If you don't go mad with the options (the Naim hi-fi upgrade is essential by the way) then you should be able to do a straight swap for the Aston, you might even end up with some change if you haggle well.
Lastly, I've been thinking about my finances, I've got some clever guys here who have been doing some jiggery pokery to make best use of my vast wealth, I'm not sure it's necessary at all, I've got enough money to last me, and my friends, for many lifetimes, but it makes them feel useful. The upshot is that for some reason I really cannot understand, you are now one of my employees. The money I send you from now on has to be taxed, but it's being paid to you via a company that's been set up in Ireland of all places, I've already adjusted the sum paid so you won't lose out from the tax.
As my employee I've added you to my pension scheme, and you get the object in the envelope, open it now please. That thing you are now holding is an American Express Centurion card, the mythical Black Amex. I want you to use this card for any major expenses, there is literally no credit limit, but I feel safe giving you this card as I know you will not abuse it. You get all kinds of benefits in restaurants and hotels, use it to buy a Bentley and keep the Aston if you really want to, everything will go on Company expenses. You'll be getting a full information pack from Amex in a day or so, it will include all the details you need for the concierge service and managing the card.
See my dear, I trust you with all my money, because I know deep down you are the most honest person I have ever met.
That's the gushing out of the way, now go and buy yourself a car, the Light Sapphire is a good colour choice, although it's not really light at all, quite a deep blue.
I'll be seeing you both in a month, keep well
I stared at the deep black credit card with its centurion head, my name embossed at the bottom, Ms Amy Foster. Oh, my married name, the first time I'd seen it in print, I'll have to get used to it though.
"Gary, come here."
"Look at this, Geoff has just given me a black Amex, read the letter then get ready to go out, we're swapping the Aston for a Bentley."
The easiest Bentley dealership to find was down near Knutsford, in Cheshire, I'd been there once before when Geoff was having one of his cars serviced. Just over 70 miles, a little over an hour according to the sat nav, but I've stopped trusting that thing.
I changed into a smart, but sexy business outfit and I made Gary put on a shirt and tie, and a clean pair of shoes. Once we looked the part I popped the black Amex in my purse and we hit the road.
Getting a new car is one of the most exciting things ever, especially a new luxury supercar, the black Amex in my purse was also intoxicating, and I hoped I had the self-control not to abuse it.
I wound the windows down a little so we could get the full effect of the glorious V12 under the Aston's bonnet, keep the engine above 5000rpm and noise is almost pornographic.
The journey south flew by, and before we knew it the Bentley dealership was looming in front of us. I parked up and stepped out, to be greeted by a uniformed doorman. He put his hand out and I shook it, Gary stepped round the car and shook his hand as well.
"Can I help you miss?"
I looked at his badge, "Yes John, I'd like to swap that heap for something a little better, preferably with back seats that can hold adults."
"Well you've come to the right place, step this way."
We walked into the showroom, which was like a really posh hotel lobby, but with cars instead of potted palms, and one of the other guys came across to greet us.
"Amy? Yes, it's Amy isn't it, you came here a couple of years ago with Geoff Godley-Smythe, one of our best customers until he moved to America. So how can we help you today?"
"Well hello, that's a good memory you've got there, I'm afraid I can't remember your name though."
"Sorry, I'm Mark. I have a superb memory for names, it's essential in this business, but I especially remember beautiful ladies. Is this your husband?"
"Not yet, but he will be soon, we're getting married next month. Anyway, I've got an Aston Martin Vanquish outside, a little over 6 months old, only about 1,500 miles on the clock, and we need to swap it for something with usable back seats. Geoff advised I get a Continental GT, the new V8, in Light Sapphire with the Naim hi-fi upgrade."
"Well that's a good place to start, come into my office, I'll get some coffee and we'll get down to business."
I'm afraid we went a bit mad on the options, and an hour later we'd added £40k to the base price of the car, which meant that after trading in the Aston we owed £25k. I gave Geoff a call and he wasn't worried in the slightest, in fact he commended me for my restraint on the options list, he asked to speak to the salesman, and they chatted for a while and added a couple more features that made the balance a shade over £30k.
I handed over the Amex and Mark's eyes lit up, "I've never seen one of these before, I thought they were a myth."
.... There is more of this story ...