What does a vagabond wear to a wedding?

Having put it off for about 4 months, I now have to face the dilemma of finding a suitably respectable outfit to attend my good friend’s wedding. Lydia and Nigel will be tying the knot at the beautiful Archbishop’s Palace in Maidstone in just a few days time. Unfortunately Jonno will be unable to join me on the day as he has heroically volunteered to stay at our house sit for the last day on his own so I can travel to the wedding. He is one in a million, but you all know that already. Although I am not sure the invitation would have been extended to him if they saw the above photo.

The Dilemma

Every single item in my case and bag have a practical use. There is nothing carried that is not hard wearing, practical, easy to wash and, to be honest, fashion doesn’t come into the equation. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. This is the way things have to be for our lifestyle and there is just no point spending money on frivolous stuff that I will have no opportunity to wear or will get ruined. I can’t really see me pooper scooping or running for a train in a Karen Millen or even a H&M, Zara or Next outfit.

Although when anyone quizzes me on what I miss whilst JWalking my standard answers are family, baking and crafts and not being able to buy something just because I like it without running through the questions in my head; how much will I use/wear it? how much space does it take up? is it good value? and finally do I really need it?

What are the options for a wedding guest outfit – pros and cons?

  1. Buy something – being near enough to suitable shops, potentially expensive, difficult to store, not a lover of shopping, accessories may be required.
  2. Borrow something – being near enough to a friend to try a few things on, difficult to store and return, accessories may be required.
  3. Use something I already have – this is probably the best option but there is nothing in my travelling things remotely suitable to wear to a wedding. Next best is to access the small storage cupboard we have where I have the total sum three dresses. One is my “smart” dress which is black. Something in me cannot wear all black to a wedding. I know it can be dressed up with colourful accessories but I want a happy colour to reflect the mood of the day. Dress number two and three are the dresses that I had for our sons’ weddings. One I call my high-vis outfit and the other one is my paint splatter dress (or confetti as I think the shop called it).

4.  The Emperor option – The final option is to do a version of the Emperor’s New Clothes but I wouldn’t put my worst enemy through that.

So as time is against me Option 3 it is.

Accessorise, Accessorise, Accessorise

So my plan of action on the day after a bus, train, tube and train is to hot foot it to the storage cupboard. I am 99% sure that I have a cardigan or pashmina, small bag and some shoes that I can put with the ensemble. Then we come to the finishing touches. I travel with the bare minimum of make up. A mascara and moisturiser is about it but there is something about “a bit of a do” that makes me want to push the boat out so I will be going all feminine and buying some nail varnish (not forgetting to get some remover too), eyeliner and maybe some foundation (to cover the out- doorsie look I have).

Then there is the question of perfume…..panic! On a day to day basis I use a body spray, Impulse or similar but this calls for something more exclusive. Once again I think I have a smidge of my favourite perfume from our former lives in the life saving storage cupboard.

As I look in the mirror to try and remember what all these random items will look like when they come together I catch a glimpse of my battered glasses. For a good few months I have been intending to get them changed. After over three years, travelling has taken it’s toll on them. They have been lost and trampled in the woods, the arm has been ripped off and super glued back on and they are not looking their best (forgive the pun).

The trouble is that we are never anywhere long enough to get an eye test, choose frames and wait for them to arrive. I am not too keen on doing this on line as I think I am moving into the varifocal phase of my life. Hallelujah! I have found two sets of contact lenses, once again from our former lives, that are still bobbing around in some fluid and still in date. Sorted.

The Big Day

It will be a miracle if all this comes together but at least I will be there, hopefully looking half decent and not a dog’s dinner (pun intended). A big thank you has to go to Becca and Dan, photographers extraordinaire, for providing a bed for the night, transportation to the reception and those last minute essentials like hairspray and contact lens fluid.  Even if I don’t look like the classic well coiffured wedding guest, I will at least feel that I have made an effort.

Shame Jonno only gets to see the travelling me. How selfish I am being, anyone would think it was all about me, of course its not at all about me, it is all about two lovely people exchanging vows and being there to share this happy occasion. It was such a happy relaxed occasion for family and friends to share. Lydia looked radiant and Nigel her handsome Prince Charming.

We are still surprised sometimes by how we still have JWalking firsts the impact on events with family and friends. Even though it would be useful at times like these to have a wardrobe full of suitable outfits and a bathroom full of cosmetics, I wouldn’t change what we are doing.

Lydia wedding
“Good times, great friends, amazing memories!”

The next posh outfit challenge will be a close family wedding in June next year. It will probably be Option 1 for me, hopefully with new glasses, and Option 3 for Jonno. Yes that date is firmly in the diary we will be going together although I don’t think he will be losing any sleep over what to wear.

6/10/2018

20 comments

  1. How do you pack if you are traveling from a hot country to a colder country ?? Do you carry an assortment for both ? So far, I have been mostly house sitting in my own country so am able to switch out things from my storage unit periodically. This winter I am house sitting in Mexico for 2 months then going to U.K to house sit in Scotland. I feel like packing for both at same time would be hard. I have not yet figured out the logistics. As in , will I stop off at home base in between these places, or just fly from Mexico to U.K. Any tips on that ???

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    • Not sure where home is for you but personally i would try and go with what you have. I travel with 1 shorts, 1 skirt, 2 trousers, t shirts, I jumper and 1 fleece and find it is enough for everywhere even if it is limited. In extreme circumstances I would buy an extra whatever. Shoes are walking boots, Birkenstocks and flip flops. Be minimal as poss.

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      • Thanks, Still learning to be minimal. I had no problem with it 25 years ago when I lived in an RV for a couple years. Got rid of everything. For some reason I am finding it harder this time around. Still have a larger then I would like storage unit and need to go thru it again to downsize. I live in California , USA. Very possibly going to house sit in SMA Mexico Feb till April 20 , then going to Scotland about Early May. So, looking at flights it looks better to just go on straight to UK instead of stopping in Ca. Just just different climates. I guess I can allways thrift store shop if I am lacking something.

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    • Made a big deal of it really but it was just to highlight how what for everyone else is routine is a bit more involved. It was a lovely occasion. Wish Jonno could have shared but he was with the other lady in his life. Poppy the cockerpoo

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jon hates a suit and even denied having one. In fact he still has 2. Wait for the post next year when Jon has to brush one off for a family wedding. I will be censoring the vocab!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Scrubbing up for a special event is difficult at the best of best of times. When vogabonding doubly hard, but you clearly managed to scrub up very well. For me I usually stick with black trousers for anything and then dress up with a nice top and accessories. Some great tops can be found in charity shop!

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