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Spend & Save

Donald MacInnes: Would a trapeze artist be excessive for my wedding?

In The Red

Now that we have known each other for a while, you'll be aware that I have a propensity – like a flock of sheep protesting at spending cuts outside the Ministry of Wool – to bleat like my life depended on it... and I should warn you that this is shaping up to be one of those times.

As I write, in my rickety treehouse atop Independent Villas, with a temperate March breeze rustling the sagging flock wallpaper and the sounds of Kensington High Street's parping gentility drifting up to me, I can feel the tell-tale vibration in that part of my brain responsible for fury (that is, pretty much all of it. Well, apart from the 0.4 per cent which generates alarm at the proximity of coriander and the 6 per cent which appreciates the smell of my girlfriend's hair).

Talking of said chocolate-coloured tresses (and by "chocolate", I mean an 80 per cent cocoa bar with flecks of crystallised ginger; Fair Trade, natch), full-time members of the ever-growing regiments of the In The Red army will be aware that I am in the process of arranging my wedding to the custodian of said barnet.

The lady in question and I have been spending the past few weeks haggling with various merchants who will jack up their prices as soon as they hear that the ice sculpture you require – the one of you and your prospective missus locked in what the catalogue described as Hollywood Kiss No 7 – is for your wedding and not some less glamorous purpose.

I suspect if you just wanted the chilly monolith standing in your lounge, they wouldn't charge the king's ransom they insist upon when they hear you need it for the entry hallway in the south London scout hut where you are holding your wedding reception.

A few weeks ago, I implored you legions out in Indy land to help me bring this whole shooting match in for less than fifty grand.

I now realise that I should have swallowed what remains of my pride and just asked for the money outright and to hell with the consequences and Press Complaints Commission inquiries and scornful headlines in other, less-admirable newspapers.

Let's be frank with each other: it might cause a scandal to make the Leveson Inquiry look like an episode of Quincy, but surely it would be worth it if your generosity means I can afford a gaggle of snow white geese to parade down the aisle after my fiancée and her father, while a lone trapeze artist sprinkles glitter over the congregation and Tony Bennett duets with Adele on "Here Comes the Bride".

Surely there's nothing too excessive about that ...