Love is in the Air!
Everyone seems to be engaged at the moment!
From my experience when you’re engaged January is the month it suddenly gets real. You go from happily thinking to yourself “I’m getting married next year!” to “HOLY CRAP I’M GETTING MARRIED THIS YEAR!! I need a cake! DJ! OMG WHERE’S MY DRESS???”
As I got married last year – and loved every second – I thought I’d share some of my experiences and tips for an awesome wedding.
#1 Choose what is important to you and stick to that.
Weddings are expensive. Mine and Mr P’s wedding was fairly modest by today’s standards and still cost a fair amount. That’s way it is extremely important that you choose what you absolutely have to have early on and prepare to cut corners a little on the less essential stuff.
For some brides it will be the dress. For some it will be the band or the catering or the cake. The fact is once you start planning a wedding you will discover how insanely expensive everything is. Unless you’re very lucky it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to have the perfect everything. So just choose one thing – always dreamt of a particular dress? Fine – get that but be prepared to be a little more flexible on the catering. Or maybe you have to get married at that beautiful stately home but you’re really not bothered about your transport – if you save money on the things you’re not worried about you have more money to spend on the things that really matter.
Speaking of transport...
#2 Be imaginative.
These days the only barrier to what your wedding can be is your own mind.
Take your transport - maybe you’ve always dreamed arriving to your wedding via horse and cart and you cannot imagine doing it any other way. Maybe you want to rock up on personalised mopeds or maybe you’ll get lucky and you can walk to your wedding (did it, loved it!).
Mr P and I really weren’t worried about our wedding transportation. I was able to walk to the church and Mr P seriously contemplated rocking up in a post office van. We started looking at posh cars to take us back to our venue and quickly discovered that for the price of a car for just the two of us we could get an entire Double Decker bus!
So we did that....
|Vintage 1960's routemaster bus... it was amazing!|
That way we got to ride to our reception venue with all our family and friends on board. It was memorable, fun and – most importantly – they allowed us to drink champagne on the way. For us it was important we shared our wedding with everybody. This included the transportation – why spend a fortune on something just for yourselves when you can share it? But that was what was important for us. That and free ice cream.
|Every Bride deserves Ice Cream|
Maybe yours will be a little different. The point is – cater it to you and you will never forget it.
#3 Don’t let anybody else’s idea of what a wedding “should be” rule your day.
For me this particular issue came to a head during the search for my dress. I had a rough idea of my dress in my head from day one. I wanted a dress I knew would suit me, one I could dance in – basically one that was just me.
It wasn’t most people’s idea of a “proper” wedding dress. Mainly because it was only ¾ length. But it was what I wanted. When I described my wedding dress to people they’d invariably look at me a bit askance because what bride doesn’t want to be a princess on their wedding day?
Answer: Me, I didn’t want to be a princess. I wanted to be an awesome rock n roll goddess.
|To be fair it's pretty hard to stop me...|
I had one memorable afternoon with my Mum in a wedding dress shop where she kept insisting I be hoisted into more and more elaborate gowns with trains, lace and crystals galore.
“You look beautiful!” She kept announcing proudly, snapping away with the camera (possibly documenting the one and only time her daughter would ever look elegant).
“But I can’t boogie.” I kept replying stubbornly.
Anyway in the she agreed we got my fabulous dress. And the best part? Because we got the shorter dress I could totally justify getting the most amazing shoes of all time.
So the moral of this? There will be plenty of people ready to give you their idea of what you need for your wedding - usually people that aren't even involved. Ignore them – it’s your day and you can get married in a tracksuit if it’s what you really want! I myself switched to awesome converse for the evening so I could dance all night.
|I added the words and the sunflower :)|
And Mr P?
He wanted a brown suit for our wedding. He looked and looked but couldn’t find it anywhere. In the end he got married in his favourite suit – a vintage blue suit I bought from a retro shop for £35 as a Christmas present the year before.
And I wouldn’t change it for a second.
#4 Pick a theme and stick to it
Very early on I knew that I wanted to base my wedding around sunflowers. I wanted it to be bright, happy and colourful. The only problem with this is trying to find to find colourful wedding decorations is pretty much impossible – (why is it that getting married suddenly means a complete lack of colour?? All you can see for miles is coral, light pink and ivory!). This is when I learnt an important lesson.
EBay is a bride’s best friend!
If you know what you want you can find a million things on ebay. I found little sunflower clips to clip onto the sides of the champagne glasses, sunflower tea lights, petals to scatter on the table... all little details that helped to make our venue look magical for next to nothing. Because I knew I wanted sunflowers I was able to pick all my colours around them – we had yellows, oranges and reds and because I was able to tell the florist exactly what I wanted picking flowers was quick, easy and fairly cheap!
|I loved my beautiful bouquet!|
#5 Your friends are invaluable and will help you get through your wedding with your sanity (mostly) intact.
My bridesmaids were amazing, I could just give them any job and they would do it. You really can’t overestimate the effect of your best mates on your wedding day. Your friends are the ones who will bring you drinks when you’re stuck talking to your Great Aunt Mabel and they’ll run interference when your uncle drinks too much and starts falling over. And if you're as amazingly lucky as we were - they'll all club together and order you an awesome vintage cadillac to get home in.
And on that note...
#6 Invite who you want to your wedding – not who you’re supposed to invite.
Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to be able to invite as many people as you like to your wedding and not worry about the cost. But, if you’re like us, you’ll most likely have a limited number of “day” guests you can invite along.
We devised a simple system for ours – “Have we spent any time at all with this person in the last two years?” (Not counting funerals!). If the answer was no then they went onto the back up guest list. If there was room for them during the day after we’d invited everyone they got an invite – otherwise they had an evening invite.
Yes you may have to be harsh and yes maybe you’ll ruffle a few feathers but it is your wedding. You will remember it for the rest of your life. Make the most of it.
#7 Unless you trust them complicity do not give the groom any important jobs to do for the wedding!!
Ladies, I cannot stress this enough. Now maybe you’ll get lucky and this won’t happen to you – but in my experience the groom does not realise he’s getting married until someone physically deposits him in the church. That’s just how he’s made and you will not change that.
Think I’m exaggerating?
I gave Mr P one job for our wedding.... one job!
I trusted that he would do this job. I didn’t even feel the need to nag him or check up on him.... oh how naive I was!!
I had a phone call on the Monday before our wedding. The phone call was from the vicar...
“Oh hello.” She said cautiously. “I was just wondering... are you getting married this Saturday? Only we haven’t had confirmation so we had to cancel all the flowers?”
YOU HAD ONE JOB!!!!
Luckily it was fixable but I feel that I would be amiss if I didn’t share this warning with all brides out there – heed my advice!!
#8 If possible plan a little get together with your friends and family the morning after.
Nobody ever thinks much about the morning after your wedding but it is important. If possible try and get together with a few choice people for breakfast. It gives you a chance to talk about the day and enjoy being together for a few more moments – it also keeps the party spirit going that little bit longer and you can stave off the post wedding crash that inevitably happens sooner or later (a bit like post holiday blues).
#9 Enjoy It!
I have spoken to too many brides who have got to their wedding only for it to rush past in a haze of tradition and ceremony. The fact is that this is (hopefully) the only time you will ever get married; it costs a fortune and takes up a big chunk of your life. Make sure you get every bit of enjoyment you can out of it.
I spent my wedding on the dance floor dancing with my friends and my husband. If anybody wanted to see me they knew where to find me and most of them did! I had a brilliant time and so did everyone else. Stop panicking about everyone else and get on with enjoying yourself, you’ll never ever get this day back.
And finally – and most importantly.
#10 Remember why you’re getting married.
You’re not getting married for the dress, or the cake or for anybody who wants to be involved.
You’re getting married because you’ve found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. The whole day should reflect that. Mr P and I were lucky – our entire day was “us” from the outfits, the bus, the ice cream van and The Beatles songs in the church to the karaoke later on in the evening.
Your wedding is the start of your future with your new family – whether that’s a family of two or if it’s cementing the bigger family you already have. It is the start of an amazing journey and you should celebrate that every step. Make sure you have a minute for the two of you at least once an hour where you can just look at each other and go:
“Baby! We’re married!”
If you’ve got that then who cares what goes wrong. It doesn’t matter if it rains or if the flowers are wrong. What matters is that after this day your life will never be the same again.
(Proudly) Mrs P
X x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
P.S. Incidentally if you are getting married and fancy some awesome music at your wedding check out www.buddyandconnietribute.com or www.theplayersduo.co.uk. I love weddings.