The Wedding Diaries
Let’s start at the beginning (“It’s a wonderful place to start”… sorry).
I’ll start by saying this. Despite having worked in the wedding industry and having been a bridesmaid 4 times – I was frightfully naïve when it came to planning my own wedding.
I’m very fortunate to have met the man of my dreams. A man I fell in love with from a distance when I was just 18 years old. We went our separate ways for 5 years, before initiating what I can only describe as a fairy-tale romance. It’s been, in short, pretty perfect (I know, don’t vom).
But then we got engaged…
The proposal was beautiful and the timing was perfect. I walked into this blissful time in my life with my eyes completely shut – unwittingly. Little did I know, my engagement is not my business… it’s everyone else’s.
“Have you set a date?”
“Let me show you this venue my cousin got married at…”
“I’ll send you the place I got my dress from, you have to go there…”
“Are your parents going to contribute?”
“Are you going to have a long engagement?”
“Oh god I can’t wait to see you as bridezilla”
“Don’t be one of those brides who loses loads of weight”
I could go on… and on.
The fact is, I wasn’t really that bothered about diving into wedding planning straight away. Sure, I had a Pinterest board (who doesn’t) but I was relatively chilled about the entire affair. Until, inevitably, I had to answer to the above questions. I found myself feeling squeamish when I told people I wasn’t really looking for a venue – “just a field will do”. Or that I was thinking about using a local designer for my dress – “I’m just not that into the boutique thing…”. Or that we were probably going to get married a year later – “I’m sure I don’t need to worry just yet”.
Then of course, there are the bridesmaids. Let me caveat that with two things:
1. I am very lucky that I have people in my life who wish to be bridesmaids. That’s very flattering.
2. I haven’t actually asked anyone yet…
Firstly – a dear old friend asked who my bridesmaids were. I mumbled something about my sister and my fiancé’s sister and a friend who’s beautiful children are my godchildren. Cue ‘the guilt face’. I hadn’t said this girls name – she was shocked. I was shocked that she was shocked. It was grotesque.
Then, I fell out with one of my best friend’s husband. This friend, I hasten to add, was definitely on my ‘must be a bridesmaid list’. It’s still awkward now.
Which leads me to some happier area of this post. Some advice that I hope you’ll take.
1. It’s your f*cking wedding.
People say this on repeat. But, they categorically do not mean it. I said I wanted to get married close to home so that my friend’s children could come. “You shouldn’t do that, you should do what you want!”. DID YOU JUST HEAR ME? I just told you what I want! So, my advice is to live and breathe this mentality and don’t be afraid to say it out loud.
2. Keep it schtum…
You don’t have to answer all the questions people ask you. If you don’t want to tell people where you’re getting married, or what your dress looks like – don’t. And vice versa. If you want to talk about it and you don’t mind telling people about your dress – do it! There’s no hard-and-fast rules anymore…
3. Don’t play by the rules if you don’t want to
I’m getting walked down the aisle by both of my parents, I’m waking up on my wedding day with my partner and we’ll be staying in our own bed that night – no hotels or separate sleeping arrangements. I’m probably going to wear my engagement ring the entire time too! Why? Because I want to and that’s ok. You can choose which traditions you like and don’t like. Never feel uncomfortable for the sake of an old custom.
4. Spend on what’s important to you
I read this on LAHU wedding photography early on in my wedding planning journey. Essentially, you simply need to think about what matters to you as a couple and invest your splurging there. Are you foodies? Big fashionistas? Wine buffs? Creative sentimentalists? Interior decorators? Floral fanatics?
If something isn’t your thing, don’t feel pressured to spend thousands it.
5. Remember how you got here
No matter what stress or upset comes your way during this process, just remember why you’re here. You’re engaged and planning a wedding because you decided you loved someone enough to spend your entire existence with them – and they felt the same way about you.
Isn’t that beautiful?
Planning my wedding has not been stressful in the slightest – in that, we knew what we wanted and we’ve set out to make it happen. Hurting other people’s feelings, unintentionally, has been the most difficult part.
But, and I’ve been saying this on repeat…
I am marrying the man of my dreams and that’s all that matters to me.
The List by the HWC/
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Welcome to the Wedding Diaries by Stephanie Powell, a gorgeous part of our editorial team, and the resident Wedding Diaries columnist, humorously tracking the aisle from Miss to Mrs.
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