So I thought I’d jot down all the things that I wish someone had told me (ok, some of them are what I’ve been told but needless to say I found them useful) – some of them are super small, but small things can make a big difference, right?
I was lucky that I had been chatting to a couple of amazing ladies in the run up to the wedding, one who was recently married and another who got married at a similar time to us, which is where I’ll start…
Make bride buddies: this came about naturally but I’m so glad it did because when you think you’re maybe over thinking something and then you find out it’s totally normal, or you were running out of time to do save the dates and they recommend Paperless Post – it really shows it’s good to talk and you have some lovely conversations along the way too!
Low “bow”: And by bow I mean bouquet, one of my dearest friends had told me this tip and it’s true – relax your arms when holding your bouquet, sometimes you see brides holding their bouquet really square to their bust and it looks more forced in photos.
Sleepover the night before: I read somewhere to make the night before an occasion too and I do agree with that, but it mentioned the “final” sleepover with your girls (who said I was giving them up so easily), but I do think there’s a risk of idealising everything wedding related, and what if one of them snores really loudly?
The dress hunt: Talking of idealising, I love shopping, and I genuinely thought I’d love every minute, and I did, but if I’m being brutal I did find it all very practical too – maybe I’ve watched too many films, films that show Champagne toasts in every shop. Well, that only happened in two and I think I visited more that 20 in the end and you do get to a point where you just want to get in and out of them asap, so you can try more on in a hope that you find one you love. I think a big bust makes this uber difficult too so be warned if that’s the case for you too. I couldn’t help but feel as if I either looked like Katie Price because of the boning or there wasn’t enough support. Needless to say, when you do find you dress, I do think it’s true what they say – you just know.
Bouquet / Flowers: I always picked bouquets for aesthetic reasons, the spray, the amount of Olive leaves or Eucalyptus but you do have to carry them after all, and one handedly whilst walking down the aisle. It’s important to think about the weight of the bouquet too – they really can be quite heavy, and you can’t compare it to any bridesmaid bouquet you may of had because they tend to be smaller in comparison to a Bride’s bouquet. This might be that one time I’d consider some element of practicality (along with wedding shoes too of course).
Groom’s attire: Matt is so relaxed he left this to a week or so before, and I’m a firm believer in everything happening for a reason and I loved his suit, but to save you any angst and ensure there’s more symmetry amongst the Bridal party I’d make sure the earlier this is done the better.
Venue contact: If they seem a nightmare early on and there’s not going to be a middle man saving you the hassle, such as a wedding planner, I would consider this being a big decision factor on whether you go for that venue at all because it will become the bain of your life otherwise and I really mean that. On the other hand, if you really get on with the contact, let that sway you too, it’s going to be someone you’ll work closely with so it sure is an important element to consider.
Don’t sweat the small stuff: I hear so many people worry about the weather, and I get it, it was one of the things that made us consider an elopement. That said, we had thunderstorms leading right up to the wedding, and when the day comes, you really do just accept it for all that it is because there’s nothing you can do about it. Easier said than done I know, but the more you minimise stress by doing less, worrying less, or even cutting out paperwork if it seems all a little unnecessary, the more enjoyable it will be. It does go by way too quickly! I got bit to smithereens by mosquitos a couple of nights before the wedding, but just like anything else, there is nothing you can do to change it and you’re just so happy you end up just thinking “what the hell…” a “live and let live” motto really is the key.
Hair & Make-Up: I wish I’d sorted this out way earlier than I did, I guess if you’re getting married near home and could use your favourite hairdresser in the whole world then that’s great, but if you can’t, get in there quick. Otherwise availability is more scarce, and you have less time to plan trials leisurely and this should be a more enjoyable, relaxing time too!
The Photographer / Videographer: This for me will always be a splurge item, finding the right one can take longer than you’d think and everyone has different styles to suit different tastes. We wanted someone who could capture raw emotion, and as little posing as possible, and that’s what we found, but it wasn’t an easy task. At the same time, getting on with them is key too – you will spend a large part of one of the most important days of your life with them and our day was enhanced by our passionate and energetic, photographer. Everyone commented on how he just seemed to be everywhere all of the time. Lastly, but by no means least – if budget allows, definitely get a videographer, its a great memento of the day and you won’t regret it.
Finding suppliers: Be relentless and never settle, if your guts telling you something’s not right – listen to it!
Accessories: Less is sometimes more – everyone kept asking me to try a veil on with my dress and I just didn’t feel like me, well unless I was playing dress up. Don’t get me wrong I adore them on other people, but think if your dress really needs it, and consider accessories too, overdoing it and adding things for the sake of it can be an easy place to go wrong.
The Bridal Suite: Make sure there’s room for you all, if you’ve got a lot of bridesmaids a standard double room, if you’re getting ready together will end up feeling like twister so budget for it too.
Thank you gifts: Don’t forget to budget for them too because I did – whoops!
First things first: If I was starting again, what would I prioritise? The venue, the stationery, the hair and make up and then the dress, in that order.
Preconceptions: Ignore them! I always thought I wanted metallic sandals that I could wear again, but I actually got an antique rose pair that I could still wear again and were way more comfortable than any other pair I’d tried on. I was reluctant to splurge on them at first but I’m so glad I did. They were by Gianvito Rossi, who still make shoes by hand and boy you could tell, I didn’t take them off they were so comfortable. Just make sure you protect them if they can’t be wiped clean. Lesson learned!
Never underestimate the emotion: I thought I’d hold myself together as I walked down the aisle and I was more worried about my dad falling apart, oh how wrong I was – nothing had prepared me for that moment and I was so overwhelmed with happiness it all became a blur. It’s true what they say: take a much in as you can because it really is more of a big bubble than you’d ever imagine.
From the girl, still in her own bubble because it really is the best day ever, cliché I know.