With so many wedding blogs out there, I found it tough to find some honest, gritty advice. Do I have to get my boobs out when I’m trying on dresses?! Is it normal to feel stressed out? Will I be a bridezilla? Well, let me help, here’s my honest wedding advice…
HEY, LET’S GET WED!
So, what question do you get asked the most as soon as you get a new ring on your finger? “How are the wedding plans coming along!?” I was pre-warned on how annoying this becomes, but it’s not something that actually annoys me at all, in fact… I enjoy it. Wedding chat is my favourite and I’m not really sure what I’ll do when it’s all over. But for now? For now, I’ll write blog posts about it and talk about it until I’m blue in the face. So here goes, some honest wedding advice…
Getting engaged was the best day of my life so far, I’m not even exaggerating. I could hear every sound of every tree rustling in the wind and my face throbbed with shock and absolute-bloody-joy. Then, once the excitement and general feelings of “OH MY GOD I’M ENGAGED” passed, I felt.. a little stressed. I had to actually plan a wedding? I havent ever planned anything before, not even a birthday party. How the hell was I going to pull this off? Where do I start? How could I avoid the Bridezilla name tag and keep this simple, easy and stress free? WELL…
It was at this point of my new engagement days when I really needed help and honest words of wisdom. I needed a blog post that could help me, keep me calm and remind me that everything was going to be okay. I didn’t want polished Instagrams and fancy billion pound wedding photos, I wanted reality. I wanted someone to say, hey, it’s going to be a lot of work but you’ll be fine! So, for future “me’s” or anyone newly engaged yet to plan their wedding and feeling slightly overwhelmed.. welcome, welcome. Let’s get started.
Photography by Kathryn Hopkins
TAKE YOUR TIME
You don’t need to start planning your wedding the day after getting engaged.
I felt somewhat pressured to get a venue booked, a date sorted, a dress brought because everyone kept asking me “So, when’s the big day?!”
In reality, it’s nice to enjoy some time as an engaged couple. Relish in that new relationship status and enjoy it. I found it took me a few weeks to get used to the idea I was going to be a wife and to be honest – 6 months down the line it still feels odd!
However, if you’re excited and want to get the ball rolling – make sure you don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
Originally we wanted to get married 7 months later and that was the plan. I phoned venues, no one had any weekend dates. I phoned dress shops and I would have had to buy a dress from the sample section. For me, this didn’t feel right and it stressed me out beyond belief.
But, if this is something you’re happy with, it can be done.
THE ‘DREAM’ DRESS
You need to make appointments to try on dresses. Sadly, you can’t just walk in to your local boutique like it’s Topshop and start trying them on. This means you have to be somewhat organised and I would say it’s always good to take someone along with you for a bit of backup and help. There’s a lot of white, a lot of glitz and it’s all a bit overwhelming!
So what to take along with you? Some heels. Otherwise be prepared to be given some size 3 peep-toes that will cut off the circulation to your legs and make everything seem much more effort than it really is (yes, this is from personal experience) If you already have some idea of a hair piece, you can take this along too – but they usually pop on one from the shop for reference.
I knew exactly what I wanted in a dress. Every detail was etched into my mind, I had four Pinterest boards and I was armed with photos of inspiration and I had made sure my Mum also knew these details, for back up. She was the Robin to my Batman.
I walked out with the complete opposite.
I’ve been told this happens a lot, even the staff working in the wedding dress shop said that most Brides walk out with a completely different dress to what they had dreamt about for years. The thing is, we don’t shop for wedding dresses everyday (as much as I wish we could) and it’s tough to know whats going to work for you.
I must admit. I felt pressured the find the exact dress of my Pinterest induced dreams. When I fell in love with something I had never even considered, it shocked me. I felt guilty… was I cheating on my idyllic dream dress, or was this actually it!?
The underdog won me over. What I’m saying here is be open minded. You can have an idea, a style and that’s okay but let yourself like something new. You’ll be made to try on dresses you would never choose and at first I thought this was a waste of time, but I can see why now. Once they’re on they look different and perhaps they could actually be the one after all?
Next up on the dress hit-list is be prepared to get it all out. Wear nice underwear (I went for some really bad Bridget Jone’s pants and it was rather embarrassing) Some shops I visited put me in the dresses (hey boobs) and some passed me the dresses and allowed me to have some dignity. I definitely preferred to be left to my own devices and I didn’t like the ‘special treatment’ that some shops gave me (aka, making my Mum hide behind a wall until they pinned and fluffed the dress to perfection for the grand reveal) but some people like that so each to their own. I guess just be prepared for anything, and always ask for a coffee. Thinking can be exhausting.
When booking a photographer, it’s important you like their work obviously, but it’s also important to see photos from a wedding they have shot. Most photographer’s will happily provide you gallery links and it’s here you can see how they capture an entire day.
It’s important that you discuss what you want with your Photographer. For instance, some like to do formal family shots and some don’t – it’s a good thing to discuss these points so you’re not disappointed on the day and they know exactly what you’re expecting.
Wedding fayres are a really good place to meet Photographers in person but of course the Internet also makes it super easy too. With so many around it’s good to take your time with finding the right person for the job, don’t rush into a decision until you’re absolutely sure.
For us, the most important detail of our wedding was a Photographer. Chris obviously works in Photography but he couldn’t shoot our wedding (no cardboard cutouts allowed) I knew that I wanted something special and let me tell you, this was tough. We looked at hundreds of websites and it was hard to compromise on someone we both liked the style of. Then as if by magic, an email landed in my inbox and to be honest… it was pretty easy from there on.
Kathryn got in touch regarding some wedding inspiration photoshoots and asked me if I’d fancy modelling for her. Kathryn actually shot my best friend’s wedding too, but at the time I wasn’t even on the wedding radar, so it slipped my mind. Once I looked deeper into her work and browsed through the galleries of weddings she had shot since, I fell in love and I knew she was our lady – Chris agreed.
As you can see from the photos in this post, she has a unique way of capturing details, her style is romantic, fairytale-esq and paints a picture without even having to say, or write, a word. I want photos that I will happily hang in my house and be able to look at for the rest of my life, remembering the feelings of the day. For me, Kathryn provides this. I’ll leave all her links below, it’s definitely worth a browse, even if it’s just for some inspiration.
More wedding posts just like this are coming your way soon… I have a lot to say.