Who’s day is it, again?

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A little while ago, someone said to me ‘my biggest fear for the day is that people won’t like my choices, that someone will say that they don’t like the colours, or the flowers, or the dress I chose’.

WHAT?!

Of course, I reassured her that everything was beautiful and it would all be fine.

Seriously, though. What is it about weddings that turns an otherwise intelligent, sensible person in to an insane, insecure mess?! There speaks a woman who has spent far too long reading wedding magazines and watching Don’t Tell The Bride, and who has convinced herself that this stuff is important.

You’ve decided you want a wedding. Traditional, vintage, beach, barn.. whatever. You’ve chosen that because that’s what you want, right? And then you picked all the other stuff that you thought was ‘you’, that was your style? So, you like what you’ve chosen? What else matters?

Have confidence in your choices. Choose what you love and move on to more important matters – like sampling cake. Oh, and looking forward to spending the rest of your life with the one you love. Obviously.

PS. Why did you invite anyone who would criticise you, anyway? Just sayin’.

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You can’t buy it

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt recently, it’s that the amount of money you spend on a wedding is NOT directly proportionate to how beautiful it is, or indeed to how much you enjoy the day.  OK, if you’re on Victoria Beckham’s budget, and you want diamond-studded bouquets, go for it.  If that’s what makes you happy, go ahead and be happy.  Will that make you happy?

What are you actually buying?  Someone else’s vision of ‘perfect’?  The confidence that if it’s expensive, it must be right?  Or – dare I say it – the jealousy of your friends (“friends”)?  The promise that everyone at your wedding will remember it?  Really?

Think back to a great event you went to.  What comes to mind?  I’m going to bet it isn’t the table centrepieces or the colour scheme.  It was great because you had a good time, right?  You spent time with people you love, you laughed, you danced, someone embarrassed themselves, there’s a story to tell that makes you laugh every time..

You can’t buy that stuff.

Your guests will remember a heartfelt, funny speech from someone who genuinely loves you.  They’ll remember how you couldn’t stop smiling all day.  They’ll remember the pain in their feet after dancing for too long. 

There’s plenty of gorgeous wedding ‘props’ to buy.  Fill your boots.  Just remember the things that  are guaranteed to make your wedding day beautiful.  Smiles on faces. A bride wearing something that she feels the prettiest version of herself in.  Love.  Genuine ‘I love you so much I could squeeze you’ love.  Love for your partner.  Love for your granny. Grab-you-and-pull-you-on-the-dancefloor-love. We’ll-always-be-best-friends-love. I-had-a-huge-crush-on-you-when-I-was-15-give-me-one-last-dance-love. OK, maybe keep that last one to yourself, but you get the picture.

No-one is saying you shouldn’t care about the details.  But put your heart (and budget) in to the details that matter to you.

What do you think?  Can you buy your happiness?  

If the shoe fits

Ballet, kitten heel, high heel, skyscraper – whatever you choose to wear on your wedding day, make sure the shoe fits you – wear what suits your feet and your soul, wear what you feel good in.

(The images for this post could have gone on for-ev-ah.  So many shoes, so little time.)

Drool. Shoes are a great way to add a splash of colour.

Wedges are a great alternative to high heels, if you want some height without the teetering.

Yum.  Just..yum.

More your style?

How ’bout some hot flatties?

There’s a girl that lives by her own rules.

  Tip:  Have a spare pair of shoes for the evening, even if it’s just another pair of heels – your feet will appreciate the change.  Or just kick them off and dance, girl! 

Have you got any tips to share?

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Are you trying for perfect?

I recently went to a wedding where, despite the best efforts of those around her, it was plain for everyone to see that the bride didn’t really enjoy the day.  The self-imposed pressure was just too much.  That’s not the official line, of course.  The official line is that everything was ‘perfect’.  Who dare speak of an unhappy bride?  How could anyone possibly admit disappointment after so much expense?

Are you heading for this, too?

Take a deep breath and get real.  Here’s the cold, hard truth.  Something. Might. Go. Wrong.  Shock horror!  Who knew. 

Are you going to be annoyed that the hairdresser turns up later than planned?  Are you going to be irritated by the mis-behaving flower girls?  Are you going to secretly fume that everyone isn’t behaving how you wanted them to behave? 

Or are you going to take the decision to roll with whatever the day brings you and enjoy every god-damn minute of it? 

Your choice.

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Signs of love

How cute?

The appetite for signs used in weddings doesn’t seem to be waning at all. And it’s no surprise, with brides finding more and more lovely ways to use them to beautiful effect.  If you have a creative streak (or a creative friend!), this is also a potentially very-cheap-to-make touch, too.  All you need is a canvas, some paint and a bit of imagination. 

Do you like this idea?

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The HowNotTo Manifesto

How not to get married?  What’s this all about, then?  Well, in a nutshell…

No, thanks.

No, thanks” to:  Buying in to someone else’s idea of perfection. Maybe the white dress and horse-drawn carriage is for you.  Fine.  Maybe it’s not. Fine.  There are no “must-haves”, “essentials” or “can’t live withouts” here (if you see any, please feel free to let me know that I might have lost my mind).  This is not a place to come to wonder if your wedding ‘measures up’.

No, thanks” to:  The concept that this one “perfect” day will make or break your future happiness.  Excitement is good.  Looking forward to the adventure of married life is good.  Losing perspective and becoming obsessed is not. 

No, thanks” to:  The belief that “wedding” = “expensive” and “difficult”.  It might be both – but it only need be if that’s what you choose.

There’s no anti-wedding or anti-consumerism banter here.  Weddings can be beautiful things.  A chance to unleash your creativity, to connect with your community, and ultimately, share a really beautiful moment in your life with the people you love most.  We ♥ the joyous, the personalised, the love-filled and the heart-warming…

 

Yes, please.

Yes, please” to:  Getting inspired without getting overwhelmed.  Finding a way to express your own personal style in a wedding-world demanding compliance and uniformity.  Having confidence in your decisions – there is no “right” and “wrong”.

Yes, please” to:  Making informed decisions based on your budget and what you actually want.  Being aware of the sometimes-manipulative processes that some of the wedding industry uses to convince you to part with your cash, and therefore going in to it with your eyes open.

Yes, please” to:  Sanity.  Remembering that there is life outside of “the wedding”, appreciating what you’ve got instead of focussing on what you don’t have and can’t afford, and – dare I say it – actually enjoying yourself!

I expect this manifesto to evolve as HNTGM grows.  What do you think? Is there anything you’d like to change or add to this list?

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And so it begins…

I woke up this morning with an idea. 

I run a stationery business (more about that later) and I’ve spent months pondering the thought that, although I run a wedding business, I struggle to blog about it.  I struggle to Facebook about it.  I struggle to even Twitter about it, for goodness’ sake.  Why? Because I just don’t know what to say.  I like pretty, sparkly things as much as the next girl.  But full discussions about whether sweetheart or strapless is the way to go.. ?  Only the girl trying on the dress knows the answer to that, right?  It’s not up to me, or anyone else, to tell a girl what to wear.  Is it?!

Wedding magazines and wedding websites spend all their time trying to convince you – the bride, the going-to-be-a-bride, the one-day-I-might-be-a-bride, we’re all targets – that organising a wedding is going to be THE most stressful time of your life and you simply MUST make all the ‘right’ decisions.  How will you ever show your face in public again if you get it ‘wrong’?

Why have I got nothing to say?  Because, secretly – shhh, I’m supposed to be a proper ‘wedding professional’ – I detest the madness, I detest the materialism, and most of all, I detest being told what to do. 

So I thought, hmmm, why not blog about that?  Why not let brides know that there is another way, that you can organise a wedding and actually enjoy it. 

But who will listen?

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