Lesson number one – a year seems loads of time to plan a party but in wedding terms – it really isn’t. It has been, without a doubt, the quickest year of my life. Now I understand why people have five-year engagements!
I was Maid of Honour for my sister, Marie-Claire, in December so I spent the first half of the year obsessing over her wedding and was in my element planning hen parties and writing a speech. It wasn’t until January, when my sister and new brother-in-law went on honeymoon, that suddenly everyone’s attention turned to me and David. We were like a pair of rabbits in headlights!
Luckily, we had all the main stuff organised. After setting the date, finding a band and a photographer were the next priorities. We absolutely loved the band at my brother’s wedding a few years ago, we literally didn’t leave the dance floor all night – so when we found out they were available it was a done deal! I think it’s so important to hear a band before booking, it really can make or break a wedding. I found choosing a photographer much more difficult because photography is something I know nothing about and there are so many amazing photographers to choose from. We ended up booking This Modern Love because a lot of people recommended them and when we looked at the previous weddings they had done, we loved the relaxed, natural style of the photos. Tim and Claire are also so friendly and genuinely lovely people, which always helps!
We tackled the rest of the wed-min as and when we had time or energy. David definitely isn’t a passive groom, we are tackling everything 50 / 50! Partly because we both have our own ideas and partly because we MASSIVELY underestimated the amount of time we had. For example, something that is very easy to forget is actually organising the legalities of getting married. If you’re having a civil ceremony like we are, don’t underestimate the amount of paperwork and deadlines involved! It definitely hasn’t been completely stress free but all in all we’ve enjoyed the buzz so far.
Friends with Benefits
We are so lucky that we have really talented friends who are all at the top of their game. I gave my friend, Vicky, full reign of our ceremony music. Vicky is part of a vocal ensemble called Ardu who are amazing and perform all over the world, so I’m delighted they’re taking time out of their busy schedule to sing at our ceremony. Another friend of ours, Caitlin, sings and plays guitar in Velvet Rose, she has such a unique style and we are so excited that she is entertaining everyone at the pre-reception. My bridesmaid’s Mum, Vivienne, runs a cake and stationery business called Sugar & Lace, so we locked down her talents too. Vivienne is so creative and will make all your ideas and Pinterest boards a reality! It really does take the pressure off when someone you know and completely trust is taking ownership over certain parts of your wedding. As the saying goes, ‘a happy bride is a bride who delegates’ (if that isn’t a saying – it should be).
Everyone wants to be called a princess on their wedding day, but the Disney princess I’ve been nicknamed recently is for all the wrong reasons – Thumbelina. Not because I’m vertically challenged (which at 5 foot 3, you could argue that I am) but because I broke my left thumb 6 weeks before the wedding playing tag rugby and had to get surgery. I am currently in a cast and it’s likely I’ll need to wear some sort of support on the day itself. After a few days of being in total denial, I realised it could have been a lot worse and the show must go on! As long as my left hand can still somehow be manicured, I’ll be happy.
With just a few weeks to go to, everyone keeps asking us about our stress levels and I have to admit they’ve been pretty low. I think this injury has made us ‘let go’ a bit and not sweat the small stuff. All we really want is for everyone to have a good time! Or, the pain relief could be going to my head and I’ll awaken from this trance a week before the wedding and freak out. We’ll see….