#RealBrides: An 8 Month Engagement
Who doesn’t love to hear about someone else’s wedding?
This is the first post in my new blog series from married ladies sharing their experiences and lessons learned. We’re kicking things off hearing from Laura Barnes who answers my questions about her wedding wellbeing strategies and how she managed to keep stress at bay (most of the time) throughout her 8 month engagement…
Tell me a little bit about your wedding to set the scene.
My husband, Sam, and I got married on 22nd December at Gosfield Hall in Essex. The day was everything we dreamed of and more. We didn’t have a long engagement, 8 months, and we decided on a winter wedding theme straight away so we thought, why wait? We must have viewed over 15 venues across Essex but we fell in love as soon as we walked into Gosfield Hall. They didn’t have many dates left in late December so we decided on the 22nd which coincidently is also my parents’ wedding anniversary so we thought this was a special date to share.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how stressed out were you during the lead-up to your wedding?
I was so lucky because Sam and my parents took a real interest in helping to plan and organise the wedding so we would have “wedmin” (wedding admin) meetings with lots of wine – it was great to bounce different ideas about and also set tasks that meant I didn’t have to do everything. I would say I was probably quite a chilled out bride but on certain days I could probably have hit about a 9, I’m sure all brides are the same.
Did you have any strategies for looking after your wellbeing and mindset whilst planning your wedding?
I have always been very conscious of my mind and wellbeing and I was lucky enough to get some coaching sessions in with Georgina in the lead up to the big day which I can’t recommend enough. She is so calming and keeps you on the right track. She was also great when talking me through all my worries for the big day and gave me some great tips on how to handle different situations should they arise. I can honestly say bridal coaching is a great investment for future brides.
Is there anything you regret spending your time and energy worrying about in the lead up to your wedding?
It sounds so funny to think of this now but I was really worried that because I was having a wedding in the winter months that all our guests would come down with flu and wouldn’t be able to turn up. Funnily enough we didn’t have any cancellations so I shouldn’t have wasted all that time worrying!
I was obviously also worried about it raining all day, which luckily it didn’t and we got out to get our newlywed shots done, but sadly it did rain in the evening so we couldn’t do the sparklers. I was also so nervous for Sam ahead of his speech because he definitely isn’t one for public speaking but, once again, I had nothing to worry about because he had everyone laughing and crying in all the right places.
What advice would you give your engaged self?
I would tell my engaged self to really enjoy the engagement period more. It is such a special time and I feel like we didn’t fully appreciate just being engaged because it was all about the wedding from the moment we got engaged. I would say to all future brides that their wedding will be one of the best days of their lives and to just live in the moment and embrace everything the day has to offer because it really does just fly by.
To find out what Laura is up to now (clue: an amazing home renovation project) check out her Instagram page. I am so excited to see the ‘after’ pictures of her new home! Laura also has a brilliant podcast called Pond Between Friends which is one of my faves! In fact, in episode 2 she chats all about her wedding so check that out to find out more.
Photography by Ashley Paton Photography.