#RealBrides: A Stunning Summer Wedding (and not sweating the small stuff)
Reading Jo’s #RealBrides blog post brought back so many memories of planning my own wedding – stewing over the little details, last minute panics etc. If you’re a bride-to-be then keep reading as there is so much to learn from Jo’s experience…. (side note: I was a guest at Jo & Rory’s wedding and oh my, it was amazing!)
Tell me a little bit about your wedding to set the scene.
I planned my wedding in a year and 10 months, but really I had been planning it for about 3 years before that! I always knew I wanted a classic and elegant wedding with special touches to make it ours and a huge party in the evening.
We had our ceremony and reception at the beautiful Botleys Mansion in Surrey and had approximately 100 guests. For us, the ceremony had to be meaningful but quite light hearted. Music, food and drinks were then the highlight for the rest of the day.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how stressed out were you during the lead-up to your wedding?
Until 3 weeks before, I would say I was only a 2! I was very chilled out about everything because I made a clear plan and vision of what I wanted my day to be like and feel like, on Georgina’s advice!
It was 3 weeks before the wedding that I felt like I was edging an 8. It’s in the nature of my job to be very organised and the fact I couldn’t be in the venue to see where things would be and how we would move from one place to another really got to me. I had a terrible final dress fitting and had to find someone else to try and fix it for me. I felt awful and was actually looking at a back up dress – 10 days before! I spoke to Georgina who gave me great advice to calm my nerves and trusted that everything would be alright on the night and my support network of family and bridesmaids would help me. This got me through and in the end, everything was perfect!
Did you have any strategies for looking after your wellbeing and mindset whilst planning your wedding?
I made lists to prioritise things to do so that it didn’t feel overwhelming. I also spoke regularly to my bridesmaids and family about how I was feeling about certain aspects, and also told them when I didn’t need advice! Too many opinions can often steer you away from what you really want and you can start questioning everything. But my biggest support was my husband! He was able to help with so many jobs and was always there to talk to when I was feeling overwhelmed.
Is there anything you regret spending your time and energy worrying about in the lead up to your wedding?
So many things! I never worried about the major parts of the wedding but worried about every fine detail. When entering the reception room, which way would we walk around the tables? What if the centre pieces are too tall and people can’t see each other? You name it, I worried about it! And honestly, I feel so silly for it now. I would recommend having a good set of back up plans, but not being as neurotic as I was because it took out some of the fun from my day and the enjoyment of the planning process.
I also spent too much time worrying about other people’s opinions! We were the first wedding out of most of our friendship groups and everyone was expecting something great so I thought so much about what everyone would think about each part of our day.
What advice would you give your engaged self?
Always remember the reason you’re getting married. I know that sounds terrible, but it can become easy to get tangled up in those really fine details that realistically no one will remember anyway – including you!
Also to actually enjoy the things you spent money on! From day 1, I wanted Pimms served with fruit and pretty paper straws! Everyone raved about how great it was and I didn’t even get a chance to get a glass. So make sure you enjoy the things you want, not just your guests. Finally, remember that help is there when you need it, use your support network to help you get through the stressful parts of planning a wedding – that’s so important.
Photography: Miki Photography