This time 6 years ago I was in the final stages of my wedding planning. I feel like I was quite a laid back bride, I knew what I wanted and I knew it was all going to come together. I had my own struggles but apart from that it was the usual issues, errant suppliers, lacklustre groom, bridesmaids across the world. But looking back, if I were to get married tomorrow I would do a lot quite differently. Working in the industry is a blessing and a curse, I am surrounded by so many amazing suppliers and endless inspiration that I worry I wouldn’t be able to plan a wedding at all but I know it would be insanely beautiful. I also think this is the first time I have shared my own wedding images, I have included the types of images that would usually get left out of a blog post (not on SYGM!), sad because they are often my favourites.
I would have a shorter engagement – it ended up being about a two year engagement, friends and family at the time said that was great because we got engaged quite young (21 and 23) but I don’t know. It gave plenty of time to plan but I kinda of just wanted to be married and start married life with Michael, I didn’t really enjoy the last 7-8 months of what felt like waiting around.
I would definitely wear a different dress, in fact I would wear two – I played it quite safe with my dress. I also felt a little dictated to by magazines and society in general. The industry has come on so far since 2010 that doing your day your way is not only easier, it is the done thing. There aren’t as many cookie cutter weddings. And whilst I don’t feel my wedding was cookie cutter, my dress definitely was. I also thought I was fat at the time…
I would have taken the day slower – I was so anxious to get there that I didn’t give myself (and my dad) a few extra minutes before going in. I am sure he wont mind me saying but my Dad pretty much cried the entire day. I wish I had taken that in a bit more rather than fussing and telling him to stop. Looking back, our car journey in, whilst nerve wracking, would have been such an important moment for him.
Given less shits about my dress getting dirty – I wanted a winter wedding. This would most likely mean rain and mud. I wish I didn’t keep scooping up my dress and worry about getting it dirty. I would also appreciate that I opted for a wedding in the depths of an english winter and realistically the images were going to be dark after about 3pm.
I would definitely not have Michael in tails – I would put him in a tux probably. I was always going to have quite a formal wedding, and he wears a suit to work every day so I would want him to feel he was getting to wear something special too. But jesus, 6 years on and tails looks so dated. Don’t get me wrong, it still looks smart but I would definitely change that. Mens style seems to be a bit more timeless than women’s, so if it was beautiful 50 years ago it will be beautiful in 50 years time. If it was good enough for Paul Newman..
I would get more photos of my mum – she hates having her photo taken. If you have someone in your family who is always dodging photos get your photographer to get stealth their images. I read a very sad story once about a dad who hated having his photo taken, when he died and the children were planning his funeral they didn’t have a single photo of him.
Plus, my mum looked lovely!
I would hire are videographer – this is my main “what I would do differently”. We have the images, but we don’t have the words. The speeches were lovely and thanks to one of Michael’s friend we actually have a recording of them and the day (it was done on his phone) but I would have loved a proper video to really capture the feel of the day. If you are planning your wedding, forget the expensive shoes and what not, hire a videographer. I beg you.
I would also have a different photographer – I mean, I spend my life surrounded by wedding images. At 21 and no experience of weddings or photography I had no idea what I wanted. Blogs/pinterest/instagram weren’t around so I relied on worth of mouth from family friends and magazines. I have a huge list of potential photographers I would have now.
I would enjoy the day more – I have noticed that just going through these images I have clenched fists in a lot of the pictures. Since going through CBT this year for my anxiety we realised one of my shit coping mechanisms is clenching my fists when I feel anxious. Whilst I had the best day of my life, I think I over thought a lot of it. I would definitely try to chill more about it all. I am better at realising and managing my anxiety now so hopefully that would be reflective in the images.
If I am still blogging in 6 years time I bet I would have changed my mind on all of this again but for now those are the things I would do differently, some are aesthetic and some would mean a lot more now that I am older, wiser and have the joy of hindsight. I know how easy it is to get swept up in all the stresses of wedding planning but try and pin point exactly what is important to you, and how you can make the day reflect that.
photography | Don Lambert