After 1 year, 6 months and 28 days of being engaged, Harry and I got married on 21st July! It was easily the best day of my life, but I say this with caution as, of course, not everything went perfectly. In what will probably be my penultimate blog post, I wanted to share with you some things I’ve learnt, which I hope might be helpful to any brides-to-be reading this. FYI, this is a warts-and-all kind of post: I aim to be honest and open with all of my blog posts, as I don’t want to set unrealistic expectations by giving a curated version of my experiences.
Things will go wrong
On our day, everything ran near perfectly until the end of the evening when things started to unravel very quickly. Luckily, I was on the dancefloor completely oblivious, but it didn’t make for the best ending to what was otherwise a perfect day. My biggest regret is letting it get to me the way it did. I ended my wedding sitting in a hot tub, glass of prosecco in hand, crying (like the princess I am), when I should have been enjoying an after party and dancing the night away with my husband and our bridal party.
So my advice here is that despite my earlier assumptions, no amount of spreadsheets and planning can completely mitigate against things going wrong. Particularly when you put 100 people and lots of booze in one place. So be prepared that things can happen, but more importantly, don’t let them ruin your day!
Don’t be afraid to break traditions
Aside from the ceremony, my favourite part of the day was without a doubt the speeches. Harry, his best man Nick, and my Dad blew everyone away with their speeches, which were the perfect mix of funny, sentimental and non-clichéd, man they did me proud!
And I am delighted to say that my Mum, Harry’s Mum and I also stood up and each gave a speech. It’s funny because in my experience, women do most of the organising and make up most of the wedding industry, but we’re largely expected to be silent on our actual wedding day. And so in the days leading up to ours, I was worried about how my speech would go down with our more traditional guests. I did not need to worry however, as on the day I could not have felt more supported and loved by everyone in the room!
Doing a speech was really important to me and I’m so glad that I didn’t back down because it’s not the done thing. If I ever have a daughter, I’ll be so proud to show her pictures of her Mum and both Grannies doing a speech. Girl Power and all that.
Pick a first dance that everybody knows
Harry and I were both dreading our first dance, and at one point thought about scrapping it altogether. That was until we came to our senses and realised that our first dance had to be Islands in the Stream by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. This went down so well with our gusts because it’s just one of those songs that everybody knows! I am filled with such joy thinking about everyone singing along and then flooding the dance floor when the chorus came on. Picking the right song turned a dreaded moment into one of the happiest moments of my life!
Since our wedding, I’ve been analysing the day over and over in my head from our guests’ perspective. Did they have a good time? Did I come across as rude because I didn’t manage to talk to everyone? Was the dance floor too empty? Did delays in getting home ruin the whole day for people?
Justifiably or not, these thoughts keep running through my brain. I know it’s not healthy and I know that I’m blowing minor problems completely out of proportion but when I let these thoughts take over, it can really get me down. I think it’s just a case of the post-wedding blues, so Harry and I are planning lots of fun things and I’m hoping these negative feelings will subside soon. I also think that it will help when we get our professional photos and I can see the day through someone else’s eyes. But until then, I’m trying to remind myself how magical our day was and of all the amazing things are guests have said about it.
It will go by in a blur but try to stay present
For me, the day went by in such a blur that I’m actually struggling to remember any of it in great detail. That being said, my overriding memory is of being totally and completely happy and (surprisingly) relaxed. This obviously rubbed off on our guests, as lots of people commented that it was one of the most fun and relaxed weddings they’d ever been to. Everyone says to step back with your partner to take in the moment at least once, but in reality it is easier said than done, frankly we were just having too much fun to do this. But even if you don’t remember to take in the moment, try to be present and set the tone for the day, because your guests will follow your lead.
Until next time,
(Mrs) Lucy x