Five weeks have passed since I became a ‘Mrs’. Life has gone back to normal, though I’m still being asked, ‘How’s married life?’…Truth be told, it’s exactly the same as non-married life, which, as my fellow recently married friend pointed out at the weekend, can only be a good thing. We’ve been together for seven years and lived together for four years, so we’re quite used to habits, lifestyles and irritations. I make it sound dull and boring, but after the past few months, this is exactly what I needed, but that’s not to say that the big day wasn’t truly the best day of our lives so far.
The day started with a downpour, which is apparently lucky, and being woken up by my parent’s one year old cat, Lancelot. I was surprisingly calm the whole day, that’s not to say that I didn’t get irritable and stressed the night before, but I surprised myself, never mind everyone else. I learned a lot about myself during this process and if I could roll it all up in to my ‘Top Ten – Do’s and Don’ts’ this is what I would tell you…
10 – Be Prepared
My husband (naww!) proposed to me 18 months before the big day arrived and boy was I happy to wait. The longer we waited to get hitched, the longer I had to plan. I knew I was going to be hard work at some stages, largely down to my anxiety, but also down to the simple fact that I’m a complete control freak (see The Planning Stages). However, when it came down to the day, the service and the reception, it absolutely played in our favour. All we could do was relax. Everyone knew where to be, where to go, what to do and what we wanted. By the morning of, it was completely out of my hands and, having planned everything so far ahead, I knew I’d thought of everything. It gave me a chance to take it all in and be prepared for anything out of the ordinary.
9 – If you like Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain…
If it rains, who cares. I thought it would be the be all and end all of my day, but it really wasn’t. At times it was heavy and at others we could sit in the sunshine. Get your photographer (whether professional or not – like ours!) to turn your pictures in to black and white pieces that Ansel Adams would be proud of. It doesn’t dampen anyone’s mood, spirit or enjoyment of the day. I didn’t see any one of our guests without a smile throughout the whole day, rain or shine. Your day will be perfect whatever the weather and is what you make it!
Do a B*Witched and blame it on the weather man 😉
One of many black and white shots, courtesy of my big brother
8 – Don’t get caught up trying to keep your dress sparkling ivory!
If I could do any part of the day again it would be to get ready, with my hair all done up and put that dress on again. It was just perfect. It made me feel like a queen for a day. It wasn’t over the top, in fact quite the opposite, but it was the most magical thing I’ve ever put on. I was so scared of the rain ruining it, mud getting on the bottom and getting something spilled on it. When I spotted that our environmentally friendly confetti was marking it blue, pink and purple, I nearly died. Then I thought of looking at it afterwards and remembering everyone throwing the confetti, the rain, the brollies and laughing. I had many a bride at the wedding and they told me to relax, get it dry-cleaned if I needed to and to just enjoy the day without worrying about the dress. I did and I’m glad I did.
I can’t wait to have it tailored in to something else so that I can wear it again.
7 – Do try and thank as many people as you can…
Sounds obvious and boring for the bride and groom but it means so much to everyone. Make time for your guests, don’t stress about not getting through everyone, but make an effort to speak to as many people as you can. I did this whilst they changed the room from day to disco, get a drink, sit down and have a natter. Don’t like a song that’s on? Grab someone and say thank you. For us, it was more about the distance people had traveled to be with us and them having spent money to be there. They deserved to be acknowledged and after all, the people there really make your day special, so take some time and pull up a chair.
6 – Get some comfy night-time sneaks!
On of the best decisions I made was to buy some converse to go underneath my dress. Whether I was to have a long or short dress, I decided I was going to do this from the proposal. I had the most gorgeous Dorothy-esque, blue Irregular Choice heels for the daytime, but I wanted to enjoy the evening blister, pain and height free. I searched high and low for the perfect pale blue to match my colour scheme and there they were – on sale at Schuh! I changed just after the meal and I saw dancing right through to midnight. An irregular choice, but a perfect schuh!
5 – Stop worrying about everyone else – they’re having a great time
I worried whether people liked the food, if my vegetarian and pescetarian could eat what I’d picked, I worried that the kids didn’t have enough, that people thought my desert of wedding cupcakes and ice cream were cheap…stop it! Worry not. If you enjoy your food, your desert and everyone looks like they’re eating, they’re probably happy and that’s all that matters. Our food was unbelievable, I’d never tasted tomato soup like it and everyone told me to stop worrying and bothering them – I became more of an annoyance than I did a caring host. Sit down, shut up and enjoy the grub!
4 – Whilst we’re talking about food…remember to eat!
Even if you’re not hungry, sit down and eat something. I had gin coming to me in bucket loads and a new husband who didn’t want to have to carry his wife up two flights of very steep stairs. He reminded me to get something off the buffet later in the evening and made sure I ate my dinner earlier in the day. The best advice regarding alcohol that I can give is to take it in moderation, don’t mix too much and make sure something is there to soak it up. You want to remember this day for the rest of your life – you’ve spent a small fortune after all.
As a side note, the first dance is both terrible but lovely, choose a song you love – even if you don’t want to dance you can sing your way through it
3 – Remember to thank your parents and in-laws
I could not have done this without my parents and in-laws. My mum and dad truly are the most caring, loving and thoughtful pair I could ever have wished for and I really do know how lucky I am. They did so much for us in the run up and on the day of the wedding. They had the time of their lives and if I could do it all again it would simply be to see how happy they were throughout the whole day. The didn’t stop smiling. Equally, my mother and father-in law are very special people. They accepted me for all my quirks from day one and helped us so much with keeping me calm, family matters and the day itself. They are wonderful people. Make sure you say thank you. I still don’t feel like I said it enough to people, but I know they know how much they mean to me. Tell them you love them, you can’t do that enough.
2 – Talk to your other half at dinner because that’s the only time you’ll see them
Mildly joking, but in all seriousness you really don’t see eachother all that much. People kept telling us to take five minutes for eachother but, with everything going on, it’s nigh on impossible. We spent as much time as we could together, but it still wasn’t enough. That doesn’t mean to say I regret not spending every waking minute with him, we were having a ball and it made the following day more special as we had so much to talk, think and reminisce about! You’ve got the rest of your lives to talk, tell them that you love them and go and dance with your friends – he/she will join you when they’re ready to.
1 – Don’t be sad when it’s over
You have nothing to be sad about. The day is essentially a big party, but the real deal is spending the rest of your lives together. I had a moment or two when I felt a bit empty, when I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with my time, but then I thought of all the exciting things coming our way. We went on a mini-moon which eased us in to married life, we have a trip to Vietnam coming up in August and we’re talking about buying our very own house, doggy and thinking about a family in future. We’re 26 years old with a whole life ahead of us and that’s really very exciting!
Mid photo shoot 😉
Take a step back, take it in and have the most amazing day.
Mrs Walker x