LITTLE NELL BLOG
THE WEDDING July 25 2017, 0 Comments
It's been 10 whole months since our wedding day. It feels like longer, not because our marriage is dragging, but because so much has happened since then. We went to Tanzania and Zanzibar on our honeymoom, got a puppy, went to my sister's wedding in Australia and moved 2 hours north to a converted barn in Shropshire from our little terraced house in the centre of Bristol.
I wrote before about how I found organising the wedding stressful, and it wasn't the actually arranging that was problematic for me, but the anxiety that came with everything. I won't go into that now, but I will be quite happy to never plan another. (Stress induced acne just weeks before the big day isn't something I wish to re-ignite).
We wanted a simple barn wedding, our venue was the beautiful Kingscote Barn in Tetbury which is set in the most picturesque Cotswold countryside. There was accommodation on site which was perfect for Groomsmen with tiny babies, and the staff were super efficient. They have up to 7 weddings a week in the height of summer, so they know what they're doing. On the downside, this meant we only had the morning to decorate the barn so with that in mind, we kept things simple. I certainly wasn't going to be wrapped in fairy lights the morning of the wedding, and didn't want Nath to stress out about where 1000 tea lights should be placed. And fortunately, the barn is pretty stunning by itself.
We had hoped to get married outside as we first fell in love with the views before even stepping foot in the venue, but the wind and rain the day before put a stop to this. The weather on the day was actually lovely, but I didn't want people to be stood there shivering whilst their heels sunk into the wet ground, or holding their dresses in case there was a sudden gust of wind.
I spent the morning with mum and my bridesmaids, and it was the calmest I'd been in weeks. I think each of them had tears, and somehow I held it together. I left the hotel with my wedding hair and make up done, wearing a denim jacket, skinny jeans and my wedding shoes, deciding to put my dress on at the barn. There were no wedding cars, dad took us in his car and I made him play the Les Mis soundtrack in the car (his fave) so we could have a family sing-a-long and I wouldn't think too much about the day ahead.
As I'd predicted, walking down the aisle ruined me. I hadn't let myself think about it before the wedding as I'd well up in the most embarrassing places (on the treadmill, in Sainsbury's, at the Post Office...). Our super talented Groomsman Pete played Here Comes the Sun on acoustic guitar as I walked down the aisle, and I went from a demure tear in the eye to a Claire Danes in Romeo & Juliet wail within seconds. (Just the one wail, but there was definitely an awkward noise that left my mouth.) Strangely, once I got to the top I was fine, if a little delirious. Just giggly, and incapable of reciting the shortest of sentences after the registrar.
The rest of the day is a little of a blur, we tried to keep things as laid back as possible, everything was in the same place, nothing was over organised and there was no MC shouting at people to get anywhere, it just flowed. I remember being a little overwhelmed by having all of our most-loved people together, (although sadly, you don't get the chance to properly catch up with all of them), smiling ear-to-ear, feeling so lucky, so loved and so very proud of my favourites.
My dress was a Catherine Deane bodice and skirt with a custom made lace top created by the lovely ladies at Carina Baverstock in Bradford-on-Avon. I dreaded dress-shopping, and it made me super anxious, but I'm pleased with my choice. (Although I changed the lace, and bought another top as a back-up - dress anxiety is REAL!) It was more traditional than I thought I'd go, I strictly stated no beading or volume, but having metres and metres of the finest silk trailing around me was just so fun. (I got to do my best Stevie Nicks twirl to Go Your Own Way on the dance floor too.)
Nath's suit was made by our friend and neighbour Brown in Town. I know Nath had the best time picking fabrics and learning about stitches, cuts and cigars in his fittings with David. I was really pleased he got to feel pampered and spoilt too, I think the grooms can be overlooked in wedding planning, but it's their day too. He's already worn that suit twice since the wedding, and I know he'll be wearing it as long as he can fit into it, so I don't doubt it was worth the money.
It's quite nice being able to reflect after some time has passed. My sister got married 6 months later (to the day!), and it was so lovely to swap places and watch my favourite person enjoy the same emotions. Once again, I was the one sobbing uncontrollably whilst she managed to deliver the most beautiful, heartfelt speech with grace and poise. I always wonder if it's because I'm baby of the family that I'm the first to go to pieces in these situations, any other babies the same?
A special mention has to go to our florist Lily Violet May (you'll recognise her blooms from the most instagrammable spot in Bristol, right outside Temple Meads station!) and our photographer Jake Morley. Both were so helpful in planning, and so relaxed and efficient on the day. We had so many compliments on the flowers, and having Jake around felt like an extra guest.
I would relive it all again tomorrow, but I'm so glad I'll never plan another!
THE WEDDING PLANNING MYTH June 02 2016, 0 Comments
I was never one of those girls who had planned their perfect wedding in their head before getting engaged. I knew I wanted to get married, but that was because I'd found someone I wanted to spend my life with rather than just wanting a fancy frock and a wedding day.
I love weddings, I love catching up with friends and family, making new best friends (if only for the day), and being in a room filled with so much love that It's impossible not to smile. And yes, I cry at everyone's wedding, I'm absolutely that person.
I'm not sure where it came from, but I was lead to believe that planning your wedding was great fun, and I've come to think that's a myth. Don't get me wrong, I am super excited for our big day, and I love having an excuse to bring together everyone we care about together, but wedding planning isn't one big Pinterest-worthy picnic.
Firstly, there's the cost. I know it's obvious, but bugger me, they're expensive. I completely understand it's a big industry and people have to make money, but there are a lot of people charging twice the price for the exact same service just because the word 'wedding' is involved, and I find that a little dishonest. We're not planning a hugely extravagant day. We wanted a simple barn wedding, nice dinner and a great band, but sadly, a relaxed day doesn't mean a cheap one.
Then there's the pressure. I was terrified about trying on wedding dresses, I wasn't giddy and excited despite everyone constantly asking if I was, or telling me I should be. I was worried that trying on a heap of expensive dresses was just going to bring back a host of body issues that I'd very slowly been moving on from. And I was sort of right. (Thanks boyfriends of my late teens and your 'you'd be really pretty if you were a bit thinner' comments.) Trying on dresses wasn't as bad as I anticipated. I thought I'd look like an uncooked sausage in everything, but I didn't, I even looked quite nice. It wasn't until I got home I broke down in an emotional puddle (sorry Dad). It wasn't really the dresses that caused my outburst, it just hit me that I was going to have to walk down an aisle with everyone looking at me, and it terrified me. I'm no wallflower, but I don't like being the centre of attention, and I hate the thought of being judged on the way I look. I know it's stupid, I keep telling myself that the people there are my friends, they're not going to change their feelings toward me because they don't like my dress, or I failed miserably at a wedding diet. (That's a whole other blog post, but in short, I won't fail, because I'm not on one.) I tell Nath the same thing when he worries about making his speech. No one is there willing us to trip up or stutter, and if they are, we should probably remove them from our guest list.
It's not just the pressure about how I look, It's wanting to create this perfect day for everyone, and feeling like it should look like something from a designer wedding blog. What if it's not that stylish? What if my 'laid-back, mis-matched, no theme' theme looks half-arsed, or worse still, a bloody shambles? I know these thoughts are stupid, and the rational, logic part of my brain keeps telling me that. I know that it doesn't have to be everyone's perfect day, and just having that moment with those people will be the best feeling, regardless of whether the instant camera runs out of film, or it pisses it down all day, or the groomsmen clash.
Despite my whinging, the one thing I have been grateful for is how very supportive and laid back our friends and family have been about everything, you know you've chosen your people right when they create no drama. I know my bridesmaids are probably in dresses they might not choose themselves, but not one of them would let me know that. Most of us put enough pressure on ourselves without the hassle of trying to accommodate for family feuds and high maintenance guests.
I don't mean to sound negative about wedding planning, there have definitely been fun bits - menu-tasting and making my bridesmaids try on ridiculous skirts to mention but two - I just wasn't expecting to get so stressed about silly little things outside of my control. I'm still terrified about walking down the aisle, but knowing my favourite man is walking me down it, and my best friend is meeting me at the end of it definitely helps.