Being a bride can sometimes feel like you’ve been given a green light to do and say things that you wouldn’t dream of in every day life. There’s a lot of slack being cut out there for the stressed out bride, a lot of leeway being given because things can get very stressful around your big day. But trust me (from experience) there are some places that you really will regret going afterwards – because when the cake crumbs and confetti are swept away, you have to gently come back down to Earth. To be honest, that can be a bit like waking up after a big night on the drink, so reduce your metaphorical wedding hangover by avoiding the following five typical bridal temptations:
Five bridal temptations to avoid
With the plethora of blogs and magazines out there telling you all about pretty things on the market, it’s very easy to get confused and think that you need them all. We’re very sorry – that really wasn’t our intention. I know there are a lot of shoots and real weddings out there where the bride is more decorated than a Christmas tree, and for that, I apologise – as a wedding journo and on behalf of the community. We don’t mean to confuse you.
I promise you that you don’t need a tiara and a bolero and a necklace and a veil and a bracelet and a garter etc. etc.
Think of the normal rules of fashion – less is more, right? Don’t empty your wallet just to get swamped by wedding bling – scale it back, wear one or two statement pieces that complement each other well and leave it at that. Looking back at the pictures you’ll be really glad you didn’t go overboard.
DIY-ing and sourcing everything
I’m a huge fan of DIY. I did a lot of DIY for my big day and I’m happy that I did. But don’t be afraid to buy sometimes. For example, I spent months trying to source exactly the right amount of china for my guests. In the end, I realised I wasn’t saving any money – in fact, I was spending a lot more, especially given the costs of petrol driving around the country to car boot sales! Deciding just to rent the china was the best decision I ever made. It wasn’t nearly as expensive as I thought (there are a lot of companies that rent china now, so shop around, use our directory, and don’t just go for the first brand name you find) and it took so much pressure off of us and freed up our weekends.
Before you start sourcing something on your own or embark on a big DIY project, do your research. Calculate the cost of materials, the time and effort you’ll spend etc. versus the cost of buying or renting. It’s not a crime to pay a professional – especially if you’re supporting our fabulous small wedding businesses.
Trying to style your own wedding
Are you really going to give up your morning of bridal calm, pampering and mentally preparing in favour of running around a venue trying to make everything look perfect? The temptation, when you’ve designed a wedding, is to cling on to control until the last moment. Don’t.
I can proudly say that I didn’t. I hired Jennifer Sue Weddings to style my big day and I never looked back. We had consultations leading up to the wedding and on the day itself I left it all to her, knowing that she understood exactly what I wanted. It was the single kindest thing I could have done for myself. I was so chilled out when I walked down the aisle – something that wouldn’t have been possible if I’d tried to do everything on my own.
A funny first dance
Hands up who out there turns into Jennifer Grey the minute they hit the dancefloor? OK, so I’m kind of behind a screen right now but I’m pretty sure the hands in the air will be the exception rather than the rule. I say, it’s your day, do it your way – but don’t do a silly or funny first dance because it’s trendy or what everyone else is doing.
The truth is (and the truth hurts) in real life, these things rarely go well. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be slightly uncoordinated and awkward, dragging a reluctant groom into the spotlight, when neither of you want to be doing it and really you’d rather be clinging to his neck and swaying side to side – safely!
I’m not saying you should never do a funny first dance – they can be really great when they’re done properly, but if you are going to do it, don’t do a half-assed job. Either go for it properly or leave it alone – it can be one extra stress you just don’t need.
A wedding day tantrum
In the run up to the big day, I could see that my friends and family were becoming slightly concerned about me. Not only was I referring to our wedding as “my party”, the aisle as a “catwalk” and lining up replacement grooms in case John didn’t turn up (would you blame him?) I was also getting really stressed out with things going on – more than is normal or healthy.
I remember my dad being very concerned that I would lose it and ruin the day for myself. He gave me several lectures on how if things weren’t exactly as I planned, only I would know. He had no reason to be worried. On the day itself I was so excited that nothing mattered – I had a minor Bridezilla moment when we arrived and there were guests milling around the front – I’d wanted to hide until the moment came to walk down the aisle rather than have people see me arrive in a taxi – but other than that I was pretty chilled. Even when there were dropouts on the day (I could see my family quaking in their boots having to tell me about them) I took it in my stride.
Nobody likes a bridal tantrum – and most importantly you will regret ruining the biggest day of your life for yourself.
Do you have any lines you don’t want to cross? Any funny stories to share? We’d love to hear from you!