I photographed Sofia and Louis' wedding day just over a month ago. It was right at the start of the 'summer', but we got sunshine when we needed it! The drinks reception was in the gardens of the beautiful Old Palace, and guests were enjoying the rays and bubbly)) It was such a lovely day, and I enjoyed photographing the dancing in the evening. Sofia and Louis did the traditional 'money dance', after which the party really kicked off! They do know how to party! Over to Sofia to tell what it was like to plan her wedding: I only had a mild interest in weddings before my husband proposed to me. I didn’t have a scrap book waiting in the wings, bursting with dress designs, flowers and cakes. I hadn’t really thought about where I might get married or what kind of wedding I’d like. Yet once the question was popped and I said YES I found myself getting swept up in the frenzied excitement and euphoria of planning our wedding. Themes! Colours! Venues! Oh Joy! There were, of course, also times when it was overwhelming and stressful (Oh yes. Just ask my husband!) Which dress? Which florist? Which colour? How ever will we decide! But looking back now, there was no need to worry. It all turned out right in the end and we had the Perfect Day. We really wouldn’t change a thing! So, based on my own experience, I’d like to impart my wedding wisdom – because every little helps!
The best place to start planning a wedding is probably WH Smiths. Buy a load of wedding magazines for inspiration and ideas. Even if it’s just to help you know what you don’t want initially – it’s still a start! Also read wedding blogs like Rockmywedding.co.uk to get a sense of what you want your big day to look and feel like.
While you’ve got to make your own decisions, getting the advice of people who’ve already tied the knot is invaluable. It’s a great way not only of getting ideas for your big day, but also of getting the contact details of valued suppliers such as florists, venues and photographers.
If you don’t want your home to resemble a wedding fair, then invest in a wedding planner. Really useful for getting organised, structuring your day and for keeping all those cuttings, quotes and receipts. I was recommended the Wedding Bible Planner by a colleague and never looked back. It literally helped me keep it together towards the end.
Sometimes, it’s time to stop. It’s tempting to blow the budget, for example, but please don’t! Once you’ve agreed on one, try and stick to it, or it will get out of hand. In the same vein, if you’re on month three of the search and found a nearly perfect favour box then just go for it! Sometimes nearly is enough J
Try and test
There are a lot of good websites out there. But a good website does not a good supplier make! Don’t just take a wedding cake at face value, eat some! It may look a lot better than it tastes. Similarly, go and meet people! OK, we had a great feeling about Dasha, but once we’d met her we knew she was the photographer for us and would capture our day perfectly.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
You can spend hours googling your eyeballs out over bouquets, buttonholes and favours. But remember that even if you don’t find the perfect shade of rose or quite the right size favour box, only you will know this! To everyone else, these details are all just wonderful little pieces making up your big day, and people will love it all.
Trust the experts
I sometimes found it challenging to take the word of suppliers, be that wedding seamstresses or florists. But happily the vast majority of suppliers and specialists I encountered on my wedding planning journey did know what they were doing! You just need to let them guide you! Remember, they want you to have a perfect day just as much as you do.
Be a little bit crazy
There has to be a bit of crazy in there in the run up to the big day, otherwise where’s the sense of occasion? Really though, it’s ok to feel a bit highly strung, even a bit hysterical! It shows you care! And those that love you will know this and bear with you J
Mix it up
There’s no such thing as a traditional wedding any more. There are no rules, just lots of glorious variety! We had a Greek Orthodox ceremony in a former Catholic Church, and celebrated afterwards with Greek dancing in the childhood home of an English Queen, and it was great! It brought together our mixed backgrounds and perfectly reflected who we are both as individuals and as a couple.
Innovate and improvise
Things can go wrong. But there’s nearly always a way to turn things around. My father, for example, left his smart shoes at his hotel. It was only when he was standing in my lounge in a suit and trainers that we thought, ‘Oh Dear.’ But on the day, survival instincts took over and luckily the two men in my life take the same shoe size. We polished up a pair of my husband’s work shoes –– and hey presto, we were ready to go!
Revel in your big day
Last but not least, remember to celebrate! This is your day and it all goes so quickly! So enjoy every minute and remember to take some time with your other half to revel in what will surely be one of the best days of your life.
Huge congratulations again to Sofia and Louis! Enjoy your party in September, guys! Lots of love x