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Stop the nonsense

myth-busting for brides

Weddings = stress, right?

When you first start planning your wedding you probably felt dead excited. I mean, I hope you did…(or this post could be super awkward). Anyway, I remember the feeling.

Back in the heady days of 2011, before I heard about Parks and Recreation, before I lost my waistline to two babies, back when Brexit was just a twinkle in Jacob Rees-Mogg’s eye, my husband proposed. The ring didn’t fit well. He’d been bitten by a dog at work (he was a postie). I was still in my wine shop uniform. None of that mattered. Here was the man I loved, asking me to spend the rest of my life with him. We drank a gorgeous Italian red (staff discount FTW), watched a bit of telly and started talking about what we both envisaged. 

In that moment, we discovered that we had completely different ideas about what makes a wedding awesome. Shit. This was our first real test. Could we each communicate and compromise enough to have a massive party and celebrate, or would our plans collapse like a flan in a cupboard?

I’m pleased to report that we eventually got there, and had a massive party in my parents’ back garden. But on the way I discovered a world of complete shite that basically required I should become someone else in order to be a real bride. Now I deal with the wedding industry every day, and spend time with couples at the beginning and end of their wedding planning, so I feel I’ve got some credentials in busting a few myths for brides and grooms to be. Here we go!

Myth #1: You Must Wear White

As the complete legends in this picture prove, you can wear whatever the hell you want. As long as you love it, who cares? You’re probably/hopefully getting married of your own free will and consent. You don’t have to wear white if you don’t want to. And if you do want to, then bloody well wear it!

Myth #2: You should practice posing

Definitely not! When I’m photographing a couple on their wedding day I just go out of my way to get them to stop posing. It’s completely normal to feel awkward in front of the camera, but a good wedding photographer will do their best to make you feel at ease, and give you simple prompts like “close your eyes, put your heads together, and just breathe”. Et voila. If you want to be posed then just say so, but usually finding a nice background and doing some fun stuff is fine. 

And no, you don’t need to be photoshopped. You don’t need to hold your arms away from your body so they don’t get smushed up and look large. You don’t need to give a flying you-know-what about how you look on your wedding day if you just chill out with your nearest and dearest and enjoy yourself. A genuine smile and relaxed body language will always be the most beautiful thing you can wear.

 

Myth #3: You need to lose weight for your wedding

Unless your doctor says this, you don’t need to lose weight. In fact, you should tell anyone who says this to get their beak out of your business and think twice about inviting them to your celebration. If they must come to your wedding, take great delight in eating a whole tier of cake right in front of them, while you look mint in your not-white dress.

Myth #4: you need a wedding car, and a band, and a million flowers, and a sit-down 3 course meal for 120 people, and you need to sell a kidney to finance it.

Weddings cost as much as you want them to cost. Yes, they can be incredibly expensive, but they can also be pretty cheap. Hire a suit, look for quirky suppliers to get the bits you don’t want to compromise on (those with a niche offering usual offer insane service and value for money, so it’s not a gamble), and beg, borrow or go without the bits you’re not really that arsed about. Ditch the chair covers and just put a little floral off cut on the aisle seats. Get a pizza van instead of a formal meal. Make what you can yourself.

You do not need to sell your body parts to get married.

Myth #5: All brides are insane and controlling

This is the worst one. It’s degrading, and harmful to women. It is utter shite. 

There’s a reason wedding planners and stylists exist. Planning a wedding, no matter how grand, no matter how tiny, is stressful. In a perfect world couples would share the strain equally, but in the real world that’s not always possible, and not everyone can stretch to a planner or stylist. I won’t stand on my feminist soapbox for too long, except to say that if you see a woman (or man, of course, but ovaries before brovaries) struggling with her wedding planning, don’t accuse her of being a controlling witch! Perhaps ask her what’s still on her to-do list, and can you help. And if you can’t personally help with the wedding then keep your trap shut and make her a damn strong cup of tea.

With biscuits.

Myth #6: You can’t have a proper wedding in a warehouse/yurt/treehouse/your nan’s house

Yeah you can. It might not be licensed but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a proper good wedding party. The right venue is an intensely personal choice. Pubs, back gardens, warehouses, old cinemas, large sheds… They’re all brilliant choices! There are so many amazing quirky venues out there right now that if you want to get a bit imaginative then GO FOR IT. As someone who had a DIY wedding in my mum’s garden, I fully support you.

Basically, get married where you want. Wear something you love. Have an epic time and go to bed on your wedding night happy that you were true to yourself, and look forward to spending the rest of your lives together.