You might be newly engaged or hit by what feels like an ever-multiplying number of Pandemic postponements. Either way, your common goal will be making your wedding day the happiest and most memorable day ever.
If you’ve had your wedding date rearranged or experienced a cancellation you might be utterly fed up and thinking about abandoning your original plans and scaling down or even eloping. I’ve certainly been dreamily scrolling through beautiful scenic and sunny elopement pictures waiting for my next date to be hit by the dreaded C word.
So what next, what do we do, and what about those wedding traditions?
Hopefully the start of your engagement commenced with your fiancé on one knee, in a beautiful magical setting with the sparkly diamond of your dreams. Or is that the perceived perfect proposal? Should it be a sensible, loving and intelligent conversation establishing if the time is right for you both? I have to say, my fiancé sussed my personal persuasion perfectly and donned one knee in the Ibizan sunset by the beach. Gold star for him. But that’s not for everyone, some people would be horrified at the prospect of sharing their intimate engagement moment with people slurping a cocktail in the sun, and some would find that the scariest and most daunting experience. No one’s right, do your thing.
Hen and stag do’s are the Great British tradition we all seem to love to maintain. A good old knees up with our pals, a relaxing spa break in the country, a beer bike in Prague, a booze cruise in Krakow. The list is endless. There is no rule book, and you could even merge the two and host a ‘Sten or Hag do’. Learner plates and mankini’s aside, there is something for everyone and why would you not want to utilise the finest excuse to get each of your closest friends and family together, in a onetime only occasion where your best friend and Aunty Julie share shots and dance to Wham. Plus, it’s not your job to organise, so brief your bestie on your do’s and don’ts and sit back and enjoy.
So to the main event. Will you be seeing your fiancé the night before walking up the aisle? The tradition of not seeing your fiancé until meeting at the alter dates back to when arranged marriages were more of a business arrangement, and there was a fear of one party backing out. It is now simply seen as bad luck. Personally, we will be honouring this tradition in actions only, as I will happily be enjoying a girly night slurping champagne with cucumbers on my eyes, and he will likely be just coming off the golf course ready for a beer in the golf club.
The act of being ‘given away’ is a contentious one, as who has the right to give anyone away. Perhaps this is one the media or Disney have created and made important to us, as little girls. Would we as independent women be happy walking down the aisle on our own, or has this been programmed into us? If our Dad is not with us or in our lives, do we replace with Mum, Brother, Aunty, best friend or furry friend? My Dad walking me down the aisle will bring me, and my Dad, enormous joy and will no doubt make me very emotional, and I personally really really want this one.
The wedding reception, aka the party! Is it about you, the newly married couple, or is it about the guests? A tricky one. I personally want to hog the daytime as my own (fiancé can claim some glory too of course), and then hand the mic over to my guests to commence the reception party with complete and utter hilarity, carnage, and fun times. The beauty of this day and age, is that all but Granny has a smart phone and so can get trigger happy capturing all the moments you won’t get to see. So you can enjoy perusing the snaps in the calmer aftermath, laughing at the antics your pals have been up to, while you have been busy working the room, throwing shapes, dabbing champers off your dress, and maybe even spending a quiet moment with your new Mr or Mrs.
Creating your own hash tag is genius way of getting easy viewing access to what your guests have snapped and posted to Social. Disposable cameras seem to be a thing of the past (and my late teen years), but Photo Booths are a very popular way of creating a brilliant wedding centre piece and talking point, and they also seem to bring out the wild side in every generation (cue best friend and Aunty Julie). The options now cater for every type of wedding; a traditional enclosed photo booth, modern open booths with a flower wall or glitter back drop of your choice, selfie mirrors, to quirky horse box, camper and caravan booths. I am also a sucker for a sweet table, you will find me there having a ball with the kids.
So what next. Feel free to question the traditions. Take the opportunity to rethink what you may have wanted on auto pilot. It is your wedding day, make it special and brilliant for the two of you.