Dear Mrs To Be,
Congratulations on your engagement. How exciting. After so many engagement announcements of friends, family and loved ones, it is finally your turn. Your time to bask in the spotlight. I am sure you’ve heard this a million and one times before, but your engagement is truly the most magical time. Enjoy every second and if I am honest, milk it. Take every glass of champagne, every celebratory lunch and enjoy every single word of congratulations.
The reason I am writing this post. Is to give every Mrs to be a real insight into planning a wedding your way and not the way of your mother, mother in law, sister, sister in law because here’s the thing. When it comes to weddings, every Tom, Dick and Harry has an opinion and very quickly your voice can be lost. Not only that, it is good to hear about the fears. Yes, there are fears and lots of them. Not only that, but there are a serious amount of doubts in planning a wedding. You, who was once so confident, sure of yourself and not afraid of speaking your mind, will have not only second guesses, but third, fourth and fifth guesses
So where do I start? My god there is just so much. I am going to skip the venue, band and honeymoon because to be honest, those are the easy bits. These are the parts yourself and your future husband will do all together, and will throughly enjoy. So lets get down to the most important part. The dress!!! After hours spent watching “Yes to the dress” and nit picking friends choices when they aren’t even half way up the aisle, it is finally your turn to pick the frock. Well here is my advice. Firstly limit the amount of people you bring dress shopping. People are opinionated. My god, people are opinionated. I was one of the lucky ones, as both my sister and my mother loved the same dresses I did, but so many people fall into the trap of listening to the opinionated people in the room. You know what you like, so trust your gut.
Yet it doesn’t stop there, when you find a dress you like, don’t stop trying on dresses!!! You really need to try on 3 or 4 more dresses to make sure that this really is the dress. Once you have done this, go off and have a coffee. Maybe even sleep on your choice, but do not buy it there and then. Mull it over. Go off and think about it, talk about it, google it. There is a long wait between the day you pick your dress and the day it arrives. Try it on again a few days after you have picked it, before you put your deposit down. You will more than likely come to the same decision, but at least you will know for sure and won’t have any sleepless nights.
One more thing about the dress. You will probably regret buying it, but this is normal. You will look at magazines, and other brides and wonder could you have picked something more glamorous, less glamorous, shorter,long, whiter, pinker the list is endless. Oh and when the dress finally arrives, you may hate it. You have built this dress up to be really something and when it arrives it is more than likely going to be far too big and not fitted to your shape at all. Most dresses are massive when they come in, but with a good dress-maker this changes. Trust me. The dress you try on when it arrives, never looks the same after you have altered it. Believe me, you will end up falling in love with your dress a few times over between the day of the first and last fitting.
My next piece of advice is spend on your makeup. Yes, a makeup artist is expensive, but you get what you pay for. You may nearly die when you realised the cost of makeup for 3 bridesmaids and a bride, but expect to pay more than €300. In fact, €300 will more than likely be the minimum you spend. If you like a certain makeup artist, money should be no object. Trust me, come the last few weeks of your wedding planning €50, €100 even €150 are the least of your worries. That’s pocket change at that stage, so spend it on the makeup while you can. Your makeup is so important on your wedding day and can make or break your day. Oh and go for trials. Yes trials. Go to a few different artists and don’t pick someone until you’re 100% happy.
One more thing on makeup. If there is something you can’t relinquish control of, then don’t. I couldn’t bear the thoughts of someone doing my own foundation, so I did it myself. A good makeup artist won’t mind. As Sharleen said to me, “Sinéad, of course I don’t mind. It is all about you being happy and comfortable”.
Let’s talk hair. My advice is listen to your hairdresser. I had the most wonderful hairdresser in Lisa from Zinc. Again and again, Lisa told me to wear my hair down, as this is how I always wear my hair. Even on the morning of the wedding Lisa tried to change my mind, but I didn’t listen. I thought that my hair would be in my way if I wore it down, and I was worried that by the end of the night my hair would look a state. I was told the details on the dress would be ruined if I wore it down. Here’s the thing, don’t worry about the end of the night. Once the first dance is over, you will be sweaty Betty dancing to Manic 2000 on the dance floor and your hair will be the last thing on your mind. With all my power I wish I wore my hair down. Don’t worry about wind, or details on the dress. Don’t listen to other people’s opinions. Wear your hair whatever way you want. Wear it the way you feel best!
Flowers will be another item that gives you heart failure on more than one occasions. With quotes that would bring a tear to a glass eye, take time to research prices. Go for someone whose style you like and not the best deal. You could spend thousands and thousands on flowers, but at the end of the day your bouquet is the most important, as you won’t even notice a single flower in the church, never mind if you went for pink or white roses. You can get affordable florists that give you high end products on an affordable budget!!! Maybe look at people who offer that little something different. As some florist can be set in their ways!!!
Try and not let other people stress you out. Wedding planning is not stressful. In fact it is quite enjoyable. It is other people that make things stressful. Be it wedding coordinators not getting back to you, dress shops not ordering your dress on time, or people not getting fitted for suits when you need them to. Take a deep breath and remember why you’re doing this. Be be ready, and know the most stressful thing of all, is your invitations. Oh Lord are the invitations stressful. I mean seriously. Who doesn’t reply to an invite!!!! It doesn’t matter how easy you make it for people, there will always be at least 30% of your guest list that you need to chase up. Oh and while I am on the topic of wedding guests, be prepared for the people that 1. cancel a few days before hand and 2. don’t show up on the day. Yes, there are people that will rsvp to every single little part of your wedding and then don’t show up on the day. You will sit at the head table looking down at those empty seats that cost you x, y and z, but just take a deep breathe and think about the wonderful friends that make things that little bit easier. The people that are there on the day, are there to join you in this celebration.
The day itself will be emotional to say the least. Take a moment in the house with the person who is walking you down the aisle before the madness. It may be your Dad, Mom, Brother or even sister, but cherish this moment with the person who is important in your life. Oh and try to smile walking up the aisle. You may feel like sobbing, but trust me, it is hard to get a picture of a sobbing bride . Enjoy this moment. There really is nothing to cry about!! Take a deep breathe. More than likely your first love is holding your hand as you walk up there. Your Dad is there for you no matter what, and the love of your life is waiting for you up the top!!
Do not be afraid to talk!! It is very far from little woman your mother raised you. If you have something to say, get up and say it. This is your moment, thank the people who are important in your life. Oh and you will probably forget to thank your Mothers best friends that practically raised you. If your sister wants to speak, by all means let her. This is 2015, of course there needs to be a best woman’s speech. This is your day, so what if the speeches are long,who cares!! God knows you have sat through some boring speeches. This is your day enjoy it.
Oh Mrs To Be how I envy you. This time is truly so magical. It brings friends and families together. You gain new brothers, sisters, father and mother in laws. But there really only is one thing to remember when you’re caught up in colour schemes, invitations, guest lists and menus. You are marrying the love of your life and a wedding really is only one day. It is the rest of your life that you want to get perfect.
Pictures were taken by Grey from IG Studio Photography