Before you start looking at anything online, ask yourself this…If you could wave a magic wand and have anything happen on your day what would it be?
Figures from the close of the 2016 wedding season put the average cost of the UK wedding at £27,000 and that rises to £38,000 in London. Website Bridebook looked at 20,000 UK weddings and found 4% of those held in the south-east of England cost more than £100,000.
With price tags like these, it seems the popularity of social media is creating an ever increasing pressure to put on picture perfect weddings worthy of pinterest and instagram feeds worldwide. The rise in Pinterest wedding boards alone tells us that countless couples are using social media for inspiration and wedding planning, but at what cost? How easy is it to stay true to what really matters to us when there is so much wedding eye candy out there? It seems at every turn we are tempted into spending just that little bit more; whether it be on laser cut, foil embossed wedding stationery, a hen or stag that requires passports and ski passes or wedding photos captured by drone.
The wedding industry is big business and whether we loathe it or love it, the options have become unlimited. That’s ok, choice is good, it can be liberating, exciting. The possibility to create something that is as unique as the person you are marrying can be a beautiful thing. We know that couples love to create something meaningful. The custom designs we have created tell us that our customers are a creative and thoughtful bunch. We like to think that an Eco Wood Ring is an easy choice for them. They value the environment, they value one of a kind craftsmanship and they value each other, enough to really take the time to create something that tells a story. We also know that when it comes to pulling together a whole wedding day things can get a little tricky.
With so many options out there for every possible element of the day it can be so easy to get carried away and lose sight of your own unique vision and style. So we’ve invited a friend of ours, coach and mentor Elizabeth Cairns, to put together a few pointers and questions for couples who want to stay true to what’s most important to them when getting married. (You’ll notice we’ve deliberately avoided the term “big day” because for some it’s not. Small can be beautiful too).
Weddings can take on a kind of other-worldly-ness and become detached from our daily values, but if your wedding is to be truly yours then it helps to have your core values at the heart of your choices. What is important to you? How do you choose to spend your money and your time? What are you passionate about? If you’re concerned about conservation or fair trade then this would naturally be reflected in your choice of suppliers and accessories. If you are particularly fashion conscious or branding and styling is important to you then considering the latest trends may well be a priority. There’s no right or wrong here, just what matters to you as a couple.
What does it represent for you? How does it fit into the framework of your life and where does it fit in your story together? Why have you decided to take this step together? Having this inform your choices about which ceremony you choose and how you want it to weave into your narrative as a couple can really help gives things an authentic foundation.
So much is driven these days by how we look and whether we can post the perfect selfie that it’s easy to miss the magic. By focusing on our feelings we can sometimes avoid some of those awkward moments that we’d rather not have to endure on our special day. When I got married I didn’t want to feel bored or like I was being herded around. So we opted not to have a photographer or the traditional wedding photos. How liberating it was on our day to be able to spend time with our guests enjoying the experience than trying to capture it and getting face ache from endless posing and grinning. Although I admit I did have face ache anyway ;) We also wanted to feel like it was a home away from home and an opportunity to celebrate friendship as well as getting married. So rather than head off on honeymoon alone we invited our friends to stay with us for the week after the wedding. By paying attention to how we wanted to feel, we had one of the best weeks of our lives.
It’s ok to shake things up a little, relax things a little, go big, go small, go slow. Whatever works for you. Maybe take some time to moodboard your vision, mind map, write a story a poem or whatever it is that captures the essence for you. If the essence happens to be small and perfectly formed, simple and natural, then that’s worthy of a vision board too. The day you get married doesn’t have to slip out of your hands and be dictated by anyone else’s schedule. If you want to eat breakfast with your fiancée before the ceremony rather than be hidden away to get ready, then go right ahead. Taking a moment to craft the ideal way to spend your time, based on your values, before you start looking into all the suppliers and options can be hugely helpful in staying true to what you really want.
Yes, there are a few things that may need to be booked a long way in advance. The venue, save the date notes, and if you’re having something custom made, but most things really can be done much nearer the time than you think. Allowing planning to run into months or years can mean you are so much more likely to be pulled off track and away from what really matters, add in other things that you don’t really need or want, and set yourselves up for a whole load of stress. In the story of your lives the wedding day, whilst meaningful, is a small amount of time. Spend less of the run up chasing down the perfect balloon supplier and more of it on being together, enjoying each other, and starting out how you mean to go on.
Staying present to what’s happening throughout your day, moment by moment, can really help stretch time and create lasting memories. Remember why you’ve chosen this person and this way to get married. Enjoy your choices. Notice the details. Stay in your senses. The feel of your outfit, the weather, the sounds and scents. The smiling eyes of the people that love you. And of course the feel of that beautiful wood ring as it glides onto your finger… :)