[my wedding related posts were going to be ‘wedding wonders’ but this is more woeful]

I didn’t want a big white wedding. I didn’t want a wedding at all in fact. I had no desire to get married before meeting Sam, and mainly I agreed because it really means a lot to him. He’s rather an old fashioned chap when it boils down to it, you don’t meet many 24 (just 23 when he asked!) year old men who WANT to get married at this age, especially ones who haven’t had a long term relationship before. Obviously if I didn’t want to get married I wouldn’t be, so there is no arm twisting or anything like that going on, and believe me I wear the trousers normally! I just wasn’t the little girl that planned her big day from the age of ten… I was too busy climbing trees and jumping in puddles (still do!)

So anyway, I said yes, and we discussed what we really wanted. I wanted to run away to a beach somewhere, he wanted a big day where all attention is on us. We talked about meeting in the middle somewhere, and we also talked about a budget. clearly I lost (doesn’t happen often!) as somehow we are having a White Wedding, in a church with 85 of our nearest and dearest eyeballing us all day. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not shy of being in the spotlight or anything like that, I just don’t see why having a big old hoo-ha of a wedding is necessary. I love him, He loves me, here’s a ring, sign the paper, job done, it should be that simple, and for many people it is. But I know that this day means a lot to him and therefore I am sacrificing (potentially too harsh a word there) a lot of money and stress to plan the ‘perfect’ day. It is taking it out of me, that’s for sure! I am losing precious spare time to planning, and experiencing sleepless nights due to untold worries flying around my head (not all of them are wedding related, but many!)

I have less than 5 months to go and I have a dress, shoes, and the church is booked. I also have an amazing photographer

Still to do: confirm reception venue, confirm caterer, design/make invites, pick a hotel to stay at, decide what to do about a gift list, Bridesmaid dresses, Sam’s kilt, pick hymns, DJ?, decor, make bouquet, cake? puddings? (I am doing desserts myself because I am a cake fiend) honeymoon? cars? Have our Banns read at our parish church, and the church we are getting married in. Choose rings. Design the order of service, decide on music (to walk in to, to walk out, to do out first dance to) and everything else…

This week we finally got a quote back from a community centre/church that is a gorgeous space, right in the centre of town (5 minutes walk from our own church where the ceremony is) We had been waiting a while for the quote, and when we met the lady originally I thought I had made it clear that I didn’t want fancy frou frou and decor, that I liked the room pretty much exactly how it was, and I also made it clear that we were on a limited budget and was told that she thought the cost would be on a par with the smaller seafront hotels. Fair enough I thought, lets wait and see. Suffice to say shocked didn’t cover it. I was away in Bristol at the time and rang Sam in a proper strop, who to give him his due immediately got on the phone to call the hotels in Brighton to arrange viewings of their rooms. We had two on Saturday, and both came back at at LEAST a grand under the quote for the community centre, and include food and drink (which the centre did not!) and these are two of the biggest hotels, not the tin pot ones! So we have a meeting on Monday to discuss the quote, but I think it will be a fairly swift conversation. Which is a shame as I love the space, but I am not willing to part with that much money (money that I don’t have, by the way, as we are self funding the our wedding) for ONE NIGHT.

We did have a lovely conversation with our vicar this morning however, who said that the option of having the reception in the church was still open to us and that it would be perfect, no traipsing about in potential rain (or snow!) they’re very used to holding them there and virtually no extra decor would be needed as the church itself is stunning anyway, it is also ridiculously less expensive than anywhere else.

I am overwhelmed by some of the weddings I see on Wedding blogs, so much so that I have started to ‘mark all posts as read’ recently for fear of feeling even more inadequate and un prepared. Admittedly lots of these weddings are things of beauty, with glorious photography and miles of bunting, cupcakes and bales of hay and moustaches on sticks. However I have a full time job, that isn’t a bog standard 9-5 that enables me to forgot about my job as soon as I walk out of the door. Running a huge hotel that is open 24/7 is no mean feat and often I am so drained after a day at work that the last thing I want to do is go home and whip up a a colour coded spread sheet for the guest list, or start gluing diamantes (urgh) onto things or painstakingly labelling cocktail sticks or some of the other things I’ve seen people have done for their weddings. I had a notebook that I was writing ideas in for the table decor, but the list got so long and ridiculous that I closed the notebook and shoved it under a pile of books, out of sight out of mind.

We are hoping to make decision by the end of this week on exactly where we will have the reception, and then I can sort myself out a nice easy to manage (HA!) to do list and get to it. I know that my friends will help me with bits and bobs, and already have been offering words of support and for that I am eternally grateful!

Reading this back makes me sound like I detest the fact that I am getting married, and I really don’t at all. I just wish it was all plain sailing and easy decisions. Don’t even get me started on the table plan, with two sets of divorced parents that one is going to be tricky…

Please feel free to share your wedding planning horror stories with me, I could do with cheering up at someone else’s expense! 😉

11 thoughts on “Wedding Woe

  1. My advice is keep it simple as above all do what you want. I had do many people telling me I’d regret not wearing white, that my dress wasn’t special enough etc. on the day, they all loved my outfit! I am so glad Tim and I had the wedding wr wanted, not some idea of what we thought we should have.
    Also, don’t get caught up in the over stylised weddings out there, they are two and penny and the weddings people remember are the ones that reflect you and your husband. A marriage is about two people, so your wedding should reflect you two as well.
    It all comes together, I was making everyone lunch and bouquets two
    Hours before I got married – relax and enjoy it all. Whatever happens, you are getting married and everything else just falls into place.
    One tip: make sure you have really good organised people on the day. You don’t want to be telling people it’s time for photos or sorting out drinks. Xxx

  2. oh no, i can’t believe they took so long to get back to you and that it’s ended up being bad news 🙁 i hope you’re okay, try not to stress, your wedding day is yours and sams and thats all that matters! if you ever want to have a vent over tea & cake then you know where i am- i’m also particularly good at those geeky colour coded charts :p xx

  3. I hear your woes! I’d better send you my thoughts in an email, may end up a bit long winded. Don’t let things worry you, it’s not worth it x

  4. I loved reading this post. I’ve always fancied the idea of being married but really can’t be arsed with all the hassle. All I’d actually want would be a super duper nice ring (since it’s the only thing I’d have forever), an awesome photographer, a nice place and a pretty dress that I could wear again. So I think we’d be eloping and then holding a big reception in a pub on return. It’s nice to see that other people feel similarly – as you say a lot of the weddings I’ve been associated with have been massive jamborees (I’m going to one in a castle in Austria in a couple of months which goes on for three days!) and I just can’t ever imagine doing that for myself. I’d rather spend the money on a faster car, or a kitchen, or a pony. My parents had their reception at home and there’s a picture of my mum holding the cat in her vintage wedding dress – so that’s clearly where I get it from 😉

    Did you see Mademoiselle Robot’s wedding? That strikes me as more your thing.


  5. Hi there! My sister (the lovely Miss T from IC) pointed me towards your blog, and mentioned the stressful time you are having. I know that planning a wedding can be a huge strain, especially for those of us who have busy full time schedules! My hubby and I got married last year, he proposed on the 18th Dec 2010 and we were married on the 9th July 2011, so we organised the whole wedding from start to finish in just about 6 months. We also had a church ceremony and sit down meal for about 80 people, and then an evening do for about 120 or so.
    It was hard work, and at times I had sleepless nights and early morning panics (especially when I couldn’t find a good florist). But all in all I enjoyed the planning and organising, and a lot of it went pretty smoothly. And the day was amazing (just like yours will be I’m sure).
    If I had to offer any advice it would be the following:
    – think long and hard and work out which parts of the wedding mean the most to you and your partner: for instance we decided that we wanted everyone to have a really good meal (we even gave people a choice of main course)so we spent more time and energy finding a caterer that was good. Whereas we weren’t too bothered by the look of the invitations, so we ordered something simple from online. Prioritising the bits that require more energy will help to keep you focused and not knacker yourself out with the more inconsequential bits.
    – don’t feel pressurised to make everything yourself, we were on a budget too and sometimes making it yourelf can seem cheaper, but if you take into account the “man hours” you put into it and the stress you cause yourself doing it, then actually finding a decent priced alternative that someone else makes for you is a good plan.
    – use the advice, skills and expertise of the wedding suppliers/experts. They know a lot more than you and have done this many times. Give them a brief about the style of day you want, the colours you like, provide them with some pictures of things you like (sorta like a mood board) and get them to come up with ideas. It gets the ball rolling wthout you having to do all the thinking plus the calibre of their ideas often highlights whether you are thinking in the same way or not.
    – delegate to your partner the things he can do well. My hubby sorted the disco, the bar and beer choices, the transport from the church to reception, and did basics like follow up with the caterer once plans were sorted, and so on. I am a bit of a control freak, but you have to let some of it go, plus you can always check on what he is doing, so he does all the groundwork and you just advise 😉
    – if you can, put aside some time to work full out on the planning. Take a days holiday and use that time really well. Rota in a couple of evenings a week to focus on wedding stuff. This means you have organised time to worry about the wedding and it doesn’t impinge so much on your work day or other rest time. It’s amazing what you can do with time set aside and focused only on wedding planning.

    Thats only my experience of course, but it helped me get through the 6 months without stressing too much and made it enjoyable as well. Hope it helped and if you want to catch up about any other wedding related stuff then just let me know via Miss T. Any friend of my lovely sister is welcome to any help I can give.

    Take Care
    Anna x

  6. This sounds so much like my life a few months ago it’s unreal. I too never wanted a big wedding or even a wedding but it’s what my husband wanted and I kind of let him sweep me away with it all. I work about 60 hours a week and unlike many of my friends who totally got into wedding fever I can honestly say I hated all the planning! But.., it all worked out in the end and I honestly had a great day. I’m sure yours will too. I really hope

  7. i think it’s tricky, because you don’t really realise what goes into planning a wedding, till you actually have to plan it yourself. i know it always seems a bit like too much.. but lauren you will have the best day, you will look so beautiful and you will both get what you want out of it at the end of the day. and that’s each other! (even though you have him already!) but yeah basically he’s trapped;) xxx

  8. I guess you realise how hard it is once you’re doing it yourself! It sounds as if you’re doing a great job, I can’t imagine how stressed I’d become! Genuinely, you’re doing all of this cause you love eachother, so that love and patience will get you through the planning, it’ll be worth it in the end.

    Your engagement photos are GORGEOUS! So so sweet, I love what they wrote about you and Sam too 🙂

  9. Awww, Lauren. I can feel your stress from here love!
    It seems as though you’ve got your head screwed on and are going about it all in the right way. I think I’ve mentioned before that me and my husband went to the Registry office, applied for our 3 week licence, turned up, grabbed a couple of witnesses and it was done!! It was what we both wanted and to be honest I wouldn’t have been able to cope with a big wedding and the organisation involved.
    Once you’ve got through the planning it will be sooooooo worth it and you’ll remember and talk about your wedding day for the rest of your life. It’s going to be amazing! And Sam will owe you BIG time ha ha! 😀 xx

  10. You’ve pretty much put into words exactly how I feel about weddings! Not that I’ve ever been in the situation but I’m afraid I don’t much see the point of a huge expense just for one day, when the goal is to have a marriage and can be done far more intimately… 🙂

  11. Oh Lozza, only just seen this. I think what anonymous has written sums it up perfectly. Bless you, but your control freak nature means that all of this is quite out of your comfort zone because it is SO much to control, but I think by prioritizing, putting less pressure on yourself and the day itself, and trying to let a few things go, you will feel a lot less stressed. Try not to get caught up in all the hype surrounding it and really remember why you are doing this. xxxx

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