As someone who's just recently had a wedding that was ever-so-slightly alternative, I wish this post was around a year ago. But I'm glad I'm at least getting to pass on the wisdom to you guys today.
Anytime you do something a little bit ‘different' with your wedding, you're likely to come into a barrage of questions about it. ‘Why aren't you having a first dance?'. ‘But you have to have a wedding cake'. ‘You can't just not have bridesmaids!' …are all things I've heard over recent months.
But today we've got the fabulous Laura Holden, Creative Director at Holden Bespoke, a modern and creative London-based wedding planning and styling company, working across the UK (and beyond!) on hand. And she's treating us to some seriously sound advice on staying steadfast in your mission to create a day that might be a little unique, unusual, or quirky, but that's also quintessentially ‘you'.
Take it away, Laura…
The perfect ring is on your finger and your Pinterest board is overflowing with inspiration.
Maybe your heart is set on an organic feeling, rustic affair in the countryside, an intimate and informal London pub wedding, a warehouse wedding overflowing with colourful details or a modern and contemporary gallery with clean lines and fashion-forward bridesmaids.
All that's important to you is that the day is filled with well… some personality!
Soon though, you might find yourself at odds with parents who have specific ideas about what your bridesmaids should wear (it's long, floaty and nothing like the two-piece Olivia Palermo-inspired outfit you had in mind) or shuddering when people ask the inevitable question about your “colour-palette”.
Starting to consider ideas you've seen at other weddings just because they are a bit more middle of the road is an easy trap to fall into.
Well, my dear modern bride, with so much on your plate it's easy to get overwhelmed, but fear not – these are my top tips for blazing your own trail down a road paved with traditions.
1. Focus on the Feels, not the Palette
A great starting point for ideas is to think about how you want people to feel.
Do you want a laid-back, intimate approach where your guests will all mix and mingle, do you want them to feel very much at home or that they are having a fun, new and exciting experience?
Think of the best party you can imagine going to and then scale it up until it feels right for you.
If you don't want to commit to just a couple of colours you don't have to – there are always ways to bring together your inspiration with colours you love so it blends seamlessly.
2. Don't Let ‘Shouldn't' Come into it
It's so easy to come up with a vision of what a wedding should look like, with traditions that seem built in to the structure of the day.
But take a step back.
If being given away by a parent doesn't feel right to you, there are so many other options that could fit better. How about your best friend by your side, walking hand in hand with your love or owning the room to go solo with confidence? Perhaps you could both be standing up front together when your guests arrive, or if you both cycle – hop on a bike down the aisle!
No matter what, you should feel comfortable with every part of the day and you can choose the parts you like and leave out the ones you don't.
3. Find Suppliers you Love
Finding the right suppliers is crucial to making your wedding a breeze.
Each one you consider will have different styles and approaches and if you take time to look for ones that will not only share your style and vision but encourage and develop it, you'll soon find a whole team that's on your side and invested in making your wedding amazing.
That way, when someone suggests you might want sugared almonds for your favours you've got great back up with new, interesting options to suggest that home made pesto is a much better fit for your Italian vineyard inspired jamboree.
4. Focus the Budget where it has Impact for you
There's no getting around it – weddings are more expensive than they were thirty, twenty or even ten years ago but the industry and services on offer are more varied, exciting and can add some incredibly personal touches to your day.
If you met at a concert and go to festivals every year then music is likely to influence your day in a big way – prioritise this in your budget!
If you've hit every craft brewery in the country make food and drink the centre of attention.
Figure out the top three things that matter most to both of you and this will make a huge impact on the vibe of your day.
5. Stay Relaxed
It's easy to get frustrated if you feel like people don't ‘get' what you are going for but there are bound to be people around you who do understand it.
They know you and they know the choices you are making will bring you the most happiness on your wedding day.
Talk about your plans with those people and stay relaxed.
The important part is that on the day everyone will have an incredible time and most likely – those things they never thought about, that you wanted to include –will be the lasting and special memories because they were so personal to you.
Bonus Tip: Show, Don't Tell
When you tell somebody about an idea but they have no frame of reference it can be really difficult for them to visualise it.
If you are talking to your grandma about a naked cake or your mum is unsure about mismatched bridesmaid dresses show them some images that you love!
That way they can see how it works and share your enthusiasm.
Seriously great advice, right? I love it when we get to share useful, practical tips like these ones and it's so helpful that there are ideas, not only for how to put together a cool, modern wedding, but also for how to be diplomatic in getting all your friends and family excited about it too – which is so important!