Hi guys, Claire here, with the latest instalment of my Real Bride Diary.
So following on from last time's venue search post, I was due to talk about choosing a wedding photographer.
But a few week's back, we very nearly called off the wedding – not the marriage though, don't worry! – so I figured I should probably tell you about that first!
(And I promise, I'll wax lyrical about all the fab Irish photogs we had to choose from, very soon!)
September 22nd: 10 months and one week to go
(Woah! My last post was at 13 months, that came around fast!)
– Mark’s current obsession: Late night eats from food trucks.
– This month we’re mostly: Prepping our wedding website.
Okay, so we're still way out from our wedding (about ten months), but I've already had that thing where you have a bit of a freak out and very nearly call the whole thing off!
It happened about three weeks ago. And it was over tables. (What has happened to me?)
So, Marko and I have been super organised and really chilled out in all our wedding planning. I've been keeping it in mind not to sweat the small stuff (advice almost every couple we feature on Bridal Musings shares in their wedding write-ups) and so far, I'd been doing a good job.
While I'm practical enough to know no one's going to care as much about the cutlery, table coverings or centrepieces as I do, I'm also pretty invested in having a beautifully styled day (it's what I do for a living after all!). So it's been difficult to strike a balance.
It's funny because we want a relaxed, ‘unweddingy' wedding, but it seems trying to have things a little less formal and fancy, ends up actually being more expensive and harder to source (especially in Ireland!).
I know that when friends of mine have gone to weddings before, the only thing they report back is whether or not it was fun. They'll rave about the band, the banter, who was there and what they ate. It's very rare they'll mention the rustic tables or foliage garlands.
So why is it, when you're planning a wedding of your own, these little things seem to matter so much!
It seems so stereotypical to be stressing about minor details (and I swore I wouldn't be that bride!).
When Mark and I decided to get married and have a wedding (because they're two very different things!), we said we'd only do it if it was fun.
And a few weeks back, it wasn't feeling much like fun any more. And it wasn't just me, Mark was feeling the same.
We were getting quotes from vendors that we found were double or triple what we'd expected, and some vendors weren't getting back at all. Lots of the laid-back touches we wanted, weren't going to be possible in our space. And then we were told we couldn't have the bare, rustic tables we adored at our venue, and found sourcing an alternative, a complete (and expensive!) headache.
Basically, things were getting a bit out of hand and the day was becoming something we hadn't really wanted it to be.
I've heard so many brides say this before, but I thought (given my line of work!) I was realistic, practical, and creative enough not to let it happen to me!
We have pretty relaxed parents, so it's not as if there's anyone pressuring us to have a big, fancy bash. It's just kind of evolved from a relaxed BBQ to a full-on wedding, and we don't really know where or when we went off-course.
So, we sat down and had a serious conversation about cancelling our wedding.
We still wanted to get married of course, but it was whether or not we'd invest time and money into having a massive party to celebrate.
We were both really honest, and we looked at the numbers realistically. We talked about how we'd feel when our date rolls around, and we're not having a big celebration (probably regretful), we talked about how our friends and family would take it, if we cancelled (totally understandingly) and what we'd do with the money, if we didn't have a wedding (an epic holiday and something towards a deposit for a house!).
But in the end, we decided we did want a wedding. We did want to stand in front of all the most important people in our lives and make our vows. We did want to party the night away with our awesome band. And we did want did want the rustic long tables with no table coverings and gorgeous foliage centrepieces!
We're just not going to sweat the small stuff.
From now on, if something doesn't excite us, or won't excite our guests, we're not going to bother with it.
We're only going to spend big money on the things we really care about (music, food, and photography) and the rest will come together in the end.
We're going to plan our wedding, our way, and we're going to have so much fun doing it!
Since then, I've bought my dress (and it gave me butterflies, I'll tell you about it soon!) and we spent Friday night drinking wine and slow dancing to some of our faves from the First Dance Playlist. We're officially excited again.
We're already having a better, less-stressful, more chilled out time, so here's hoping we can stay on course from now on.
I'd love you guys to share your stories too. Have you had a bit of a pre-wedding meltdown yet? Please do share your experiences and advice in the comments below – we're all in this together!
Planning your own wedding? You've got to check out our Step-by-Step Planning Guide.