The Oxford Calligrapher
I came across a wedding blog a few days ago aimed at brides entitled "How to avoid getting spots on your wedding day" and my face dropped. Why in 2023 are we still telling women that their appearance is the priority in life? And why is this the norm in preparation for your wedding?
I remember almost 3 years ago (yep, we had one of the last 'normal' weddings of 2020) being intensely stressed, desperately trying every lotion and potion under the sun to avoid getting a dreaded spot on my wedding day. There were multiple blogs and articles with varying advice on how to achieve this elusive perfection. RIDICULOUS!
So I thought I'd share my recommendations for what doesn't matter on your wedding day, in an attempt to balance the narrative out a little...
The very idea that the risk of developing a spot is THAT important to brides is a product of our society that sets an unreasonable standard for women. Our hormonal cycles mean that some of us are still susceptible to spots and that's ok. You will feel a lot better if you accept it could happen than if you desperately try to avoid it and it does!
If you're really bothered about it still, make up does wonders and photo editing does too. But I guarantee you won't remember the state of your skin when you think back at the day. This is me on my wedding day... I definitely had a breakout then week of the wedding and it really upsets me. But is that my lasting memory of the wedding day? Of course not! Don't let it ruin your wedding day.
So many women feel the pressure of looking magazine-perfect on their wedding day, often deciding to lose weight to fit into their wedding dress.. Wedding planning is stressful enough without putting yourself under that pressure. I'm all for people choosing to lose weight if that's what they want, but do it for yourself, not to satisfy society's perception of a blushing bride!
You are perfect just as you are and don't allow anyone to make you think otherwise! Your future spouse loves you exactly as you are now and don't forget it.
"But Aunt Mildred and Uncle Bob simply MUST be there" Said the mother of the groom. Cue eye roll. Who is Aunt Mildred?! She's the guest you have only met once who's not even a real aunt but your mum insists on inviting.
If a big wedding is what you've always dreamed of, that's absolutely fine, but remember it is YOUR wedding and you are entitled to invite who makes you happy. After all, the whole purpose of a wedding is to declare your love for that special person in front of your loved ones. A few sensitive conversations may need to be had from the start to manage expectations about wedding guest numbers, and don't be afraid to stress what you want.
If you don't have a marvellous relationship with your dad and he drives you up the wall, the last thing you want is him sitting right next to you for hours at your wedding reception! Long gone is the tradition of big top tables with all of the family on either side of you.
Why not invite your bridesmaids and best man to sit with you instead? After all, they're most likely the people you have the biggest laugh with or they wouldn't be in your wedding party!
Or if you would prefer a little space at the wedding reception to soak up the emotions of the day with your new spouse, a sweetheart table could be perfect for you. Just the two of you sitting together and enjoying the first few hours of wedding bliss... what's not to love!
Remember this is your wedding day and you don't need to follow any traditions that don't sit well with you. If you know sitting next to someone for that long will affect your enjoyment, don't do it. Simple.
Make do and mend was all the rage around the time when parents of brides and grooms were getting married, so you'll most likely hear 'oh you can do that yourself' a million times from the older generation in your family.
The thing is, in the 70s and 80s things weren't as fast-paced as they are now. When you're juggling your full time job (or a newborn in my case as we got married at the end of maternity leave) there is often little time to dedicate to your wedding planning.
Don't be afraid to consider outsourcing to wedding suppliers if it means you're less stressed. It doesn't have to cost an absolute fortune and the quality of the services and products you receive will no doubt be worth it, not to mention the peace of mind you'll get from ticking something off the list with minimal effort
Most people hope only to get married once and the level of pressure put on that single day is immense. Remember it is YOUR day to celebrate YOUR way. Remove as many stresses as possible and focus on getting married to the love of your life instead.
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