You may have noticed that Helen and I recently celebrated 12 years of marriage. We celebrated with an anniversary date only the parents of four girls could go on – food shopping! However, with every wedding anniversary comes the memories of that day in 2007. My some peoples standards it was a big wedding, by others it may have appeared small. To us, it was a perfect day.
The build up
Wedding planning can be far more enjoyable than the day itself – if you enjoy that kind of thing. And, I know it’s a stereotype, but I do find that brides enjoy it more than the grooms.
It’s fair the say that Helen had full control of the reins when it came to planning our wedding day. I won’t bother trying to pretend otherwise. I was happy for her to do that. Looking back, I was your stereotypical groom who seemed baffled with it all at times.
I can remember driving all over the place looking at dresses, suits, cakes, venues, socks! If only there had been such a resource like the Confetti website back then to pre-filter all these things and save some mileage.
By the time the wedding day came around I was fraying at the edges – as evidenced by this photo of me just hours before the ceremony!
Tip: Spreadsheets are your friend when it comes to wedding planning. Use one to track your budget and key tasks along the way and stay in control.
I am not qualified to talk about dresses. However, Helen’s was stunning.
She had hers bespoke made, along with a cape (it was a winter wedding after all) by a local shop. All the bridesmaid dresses were also made there too along with her sister’s dress.
As with any major project, and a wedding is one of those, disaster is always lurking. Our disaster was the bridal shop made the mistake of allowing Helen’s cape to fall on a plug-in air freshener and oil go onto it. The stain would not come out and it had to be made again. They also tried giving her sister the wrong dress, that had been made for her, and tried telling her it was her fault when it didn’t fit!
Tip: Brides – start your dress search as soon as possible, especially if you intend to have one made rather that choosing of the peg. Time evaporates and this is one thing you should never leave until the last minute!
My suit, along with that of my best man and ushers, was hired. It makes sense really as when else would I wear a three-quarter length jacket with gold waistcoat and cravat? Actually, Helen’s never worn her dress since either – hmmmm?
Anyway, we hired the suits from a mobile hire company. Mobile as in there was no shop to go look at the suits. First, a lady came out to measure us all before we picked the ones we liked from a catalogue. The suits would arrive a week before the wedding. In hindsight that was not a good idea.
I’m not sure how it happened, but my best man Rod must have been mismeasured. His waistcoat was way too big for him. We had to hurriedly measure him again and get the company to send out a replacement.
Tip: Hiring your suits is far more economical and saved you a fortune. That said, choose your supplier wisely and maybe one with a store you can visit to try on the items in your size and avoid the last minute hiccup we had.
We had opted for a church wedding with a reception at a local, city-centre hotel.
The church was the one I was christened in, as well as being the venue for a number of family weddings. Little did I know at the time that just four months later we would be back there for my Dad’s funeral.
Our reception was at the Hilton Hotel in Bradford. In hindsight, and being a former wedding photographer, it wasn’t a great venue for wedding photos. No outdoor area and poor lighting indoors. Aside from that though the Hilton staff were great and our day went really smoothly. Even removing a table discretely while we waited in the foyer as a few guests hadn’t turned up and an empty table would have looked daft.
I only found out later that earlier in the morning there had been a fire alarm and full evacuation of the hotel – including Helen and her bridal party who were there getting ready! It was all handled professionally.
Tip: Choose your venue wisely. No matter what the time of year, outdoor photography and natural light are far more preferable. It would also be wise to have you photography check out the venue beforehand too.
So there you have a few key memories of our wedding with a few real-life tips to take away if you are planning your wedding.
Thanks for reading.
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