The most amazing day of my life began with a puke.
I woke up in one of the most beautiful spots on earth, the sun was streaming through the windows and there wasn’t a cloud in the perfect blue sky.
It was the weather I’d prayed to all the gods and offered to sacrifice my future firstborn son for, but all was not well in my guts.
Looking back, it’s totally ridiculous that I thought I’d magically awaken a super chilled out bride, giggling over fizz for breakfast and floating on clouds in my new lovely pyjamas. I was always going to be nervous.
As usual, the thing that I was vomiting over and tied up in knots about didn’t even bloody happen – I was terrified of walking down the aisle a snivelling, blubbering wreck that would choke on my vows.
Watching Meghan float serenely down the aisle to marry Harry the week before, only magnified my worries – she could do it live on TV in front of billions but I was convinced that I wouldn’t be able to hold it together.
Spoiler alert, I wasn’t a wreck.
After an anxious morning getting ready and seeing Chris all dressed up for our initial photos ( we did the first look thing, it was lovely) a freaky deaky sense of calm finally came over me as I approached the venue and saw all my favourite people through the windows all looking totally stunning with massive smiles on their faces.
It was surreal and magical and one of the best moments ever, second only to finding two full-size tubes of St Tropez mouse in a Tesco Metro reduced to £2.50 each in 2013.
So here it is, lesson number one.
#1 Don’t stress about being stressed
One of my biggest regrets about the day is that I let the worry (and annoyance at my worry,) affect the morning so much that I couldn’t fully feel excited and properly enjoy getting ready with my gals.
I also felt a bit out of it when Chris and I had our first look and took our initial photos. My heart burst when I saw him all dressed up and he helped me feel a little calmer but this was an out of body type of nervous I’d not felt before.
I’d have perhaps faired better if I’d acknowledged that I would probably be nervous in the morning and not tried to force myself into the super chilled out bride role.
Weddings are stressful, they just are, especially if you’re an anxious type of gal like moi. If your wedding didn’t stress you out then, cool, I salute you!
We crammed a lot into the days before the wedding, including leaving my job of nearly four years, gulp, driving five hours from Glasgow to Skye and attempting all the setup, plus registry office admin the day before.
I could really have used a full day of gorgeous downtime for a massage, walk and a big old re-group. Do yourself a favour and book a message. This advice, which also happens to be all over the internet isn’t overindulgent like I suspected, it’s actually just great advice.
# 2 DIY weddings are heaps of work
If I could do it all again, I’d still opt for a DIY wedding as I’m controlling and also adore the venue, plus a super chilled out atmosphere was the aim of the game and that’s exactly what we achieved. I would, however, 100% hire a wedding coordinator and pay the caterers to set up the tables.
My budget wasn’t huge so a coordinator wasn’t really an option and I didn’t even think about it at the time. How can ‘a big party,’ be such a gargantian a task? I scoffed at the begining of the planning process, convinced that my organsied nature and career in marketing would suffice.
Flash forward 8 months and I still don’t know why it’s such a big task, but spreadsheets, logistics, budgets – it was a lot.
I was very lucky in that I have super helpful family members and friends who helped with organisation and putting the hall together – but it was the setting the hall up that nearly finished me off.
We made it work and it was truly wonderful in the end, Actually, looking back some of my favourite parts of the weekend were the setup, but me and my merry band of helpers were all bloody exhausted by the end of it.
In a perfect world, we’d have spent that day chilling and getting manicures and popping in to oversee the setup while other people did the leg work.
If you can afford it then pay other people to it – a good mantra for life actually. If you can’t afford it then recruit far more helpers than you think you’ll need and give yourself double the time. It’ll all be perfect in the end.
Also, you’re going to need a multi-tab spreadsheet, honey.
# 3 The ceremony rocks
When planning the wedding, I thought the ceremony and speeches would be so at the edge of my comfort zone that I’d have to sort of tolerate those parts and it would be the massive party and overall declaration of love and commitment and ‘being married,’ that I’d really enjoy.
Once again, I was mistaken. I adored the party, obvs, but my very favourite bits of the wedding were the ceremony and the speeches.
Walking down the aisle was actually a bit of an out-of-body experience, which could be down to the half-beta blocker and two glasses of fizz that I necked an hour previously.
Being super calm, I was able to enjoy the ceremony, like drink all the deliciousness of the moment right in. It sounds so cheesy but everyone seemed to happy and rooting for us that there was so much lovin’ in that spectacularly sunny room.
My fabulous friend Caroline read a beautiful Seamus Heany poem called Scaffolding, which was the perfect cherry on the (wedding) cake.
Once we’d signed the register our guests were grabbing us for hugs and talking so loudly that the registrar has to tell them to shut up so she could officially announce us as we trotted down the aisle – it was that kind of wedding, a wild rabble – exactly what we wanted!
4. It’s the best day of your life
I was never that bothered about getting hitched and thought that if I did then it would be in a cute vintage mini dress, a handful of people, sweet photos of running down the steps at City Hall type of affair.
When it came to it though I did want to get married and I absolutely wanted all my friends and family to be there because they all rock and when in life do you get all your favourite people in one room? The day and the run-up to it, was out of this world – in that it was amazing and totally surreal.
The wedding itself pushed me to my limits and my body physically responded to it. Not only did I do a sexy ol’ puke on the day of the wedding but the day after I woke with a GIANT cold sore.
I’m a sensitive little soul so this will probably not happen to you, especially if you take the time to focus on your sweet self in the run-up to the big day instead of panic buying £100 worth of tacky photo booth props from Amazon and never even taking them out of the packing.
No, YOU’RE a batshit bride
Amazing photos by Rainbow Orange