“I know this sounds crazy, but I really feel like The Blogcademy is going to be a massive game-changer for all three of us”, Gala said to Shauna & me the morning after the workshop, “and I really hate that phrase…”
But you know what, I think the girl might be onto something.
A heady mix of nerves, anticipation and excitement seeped through my trip to New York this month. Lisa & I had a few other things planned, but we knew our visit was concluding with the biggie. Organising this event was a labour of love and a project of passion – squillions of emails flew back and forth over the course of just a couple of short months while Gala, Shauna & I planned every last detail thousands of miles apart from each other.
A intensive weekend-long and strategy-based blogging workshop was something all three of us had dreamt about doing individually, but it was only when we realised we could do it together that the pieces of the puzzle started falling into place. We all have very different areas of interest and expertise surrounding the subject, and when we sat down and assessed what each of us could bring to an event like this it all just seemed to make sense.
“It was hands down one of the best things I’ve done to move my ideas forward in a really long time. The BEST. I think I may have a choir of mojo about to sing hallelujah. It got me thinking about how we get our mojos to sing…” Maree Forbes
“Woodland party circus!” replied newlywed Kat when I asked her to describe her wedding. “At least that was the three things we kept saying to people when they asked what our wedding was going to be like.”
Kat & Mat were married at The Hideout, a bar and music venue in Chicago. ”We really didn’t want to have a traditional banquet wedding, and we both wanted something that was very relaxed”, the bride continued. “The ceremony was an important part of the day for us but we also knew the party was equally important! We saw the reception part of the evening an opportunity to really celebrate with all the friends and family who had come from both close (a few blocks away) and far (as far as Australia). We racked our brains and both of us have some great memories of The Hideout. We spend a lot of time going to shows there and we even first met at one, so it seemed like a natural fit. I think the venue was what really made our wedding special and started to really define how we were going to work in the rest of the details.”
The theme was really a naturally evolving process, which started with the animal masks that Kat found on Etsy. “I actually found the fox mask first, which Mat liked, and the owl was just perfect for me”, she explained. “Later we discovered there’s a poem called The Owl and Fox that talks about the unlikely meeting of an owl and a fox and how they form a ever-lasting partnership. It was all just too perfect.”
I have a love/hate relationship with the BBC Three show Don’t Tell the Bride. On the one hand, I love a voyeuristic nosey at other people’s weddings (hello! Wedding blogger criteria number one) but on the other, the obvious sensationalism of shows like this can often get a bit much. I usually sit watching the show wondering if the groom really plans the whole thing himself and if the real truth of the matter is that the production company tell him exactly what to do so they can have the usual drama that seems to follow the programme around. But mostly I wonder if the brides really have no say on ANYTHING. I mean surely you’d give him a few subtle hints beforehand, right?!
A few weeks ago I was contacted by wedding photographer Alistair Veryard who has just shot a ‘Don’t Tell the Bride’ wedding. He asked me if, after it was aired, I would like to blog it too. After seeing a few sneak peeks and I instantly knew I loved the wedding, but I said that I had one condition – that I could ask the couple all those nagging questions that I know everyone else wants to know the answers to too.
So guys, meet Mike & Becky who’s wrestling themed wedding was aired on Don’t Tell The Bride last night.
Hi Mike & Becky! So, how did you get on Don’t Tell The Bride & why on Earth did you want to do it?
We were sat at home watching the show. I remarked that I could do better than the guy on it so Becky picked up her laptop and after a quick Google, found an application form. They were in the last week of casting so we didn’t hold out much hope but applied anyway. We got an email back the next day asking us to go to their offices for a interview.
The question everyone seems to want to know the answer to is: Did you discuss any ‘ground rules’ about what you wanted/didn’t want beforehand?
It was in our contract that we don’t plan anything in advance at all. If the production team suspected that we might have discussed anything or made any plans, then those plans would have to be scrapped. Plus it all happened so quickly that we wouldn’t have had time to make any plans, even if we wanted to. Becky loves surprises so it worked out better to just not plan anything in advance together anyway.
Did you get any criteria from the producers or crew about what you should pick or how you should go about planning the wedding? There always seems to be a drama over something the groom chooses!
I wasn’t given a ‘criteria’ per-say but everything had to be booked through the production team and all shops I wanted to visit or services I wanted to use had to be cleared for filming by the team first.
Allison & Scott were married at 4,629 ft, at their favourite place – the top of Max Patch Bald, NC. They hosted their reception in their own home. “The décor of the ceremony was the panoramic view of the Smokey/blue Ridge Mountains and the wild buttercup flowers”, they began. “At the reception, drinks were served in mason jars, farm tables were used for dining, and the flowers were roses and hydrangeas mixed with sunflowers in mason jars. Vintage plates and napkins were used and little jars of local Tennessee wildflower honey and dippers were at each table setting as favors. Our home was built in the 1800s and we wrapped the columns in garlands and roses.”
The whole wedding had a really personal feel and everything they included was significant. A keen hiker, the groom and his best man camped out the night before near the ceremony site, and the bride and her bridesmaids stayed at a cabin just a mile up the road. The groom, his best man and all the guests were already on top of the mountain the morning of the wedding.
I love a daring bridal look and so when I saw Karyn & Fernando’s wedding I was immediately drawn to one thing – Karyn’s amazing headpiece. Go big or go home I say! Being a milliner, the bride designed and made it herself. She also designed her own wedding dress alongside Toronto-based dress designer Thein Le. This was all very significant as it was actually Karyn’s hat business that first brought the couple together.
“Fernando was looking for a place to take a trip. To help him decide, he threw a dart to a map. It landed on Toronto and so off he went”, explained the bride. “On his last day, he was wandering the streets and he saw Lilliput Hats. As a lover of hats himself he went on in, and we met. Our romance didn’t happen so quickly though. We kept in touch for a while, and eventually met up again when I decided to invite him to be my ‘casual +1′ at a friend’s wedding. After that, we started talking even more, and eventually decided to meet up in Chicago, where we fell in love. We were in bar called ‘The Violet Hour’ so we actually used this (sunset) as a theme for our wedding. We used the sunset colors of dark pink and orange, with some hints of purple here and there. We also kept the hat theme with some girls from my shop coming down and bringing some of my hats along for people to try on at the reception!”
It wasn’t love at first sight for Amanda & T’Neil, but their romance is certainly what epic love stories are made of. Now call me an old sop, but what a great movie their story would make!
“T’Neil and I met through our parents in our mid teens,” began Amanda. “It was one of those friendships you had because your parents ‘encouraged’ it. The two of us could not have been more different if we tried to be – she was miss pep and I was miss ‘leave me the heck alone’. I wanted to set her pom poms on fire and she says she was scared to death I was gonna beat her up or something! Through the first year that we were ‘encouraged’ to be friends it was a lot of small talk and ‘my dad said to ask you if you wanna hang out’ invites – movies, the mall, game nights.”
“Then we began to see that we weren’t so different after all; we had more in common than we wanted to admit even to ourselves. What was once an ‘encouraged’ friendship became inside jokes, sleep overs, and overnight texting. We look back now after 7 years of the best friendship and we can’t say what was the moment it all changed, but somewhere over the years of helping each other through a move across states, the sickness and death of a parent and divorce of others, heartbreaks, injuries and so much more, we became inseparable. And eventually best friendship turned into a ‘once in a lifetime’, movie script type of love, with all the tests of A Lot Like Love, hope of A Walk to Remember and love of The Notebook.”