James and Karol were married in London in September. They wanted to keep things simple, inexpensive and meaningful to their relationship.
When they first started dating Karol was working nights while James worked during the day. During the week they had only about a two hour overlap when they were both in Central London to spend time together. So they’d meet up every day to drink coffee (Karol, because he was going to work) and wine (James, because he’d just finished work) next to Cleopatra’s Needle, watching the lights on the river and talking. When they came to plan their wedding they wanted to bring this time back into their day so they had a register office ceremony at the City of Westminster registrars and then went to Cleopatra’s Needle for photos and their first dance.
“Cleopatra’s Needle was the first place I told him I loved him”, James began, “and it’s also where we went to celebrate our engagement. So we knew that it had to be part of the wedding day. The rest followed on from there.”
“Having our first dance on the windswept embankment with the music playing through my portable speakers was such a highlight. We asked our guests to bring their own booze for the first toast. Something else unusual about our day is that we travelling to the ceremony by Tube rather than in some big fancy car. It was fun, environmentally responsible and reflective of how oddly central to our relationship the Tube is (Karol was working on the Tube when we first met and we spent many of the formative days of our relationship travelling around town together more than anything else).”
In total they spent £3000 on their wedding. “We had friends and family do the catering, stationery, photography and decorating”, James continued. “It saved money but it was also lovely because everyone was involved. We also saved on our suits, which came from ASOS, My mum bought them for us as a wedding present.”
“The best thing about planning our wedding was how easy it was! By trusting people around us and giving them creative freedom to do what they wanted we managed to save ourselves a lot of stress – I hear about people agonising over the selection of one colour orchid or another until they collapse in a heap of nervous tension and neuron damage and that just sounds awful. Choose people who love you and trust them to be awesome and stuff just falls into place.”
“Our advice to other couples would be to stay focused”, he concluded. “It’s about you guys deciding to spend eternity together and celebrating that with the people who care enough to be happy for you. Also don’t try to create a fairy tale, if you’re marrying the right person it already is one, and packaging will only dilute its sincerity. Don’t try to make it perfect, imperfection adds charm and years to your life in stress reduction. Finally, always remember that the marriage is more important than the wedding. If that’s not true for you, then don’t go through with it.”