Category Archives: Wedding Planning Advice

Marriage Mantras: It’s Not Always Sunshine & Rainbows

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(although sometimes it is)

Unless you’re some kinds of freaks of nature, it’s unlikely that you and your spouse will agree on everything. Disagreements are a fact of life but how you handle them is vital to your continued happiness. One of the things we learnt very quickly was that throwing phrases like “You ALWAYS do this…” or “You NEVER do that…” not only never resolved anything, but only succeeded in hurting the other person much more.

We’ve since made a pact to never use those phrases with each other and, as a result, are able to have much more constructive discussions rather than ending up throwing mindless insults at each other.

3. Its not always sunshine and rainbows

It’s important to remember that although arguments are a fact of married life you must never over-inflate your frustration by bringing other issues into the conversation. You must learn to accept your partner’s flaws and not use them as petty ammunition. Once you’ve resolved any issues you need to forgive each other immediately. Look forwards to the future rather than carrying any weight from the past.

Gareth and I actually handle conflict very differently. I hate any bad feelings and I like to get things resolved as fast as possible. I’m happy to go all hell for leather and bash things out to try fix them quickly, whereas he likes to take his time to think things over before talking them through. I can see why his way of handling disagreements might be the more mature option, but in the heat of the moment I always just want to say my piece!

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Marriage Mantras: Deal Breakers

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Marriage throws up some big life questions and often a wedding is just the starting block for making a lot of major decisions in very quick succession. Wedding planning discussions also invariably lead into deeper, more long-term topics. Things like if you want kids, where you want to live and what career paths are you’re each going to take. It’s no coincidence that lots of couples seem to move house or one spouse has a career change pretty quickly after saying “I do”. Making this kind of commitment often encourages us to start thinking seriously about these other things too.

2. Deal Breakers

While you might not have ever thought about it while dating, things like if you want children, where you want to live, your feelings on fidelity, how often you like you see your family, sex, money, and vices can all come up unexpectedly during the wedding planning process.

It’s important to acknowledge these gaps in your knowledge of each other as you discover them. In the haze of infatuation it can be difficult to imagine that anything could ever drive you apart, but if you don’t both lay your cards on the table before getting married they may be the things that ultimately do.

Before Gareth and I walked down the aisle, we went on a short marriage course. Perhaps an old fashioned concept but it was a requirement of the church we wanted to be married in. We dragged our heels to the first class but quickly came to understand the only motive to the classes were to strengthen our relationship. They gave us the opportunity to talk about some of these big-life-questions. We married relatively young and at 24 I hadn’t really been thinking too hard about the future until then.

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Marriage Mantras: On Selfishness

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Although we share all kinds of details about our day to day lives, from what we’re planning for dinner to holiday snaps, Gareth and I make a conscious effort to keep the really personal stuff offline. At a glance, it can seem as though our whole lives are documented for all to see, but it’s really only the trivial stuff that gets put out there. A few pictures of our cats walking on their leads doesn’t actually reveal a great deal about us as a couple. The real story is in the detail like how we agreed, together, to get two maine coons, for example.

I feel somewhat exposed doing this but I’m diving right in to a ten part series covering some of the most important love lessons Gareth and I have learnt since becoming husband and wife. We’ll be sharing some of the mistakes we made as well as some of the break-through moments that we’ve had. But most importantly I really want to give you the opportunity to think about these things and hopefully discuss them with your partner afterwards.

I know that if I was where you are right now this is the kind of content I would have really loved to see from a wedding blogger. After all, your wedding is just one day, it’s all the days after you say “I do” which really matter.

1. On Selfishness

As human beings we are intrinsically selfish. We naturally think about ourselves first but when you’re married you need to consider the other person’s feelings just as much as, if not more than, your own. It’s no longer about looking out for number one or having your own goals and life path, it’s about the two of you thinking and acting as a team.

Although in many ways Gareth and I are really similar – our outlook on life and our plans for the future – in others our tastes couldn’t be more different. I love sushi and Thai food, he prefers burgers and chips. I like nothing better than sitting down to a True Blood or 24 marathon, he detests any kind of American drama. My idea of a perfect Saturday is raiding the aisles of Topshop and H&M, he hasn’t bought himself any new clothes in years… You get the picture.

It might sound obvious but when you promise yourselves to each other for life you need to consider the other person’s feelings in everything you do, much more so than you would have while dating. Let’s be honest, you’re going to be with this person forever – you need to make sure you’re both happy!

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5 Things You Must Do To Ensure Your Wedding Goes Off Without a Hitch

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It’s not something we ever want to think about, but the likelihood is that everything won’t go perfectly to plan on your wedding day. A couple of weeks ago I actually asked via my Facebook page if anyone had anything go wrong and I was blown away by the response. I even had people emailing me separately to tell me their stories of woe! While I was at first a little nervous that all those comments would be scaring the bejebus out of you brides-to-be, I think it is important to realise that while things may not always go to plan, it will all be OK in the end. Whatever happens your wedding will still be awesome. Pinky swear.

Some of these hiccups will be minor, others could be quite major, but instead of trying to second-guess the future and stressing yourself out about it, here are five tips on how to handle anything that might go a little pear shaped.

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1. Accept that things might go wrong… and be OK with it

If I learnt anything from reading all those Facebook comments it was that more often than not something does goes wrong. Accepting that fact and being OK with it is ultimately going to be a lot less stressful than worrying about something you can’t control the whole time. Realise that for most people (well, maybe except Bridezillas but I haven’t got any of those reading my blog do I?!) it’s the little hiccups actually end up making for a great story after the wedding.

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Want Great Wedding Photographs? Follow These Ten Simple Tips…

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When I talk to brides and grooms-to-be, one of their biggest pre-wedding jitters is how they’re going to look in their wedding photographs. For most of us, our wedding day is the first time we’ve worked with a professional photographer and what with it being a pretty important day and all we want to get it right. Not being shy to a camera or two (!) here are ten simple tips from me to you which will ensure you get the very best results possible.

1. Book a decent photographer

“Yeah duuuh!” you’re all thinking, but choosing the right photographer can be a minefield. How do you know who’s good and who’s not? How much is right to spend? Will your friend who’s great at taking photos of cars be good at shooting your wedding? (I think we all know the answer to that one…)

Do your research. Wedding blogs are a great place to start. Look through the real weddings on your favourite blogs, check out the photographer’s sites and make a shortlist. Pricing fluctuates massively depending on the photographer’s location, experience and what kind of coverage they offer, but as a rough guide I’d certainly never recommend someone spend under ÂŁ1000.

Yes, you can luck out by getting an enthusiastic and super talented newbie, but finding someone like that is certainly the exception and not the rule. The average in the UK for a wedding photographer is somewhere between ÂŁ1200 – ÂŁ2500. Spend as much as you possibly can to get the very best photographer. You’ll only regret it if you don’t. The number one thing people tell me again and again when we speak about what we’d do differently if we were to get married now is that they wish they’d prioritised the photography more.

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2. Have an engagement shoot

If your photographer offers an engagement shoot as part of the package then take it! They are a great way to not only practice in front of the camera but to get to know your photographer before the wedding day. They’ll also be able to find out how you photograph and you’ll get some cute shots of the two of you to display on your walls or at your wedding.

3. Trust them

Of all the wedding photographers I know, one of their biggest gripes is when a client hands them a detailed shot by shot list of every single thing they want photographed – the dress hanging in front of the window, the shoes, bride getting into her dress, dad looking proud… you get the idea. Trust your photographer. They’ve been doing this a lot longer than you and they will be well aware which shots to get… and if not, refer back to point 1. and book someone else!

Obviously if you have something particularly sentimental or unique that you’d like photographed (maybe a piece of jewellery passed down through your family or a DIY project that you spent days on) then be sure to let them know, but don’t hand them a blow by blow list of every single shot you want. Allow your photographer to do their job and to be creative. They’ll enjoy the day more which will result in better photographs.

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4. Think about the light

This is another thing that couples tend to not consider (or not even know they have to consider) but be aware that the light changes throughout the day and different light will result in very different photographs.

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Blogworthy

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It’s a funny old world we live in. One where nothing is private, where photos are uploaded to Facebook and Instagram with frightening ease, and where the inner musing of our minds are shared, 140 characters at a time, without a second thought. The likelihood is that you’ll still be at your own wedding while photos are uploaded and the comments from Facebook well-wishers have started to come in.

When you really think about it, this is utterly bizarre. We live in a world where we feel awkward if we have to ask someone to take down an unflattering photograph, or we want to keep certain things private and offline. The pressure that this curious need to overshare has added to couples planning their weddings is immense. Adding fuel to the fire is the wedding industry’s incessant need to talk about the latest ‘trends’ or what the ‘next big thing’ is going to be at every given opportunity.

How on Earth are you supposed to keep up? How the hell did this even happen? And why do we suddenly care so much?

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