A little advice from Ami of Lo & Behold Bespoke on planning a day that is utterly you…
Weddings – “A ceremony where by two people are united in marriage”. We’ve all been to weddings and we all know what they ‘should’ be… Traditions and things you’ve got to do; rules, regulations, things you’ve got to wear and customs you need to adhere to? Simple right? It’s almost like you’ve got a checklist to work through… Do all these things in this order and ‘wham bam’ you’ve got yourself a perfect wedding…
Well what if I told you no? Actually I’m telling you ‘Hell no’… I’m telling you to throw out that out-dated rulebook and instead plan a day that is truly you… In the 20 months since I launched Lo & Behold Bespoke with my husband, following our wedding in the summer of 2017, the shift towards non-conventional weddings has been evident and it seems to be picking up speed, and that my friends puts the biggest smile on my face!
Regardless of religion, race, gender, sex or culture most of us still feel some pressures to do what you ‘should’ do on your wedding day… Decades, or more like centuries, of traditions weigh upon our shoulders. There’s a lot of pressure and expectation on newly engaged couples to stick to what we know best, and what’s been done a thousand times before.
Above photo credits: The Wild Bride (photos 2 & 3)
I’m here, as an industry professional, to give you the confidence to make your own rules when it comes to your special day. If there’s a part of a traditional wedding celebration that makes you feel uncomfortable, such as a first dance or a speech, just don’t do it. If the order of the day doesn’t suit you and what you two want to do, change it up… As long as at the end of the day (or week… who am I to squash your dreams) two people are officially wed who cares how they chose to get there?!
One of the biggest challenges couples face is the expectations of others, especially older generations who have a harder time letting go of ‘proper’ and stuffy traditions. Cries of “but you have to invite all the cousins” or “of course you have to cut the cake”. It’s your wedding… YOU make the rules.
If you’re finding yourself in a situation where you feel you’ve not got a choice, calmly and with confidence explain your reasonings for not wanting to do it. If you can’t get it 100% your way (I appreciate a lot of people feel they have to say yes because parents or family are helping finance their day) try a compromise that you feel comfortable with. I repeat, at the end of the day it is YOUR WEDDING!
I adore it when couples approach me with ideas that truly represent who they are as a couple… Sci-fi fans, or nature lovers, a vegan celebration or an Indian/nautical mash up… These are the briefs that excite me most.
When we got married, we didn’t have a theme as such, we instead planned a day that was utterly us; relaxed, bohemian and full of quirky details, props and beloved items from our home. It all helped to create a day that was a true reflection of us and who we are as a couple.
I want to tell all couples planning their big day to try and squeeze some individuality into your wedding… If you don’t normally like butterflies and Swarovski crystals, don’t have them on your wedding day. If you hate being the centre of attention, plan a day with just a handful of friends and family. If you love Ru Paul’s Drag Race more then anything in the world, find a way to work in those passions into your day… ‘Can I get an amen!’ It doesn’t have to become an all-consuming theme (unless of course you want it to be) but subtle references and little ideas and inclusions can make all the difference.
Above photo credit: Nadia Meli (image 2)
And this is where we can help… I love helping our couples create a vision, a concept and a celebration that celebrates not only their wedding but also them!
Here’s a few simple ideas, borrowed from some of our recent weddings, of ways couples planned a ‘truly them’ day. And if you want a little help planning and styling your day then I would LOVE to hear from you!
*Share your sci-fi fandom by using Star Trek space ship names for your tables.
*Host your reception in a family back garden space because you feel at home there.
*Use Polaroid photos as place names to share favourite memories of your guests.
*Have a beer pong table set up at the reception because it’s your party game.
*Have an ‘Always’ cake topper to subtly share your love of Harry Potter.
*Do a speech you traditionally aren’t supposed to, or do a joint one, or sing a song if that’s your thing!
*Incorporate your love of cycling by up-cycling and creating decorative floral hoops from bike wheels.
*Have a small official ceremony the day before, meaning your best friend can deliver your real ceremony.
*Get married outside and surrounded by nature because that’s what you all imagined.
*Have your pet there on the day, because why would you leave them at home on this most special day?
*Substitute a traditional cake for a pile of donuts because they’re your favourite snack.
*Forgo a first dance because you hate dancing.
*Wear a different colour because you don’t look good in white.
I hope these few simple suggestions show how easy it is to tweak things up and change traditions to make a day that is truly you, and if you need a helping hand you know where I am… Ami X
Featured photo: Hayley Savage