I got to thinking, it would be nice to feature one of my couple’s wedding journey in the run up to their big day. The excitement, the thrill and the little hiccups that happen along the way.
With this in mind, I asked Charlene & Aidan if they wouldn’t mind sharing how things are coming together ahead of their wedding later this year. Thankfully, they agreed and I’m looking forward to chatting with them over the coming months. The four month wedding countdown is on.
Wedding planning can be challenging and stressful but we will hopefully shed some light on how to avoid the pitfalls and streamline the day of your dreams. Over to Charlene & Aidan …
So how is the wedding plans coming along?
‘All is going great to be honest. We really only started most of the planning from Christmas as we kept thinking we had loads of time. However, once the New Year rang in, reality hit. We are actually getting married this year!!’
What about the dress?
‘I actually only picked my wedding dress in early January. Some shops put pressure on me when I told them I had only seven months to the day. They said that they really prefer customers to give them at least nine months which made me panic slightly. So for most of the month of January I had sleepless nights that I wouldn’t get a dress in time. I finally picked ‘the one’ in Petticoat Lane Bridal in Lisburn. Lovely shop and girls were really helpful. I purposely did not take any photos of myself in the dress. I am the type of person that when I look at something quite a lot I tend to get tired of it which is another reason why I didn’t choose my dress to the last minute. It means I can’t change my mind in 6 months lol. My sister has a photo of me in the dress and the odd day I will take a peak at it to remind what it looks like.
I do really love it – totally not the style of dress I thought I would go for. Funny thing is, I had actually chosen another dress (completely different to the one I bought). The night before I was due to go for the final fitting and pay my deposit, the shop put up a couple of new arrivals on Snapchat and as soon as I saw this dress I just knew it was the one. I went in the next day and asked could I try it on and that was it. It is due to arrive in the store in middle of May and I have booked my dress fitting four weeks before the wedding. Can’t wait!’
A lot of brides tell me that they feel under pressure to lose weight or tone up before the wedding. How have you found it?
‘In today’s society, there is so much emphasis on women to be a “perfect shape”. As soon as someone hears you are getting married they automatically want to know what you’re doing to lose weight for the big day. I hold my hands up and say that I am one of those soon-to-be brides that has started a personal trainer and ramped up the fitness regime. I decided to start because when I was trying on wedding dresses I did not feel 100% happy with my shape and personally I want to look and feel good in myself. As long as you feel good about yourself and are happy, that’s all that should matter.’
What about the boys? Have they got suited and booted yet?
‘We decided to get a custom suit made for the big day and opted for Dee Graham Tailor Made Suits, based in Dungannon. Dee has been great in giving us advice and we have finally chosen the colour and material for the suits. This was nearly as difficult as choosing the bride’s dress – no joke!
Aidan was appointed with one job for the wedding – to sort out the groomsmen’s suits and his own suit. I know the control freak in me will get the better of me and I will want to take over. However, I think it’s only fair that he takes responsibility for this job …. for now.’
Have you had much help or guidance from friends or family with the wedding planning?
‘All in all, I have planned everything myself and have really not asked for any help. Aidan has been involved of course and we jointly discuss most things before going ahead. However, I can’t be sure he is listening half the time …..’
Have you visited the venue again recently?
‘Our wedding venue, Cabra Castle, invited us to a food tasting event in February where we got to try out all the different starters, mains and desserts prior to making our final choice for the wedding. We both really enjoyed this and found it more difficult than expected. With such a great variety to choose from, it’s so hard to decide which one we will have on the day. You also have to be mindful though that you are trying to please 200 odd people on the day. It’s not all about us lol.’
What about the invites?
‘That’s what I am currently focusing on. Pinterest has been useful for ideas and I have visited a few shops that design and make them for you. Hopefully in the next few weeks we will have a decision made. I really wish I had a creative hand as I would love to be able to make my own – there are so may options now online at really good value if you had time and patience.’
Bridesmaid dresses – how are they coming along?
‘I also need to finalise my bridesmaid dresses in the next few weeks. I have been pretty laid back with the bridesmaids and have left it up to my sister to find a dress that would suit her and my other bridesmaid, Emer, who is living in Sydney. As long as they are comfortable and feel good on the day, that is all that matters. There is so many options out there now for bridesmaids which is why I haven’t really panicked with this part of the wedding. Asos and some local boutiques have such amazing dresses now that can be ordered online and received within a week.’
Let’s talk cake …
‘Also on my t0-d0 list over the coming weeks. Initially, I wasn’t even going to have a cake as every wedding I have ever been to I never have ate the cake or even noticed if they had one or not. I’m a firm believer that there is no rule books for weddings. If you want to break away from the norm then go for it! No cake, no speeches or have an uneven bridal party – it’s your wedding so you make the rules.’
Any little hiccups along the way so far?
‘Fortunately not (touch wood). Everything I have wanted to book and every supplier I wanted was available on my day which made organising so easy. Getting married on a Thursday definitely has been a bonus.’
Any advice for couples who have just got engaged?
‘To be honest, if I was talking to anyone that was in the early stages of planning I would tell them to not get carried away in the process. Prior to booking anything, sit down and make out a wedding budget of what you’re willing to spend overall (something I didn’t do and now wish I had). Looking back now, we found that in the early stages of planning the wedding we got a bit carried away with the excitement of it all and made some decisions we probably would not have made now.
Don’t be afraid to listen to other people’s opinions but don’t be unduly influenced by them. One of the most stressful things I found about planning a wedding is trying to please other people in the process. In reality, you cannot please everyone.’
Have you thought about a honeymoon yet?
‘For our honeymoon, we are going for a week to Dubai which is were we got engaged. I am SO looking forward to the break. We can chill out and spend my nights relaxing and not browsing the Internet for wedding related ideas. This is all I seem to do now in my free time. Genuinely do not know what I will do with myself come September.’