It'll be nine years this year since Jon and I got hitched (um, where exactly did that time go?!) and when we did, we did it fast! Seven weeks from deciding on a date to making it happen! We'd been engaged for ages but just never got around to setting anything in stone. Nothing ever seemed quite right. We'd been to wedding fairs, bought magazines, looked at venues and though it was exciting to begin with, it soon fizzled out when nothing gave me that feeling. You know the one.
It wasn't until we'd lost a couple of people close to us that we realised there's no time like the present. What were we waiting for?
All this time we'd been imagining a summer do, because people get married in the summer right? But it was winter, Christmas in fact. There was one little venue near by that I knew I loved. I hadn't visited it on the previous search but I'd worked there as a student and just knew it was going to give me all the feels. The following weekend, days after we'd decided we were going to go for it, I took a trip there with my Mum and by chance they were holding a wedding fair that day. I spoke with their planner and instantly knew that this was the place. We booked it within a week and from then on it was all go.
There's a lot to be said for allowing yourselves a lot of time for planning. Great venues and vendors get booked up months and months in advance so time, without a doubt, gives you more choice. However, the great thing about not having time as a luxury is that you HAVE to make decisions fast. Go with your gut.
Wedding planning can be a minefield and even knowing where to start (let alone stop!) can seem like an impossible task! But having a vision and sticking to it certainly helps.
If I could give couples one piece of advice it would be to focus on the things that are most important to you. Make the day yours by axing the things that you don't really want or need. To hell with tradition, if you're not bothered about a fancy car, don't bother. Don't like cake? Don't get one just to keep your Great Aunt Annie happy! Re-think everything you know about weddings and make decisions that make you happy and that feel right for you. The people that love you will get it because they get you. Make a list of the things the two of you feel are essential to your day and get rid of the rest. The most heartfelt weddings we shoot are the ones that shine with personality. Often they don't have the biggest budgets or follow the current trends but they are real, through and through. Take inspiration from Pinterest and blogs but put your own spin on things. Look at your lives together; places you have been, the people you love and the things that matter the most to you and draw inspiration from them too. Stick with what feels right, instantly right, and you'll be on the right path.
And when the day comes, sit back, breathe, enjoy it and don't sweat the small stuff :-)