Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

Up For Discussion: Achieving The Perfect Level Of Wedding Morning Zen

November 11th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Poppy Day.

Well, whaddya know?  Its only Friday!  Yippee!  What have you got planned for the weekend?  Two days of intensive wedding planning, some time out, a hen party celebration (speaking of which, have you read my top tips for planning a hen do or entered this little giveaway yet?), or maybe, just maybe, its time to say I do?!  Whatever you are up to, I hope you have a good one.

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Before we get there though, It’s 11.11.11 today – so please do remember to wear your poppy with pride. 

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Today, our guest blogger and newlywed Alison is back on the wedding blog with another reflection on getting hitched.  You all loved her novel way of choosing a marital name last Friday, so I thought I would put my feet up, dunk another ginger snap in my brew, and let her take the floor…

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Over to Alison: When I was planning my wedding at Chester Zoo, like all brides, I aspired for perfection. I was convinced that I could organise the best wedding people had ever been to.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: FourT4 Photography

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I remember reading an article in one of my wedding magazines about the perfect wedding morning. In my quest for the perfect day, I gobbled up all the advice and aspired to achieve a similar level of Zen. 

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Apparently, the magazine told me, I should be aiming for a good night’s sleep, awaking from my princess slumber refreshed, excited and ready to float through my perfect day.

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The reality was rather different.  While hubby-to-be stayed in Chester the night before our wedding, I was at home in South Manchester with my dad and sister. With only one spare room, my sister slept on an inflatable mattress at the end of my bed – which farted loudly every time she turned over – which was a lot. I think I got 20 minutes sleep and when the alarm went at 7am I shot out of bed and promptly tripped over my own eye bags. It wasn’t the image of impossible glamour I was aspiring towards.

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The article then advised me to have a breakfast of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs – light enough for the guests not to be able to see what I’d had for breakfast, but substantial enough to see me through until my second (wedding) breakfast.

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I didn’t quite manage that either. The lack of sleep coupled with an overdose of adrenaline meant that I managed to shove a third of a bowl of ‘oats’ down my bridal neck before feeling sick and giving up.

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My perfect wedding morning was also to include a relaxing bubble bath, favourite calming tunes on my ipod and half an hour of quiet meditation.

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In theory – what a nice idea. In practice – you’ve got to be joking!  I was surviving on adrenaline and a third of a bowl of oats. If I relaxed I’d be asleep! I opted for an alternative strategy and drank red bull and coffee.

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After loading the car I spent the next hour barking at my dad to sit down, be quiet and refer to his wedding spread sheet – it didn’t bring out the ‘good daughter’ in me. I then drove like a lunatic along the M56 wishing traffic be gone and praying that the car wouldn’t break down.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Alison Staples

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When we arrived at the hotel in Chester where we were getting ready, we were still statistically within the margin of error on the wedding timetable. I’d bought croissants and champagne so I allowed myself a brief moment of relaxation and un-corked my first smile of the day.

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Unfortunately the ‘fizz’ was fleeting. With five bridesmaids and myself waiting for our transformation, it came to light that the salon only had one pair of hair straighteners. By the time my hair was finished we were nearly an hour behind schedule. My make-up artist was pacing and despite having an extensive pre-wedding make-up consultation to find the perfect wedding look, by this point I was willing her to just slap it on and finish. Red danger lights were flashing and I was about to turn into a whistling kettle.

My sister reminded me to breathe!

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We hired a wedding bus to collect guests from various points in Chester and transport them to the zoo. I was still having my face fixed when it arrived – and luckily I had a bit more time before my car turned up. Thirty minutes later I was sprinting through the hotel in my Jenny Packham wedding dress, heels and bouquet, with my poor dad trailing in my wake, trying to make up time.

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It was only when I was actually sitting in my wedding car (and back on schedule) that I started to relax into the day. Little did I know that our wedding bus had got stuck in the hotel car park and was only two minutes up the road ahead of us!

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No matter how much you brief people, no one knows the big picture of your wedding like you and although the day ran like clockwork from then on, every so often I had to prod proceedings to keep them on track:

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“We should be having the group shots now.”

“They should be serving afternoon tea.”

“Can you round people up for the speeches.”

“Time to cut the cake.”

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And so forth. Luckily I had my ‘Best Woman Gill’ who would go and make things happen and ensure that while my little duck feet were paddling away like Michael Flattery, to my guests I was gliding like a beautifully elegant swan.

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I guess what I’m saying is, plan your perfect day, plan your perfect wedding morning. If you manage to achieve the required level of Zen then I take my tiara off to you. But if it doesn’t quite run to plan, take a deep breath, try not to panic, embrace the story it will give you and if you don’t get to the church quite on time – it isn’t the end of the world.

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FourT4 Photography

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So, Brides Up North – what are your plans for wedding morning zen?  Do you think you can achieve it?  And if you have been there and done that – what was your secret?  Tell us!  It’s officially up for discussion. 

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To read Alison’s post from last Friday and to find out a little bit more about her, click here

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Alison writes her own lifestyle blog over at – http://alison-staples.blogspot.com – check it out!

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HEARTIt’s also Alison’s six month wedding anniversary today!  See her real wedding here. Congrats! HEART

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  – Images © 2011 Alison Staples and FourT4 Photography

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comments

  • November 11, 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks Julia – it’s such a thrill to see my blog on the Brides Up North site :-)

  • Laura C
    November 11, 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    My life has never featured any form of ‘zen’ whatsoever, so I know that I shall NOT be calm, relaxed, having a bubble bath etc. I’m going to treat this day just like a normal day – a strong coffee followed by a long run, hot shower and large breakfast. By that time, everyone else will be awake and I can join them in getting ready. I like my ‘me’ time every morning, and to be without it would be a complete nightmare!

    • Alison
      November 11, 2011 | Permalink | Reply

      That sounds like an excellent plan! I hope you have a brilliant day. x

  • November 12, 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    Alison, you really have a knack for writing! Thank so much for sharing, even though the morning sounded rather stressful, you still write about it with such joy and emotion. Thanks for sharing! 😀

  • Alison
    November 12, 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    Wow – Tory, thank you. I really appreciate that. x

  • Ana
    November 14, 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Alison, read this and laughed… a lot! Then I read it again, and I laughed a lot again. I then shared it with my friend and we both laughed as the both of us know, the chances of us winning the lottery are better than the chances of either of us achieving zen on our wedding days! I love the way you wrote the blog, even though I don’t know you, it’s as though I could hear you telling the story! I wish you all the best for your future and I will try to bear your advice in mind on my wedding day… Try being the operative word!! :)

  • Alison
    November 15, 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    That is such a nice comment Ana – thanks for taking the time to leave it. If you ever want to catch up with any of my other ramblings then do visit my blog at http://www.alison-staples.blogspot.com. Apparently I make people laugh and I make people cry. I’m like Manchester’s answer to Barry Manilow!!

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about the author

Julia Braime
Former lawyer and bride to be Julia founded Brides Up North in 2010 with a chip on her shoulder. Frustrated by the poor Northern presence in glossy bridal magazines and online, she decided to do something about it herself. Astounded by the rapid growth of her blog and brand, Julia now manages Brides Up North’s online content alongside their busy wedding exhibition season, industry events and related commissions. And she’s always, always, got a new project on the go…

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