Having counted down the months, weeks and days, at the time of this post going live, it will be only a matter of hours before Andy and I say our “I dos”.
Am I worried? Naturally. Nervous? Very! Excited? Oh hell yes!! And this is the same rollercoaster of emotions that I have been experiencing the past few weeks.
My wedded friends did pre-warn me this was to be expected and I did have one full-on in-the-midst-of-planning meltdown where I sobbed and cried ugly-style due to huge surge of anxiety and overwhelm back in March. This too I’m told is ok, as it’s common for brides to have at least one of these blow-out breakdowns in the run up to the big day. I wasn’t upset about anything in particular, but the list of jobs just seemed to be increasing and running away with me. I also have a natural desire to make sure everyone is happy and that I don’t cause work for people/put them out of their way, so instead I pile the pressure on my own shoulders, which I then came to realise results in a rather unstable Rachel.
Thankfully, I soon got my shizz back together, reassessed the job list and even allocated a few tasks to others, all which helped ease the stress-levels. For anyone else out there currently feeling the pre-wedding overwhelm – please stop, take some time out for yourself and realise that you can look to others to assist you in your quest to organise the wedding to pip all other weddings.
Those up and down feelings have remained with me, but getting married is big deal and although you plan a day that’s all about you and your partner, you’re essentially trying to throw the very best party you can for your family and friends so things are bound to play on your mind. Will they like the food? Is there enough booze? Will anyone laugh at the speeches? Is the styling and décor going to be coherent throughout? But then, as our wise featured brides expressed in the top tips post that we featured on the blog yesterday (a MUST-read), it’s not worth sweating the small stuff as on the day people are there because they love you, to witness you take your vows and then celebrate to the max with you; and no mis-matched candlestick, acquired-taste prawn canape or one too less bottles of larger at the drinks reception is going to change that.
One definite welcome distraction from the wedding planning came in the form of my hen do, where I was completely spoiled for 48 hours not needing to worry, stress or agonise over a single thing. I decided on Edinburgh for the location as it holds so many fun memories for me and my besties, but then I left the rest to them – and boy did they deliver! Now, I appreciate that some want an action-packed hen, but given the hecticness of the last few months I put a ban on ‘activities’ and instead requested a relaxing (though heavily processco-infused) trip away with my #bridesquad, resulting in (as one of my bridesmaids aptly named it) a ‘zen do’.
We hired the most amazing Airbnb, in a fabulously central location and then spent our time chatting, laughing and generally catching up, whilst eating and drinking in some of Edinburgh’s coolest and finest establishments, including The Ivy, El Cartel and The Printing Press. Though, of course, it wasn’t all completely tame and Saturday night culminated with tequila shots and questionable dancing (until 3am when the lights came on!!) in Lulu’s nightclub. Best-night-ever!
I thankfully managed to avoid the regular hen do paraphernalia (not a phallic inflatable or straw in sight!) and instead was adorned each day with differing bride-to-be getup; from a rather fitting thistle flower crown and tartan sash, to a “Future Mrs Hirst” jumper, lacey garter and obligatory veil.
It really was everything I could have wished for and more, and I can’t thank my besties enough for the time, effort and thought they put into each element to make it so damn special. I love you all!
In the past few weeks I’ve also had my hair trial with the super sweet and highly-skilled Jen Ashton of Wildflower Hair Co, enjoying her witty humour and infectious laugh while she tried out the styles I had in mind until we mastered the desired look. As well as boosting my spirits, Jen also offered to put together a running order of the morning prep, lightening my stress-levels again, as there are seven of us to be beautified before our 1pm ceremony, which means setting those alarms early doors!
And with only a matter of weeks to go we added one more crucial supplier to our line-up: videographer Bruce Marshall of Love Two Film. As a fan of his beautiful documentary style videography, I had enquired with Bruce way back in the summer last year but keeping a keen eye on the wedding budget, I couldn’t commit to the booking at that stage. Several months later and that extra money unfortunately hadn’t magically appeared in our wedding fund (seriously, where does the cash go??) but it appeared every bride we featured on the blog commented that the best decision they made was hiring a videographer, or that their only regret was not doing so, which prompted a last-minute email to Bruce to secure his services!
I also think what pushed us to making that stretch to include a videographer was the time and effort we have put in to organising our day – not to document it in moving footage, as well as beautiful imagery, seemed a crying shame. Just like I don’t expect to look through my wedding album every single day, I’m certain I won’t watch our wedding video daily either, but it’s nice to know that we have options to relive it and show it to others. More so, we can see the raw emotion and actions of our guests on the day, we can see what makes them laugh, cry, smile and there will be an element of audio too, whether it be a snippet of music from the day, or part of a reading, speech or vow. And so, I raised two fingers to my inner camera-shy self (and the wedding budget spreadsheet) and went with what my heart felt was right on that one.
There are a few elements I’ve chosen not to reveal until after the wedding, including of course my dress, but I’m super excited to share all the details with you in a couple of months’ time on blog, once our professional images and video are back with us.
Now only the very last-minute prep remains, and I do plan to thoroughly enjoy these next couple of days by getting my final beauty treatments with my amazing friend Jo of Pure Beauty Worksop, collecting my dress from my amazing seamstress, packing for our minimoon to Sorrento and having one last date night out with Andy as a Miss, before becoming Mrs Hirst. See you on the other side!