In the immortal words of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, ‘reader, I married him’. Our wedding has been and gone, I’m officially a wife, and we have nothing but two gold bands and a series of blurred polaroid’s to show for it. I’d love to have an epic story for you; a dramatic moment, a crisis that was averted, a relative who acted up, but in all honestly it was perfect - every last second.
Six days in Mallorca surrounded by your family and friends, preceded by numerous weekends dedicated to your wedding, is enough to send even the humblest of couples into a spiral of self-absorption. For a few weeks, we were the centre of everyone’s worlds, so it’s no surprise that day one of our mini-moon was spent in the descents of despair, mourning our lost celebrity, jettisoned out of the warm cocoon of attention into a silent beach-side resort where we were condemned to anonymity. Everyone describes your wedding day as the happiest day of your life, and I also found this a tough pill to swallow. I’m 28 - is it really all downhill from here? One married friend didn’t provide much comfort when she suggested I had the birth of my children to look forward to. Oh goody - I’ll be happy again in approximately 5-6 years.
You’ll be pleased to know the pity party didn’t last long. A few days at the glorious La Residencia in Mallorca’s Deia sorted us out - turns out that all we needed to be happy again was a whacking great swimming pool and a drink or five. And although the comedown may have arrived earlier than anticipated, it made returning to reality far less dramatic than anticipated; not only do we have this exciting, renewed relationship to come home to every day, the constant stress and anxiety associated with wedding planning is finally over. In the weeks leading up to the big day, I lost sleep over the most ridiculous minutiae - it’s a huge relief to no longer startle awake, panicking that I haven’t bought my stick-on bra yet, or chosen which suits the band should wear.
Brides who have crossed through to the other side are always full of platitudes for you when your time comes around. ‘Just enjoy every second’, and ‘take a moment to yourself to drink it all in’ etc etc. But you know all that stuff already. So, I thought I’d share with you some of the advice that would have actually been helpful in advance of the big day, and my take-aways having finally crossed the threshold into married life myself. Thanks for coming with me over the last year; the good news is, now Lu’s engaged, we get to do it all over again.
Wear A Veil
Jewish tradition dictates a bride must have her face covered during the wedding ceremony - something I was incredibly irritated by in the build-up. The veil got stuck to my eyelashes, covered the front of my dress and limited my vision. However, when I look back at the pictures, it completely finishes the look. It is so incredibly bridal - feminine, romantic and traditional, religious or not I can’t recommend wearing a veil enough.
Get To Know Who’s Marrying You
Another Jewish custom is to have learning sessions with the rabbi marrying you in advance of the wedding. Over the last six months, Ben and I have had multiple long Skype conversations with our rabbi, which really gave us all the opportunity to get to know each other; having attended weddings where the person officiating clearly doesn’t know the couple very well, it really stood out that we had spent time with the man running the show.
Get A Polaroid Camera
Your guests will be really good at snapping pics of you as you walk down the aisle, but naturally they’ll ditch the phones as the dancing ramps up. A polaroid is novelty enough that your friends will happily pass it around even when they’re at peak party - some of our best pictures are those taken at 11.30pm of guests sharing ice creams, taking shots and generally misbehaving.
Have An Outfit Change
This is without a doubt the best decision I made. My second dress (not bridal - a very short, very sparkly number) gave me a whole new lease of life and helped create exactly the party vibe I wanted. My wedding dress was extremely relaxed - no big skirts or boning to be seen - but still I couldn’t wait to get out of it and run around the dance floor. Plus, having kept dress number two a secret from Ben, his reaction to the change was a fun surprise towards the end of the night.
Mix And Match Your Bridesmaids
I have never liked the uniformity of putting all your bridesmaids in one dress, and I’m so pleased I asked all five of mine to choose their own styles, with only the colour in common. Each selected a pink dress that suited her perfectly - we had everything from floor length sequined Needle & Thread numbers to hot pink, floral slip dresses in the mix, but because they were all so different, they really worked together. They looked like modern-day bridesmaids - the coolest possible girl squad.
Don’t Be Precious
The bride sets the tone for the whole event - if you want it to be an amazing party, you need to go harder than anyone else there. During the first round of dancing I lost my shoes, my hair became a sweaty mess and my dress no longer sat in its original place, but it set the night off as I intended it to go on.
Enjoy Every Second
Ok, ok, I know I said I wouldn’t say this. But it goes by So. Bloody. Quickly. Make the most of every second, because soon all you’ll have left is a fake tan-stained wedding dress and the promise of the video in six months time.
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