As I placed my Christmas ornaments away, took down the beautiful tree and found myself ringing in the New Year with my husband to be, it dawned on me. “This is it! It’s 2016, the year I’ll finally be tying the knot to this wonderful man” then I have to admit, absolute fear gripped me. With now almost only 4 short months to go and with a few days until a trip to India with my parents booked, I feel like I’m slowly realising that our 1 year and 6 month engagement is coming to an end and the biggest event of our lives is imminent. After a long time of feeling pretty organised, I suddenly felt terrified of dropping the ball. I got worried all of our suppliers, that we so carefully had booked over a year ago, had forgotten our event and that I wouldn’t have enough time to find new ones. I convinced myself that there was so much to do and clearly, so little time! So with all that anxiety building, I just spent a good day emailing each and every one of our suppliers, checking that we were still in their diary and to begin confirming the final details. Also, I typed up “Sundari & Andy’s Big Fat To-Do list” with every minute action listed out and strangely enough, this enormous list gave me a huge sense of relief. I knew exactly all the things we had left to do, and nothing was challenging. In fact everything was pretty darn simple... Sometimes it’s so easy to get panicked and washed up in a mentality of fear. Rightly so, there are millions of magazine articles and so much advice out there making you think that by now you should’ve sorted most things. However, for me, putting together my own list was the best thing I’ve ever done throughout the planning process. Not only because I’m a freak when it comes to lists but because it made me realise, I wasn’t climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, I was listing out simple tasks such as “pay remaining fees for...” or “order gold foiled napkins from...” and of course more fun things like “book engagement shoot date.” So whilst this year, I’ve decided not to give myself New Years resolutions, (you can read my letter to 2016 here over on my IG page) I did decide to give myself the space to be worry free and take the pressure off. There are already enough things in this world to be worrying about and I don’t want my wedding to be one of them. I was astounded at how simple a task had made me feel a sense of calm.
Eliminating DIY WoesDon’t let Pinterest send you over the edge. Don’t let your wedding suddenly spark the idea that you are Martha Stewart either, because you’re not, I’m so sorry ;) It’s best not to learn a new skill just because you're getting married. It’ll put unbeknownst stress and pressure on your shoulders that you really just don’t need... With Pinterest being the main place for instant inspiration these days, it’s no wonder millions of couples turn their hands to using their (non existent before their engagement) DIY skills to create beautiful but rather labour intensive items for their day. With tissue pompom tutorials everywhere you turn, jenga guestbooks and paper flowers it’s SO easy to add these to that all important “big fat to-do list” I mentioned earlier. If you ask yourself properly, you REALLY don’t have enough time. Yep, I’m telling you. Whatever you’re trying to do, there is most probably someone out there who does it better than a sobbing you at 11pm on a Sunday night. Think really carefully about the handmade items you want to add to your day, yes they’ll add beautiful personal touches but restrict yourself. Don’t commit to doing 10 different things, narrow it down and do one or two things well that you can feel proud of. In these last precious few months, you want to be spending time with your fiancé relishing the weekends you have left before you become Mr & Mrs, not crying over a painful red burn from the hot glue gun, which somehow flew off the table (Bad Mr Tibbles!) I personally have planned to create items for our wedding, however I know if any troubles arise, I can outsource them or that they are really really SIMPLE tasks. For example, for our ceremony, I wanted to have a beautiful wooden trestle table for us to then keep for our new home. So, I’ve already ordered one, which I plan on staining to match the dark wooden chairs we’ve hired. It’s already ordered, and if I run out of time, I can ask a friend or family member to stain it.
How I Asked For HelpThis is something I automatically decided was imperative to our day because a wedding supplier myself, I knew that I’d need to have professional help in the lead up and on the wedding day however I recognise this isn’t a necessity for every one. What I do think is, you should delegate to your family or bridal party. Two hands are better than one, and 10 are definitely even better. If you’re hell bent on hand dipping your own glitter feathers or creating a suspended table plan, then try and build into a full day dedicated to the task, rather than squeezing in-between your already over flowing diary. Set yourself realistic timings and (I cannot iterate this enough) have a “buy it now” fall back. If you try and don’t succeed, give yourself a back up plan to ensure your heart rate doesn’t increase and you still have what you were hoping for. What gave me even more comfort was knowing that a month before the big day, I’d be able to hand over all the emails, all the to-ing and frow-ing over to our Wedding Planner, Andri of Always Andri Weddings. As a stylist herself, I felt comfortable knowing that every detail I had spent months dreaming and planning out would be perfectly managed and placed where I would have, if I were allowed. I highlight the word allowed! Andy has categorically stated I must NOT, do any work. Our wedding is the one time I don’t need to. So, cue the help of Andri. We built her cost into our budget early on as we knew this was something we needed.
When It All Gets A Bit Too MuchAnd yes, even I have been there. A number of times. This process can become so over whelming, exhausting and at times, down right rubbish. I became increasingly tempted to pack it all in and elope, (I asked Andy at least 4 times) but we knew it wasn’t ever really an option. Mainly because we’d already forked out so much dosh for our two events but also because we’d pinned a lot of hope and excitement into an event to celebrate with all of our friends and family. SO when it just gets tough, remember to take a step back and look at why you’re doing this. I’ve spoken a lot recently about my belief in weddings. Not to be misunderstood, I mean any type of celebration of marriage is a wedding to me. From elopements, to huge blowouts - marriage is why they’re happening in the first place. Whilst the event side is very exciting, of course (I wouldn’t be doing what I do if I didn’t believe that) but after all of the beautiful blog posts, gorgeous dresses, sensational flowers - there are two people. This is more about those two people beating the odds of this harsh world. Two people’s love for one another that is unbreakable. Two people who are willing to fight every darn minute of their lives, to be tied to one another through every hardship and every joyful moment. Willing to protect, care for, honour and cherish one another. The world we live in can be a very dark place; we’ve all seen pain, sadness and faced tough days. A wedding can be the event to celebrate when love wins. Your wedding is the story of love overcoming difficulty and bringing two unique people together. Committing to one another in the most public manner possible, so remember that when it all gets a bit much.
The Big Fat To-Do ListHere’s how I created our final big fat to-do list. Whether you have one small event or two big ones (like us!) separate into categories and get real about what needs to be done. Here’s a bit of ours:
ATTIRE Andy’s Sunday outfit – A to do/book a day shopping in Reiss Groomsmen – A to email for sizes & purchase trousers & waistcosts Sarees, chase for final measurements before India trip S still to find outfit for registry office VENUE Book food tasting & confirm catering/drinks Final payment calculations Book to visit Fire Arrows for room viewing SUPPLIERS Email & confirm all suppliers for Sunday Order hanging lantern samples Build John Lewis gift list Email Liz, humanist celebrant to confirm ceremony content, book meeting Pay remaining deposits for... MISC Weddings rings, book appointment to visit workshop Book engagement shoot with Dominique Post invitations in February Organise favours for Sunday, order extra virgin olive oil to infuseUntil next time, Sundari x
Bouquet Photography: Dominique Bader | Bouquet: Blooming Gayles | Table Set Up Styling: The Wedding Stylist | Table Set Up Flowers: Blue Sky Flowers | Table Set Up Photography: Xander & Thea | Bridesmaids: Ellie Asher | Wreathe Photography: Zipporah Photography | Wreathe: Soul Flowers | Bride & Groom: Dominique Bader | Groom : Carrie Patterson Photography | Vase: Via Pinterest | Couple Photography: M&J Photography | Amy Fanton | Darek Smietana | Chris Barber | Amy Faith Photography | Melia Melia | Marie Wooton | Marcos Sanchez | Modern Vintage Wedding | Belle and Beau | Paul Joseph Photography