By the time you read this, it’ll be just less than two weeks to go until the Big Day – and my last post before I become Mrs Ward. (Although I am keeping my current surname, Cossey, for work.)

And, miracle of miracles, I’m excited! In fact, despite still having a few things to finish up, I’m relatively unstressed. At least compared to how I’ve been for the rest of the planning process.

Anyway, I was having a ponder about what to write for this, my almost last wedding column (keep an eye out for the one I’ll do post-wedding). While I was reflecting, I realised that the best thing might be to share the things I’ve learnt in the last 18 months. Hopefully that will either help other new brides-to-be out…or convince you all that I’ve gone completely bridal bonkers.

Chocoholics Wedding favours


A sneak peek at the style of wedding favours….

1) Unless you’re loaded, wedding planning will leave you broke. I know, hardly a surprise, right? But actually, getting your head around the fact that you’re about to spend a LOT of money on one day is overwhelming. But, as fellow bride-to-be and HTC writer Sarah Williams says, get over it and accept it. And if you really don’t want to spend lots of money, elope. You’ll upset a few people….but you’re going to do that anyway. ‘Tis the rule of wedding planning.

Alternatively, I’ve seen a few people plan a wedding in just a few months. This is often cheaper, condenses the stress into a shorter time period and gives you less time to worry. Especially if you go for a winter wedding rather a summer one.

Lesson: Get over it and accept it, or keep your wedding small (or elope!)

2) Weddings are pretty revealing. If you want to test your relationship with your family and friends, get married. You’ll be surprised by how a few of them will react.

Lesson: Don’t rush into any decisions too quickly. Let the dust settle before you make any decisions.

3) You might neglect your partner a bit. Example – last month, the future husband offered me a snack. He was overjoyed when I accepted, saying “Do you know how nice it is to see you actually enjoy food?” Don’t get me wrong, he’s been supportive over my diet and exercise routine. But that comment made me realise how much of a nightmare I’d been about being strict and snappy around food. Which made me think – is it worth being miserable (and making him a bit grumpy) for 18 months just to ‘look good’ for one day? My mother-in-law summed it up nicely ‘I’d rather see you relaxed and happy on the day than stressed and skinny’.

Lesson: Make time to spend with your partner where you don’t talk about wedding stuff.

4) Your perception of how you look, or should look, will get a bit messed up. ‘Perfect brides’ are apparently always slim, radiant, without a hair out-of-place or a bingo wing in sight. That’s a whole lot of pressure. And actually, a whole lot of bollocks. To be honest, I’m a bit pissed off at myself for getting sucked into that perception actually. I don’t buy into the idea of looking like a supermodel the rest of the time, so why is there so much pressure to look 100% perfect on your wedding day?

Lesson: If he’s proposed to you, he loves you the way you are. Stop trying to be a perfect bride (those photos are totally photoshopped anyway.)

5) You can’t please everyone. This is your new motto brides! You can spend months trying to keep everyone happy…but you’ll inevitably upset someone down the line, even if it’s accidental.

Lesson: Don’t go all superbitch, but be firm. I still wouldn’t dream of going all ‘But it’s my day and I can do what I like’ on anyone, but I have said no to a few things recently I wouldn’t have when I first started.

Wedding planning has turned out to be an interesting in terms of learning about myself and my partner too. I’ve realised I need to have more faith in my own opinions and decisions, stop worrying so much about what others think and listen in to how I really feel about stuff. And it’s good to know we can work together as a team and get through really stressful times.

So, wish me luck!

Marrieds! What did wedding planning teach you?

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