Memories & wedding advice for brides from those who've got the T shirt!
HARRIET & CHRIS JUNE 1998
This was taken of us by a guest and it has become possibly my favorite image, not as a technically great image, but because of the moment it caught. Of course I treasure all the photographs we have but 19 years ago the photography style was very different to today. For me, whilst blurry (I don't care) this captures the happiness of the day as we left the church, in a timeless way.
My siblings will kill me for sharing this one but it still makes me chuckle. Perhaps it highlights the importance of employing a professional photographer! My Uncle captured the funny version of this image within seconds of the professional photographer taking the offical one, only my Dad managed not to join the silly face gang!
1. THE DRESS was made for me by a local (to where I grew up in Halifax) designer called Anne Green, I think she must have retired now as I couldn't find her online when I tried to locate her details. I've always sewn and dabbled with dress making so for me the whole process was fascinating. I'd to buy my underwear first and take it to the first fitting measurements were taken and the calico toile making process began. It was a twelve fitting process over several months until the dress was completed and every detail was custom made to fit me, to balance out wonky shoulders, to sit at the correct level on the decolletage, layers of tulle built in so it lay beautifully, there was no separate petticoat, and so on. The finished dress was a beautiful crisp silk, square necked with elbow length sleaves and covered silk buttons on the back. The only detailing was pearl hand embroidered daisies around the neck, sleaves and hem. It was very different to the available dresses in boutiques at the time, a lot more understated and timeless.
Oops, I suppose I should also say, the tiara was my first foray into accessories design, I used old beads and buttons from my Grandmother and topped up with some beautiful Swarovski pieces from Duttons for Buttons in York.
2. THE CAKE was made my mother and mother in law, 2 layers each (one was an extra cutting layer, we had a lot of guests), then iced by a professsional cake decorator. My husband expressed very few preferences about the day, his only stipulations being a square cake and the white rose of Yorkshire had to be included. So a square cake it was (again as with photography, cake styles were very different then) and my mum set off to visit 3 of her Aunts to round up the family cake tins that were residing between them. As she collected each tin, each Aunt supplied her with their version of the "family receipe", each getting significantly boozier than the last. My mums layers were cooked to 2 of those receipes and duly fed, whilst my mother in law used recipes from her family. A silver vase (that was my christening present from my godfather) was placed on the top with flowers to complement my bouquet. As was tradition, we kept the top layer and it was my sons christening cake, 3 years later.
3. THE BRIDESMAIDS were my sister, god daughter/cousin, another two of my cousins (sorry to the other two who I couldn't ask) and my husbands niece. Five in all and my Mum made all the dresses. We had a trip to Bombay stores in Bradford, if you haven't been and it's within reach, it has the most amazing range of fabrics, from silks to faux fur, lycra to tweed and everything inbetween.
MEMORIES & WORDS OF WISDOM
WHAT WAS YOUR MAGIC MOMENT?
Hmm, not sure I can answer that one, the whole day was brilliant, I just wish I'd seen a little more of my husband, no one really told me how little time you actually spend together on the day, perhaps it was because we had a lot of guests (my family is huge).
Actually, the speeches were pretty special, particularly my husbands. He isn't given to much romantic emotion but he got it spot on.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A BRIDE PLANNING HER WEDDING DAY?
Don't over think things and get too hung up on details, the day is ultimately about you and the person you love getting married and everything else that slots into place is a bonus.
Take at least 5 minutes to shut the door on the world and compose yourself before you go to the ceremony. It is great having everyone buzz and fuss around you during the morning but the day passes so quickly (I know everyone tells you that but you won't realise how true it is until after), that without that time, it becomes a blur and you aren't ready to take it all in.
Get a professional photographer and even if you only want informal shots make the time to get at least one family group, even if it feels like a hassle and you don't want to inconvenience people. It has been poignant to me this morning, when looking back through out photographs, seeing all those no longer with us or in ill health, they are precious images. I have great photos from friends too that I treasure, there is room for both. We asked a friend to capture some video for us and in the end I only featured on about 3 seconds of it, a professional knows what to capture and is there to do just that.
IF YOU DID IT ALL AGAIN, WHAT (IF ANYTHING) WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?
Not a lot really, as I just mentioned I'd have liked a few more minutes of video but beyond that nothing.
Well I think that about covers it though I'm sure I'll think of something I want to go back and add later.
Until next time
PS Don't forget I'd love to share some of your images and words of wisdom, they don't need to be long, just from the heart! Drop me an email of give me a ring.