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the best wedding advice i was given


This isn't the usual wedding advice, this is a bit different. It is not about ensuring you book your venue straight away, its not about invitations or having wet weather options. The advice I was want to give and that was invaluable to me, is something a little different, but also something so obvious. It was a lightbulb moment for me and I hope it does that for you too.

I remember when I got engaged and not being able to get the smile on my face. I had this amazing ring and my boyfriend (James) of almost 8 years had just asked me to be his wife. I had just been on tour with the Australian Water Polo team to China. China is usually a really hard tour, the food is horrible, the beds are like sleeping on a concrete floors and the competition is hard! Landing back in Sydney is always the biggest relief and I get so excited walking out of customs and seeing James. On this particular trip my parents were away the weekend I got home, so we had to house sit. The first night I was home James had gone upstairs and after 5 minutes I was walking up the stairs asking what he was doing. He was trying to set up candles and the ring to propose but heard me coming so pushed it all to the side and decided it wasn't the right time. The next night, I had  a massive jet lagged nap in the afternoon and woke up to cook us dinner. I remember I cooked fajitas and he ate pretty much nothing (this is the moment I realised James couldn't eat when he was nervous) and I went to my room afterwards, had a shower and put an overnight hair treatment in and got in my PJ's. As soon as stepped out of my room, James grabbed my hand and took me out to the granny flat at my parents. I saw this light beaming from inside and knew straight away. He had set up beautiful candles in a heart with my stunning ring right in the middle. I do not remember saying yes, all I did was jump up and down smiling. I was so happy, and looking down at that ring on my left hand made me so proud. Even though I was in my daggy PJ's, I was jet lagged and I had a hair mask in, to me, it was the most perfect proposal.

I told all my friends and then the questions started. Are you having an engagement party? Where am I getting married? When am I getting married? Then the advice - just enjoy every second, have a wet weather option and the one I got all the time after I had just been fed a million bits of advice - do not listen to anyones advice, it will just stress you out! Lucky I am pretty opinionated, usually think I am right and I know what I want, but even still these questions and bits of advice started from basically the day after getting engaged right up to my wedding day and on a bad day got to me. In that first week of becoming a Fiancé I was given a wedding planning book and in it was page after page of the things I had to do for my wedding. WTF… Starts with engagement party which included invitations, guest lists, venue, food, alcohol, music. That’s not even the wedding. There is so much to do, I am not denying that. One day I was on the phone to one of my best friends and bridesmaids having a panic over my Save The Dates and wanting it all to be ‘perfect’. She just stopped me mid panic and said “Holly, you are marrying James, JAMES. You have been talking about marrying him since you first met him when you were 17 years old and you are finally going to do it. The save the dates in ten years, will mean nothing to you. But what will matter is thinking that instead of enjoying this process, and this time being a Fiancé you will regret being caught up in these details that at the end of the day mean nothing”. I took a deep breath and wanted to hit myself over the head for being so silly. That was when the lightbulb went off. 

That conversation got me in a head space where I could enjoy the process and be excited about choosing what cocktails I wanted served and what flowers I wanted. But it also kept me level headed that when things did go wrong, you know what? It is fine. If it rains and I couldn’t get married on the beach, I would still be marrying James. If my caterer called in sick and we had to get Macca’s, I would still be marrying James! Now do not get me wrong, I still had my mini freak outs of course, but they never lasted long because I just reminded myself what I was doing and why. 

Weddings these days are a big deal. The average cost of a wedding in Australia is almost $40k. It seems crazy but there is so much pressure to find the perfect venue, the perfect dress, the best food, the best DJ/Band not to mention cars, bridesmaid dresses, hair and make up… Honestly, the list is endless and the pressure to create the best wedding is only getting worse. We all want to create the most amazing day for our friends and family and it is so easy to get blinded by that and lose sight of what you are actually doing – YOU ARE MARRYING YOUR ‘PERSON’, your best friend, soul mate and the person that you have decided to spend the rest of your life with. Hello, that is amazing in itself and everything else is fun and exciting! 

One of the best weddings I have ever been to was my good friends Maddie and Pat (check them out in my Real Wedding page in the next few weeks). They got married in their parents backyard in The Blue Mountains, New South Wales. Pat sung Maddie down the aisle to a song he had written and with his ukulele. She organised picnic rugs and baskets full of breads and cheeses and everyone sat around on their blankets drinking, eating and listening to awesome live music played by their friends. Pats mum made yummy lasagne and salads and they organised a wood fired pizza truck. As night hit they organised big fire pits dotted throughout the garden. It was an absolute fairytale and it cost them around $10k and that included the dress, suits, everything! It was like no other wedding I had been too. It was simple, two people madly in love and just wanting to share that with their nearest and dearest. No frills attached and not just doing things to try to please everyone. It was true to them and you could see that from start to finish! 

So embrace the ups and downs, I can promise you, you will look back and laugh and enjoy the process because it is the only time you will ever get to plan a wedding. Don’t let it pass you by! Take it in, look at your husband when you are asking what colour napkins he thinks you should have and he just looks back with a blank stare and smile, because that is the man you are about to marry and spend the rest of your life with. Pretty cool hey!

Oh, I also want to mention that I had to change my ceremony venue due to weather while I was getting my hair done AND as I was walking down the aisle I ran into a branch and it hit me right across the face. But, I made it to the end of the aisle and just celebrated my two year wedding anniversary!