wedding | mixed feelings

wedding-mixed-feelings-mycreative

Our wedding day was one of the most awesome days ever! Obviously marrying the love of my life was amazing but on top of that the support and love of some very special people made the day one that just felt like a party all about love. In all honesty, however, I mostly hated the whole wedding process and I wanted to talk about that here because I don’t feel like it is something I have seen shared or discussed very much (at least on the blogs that I read).

For months in the run up to the wedding my anxiety levels had been higher than I ever remember them being. I was sleeping badly. I was feeling unmotivated. I wasn’t looking forward to my wedding. Of course I couldn’t wait to pledge the rest of my life to a man that I deeply love but I only seemed to get a pit in my stomach when thinking about our wedding day rather than a bubbling over with excitement reaction.

I found this confusing and frustrating. This was not what I had imagined and it was certainly not what the internet had suggested I would feel about my wedding day!

I’ve been pondering why I have felt this way and thought that I would share. Maybe I am not the only one.

>>> Perhaps most importantly, our wedding day changed drastically from its original conception. When Tim proposed out of the blue we both decided we were not keen on a big wedding and decided that we would “kind of elope”. We started planning a very small wedding with parents and siblings in Rome. I was incredibly excited about this because it felt really intimate and … hello Rome! Anyway that turned out not to be feasible and with us moving to Italy shortly afterwards anyway it seemed to make sense to have the wedding where we could celebrate with more of our friends. We kept the ceremony smallish but now we also had to plan a party. I guess the same might happen if your family feel they have a strong say in what is happening with your wedding.

>>> Weddings are stressful. They cost a lot of money. You have to ‘entertain’ a bunch of people. As someone who wanted people to enjoy themselves on the wedding day (which I don’t think is an unusual request) it creates a lot of pressure. Not being in the country added some stress. Not having a job definitely added more, particularly when costs started to rise.

>>> A lot of special people were not able to make our day. I suppose that will always be the case when you live thousands of miles from the place you were born. I obviously do not hold against them the fact that they weren’t there and everyone who attended is very special to me too but at points I kind of wondered ‘what was the point’.

I am glad to say that in the month leading up to my wedding I started to focus less on all the money we were spending and more on the beautiful day we were going to have. (Although the week before the wedding was also pretty full on and exhausting too).

It kind of started when we sat down and wrote our vows together. This really helped to solidify what the day was all about. We also decided that in the gap between the ceremony and the reception we would take time for ourselves. Although a wedding is a public declaration of your intent to stay together for the rest of your lives it was important for us to also have time alone to celebrate with just the two of us.

I also really started to relax once I had tried on my wedding dress for the first time (less than four weeks from the wedding day). I went one Sunday when I was in London to my friend who was making it and over the course of the day she sewed and I pulled the dress on and off about 100 times. I had never doubted her abilities but was concerned that this dress that we had kind of created from our minds would in the end be awful. And occasionally I would doubt my choice of colour. But when I tried it on for the last time at the fitting I knew I had made the right decisions. Big sigh of relief.

I’ve heard that planning the wedding can be a real test of a relationship and though we did have some arguments (honestly around things that we have argued about before and will probably be the same arguments we have for rest of our lives) I think in the end the experience has brought us closer together. So not too bad in the end.

Have you had the same feelings? Or the opposite? I’d love to hear

[Picture is a screen grab from some video footage taken by a friend. Photos will still be a while.]

guest post | advice for the first year of marriage III

YAY! It is my wedding on Friday! As I thought it likely that I would be running around like a headless chicken I thought it would be a good idea to do a guest series. Plus I love getting tips and advice from lovely people. Although the wedding day is the thing that most people concentrate on I am eager to start working on the marriage part and was eager to get some advice and tips for the first year of marriage itself. Today is Ruth Garner from The Planned Adventure. I love her advice which I think might appeal to a lot of us visual people out there.

advice for the first year of marriage

Ah what bliss it is to be a newlywed! Four years on since we said ‘I do’ I still look back at those first tentative steps into married life, with all the butterflies, the adjustments and the joy at finally being husband and wife.

Passing on some marriage advice to Michelle and Tim is a pretty daunting task. After all, what do I really know about marriage, aside from the experience we’ve had these past four years? I definitely still feel like I’m playing grown ups most of the time.

So, aside from all the important advice about relishing the moment, fighting fair, having date nights and being one another’s cheerleaders, my tip for Michelle is to take photos. That’s right. I’m advising Michelle – a photographer – to take photos.

After our wedding, I attempted to take a photo a day for as long as I could remember and keep it up. These photos weren’t for my blog or Instagram feed, but just for us. I found something beautiful and precious about the process. Rather than trying to take stunning photos that would garner ‘likes’, we captured real moments as we navigated those first few months of married life.

Looking back at these photos is fun and nostalgic, not least because I was somewhat over-enamoured with the Hipstamatic app on my phone. Every photo has a different filter. Every. Single. Photo. But, much like the power of scent, these photos too have some sort of magical way of transporting me back to those heady first days of marriage. They aren’t photos that would win awards for composition, or for technique – but they are more than that. They capture us, in our reality, in our life and marriage. There are photos of cakes I baked, of our car dashboard, our house number and of our wedding rings. They’d not mean much to anyone but the two of us. And I’ll treasure them forever.

Congratulations, Tim and Michelle! Wishing you every joy on this fabulous new adventure as husband and wife.

guest post | advice for the first year of marriage II

YAY! It is my wedding on Friday! As I thought it likely that I would be running around like a headless chicken I thought it would be a good idea to do a guest series. Plus I love getting tips and advice from lovely people. Although the wedding day is the thing that most people concentrate on I am eager to start working on the marriage part and was eager to get some advice and tips for the first year of marriage itself. Katie from Be Nourishd has some advice which includes underwear. Love it.

advice-for-the-first-year-of-marriage-2

As someone who lived with their partner for a while before getting married, and who never really had dreams of a big white wedding as a child, I wasn’t really sure whether there would be a big difference before and after the ‘big day’. But there really was. I felt like we really become a unit – a little family of two. Now, about 20 months later, things are still pretty sweet, and I can only see things getting better and better. So, what advice for someone about to get hitched? I can’t say I’m a relationships expert, but my advice for a happy marriage are:

1. Do new things together

Whether it’s trying out a new cafe or restaurant, or leaving your neighbourhood for a day trip away, or exploring a different part of where you live, I really think it’s important to try out new things together. It can be pretty easy, once the excitement of the wedding is over, to get stuck in a bit of a routine. Routine isn’t necessarily such a bad thing, but I think it can lead to you taking each other for granted a little bit.

2. TALK!

About how your day went, what stupid thing happened at work, if you’re feeling happy or sad, if you want to discuss the news – talk about anything and everything. Make time for each other every day to have a chat. Your husband is probably pretty interesting (if you think he isn’t, at this point, maybe you need to rethink the whole ‘getting married’ thing?), and he probably thinks you’re pretty interesting, too, so don’t let the routine of work, food, tv cut off your conversation.

3. Don’t forget about the nice underwear you wore when things were still new.

I won’t write much more about that, because it might be a *bit* on the personal side, but really. M&S multi-packs are great for all sorts of reasons, but don’t shove all the good stuff to the back of a drawer…

4. Try to remember that you’re marrying someone who is going to change and evolve over time, as are you.

And your family will likely grow and change over time as well. So far, my husband and I are pretty similar now to when we got married, but I hope that if our little unit grows and if we take up new hobbies or new jobs or move, that we can adapt to our new situation together and continue to feel as much love for one another as we do today.

Good luck Michelle!

Photograph by Lauren McGlynn

guest post | advice for the first year of marriage I

YAY! It is my wedding on Friday! As I thought it likely that I would be running around like a headless chicken I thought it would be a good idea to do a guest series. Plus I love getting tips and advice from lovely people. Although the wedding day is the thing that most people concentrate on I am eager to start working on the marriage part and was eager to get some advice and tips for the first year of marriage itself. First up with have Helen from Helen Ogburn Photography. Don’t you just love her wedding photo! Now that is a happy face.

advice-for-the-first-year-of-marriage-1-helen-ogburn

I get so excited about weddings…in fact I’m pretty sure I could be a wedding planner if I could resist the temptation to make everyone’s wedding just like our own.

I never planned to get married quite so young. I hadn’t been long out of uni when I started dating my now husband and marriage was the last thing on my mind. I never really believed people when they said that ‘you just know’ when the right person has come along, but it turned out to be true. We celebrated our 11 year anniversary in April and looking back, I’m always amused thinking how grown up I thought I was at the time!

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been thinking about what advice I would give a newly married couple for their first year of marriage. With both of our parents being in long term marriages, and being members of a church, we were lucky to have a lot of support from people who shared a lot of advice (mostly about the mistakes they had made!) and who guided us with things to think about along the way. It made us realise how much work marriage takes and how the wedding day, as wonderful and exciting as it was, was just 24 hours at the start of a big adventure.

I usually blog about photography and it’s been a nice challenge to write a post about something completely different and a bit more personal. Once I got thinking about it I realised I could write a huge long list of advice, but I’ve chosen five things to share with you…

1. Write down everything you can remember about your wedding day!

It may seem a silly thing to do, but everything goes by so quickly that the memories can easily turn into a blur. We wrote down all the lovely things people had said to us, all the funny things that happened, and all of our favourite moments for the day. Also write down the things that didn’t go quite to plan…one day you’ll be able to laugh at them. Looking at our list you’d think we’d been at different weddings…in fact we were so busy talking to guests that we barely saw each other after the wedding breakfast! It may be years before you look at the list again but you’ll be guaranteed a giggle when you dig it out.

2. Do breakfast.

This is one thing I wish we were better at! The busy-ness of life often gets in the way and it’s easy to get up and dash to work at different times without having a proper conversation. Even if it’s just for five minutes, make time for each other before you start the day to talk about something other than what errands need running or whose turn it is to do the washing up. It’s such a better way to start the day.

3. Don’t rely on date nights.

I’m a fan of date nights and lots of people will encourage you to set aside an evening to go out and do something fun. Of course it’s a great thing to have quality time together, particularly as it’s so easy to end up just being at home in completely different rooms in the house!

However, as good as they are, don’t just rely on date nights to build your relationship. It’s so easy to fill up the rest of your time with other things and people just because you know that date night is set aside. It’s not much fun if you become a time slot in your husband/wife’s diary.

4. Love is fact, not a feeling.

When you’re loved up and looking forward to a wedding day, it’s hard to imagine a time when you may feel less in love with each other. In society, we’re surrounded with the notion that love is a mushy romantic feeling, but the reality is very different than that, especially when life throws challenges at you. True love is costly and means not always relying on what we feel like. Don’t panic or give up on the days that you feel less in love…a successful marriage needs work, commitment and the willingness to forgive.

5. Laugh lots.

Finally, laugh a lot together and be willing to be silly around each other. After all, if you can’t laugh with your best friend, who can you laugh with.

So to Michelle, here’s wishing you both a wonderful wedding day and many happy years together ahead!

eight years

Today is my boyfriend and my eight year anniversary! Most of that time has been in London and wherever we end up it will always be a very special place to us.

Yesterday we took a trip to Greenwich.  I had a great modern juxtaposition of taking instagram photos and using my old canon AV-1.  The instagram ones are above.  Film will be coming at some point.

p.s blaming the skew pictures on the fact that I was on a boat.  Not sure if that is the truth.