Keep it simple
Following the wedding of etc Magazine editor Alex Jenkins she shares what valuable lessons she learned during the build-up to the big day.
Everyone always likes to impart advice when they hear you are set to tie the knot.
‘Make sure you enjoy the day’, one friend said, while another told us to ‘take time out to be alone’.
Others urged us to make sure we ate before the service, had photos with our parents (in particularly the mother of the bride as this always seems to get missed off the list), and ensure you have friends you can trust to help run the day…the list goes on.
However the advice one relative gave to ‘set a budget and keep to it’ was probably the most useful tip.
And this isn’t just a financial aid, it keeps the reins on other things too.
Especially as there is so much out there you can buy, or hire, for your wedding that if you are not careful you can really go over the top, resulting in your special day turning into a circus instead.
It is also important to make your wedding as unique to you both as you can and there are so many fun and fabulous options around to help you do it – many of which have been featured in etc Magazine over the years.
Yet, as another friend shared, it is vital you work out what is important to you both as a couple.
For us our top three priorities were getting the right venue, having outstanding food and making sure we had a fantastic photographer we felt comfortable to be around.
Living in Brighton, and having friends and family dotted all around East and West Sussex as well as further afield, meant it did take us awhile to work out where we wanted the wedding to take place.
Our only requirements were that we wanted somewhere which could host the entire day and a venue that had a relaxed, laid back vibe.
As both Gregg and I grew up in Worthing, Long Furlong Barn just outside the town in Clapham was the perfect choice.
With our wedding in August the surrounding fields were golden and breathtaking, making a glorious backdrop for pictures.
Food was provided by one of the barn’s recommended caterers, Circa Events from Brighton, who were able to provide the canapés and barbecue we hankered for and pizza in the evening – all of which were a massive hit with guests.
Regarding our photos we both knew who to choose, asking Will Barber from Love Heart Photography whether he was free before we confirmed the date with the registrars.
We were never going to be disappointed and seeing the final pictures we know it was certainly money well spent.
Flowers and decorations really help personalise the day and add colour and character.
With this in mind we approached the Arundel based florist Princess and Frog Flowers, which specialises in colourful, informal blooms.
Owner Lauren was incredible, with her excitement and enthusiasm contagious.
She understood exactly what we wanted straight away, was able to match the colours to the bridesmaid dresses and venue decorations and even worked corn into the arrangements to reflect the fields outside.
I have to admit to welling up when I first saw the beautiful bouquets.
Decorations were courtesy of Not Just For Hire, based in Billingshurst, who transformed the barn into a sea of green and blue and placed hay bales outside for guests to lounge on.
Other touches included my father in law and his friend creating our dream wedding cake based on the fact my husband and I love to travel, and we chose to have a little bit of fun by handing out sparklers to all our guests in the evening.
As a designer, my husband was keen to ensure it was the ‘best branded wedding out there’, creating everything from the invites, order of service, and table plan to the thank you cards.
Our vintage VW Camper Van, named Wanda, was from Bow Field Hire in Crawley, while my dress was bought from Whyte Weddings in Worthing, where the team there were so friendly and helpful it made a task I was dreading into a fun and easy experience.
You always hear getting married is the ‘best day of your life’ and for us this really was the case.
There was one other piece of advice that I also kept in mind throughout the lead up to the special day and it is a phrase my father has always uttered – ‘keep it simple’.
Keep this in mind and you will find your wedding is less about a performance and more about marrying your life partner.
Pictures: Love Heart Photography