wedding

My Paper Anniversary

As 2015 dawned I had great plans for my year ahead; for LW Events Year One I had great and elaborate plans which involved styled shoots, a bi-weekly blog on my shiny new website that would definitely be up and running by the end of January.  Maybe even finish my business plan too.  All things that felt like starting a business to me.  Important things.  I bought a lot of post-it notes and a big white board in preparation!  

What actually happened was quite different - I was really, really busy!  Suddenly I had back-to-back events to plan and coordinate and all thoughts of marketing went out of the marquee window!  I worried constantly that I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing; I had barely written a single post it note and my white board didn’t even make it onto the wall. 

Today marks a year since my first wedding flying solo, I can barely believe it - it feels like a lifetime ago, it feels like yesterday.

Somewhere in the midst of this wonderful and hectic year I received notification that my beautiful Bride Charlotte had nominated me for The Wedding Industry Awards, for my role in her wedding in June.  Over the moon just doesn’t cut it - I was tickled pink! 

On a stormy night in October, through a twist of fate that saw the suspension arm puncture my car tyre at 1am, after a 17 hour corporate event at Leeds Armouries, I sat with a bottle of beer and waited for the recovery van.  The ETA was 4am; finally I had some time to kill.  I decided to use my time productively and completed TWIA application, thinking the evening would be a good networking opportunity and an excuse to have my hair done. 

I blinked and it was November; traditionally a quiet month for weddings and I was preparing for the biggest event I had ever undertaken; Shedding Festival or alternatively known as ‘Dave and Lou gave free reign to the Whitwellium Imaginarium’.  It was my dream wedding and I don’t think I’ll ever have as much fun or as little sleep creating an event again.

When the awards came I was in the period post-event that’s equal parts exhilaration and exhaustion, so much so that I nearly didn’t attend.  In the car my sister asked how I felt about being nominated, if I wanted to win, how I would feel if I didn’t.  The answer was easy; especially on the back of Lou and Dave’s incredible day - the reason I do what I do, is not for recognition, but to help people create memories they will cherish for the rest of their lives.  It’s the closest thing to creating magic, in my mind.    

…And of course I wanted a big gold star for all my hard work.

When they called my name to say I had won ‘North East Planner of the Year’ I sat in nearly fell off my chair.  They couldn’t mean me?  The last award of the night was ‘Newcomer of the Year’, it barely registered that I had been entered for this too - winning that as well was the perfect end to an incredible, extraordinary and unexpected year - the icing on the cupcake.

The Little Things

Weddings are full of precious moments, love, laughter and humanity - it’s one of the reasons I became a planner.  If asked what is my favourite part of a wedding is, I cannot chose a single element; each wedding is different it seems silly to try and compare.  I’m frequently moved to tears when the bride walks down the aisle and I never miss a Father of the Bride’s speech.  I toast every bride and groom privately for luck, even if it is with a cup of tea in the kitchen, that’s my own personal tradition.  

 

Often the most memorable moments are the ones that aren’t planned; I always encourage Brides and Grooms to not focus too much on the details - every wedding is perfect, even in it’s imperfections.  There will always be things you cannot plan for, most notably the elements!  But the most beautiful memories can be gifted from things ‘going wrong’ - when the heaven’s open and everyone has to run for cover, only to be rewarded with a sky-splitting rainbow a few minutes later. 

 

I had a venue visit with a bride recently and when discussing the day she trusted me with the most sacred of secrets… the song choice for The First Dance.  And it is going to be magical.  I felt so privileged to be trusted with this knowledge; it’s a great responsibility being a planner but the rewards are many.  Often you are the sole person who knows the plan for the entire day; the surprises the Bridal party have organised is just one example.  You get witness the private moments when a wedding is more than a wedding and is the beginning of a marriage.  I love the quiet minute before I announce the new Mr and Mrs into the wedding breakfast; sharing a hug after all the weeks and months of preparation has culminated in saying the ‘I do’s’, just before sharing their fist meal as a married couple the festivities begin.

 

The piece of advice I give to every bride and groom is to take 10 minutes alone to just be with each other.  The day will go in a flurry of well wishes and music and the blink of an eye, you need a pause to take it in and share a few minutes and a few kisses that belong just to you.