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Natural beautiful wedding photography from Julie Anne Images // The Natural Wedding Company

I came across the most heartfelt post from a wedding photographer to her brides-to-be, which sends such an important message that I think many women need to hear ahead of their wedding day. Written by Julie Anne Images, one of our TNWC Recommended Suppliers, this letter of sorts is entitled “Dear Bride-to-be, please stop hating photos of yourself.”

As I share this, I am acutely aware that I am still one of those women who like to check photos on the camera when my husband has taken them, or cringe and want to untag myself from Facebook photos shared by friends. I am still learning, dear friends, to relinquish this urge, not only for myself but now because I have a daughter of my own. I don’t want her to grow up with these insecurities, and so I think must first be kind to ourselves (easier said than done I know).

Wedding day appearance anxieties

I must say, the one day where I really felt free of any of those feelings was my own wedding day. Both my husband and I do not like being the centre of attention and I was filled with horror at the idea of having cameras pointed at us all day. But when it came to the day itself, I didn’t think about it one bit, I let the pure happiness of the day wash over me and I never once thought about how my hair looked or whether someone was capturing ‘bad’ pictures of me. I hope if you too have anxieties about being photographed on your wedding day, that you can feel as free as I did.

With kind permission we are sharing Julie Anne’s message with you all. Over to Julie…

Natural beautiful wedding photography from Julie Anne Images // The Natural Wedding Company

Dear Bride-to-be, please stop hating pictures of yourself

…I’m the same, and I think I’ve worked it out. So often, we don’t enjoy looking at photos of ourselves because we’re used to getting ready in front of a mirror. Here’s the science bit: Our faces aren’t symmetrical and when we see them flipped as a mirror-image in a photograph, it takes us by surprise. Not to mention the fact that we each have either a left or right dominant eye for vision – add this into the mix with an asymmetrical face seen the other-way-round from the view we’re used to in the mirror, and it’s no wonder we often take a dislike to our appearance in a photograph.

And so we find ways to curate what we look like. We take selfies slightly from above so our eyes look bigger and our chins disappear – and how any mirror selfies do you see, posted publicly because as a reflected image those are the features, the view, the wielder of the phone-camera is used to? We’re not familiar with the full-length or side-on perspective. We criticise the aspects of our looks that in themselves are the very family resemblances that the gene pool passed on from those we love (I have my dad’s earlobes, my mum’s freckles and build, and I never got my teeth fixed…).

Natural beautiful wedding photography from Julie Anne Images // The Natural Wedding Company

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real_bride_2015_vicky

This is the final instalment of Vicky’s pre-wedding posts, next up we hope to share you details and photos from her actual wedding – so excited to see how all her plans turned out. Vicky and Steve have definitely been one of our most crafty couples in our TNWC Real Brides series, turning their hand to creating so many items for their wedding. If this sounds like you, then make sure you check out all her posts for some great ideas and how to’s.

But for now, over to Vicky…

The week before the wedding

The week before our wedding was one of the most enjoyable weeks I’ve ever had and definitely the most tiring. I’m sure all the other TNWC Brides would agree the downside of a truly personal wedding is all the work you have to do in that final week. You 100% need a band of willing helpers ready to muck in, as at some point you do have to go off and just be the bride, like finding time to collect your dress – amazingly I nearly forgot that one in all my list making.

Steve had taken the week off work before the wedding to help get things done and my family and aunt were also down in Devon for the week, while the best man stopped work and joined in the chaos on the Thursday.

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Seasonal spring arrangement with helebores and ranunculus // The Real Cut Flower Garden // The Natural Wedding Company

If you are a bride-to-be visiting our blog, it is highly likely that you adore seasonal, British grown flowers, just like us. Every year the weather fluctuates, but I still feel slightly anxious by the variations in the seasons and the impact that will have on locally grown blooms.

Perhaps as a bride-to-be this is something you have concerns about, especially after this long and unseasonably warm winter, followed by the recent cold snap with hail and snow across various parts of the country. And yet as I write this, today we have eaten lunch in the garden and have hats and flip flops on it’s so warm!

“I always worry about the weather…well I’m obsessed by it, but sure enough, the flowers defy nature and arrive at just the right time” – Helen, Bouquets and Butterflies.

Bucket of British grown narcissi // Organic Blooms // The Natural Wedding Company

Dreaming of a church filled with cow parsley

Every year as we enter spring, my mother likes to reflect on the weather in relation to the cow parsley and whether it would have been out for our wedding date of 21st May (I chose May because I love the cow parsley lined lanes of my childhood home in the Cotswolds). Now let me explain, despite getting married 5 years ago, my mum still contemplates this detail every year – I can quite imagine it continuing for many years to come!

I dreamed of a cow parsley filled church in which to get married, and this is what we got (phew). However, in the run up to our wedding there were lots of nervous moments – was the cow parsley going to be out or was it going to be over? So ever since, even as early at March, my mum starts to comment on the weather and it’s impact on the cow parsley’s development in their part of the country. Luckily I don’t have to worry about the status of the cow parsley, but I know there are many of you who will have similar anxieties.

“I think that Mother Nature throws us curveballs now and again, and that it’s how we [florists] deal with what we have that sets us apart” – Sarah, Floribunda Rose.

April spring flowers // Forage For // The Natural Wedding Company

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The benefits of a pre wedding massage to relax and clear your mind to focus on the true meaning of marriage // The Beauty Aisle // The Natural Wedding Company

Today I have a wonderful guest post all around taking care of yourself in the lead-up to your wedding by investing in wedding massage to help your de-stress and relax. I think we can too often focus on ourselves in terms of having a beautiful dress, hair and make-up for our wedding, but not actually in nurturing our inner self. Marriage is listed as one of the top stressful life events, we can end up so focused on putting together a wonderful day for all our family and friends, that we actually forget to give ourselves space to process what our wedding day is really about.

My experience of massage and other alternative therapies is that they are not only deeply relaxing but they also give you an incredible opportunity to clear and quieten your mind of all those racing thoughts and endless to-do lists. As a mother I now value those moments as incredibly precious, but I also recognised the importance of this in the lead-up to my own wedding. There are many ways to take this time for yourself, but massage is one of my favourites, and so I’m delighted that Ellie from The Beauty Aisle is going to share her advice on making the most of this wonderful therapy.

Ellie is one of our recommended make-up artists and offers a 10% discount to all our brides-to-be who book her for their wedding make-up, you can find full details of the offer here.

Over to Ellie…

The benefits of a pre wedding massage to relax and clear your mind to focus on the true meaning of marriage // The Beauty Aisle // The Natural Wedding Company

Why get a massage in the lead up to your wedding day?

So your wedding day is coming up. You’ve thought about the dress, flowers, invitations and venue but what about… yourself?

Planning a wedding is great fun but it can be stressful too. During this busy time it’s important to sit back and take time to relax too otherwise you risk suffering from burn out.

There are tons of ways to help you stay calm and collected in the lead up to the big day but I’m going to talk about massage as I know how it has benefited so many of my clients in the long term.

Massage is absolutely fantastic for reducing stress. Small amounts of stress are useful when we need to get things done but too much stress can be extremely damaging to our health. It can affect us in all sorts of ways from tension headaches and skin problems to interrupted sleeping patterns.

During massage your heart rate is lowered and ‘happy hormones’ are released. Many people think of massage as a real luxury but it should be thought of as part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It helps to relaxes muscles, improves circulation and it’s also detoxifying resulting in better immunity.

The benefits of a pre wedding massage to relax and clear your mind to focus on the true meaning of marriage // The Beauty Aisle // The Natural Wedding Company

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TNWC Real Brides: Vicky's gold glitter and sequin wedding cake and bar signs // The Natural Wedding Company

If you are reading this on Thursday, I will be playing with spring blossom at a flower crown workshop by Catkin – you can join in by following me on Snapchat (anaturalwedding) where I plan to share some pictures and maybe even a video or two of what I am up to. More pictures will follow on Instagram and Facebook.

But in the meantime, I have some gold glittery love for you all (even us natural brides often can’t say no to a splash of gold glitter can we?) with some handmade picks from TNWC Real Bride Vicky. She got married last summer but we are only just catching up with the final few bits of her homemade wedding.

You can find all her previous posts here, which include some fab DIY projects and ideas. Over to Vicky…

While I loved planning the wedding I have to admit that by being maybe a bit too organised I found the last couple of months leading up to it, dare I say it, dull! I just wanted the day to arrive.

Initially there was lots to plan and make and decide and then I hit this lull. I really wanted to get on and do things but realistically I couldn’t because everything that was left was last minute things.

Everything was piled up waiting in the spare bedroom – or ‘Wedding HQ’ as it became for the year. Even the confetti bags had been made and boxed up. Like most churches we could only use natural confetti which suited us fine so we had bought a lot of natural flower petals and popped them into bags ready for our page boy to hand out.

Flower petal confetti and gold glitter tape // The Natural Wedding Company

It was during this lull that I decided it was best to stay off websites and Pinterest, as the temptation to do and make more and more things was too great.

I did cave in and make a glitter cake sign…

DIY gold glitter wedding cake sign // The Natural Wedding Company

A sequin bar sign…

DIY gold sequin bar sign // The Natural Wedding Company

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TNWC Real Brides: Vicky's homemade pallet bar and giant polaroid photobooth, and a DIY illuminated letters

We’re back with TNWC Real Bride Vicky today, catching up with the final details she created for her wedding. Having a super handy Mr, they put their skills to use with wood and metal and paint creating all manner of fab wedding things. And that bar – definitely a keeper for the garden post-wedding I reckon!

Over to Vicky…

The handy thing about having a fiancé who is a builder is that you can talk them into making a lot of the things you’ve seen on websites. They have all the tools, know people who can get them things and various mates who can wire things up. It’s very very handy!

Homemade rustic wedding signs // The Natural Wedding Company

On my wish list were – a bar, various signs, big letters spelling out ‘wedding’, a photo booth of some sort, a giant frame to hang photos from and an illuminated “S” and “V”. Steve rather sweetly agreed to all of these things.

The best thing he made were definitely the illuminated letters. We scoured the internet for ideas on how to make them and had no luck, meaning that we had to muddle through on our own. After we made them, another brilliant illuminated letter DIY appeared on this blog from another TNWC groom – if only we’d waited! Like Jon, our only worry was where on earth they’ll go after the wedding – they are massive!

DIY giant illuminated wedding letters // The Natural Wedding Company

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TNWC Real Brides: Vicky's hunt for vintage glass bowls and doilies to add dash of vintage to her wedding tea party

As I am so often admitting, I have been fairly ‘behind’ (a polite way of putting it!) with keeping up with last years lovely TNWC Real Brides. Recently we featured Fern’s beautiful wedding, and now I am thrilled to be bringing you a couple of catch-up posts from Vicky.

She did an incredible job of collecting a selection of vintage glass bowls, vases and doilies to add a relaxed vintage vibe to her wedding tea party. Her thriftiness paid off with a fantastic sounding haul – can’t wait to see how it looked all put together on her wedding day!

Over to Vicky…

We always wanted our wedding to have quite a relaxed vintage feel to it but didn’t want to spend too much money in achieving this, preferring to be able to invite more people if money allowed. I’ve always loved the mismatched vintage china that lots of people use but the cost of hiring the vintage crockery was too much to comfortably justify and after a quick scout around charity shops I wasn’t confident that we’d ever collect enough or it would work out any cheaper!

Vintage glass bowls // The Natural Wedding Company

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