Charlie / 21 May 2016
In 2011 when we got married I did a lot of soul searching about what those wedding vows – what the act of getting married – really meant to me. When I stood at the altar, in front of Nick, and spoke my vows to him, what was I really saying? (It’s easy to get swept up in the pretty bits of wedding planning, especially when you run a wedding blog, and forget about the meaning).
Finally the phrase that kept rooting itself for me was “I promise that I will always work through things with you, no matter how tough it gets.” It was pretty scary realising that this was going to be my commitment to him, more so than the prescribed wedding vows, perhaps because I had settled on it myself. I felt like this promise came from somewhere deep inside of me and was bound to me in an inextricable way, and what it meant in real life terms was scary as hell.
This month we are celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary (back in Italy, the country where we got engaged). Twelve years together, five years married, and nearly three years now as parents. I think the last two and bit years as parents have tested my marriage commitment the most. They have been the most challenging years of our lives so far, both as individuals, parents, and as husband and wife. I have had times where I cursed myself for making – what seemed at those times – an insane commitment. I have had times where I’ve shouted and yelled and wished it undone, and I’m sure, in fact I know, they weren’t the last times I will behave like that.
Samantha / 19 May 2016
Are you looking to have that little bit of creative freedom to style your own flowers on your wedding day, but don’t want the stress of having to prepare your bouquet and those for your bridesmaids and groomsmen? Then this brilliant new part DIY wedding flowers service that we are introducing you to today could be just the thing you are looking for.
Floribunda Rose one of our wonderful recommended floral designers is launching a brilliant new service where you can order your styled bouquets and buttonholes accompanied by buckets of British grown flowers to style your wedding venue yourself. To showcase their offerings they enlisted the help of Amy Singer Art to create these beautiful illustrations which we just love.
To explain more about the service it would only be fair if we now pass you over to Sarah of Floribunda Rose to tell you a little bit more about it all…
Charlie / 17 May 2016
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…
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…).
Charlie / 15 May 2016
At several points in my own wedding planning, I was stressed out and ready to scrap all our plans to elope for a simple wedding ceremony, just the two of us, somewhere beautiful. We didn’t for various reasons, but the idea of eloping has always appealed to me. Two of our businesses – who happen to be run by a husband and wife team – have put together a tempting package for those couples who want a truly down-to-earth and intimate wedding.
Daniel and Jemma, along with their little girl, run Nantwen, an idyllic rustic wedding venue and honeymoon cottage in rural Pembrokeshire. In addition to the gorgeous barn and cosy cottage, Jemma also runs Slade Fine Jewellery handcrafting eco-chic engagement and wedding rings. For those couples wanting an intimate wedding, they saw that they could combine their businesses to offer a runaway wedding package that includes the ceremony, a few nights stay in their romantic cottage, and bespoke rings made in eco gold or silver.
“We think this package would suit a couple who want something really special, who are brave enough to choose a secret venue, with wedding rings there waiting for them.” How romantic!
Charlie / 12 May 2016
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.
A boho picnic wedding shoot on a lake inspired by English picnics and wildflowers with a barefoot bride in a crochet wedding dress
Charlie / 10 May 2016
I’m quite sure if you’re a regular reader you will remember this magical fairytale woodland wedding shoot from Austria sent to us by the lovely Stephanie of Mademoiselle Fee – well we have another beautiful shoot to share from her today.
A boho picnic wedding with a barefoot bride
From a barefoot bride in a 1970s-esque crochet wedding dress to the understated (and therefore perfect in my books) tea party, what I love most about the shoots created by Mademoiselle Fee and her team is the genuine, heartfelt love and emotions that emanate from the pictures. Yes, the detailings are beautiful, but it’s the tenderness that is captured, woven in with the pretty details, that make her shoots truly special.
A homage to English picnics and wildflowers
The inspiration from the shoot came from both the lake itself and a flower crown, from one of our own dear friends, Amy Swann. Stephanie told me:
“I love this place at the lake, so do all our friends, and when I saw Amy Swann’s flower crown, I immediately had this picture in my mind of a relaxed couple lying on the deck. Some years ago, when I was engaged, I found The Natural Wedding Company and have been following your inspiring blog posts ever since. This shoot is a homage to English picnics and wildflowers, to bunting and homemade cakes. I love this outdoor way of enjoying life and nature.”
Charlie / 8 May 2016
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!
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.
Seasonal wedding ideas:
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