My Wedding Advice – Follow your Heart from Cat Hepple Photography!
“I was watching an episode of an American TV show the other day, where the bride heads to a bridal gown store, takes her closest relatives and friends with her, tries on dresses and they all give their opinion. It’s a recipe for complete disaster.
It makes entertaining TV of course as the sister or best friend declare each dress too “ opulent”, “showy”, “dowdy” or whatever else they feel about the gowns, but so often the poor brides excitement and joy slowly ebbs away as everyone else casts doubt in her mind about the dresses she loves. In the end, most of the brides choose a dress to please everyone, or at least as many people as they can. And that makes me a little bit sad.
Because this doesn’t just happen on an American TV show. Many Brides and couples feel under pressure to meet the expectations of everyone else, from parents to evening guests. They find themselves making decisions to keep other people happy rather than focusing on the day they really want.
I photographed a beautiful bridal boutique opening recently and during the day lots of brides were there trying on gowns and accessories, each full of excitement and expectation.
One girl stands out in my mind, because she was visiting with her best friend trying on headpieces to go with a gown she had already chosen. The jewellery designer was on hand to offer fabulous advice and she slipped a truly beautiful decorative circle band over the brides head onto her forehead. It drew gasps.
Everyone in the boutique stopped to admire. It looked incredible and with her gown was absolutely perfect. The bride’s eyes lit up. But it was a brave choice, and the bride knew it. She adored the way it looked, she positively shone, but the doubt was creeping in, and she eventually decided her mum wouldn’t like it, she’d expect more of a tiara, and so the bride walked away without it.
“I couldn’t help but feel that her heart had been overruled by her head and her need to please her mum and I felt for her.“
Wedding days are your chance to be you. They should be about you as individuals and as a couple. If you want to wear flowers and birds in your hair and a blue dress and float off in a hot air balloon, then you should do just that. Wedding trends come and go, some traditions are less and less common now too so you can be as individual as you are, there’s so many options now.
Of course there are expectations from family and friends about a wedding day. For parents especially, this is a HUGE day in their lives as well as yours. No-one wants to upset or fall out with their mum and dad in the run up to the wedding, so some compromise is often needed.
Weddings thirty, forty years ago were so different to now, so for many older generation family and friends, that’s understandably what they expect you to have. But weddings have moved on.
Don’t want a cake? Don’t want a receiving line? Want to have speeches during the drinks reception? Don’t want formal group shots? ..Decisions like these are likely to cause some controversy, but you don’t have to conform to their idea of a perfect wedding if you don’t want to.
As soon as you mention the “W” word, it seems everyone has an opinion. But it’s just that, an opinion. It doesn’t mean you absolutely have to follow it.
Weddings are and should be unique to each couple. My best advice is always to follow your heart. Because in the end, it will then be YOUR day, one you should be able to look back on proudly, knowing that every moment of it was just as you wanted. Following your heart will lead you to the wedding day of your dreams, and that’s ultimately all family and friends want for you too.”
To find out more about Cat Hepple, her services and portfolio visit her website www.cathepplephotography.com