I’m honoured to invite November 2019 Bride Ali, to share her lovely wedding planning experience with you. (Which has now been featured on wedding industry leading blog Love My Dress) Ali and I know each other from our acting careers and it was so lovely to hear from her when she found out about my new venture with Blonde Army. Ali got engaged to Jonny in December 2018 and reached out to seek my professional advice and assurance during her wedding planning months. Ali tells me it was super productive and assuring to be able to bounce an idea off someone who isn’t emotionally invested in the day, as it helped her gain perspective on her choices. Also because of my knowledge of the industry I was able to make suggestions to Ali that saved her time researching or wondering which direction to take.
As you’ll see, Ali is a creative soul and was confidant in planning her day just herself and her fiancé (of course including the killer team they both enlisted to bring their ideas to life – all below). Ali and I had a few sessions where we would discuss anything from shoes options, bridesmaid choices, evening gown ideas and table settings. Ali very much knew her style but these simple yet constructive sessions helped her with clarity and decision-making.
If you feel that checking in with a professional would be of benefit to you then do check out my Consult service or request my full Services Brochure here. I can provide professional advice, assurance and solutions as well as supplier suggestions or planning assistance, both logistical and emotional. I host them on zoom and we talk through any part of your day you need help/advice/assistance with. (Often, it’s just nice to chat all things wedding with someone who loves them as much as you do!) At the end of the 1 hour session, you walk away feeling confidant in all your decisions and next steps.
Over to Ali….
I always love engagement stories – are you happy to share yours?
Jonny asked me to marry him in bed at home with our dog, a cup of english breakfast and a high street ring – no big gestures which I wouldn’t have liked! We’d discussed getting married a lot but it still felt romantic and very suitable to us.
How long did you take planning your wedding?
About 9 months – plenty of time, really if I’d had longer I would have overthought too much and I would have found it laborious!
What do you remember the most about your wedding day?
Oh I remember everything! I guess the overriding feeling was just feeling very lucky but there are so many tiny moments I remember vividly from each part of the day- funny, unexpected stuff as well as the bigger “moments” like the ceremony and speeches. We went for a walk in the rain in the beautiful gardens after our ceremony just us and the dog- it was surreal but really calm. I also remember a lot of the party in a way I might not have had I been drinking (I was early days pregnant) but the adrenaline really was enough to keep me going- I had a blast!
What do you remember the least about your wedding day?
All the things that didn’t go to plan- there was lots but I genuinely only realised in hindsight. I even forgot that a fire alarm went off as I walked down the aisle until much later in the day- the ceremony that followed made up for a fairly unexpected entrance!
How would you describe your wedding style?
We didn’t set out with any “style” in mind but just picked stuff that we liked and it all sort of fell into place- an accidental autumnal/botanical vibe came through which reflects us and our favourite season well- we’re both big nature fans. The venue was already quite elaborate in places with decor so I didn’t really want to do too much more.
How did you ensure your wedding was a true reflection of you as a couple?
We got our friends and family involved in our ceremony and wrote our own vows- having a Scottish humanist ceremony meant we could make it really personal. Plenty of good food, booze and great music was also key to a good party for us. We also just didn’t even consider stuff that we felt we didn’t need- we didn’t have a guest book, we didn’t have any matching outfits for any of the wedding party and we didn’t do a first dance or favours. Jonny had three best men and I changed my little entourage to “best women” as I think it sounds more deserving.
What advice would you give to couples planning their wedding?
Do as much of it together as possible and don’t let the planning overtake your lives otherwise it can slip into being tedious. Also, there is a lot of “your day, your way” out there but if you’re anything like me you want the people around you to be having a great time and your family to feel involved so i think it’s good to consider the experience of those you love too when making choices. Don’t forget why you’re doing it.
What do you know now you wish you knew before?
Small things – I’d have a joint email address for organising- we split it fairly equally but often suppliers would only respond to me (even when i’d cc’d Jonny in and asked them to “reply all” or he’d emailed in the first place) I think people still expect the female to be organising it all but hell no to that!
Kids like kids’ food, no matter what their parents say about them having sophisticated taste…when left to their own devices they’d choose pizza every time. This was vital feedback from my 9 year old niece on her smoked salmon and fillet of beef dinner ha- you live and you learn ha!
Bigger things – I wish I’d specifically asked my photographer for a photo of me and my Mum, just us together both ready. I think time got away from us so it didn’t happen naturally like all the other photos and we overlooked that she’d be going down to the ceremony earlier and had to change in another part of the house.
What should couples look for when choosing their suppliers?
Chose people you gel with, that have great communication and whose skills in whatever they are doing you completely trust. You don’t want to be second-guessing suppliers with a million emails. You’re not the first people to get married so it’s good to just choose people you really rate and let them do their thing.
What’s your best advice for the evening before/morning of?
Keep it chilled, if you want to do something have someone else be in charge of it so you aren’t expected to “host” anything the night before a huge day. My best mates organised lasagnes for us and my family in the house but Jonny told all his friends (a large group that had descended from London) to go to the pub and as they had travelled quite far he found it all a bit overwhelming with everyone wanting to chat etc.
Same applies to the morning- Jonny went for a walk on the beach with two pals and the dog (good decision!) I got ready really leisurely with all the best women and went over my speech with my best mate. I think the morning of my wedding was one of my favourite bits of the whole weekend.
Why would you recommend couples should hire a wedding consultant/planner/stylist?
As much as I’d like to say all wedding plan is great fun, there is a lot of quite mundane stuff to deal with and things you might not even consider- how much time to allow for speeches, Transport etc. A planner could really help here as they could advise based on their broader experience and take away all the boring tasks!
Also on the day you do not want to be clock-watching or “organising”. Having someone there to run the event and knows your timings means you can just sit back and enjoy the day- this was key for us!
Thank you so much Ali ! It was a pleasure getting to know all your plans and sharing my advice and I wish you and Jonny the happiest of marriages.
Love Lianne x
Venue: Cambo Estate, Kingsbarns
Photographer: PJ Phillips
Bridal Gown: Temperley London
HMUA: Kate Elliot Muir
Accessories: Bride’s Mum’s earrings
Bridesmaids: Own choice (Cos/Mango/FCUK/Hope & Ivy)
Groomwear: Suit Supply
Flowers: Myrtle and Bracken
Stationery: Bride’s friend
Cake: Liggy’s Cake Company
Band: We had a local ceilidh band Skyrie and then Nick Bruce and his Blinding lights
Hire Items: Pops and Piaf
Engagement Ring and Wedding bands : Jessie Harris
To view the full feature and creative team behind A+J’s wedding click here