The whole place was packed with exhibitors, cars, models, dresses and the works. We decided to work from the outside in and navigate our way around the show.
Let me say this there was A LOT. I think we went into it very naive. We had a budget that we wanted to work with, neither of us wanted to start married life with giant debts and we're buying a house this year so we thought anything over £10,000 was a little bit obscene for us to pay for a day.
As we went around the show it became clear, crystal clear that everything was much more expensive than we thought it would be. There was a point where I was just getting gradually more despondent, I really didn't want to spend £20,000+ on a wedding. £22,000 is the average spend apparently. Even though a lot of people are fine with spending that, with that and a house deposit we're getting into crazy times.
|Lots of Cars|
It did get a little bit overwhelming, there was so much STUFF. Stuff you never wanted, stuff you hadn't even thought about until there's a stand in front of you telling you need it. Solid perfume favours for your male guests with your names and date of wedding on it anyone?
I can't explain it, but being confronted by the money making beast that is the wedding industry it really had a negative effect. It actually made me so blue. I realised that all the things we'd wanted to do initially we'd compromised on, every time we tried to do something a little out of the ordinary, the price tag that would be put on it was so hefty it meant we had to say no. It sort of shunts you into a great big box whether you like it or not.
|Isn't this so pretty? I loved those candelabras|
Now I'm really well aware I'm probably alone in my bridal grumps as there were an awful lot of excited and happy brides to be. For me though I began to think maybe we weren't being as true to what we wanted, especially when we started talking to photographers. One of our primary reasons for coming to the show was to talk to photographers and see if we could see some that we liked. Well we talked to quite a few and there seemed to be a general theme.
First I'd tell them we had been thinking about getting married this year, to which they looked surprised. Fair enough. Then I said we wanted to get married in December. This brought about an exasperated intake of breath usually and when I said our ceremony was at 3pm, well I may as well have said I was getting married in space. Most shook their heads or tutted. One thing was common between them all, they all told me, 'that'll be challenging.' Then just to give them something to complain about even more I told them our reception was going to be candlelit for dinner. This brought about more head shaking.
Thank you for calling my wedding challenging, it genuinely makes me feel fantastic. I already know about the light issues, I don't have a problem with it. I know I'm not going to get 3 hours of garden based photos, I'm really ok with that. Surely as a professional photographer they know how to adjust for light, and I pointed out I was fine with snatching the dusk before it got dark and taking the rest inside. Genuinely I couldn't have been less demanding. The reactions astounded me though, especially when it came to pricing, most came in at roughly £1750- £2,900 which isn't cheap so I felt like with their reaction it came across like they were doing me a favour rather than me hiring them.
I was not impressed.
Now about something that I was impressed with. I meandered past Ivory Bridal's stand, I hadn't heard of them before. You guys know how freaked out I am about even trying dresses on. Well the lady on the stand was asking me about what I liked and had I tried anything on yet. She was so excited, she also was adamant that she wanted me to come and try on the fishtail gown in her shop as she thought it would be amazing on me. She didn't care about my 'my hips are so big' protestations, instead she told me they'd be fabulous in a tighter gown. I also wasn't to worry about it as there'd be plenty for me to try.
Let me tell you this, I was so touched at her being lovely I could have cried. I thought maybe most bridal shop folk would take one look at me and go 'no get out of my shop' but she was so nice. I'll definitely be having an appointment at Ivory Bridal when I come to choosing dresses.
I feel like I should write a 'Things not to say to brides' post. Number one would probably be, don't call their wedding challenging and sound like you couldn't think of a worse thing. It may be your 100th wedding but it's probably their first and it means a lot to them.
So when we got home all bummed out we spent about 24 hours talking about budget increases, putting the wedding off for a while, plans to save more money, plans to lower our house deposit to funnel more money into the wedding.
Then we caught ourselves on.
We've completely changed our plans and it's nearly organised.
More on that next time.