By Hazel Walshaw
When you get engaged, it’s easy to head straight to Pinterest, Instagram, and wedding websites to see what others have done. After all, why reinvent the wheel, right? But do you really want an identikit wedding? I would expect not. Most brides and couples I know want their wedding to be unique and reflect their own style and personality. But when you’re bombarded with images and blog posts from wedding vendors and brides, it sometimes becomes difficult to see what is it that you really want, and what just looks pretty on a photograph.
Being vegan brides, you are already doing something different to the norm. You have a particular lifestyle and ethos that you will want to incorporate into your wedding. As kind brides, you know the importance of ethically sourced products and a sustainable lifestyle. I’m pretty sure you know your own mind more than most when it comes to what you want. But in case you are confused and all the Instagram photos of masses of flowers, tables laid for hundreds, and tee-pees in the woods, is getting you scratching your heads and asking; ‘what do we actually want?’ Then here are some ways to find out, using a few examples to illustrate the process.
What don’t you want
This is often the easiest thing to do first. Make a list of what you don’t want. Do you hate posed photos? Do you hate cut flowers? I’m assuming non-vegan food is a no-no too. Do you not want a hotel wedding? Is there a pattern? What does this ‘negative’ list say about you? So create your list.
Ask yourself questions on this list you created.
So, you hate posed photos…why? Is it the time they take? The organizing? Do you prefer reportage style photos then? This would involve the photographer just shooting the day. If you got your photos back and found there were no photos of your Dad in them, as he was at the bar, would you be upset? If so, maybe a mix of the two styles would suit you. You want vegan food, that’s a given. Are you prepared to serve anything non-vegan if Uncle Joe complains? How do you want the food served? Imagine the different ways your guests will be served…are they all seated? Queuing? Do you prefer a buffet or plated meal? Maybe you don’t want a plated served meal because you hate the idea of creating place settings and you want a more relaxed feel. Do hotels make you feel like you are having an identikit wedding? What specifically is it about them you don’t like? Really probe into why you don’t like or want something, so you can draw out what is it you do like. Maybe you find that there are somethings about the things you don’t want that you do like?
Use these questions to create a list of what you do like
So, you’ve discovered, by asking questions of yourself, that you want a photographer that does both posed and reportage photos. You now know you will only serve vegan food and you want a buffet with no pre-defined seating plan. You want a venue that will let you express yourself and do your day the way you want. Create your ‘positive’ list.
Feel into this list
Sit with this list, find images that represent these wants, and see if this is what you want and if it truly reflects you and your partner. Visualize and feel in your body. Does it give a good sensation? Does it make you smile?
So, by starting with what you don’t want, asking yourself questions about why you don’t like or want something, you can start to understand what it is you do want. Don’t choose something just because it was on Instagram, or you think it will be ‘grammable’. Or because your Mum wants it. Really make choices from the heart. Be true to your ethics and when you’ve made your choices, look for sustainable, ethical products to support you. Being mindful about the choices you make, and only choosing what will bring you both joy on your wedding day, will contribute to you having the unique and true-to-you day you want.
Hazel is a mindful wedding coach, author, and online course creator. She was a wedding planner for over a decade and is now training to be a mindfulness practitioner. Hazel is ‘marrying’ the mindfulness with wedding planning to offer brides-to-be a calm, stress-free alternative to planning their wedding day which fits their ethos and values. Her intuitive approach and courses are designed to empower brides to be confident and thoughtful wedding planners, able to handle any situation in a way that is beneficial to everyone involved. She loves writing and, when not writing about mindfulness and wedding planning, she writes kids books. With three boys or her own, she has her own tribe of book critics. She lives in Leeds with her husband, kids and husky, Skye. Read Hazel articles