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A Photographer’s Thoughts: Standing Firm

dom the tog bride finalone2It’s curious that on a day set aside for two people to celebrate their love for one another with their nearest and dearest, that your wedding day is quite rarely truly YOUR wedding day. There are nearly always huge outside influences on the way your wedding ends up, both in the planning stages and on the day itself and sometimes it can be incredibly difficult to stick to what you really want from your day rather than what someone else thinks your day should be like.

The trouble is that usually that unrequested assistance in adjusting your plans comes entirely out of loved-ones’ best intentions. They only want you to have an incredible wedding day and they understand how difficult it is to organise a wedding and they’re just trying to help because they know all about weddings and how they should go and “fine if you don’t want our help do it your way but you’ll only end up regretting it”, or worse “go on then, ruin your wedding day, see if I care.”

Your family and friends of course want the best for you and because of this they’re also the hardest people in the world to say no to. Often of course they’ve also made a large financial contribution to the wedding which only adds to the pressure to agree with their suggestions, whether it’s inviting family friends that you don’t even know, trying to force you down a more traditional wedding path or just trying to do things for you in their own style which may not be the way you would ideally want. They’re not doing it maliciously, sometimes their suggestions are borne out of their own experiences and beliefs, sometimes from their unwavering commitment to tradition. But wherever their ideas are coming from unfortunately sometimes they’re more of a hinderance than a help.

It’s not just in the planning stages where this can be a problem though – on the day itself your friends and family are all to eager to help and, lovely though that is, unfortunately this does sometimes include trying to organise things that have already been arranged simply because things aren’t following quite the pattern they may have experienced before and naturally they therefore can easily leap to the conclusion that something’s going wrong. For example many couples choose not to have any group photos or only a limited number but sometimes those around you try to make additional groups happen, taking more time out of your day in the process. Or perhaps you’ve decided to break away from tradition and not have a first dance or cutting of the cake yet find yourselves coerced into it on the day against your wishes.

standing firm

Doing things their own way with a first look

Over the years we’ve seen couples forced to hold their weddings in venues they don’t particularly like, seen relaxed and quirky weddings become formalised and traditional, seen couples upset that they’ve had to exclude friends in order to accommodate family guests with whom they hold no real relationship and have ourselves been repeatedly asked by relatives to spend time taking photographs that don’t match the style of work that the couple themselves had asked us for. It’s really heartbreaking to witness couples be upset on the happiest day of their lives by someone spoiling their plans whilst only trying to help.

So how can you avoid these problems? Sadly there’s no easy answer other than to stand firm on your ideas from the beginning. Talk together about your ideas and make up your own minds before allowing anyone else the opportunity to change them. Make sure that the people closest to you are also aware of your choices so that they don’t accidentally interfere on the day. You might risk upsetting a few people, but if your family and friends really care about you they’ll understand that this is your day, your celebration and your one chance to have a day that’s just about you guys. Some of their advice may of course prove useful and we’re by no means suggesting you ignore it out of hand, but only you can decide how your wedding should be. These days you’re more free than ever before to plan the day you want. There are no rules, no set structure you HAVE to follow if you don’t want to, and there are an abundance of tips out there to help you plan the day you really want to have. If you want to create your own wedding ceremony then go for it. If you want a circus themed reception in a big-top tent then don’t let anyone else stop you. If you want a more classic princess style wedding complete with all the traditions then that’s what you should do. This is your wedding day, no-one else’s. Make sure you make it truly the most wonderful day of your lives.

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