Bride on... your laidback guide to getting married
Sarah McGinn offers a guide for those brides who don’t want to sweat the small stuff
Sarah McGinn with her fiance Paddy O’Brien
So it’s happened. You’ve found the one. Your lobster for life. And now you’re officially engaged. He or she (or you?) popped the question, so now to pop the bubbly, rejoice in your love for each other and prepare to tell this story a million times. Exaggerations welcomed.
But then what? Where do you start? How do two people who spend the last week of the month eating beans on toast organise a wedding for 150 of their family and friends? This, my friends, is when the wedding fear starts. Deep breath now and relax, because I’m here to help.
Welcome to the first in my series of Bride On... a laidback guide to getting married. Who am I to impart such advice I hear you ask? Well I’m a newly engaged, Dublin gal who’s a ruthless researcher, bargain-hunter, DIY doer and wisdom-imparter. Basically let me do the heavy lifting, honourable haggling and trawling through the thousands of wedding-related websites so you guys don’t have to. Covering everything from botox brides, to non-penis related hen parties, to the most important #OOTD (outfit of the day) you’ll ever need.
Follow me on this beautiful – and sometimes bonkers – bridal journey, and by hook or by crook we’ll make it down the aisle unscathed. Bar a few impromptu bouts of frustrated tears. I hear you. Let it all out now. Express yourself. Tell your mother-in-law-to-be to back off. Tell your husband-to-be that there is a difference between blush pink, coral pink and lavender pink and his opinion is extremely important to the final decision. And let your BFF know that it’s actually really distasteful to flirt her arse off with the best man. He’s has a girlfriend, remember.
For this first piece in the series I will impart on you the two most important things I’ve been taught since recently getting engaged – I’m sound like that.
First: learn to say No with a smile. Not a No with an explanation, or a No with an exasperated sigh, or a No with full-on Bridezilla fury. A No with just a smile.
You will be bombarded with questions, suggestions and advice around your big day. Some will be legitimately helpful. Some will be exactly the opposite of helpful and downright meddlesome, and this is where the “No with a smile” comes into play. For instance; “You absolutely need to invite your Australian second cousins on your father’s side.” You could say, “I most certainly will not, as I’ve never met these cousins, and have at least 50 friends that would sit above estranged family members living on the other side of the world, and you know, budgetary restrictions.”
This reaction could lead into a long, arduous discussion with the person making the suggestion – which in most cases, is your Mam. Instead just smile, say no and keep on smiling a la American Psycho (minus the wide-eyed murderous stare). If anything, it completely unnerves the person who made the suggestion. More importantly, it lays down the law of who’s in charge of the final decisions – you and your beloved.
Secondly, and most importantly, enjoy being engaged. Enjoy feeling the love. Enjoy your fridge mostly being made up of Prosecco. And don’t feel pressurised to know exactly what you want to do straight away. You’re only going to be engaged once (well, hopefully) so take this time to soak up the most love-filled time of your lives. It’s easy to get swept up in planning, viewing and tasting, but what’s the rush? The first foray into planning that my fiancé and I have embarked on – post-multiple bubbly celebrations, obviously – was to organise our engagement party. A night of celebration filled with our friends and family. And for the moment, I’m delighted with just that.
Next week join me for “The Talk”. Yes, it is as terrifying as it sounds.