A letter to my future self….

I have followed Claire’s blog over at Cakes and Bunting now for a long long time. Claire is exactly the type of bride that I wanted to become when I started Any Other Wedding. Her wedding will be about what her and her man want it to be about. She is taking what she wants from traditional weddings, and making it work for her And the best thing about it all is that she blogs about it a refreshingly honest way. you should ALL go and read her post on ‘how to buy a wedding cake‘  I’m not sure anyone’s been able to sum up my experiences with the wedding industry quite so well. I’m sure you all follow her anyway, but if not, why not? Get over there now I tell you.

So anyway, it was a huge honour when she said that she’d love to write a post on the blog, and she couldn’t have chosen a better topic. For someone who hasn’t actually been through the process yet , she has an impressive understanding of how she’s going to feel the night before. I only wish I’d had as much foresight, but that is another story…

Just before leaving to get married, Fliss asked me if I’d like to do a guest blog post for her. Of course I accepted – what an honour! And by the time I began writing it, a few days later, it was the day before Fliss was due to walk down the aisle. 

I’d been given the subject of ‘marriage’ - such a huge, unfathomable and emotionally-charged word. Needless to say, thinking about what to write was hard.

But given the timing, I decided to write a message about the build up to a wedding – the day and evening before, and that time in the morning, when everything comes to a head – a time that Fliss was then in the midst of. A mixture of all the good advice I’d seen, and advice that I will be trying very hard to remember myself in just over nine months’ time, when I am the one with the dress hanging on the door, trying to pin up bunting.

It’s a letter to my future self, I guess, if that’s forgivable on someone else’s blog, inspired by Fliss.

Fliss – a million congratulations!

1. Don’t plan too much for the night before. This is a big evening, full of other people and their excitements and expectations joining with yours. There will be more to do that you realise. It may be harder and it may be emotional. And you will be much more tired than you expect. There’s no need to make huge plans to entertain everyone, necessarily – that’s for tomorrow. And be flexible – if the BBQ is rained off, it’s no disaster. There’s always the pub.

2. Try to spend some time alone and some time with your partner. I am a big fan of disappearing anyway at high pressure events. I often go and hide in a toilet cubicle for 10 minutes at large gatherings, just to get my head together after family onslaughts. I may be employing this tactic both on wedding-eve, and on the wedding day itself. Though if you (erm, me) can find somewhere nicer than a toilet for a break, that might be nice.

3. Eat! Don’t forget to eat. But don’t drink too much. Future self – please, no gin or red wine. These are risky drinks and lead to heightened emotional states or epic hangovers. DO NOT get a hangover, even a tiny one (a ‘three glass-er’).

4. Get HELP. You might be an independent woman and DIY-ing your ass off, but this is no time for that. Get helpers, get them climbing ladders and hanging stuff, get them to provide tissues if you need a little cry. Ask for help. (Note to self: this is very important. Your friends keep offering, this is no time to be Superbride.)

5. Don’t forget yourself at any time. I’m planning to re-read this post just before we do the deed. It’s an amazing thing.

In it, Kate explains that under the veil, she was relieved to still feel like herself. This passage made me feel slightly emotional:

“There I was, in my gigantic dress, and my veil. With my hair doing something it would never do on its own, or even if I begged it. With only the faintest touch of makeup. I looked like myself. I had not been transformed into a fairytale princess. I hadn’t been airbrushed. I was me, wearing a wedding gown and a frothy veil. I was beautiful, and problematic. I looked different from different angles. In one mirror, I looked stunning. In the one beside it, I looked awkward and ill-proportioned. I had exactly the same disagreements with my face that I usually have, and in that moment, strung with nerves and two minutes away from being married, I was relieved to see myself, with all of my complicatedness, in those mirrors. I was glad of looking exactly like I would have expected, had I given it proper thought, and appreciative of my beauty, and unmoved by my flaws. It was me, after all, getting married. Not an exquisite fantasy woman or a covermodel from a bridal magazine or anyone else. And I liked knowing that the old Kate, who wore jeans and a flannel shirt and never brushed her hair, was there for me, even now. Because she was the one who I was going to be for the rest of my life. And getting married is all about the rest of your life.”
Categories: Life Experience, Marriage, Wedding Reports
7 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Posted November 25, 2010 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    That passage has tweaked a tear out of me too x

  2. Posted November 25, 2010 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Beautiful post x

  3. Posted November 25, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Beauitful! xx

  4. Posted November 25, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Great post, Claire! :) I hadn't read that bit by Kate before – wow, that is so right! On your wedding day, you don't become transformed into something you're not, you get a big fat reminder that being you is awesome.

  5. Posted November 25, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Permalink


  6. Posted November 25, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    I need to make a printout of this and take it with me to South Africa!!
    Such wise words, thank you!

  7. Posted November 26, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Great post, wish I'd written such a letter to myself before the big day.

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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