In the six weeks or so following our engagement, we got all the big things out of the way. Venue, photographer, dress, DJ, all sorted, and then wedding season properly kicked in so our plans were put on the sidelines. With less than six months to go now, we realise it’s time to kick our plans back in, but some of these decisions seem to be the hardest.
Our big choices were fairly straightforward, our venue choice being a little stressful, and photographer choice hard, but thanks to being wedding photographers we knew which suppliers we wanted to work with. What we are struggling with is the finer details – is it just us?
Being Italian, wedding favours or bonbonierre are considered an essential on the day, but I know my mother has a loft full of little ornaments and nik-naks with the dusty labels bearing the names of various cousins, the sugared almonds attached in their organza pouches way beyond their eat-by date. Favours in the UK have taken on their own form in the last ten years; frequently being of the edible kind – cupcakes, biscuits, chocolates or sweets – usually being devoured alongside the bread roll before we’ve even got a whiff of the starter.
Favours can also take on a more lasting memorial of the day, with small ornaments or gifts such as hankerchiefs or pillows being something nice for people to take home. Also popular is a lottery ticket or scratchcard, although we always wonder what would happen if someone won big – that could be awkward! I asked Lucie Taylor, who gave her guests the lovely scratchcard pictured below at her wedding earlier this year. Did she and Ed consider how they would feel with a big win? “We figured that if someone won big then they were at the day because we loved them and would have been happy for them.” Daw!
Tom and I have considered a monetary route on the favours, but with a donation to our favourite charity instead. I can’t help in thinking would our guests think we couldn’t decide what to do rather than a desire to recognise the charity at our wedding? Especially as our choice would be an animal charity. However, if the charity is linked to the couple in some way, for example a hospice that looked after a loved one, then it can be a lovely way to remember them.
Of course, the favour is a perfect opportunity to go a little leftfield and give your guests something that completely fits your theme, and have a little fun with it at the same time. We’ve also seen some great ‘sharing’ favours, bowls of sweets on each table for people to nibble on and interact with each other. A great idea was the lovely Mr & Mrs Bailey putting a big bottle of Baileys on each table for their guests to enjoy.
It is also completely ok not to do favours at all. After all, you spend so much on canapés, drinks and food, if your intention is not to leave them with a lasting memento of your wedding as the Italians do, then do they really need something else to nibble on? So if you don’t see the point, do away with it, no-one will miss it, trust us.
Music is another subject we are struggling on a little. We’ve never been the couple to have ‘our song’ so we have been trying to think of music that has the right sentiment and feel for our wedding.. We’re going for an Icelandic wintry theme, so given that we’ve been listening to a lot of Icelandic music this year anyway, it feels right to use this style of music. This doesn’t mean we are just going to play Sigur Ros though! I know what I want to walk up the aisle to but the rest, bah, we shall just have to keep on listening!
Same goes for the ceremony as a whole really, we want readings that have words which mean something to us, but there is such a huge amount of material out there, many of which we have heard at weddings frequently. We’d like to have something literary that is more unknown but there is only so much time someone can spend leafing through books for love passages! Much like the music, we currently have one chosen option, an Icelandic poem which talks about shimmering stars in a day in January – it’s so emotive and reminds us of our engagement, I burst into tears trying to read it aloud to Tom!
I think the thing that is hindering us with readings is that we have heard so many and the same ones over and over again. This is absolutely fine in the individual context of one wedding, as long as the words are right for you then go for it, but we feel we are having to look a little harder for something more unique to us. I’d particularly welcome any suggestions for alternative Shakespeare!
So that’s where we are at. A thunderstorm a week or so ago forced us to spend the evening on a laptop making wedding decisions so we got a couple of things done then. We’ve also been listening to a lot of playlists rather than our usual BBC 6 Music during the day, so we think we have now decided on the signing of the register music. The really hard one is the recessional!
I’d love to hear how you reached your choices…