Not long to go: confessions of a feminist bride-to-be
26 Apr 2018
In the final instalment of this bride-to-be blog, Sophie Elliott talks about the lead-up to her big day
As I write this, there are exactly nine days, one hour and 34 minutes until I say “I do”.
It’s so crazy to think that I began this blog more than a year ago, and now here we are – just a week and a few days away from the wedding itself. The whole process has been such a mixed bag; it’s been enjoyable and fun, but also stressful and anxiety-inducing. And although I’m (obviously) incredibly excited, there’s also a nagging nervousness that won’t go away. What if something goes wrong? What if one of my dresses doesn’t fit? What if one of us gets ill?
I’m also nervous about the performance of it all. I’ve never been good at being the centre of attention or speaking in public, let alone having an entire day revolve purely around my partner and me. I also have a habit of getting a red, blotchy neck and chest when I’m embarrassed – not exactly what a bride wants on her wedding day. Regardless of the nervousness, though, I really can’t wait. I’m so excited for all of our families and friends to come together for one big, happy party. It’s going to be a beautiful weekend, filled with love and joy and emotions – plus some good food and a few glasses (bottles) of bubbly.
So, what have I been doing since my last entry? I had my hair and make-up trail which, to put it lightly, was a disaster. I’d brought along reference photographs for both the hair stylist and make-up artist to work from, and the results were drastically different from what I’d asked for. For example, I’d requested an ‘English rose’-esque look for my face – think blush cheeks and subtle make-up – but what I received was heavy, hooded eyes and overfilled lips.
Therefore, I’ve decided to do my own make-up on the big day. I know me better than anyone else, and I know what I like to look like. I’ve spent almost the same amount on some high-end make-up as I would have done on a make-up artist, and, after a few attempts at home, I’m fairly confident I’ll get it right. As for hair, I’ve gone for a local hair stylist that I’ve worked with on some photoshoots in the past: Sophie Stapleton. In fact, she was the hair stylist at the cover shoot we did for the autumn/winter edition of Marry in Norfolk magazine. You’ll have to wait a few months to see what that looks like, but here's a little peek at the beautiful job she did with model Cathy Wilson's hair.
There have also been a lot of little details we’ve finalised in the past couple of months. Things like table plans, final numbers, music selections and our ceremony choices have been completed, accessories have been bought, hair cuts have been had and jobs have been allocated. I’ve also visited my seamstress, Claire at Alterations Plus, plenty of times over the past few weeks to try on my dresses and make some last-minute alterations.
Claire has been an absolute godsend, fixing every little problem I’ve had with my dresses to ensure they’re perfect for the big day. Not only that, she’s fixed an old tie of Luke’s that he wanted to wear and has made him a pocket square from scratch – and is even going to hand-deliver the dresses and Luke’s accessories to the venue the day before the wedding, steamed and hung and ready for the morning. What a queen.
We also had our engagement shoot with our wedding photographer, Georgia Rachael. Our initial shoot had to be rearranged due to terrible weather – but when it came to our rescheduled shoot, the heavens decided to open anyway, so we just went with it. We shot at Whitlingham Park in Norwich in the rain, and it was lovely. She did an amazing job, and we’re so happy with the resulting photographs. I just can’t wait to see what our wedding photographs are going to look like; it’s going to be amazing poring over them in the weeks following the big day, reminiscing about every moment.
Realistically, there’s not much left to do at this point apart from wait. I’m having lots of cosmetic things done next week, like having my nails painted, eyebrows threaded and hair trimmed. Our hen and stag parties are taking place this weekend, and I’m also having my hair trial with Sophie before I go out with the girls. For my hen party, we’re just planning on having a quiet night consisting of a meal followed by cocktails, while Luke’s stag do involves going out for paintball before having a meal at his favourite restaurant in Norwich.
After our stag and hen parties are over, and we’ve spent a day struggling through our hangovers, there will be less than a week to go. I know it’s a cliché, but the time really has disappeared. Christmas seems like it was mere weeks ago, and the last month has vanished right in front of my eyes. So, I’ve been asking my married friends for some advice about the day itself to ensure I make the most of it so it doesn’t also pass by in a blur.
The one piece of advice that seems to be repeated by everyone is to stop, breathe, and take some time with my new partner. The day, according to others, will go very quickly. Our guests will all want to spend time with us and congratulate us, which will of course be lovely – but we should make sure to spend some time as just the two of us, and bask in that just-married feeling. Another tip I’ve heard is, once the ceremony is over and we’ve been declared husband and wife, to wait for twenty seconds at the top of the aisle before walking down. That way, it’ll give us a chance to preserve that moment in our memories forever.
As I write this, there are nine days, one hour and two minutes until I become Mrs Sophie Cass. And I just can’t wait.