What a perfect day…

It’s all about the photography

I’ve been married for a hundred years. Ok, so that’s not strictly accurate, but when it comes to wedding planning I’m actually about a millennia out – or so it feels.

I wed my lovely husband in 1998, when things were pretty regimented. You did the church or registry office thing, then you had a ‘day do’, then you added on a ‘night do’.

The Husband actually suggested that we went on honeymoon that night (how very 1960s of him!) but there was no way I was leaving our party early – I wanted to be there and savouring the experience until the end. And I was, with the dress unlaced (in a ladylike fashion that no-one really noticed) drinking a final glass of wine, with my very tired dancing feet propped on a coffee table, surrounded by our closest friends. I loved every second of it.

So, if I had my time again, what would I change? It’d be the lasting stuff, the things that memories, inevitably, fade with time.

I’d keep The Husband. He’s a superstar who just ‘gets’ me.

I’d keep a version of the frock, as it made my waist look tiny and wasn’t so reminiscent of its age that it’s dated massively. It even still fits me, though my increased cleavage would shock a vicar nowadays.

I’d keep the Autumnal theme. We got married on 30 October and the fallen leaves and the landscape were beautiful, as were my flowers and the cake and the colours of the men’s suits, and all the things that were evocative of the season.

What I would change is the individuality, and that’s what I envy in the weddings of today. And, to be honest, it’s all about the photography.

Our country house setting was stunning – and nowadays I’d ask for so many more distinctive shots that were totally personal to us.

My wedding photos were mainly traditional family group shots. If we did it again tomorrow, I’d want the most candid, relaxed, silly and outrageous of photos that showed how much people loved being there to celebrate with us.

I loathe having my picture taken, but put me in fancy dress, or just with a daft hat on, or even a simple pair of specs and I relax. I reckon that goes for most people – and it’s not about the wine they’ve drunk or the people they’re showing off to – it’s about catching a glimpse of a moment in time when they just had a damn good time.

My advice to the brides and grooms of tomorrow? Make your day all yours. Don’t stick to traditions, or what people say is ‘the right thing to do’. Make it a day to remember forever.