A wedding is a happy, joyous occasion. Hopefully it's a once in a lifetime event that some may never get to experience. But they are stressful to plan and prepare for anyone. Even if you strip it back and keep things simple they are always more expensive than you think they will be, and end up being complicated to arrange. There are the politics that get played out, who to invite, who not to invite, do we go religious, civil, humanist. All the way through to DJ or live music, beef or chicken, and even should we bother with a videographer!
I am about to tell you in brief and simple terms why you should just do it how you want. Ignore the politics, if you can't afford it don't go big, just go with what you want, and what makes you happy. Treat it like the one day where you choose your favourite food, listen to your favourite music, and make sure you create some memories to remember for the rest of your life.
Last week I worked with a charity called 'gift of a wedding'. They are small, they don't have huge corporate sponsors and revenue channels to raise money, and they don't get much publicity. They operate by asking for wedding suppliers and venues to donate their services for free, so that they can organise a dream wedding for people who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Now I am sure everyone can hear that mission statement and sympathise with their purpose. But for those who have lost people close to them, you will feel their purpose, just like I did. I think everyday about those no longer with us, I know how I will feel if I loose others who are still with us, and I know that I would want those I leave behind when my time is over to have something to remember the magic of our wedding day. This is no sales pitch, all I will say is having a wedding film would not be negotiable for me.
The fact that a bunch of amazing suppliers came together, gave up their time free of charge, to ensure that memories were made and captured is not the headline here. I spent a day in the presence of a truly remarkable family. I could see the strain of their situation on their lives, but they fought that illness together, to be there, to make those vows, to make those memories.
A couple who have been dealt a shit hand, that anyone of us could have been given. Their beautiful, young children, their parents, wider family, friends, all smiling, all happy, but having to deal with the reality of this celebration being extra special because no one knows when there will be no more time to make memories.
It was a truly humbling experience. It made me hug my kids a little tighter, it made me tell my wife I love her more, it made me shed a lot of tears through the edit.
We may have given the gift of a wedding. But more importantly, life is a gift, and we have to treat it as such.
If you would like to learn more about the charity, or donate to them, you can follow the link here http://giftofawedding.org