The happily ever after.
Are you planning a wedding and don’t know where to start?! Something I think we have all learned a lot about in this last year is perspective and determining what in life is really important. So I thought what better way to gain a bit of perspective for your planning your wedding than by looking at it though the eyes of some of the most devoted and happily married couples I know . I have been lucky enough to grow up surrounded by great love stories. These are my role models, two sets of adoring grandparents and my mum and dad. Collectively they have been married for 144 years.
So here it is, my first blog post. It is not your standard blog post about top venues or wedding vendors etc. Instead I thought maybe I will be able to offer some insight into what remains important and where you should spent your money.
After 56 years of marriage what will you remember, reminisce about and tell to your grandchildren.
What do you remember most about your wedding day?
One thing that was common across all couples was that everyone distinctly remember how happy they felt and that they could not stop smiling all day. For my Dad, it was seeing my Mum walk down the aisle and standing in front of him. My Nana said the same, walking down the aisle to see my Grandad’s “beautiful blue eyes” *cue naws*. My Papou was heavily involved in the church when he was younger, he described to me how incredible the service was, that took place in a beautiful church rich with gold, colourful crystallised icons and a beautiful young lady who he got to make a lifetime pact to with god as his witness. Whilst Yiayia said that the feeling of walking out of that church after signing the registry in front of 500 people was what she remembered most. That it was like a party, becoming a Tonakis, she could not stop smiling!
I have to say that whilst listening to them tell me their stories and even as I re-write them here for you today I cannot stop smiling.
What was your favourite part of the day?
Mum: After the ceremony – the excitement and well wishes, celebrating the “I Do” after walking out of the church.
Dad: Meeting mum, when he first got to see her face when the veil went back
Yiayia: Loved every minute but in particular the signing the certificate/ register. Closely followed by the big party with all of their friends at the reception afterwards
Papou: Besides marrying Yiayia, Papou loved the morning he got to spend with his father. They had a barber come in and give them a clean shave and then they all enjoyed a glass of Brandy from Athens together (the barber included!)
Nana: When she heard Grandad say “I do”
Grandad: The reception, after the formalities were over and he could relax and celebrate his marriage with everyone.
Do you have any of your wedding photos on display?
When asked this, everyone said yes. They had photos in their bedrooms, in their wallets and on their phones. All couples had a framed picture on display in their living room.
What’s your best advice for a happy marriage?
Mum & Dad: Maintain a friendship, make time for each other, enjoy special moments just the two of you and communication is key!
Yiayia & Papou: You have to be best friends first and communication is everything! Most importantly though HAVE FUN!
Nana & Grandad: Have a good sense of humour, the ability to compromise, put the other person first don’t always think of yourself. Be good friends!
My favourite bit of advice though has to be from my Nana “Make sure you marry someone as nice as the guy I married!” CUTE!
How many years have you been married?
Mum & Dad: Married for 32 (together for 38.5 years) – Married in September, 1989
Yiayia & Papou: 56 years – Married in January, 1965
Nana & Grandad: 56 years – Married in January, 1965
At the time it might seem so important to have the most lavish table settings, the fanciest menu or all of the florals that you can dream (that would seriously be incredible though!); but at the end of the day and years later none of these things came up in anyone’s answers about what they loved and remembered.
What they all remembered the most was how happy they felt marrying the loves of their lives. It is my hope that this might bring some perspective to anyone planning their wedding right now, that you don’t need to overstretch or keep traditions that don’t feel right to you, that’s not what this day is about.
Whilst we were talking about her wedding my Nana told me that the day felt like a blur, I hear this from a lot of couples. She also told me that she vividly remembers sharing a special moment and saying goodbye on the day to her own Nana who passed away not too long after. All of these stories really brought home how important having a photographer at your wedding is, to capture all of these beautiful moments for you to look back on and enjoy over and over. It gives me a great sense of purpose and happiness that my job is to give the gift of a treasured memory. That you will look back over your wedding photos and feel all the love, happiness and emotions you felt on the day. That you can see the loved ones that you lost or relive the little moments you might have otherwise forgotten.