Wedding & Event Planning: The Ugly Truths

Historic Royal Homes Wedding Venue: Syon Park Estate, home of Duke of Northumberland. The perfect elegant, luxurious setting for an English wedding.

At the home of the Duke & Duchess of Northumberland, at Syon Park, London, my nuptials were the grand finale of the most stressful, crazy, funny, beautiful and amazing experience of my life. So much so, I’ve included horror stories and dreamy photos as an insight into what you can really expect when planning a big event.

We had the works thrown at us: The celebrant was in an accident, the Groom was held by British Immigration for 12 hours on arrival (and deported two days after our wedding), the hairdresser was useless and had to be replaced and two days before the big day, one of the many Aussies who flew in to join us, went missing in London and my wedding became part of a police investigation!

Don’t worry, our friend found his way back on the morning of the big day and was the punch line of many jokes for a long while after!

These were of course very unusual circumstances, but my point is that event planning is a massive test of character; there were definitely a few times during the planning stage, that I was ready to throw the towel in and elope!

Syon House Courtyard Reception Drinks

That’s right, it’s not all cake and confetti I’m afraid! I learnt some pretty harsh lessons along the way and was surprised at where the challenges arose. But if you can prepare for these, you’ll be prepared for anything:

1. Invitations Aren’t Fun

If you love stationery as much as I do you’ll be expecting hours of sheer delight as you scour the web for those perfect invites. The options are tantalising: gold foil, letterpress, hand-lettered blah blah. Once you’ve picked your set, what ensues is simply horrible. Weeks of back and forth, proofing, correcting, checking. If you can get a good stationer, you may find you’re lucky and escape this. But if you don’t, you’ll know about it when you’re in the middle of your fifth design change and still having to tell them how to spell your name (yes this happened to me).

2. DIY Costs More

Weddings and parties are expensive, it’s only natural that you might choose to do some things yourself. But when you’ve spent weeks working on something, sometimes time and emotional commitment can cost a whole lot more than what you think you’re saving. This is so true when using cheap services recommended by friends/family. It’s harder to get out of and when you end up doing half the work, you’ll wish you just paid a pro (yes invitation lady, I’m having another dig at you)

3. Suppliers Can Be Arseholes

Just because you’re floating on air on your special day, doesn’t mean everyone will be. Photographers can be dictators on your day; whilst I understand Beryl won’t stop talking and get into the shot, shouting at her is a little extreme. It’s important to meet the key suppliers who will be present on your day and ask how they will handle lots of people, especially the elderly and the kids.

4. Guests Are Even Worse

From the rsvp’s to the table planning, it is the guests that make weddings and parties stressful. Remember you can’t please everyone and nor should you have to. Bite your tongue when Uncle Bill stops you mid-reception to complain the drinks aren’t coming out quick enough. Some people just love to moan!

The Great Hall
5. Something Will Go Wrong

It’s inevitable. So keep a tight circle on whom you can rely on in times of need. Unfortunately,  people will let you down, even those closest to you so it is safer to keep your group small. My sister (the maid of honour) was a godsend; together we handled everything. With all those (comical) mishaps before my wedding, it really was stressful but together, there was nothing that we couldn’t fix.

Lastly, a thought for the brides out there – If you’ve organised every aspect of your day, you will see every flaw – done sweat it! Remember, the guests don’t know any different, to them it’s your perfect day.

And that’s exactly what it is: despite the trials and tribulations, your event, party or wedding will be perfect.

Ok, on with my wedding photo spam! Some more shots from our day:

The Great ConservatoryDestination Wedding
Historic Venues London  Custom made Wedding Dress
Stunning Full Skirt Wedding Dress  Flowing wedding dress and long train
With special thanks to Annette of Melbourne for my one-off stunning handmade dress and to David Marc’s (Melbourne) for the dapper suits. Photography by Ben Joseph (London)

Thanks for indulging me and my pictures! If you have any questions, wedding related or even just general events planning, I’d love to hear from you.



planning a Wedding is very exciting but at times can be an absolute nightmare. Here are some tips of where you can expect the dramas so that you can be prepared!


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