What I've learnt About Being A Bride


If you’re already sick of seeing my wedding then I apologise in advance and suggest you stay away from my social media for the next few weeks. If you’re dying for all things wedding and you just can’t get enough then have no fear this is the place to be.

I’ll be honest, this wasn’t the first piece of writing I had planned to publish when it came to discussing all things Mr & Mrs, but when you’re waiting on your photos and only have a small number of previews to work with you have to write with what you’ve got.

So let’s talk about being a bride shall we - and by this I mean tackling the traditions and having the wedding I’ve pictured since I was a little girl (I’ve never been that little girl who dreamt about marrying her prince charming, but you get the gist).


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Bride Grace Mandeville rustic ceremony wearing self portrait wedding dress, one hand, elf ear, at the mill in elstead

I didn’t take my husbands (that’s gonna take a bit of getting used to) surname and everyone can get over it.
If you want to take your partners name then that’s fab, if you don’t then that’s also great and if you feel like you have to take your partners name then there’s a problem here. I didn’t take Ryan’s surname because in all honestly I love my own, it reminds me of my beautiful family, I created the most incredible journey of a career with my sister upon the surname, the Paralympic mascot at the London games was named Mandeville (nothing to do with me, but I love it) and quite frankly I like how it sounds.

Ryan was also ok with this, he gets it, he also agreed with my reasonings (as did I for him not taking my surname) and really that’s all that matters. Well you’d think that’s the case wouldn’t you? I must have explained this at least 40 times and still people do not understand. You should do what you want to do, not what you’ve been told by tradition you have to do - but please also brace yourself for a lot of judgmental comments and questions if you do break the norm. Obviously there is nothing wrong with following tradition too, though I do recommend at-least reading into the reasons behind them - For example I technically shouldn’t be wearing a white dress as a bride.

Bride Grace Mandeville in Ages Past vintage coach, photo by Kit Myers
Bride Grace Mandeville miu miu wedding shoes, photo by Kit Myers, self portrait lace wedding dress

If you wear black flat shoes people will laugh (until your wedding day)
It’s an odd one, you get so many people telling you that it’s your day and you should wear what you want, but as soon as you tell someone you’re wearing black flat shoes on your wedding day the odd looks start rolling in.

I’ve never been happier with my choice I must point out, first of all they’re pretty expensive shoes (more expensive than my dress) that I wouldn’t have justified as a purchase otherwise. They were ridiculously comfy, you end up walking quite a bit on the day of your wedding and I had the last laugh when the rest of the guests complained about wearing heels. I also really liked the idea that I had a white dress on but underneath you got a peak of my less traditional quirkier side with the shoes, my dress was floor length but it also had a slit in it so you got a glimpse of my feet every now and then. Plus, these shoes I will wear again and again - I’ve already worn them to a restaurant since.

OUTFIT DETAILS
Dress by Self Portrait
Shoes by Miu Miu
Suit by Next
Tie by Gucci

Bride Grace Mandeville with grandparents in self portrait wedding dress

You’ll feel incredible but being a “Wife” won’t change anything.
I mean this ones pretty obvious, you’re going to feel amazing because you’ve just had the most special day but you aren’t going to feel differently because you are now a “wife”. Why am I saying this? Because you wouldn’t believe the amount of people that have asked me “how does it feel to be a wife”?

I guess what I mean is I’m overwhelmed with joy because I spent a day with everyone I adore celebrating my relationship with the man I love, I feel special because of the speeches that were given and because Ryan got up in front of everyone to tell them how perfect I am (spoiler I’m not, and this speech was also a massive surprise so you bet I burst into tears). I truly believe the magic in a wedding isn’t down to the titles and so yes I feel incredible but I don’t feel any different because I’m a wife.

And the final point. I obviously don’t speak for all couples but as for and Ryan and I, it truly was the best day of our lives. -G,x

Bride and Groom Grace Mandeville and Ryan with bridesmaids, Anthology Vintage furniture, Kit Myers photography
Bride Grace Mandeville and groom Ryan’s ceremony at The Mill in Elstead, alternative wedding, photo kit myers

Photos in blog post by Kit Myers