The Lovettes (Emily) – 12 Days To Go And Living Two Lives

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This is my last post, and I could talk about how excited I am (very), the last minute details I’ve been busy with (lots) or the number of times I’ve searched for the hashtag #jennypackham on Instagram (ahem…once or twice). I could present a glossy, idealised image of the run-up to our wedding and you’d probably think ‘how spiffing’ and then quickly forget it. But this is my last post as a Lovette, and it felt too important to throw away – I wanted to finish with something real. I don’t write this in the hope that people will feel sorry for me. Quite the opposite. I write it because if it strikes a chord with one person, well, that’s enough.

As Bridget Jones once said, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces.” Amen, sister. Getting engaged to Dan was the highest of highs. But it didn’t change the fact that up until that point I had had a really stressful six months. And it didn’t stop the next few months after that being even more stressful.

It didn’t stop the dizzy spells, the panic attacks, the inability to make a decision, the fatigue, the imbalance, the black dog following me around. It didn’t stop the high blood pressure, the shaking hands and finally, and most dramatically, the tingling face which landed me in a neurologist’s office. I was living two lives – one high as a kite, picking an engagement ring, drinking prosecco and looking round venues squealing “I can definitely see myself here!” – the other (which I tried my hardest to brush under the carpet) burnt out, very ill and not able to see anything, not least myself, through the fog. But I could see us. And I could see our wedding.

This girl is amazing. I defy anyone to have a better sister than me. Thanks for everything, mini-me @abi_cole

A photo posted by Emily (@thewienertakesitall) on

The next time someone says to you that weddings are silly, that they’re extortionately expensive, materialistic and frivolous, feel free to kick them in the nuts. Or the lady balls, whichever applies. Life isn’t about the bad bits and you shouldn’t be made to feel bad for celebrating the good. Look for the silver lining, celebrate special moments, raise a glass of prosecco for no other reason than its Tuesday and you just ordered a bowtie for your dog. Things are sent to try us and by God, do they try us. But never underestimate the power of a dog in a bowtie.

Stress gets to us all at some point. Granted, not everyone ends up in a neurologist’s office with a weird face, but no one is immune. Know that it’s normal, everyone goes through it and that family-sized bags of chocolate were invented for a reason. Coping is all about finding distractions – our wedding took me from a place of intense stress and unhappiness, to one of hope and excitement. I made a thousand and one joyous decisions that showed me I do know my own mind. It’s sometimes a bit jumbled, but it’s mine, and I won’t apologise for it.

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If I can leave you with one thing from me and my Lovette posts it’s the following: you’re great. You’re getting married to someone who has picked you, above all others. Who thinks the laugh you hate is cute, who doesn’t mind you sleeping on the sofa with your mouth wide open and who thinks you look brilliant when you’re only wearing your pyjamas from Primark (yes, the ones with holes in).

You are someone’s lobster. Give yourself a high five IMMEDIATELY.  Do you know how difficult that is to find?

It doesn’t matter if your napkins are the wrong colour, if some guests don’t RSVP or if the chicken is a bit dry. Enjoy every second. Walk down that aisle like the lady boss you are, thinking: “I’m here. Despite everything that life brings, I’m here. Exactly where I’m meant to be.”

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Photo by our wedding photographer! (Mister Phill)

And, before I finish this, to waltz off on my hen do, I will leave you with some thoughts. Because I don’t think I’ve written a post yet that doesn’t mention huge pants.

  1. A very wise lady at Jenny Packham told me you must always order your huge control pants in a size bigger than you need. This way they smooth over your lumps and bumps, rather than forcing all your flesh upwards. A spare tyre of flesh under your boobs is not a good look, no matter how flat your stomach is.
  2. Find what relaxes you or makes you feel healthier and do it. For me, it’s pilates, acupuncture, my Nutribullet and walking the dog.
  3. Nothing makes people happier than cheese. Fact. Get some for your wedding and swim in smiles. One of my favourite wedding memories is dancing at a reception, glass of wine in one hand, block of Brie in the other. An innocent bystander to this spectacle innocently asked if I’d like some bread. Of course I didn’t want bread – that would take up valuable space where more cheese could have gone.
  4. Embrace those people who are genuinely happy and excited for you. Mentally put the others in a bin marked ‘miserable gits to avoid’.
  5. Life’s too short to spend hours searching for the perfect pair of pyjamas to wear on your wedding morning. I did this and I can conclude they don’t really exist. Someone out there: make them please.
  6. Enjoy your makeup and hair trials. Never again will you be encouraged to look in a mirror and talk about how good you look. Just don’t do what I did and ask your makeup artist if there is anything she can do about your ‘massive face’. I was just asking….
  7. In the last couple of weeks you will question everything. Everything. At this point, surround yourself with people who will reassure you. Not people who say helpful things like: “Yeah, I see what you mean.” IT WAS A RHETORICAL QUESTION. Note to people who know me: assume everything in the next two weeks is a rhetorical question. If something is weird, at this point, I don’t want to know.
  8. There will be a moment that reinforces you’re marrying the right person. I thought I couldn’t love Dan more than I do. But then I hired an enamel bath to put beer in and emailed him nervously to tell him what I’d done, without agreement. He replied: ‘Sounds good’. We’ve reached the point where he’s impossible to shock. This bodes well for our marriage.

lovettes, blogging bride, love my dress, mister phill photography

Just because we have weddings to plan, doesn’t mean that bad things don’t happen. Whether its mental illness, physical illness, bereavement, car trouble, money problems or some evil witch telling you that you look ‘healthy’ (we all know what that means), there is always another shoe, ready to drop. What’s important is sussing out what your personal first aid kit is. For me, it was our wedding. It brought me back to life.

See you on the other side,

Love Emily xx


Emily is due to marry Daniel on 12th September 2015 at Shustoke Farm Barns, Warwickshire.  Their photographer will be Mister Phill. You can find Emily on Instagram and Pinterest and read her other posts for Love My Dress here.  Drop her a line – she’d love to hear from you.

27 thoughts on “The Lovettes (Emily) – 12 Days To Go And Living Two Lives

  1. What a real post… Good honest advice! I’m getting married a week later than you on the 18 September this year and I needed to read this today!! I’m that one person! All the very best in your big day! Love xx

    1. Hi Ruth! Thank you for your lovely comment – I hope you’re enjoying the last couple of weeks, it comes around so quickly doesn’t it?! xxx

  2. Thank you, what an amazing post. I’ve been struggling with depression & anxiety over the past six months, and planning our wedding (end of November) has helped me with my journey to getting better. It’s so good to hear from someone else in a similar situation. Your post is really inspirational and I wish you a wonderful wedding day and all the very best for your married life! Thank you x PS. Spent the day looking for those perfect pajamas today, and have made note to stop now! But an enamal bath for the beer, now that’s a great idea…

    1. Thanks so much for your lovely comment Emma – I really hope you’re ok, and glad to hear that planning your wedding has also helped you. I think it helps to have something different to focus on. And yes, the perfect pyjamas are the holy grail – I ended up ordering some from J Crew. They haven’t arrived yet, fingers crossed! xxx

  3. Excellent post Emily. That’s the thing about weddings isn’t it- they may be pricy (or not) and they may be stressful at times (or not) but the planning and the interest and happiness of your friends and family really makes you see the good things in life, and no more so than on the big day itself- it’s an affirmation of everything happy. If your wedding resuscitated you, then your marriage will be your inhaler, or your medication (or insert any other medical aid here!) I certainly don’t want to suggest you can’t survive without it (we are strong independent women here after all!) but a good marriage keeps you well and keeps you going, and I’m certain yours will be that way.

    No more medical analogies now, promise! Can’t wait to see your photos- enjoy every moment of the next few days, its a fabulous time.

    S xxx

  4. This is such a lovely post I’m struggling not to cry at my desk! So in tune with EVERYTHING you’re saying Emily. Thank you x

  5. This is the best thing I’ve read since getting engaged. And how beautifully (and hilariously) written! And I’m having a little cry at my desk over this:

    “I’m here. Despite everything that life brings, I’m here. Exactly where I’m meant to be.”

    Huge love and good wishes to you, Emily. I hope you’ll keep writing somewhere, you have such talent! xxx

    1. Thanks so much for your lovely comment Lucy – it means a lot to me, as I was very nervous about this post! I hope you’re having a lovely engagement – enjoy it, it goes so quickly! Lots of love xxx

  6. Well, weddings ARE silly, extortionately expensive, materialistic and frivolous. BUT, what I came to realise is that that doesn’t matter. I fully believe we have a right to be silly and all the rest whenever we want to, and it sounds to me like it was just what you needed to keep overwhelming stress slightly at bay.

    Great post, by the way. Honest, helpful and amusing in equal measure 🙂

  7. Emily, you absolutely rock. Do you know that? Fantastic post, wonderfully honest, funny and super emotional at the same time. I’ll be sending you both lots of love on 12th Sept (and I’m sending you a bit more now for good measure too!) and I can’t wait to hear all about it xxx

  8. I absolutely *love* your posts Emily … you always show such raw honesty, sincerity and wit. What a talent! Wishing you and Dan all the very best for a beautiful September day (I’m hoping to hear that you get on the dance floor with another block of Brie! Love it!) and I’m sending you loads of sunshine and hugs from Oz 🙂 xxx

  9. Wonderful post! We got engaged while on holiday and sadly my mum suddenly passed away while we were on the plane home. The whole process of planning our wedding was the exact medicine I needed to drag me through the grief, and the day itself was amazing, if a bit emotional. Totally agree that all the supporters really uplift you and remind you how good you have it and how loved you are in spite of life’s challenges, ditch the negative people!

    Have an amazing wedding day!

    C x

    1. I’m so sorry Claire – that must have been horrendous. I’m so glad that your wedding helped you though – definitely the best medicine 🙂 Thanks so much for your comment x

  10. Oh My Days!! I’m actually crying at my desk! I thought I was ‘weird’ for having this love/hate relationship with our wedding… One min, I’m literally floating on air, the next crying like a baby in a bath where the water has long gone cold… It’s a roller coaster I’ve never experienced before. Our wedding isn’t for another 6 months, and I was starting to wonder how I would get through it with out some kind of breakdown. Your post has 100% reassured me that I can handle it, that there will be more bumps along the way, but there will be a light at the end of the tunnel (or aisle…) Thank-you for writing this piece. It’s really inspirational.
    Good luck with your wedding. I’m sure it will be amazing.
    Rea 🙂 x

    1. Hi Ria, believe me, you’re not weird at all! Planning a wedding is an emotional rollercoaster, but you can handle it – it’s all worth it in the end! Enjoy the last six months, it goes SO quickly!x

  11. Oh god I just LOVE this! I know how it feels when the clouds roll in and life feels all scary and looming too. Since we got engaged I’ve felt that wedding plans have either made me feel so joyous I may burst, OR a bit panicky and nervous and maybe like everyone will turn up on the day and think its all….crap. And that my make up looks cakey, and the fish and chip van is too greasy. But reading your wonderful post reminded me, very beautifully and simply, that all that matters is that Ill be exactly where I’m meant to be, marrying the other bit of me. Sometimes I could pinch myself!
    I hope your wedding is as wonderful as your hair xx

    1. Aah, your last line has made my day 🙂 Try not to worry at all – just pick things you love, and everything will fall into place. And I have to say – the greasier the fish and chip van, the better in my opinion 😉 xx

  12. Emily – this post is simply brilliant!
    …I am just wishing it was a few months earlier so I could take heed of all your amazing advice before my own wedding and my own stresses rolled in! I did try and breathe deeply and enjoy the build up which actually made a huge difference ‘cos you know what, some things did go a bit wrong on the day but surprisingly I didn’t mind because after all, who cares if the cake doesn’t have the correct texture or if the boys’ button holes have an extra rose when you’re marrying the man of your dreams!
    Have the time of your life lovely lady! Thank you for sharing your journey.

  13. Emily, I am not one to comment on these types of things but felt I had to. Of all the Lovettes your posts really struck a chord with me. Like you my wedding day schedule is also to eat all of the cake. We actually have two wedding cakes as I just couldn’t resist another teeny one from Choccywoccydohdah. I’m literally a week away from my wedding day and your post reall brings home what weddings really mean. People expect you to be so excited but I mostly feel stress weighing heavily on me. But my theory is that it will all come together on the day and as long as we will be married by then end of it then it’s a success. I hope you had a magical wedding day. Now I’m off to find me some perfect pyjamas….

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