Real talk: Planning a wedding is hard work. It becomes even more challenging when you strive for originality and decide to stray from tradition. And whatever alternative choices you make, it’s likely you’ll face a barrage of questions from friends and fam. Instead of trying to defend your decisions — because let’s be honest; it is *your* wedding — take some tips from pro wedding planner Laura Holden. She’s the creative director at Holden Bespoke, a London-based wedding planning company that specializes in creating a day that’s unique, unusual and, most importantly, quintessentially you.

Mildred's Temple Kitchen Wedding // Photo Credit to Ten·2·Ten Photography ( ©2015

According to Laura, regardless of what kind of wedding you’re planning, it’s most important to prioritize your needs. You may find yourself at odds with parents or soon-to-be in-laws, but don’t despair! This is your special day, and you deserve to make it whatever your heart desires. Check out Laura’s tips below.


1. Focus on the feels, not the palette. First, decide what kind of scene you want to set and how you want your guests to feel. Are you going for a laid-back vibe? Do you want your peeps to feel cozy and at home? Or do you want them to experience a completely unique wedding? Laura says, “Think of the best party and then scale it up until it feels right for you. If you don’t want to commit to just a couple of colors, don’t.”


2. Should over shouldn’t. There are *plenty* of wedding traditions you can choose to either follow or break free from. Whether it’s deciding who will walk you down the aisle, how many bridesmaids you will have or where everyone will sit for dinner, there’s A LOT to think about, and Laura recommends keeping in mind that anything is possible. “No matter what, you should feel comfortable with every part of the day, and you can choose the parts you like and leave out the ones you don’t,” she says.


3. Source vendors you love. It’s your party, girl, so you do you! And this goes for errthing. Pick your vendors based on what inspires you. Taco truck? Check. Sunflowers? Sure. Locally grown and baked pies over wedding cakes? Yes, please. Laura says, Each [vendor] you consider will have different styles and approaches, and if you take [the] time, you’ll find a whole team that’s invested in making your wedding amazing.”


4. Focus your budget. Weddings are expensive AF. You can spend a lot of time budgeting and still end up way over. For this reason, it’s important to prioritize your fave parts of the wedding. Maybe it’s an award-winning photog, an all-organic caterer or getting Adam Levine there. Or maybe you just really need that gorg Vera Wang gown. Laura says, “Figure out the top three things that matter most to both of you, and this will make a huge impact on the vibe of your day.”


5. Stay relaxed. Remember to breathe and stay present. If you do that, the rest of the day will work itself out.


6. Show, don’t tell. When you tell somebody about an idea but they have no frame of reference, it can be really difficult for them to visualize it. If you’re talking to your grandma about a naked cake or your mom is unsure about mismatched bridesmaid dresses, show them some images that you love! That way, they can see how it works *and* share your enthusiasm.

Georgie & Andy's Boho fairytale goth wedding at St Leonard's Church and The Tab Centre

Seriously great advice, right? I love it when we get to share useful, practical tips like these, and it’s so helpful that there are ideas not only for how to put together a cool, modern wedding, but also for how to be diplomatic in getting all your friends and family excited about it too — which is so important!

(Photos via 1. Ten 2 Ten Photography; 2. Terralogical Photography; 3. Perregeaux Photography; 4. Sarah Shreves Photography; 5. Plain Jane Photography; 6. Jenna Bascom Event & Editorial Photography; 7. Maui Maka Photography; 8. Ellie Gillard Photography)

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