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Here’s what we say to wedding haters

A magazine is criticising couples for their wedding style and calling on anyone who's engaged to rethink their plans. This is what we think about that.

For a celebration that’s supposed to be all about love, planning a wedding certainly attracts a lot of haters. We’re not trying to scare you; and maybe (hopefully) your planning journey will be negativity-free. But we’ve lost count of the number of couples who, ring freshly on finger, suddenly discover that their nearest and dearest have inexplicably strong views about how a wedding ‘ought’ to be – and they’re not afraid to share them.

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Your day, your way

This could be Great Aunt Margaret having heart palpitations at the thought of a cool cheese cake (“It’s supposed to be fruit cake!”); your mum suddenly becoming a fashion expert (“Of course you’re going to wear a veil, it’s tradition.”); or colleagues reacting with horror to your unusual first dance song (“No, it has to be something slow and romantic.”). Every wed-related decision you make is weighed up against a list of ‘must-haves’, ‘ought-tos’ and ‘essentials’.

READ MORE: Things your parents will say during wedding planning

And now another critical voice has oh-so-helpfully entered the fray. Country Life is calling on engaged couples to show restraint, claiming that the “nuptial equivalent of an arms race” has led to ever-glitzier celebrations full of unnecessary elements. Having too many bridesmaids, planning a three-day celebration, a hen party abroad – all these sorts of thing have, they say, stripped away the ‘sincerity’ of weddings. Well, that’s you told.

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Celebrate your wedding how ever you’d like

We take a different view. Our motto is “your day, your way”. Whether you’re planning a sumptuous affair in the Tuscan countryside, a barbecue in your back garden, a fairytale day in the Cotswolds, a laidback pub party or a just-the-two-of-you elopement, the way you choose to celebrate your commitment to each other is up to you. You should not be judged for this.

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We’ve got no time for wedding shamers

We’ve spoken to hundreds of couples over the years about the thinking behind their wedding plans. We can confidently say that none of them have lacked sincerity or lost sight of the essential meaning of the day: pledging lifelong commitment to the person they love. That goes for those couples who have the sort of wedding that Country Life seems to find so distasteful. Those three-day celebrations? None of the couples who have these do so with the intention of bankrupting their guests. They simply want to gather their nearest and dearest, eat good food, drink good wine, and enjoy this time together. How often do you get the chance to have all the people you care about, from every part of your lives, in the same place?

READ MORE: Best wedding guest dresses to suit all kinds of wedding

“Your day, your way” doesn’t mean being selfish. We’ve yet to come across a couple, whether they’re spending £1000 or £50,000, who hasn’t put the interests of their guests at the very heart of their celebration. Engaged people come to our forum to discuss everything from venues to menus – not because they’re looking for the best way to show off to their family and friends, but because they want to know the best way to give their guests an enjoyable experience.

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“Your day, your way” does mean letting your unique love story guide your style of wedding – without judgment or criticism. Wherever you’re from, whatever you look like and whomever you love, this is what you deserve. Of course, all you need to get legally wed is a willing partner, a celebrant and two witnesses; even rings aren’t essential. Anything you choose to add to these elements is a bonus. Repeat: a bonus; not a crime.

READ MORE: How to handle bridal anxiety