The modern face of marriage

Getting married, hitched, wed, or whatever you want to call it is a life changing decision. For most couples who are married, I’m sure you look back on your wedding day as one filled with happiness, joy and great memories. Each wedding I have been to, including my own, I have found to be such an intimate and personal thing. No two weddings are quite the same, little hints and touches of the couple spread around to make it their own. After talking with my nan recently about her own wedding, I can’t help but feel that times have changed incredibly over the past decades, both for better and for worse! I want to share a few of our stories and some facts from a family law firm (Cardiff)* in this post on the modern face of marriage.

Going back to my nan, she told me that she got married at the same time as one of her sisters in a joint ceremony for financial reasons. It was a church wedding, a traditional catholic wedding which took place in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1963. Her dress cost £13 and both rings were £19. My dress, well price comparison is quite difficult, but it was a lot more than that! Our wedding- which took place 8 months ago- saw Paul and I married at a registry office as well as by a humanist in our own home the next day.

On my nan’s wedding day, she was told not to have any champagne at the toasting because she wasn’t old enough. I had a sip or two, and no one told me not to.

On the night of the wedding, my nan wasn’t told by anyone in her family on what to expect. My wedding night consisted of unpacking a marquee and looking over all the crazy photo booth images until 3 in the morning, then we fell asleep!

A non religious wedding weekend such as mine and Paul’s would certainly not have been possible for my nan, though I can happily report that it’s been 53 years since their wedding and my grandparents are still together and are the epitome of an old married couple.

Attitudes have changed so much not only towards marriage, but relationships in general. Introducing same sex marriage in the UK has brought us into a world that is so much more open and relaxed about marital ideals and what it means to marry the one you love. However, I do find that with a more relaxed view over the decades, the number of weddings that seem to expire has grown by far too much. How many divorced couples do you know? I conducted a poll on Twitter and 72% of people knew a close family member or friend who had gotten a divorce.

Photo by Camera Hannah

Can people really get married now without that tiny little thought in the back of their mind saying ‘well, if something does happen then I can just get divorced’? I feel this is a luxury that so many people (not all) take advantage of in countries where divorce has become so normal.

Of course I am happy that divorce can mean freedom for certain abusive and unfaithful relationships, but I do think that it is all too easy to say ‘I do’ now that it doesn’t necessarily mean ‘I do until death do us part’. In the source from the Cardiff law firm, 42% view marriage as a way to increase their financial security- I wonder if that percentage would have been higher or lower back in my nan’s day!

I believe that Paul and I waited the right amount of time before getting married, about 6 years, which included living together for a considerable amount of time beforehand. We got to know each other like no one I’d ever met before and we are soon to be expanding to three before we celebrate our first year of marriage.

We have been on countless adventures, starting out at a little Twilight convention in Birmingham, then travelling to the biggest comic convention ever in San Diego soon after becoming a ‘couple of nerds!’

67% of people surveyed think that there is less pressure from society to get married now than there was 10 years ago- I certainly felt no pressure to get married whatsoever before we were ready. Interestingly enough, 53% of people asked would want a civil ceremony. Does this show that marriage is becoming less of a religious thing and more like a status thing? I know I am certainly guilty of feeling that happy moment I could ‘status update’ my life on social media after the wedding. I’m proud to represent the modern face of marriage, and I plan to stay married providing Paul continues to be one hell of a tolerant husband!

How do you feel about your wedding day, whether married, planning or dreaming? Would you have wanted to get married in a similar style to my nan or to me?

Saharasplash x

Facts from survey (not including my Twitter poll) comprising of 2,000 GB men and women. Source: Slater Gordon. All figures from survey are from YouGov Plc.

*This is a Sponsored Post

Head back to the home page here to discover more, and thanks for reading about the modern face of marriage!


The truth about wedding planning

So I made sure that I cleared my blogging schedule this week as tomorrow is the official start of fashion week. I wanted to do something that I never have any time to do, so this is all very new and exciting. I wanted to post something a bit different to the usual reviews and events that I normally do. This post is based on the truth about wedding planning- my truth on the whole thing! I hope that my five truths offer some important insight for those brides and grooms to be and I want to say that I support all of you out there planning right this very second, I know what you’re going through…

1- There will never be enough time

I have a very good friend who has just tied the knot who will help back me up on this one! This is such a key truth about wedding planning I think. My blogger friend Merrell-Ann was engaged well before I was, and she had been planning her wedding (which happened last weekend!) for well over a year. I got engaged this May and have had just under 7 months, yet we both agree that the time just seemed to disappear on us. The truth about wedding planning is that you can plan as much as you like in advance, yet when it comes down to those final few weeks before you will be saying to yourself, ‘why didn’t I do this sooner?!’. But that’s ok, we are only human, we all have lives and filled up schedules to juggle every single day and adding a wedding to this just creates a paradox of delightful chaos. My advice here is to just accept that you probably won’t have everything ready months in advance, there will be something to panic over two days before and that’s acceptable!

2- Learn to listen to your family (to a certain extent)

Learning to accept comments and advice from friends and family members has been by far the hardest part of getting engaged for me. I am a naturally headstrong person and so as soon as I hear the words ‘have you thought about…’ I automatically tend to put on my game face and get ready to argue the hell out of my POV. Even though it is technically ‘you and your fiancées’ wedding, it also doesn’t hurt to listen to advice and suggestions from others. Your loved ones aren’t trying to take over, even though it may seem that way. I guess what I have learnt from starting to listen to my family is that they may come up with ideas that don’t totally suck! I may have even taken a few of them on board, though I’ll never admit what they were!

3- There are always going to be some things that just aren’t possible

This is another big truth about wedding planning. We are all guilty of dreaming about our weddings years (some even decades) before that vital question is popped. And of course we all like to dream big. Whether it’s a hundred white doves on a paradise beach island or a wedding in your local church, I’m sure that you have dreamed about very specific details from the big day. And when it comes to the realisation that you can actually start to purchase bridal magazines without feeling guilty about it, you might want to start discussing your ideas with your partner. Budget obviously plays a huge part in decision making, and I have certainly had to learn the hard way that I just can’t get Muse to play at our wedding like I’d always dreamed! Even though your big day may not involve rock stars, this most certinly does not mean that you have to forgo all the dreams. You can find your way around it, like finding a tribute band instead. I attended a wedding this summer where the Foo Fighters tribute band was so amazing, I really felt like I was rocking out to Dave Grohl as I closed my eyes and jumped up and down singing!

4- Compromising with your fiance is easier than you think

I know this one sounds like an odd truth, but I’ve definitely found that since getting engaged Paul and I are master compromisers! If we have different opinions on colour schemes or vows we always seem to find a way to keep each other happy. We have naturally been more loving towards one another and I think a lot of newly engaged couples have this to look forward to. You know that you are about to make a big commitment, so all those petty things that got you angry before don’t seem to matter as much. It’s an exciting time, and the truth is that you both know it! You want to make each other happy, and so this just naturally happens- hooray!

5- Someone will know that one person you need

It doesn’t hurt to do a little investigating with your friends and family on who they may have in their contact book. I know that several of my friends have come in really handy. Things like finding a local coach service and giving me names and numbers for caterers and chair hire. Whether your venue is all inclusive of these things or not, you may find yourself in need of a violinist and your cousin just happens to know of one! So don’t be afraid to ask around and talk a few wedding details among friends and family, chances are that someone will know that one person you need!
I hope that this has helped/ inspired you some way, and that you now know the truth about wedding planning! Leave a comment below if you have any more truths to add!


Saharasplash X


Photos taken from The Wedding Fair at London Excel centre


Want to read more wedding-related posts? I’ve got one all about a couples spa day here!

That Perfect Dress from In One Clothing

One of my favourite things to do on a sunny day in London is take a gorgeous dress out and take a million photos. So recently, that’s just what happened after I got in touch with Nicole, a London based photographer. This dress is a very special dress that I have been holding onto for quite a while now as I wanted to wait for the exact moment to show this stunner off to you all. The dress is a multi-way piece from In One Clothing, and I really do think that it is the perfect dress. Not only can you wear it multiple ways according to your mood and the occasion, it comes in the most vibrant colours too. Nicole and I had such a fabulous time shooting this sassy number in Holland park and so without further ado, here are the shots and three ways to wear that perfect dress from In One Clothing.

Look One- The Sexy Halter

That Perfect Dress In One Clothing-11

Nicole managed to capture the flowing material of the dress in this first look we went for. It has a plentiful supply to wrap around your waist and criss-cross over your back. I decided to tie it up twice at the front and leave the material to hang instead of opting for the bow tie effect.

That Perfect Dress In One Clothing-12 That Perfect Dress In One Clothing-18 That Perfect Dress In One Clothing-17

Look Two- The Belle of the Ball

That Perfect Dress In One Clothing

For this look, I simply untwisted the halter neck and let it fall around my shoulders. This look would be perfect to go dancing in as you sashay across the dance floor. I was amazed at how this one simple change completely altered the look of the dress.

That Perfect Dress In One Clothing-3 That Perfect Dress In One Clothing-7 That Perfect Dress In One Clothing-5

Look Three- The Fairy Nymph

Lauren-28We moved to a wonderful spot for these shots. Holland Park was so quiet on a Monday morning, we had no trouble finding many hidden corners and places to take these photos which turned out great! For this look I wrapped the lengths of purple around my torso from front to back and created a beautiful sweetheart effect. The material is so versatile there are countless ways to wear the dress, and it conveniently comes with a matching bandeau too so you can wear this underneath the dress or use it to help add another dimension to your outfit. Nicole came prepared and brought this stunning flower crown with her which made me feel like taking my shoes off and so I did these shots barefoot.


Lauren-29 Lauren-30


I took with me a contrasting blue satchel to match my blue nails, and I wore some white heels from Primark.

Lauren-20 Lauren-34

How amazing is this dress? I am so happy with it that my bridesmaids will all be wearing In One Clothing for my wedding in a lovely burgundy. I cannot wait to see how they each choose to style their dress up! I cannot recommend this brand enough, the quality is simply out of this world and the idea is a must for anyone wanting to please their bridal party! I’m so glad I found That Perfect Dress from In One Clothing and I have a feeling I’m going to need a few more of these to add to my wardrobe too!

Saharasplash x

Up for some more? Then check out this post on a fabulous foodie box here


PR Sample