A Week To Go: Wedding Planning Reflections & Contemplating The Loss Of My Surname

So after months of planning, prepping, organising, faffing and decision making, the wedding is only a week away. How the hell did that happen? The last thing I can remember thinking was that we still had plenty of time, and then the next thing I know it’s around the corner and I’m starting to develop mild anxiety about table plans and confetti shots. As we step closer to this huge event and getting all our loved ones in a singular place, I’ve been very much reflecting upon the process as a whole and what this next chapter in my life means. There’s nothing like the world’s most expensive party to bring out the best and worst in people, and work as a catalyst to make you realise what the most important things to you are; everyone will (rather annoyingly after a while) try to give you advice or suggestions, but no matter how well meaning they are the only thing that matters is what you want and that you’re happy with what you create. After all, this day is about you and your partner and celebrating the fact that you’ve found each other. Nothing else.

The biggest learning for me during this whole process hasn’t been the fact that I really don’t care for formality and ceremony (we’ve cut as much of that out of our day as possible in favour of spending more time eating Krispy Kremes or at the bar,) but that people are (generally speaking) pretty damn selfish. I’ve had some amazing people around me during the last six months or so that have been incredibly supportive and encouraged us to do whatever makes us happy, but we’ve also had so much pressure from other people to accommodate their requests, requirements or ego. They’ve forgotten along the line that this day is about Josh and I – not them. It’s been hard to bite our tongues, play along with the politics and keep to our guns about decisions we’ve made (and I know it will pay off on the day,) but it doesn’t make it any easier to digest along the way.

They say wedding planning is one of the most stressful things you’ll ever experience, and I have to admit I was pretty chilled and cocky about the whole event up until very recently. We knew what we wanted and booked everything within the first couple of months of being engaged, meaning that we could just enjoy the process rather than worrying about playlists or table decorations. However, in the last six weeks that’s all totally changed; as we’ve had to nail down all the details, order all the bits and pieces and pay all the invoices, it’s all come at once and lead to many a sleepless night. There’s so much you have to leave to the last minute that I guess it’s inevitable (our table plan changed about six times the day before we needed to send it off to the printer!) and with a week to go I still have so many of the little things to tick off our list. (Send help – I have 80 favours to bag up tonight.)

On to lighter topics, what’s been the most fun is coming up with the quirky details that will really make our day our own. From personalised M&Ms, to donuts instead of canapes, a Busted tribute band and playing our favourite movie during dinner instead of background music (plus a few things I don’t want to spoil ahead of the day!) weddings don’t have to be cookie cutter or tick boxes; they have to be a reflection of who you are as a couple. Josh and I are kids at heart with a love for sweet treats, pizza and Sci-Fi, so it would feel foreign to have a super formal event. I’m literally SO excited to have such a fun day and do all the things that make us happy, with all the people we love in one place.

What’s surprised me most about these last days though has been the fact I’m starting to mourn the loss of my last name. For 34 years I’ve been Hayley Carr and with that moniker I’ve achieved a lot and have learned even more about who I am; I’ve performed on stage, passed all my exams, been to university, met some amazing friends, established a successful career, traveled the world, launched my own business, won awards and kissed many frogs before I finally found my prince. It’s been the name I signed when receiving deliveries, the name I earned my money as, the name I launched this blog under, the name on my trophies and associated with all my achievements. Even so, it’s never been a name I’ve particularly liked; my surname has always been ugly to me and one I couldn’t wait to get rid of (I don’t have a great relationship with my dad, so it’s not like I’m keen to keep it on to cement my relationship with that side of the family.) But as I step closer towards dropping it for good it’s definitely made me think.

There’s so much debate around the choices women make when they get married (to drop your own name or keep it for eternity?) but for me it’s never even been a question: get rid of the name and adopt a new one as soon as you can! I can’t wait to be Hayley Hall (and not only because it sounds a bit like a superhero and I love a bit of alliteration,) but that doesn’t stop me from thinking about leaving behind my old persona and adopting a new one. My current surname is one I share with my mum and my sister, who are the most important people in my live outside of my husband-to-be; for so many years we’ve been a triangle of strength and impenetrability, so it does make me a little sad to leave that behind in name even if not in life. I never thought twice about the change of name, but as I leave Miss Hayley Carr behind and become Mrs Hayley Hall it sounds hugely unfamiliar and a little bit scary. Although the rational part of me knows it’s just a name, the emotional part of me is a little sad to say goodbye.

As my calendar countdown now moves into single digits, I’m so blooming excited to get all pampered and preened ahead of the big day – and even more excited to slip into my dress (which makes me feel like a princess, even though I was adamant I didn’t want to feel like a priness!) and pop open a bottle of champagne. I’m so excited to stand outside our ceremony room with butterflies in my tummy, waiting to walk in and say our vows so we can become a fully fledged unit of Halls forever more. I’m so ruddy excited to spend the day seeing all my favourite people, eating our favourite food and dancing to our favourite music. I’m so excited to make memories we’ll cherish forever and for all the photos that will capture them uniquely. But most of all, I’m excited to be a wife and for this next chapter of my life with the guy that feels like was made specifically for me in every way. (I’m also pretty excited for the morning after breakfast and day in the spa nursing a hangover.)

Bring on October 5th 2017.


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