Congratulations Carol - Bride and Groom Magazine Bride of the Year

NZ Bride and Groom Bride of the year Carol | Sottero and Midgely by Maggie Sottero | Bought from Astra Bridal NZ

Congratulations Carol

Carol won the Bride and Groom Bride of the year in their annual competition and we can see why this gorgeous bride won! Carol’s vibrant personality, stunning bridal look, creative flair and genuine warmth are in abundance. We are super excited as Carol's beautiful story is coming up in our next edition of our magazine but I want to share a quick sneak peak. I found it almost impossible to chose only a selection from all Carol and Justin's amazing photos by Greg Campbell.

Carol also had some great advice for brides to be.

Don’t crash diet! Your fiancé wants to marry you regardless of the number on the scale. Find a dress that works for your figure, showing off all your best bits. When you’re all done up, beaming as you walk down the aisle, no guest or family member – NOT ONE – will be thinking about your weight. And while I’m at it…don’t bother with the awful sucky inny undies either!

When it comes to vendors - do your research, it’s never too early to start, and trust your gut instinct whether you can work with them! The only vendor I had trouble with (and eventually dropped) was one I hadn’t really researched and had to chase all the time. My favourite vendors really wanted to be a part of our celebrations – and their enthusiasm really showed through in the work.

Don’t be afraid to make things yourselves – its keeps costs down and it’s a way to put your individualised stamp on your day. My favourite decorations from the reception were the signs I painted for the bathroom doors!

A videographer didn’t fit into our budget – so two of my bridesmaids and their partners gifted it to us as a wedding present. They found someone just starting out so it wasn’t too expensive for them and it is the most special gift which brings back a whole lot of memories that a photograph just can’t.

We used disposable cameras for our DIY photo booth which was in hindsight a really bad move. Our guests forgot how to use them so none of the cameras were fully used, the photos were really bad quality, and they cost a lot to develop (all up around $300 for ten cameras). I wish we had put the money towards hiring a professional or buying a digital camera.

Stick to what you both want and don’t let anyone else change your mind. I had guests/family really struggle with some of my ideas. But I could see the vision in my head and looking around at the reception venue I’m so glad I did what we wanted.

No matter how good you are with budgeting – always put some money aside for extras. There WILL be something unexpected crop up that you have to pay for.

Hair and make-up will more than likely run over time – give yourself as much time as possible to relax with your bridesmaids. Rushing really ups the nerves!!

Having something tangible to hang on to after the day is really precious. We tied a knot during our ceremony, and our guests signed an art print in lieu of a book – both now hang in our home.

If possible get your witnesses to fill in their names and addresses on both copies of the marriage licence in advance. Then all they need to do during the ceremony is sign. It keeps everything moving and saves your guests waiting around and losing interest.