Be young, be foolish, and be happy

I have a few major insecurities when it comes to English Wedding blog. I love writing it, I love that I have an honest and beautiful blog that brides, grooms and businesses find inspiring. But sometimes I worry: I’m not a bride, I haven’t planned my own wedding, everything I know about weddings comes second hand.

A wedding blogger’s confession

Sometimes I feel a bit of a fraud: how can I presume to advise and try to help brides and grooms when I haven’t been there myself?

I guess it’s all about intentions. I write English Wedding blog because I genuinely want to help – I want to show the work of top wedding photographers to the brides and grooms who are looking for inspiration and ideas. I want to share my experiences of the wedding industry with everyone who might learn from what I’ve learned. And when I can, I want to share my life experience with you in the hope that someone out there might feel comforted, inspired, reassured or enthused by what I can share from inside of me.

Today – this is a scheduled post I wrote on Friday evening. I’ve just had one of the worst days ever. My therapy: writing. What I have to share comes from the heart. I can talk to you about a relationship that lasts; I can tell you that life gets tough as you get older – today I’ve grown up a hell of a lot and I wanted to share something important with you.

You’re never too young to get married

I’m older than the average bride. In some ways I have loads of life experience; in others I’ve very little. I’ve had good and bad relationships. I’ve been with my Gareth for 12 years and we make a strong team – but we’ve had our ups and downs. He has two teenage kids who live with us: that’s a whole different story but one which definitely makes us stronger. We have our families and our histories and all together it makes us: Claire and Gareth, the odd little team that works out ok in the end.

What I do know from reading your stories is, it doesn’t matter at all how old we are; and what I’ve been thinking about today is the age people get married. And you know, it doesn’t matter one bit: we’re all different, and we all change as we grow older – I’m not the same girl I was 12 years ago, but then who is? But when Gareth and I met we were young and foolish and passionate and naive… which is why it works for us now. We’ve been through a lot together – although it seems the tough times are only just beginning.

Grow up together – you’ll be stronger

Most of you reading this blog post will be in your twenties and early thirties. You have your whole lives ahead of you. Planning a wedding is the beginning of a new chapter in life and I admire you so much for making the huge commitment that is marriage. You’ll all have wedding days which are perfect for you. No matter what stresses you encounter in your wedding planning, or how expensive or creative or original your wedding is – you’re getting married and that’s an amazing thing to do.

We all grow and learn every day. Life experience can only come with time. You’ll go through good times and bad, highs and lows, have great adventures and suffer sadness and loss, illness, who knows… you’ll celebrate achievements and move onwards in life: new jobs, new homes, new families. Maybe you’ll find yourselves embarking on new careers, living in new countries – who knows. My point is, no one knows what’s around the corner and all you can do is be positive and stick together through thick and thin.

Be young, be foolish, and be happy

As the song goes… if you’re young, there’s no harm in making mistakes, playing and having a great time – because you’re happy. Young love is the best thing in the world: enjoy every single moment. From that heady moment when he (or she) gets down on one knee to the second your eyes meet from opposite ends of the aisle – love it. Just love it. Don’t let anyone criticise your wedding ideas: vintage or not, DIY or not, quirky or traditional… whatever you want to do for your wedding day right now – just do it and enjoy. Who’s to say when we should get married? My cousin’s just got married at 24; I’ve taken a wedding calligraphy order this week for a 53 year old bride. Both of these brides are very much in love and setting out on a new and exciting adventure.

You’re never too young to get married. If you’re in love, then grab life with all you’ve got and live it together. Share your adventures. It’s brave to make that commitment. I think all the more so for couples in your early twenties: having the guts and determination to promise a life together is an incredible thing. It’s powerful and it’s precious. It’s the strongest foundation stone a relationship can have.

Young love is a wonderful thing. When you’re head over heels in love, with the butterflies and rollercoaster emotions that go with it, your love has such a fierce strength you can take on the world and win. What better time to get married: when you can throw your hearts and souls into the challenges ahead and together, as a team and an inseparable unit, you can win.

Because believe you me, life gets tougher.

Today’s been a tough one for me. But it’s made me think: forming that bond, that partnership that will grow from youth, love and passion into a shared strength and true commitment is something that will see you through life.

When the going gets a little tougher the most amazing thing you can have is someone to hold your hand, to soak up your tears in his t-shirt and to endure the bad things by your side. Growing up is the hardest thing. You think life’s going fine and then it throws you a curve ball – and if you’ve got that partnership that’s grown from the magical spark of young love into something solid and true and supportive, you’ll cope with life and all it can throw at you.

Today I just wanted to share with all the young couples reading this blog: If you have someone, and you love them, follow your hearts, live your dreams and make your relationship last. Face life together. I admire you all.



Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.



  • @LoveYouBlog
    8 years ago

    Thank you so much for this honest post. I love wedding blogs for this very reason – it’s not just beautiful ideas, it’s advice – from how to pick a photographer to life lessons in love. None of it is patronising or cliche, it’s from the heart and it’s from real life experience. As a 30 year old bride to be, I appreciate it so much. So, thank you.

    I don’t know what curveball you’ve been thrown but I am glad that you have someone to hold your hand through it x

    • Claire
      8 years ago

      Thank you – I think when things get me down one of my reactions is to lash out against all the bad things and say, you know what, love can get me through this, and being strong and positive and sometimes smiling when other people around me need to share a bit of strength. And that rebellious side of me wrote the blog post. I’m so glad it came across ok.

      It’s funny: English Wedding blog is all about me trying to help people: brides, with ideas and advice; suppliers, with promotion and marketing tips. And it’s taken this post, and your comment, to show me that my advice for everyone reading is helping me too.

      Claire xxx
      Claire xxx

      • @LoveYouBlog
        8 years ago

        I’m so glad. It really did come across well and it is read and it is taken on board. I only just started a blog and I did it for a bit of an outlet too. I’m amazed at all of the wonderfully supportive people out there willing to share. I think we all help each other a little bit and isn’t that just fantastic?
        Keep doing what you’re doing, I love your blog


  • Laura Francis
    8 years ago

    This is sooooo lovely – it’s always so interesting when wedding bloggers write more personal posts 🙂 This actually could have been written for me, although I’m sure a load of other readers feel exactly the same! What a lovely, beautiful and important sentiment. *applause* xxx

  • Julie Boyd
    8 years ago

    Hi Claire,
    I love your blog because it’s honest and helpful to all brides out there, no matter what ages they are. I’m too in the business. I’m not married nor do I have a partner. I love my work. People ask me how I make what I do although I’m not married . I get so much inspiration from feedback from my brides. I just love it when someone calls to say ‘it’s exactly what they wanted’ I too take orders from older brides. The excitement is just the same as with a younger bride. I find they are more excited as secone time around they plan everything to co-ordinate. Something that was really possible 20 years ago.
    Continue they way you are, it’s a fab site. I love looking at the inspirations boards and photography even though I’m not planning a wedding.
    I’m glad you have Gareth to get you through this tough time. I’m here too should you need a friend to listen.
    Julie xxx

    • Claire
      8 years ago

      Thanks Julie – and thanks for your emails too. I’m around at the moment, but not blogging very much – using work as a distraction rather than living for it this week.

      It’s lovely to work with such different brides – and grooms too I think. I was telling my sister yesterday about a groom-to-be who came to me for place card calligraphy last year. He was in his fifties at least – a soft spoken man, very well off, who came to see me in my little home studio and he was so excited about his wedding day, even about the stationery. It’s like when you see an older couple holding hands – there are different kinds of love from the passionate fiery romance to that quiet strength and even the childish excitement that resurfaces with a relationship in later life.
      The best bit – every bride and groom we meet has their own brand of love, and they’re all starting out on a wonderful adventure. We’re lucky to share a little part of that!
      Claire xx

  • Laura C
    8 years ago

    I am SO glad that I read this today. This week alone I have been told I’m too young to get married on more than one occaision. I shall be 24 on my wedding day. But you know what, the people that say these things don’t understand how happy we are, and if they only know us better as a couple then they would understand how much we want this.
    Everybody needs something or someone that makes them happy, regardless of age etc.

    🙂 xxx

    • Claire
      8 years ago

      Hi Laura,
      That’s the loveliest comment – and I’m 100% behind you getting married at 24. It’s a perfect age to get married! You have your lives ahead of you, I know you’ll be so very, very much in love – and what better time than when your hearts are full to bursting with that feeling. Not just a journey, an adventure of a lifetime…
      Thanks for sharing your comment. You’ve made me smile.
      Claire xxx

  • Hannah Webster
    8 years ago

    I just welled up reading that, missy. You soppy bugger. What a lovely, LOVELY post. Glad you have your Gareth. And that him being there makes you stronger. But I am sorry you had a bad day. That sucks ass. x

    • Claire
      8 years ago

      Ah Hannah – what can I say? Was it the t-shirt bit? Because that had me in tears most when I was writing. I know you’ve been through stuff too – the title of your blog says a lot to me as well. Lovely comment, thank you my lovely xx

  • Sara R
    8 years ago

    Aww this is a beautifully written post – I’ve just recently discovered your blog and I love how open you are. It’s so easy to take these things (ie men!) for granted, but you’re right, a partner is to be cherished and thats why I love weddings so much – they are a real open honest celebration of love no matter who or what age. I’m going to book mark this and reread it when I’m getting fed up about who’s put the bins out ;).

  • sarah
    8 years ago

    hey claire, lovely post. teamwork is what its all about. We are all about team in our family and teams have their bad times too, like you said, but you stick together and come out of it stronger and wiser.
    Im sure your blog inspires so many brides to be and people like me, old marrieds who just sometimes need to be told to be young and foolish 🙂

    oh yeah and as for having not actually ‘got married’ yourself. You should check out the influence in the baby world of a certain Gina Ford. Massive impact on parenting, lots of advice, ideas etc..never had a child.

  • Jenni - Bespoken For
    8 years ago

    Hi Claire, thanks for being honest! your blog has more power because all the brides that come to your blog are in the same shoes – THEY HAVEN’T PLANNED A WEDDING BEFORE EITHER, so that makes you just the person with whom they can relate. All info we get on weddings is always second hand, but the fact that your are being the source to help brides is what matters most.
    Thank you for showing brides that what matters is not age it is love and making sure that you have a lifelong bond with the one you love, who can hold your hand and give you a tug through the tough times.
    hope you are ok.
    Much Love

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