Security And Your Wedding

At times I wonder whether I just grasp at tenuous links between things happening in the world and try to find a way to relate them to weddings. After all, I wouldn’t be the first person to point out that the wedding industry is, at times, a world of its own. Trying to find topical links between what’s happening in the real world - politics, the news, current affairs - can often feel forced and unnatural. But, at Redamancy, with our focus on realism in the wedding world, and beyond - it’s important that we talk about bigger issues; a wider rhetoric, in order that we keep perspective on a wedding’s place in it all.

It’s, however, unfortunate that when something that affects society on such a great and terrifying level, that we are left with no choice but to talk about it. In relation to weddings, and everything else. As a London Wedding Planner, the events of last night shook me greatly.

The world is not the same place as we once knew it to be. And it’s with a heavy heart that I have to accept that it’s not the same world where I could quite happily play in the streets as a kid, not having to fear anything except for being late home for my dinner. It’s not the same place where you could have fun at a concert without a sense of anxiety that something terrible might occur there. It’s not the place that I would wish my kids to grow up in - when that time eventually comes.

The London Bridge, Manchester, and Westminster attacks have changed everything for this country. But it’s not just Manchester; it’s France, Germany, Brussels - everywhere that’s been victim of such heinous and selfish crimes. We can’t be as a carefree as we once were. And as much as it’s not our fault,  we now have a responsibility to look after ourselves and ensure we have as much security around us as possible. It shouldn’t have come to this, but to dwell on that would take desperately away from what we actually can do for ourselves now, to make sure this doesn’t happen to us or anyone we love.

Pippa Middleton’s wedding happened before the attack in Manchester, and yet Pippa didn’t take any chances with security. You may think this would be expected at a wedding this high-profile but the lengths that were taken were a lot more than what would have happened even a few years ago. All guests were required to submit a picture of themselves to the security team in advance, which had to be checked against their actual appearance prior to them being allowed into the reception. The test was two-tiered though; guests were also given a password to recite at the door as well.

Some may think this is a little excessive, obnoxious even, that someone would think that that many people would try and sneak into their wedding that. But, I doubt that’s the train of thought that the Middletons, the Matthews or the wedding planner was going down. No, this wedding was undoubtedly considered to be a target. That many high-profile people in one space, especially in light of some of the truly dreadful misfortunes that have happened this year, was always going to be a security issue.

And sadly, I don’t think it’s only the likes of celebrity weddings that may be at threat anymore. The majority of weddings are big events, often attended by 100-200 people and sometimes many more. The Manchester attack, and the similar ones that took place in Paris weren’t after ‘big names’ or celebrities; it was just ordinary people like you and I. The London Bridge attack did not discriminate - ordinary people were mowed down or stabbed for no reason. The people who carry out these attacks are just looking for a lot of people in one space at one time - for maximum damage. The tube, Parliament, shopping centres, Borough Market, have all been places that have been targeted before. And venues in central locations known for hosting large amounts of people, like wedding venues, could be next.

I’m not meaning to scaremonger anyone. I’m not into sensationalist reports in the slightest. I may read the Daily Mail showbiz section, but you’d never catch me reading the actual news in that publication for this very reason. All I’m trying to point out is that there is literally no point us burying our heads in the sand, and pretending nothing has happened. I’m all for carrying on as usual, in fact I think it’s such an admirable attitude to refuse to live our lives in fear due to what’s happened because that’s exactly want the perpetrators want us to do. If we stop doing things we love: going to concerts, restaurants and other places we think they can ‘get us’, then they have won. And we’re the ones who lose by becoming secluded and unhappy. But to do this without a thought to our safety too is not the way to go about it.

By all means, please continue going out and enjoying yourself. Go to gigs and dance yourself silly. But have an eye to your surroundings, and always have a safety plan for yourself. Don’t rely on the venue or the event organisers to do that for you - don’t put your safety in the hands of others - you come up with something that you’re happy with. And listen to your intuition. If you feel unsafe anywhere than leave; I promise you it’s not worth staying and risking anything.

So, to that end, have a real think about your wedding venue and location from now on. If you’ve always dreamed of having it bang in the middle of London - that’s fine. But you need to also be aware of your family and friends, and how they might feel about the situation. If they don’t live in London, or a similarly big city, then they might feel scared and unsure about traveling there at a time when the threat level stands at ‘severe’. If you do decide to go ahead with it then take note from Pippa Middleton, and don’t take any chances. I’m not suggesting you make sure everyone submits a picture of themselves in advance, but do keep an eye out for anything that seems suspicious.

You don’t have to do this personally either. The amount of couples who hire security guards for their wedding is higher than you would ever think, especially in London. One of the companies that offer this kind of service for your wedding day say they are often met with confusion when they explain to people that’s what they do. But, as they rightly point out, it’s a day that you have spent months planning, there’s a lot of people you love in one place altogether, and there are a number of things which could go wrong to compromise everyone’s safety. Why wouldn’t you want security at your wedding?

Whilst you’re busy enjoying your reception, you’re going to have absolutely no idea what’s going on outside. Last night, police had to run into pubs near the Borough Market area and tell everyone to “run”. Wouldn’t you feel better having someone be your eyes and ears, and alerting you to anything dangerous happening? Don’t think about the expense of hiring the staff in either - your safety is priceless. And far more important than handing out favours to your guests.

It’s obviously not just with our weddings that we have to have an eye to our safety, but as one of the most important days of your life you don’t want anything to be a threat to you or the people you love. And a little bit of extra advice? From now on, tell people you love them daily, make up with anyone who you may have had a silly spat with, and never go to bed angry with someone. If there’s one message we can take from this it’s to love with all our hearts and not let anything compromise that. Love conquers all, and right now it feels like our greatest weapon.