Creating A Wedding Day That Your Guests Will Remember Forever

It seems that often, there are two types of people when it comes to weddings. There are those couples who want a private, intimate affair – sometimes the kind of ceremony when only the immediate family are in attendance, or maybe no actual guests at all. Then, there are those couples who long for a big, flashy wedding, with lots of friends and family around to see them say the words ‘I do’. If you fall into the latter category, you probably see your wedding as just as much about your loved ones as you do about your partner. After all, it’s a chance for everyone to come together and enjoy a great big party, and the opportunity to catch up with people they maybe haven’t seen for a while. But a large majority of your guests will probably have been to many weddings before yours – so what can you do to make your big day stand out among your guests?

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Photo credit: Flickr

Have a theme

Okay, so themed weddings either make you jump for joy or make you cringe until you can cringe no more. But whatever camp you sit in, there is always a way to tie a theme into your wedding day in a way that suits you. It is a great way to grab your guest’s attention and from the outset you know it will be a wedding to remember. You can go as full on or as subtle as you like depending on your own personal tastes. For example, if you are a huge lover of Disney but don’t want your wedding day to be taken over by princesses, fairies and flying elephants, you can inject your theme in a more muted manner. This could be by wearing some Disney inspired jewelry, or even naming your tables after famous films.

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Photo credit: Pexels

Deliver the goods when it comes to the food

Wedding catering is notorious for being typically poor – but many highbrow companies have seen this gap in the market and have seized it with both hands. Browse the market to find reputable  catering services for events and weddings that may be able to help you feed the masses on your big day. Weddings are very long days in themselves, especially for your guests that attend both the ceremony and the reception – so make sure you have some good food and drink on offer to help replenish them!

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Photo credit: Wikimedia

An amazing venue

They say it’s not about where you are, it’s who you’re with. While this is certainly true for many occasions, on your wedding day, it’s only natural to want to have a great venue at your disposal. Obviously, most people are limited in where exactly they can pick for their wedding as location is usually the prime factor. But, as venues are typically the most expensive part of the wedding package, you need to make sure you get it right. Stately homes and castles are pricey but provide a stunning backdrop to your special day – or why not go quirky by getting married on a boat or outdoors?

A Step-by-Step Guide to Throwing a Fantastic But Frugal Wedding

You might have been dreaming of your wedding day since you were very young. So you might have an idea in your head of just how you want it. It is meant to be a fairy tale and dream day, isn’t it? Sadly, our dream budget might not be our actual budget. But what if I was to tell you that you can still have your dream wedding but by being frugal? You don’t have to have a cheap looking wedding, by cutting costs. You just need to know the right places to cut costs and the effects that they will have. So sit back, relax, and have a read through some of my tips. I hope you find it useful as you plan your wedding.

Budget

One of the first things to do is to know your budget. You can’t plan anything until you know what that is. There might be savings stocked up for the wedding. There might not be much. Whatever it is, you need to know what you have to work with. Don’t feel disappointed by the budget, though. A small ceremony in a garden or park can be just as magical as a grand wedding in a manor house. It is all about how you use the budget you have.

 

Prioritize

One of the next things to do is think about what matters the most to you. Does an expensive cake mean more to you than having more guests present? Would you rather have a professional photographer or a friend to take the pictures? When you make decisions like this, you will be surprised at how much you can save. You will want to have an amazing wedding day. But at the end of the day, you’ll just want to be married to your love, right? So think about what is most important to you.

 

Do It Yourself

When it comes to weddings, companies know that there is money to be made. So when you enlist a professional, it can be costly. There are several things that you can do for the wedding yourself, though. Think about your invitations, for example. You could copy the style of wedding invites that you have seen before. Even by getting or borrowing some crafting equipment, it might be cheaper to make your own. You could look at the laser cut wedding invitations by Pure Invitation to give you some inspiration.

 

There are plenty of other things that you can do yourself. If you want to get married by a minister, could a friend get ordained online to do it for you? If you don’t have the cost of hiring a priest or minister, you can save money there too. Having a friend participate could mean so much more to you too. You could also make your own wedding favours or decorations. If you are a keen baker, you could even make the wedding cake. Ask around and see what talented friends you have that are willing to help you.

6 Easy Ways to Thank Your Wedding Guests in Style

With so much emphasis on the brides and grooms, it can be easy to forget about saying two simple words. Thank You. Guests will often have traveled a long distance to celebrate your union. Maybe they bought expensive gifts or donated their time to help you prepare for the ceremony. A wedding day wouldn’t be the same without your guests.

There are lots of simple yet effective ways to thank friends and family with keepsakes that are worth keeping. The following six tips have been compiled to provide some extra inspiration to ensure everyone is smiling as much as you two are!

 

Welcome gift bags

A small bag of essentials is perfect for showing gratitude to guest on the wedding day itself. If all of your guests are staying at the same hotel, ask the reception staff to give a handmade bag to each of the wedding parties when they check in. This simple gesture provides a very warm welcome. Fill with mini treats such as luxury bath products and fancy biscuits so they can enjoy some home comforts during their stay.

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Photo credit: Sally Pinera

 

Special treats for bridesmaids, groomsmen and top table

Chances are these are the people who have provided you with the most encouragement and love during the planning process. A bachelorette or bachelor party is a treat you can plan a few weeks beforehand.

On the morning of your wedding, say a personal thank you to each of your parties. While the focus may be on the couple make sure that everyone else is feeling good too. Treat bridal and groom’s party to a delicious breakfast and some pampering alongside your schedule.

Gifting each of your bridesmaids a spa day pass will help them relax after looking after the bride! Groomsmen may appreciate a good bottle of liquor or pair of suave cufflinks. You know your wedding party best! So pick out gifts that reflect your personal taste and interests. Mothers and Fathers will appreciate simple yet sentimental gifts such as photo canvases or vouchers for a mini-break. They deserve a generous gift after putting so much effort into your big day.

 

A subtle way to say thanks

Write a heartfelt thank you note on a chalkboard at the entrance to your ceremony or reception. Do the same on the back of your table markers for guests to read when they take a seat. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated; just a simple thank you for all the support from guests.

Also, make sure to mention guests in your wedding speech. It’s easy to focus on your partner, so try to name-drop a few special people before thanking the entire reception for attending.

 

Cheap and cheerful keepsakes

You can add your name to pretty much anything you like! Fill mason jars full of snacks for guests to grab when leaving. Candies are usually cheap in bulk and will provide a colourful effect. By adding a ribbon and a mini label with your wedding name and date you can transform a simple item into a gorgeous gift. Music lovers could even provide guests with homemade CD’s featuring their favourite romance tracks.

 

Thank You Notes

Thank you notes are the first official correspondence you will send out as a married couple. How very exciting! Choose a notecard that reflects your style. You could carry on your wedding’s colour scheme right through to your luxury wedding stationery.

A handwritten thank you note is a traditional and sentimental keepsake for guests. Add in a specific note about the gift they bought you, or a memory from the day. Maybe they were throwing some great shapes on the dance floor? Did they catch the bouquet? Personal mementos will make guests feel truly appreciated.

To save time, you could try using Touchnote. It’s a photo printing app which sends a picture postcard straight to your correspondents from your smartphone. You could even send these out during the honeymoon if you want to keep friends updated from your exotic location!

 

Provide the best experience for guests

The simplest way to thank guests is to provide a comfortable and enjoyable day. So if you are planning an outdoor wedding, ensure you have umbrellas on hand in case it rains. Provide warm blankets for the evening reception. Even something as obvious as stocking up the bar and ensuring there is enough food to go around will make all the difference. Just think about the next wedding you will go to. What sort of day would you like to experience? If you can cover the basics, you won’t go far wrong.

Wondrous Photo Wednesday

Adorable Ring Bearer Idea

We are always looking for super cute and unique ideas to share with you for your wedding and we just LOVE this adorable way of getting kids involved in your special day!

Christian Oth Studio

Photo credit: Christian Oth Studio

 

Mother Of The Bride: How Your Mum Can Help Organise Your Wedding

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Photo credit: Pexels

Getting ready for a wedding can be quite stressful for all brides. There is always a lot to organise and sort out before the big day comes. Sure, you will have your bridesmaids there by your side, but sometimes it can feel very reassuring to have someone else to support you as well. If you can’t afford a professional wedding planner, then there is someone else who will be happy to help you out. And that’s your mum! The mother of the bride is an important part of every wedding. She isn’t just there to look nice in her dress! If your mum is keen to help out, here are some helpful ways she can help out.

Help With The Guest List

Your mum will be able to give you a hand with the guest list. Chances are, her phonebook will have much more relatives and family friends in there than yours does. So she can help advise you on who to invite. Plus, she can give you their addresses so that you can send the invites out. However, it’s not just about your family. You also need to invite the groom’s friends and family as well. Ask your mum if she will speak to your fiance’s mother. That way, the two of them can figure out the guest list.

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Photo credit: Pexels

Visit Venues

You will need to check out a few different venues before you commit to one. This way, you can see all the different types of venues that are available. And you can decide which one will suit your whole day better. If you take your mother with you, she will be able to support you through the day. Ask her for her opinion to see what she thinks you should do. Of course, you don’t need to follow her advice, but it is always good to hear a different point of view. If your parents live on a farm or in a large home in the country, then she might even offer to put a marquee up in some of their land. This can greatly bring the overall costs of your wedding down.

Organise Transport

You and your bridesmaids will need a way of getting to the church on time! There are a variety of different ways you can get there. Two of the most popular ways are in a horse-drawn carriage or a limousine. A horse and carriage is popular with couples who are having a rural ceremony in a village or very small town. Those getting married in large towns and cities usually go for limousines or classic cars. Why don’t you ask your mum if she can call around a few companies to get a quote for the day? She can also do some online research at sites like www.AmericanLimos.org/wedding-transportation-services/.

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Photo credit: Pexels

Arrange A Photographer

Photographers are a key service at any wedding. It is important to get a photographer that you’re happy with. However, spending time looking for one can take up a huge wedge of your time. To make it easier on yourself, you should ask your mother to make a shortlist of some photographers. Get her to go online and see some of the ones that photograph weddings in your local area. Then she will need to call them for quotes. Ask her to shortlist about three or four that are within your price range. This then gives you fewer photographers to choose from! These days some couples don’t even want a photographer. Instead, they get their guests to take snaps using disposable cameras or Polaroids. If you opt for this, ask your mum to pick up the cameras next time she is out shopping. She might even be able to buy some online at shops such as www.impossible-project.com/.  

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Photo credit: Pexels

Bake A Wedding Cake

Many mums love to be hands on in organising the ceremony. Some love to take it one step further and create something for the big day. If your mother is a keen baker, why not ask her to bake your wedding cake? Your mum will know all of your favourite cake flavours, so you don’t have to worry about getting something you won’t like the taste of! Many couples now choose to have a display of cupcakes instead of a large cake. That way, you don’t just have to stick to one cake flavour!

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Photo credit: Pexels

Sorting Out The Presents

During the day, you’ll have guests coming up to you with various wedding gifts and presents. You’ll want to thank them personally, however, you should be organised with the gifts otherwise you could end up misplacing them. Instead, get your mum to set up a table somewhere in the reception venue that guests can place them on. She can also be responsible for transporting them back to your house. If she has driven to your wedding, she will be able to pack all the presents into her car. That way, you know there is someone keeping an eye on all the gifts, so none of them go missing!

Thank You Notes

Just like your mum helped you with sending out all your invitations, you can also get her to help with sending out thank you notes. Get her to dig out all her addresses from her phone book again. If you are planning on jetting off on honeymoon soon after the ceremony, she can also put each note into the post for you. You don’t need to write personal notes to everyone. Just the same general message of thank you to everyone will do. It doesn’t have to be handwritten either. So if you are in a super rush, don’t feel bad about emailing a message to your mum for her to print out and stick in everyone’s thank you note. Just be sure to leave her some cash to cover any expenses she might have to cover.

So next time your mum asks to help out in your wedding planning, give her one of these useful jobs to do. You’ll both benefit!

Key Services You Need To Hire For A Perfect Wedding

Weddings are momentous occasions, and as such, it’s impossible to organize one alone. Indeed, it can feel like an army operation at times. You’ll be recruiting bits of help left, right and center in order to execute your perfect day in stylish fashion.

This also means weddings can be expensive occasions, leading people to hire amateur services, or none at all. However, I wouldn’t recommend this. As good a DJ your brother is, it’s unlikely he’ll be as skilled at reading a crowd as a professional would.

So, if you’ve just announced your engagement and it’s time to get down to business, here are the six biggest phone numbers you’ll need on your list.

A videographer

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Photo credit: Popperipopp

Sure, an image speaks a thousand words, but a video speaks even more. As good as your photographer may be, it’s quite hard to capture the spirit of the occasion in a bunch of stills.

To combat this effect, you can use a videographer to document the entire day. Once it’s over, the videographer will take all the footage and edit it down into a short, artistic video. This is then available for you on disc or digitally, making it easy to share with friends. Now, you can relive those vows forever!

An event company

Rather than opting for any old event company, choose one that’s better when it comes to a wedding event venue. This way, you can build your day around a location that’s positively primed for a wedding, rather than any old function room.

Some event companies even offer in-house catering, which negates the need to hire your own. Place an inquiry into the services you get from the price, and look for a company that gives you more for your money.

A caterer

On the other hand, if your catering doesn’t come with the venue, then you’ll need to seek one out yourself. I wouldn’t recommend serving up a few basic sandwiches and nibbles yourself. You need the food to be as professionally presented as the wedding itself.

So consult with your caterer beforehand, and get things right. Factor in every group of people – kids, vegetarians, vegans – to make sure everyone’s happy. And has a full stomach.

A DJ

As we previously mentioned, your brother may be a fine home DJ, but the wedding stage is a different thing. Some alternatives here include hiring a live band, to add a bit more personality to proceedings. Make sure you give the DJ a list of songs beforehand, so they can cater the music to your family’s tastes.

A florist

 

A specialized florist will be able to help you choose the perfect flowers for your occasion. It’s unlikely you’ll have an in-depth knowledge of them yourself, so take advantage of the expertise. The florist may be able to suggest cheaper alternatives, which can save you cash without sacrificing the look.

A cake designer

Some families choose to bake the cake themselves, but unless you’re related to a baker, I’d get a professional. It’s near-impossible to create that majestic wedding cake look yourself at home, and trust me, you’ll want it. Having a tiered cake, with a funny set of mini-figures on top, will give you a treat to remember.

Did you hire any of these services when you were planning your wedding? Any other recommendations? Let us know in the comments below!

Pre-wedding Essentials

The run up to your wedding day can be pretty hectic to say the least. Not only is there so much to plan and organise, there’s also the added pressure of making sure you look great and the worry that everyone remembers exactly what they’re supposed to be doing and at the right time. Here’s a reminder of some pre-wedding essentials you need to get organised in time for the big day, just in case you forget:

  • Setting up your wedding gift list

Spending sometime setting up your wedding gift list is really important. Traditionally a gift list is to help you get set up for married life together so involves lots of essentials like cutlery, a toaster and kettle etc. But, as so many couples live together before marriage now things have changed a bit. Use your list to get beautiful things for your house to make it feel more homely and special as you start married life. Sites like Cox and Cox for some gorgeous interior inspiration.

  • Check your passport is in date

Making sure that both your passports are in date in time for the honeymoon is vital and something that often gets forgotten in the run up to a wedding. The passport renewal system can take a while in busy periods but usually about 3 weeks and an emergency run to the passport offices located in Liverpool, London, Durham or Glasgow.

  • Put together the table favours

Little things like table favours can easily be forgotten. They give you chance to thank your guests for coming to your wedding and allow you to add a little personal touch to the day. By thinking about these in advance you’ll be able to put together some cute little favours which symbolise your relationship and put a smile on your guests’ faces.

  • The cake

Organising the cake well in advance is super important to make sure you get exactly what you want and the cake designer you desire.  With specialists being booked up well in advance it’s important to organise this early on then it’s one thing off the list that can’t get forgotten about at the last minute. Try and think about what you want for your cake rather than pleasing your guests and always plan for the amount of people you have coming.

There’s so much to organise when planning a wedding that it can all get really stressful. By considering these 4 essentials far in advance you’ll hopefully not forget anything and have a wonderful wedding day.

This Is The Only Wedding Checklist You Will Need

So your big day is coming up soon? How are you getting on with all the wedding planning? Hopefully, you should have everything under control. It’s understandable if you have some pre-wedding jitters. However, don’t let these add to any stress you might be feeling about all the organization. Need some help? Here’s a wedding checklist to help you get everything done.

The Dress

The wedding dress is the part of the wedding that all brides worry about. Many are concerned that they won’t be able to find one that is flattering. Don’t get so worked up about it, though. If you visit a couple of bridal shops, you will certainly find something that suits your figure. Take your bridesmaids along with you so they can give you their honest thoughts and opinions.

The Venue

Maybe just as important as the dress, you need to also choose your perfect venue. Many people still favor a church wedding, although stately homes are starting to come into fashion. One of the benefits of having a wedding in a stately home is that you can often hold your reception there as well. But how about a wedding in a totally different and unique location? This is a great way to match your wedding to your personality.

The Food

You’ll have to organize a wedding breakfast for your reception. Many people decide on a three-course meal. But these days there are also many couples who want something a bit more relaxed and serve fish and chips or burgers. If you are having an evening party, it is also a good idea to plan some food for that as well. A finger food buffet is the easiest catering for evening parties. The guests will all be dancing and will not expect another big meal!

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Photo credit: Ivan

The Theme

Every wedding needs a theme. This will then help you decide on a color scheme and what kinds of decorations you should use for the venue. Popular themes in recent years have been vintage and floral. Many people who come from the countryside choose a barnyard theme. This is a fantastic excuse for using lots of flowers and rustic decorations. Minimalist styles also work very well at weddings. For this, use neutral color shades and keep table decorations to a minimum.

Evening Entertainment

How do you want to entertain your guests during your evening party? There are a number of common options, including hiring a band or a DJ. Both of these options are a brilliant way of getting your guests onto their feet and dancing! If you want to get the guests involved even more, think about hiring a karaoke machine. Once everyone has had a bit to drink, they will be super keen to get up and show off their vocal talents!

Planning a wedding shouldn’t stress you out! If you use this checklist, then you don’t have to worry about forgetting any of the main things. Take a deep breath, relax, and just focus on enjoying your happy day!


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