Category Archives: Weddings

How To Plan A Dinner Party To Celebrate Your Engagement

Once you’ve announced your engagement, it’s time to celebrate. And what better way to do that than with a vibrant dinner party for the two families to enjoy together. This may be one of the first times your parents have met your partner’s parents. Perhaps you can invite siblings and their partners over too. A dinner party gives you all a chance to get to know each other better.

As well as a chance to pick up some helpful tips for planning the wedding, you may be entertaining your future family for the first time. Preparing your home for such an important meal can take time, so it might be best to start a day early. The dining room may be seating more people than usual, so dust off the spare chairs. If your table extends, now is the time to open it up. If there still isn’t quite enough space, consider adding a small table on the end. You can usually find good tablecloths in larger sizes to help make the tables look like one.

Dressing the table is really important if you want your meal to look elegant. Consider a vibrant colour for your table runner to add interest to the surface. You might choose attractive table mats as place settings. Consider using some along the runner if you’re bringing hot dishes to the table. Each place setting should have the correct cutlery set up. This may include your dessert spoons and starter forks.

If you prefer to seat people in a particular way, why not create some place setting cards? This will help people find their seat more easily, and you can then manage the seating arrangements. A candelabra or vase of flowers can help bring a sense of formality and occasion to the table. Finally, fold your cloth and linen napkins to help dress the table in a stylish way.

Choosing your wine and other beverages doesn’t need to be too tricky. Once you’ve decided on the menu, you can pick reds and whites accordingly. Usually, the label on the bottle will help you find the right drop to accompany each dish. Generally speaking, Chardonnay goes beautifully with chicken breasts. A Burgundy will accompany a beef dish such as Bourguignon very well. There are many more options in both red and white wines to suit all tastes.

Desserts at a dinner party should be elegant and indulgent. Tiramisus and cheesecakes are often good choices. A cheeseboard with crackers is often very popular after a meal. It can be served just before the coffees if you prefer. With a larger party, it could be a good idea to serve two platters or boards so there is one at each end of the table. Side salads could also be served this way.

Dressing for such an important event is lots of fun. You can pick your favourite evening outfit. Be sure to wear shoes too! If you’re hoping to deliver an elegant event, why not spoil yourself with an appointment at the hairdresser? A big family dinner party can be one of the best ways to celebrate the coming together of two families. Bon Appetite.

How To Plan A Spectacular Wedding On A Shoestring

If you’re planning a wedding, you’re probably aware that it can be an expensive business. When you put the word wedding in front of anything, it pushes costs up significantly. Before you know it, you may have broken the budget without even ticking off your to-do list. If you’re panicking about finances, don’t. Take these simple tips on board to plan a spectacular day on a shoestring. You don’t have to spend a fortune to organise an unforgettable day.

Wedding, Couple, Groom, Bride, Love, Big Day

Think about numbers

If you’re working with a tight budget, it’s really important to consider your guest list carefully. Make a list of people who you are desperate to attend and invite them to the ceremony. If there are others who you would like to see on your special day, but it’s not a priority, send them an invitation to the evening reception. You can save a lot of money by having an intimate wedding and a larger party later on in the day.

Consider getting married midweek

More and more people are shunning Saturday weddings in favour of weekdays to save money. Costs can vary hugely, and you could save thousands of pounds by swapping a weekend for a Thursday, for example. You may also wish to think about getting married out of season. Prices tend to be lower between January and March and September and December than in the summer months.

Use the Internet

The Internet can save you time, effort and money. Compare prices for entertainment, catering and suit hire online. Swap traditional paper save the dates and invitations for e-Invites. Set up a free wedding website to get in touch with guests and provide them with important information about the day. Search for deals on hotels and transport.

Don’t be afraid of DIY

If you’re creative, why not use your talents to make your own table names, place cards, and table plan? Bulk order flowers and do your own centrepieces. Make your own favours. Replace a photo booth with a DIY version. Get some hats, wigs, and glasses together and leave a camera or selfie-stick for guests to take their own shots.

Call in some favours

Have a look through your guest list and see if any of your friends or family have skills, which could help you on your big day. Do you know a hairdresser or makeup artist? Is your auntie a master baker? Does your sister know a florist? Often, people are willing to give their time as a wedding present. It’s also really helpful to get people involved with decorating the venue and tidying up the day after.

Wedding presents

If you’re saving for a honeymoon, why not ask guests to make a donation as their wedding present? More and more couples are choosing to do this rather than having a traditional gift list.

Weddings can be expensive, but there are ways of saving money. Follow these simple steps, and you should be able to create the day of your dreams without breaking the bank.


Planning a Wedding? Then You Need to Read This

If you know me well, you will know that I am engaged to my partner of seven years. If you don’t know me, well, now you know that I am engaged! It is a fun but also a daunting task to think about planning a wedding. There is a lot to take into account and decide on. Weddings need to be pretty perfect so it can take a lot of planning.

One thing that I thought might be fun to talk about is the different roles that people have at a wedding. They are the people that help to make it perfect for the happy couple. It will be so nice to be able to sit back and relax as other people take charge. Well, as much as you can relax on your wedding day!

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The Bridesmaids

I am not sure yet how many bridesmaids I will have yet. What I do know is that I want a few. On the wedding day, they are pretty much there to help the bride with everything. If the dress needs help to be carried around, then they can help with that. Assisting the bride with makeup and if hair is out of place. Before the wedding, the bridesmaids, or maid of honour will be in charge of planning a hen weekend or hen party. It has to happen, right? They can help with pre-wedding prep like wedding invitations, wedding dress shopping and anything else that you need a hand with.

The Best Man

The best man plays a massive role in the day. You will want the best man to be a close friend, but also someone that is up to the task. They will play a role in organising groups for photographs. So it is a good idea to give them a list of the photos that are a must for you to have on the day. If you want photos with certain family members, make sure you have the best man know about it. Your head will be filled with all sorts on the day, and little things like that will be the last thing on your mind. The best man gives a speech of course, as well as acting as a bit of an MC at the reception.

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The Mother of the Bride

The mother of the bride takes a big role in the wedding, but a lot of it is behind the scenes. It will be pretty much all in the planning of the wedding where she has a role. She will assist with ordering the wedding cake, table settings, and seating plan. She will help with organising the flowers and helping the couple book the church or venues. This is all the traditional things of course and can vary, depending on family situations and what the couple wants.

The Father of the Bride

He will have quite a chilled role until his moment comes to walk his daughter down the aisle. Then it will be his turn to give a speech at the wedding. It can be quite an emotional time for the bride’s father.

Top Tips To Choose The Perfect Wedding Venue

If you’ve recently got engaged, you’re probably thinking about wedding venues. With so much choice out there, it can be tough to decide on a perfect location. Here are some top tips to help you choose an idyllic spot for your special day.

A wedding ceremony at Tantallon Castle

Do some research

You may have lived in the same county all your life, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll be familiar with every wedding venue in the local area. If you search online, you may be shocked to find a host of potential options you’ve never heard of before.

When you’re researching, try not to dismiss anywhere based on the website. Often, places look very different in real life. It’s also a good idea to be open-minded. You may think that you know exactly what you want, but you may change your mind if you consider other options.

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Decide what kind of wedding you want

I the UK, the weather can be unpredictable, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have an outdoor wedding if you want to. Rolling meadows are perfect for festival style gatherings. Castle gardens are an excellent choice for traditional weddings. The rugged beaches are ideal for romantic laidback affairs.

If you see a location that would be a perfect fit for your wedding, but you’re worried about the weather, it may be worth considering marquee hire. With a marquee you can enjoy the best of both worlds. You can embrace the outdoors, as well as hosting an elegant event. Your guests will also have somewhere to shelter if there is a sudden downpour.

Diy, Wedding, Wedding Tent, Outdoor Wedding, Decor

Venue viewings

When you have a list of possibilities, call up and arrange some viewings. If you have a specific date, and there is no flexibility, ask about availability as a priority. There’s no point in falling in love with a location that isn’t free on your wedding day. Take a list of questions with you and make the most of the time you have at each venue. Go with your gut, but take practicalities into consideration. Is the venue large enough to cater for your guestlist? Will you have the flexibility to put your own stamp on the day? Ask as many questions as you want, and arrange to go back to any that take your fancy.

Once you have a shortlist, weigh up the pros and cons. Compare prices, and think about what each venue offers you. If you’ve been left with two similar locations, go with the one that gives you butterflies.

Choosing a venue can be stressful, but it should also be one of the most enjoyable elements of wedding planning. Be open-minded and don’t dismiss options because you think you’re sure you already know what you want. Arrange some viewings and consider a range of options. If you love a venue, but you’re worried about practicalities, work out if there is a way around them. If your venue doesn’t have a licence, for example, you could get married at a registry office. You can then move onto your reception venue afterwards. If you’re worried about the weather spoiling an outdoor extravaganza, it may be worth hiring a marquee. You can host a formal dinner, and provide a chic space for dancing and drinking once the sun sets.

Saving Money On Your Wedding Tips Your Married Friends Will Wish They’d Known!

More and more money saving method ideas are springing up yearly. Whether they’re innovative or simply logical, your already married friends are sure to wish they’d know about them. Put them to play for your wedding to save huge amounts. We’re not talking just hundreds; you could save thousands.

Get married during the week

It can cost thousands of pounds more to get married at the weekend. First of all, venues often charge higher prices for a weekend wedding. They are able too, as they are so popular. There will always be someone willing to pay those prices. Save a lot of money by marrying during the week instead. It’s not just the venue where you’ll save. Suppliers often charge lower rates during the week. This goes for suppliers like caterers, photographers, videographers and prop providers. If you are having a civil ceremony, it is even cheaper in this scenario to hire someone to conduct your wedding Monday to Thursday.

Find a wedding dress outlet

Here is the thing. Wedding dresses in shops are so expensive because they are in-season. If being in-season is something that is very important to you, be prepared to shell out. However, if you are happy with a dress from a few seasons previous, find a local wedding outlet. This is where last season’s dresses go! There is nothing wrong with them, and they are still beautiful and flawless. However, they will be drastically lower in price. Anywhere up to 70% off, in fact.

Make your own sweet, popcorn and candyfloss stands

Sure, prop company hire these out for weddings. But why not make your own? Whether you’re having a sweetie display, or popcorn or candy floss stand, get crafty yourself. If you have a family member who is great with their hands, ask them to make the frame. Then, decorate it yourself.

Send your invites via 2nd class post

You might choose order personalised wedding invites from Paper Themes or elsewhere, or make your own. Whatever your decision for where you get your invites from, save pounds with delivery. Send them 2nd class, rather than 1st. Hand them out in person wherever possible. And watch the weight. If they’re too heavy, you’ll have to pay extra.

Stay at one venue all day

Staying at one venue all day has multiple benefits. Firstly, you may be able to cut a deal for doing both your ceremony and reception there. Secondly, you won’t need to spend money on transporting guests from one venue to another.

Ditch the 3-course meal

Unless 3-course meals are your favourite thing in the world, ditch them in favour of something less fancy. They’re costly, and you also have to think about multiple pieces of crockery and cutlery. Think outside the box for some unique ways to save money on your wedding food. For a relaxed event, why not get a big pizza delivery in the evenings?

Marry last minute!

Some might think marrying last minute will cost lots of money. But it could be that it actually saves! Instead of getting carried away over the course of several months (or years), you’ll be forced to streamline your spending. You might also be able to pick up some amazing deals on last-minute wedding packages.

Hire a Photography Student

Hiring a top quality photographer can take up quite a chunk of your budget. A reputable one can charge upwards of £1,000 for the day’s work. They may then charge you extra for the prints too. If you have a local college or University, see if they have a photography course. If so, get in touch with the course director and let him or know you’re hiring. Tell them the basic details and fee you’re offering, and give a contact number for any interested students to get in touch on. They will accept a lower fee as they will want to work for their portfolio. Their education and dedication to photography will mean they’re of an excellent standard. Just be sure to meet in advance to check that you click.

Hire a house for your guests, not a hotel

When it comes to choosing accommodation for your guests, it can be tempting to book hotels. However, this is often far more costly than hiring a big house. A house also comes with parking spaces, so you don’t have to pay for these. Plus, the kitchen allows them to cook for themselves, rather than making it so they have to eat out. Finally, a house gives them more privacy and some real opportunity for bonding.


A Crafty Wedding:Using Craft Skills On Your Own Big Day

Weddings are a funny thing. They are one of the most universal things in the world, yet also one of the most personal. Most people have been to at least a few weddings in their lifetime and it’s likely that they all had some element of tradition. But often, the larger aspects are not what people remember. The wedding gown, venue, and ceremony may all have been beautiful. But what sticks in the mind over time is usually the details. Subtle differences that made each event stand out from the others. Weddings, at least in the UK, tend to follow a pretty standard formula. Classical tradition can be a beautiful thing, but it can also be difficult to allow your personality to shine. If you’re fortunate enough to have skill with crafts or at least the desire to learn, your wedding day is a great opportunity to shine. Craft work can not only help keep the cost down, but it can also add a high level of detail and personalisation that many weddings lack. If you want to get crafty on your wedding day, read on for inspiration!

flowers, bouquet, holding

Place Setting and Catering

Weddings can be all day long and into the night, so catering for your guests is an important consideration. If you’re looking for a way to add detail to the decor, the catering provides a great chance to do so. You can fashion your own place keepers for the guests with cards, cloth, or even photographs. You can design and decorate your own menu. If you’re into fonts or calligraphy, why not write the name of each dish and a short description to help guests select from a buffet, for example? If you’re known for your craft skills, this can be one way to really make your wedding day your own.


In a new venue or when your guests have had to travel, signs and directions can be very helpful. They can be included along with the invitation or even dotted along the road leading to the venue. A chalkboard with beautiful writing and a helpful directional arrow can be an eye-catching way to welcome your guests. It will also make a wonderful keepsake or photograph to remember the day.

art, pens, colorful

The Invitations

Your invitations are a wonderful opportunity to use your craft skills and make the day your own. If you have a large guest list, it can be practical to select professional wedding invitations. But you can still add extra detail or craftwork, even to the envelopes. Stamping or sealing in a creative way such as with wax is a very underused art. It can add an air of mystery and glamour to the invitation and makes receiving one a genuine pleasure.

The Photo Album

Once the wedding day itself is over, you can still continue crafting! Receiving photographs from the day can be an amazingly exciting and rewarding aspect. Many couples report that it’s almost as if having the day all over again. Don’t hesitate to find an album you love and decorate it with details from the day. It can be overheard words or pieces of advice written in beautiful fonts. It can be some confetti from the day or an old invitation. Craft flowers, fabrics, and other details can add layers and dimension to the album. It can be an ongoing project and one you’ll treasure forever.

Wedding Planning: Choosing Guest Accommodation

After a long engagement, I will finally be getting married this year. There’s a lot to consider when planning a wedding. Luckily, I’ve had a long time to think about it! One of the major choices is obviously the venue. No matter what you do, some of your guests are probably going to have to travel. It’s possible that some might go home at the end of the day, but a lot of the time most will stay the night. If that’s what you think will happen, should you book some hotel rooms? It can make things a lot more convenient. The other option is to book a whole property. Consider some of the things below to make the right choice.

Combining Wedding Venue and Accommodation

When you search for somewhere for your guests to stay, it needs to be convenient. No one wants to have to go miles to go to bed after the reception. Plus, there might be a lot of drinking so many people won’t be able to drive. The most convenient thing to do is have everyone stay where you host the reception. It could be a hotel or another venue that allows for both weddings and staying overnight. When the party is over, all everyone has to do is stumble to bed. Before you settle on a final venue, consider whether your guests are going to be staying overnight.

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House, Hotel or Something Else?

Hotels are often the most convenient wedding venue if your guests need accommodation. You can have the wedding reception and rooms all in one, and perhaps the ceremony too. However, they aren’t the only option you can consider. One of the other things you can think about is large holiday homes. Some venues are suitable for a civil ceremony, your reception, and putting everyone up for the night. It’s almost like renting a small hotel. If you need a few more bedrooms, you could look at nearby hotels, B&Bs or neighbouring properties.

Who Pays?

One of the big questions when it comes to hotel accommodation is who is going to foot the bill. Like a lot of issues to do with paying for a wedding, it can be complicated. Some people decide to pay for rooms for their guests. Attending a wedding can be expensive, and it might mean the difference between someone being able to come or not. However, others decide to leave it up to their guests. If they can’t afford to stay, they can usually leave to go home as the reception begins to wind down.

Negotiating Prices

Talking of paying, you want to make sure you can get a good price. As you arrange your wedding, you can become an expert negotiator! It’s important to try and haggle the price so that you can save where you can. You might be able to get a discount or to get some freebies thrown in. If you don’t ask, you have no chance of getting what you want.

If you want wedding accommodation for all your guests, you need to start looking as soon as possible. Don’t leave it until the last minute if you have a particular date in mind.

Planning for a wedding – Our Engagement

In February 2014 me and my boyfriend decided we were going away for a weekend, we decided on Suffolk for our 5th anniversary and Valentine’s Day, the weather was cold but lovely and sunny, we arrived early afternoon and we went and checked into our hotel, we stayed in a Premier Inn and went up to our room, unpacked and decided what we were going to do for the rest of the day/evening.

We headed out and had a wander round the town to see the sights, and we paid a visit to the arcades on the beach front later on in the afternoon too, I love arcades and have done ever since been a kid. We spent about an hour in there in total with me on the 2p machines and tom on basketball games and other machines, both getting addicted and winning lots of tickets to buy prizes with.  It was very busy with lots of families and kids playing on all the different machines.

After we had finished in the arcades, Tom said shall we go for a walk along the beach before we head back to the room to get ready to go back out and find somewhere to get some dinner, it was a lovely evening with the sun just setting overhead, the quiet sound of the waves washing up over the sand and stones.The beach seemed to go on for ever.

We stopped to just look out over the sea and watch the moon rise over the sea and that was then when it all happen…. I turned round to see my boyfriend had got down on one knee and asked me to marry him on the beach with the sun setting overhead……it was amazing and perfect in every way.

I got choked up and cried, I was so excited and wasn’t expecting it at all. We had spoken about getting married and looked at rings but that was it really.  I couldn’t wait to phone all my family and friends up and tell them that I was engaged.  I couldn’t stop smiling and still look at my rings every day and just smile to myself.

We have been engaged for 3 years this February and together for 7 years. Now we have finally booked and are starting to plan our BIG day for July 2017.

 Have you got any wedding plans?