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How to organise the hen night party



How to organise the hen night party successfully

I previously wrote about the wedding party and the role of the bride of honour. One of the things that is under the bride of honour’s ‘to do list’ is organising the hen night party.

Firstly, is there going to be a theme dress code for everyone involved? It is a very good way to spot your party in a crowded place.

 

Organising the hen night party should be discussed with the bride to be. She will be able to tell if there are people on the list that may not get along with one another. Depending on the size of the party and the type of people you invite you will be able to decide what sort of party will suite most. You might even want to consider splitting the party. After all not every mum and auntie would enjoy a hen night party that has a naughty side to it. So you could start the party with an activity suitable to all and continue in a smaller scale party into the night.

Most popular activities are:

Recreational – you can start your day with a recreational activity you can all enjoy. That could be anything from cycling together as a group, horse riding, mountain climbing, a yoga class or any other activity you know most if not all the attendees will enjoy. It doesn’t matter if it is their first time ever giving it a go. In fact it can be really funny and there is nothing wrong with having a bit of a laugh at the hen night party.

Pampering – most people will enjoy a bit of pampering and that can be arrange at any local or other city of choice SPA. You can also have a make party, massage party. Some companies will be happy to let you try their cosmetics at a home party and that could also be a pampering idea.

Before you continue into your night away and also as a way of having some quality time together there is nothing that gets people together better than food.

You can either book a place and have everyone sitting together before some of the party will depart to their daily life while you continue with the closest friends of the bride to be for the rest of the day. Alternatively you can organise a cooking party where you get a professional coming to teach you how to cook a favourite dish or dishes the groom to be likes. This can be a fun activity for all and you get to eat at the end of it.

As most hen night parties involve drinking alcohol it will be a good idea to eat something before you start your night away. Speaking of which, make sure you organise the hen night party date to be at least a week before the big day so hangover will spoil it.

Once you said good bye to some of the party and stayed with the core that will either spend the rest of the evening with you or go away with you for the rest of the weekend move on to you next activity. That can be a show you booked in advance or a cocktail party served by minimal dressed waiters. It is really down to your preferences and what you think will be fun for the bride to be or her friends.

It is important however to keep some things in order to make this a successful hen night party. If you are booking shows or any other activities for the day that require payment in advance, and most do, make sure everyone paid before the day. Don’t count on promises to pay after the event as these promises can leave a bad taste.

Bare in mind who is invited and make sure the activities you choose will not stretch their budget beyond their means. You can even share your thoughts with the people involved and get an idea of their thoughts.

Plan the event well in advance and make sure all the guests can make it for the day. As you are going to be in more than one place and some attendees may not stay for the whole party make sure you have an itinerary and that everyone knows where to be and what is the meeting point. It will not be a nice experience to try and look for anyone in a room full of people.

A present to the bride to be is always nice. This could be something that the people involved have created like a scrap book with fun times to remember from the pre marriage days.

Lastly, but not least in importance, if you are planning an alcoholic night make sure you pace the day and drink plenty of fluid. You want the night to be remembered as a fun night.

Giving Away the Bride



Giving away the bride – Tradition Vs. modern lives

Giving away the bride is a tradition from the times when daughters were considered as part of the ‘property’ of the father or owned by him. On the wedding day the father would be giving the bride, his daughter, to the groom who would be the new owner. The bride was given in return for a bride price or dowry.

Some brides to be will be happy to follow the tradition. Have their father giving them away will be respectful towards the dad’s years of raising them up. Some fathers would like to take the opportunity to show his love to his daughter just like this father did in this YouTube video

Many brides to be, however, do not feel very comfortable with the idea behind this tradition for various reasons. If this is how you feel here are a few options you may consider in reply for the officiant question: Who gives this women to be married to this man?

Today, many couples in relationships are sharing a home together before the marriage day. An independent women may feel odd or even belittled by the idea that she is being considered as one or another’s property. If this is you and you do not wish to be given away by your father you could answer: She gives herself with the whole family’s support.

You could also ask the officiant to change the question and instead of asking about giving away the bride ask one of the parents or both if they gave their blessing for the marriage.

Some couple prefer to sway away from the tradition of giving away the bride by the father but like to share the appreciation to both parents of bride and groom. When that is the case the officiant may include in his initial speech that the couple standing there are part of a greater family tree. A tree that has gave them love, support, traditions and knowledge throughout their lives. This will follow by approaching both parents of the bride and groom in tern and asking them, as the representative of the whole family, if they will take the bride or the groom to their family and hearts. This way you achieve equality between the bride, the groom and both their parents. It also respect the families of each other and their importance in getting their ofsprings to this very special day in their life.

Some people, especially when marrying at an older age, feel they have not been shaped to whoever they are just by their family but also by their circle of friends who they chose to share their celebration with. You can include them all by slightly changing the official’s question and asking who has the honour of presenting this women to be married to this man?’. A question that can be answered by the person who is giving away the bride on behalf of the family and her friends.

Choosing any of the non traditional versions of giving away the bride is a way to include your family, your partner’s family and may be even your friends.

You can talk to the official about your wishes in the ceremony and he or she should accommodate accordingly.

If you haven’t purchased your wedding bands there is no better time than the present. Contact us through the website or by calling 0345 600 5557 to order.

 

Bridesmaids and The wedding party



Who to choose to be your wedding party?

Traditionally the wedding party includes maid of honour and best man, bridesmaids and Groomsmen, rings bearers and flower girls. However, in many cases couples choose to have a small and intimate wedding where the traditional wedding party will outnumber the guests. I will explain the role of each member for the party but you can decide for yourself if you want to include all members of the wedding party or pick and chose the one suitable to you and the nature of your wedding.

It is important to remember that being part of the wedding party include a high level of responsibility and financial expense. Before you ask anyone take moment to consider who is best for the role, ensure they are aware of the commitment and what it entail. Do not expect everyone to say yes and be ready with plan B should one of them cannot for any reason to commit.

So why do we need so many people ion our party? and what are their roles?

The maid of honour:

Traditionally this role was saved for the closest in age sister of the bride. Today you can ask a close friend, a parent or event an adult child.

The maid of honour’s role is similar to the one of a personal assistant in a way. She is the one that delegates the wishes of the bride to the other bridesmaids and sometimes even the guests. She will also be the one who will help the bride with her dress shopping and the ones of the bridesmaids and organise the wedding shower and sometimes the bachelor party. The maid of honour should also be able to provide emotional support when needed, and in times of stress you may have some sensitive moments. If the person you had in mind is disorganise you might want to reconsider your choice. However, if you have two best friends and both are capable of doing the role there is no rule saying you can’t have two maids of honour.

At the wedding the maid of honour will be right behind the bride on her way to the alter, will hold the bouquet at the ceremony and tending to the veil.

The Best Man:

As with the Bride of Honour, this role use to be manned by the brother of the groom however, any good friend, as long as he is willing to take on the responsibility, will be good for the role.

Just like the bride of honour, the best man’s role comes with plenty of responsibility. From helping the groom with choosing the tuxedos, making sure everyone arrives on the measurements day and planning the bachelor party. He will also be by the side of the groom in the ceremony and may hold the rings. During the reception the best man will be the man who keeps the gift envelopes safely and will be usually the first to raise a toast at the reception and will usher the couple safely at the end of the party.

Bridesmaids:

There is no right or wrong number of bridesmaids you should decide on but the team is usually consist of a good friend or a couple of them, a relative and the goom’s sister.

The bridesmaid will help the maid of honour in executing the tasks under her responsibility. They may help plan the wedding shower party and will be buying the dress were asked to. It is nice to consult with the bridesmaid as to the style of dress as different women will have different dress shape to complement their figure. In many weddings the bridesmaid will have same material chosen for the dresses but with different pattern to complement their body shape. After all, you would want your bridesmaids to feel comfortable and happy with the way the look on your day. At the ceremony they usually walk before the maid of honour and at times will be paired with the groomsman.

It is customary for the bride to give the bridesmaid a gift showing her appreciation to their contribution on her big day. Mostly a jewellery is the chosen gift but all gifts are acceptable if they make the bridesmaid happy. Like with the dresses, not all gifts have to be the same but they should be of the same value. All apart from the bride of honour who should have a gift that is of a higher value for she contributed most.

Groomsmen:

Just like the bridesmaids you want around you people you feel comfortable with and that are close to you. They could be a brother or few of them, the brother of the bride or a very good friend.

The groomsmen are the one who will help organise the bachelor party before the wedding and make sure they are all fitted for their tuxedo the buy for the wedding day. They will be most noticeable on the wedding day as they will be in the procession next to the bridesmaids in the ceremony and will be ushering guests to the reception venue. It is important to have as many helpers as possible at this time , especially with a large wedding, it can get overwhelming.

As the bridesmaid they too are given a token of appreciation by the groom. It is usually a small luxury item but if you are not sure about what they may like a gift voucher can be a good option. As with the bridesmaids the gift doesn’t have to be the same but the value should be similar. The best man should receive a slightly more expensive gift as a thank you for his extended contribution.

Ring bearers and the flower girls:

If you have small children you both feel particularly close too they can have this roles. The role of the ring bearer, as the name suggest, carry the rings on a small pillow. If he is too young you can gently saw the rings to the cushion. He will walk with the flower girl before the bride down the aisle, who will hold a basket and scatter petals as she walks towards the alter. Both will be dressed with your input to the chosen outfit but we suggest you be sensitive to the parent’s budget. It is recommendable the children are not younger than 5 years old and you should bare in mind they are just kids and you might have a shy child who will not want to be in the centre of attention. If you are not emotionally connected to any particular child you can pass their official roles to the bridesmaids and the best man.

If you haven’t purchased your wedding rings yet my advice to you is to not procrastinate the rings. After all they will stay with you way after the wedding day and it is just another thing to tick off your to do list. Call me on 0345 600 5557 and I will be happy to source your rings for you directly from trade suppliers so you don’t have to pay for any middleman or overheads of a shop. Alternatively, click on the image below.

How to lose weight for the wedding day



Lose weight for the wedding day – Simple lifestyle changes 

 

 

Many brides to be I meet are struggling with balancing the pre-wedding celebrations and weight management, not to mention the general stress they go through that sends them to ‘comfort food’. So how can you be expected to lose weight for the wedding day?

I may know a lot about diamonds but I am not a dietitian nor a fitness instruction.  My friend Rob Brennan however, is a personal trainer with a vast knowledge about healthy life changes. I like Rob’s style as he is not pushing you to the levels you would give up on the whole thing and go for a big pizza instead. He is very relaxed about dieting as well as sport activities. Most important is that what he says makes sense and you can choose the level you go for.  More than than, it can become your new lifestyle with just a few changes to your routine. So I asked Rob to share his experience with brides. Rob not only agreed to share from his immense experience but was also kind enough to give a special offer for you ladies…..

Over you to you Rob….

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Rob Brennan

It seems to be the eternal quest of every bride (and many grooms!) to look great on their wedding day. But there is so much conflicting advice out there, it is hard to know where to start in ensuring you achieve your ultimate goal.

In an ideal world, we would all be perfectly healthy all of the time, and not need to make a special effort to prepare for life’s big events. But, in reality, we know that this isn’t the case. 

So, I have cut through the rubbish and laid out some simple things which you can do to optimise how you look and feel when the big day comes along.

If your wedding is 6 months or so away, then breathe a sigh of relief, as this is plenty of time to make lifestyle changes which will steadily get you in shape without having to feel like you’re on a bridal bootcamp. However, if you haven’t got time on your side, then don’t panic! There are a whole host of things you can do to lose weight for the wedding, and I’ll come on to these later in this blog.

So, for those of you who are still in the relatively calm stages of wedding planning, here are the key things that you need to do, and why they work:

1) Cut out sugar, reduce carbohydrates and eat more fat and protein! 

This is the most simple, and by far, most effective way to lose body fat.

Forget traditional diet dogma about cutting calories and fat from your diet, it doesn’t work. It is simply about keeping your insulin level low and eating the right way to achieve this.

You need to follow a low ‘Glycemic Index’ (GI) lifestyle and eat fresh, natural, unprocessed food including lots of vegetables and some fruit too. Cut ALL added sugar from your diet, as well as any processed and refined carbs such as cakes, doughnuts, even pasta, and also natural carbs that are very easy for your body to turn into sugar like potatoes, sweet potatoes and swedes.

This isn’t a diet, it’s just how we are meant to eat. It is how our bodies work best and countless client testimonials can confirm that it works, as well as a huge amount of research, whether it is in the mainstream yet or not. 

Additional benefits to eating in this way include improved energy levels, improved sleep, better skin, hair and nails and better concentration and focus. There are many other advantages associated with this lifestyle change but we don’t have time to cover them in this post. If you want to lose weight for the wedding day and feel better, you just need to follow this guideline and see the transformation.  

2) Drink more water

We must drink at least 2 litres of water each day, as we lose almost this much through daily bodily function like sweating, breathing and going to the bathroom. If it is not replaced, we become dehydrated. I would go for nearer 2.5-3 litres per day, especially if you are active. 

If you remain consistently hydrated on a daily basis the benefits to your internal health, skin and memory function are incredible; particularly useful if you’re likely to forget Aunt Milda when drawing up the seating plan! Your cellular function will be far more efficient, your body will be able to cleanse and detoxify more easily and you can burn fat faster. Your skin cells will literally be fuller and wrinkles, lines and dark circles under the eyes can all be helped just by drinking lots. Drinking water will not only help you lose weight for the wedding day it will also act as a natural facial.

3) Walk and Relax

The stress response, rooted in our evolutionary past, stops the fat burning process and prevents sleep, which has a further impact on weight and body composition. To look and feel your best, managing stress must be taken seriously. 

I group walking and stress together, because a daily walk of 30 minutes has been shown to greatly relax the mind as well as the body. 

Walking MUST become a daily habit. Humans evolved undergoing around 12 hours of mild to moderate physical activity each day, and now we do next to nothing! It is not surprising that health problems and obesity are rising, and daily walking can make a huge positive difference. 

If you walk daily for 30 minutes, particularly if you include a couple of hills, you will gently but progressively tone your calves, thighs and buttocks and you will shift inches from your waist and boost your metabolism; all useful things for fitting into that dress or suit.  

In terms of mindset, walking helps to boost your mood and allows your mind to process the many thoughts it is bombarded with each day; especially beneficial when you are planning a wedding. In many ways, walking can be likened to meditation and is much more accessible to all.

4) Sleep

Despite the fact that sleep balances, heals, restores and recharges all aspects of our body and mind, sleep is something that people often fail to prioritise. This is perhaps because, like other components of health, an immediate lack of it may not seem to be too damaging. You may feel tired, but otherwise fine, and in this way you can slowly go down the path of reducing sleep to ‘fit everything else in’. However, the problem with sleep is that you can’t ‘catch up’ as we often think we can. 

Studies have shown that poor sleep can actually damage your brain over time, most commonly manifested in short term memory loss, lack of basic cognition and poor concentration. If you subsequently sleep better for a while, you will feel better and function better, but the damage does not get fully reversed. The damage caused by months or even years of poor sleep could be far greater than we realise, and we must make every effort to tackle it.  

Poor sleep doesn’t just affect your brain, it slowly erodes your appearance. Strain around the eyes, frowning and tight jaw muscles all take their toll and, no matter how much sleep you get on holiday, or the days before your big day (realistically less than usual!), you can’t reverse it. 

So, start now and sleep properly, no excuses. 

5) Exercise

Not the most important factor, which may be a surprise to many. This is because exercising alone is almost pointless. If you exercise hard whilst highly stressed, eating badly, not drinking water and not sleeping, you will do more damage than good. 

In the right context and at the right intensity however, it is fabulous, and is certainly something I recommend everyone does at least once daily. 

Your daily walk counts of course, but ensuring you also do 2 or 3 more vigorous sessions per week will boost muscle tone, cardiovascular fitness and burn fat. The more you exercise, the more energy you will have on the whole too; counterintuitive, but true.  

If you are wondering what you should try, then boxing is an incredible way to burn fat, tone your middle and your arms, and it’s fun! Spinning is also an amazing lower body and cardiovascular workout, so if you want to try classes, I’d seek out these two. 

Then I’d recommend weights, working each major muscle group moderately hard a couple of times, either in the gym or using your own body weight at home. There are vast arrays of exercises you can do at home or in the gym on YouTube, or you can of course get in touch with me and I will guide you accordingly. 

6) Alkalise

An acidic body environment has been linked to many diseases, accelerated ageing and fatigue.

Adding an acidic fruit to your diet may sound like the last thing you should do to achieve an alkalised body, but selected citrus fruits will actually help to achieve this. Popping half a lemon or lime into your water once or twice per day provides crucial electrolytes, vitamins and alkalising minerals. For a double boost, try putting your lemon or lime into a glass of soda water, as the bicarbonate in that is useful for boosting alkalinity.  

Other ways to swing from acidic to neutral / slightly alkaline are by eating plenty of green leafy vegetables, and following rules 1, 2 and 3! Sugar and processed rubbish, dehydration and stress are all big contributors to acidity. 

7) Cut alcohol 

Not necessarily completely, but remember that whilst a great source of pleasure for many and in moderation not a critical problem, it certainly doesn’t improve your health. 

Alcohol is burnt first by your body, ahead of even sugar, so its presence in your blood prevents fat being burnt. It also forces your liver and kidneys, which you need for general detoxification, to work overtime, so your body becomes more toxic.  

On top of all that, it is FULL of sugar and is highly calorific. 

So, if you must drink, do so in moderation. If you can do without it, or vastly reduce it, you will reach your goals far quicker.

So there you have it, if your wedding is around 6 months away, or even longer, start to implement the above. You will soon see some pretty fast results, such as a reduction in body fat, more energy, better sleep, and a better appearance generally.

If your wedding is less than six months away, then read on…

You have half less time to prepare so you need to be a little more aggressive if you have some ambitious goals in mind. In fact, you may want to give these a go even if your wedding is 6 or more months away, as it will accelerate your progress, it is up to you.

1) Intermittent fasting 

Without going into the science of intermittent fasting too deeply, this works by reducing your insulin level for enough time to allow you to burn significant body fat. It also improves your insulin sensitivity over time, so you are more efficient at storing carbohydrates and therefore maintain a lower overall insulin level, which is critical to weight loss.

If you want to know more about the fascinating science behind intermittent fasting, then please get in touch, but all you need to know to give it a try is that you need to fast for 16 hours once or twice a week, and that’s it. For example, you eat your evening meal at 8pm, then you next eat at 12pm the following day. Simple. Drink plenty of water in that window and I would strongly suggest that when you do eat after the fast, you don’t gorge on unhealthy foods!

I recommend that my clients who are practicing intermittent fasting eat only 500-600 calories of low GI food for the rest of the day following a fast. This compounds the effectiveness of the fast and maximises fat burn. Please note that if you find you are uncomfortably starving at any point then you must eat, but eat nuts, seeds, meat or veg so that you take the edge off of your appetite without ruining the fasting process.

2) High intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Some love it, some hate it, but it works for everybody. You workout at a level close to your maximum heart rate for a few minutes, then you have a short rest. You repeat this process several times with different exercises in order to target all of your body, then you lie down for a while!

Ignore outdated theories about working at a lower intensity to burn more body fat, it is just plain wrong. Yes, you may burn a higher PERCENTAGE of body fat working at a moderate intensity, but you will burn a whole lot more calories in total working at a higher intensity. This means that the total fat burnt will be greater, which is all that matters when you want to lose weight for the wedding day. On top of that, you will have worked your muscles so hard that you will be repairing and healing them for days, further boosting your metabolism.

If you want to burn a lot of fat, and you are fit enough, a 30 minute HIIT session will be exponentially better for you than a 30 minute jog.

3) Walk even more

This is an easy one. I recommend that everyone walks for 30 minutes each day to relax and boost their metabolism. If you have limited time until your big day, then walk even more. Get a Fitbit or a Jawbone and monitor your steps, but rather than the 10,000 steps widely recommended, try setting it to 15,000. If you have not made the cut by the end of the day, and I know many determined brides-to-be who do this, go out for a walk, or walk the stairs in your home until you get to 15,000. That way you also get toned legs, thighs and bum for your efforts.

4) Evolution

Evolution in weight loss for brides

There are many ‘cleanses’ or ‘detoxes’ around these days, most of which involve drinking your bodyweight in broccoli juice three times a day for a week and then celebrating a good few lbs of weight loss, before realising it was 95% muscle mass and you have now devastated your metabolism. Your glorious return to food will usually lead to a good few lbs of extra weight gain within a few weeks.

In you want to lose weight for the wedding day – don’t do them.

What you can do, however, is Evolution . This is my food delivery service, which consists of delicious, healthy food made by a chef from all natural and locally sourced ingredients, and delivered directly to your door.

I offer a number of different food packages from short and simple detoxes to ongoing full meal provisions, all of which include carefully selected gentle and natural supplements which aid your body’s ability to burn fat, and which cleanse your gut, blood and liver. The food and supplements can be delivered anywhere in the UK.

My Evolution Detox clients lose an average of 8 lbs in 10 days, without going hungry. They often, in fact, call me half way through and ask why there is so much to eat! They eat clean, lose weight and enjoy it. It is perfect for this situation and can either be the boost you need to get your journey started or to bring it home.

And speaking of bringing it home, that draws me to the end of this blog. You now have all of the tools you need to make sure that you don’t just look and feel amazing on your wedding day, but that you build sustainable and healthy lifestyles that will keep you looking and feeling great for years afterwards.

If you need more support implementing anything you have read, or if you want to know more, then please do get in touch with me. It would be my pleasure to assist you and I can help you out wherever you are in the UK.

An offer for you!!

As most brides are having to budget every pound towards their big day Rob offers 15% discount off any of the services you would like to purchase of him and you do not have to be a bride to be for that offer.

If you still haven’t sorted your wedding rings than contact me on 0345 600 5557 or click on the image below and I will be happy to help you.

Dressing the wedding table



Tips for dressing the wedding table

The most important thing in dressing the wedding table is get the balance right. The meaning of that is make sure all the elements involved dressing the wedding table complement one another as oppose to compete on attention with each other.

When we look at the component that helps dressing the wedding table we include the table’s centre piece, the table decoration, the chair covers and sometimes hanging decoration.

You can find a lot of the decoration on a website such as Amazon and you can get family members to help out with some home made decoration.

The key in dressing the wedding table right is in the planning. You may have an idea of your table’s look but if you didn’t try it before, put the items and the material next to one another it may not look quite right as everything is in the details.

If you already have an idea of the colour theme of your wedding it makes everything a lot easier.

Starting with the centre piece, there are many styles to choose from. You might like the wishing tree centrepiece.

 

 

 

In 2015 there is a trend of going transparent and this can include a glass bowl as a centerpiece on a glass mirror plate. This can be filled with flowers, crystals, candles or a combination of them. 

 

 

 

The Shabby Chic bird cage centerpiece is also very popular and timeless.

 

 

 

 

In any case, you want to make sure the centrepiece is not too high and blocking the eye line of the guests sitting on the other side of the table or too low and unnoticeable.

Flowers can make a beautiful centre piece and using different colour scheme can make the centre piece either vibrant and eye catching, or stylish and classy. Ideally you want to communicate the tone you wish to have as a centre piece to the floweriest. The floweriest can match the flowers from the wedding ceremony to the wedding reception so it will all flow and lead to the centre piece.

An incrementally talented floweriest from Cheshire, which I will be happy to recommend, is Emma Fawcett – Eustace.

Candles are also a popular choice when it comes to the centrepiece. Candle light gives a romantic glow and an intimate atmosphere. They can be part for the overall decoration of the venue and will set the right tone for the speech or the cutting of the cake.

 

 

 

 

The centrepiece will look bare without finishing touch of confetti, in white or cream colour for a classic effect or in silver for a sparkly effect. Similarly diamonds like decoration will sparkle brightly especially around candles. In some wedding the table will be decorated with petals.

 

 

Wedding favours used to be handed out to guests when they were leaving however I have seen some people putting it on the table as part of the decoration. With this in mind you have just one more thing to add to matching it with the rest of the table.

For help with your wedding bands please call 0345 600 5557 and I will be happy to help you. Alternatively click on the image below and leave me a message.

 

 

 

Summer or Winter Wedding?



Would you rather a winter or summer wedding?

You’ve just got engaged, summer is here now and it seems that would be the perfect timing to have your wedding. Or is it the cosy atmosphere that naturally comes with a winter wedding and the Christmas atmosphere you are after?

There are of course pros and cons to both weddings so I thought the best way is to look at all the options to help you make up your mind.

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Starting with the venue of course the options are greater when it comes to a summer wedding as you can choose for an outdoor wedding. However, you can never be sure of the British weather and it can rain even in the middle of summer. This is where a marquee can help.

If you are after a white wedding with snow, a Christmas tree for decoration then of course winter wedding should be your choice. Just like you cannot count on a summer wedding to be sunny there is no guarantee for snow on a winter wedding day. One way top create the magic is using artificial snow flakes. You can always choose a venue with open fire and a conservatory to bring the light in. However if it is a dark day than candle lights as part of the decoration the general white wedding theme would help.

Making the most of your budget is also a point of consideration when deciding whether you are going to have a summer or winter wedding. With summer being most popular season for wedding the prices of venues are higher than in winter, especially on Saturdays. If you rather have a summer wedding you might want to consider a mid-week wedding to cut costs.

If we are looking at your guest’s budget than winter, especially close to Christmas, might be a difficult time for their finances.

Another thing to consider in summer is the availability of your guests in summer time, which is usually where most people are on holiday and some of your guests may not be around to celebrate your day. Winter, on the other hand, is a time when people get closer to their family and a gathering such as on a winter wedding day will stand out since most weddings are done in summer. As winter weddings are not as popular you may also be able to strike a deal with the venue who will be keen to book the place.

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Image: credit to Folio Photography

Summer is when most flowers bloom so you will find the flower arrangement cheaper on a summer wedding compared with the deals you will get on your winter wedding.

Food wise you are looking at totally two different menus. Summer menu is usually light and refreshing while in a winter reception you could use traditional for the season mulled wine, mince pies, sausages, soup and other warming and rich type of food.

One of my clients who recently bought their engagement and wedding rings told me about her wedding plans which fits her budget. Her plan was to travel to Greece is September with the photographer and some close members of the family for the wedding ceremony. By September England is no longer a place for an outdoor wedding however, the flights to Greece are at off-pick prices and the Greek weather will be just perfect for a summer wedding. When back home the plan is to throw a party for all their friends. I thought I’ll this was an idea worth sharing.

If you are planning your winter wedding or your next spring/summer wedding for your wedding ring. Alternatively, click on the image below and leave a message and I will get back to you.

What are wedding favours?



Wedding favours

Wedding favours is the only part of your wedding your guest will be able to take home as a reminder of your special day.

Most guest are expecting it and not producing wedding favours on your day may even be interpreted as rude.

So where did this tradition originated?

Wedding favours – history

Hundreds of years ago it was a tradition for aristocrats all over Europe to send with their wedding guest a little present on their way home call Bonbonniere. The Bonbonniere was a little box made of metal, porcelain, precious stones or crystal. The box was filled with confection made of sugar and the idea was that the guest can savour the flavour of the wedding when home.

This tradition carried on till today although as most of us are not aristocrats the little box is made of a much cheaper material.

What to send the guests home with?

There are several options for wedding saviour from keeping the tradition of giving sweets away to sending non-edible items your guests can keep.

Whichever favours you are planning to give to your guest you will need a nice rapping or a box. I had a look around and saw some lovely boxes. Click on each image from more information:

If we follow the hundreds years long tradition than we ought to fill these beautiful boxes with some kinds of sweets or chocolates. Hearts are always a favourite and you can choose between traditional love hearts to personalised love hearts or mint hearts. You can even mix the lots with some Mr & Mrs rock sweets.

If you are the chocolaty type than you can choose from a variety of heart shaped chocolate depending on your wedding theme from silver wrapping chocolate heart, purple wrapping chocolate, ivory colour wrapping chocolate or gold wrapping colour chocolate.

But you can always opt for an individually wrapped ‘just married’ chocolate in silver theme or gold theme.

Some people prefer to give a wedding favour that will last a little longer than sweets r chocolate. By the variety of bubbles I saw on offer I take it is quite popular. I found wand bubbles and champagne glass bubbles, purple heart bubbles and a cute wedding cake bubbles.

Other non-edible favours were personalised lucky sixpence;

and personalised love hearts.

Other ideas are buy separately small glass bottles and fill them up with either cubic zircon or flowers made of material.

Some brides told me they were going to bake cupcakes and put them in a little wedding favour box other told me they were planning to put to heart shape little tea lights.

To save on costs you can use, instead of a box simple organza bags that comes in many colours to suite your theme.

In my opinion the most important thing is to enjoy the experience. If you have a sibling or a sibling in-law you can make it a fun activity when you all sit together and fill up the boxes or bags over while you chat away or plan together the little details of your wedding day.

I hope you have a great day and if you haven’t ordered your rings yet then now is the time. Call me on 0345 600 5557 or click on the image bellow and I will be happy to help you.

Top Five Tips for Wedding Video



Wedding video – what you should note

After publishing the helpful blog on wedding photography I have been asked to write about wedding video. As always, I like to get this information from the professionals. Luckily, Cheshire is blessed with talented people which I happened to know in person.

The decision was not easy but eventually I asked Rebekah Nangle, founder of Fireseed Films to share from her knowledge and experience.

Fireseed video for H&D Diamonds

Fireseed Films, a film production company based in Knutsford, Cheshire, specialises in a variety of films from training videos to product demonstrations and of course wedding videos have their popularity. Rebekah explains there are many similarities and common themes that apply to most films thay produce whether they are for corporate or private clients. However there are some specific key points that particularly apply to filming a wedding.

 

Over to you Rebekah…

Filming a wedding can seem a daunting task to a new comer. However a bit of thought and preparation will make the whole experience for everybody much more relaxed and enjoyable. It will also ensure the end result is as successful as possible.

The main difference between filming a wedding and making say a training video is the lack of control you have over the proceedings. You only get one chance to capture the moment, people will obscure your view, make unwelcome noises and so on. These types of things cannot be completely avoided but don’t have to affect the end result by applying some thought and minimising the impact by clever editing.

These are the key success factors for your wedding video:

Do your research

The online world is fuddled with wedding videos. This is an excellent place for you to check out different styles, or even parts of videos that you like. Create a list with links of videos you liked down to noting the minute in the film you liked or disliked. The more you look at videos the clearer the picture will be in your mind of what you would like to achieve in your own wedding video.

It is personal

No matter how much experience the video photographer has and how much your friends praised him or her there is only two people that know what they want, and that is yourself! It is your wedding and it is really good if you know what you want to achieve from the video however, the videographer is the one with the experience and knowledge. His guidance may assist in shaping your views so be attentive and open to suggestions. If the videographer ideas are very different to yours make sure you communicate that well. Remember that you are hiring the videographer to record and provide a memory of the most important day of your life. Good close and personal communication between yourself and the videographer will ensure that you get the result you are looking for, and are comfortable with the person you hired being present at what is a very personal occasion.

Over Prepare.

The wedding will be organised to the last detail so you should your video. You should write down what exactly are parts you saw else where and want to be included in your video. Make sure the person you hired has this same list to follow to prevent disappointments after the event.

Surprises

If you are planning surprises to your guests either during the speeches or the first dance make sure your video man knows about it. He will then be able to prepare with the right equipment. You wouldn’t want to compromise on those moments in the final wedding video.

Stay calm on your first dance.

Many couples feels a little uneasy about the first dance. It is very different when everyone is dancing with you than being on your own on the dance floor and all the eyes are on you. Try and stay focus on one another. Looking in each other’s eyes and leaving the rest of the world behind is something you will do many times in your marriage life. This will make sure the video will capture your feelings to one another as well as moments of possible intimate jokes between you.

If you require further information about how Fireseed Films can help you please contact Rebekah  or call on 07852 299294.

Spring Wedding Tips



Spring wedding tips from a professional event planner

Spring wedding tips from a professional event planner

Spring is such a beautiful time of the year for a wedding. Flowers are in bloom and the weather is usually at its best in the UK, with longer days and lighter evenings.

I have asked my friend Kate of Kate Park Events to share from her experience and help out with tips for a spring wedding.

Kate Park Events

Let me first introduce you to Kate and her event business. Kate Park Events offers bespoke wedding planning services. She is that angel who comes in the middle of what looks like a storm and lifts the stress off you so you can concentrate on planning your wedding and enjoy the Big Day without the hassle.

Kate has extensive connections by recommendations to source the perfect venue to suite each couple’s requirements. Kate and her team create beautiful décor and bridal flowers, she works with first class entertainment to suit different budgets and is very meticulous when it comes to executing the event.

Kate is very personable and has the ability to take the customers dream and realise it within their budget limitations. As Kate explained to me, not always do you need to splash out a lot of money to get something beautiful. She guides clients to the areas they are best spending their money on to get the most effect. A client recently thought they needed to hire a marquee to accommodate their increasing number of guests. Kate managed to design a room layout that seated all the guests inside the venue which in turn saved the client money. Not only were the Bride and Groom delighted they could still have their wedding inside their dream venue but their guests were impressed by the transformation of the room.

Here are Kate Park Events five top tips for a spring wedding;

  1. Choose a venue with beautiful gardens or an outdoor terrace area, so if you’re lucky enough to have beautiful weather on your Wedding Day you are able to make the most of it. If this is something you struggle to find, then make sure your venue has large windows so you have plenty of natural daylight.

  2. Pastel colours work perfectly in spring with beautiful flowers in season like peonies or tulips. Whether you want a vintage style wedding or contemporary, it’s all in the design of the table centres and style of vases/containers used. We always like to custom make each design to incorporate the style of the client and to create a wow factor.

  3. In spring choosing a lighter menu is a must. Spring lamb makes a nice change to chicken and you can have another main course at the ready for any guests who would prefer an alternative.

  4. Lighting is key for a wedding. When your spring day turns to evening, you need to create the perfect party atmosphere so people will stay until the early hours.

  5. Make the most of a Spring Bank Holiday date so for every wedding anniversary you’ll be able to celebrate with a long weekend away!

Kate 2nd

Here is a testimonial from a Kate Park Event client Mrs Sarah Clark, whose wedding was in October 2014;

Our wedding was “seamless” from the start of planning to finish. I was basically stress free the entire time thanks to this amazing woman!! Thanks so much Kate, you’re worth your weight in gold!!”

If you are planning your wedding and starting to feel the stress why not get in touch with Kate who will be able to help you change the situation and make your wedding memorable for all the right reasons.

The Right Time To Propose



Is there a right time to propose?

I think it is very romantic to say, “I knew it from the first time I saw her/him that they were the right one,” but may-be this statement cannot stand on its own. I am not a marriage consultant but I have read a little about what can make marriage successful-one that will last over time.

halo engagement ring

three stone diamond ring

1 carat princess cut engagement ring

If I could pin-point the magic of making marriage successful, I would put it down to openness. To make sure this is the right time to propose you have to ask yourself if you’ve been open with your partner on subjects that are important to both of you. 

So what do you need to think of?

The first thing you need to accept is that you are two different entities and proposing to her means you want to be together for the rest of your life, all being well. Your differences in personality and the way you were brought up should not be swepped under the carpet so that it won’t ruin the evening. It needs to be discussed and accepted by both sides. It can be a difference in faith, origin or even the way you approach situations.

Your finances are also an important issue to discuss. I don’t mean you should know all about the other side’s savings and incomes but you would like to know habits of spending. This is true for both sides so if one of you likes to go out a lot and the other thinks this is a waste of money it might be a cause for arguments that in time will reflect on your relationship. Also, you need to consider if you can afford sometime in the future to support both your wife and children, as she might need to take time off work.

Think about your goals in life. Is there a match between what you want to achieve in your professional and personal life with the goals of your partner? Is the path you are both walking going to create a solid road you can travel on safely together? If there isn’t a match, does your partner accept this and is she willing to live with your choices? Are you willing to live with hers?

What about your family and friends? Do they support you being a couple? Do they accept your relationship and take your chosen partner as one of their own? Although you think she is marrying you and not your parents, in the long run you want them to get along so family holidays or Christmas dinner will not end up as a disaster.

What are your hobbies? Do you have anything you both like doing? It is OK to have different activities for yourself but it is important to find also a mutual thing you both enjoy doing. It can only strengthen the relationship.

I recently heard a story which I think now is a good time to share with you as it has a good lesson for life.

The Burnt Cookies – A story

When I was a child, I remember my mother used to make cookies. One evening, I remember clearly she came back from work really tired, and when she put the cookies in the oven, she left them there a little too long so they were slightly burnt.

That night she served my father a plate of slightly burnt cookies next to his tea. I remember myself waiting to see if anyone had noticed. I thought my father didn’t notice as he smiled to my mum then looked at me and asked me how was school. I can’t remember what I said but I remember hearing my mother apologising for the burnt cookies and I will never forget his answer to her. He said, “My dear wife, I love slightly burnt cookies.”

At night when he put me to bed I asked him if he really liked burnt cookies. He put his arms around me and told me this: “Your mother had a long day at work and she is really very tired and besides… a slightly burnt cookie never hurt anyone! Life is full of imperfect things that people think should be perfect. I am not the best at everything and over the years I noticed your mother is learning to accept all my faults and chooses to pay attention to all my qualities. Finding the line that connects all our differences is one of the most important things in creating a growing healthy environment and a long term relationship.”

If now is the time you feel ready to propose and you need help with choosing the ring help is on the other side of the phone.

To schedule your free consultation with a diamond expert please click on the image below or contact us on 0845 600 5557 .

Choosing a Wedding Ring



Three tips for women choosing a wedding ring

It is going to happen to you this year! The moment you have been dreaming about and planned most of it down to the last detail has arrived. You have a date, a hall, the photographer is booked and you even started going to the gym in order to fit perfectly into that beautiful dress. If you haven’t purchased your dress then you might be interested in this offer.

Most people leave choosing the wedding rings closer to the wedding date but it is still a process you will have to think about.  Here are three tips to help you choose the right wedding band:

The alloy

Wedding bands can come in many types of metals. The most popular ones are white and yellow gold; while platinum has the reputation of being a more durable metal it is more pricey. If you are budget conscious you can also opt for palladium which is a white looking metal  such as the platinum and the white gold but is much cheaper in price and lighter in weight.

Wedding Band

Wedding Band

There are no rules about choosing a wedding ring of the same alloy as the engagement ring although most people do match the two metals. 

Diamond shape

Some women like to have a wedding band that is dotted with small diamonds all around or part way, also known as eternity or half eternity rings.  Others like to have only a couple of diamonds to add a little sparkle to the design of the ring. If you like diamonds on your wedding band match the diamond shape of the engagement ring to the one on the wedding band.

Diamond Wedding Ring

Diamond Wedding Ring

Engagement Ring Shape

There are many styles to consider when choosing a wedding ring but you want to make sure the style you choose fits nicely next to your engagement ring. This can be a bit of a problem if you didn’t think about this when you purchased that fabulous and special engagement ring. But do not lose hope as at H & D Diamond we can cater to any ring and can offer an affordable bespoke wedding band to be an exact match  to your engagement ring.

 

Still unsure or have any unanswered questions? Simply call 0845 600 5557 for a free professional consultation.

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Bespoke Wedding Ring – The affordable way



Bespoke Wedding Ring  –  Why should you?

Diamond Ring

Diamond Ring

Bespoke wedding ring may seem unnecessary. Do you remember the moment he proposed to you with that unique ring?  Or do you remember when you chose for your loved one that adorable engagements ring that none of your friends seen before? It was a great feeling at the time.

 

Now your long relationship is about to turn official and you cannot find any wedding ring to fit precisely next to your gorgeous ring. What are you going to do? Surely you want your wedding ring to match that beautiful engagement ring of yours?

 

You could of course have a hand made bespoke wedding ring made to match to the engagement ring.  We work with a highly qualified Bond Street jeweller for customers with similar wishes. However, if this service is beyond what you were planning to spend help is at hand.

 

H & D diamonds are now offering an affordable bespoke service. The service includes 3D scanning of your engagement ring. From this scan a replica of your engagement ring will be created. From the replica a perfect individually shaped casting of the wedding ring will be produced. It is now ready for polishing and setting if your bespoke wedding ring includes diamonds.

 

How does it work?

 

 

You send us your engagement ring for the 3D scanning. The ring will be back with you in seven to ten working days, as it needs to be sent to the UK manufacturer. Using a CAD computer software allows you to see what your wedding ring would look like against your engagement ring. Once you approve of the bespoke wedding ring we will create it for you.

 

Will it be a bespoke wedding ring?

 

It will be a uniquely bespoke wedding ring matched to your engagement ring.

 

 

How come it is affordable?

 

Once you approve the design of your bespoke wedding ring  it will be cast. This will not be hand made and therefore you will pay  significantly less than you would have paid for a hand made bespoke wedding ring.

 

Still not sure and want to ask any questions? To schedule your free consultation with a diamond expert  please contact us on 0845 600 5557

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