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Colin And Justin's Wedding Hell!
Date: May 31, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: TV Shows

Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan's latest foray into television might well have put them off organising their own wedding in the future! The celebrity interior design duo take on the roles of amateur wedding planners for Channel 5's new series "Wedding Belles".

Instead of transforming houses the style gurus were responsible for turning 3 brides wedding dreams into reality! Cameras followed them on their quest to organise 3 different themed weddings on budgets ranging from £7,000 to £25,0000. This will certainly make interesting viewing! Whilst on the one hand the duo are probably a good choice for wedding planners with their vivid imaginations, impeccably good taste, flair for design and meticulous organisational skills, they are also renowned for their inability to stick to budgets and their tendency to go missing in action when a crisis occurs!

Colin and Justin are better known for their interior design skills rather than their wedding planning. This is illustrated during the series by their concern with the design aspects of the wedding such as the choice of fabric being used to cover chairs at one ceremony as opposed to the more important wedding features such as flowers and catering. Colin and Justin inevitably found it hard to keep to the budgets imposed on them and were at times seen to be encouraging the couples to spend beyond their wedding budgets!

In the series Colin and Justin learned the golden rules of wedding planning which are don't leave too much to the last minute, always keep the lines of communication between planner and bride and groom open, always have a contingency plan and most importantly never bother the bride and groom with last-minute hitches!

This series begins on Channel 5 on June 15th at 8pm.

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78 Free Wedding Tips And Book

As you plan your wedding you will receive advice from just about everyone. Friends and family have a million and one tips to pass on, in fact here at Wedaholic I have been offering tips galore. For example tips on wedding djs, getting guests to mingle, giving a great speech and tipping wedding suppliers to name just a few!

To give you a flavour of what to expect I have copied the types of wedding tips you will receive below:

Sample Tip 1 :

At the reception hall, fill baskets in the bathroom with miniature hand lotions, breath mints, hair sprays, and hair gels for emergency touch-ups. You may also want to put out a basket with a few inexpensive pairs of pantyhose and
some clear nail polish.

"Thanks for all the tips..and for making them genuinely "free".... the tips I found most helpful of your's were about etiquette ... it helps to remind brides of other people's feelings when they are getting caught up in their own! And that idea about giving framed pictures to the parents is one I will definately do! Blessings!" - Suzanne, US

Sample Tip 2 :

Don’t forget grandparents and other relatives who may feel “left out” during the preparations before the wedding. Take a camera along when you are shopping for your dress or looking at flowers.

Send pictures with a quick note that says, “Here’s me rubbing my feet after trying on shoes that were murder!” Or “Aunt Joan, the flowers were beautiful, but I wish you could have been there.”

"Just wanted to thank you for all of the wonderful tips! I enjoy reading them every week!! I will use you're advice throughout the planning of my wedding and on the big day! Thanks again" - Dan

Sample Tip 3 :

For bridesmaids' dresses, consider separates, especially if you have attendants whose sizes and shapes vary widely. Skip the bridal stores and check out department stores for evening skirts and separate tops that are made of luxurious fabrics and trimmed with beading or embroidered details.

"Dear Emily your tips have been very helpful to me in planning for my wedding thank you for all of your help, looking forward to receiving other tips from you. Best Regards" - Cornelia, US


Katie Holmes Shapes Up To Be A "Buff Bride" For Her Wedding To Tom Cruise
Date: May 31, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Celebrity Weddings & Lose Weight

Katie Holmes has been seeking help on how to get rid of her post-baby bulge before her wedding to Tom Cruise. As well as receiving tips from her celebrity friend Victoria Beckham on how to regain her figure after giving birth, new mum Katie has also sought out help from a company called Buff Brides.

Buff Brides run training programmes to help brides-to-be get in shape for their big day. The original concept comes from the book "Buff Brides" written by Sue Fleming. Sue Fleming says that,

“Brides-to-be are the most committed clients I’ve ever had. They’re motivated, they’re focused, they’re ready. In this society, we’ve been brought up to believe that the most important occasion of a woman’s life is her wedding. On that day, all eyes are on the bride.”

Its not just Katie Holmes who is anxious about her pre-wedding figure. Many brides-to-be are worried about looking their best on their wedding day and also want to be in great shape for their honeymoon. Buff Brides provides them with wedding workout guides in the run up to their big day through a 24 week fitness program or a 12 week crash course training program. Last year the Discovery Network made a reality show based on the "Buff Brides" book and fitness program. Television cameras charted the progress of several brides-to-be as they transformed their wobbly bits in anticipation of their wedding day!

If you, like Katie, need some extra tips on shaping up before your wedding then have a look at Buffbrides.com.

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7 Secrets To Finding The Right Wedding Consultant!
Date: May 30, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Planners & Planning

So you want to hire a wedding consultant!

A great place to start is here. Use the map to locate a certified wedding consultant in the US, Canada, England and my home country Scotland - quick plug!

A wedding consultant can save you thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours in planning your dream wedding. Finding an excellent consultant in your area can be a daunting task, but once you find her, you'll be able to breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that your wedding is in capable, professional hands.

A professional wedding consultant helps you plan, organize and orchestrate your wedding and reception so that you can forget about the details and really enjoy the months leading up to your big day. She becomes not only your planner but your advocate - running interference with vendors, negotiating contracts and protecting your interests.

To make sure you are hiring someone who will work well with you and for you, keep these successful hiring secrets in mind:

1. It's not always about being the biggest. Look for "hidden treasures" :

Many wedding planners who advertise with splashy ads are reputable, professional experts, but there are also some who prefer to get there business by word of mouth only. Have you attended a beautiful wedding recently that was flawlessly executed? Ask around - if a wedding planner was behind it, request their card or phone number.

2. Vendor referrals are vital :

If a wedding consultant is happy to give you referrals from happy brides, but balks at giving you the names of vendors she works with, don't use her. A truly great wedding consultant should be more than willing to give you the names of at least four vendors she works with on a regular basis. Call them and ask about their relationship - do they work well together? Is she clear with her instructions and does she get the orders for her weddings in on time? Are there a lot of last minute problems or is she one of their favorite consultants? Would they recommend her? Trust us, the relationship with the vendors matters!

3. Does the consultant have a back-up in the event of an emergency?

If your consultant is sick or injured on your big day, you don't want to discover that she's asked her inexperienced cousin to step in. Make sure she has a trained assistant or associate who will not already be scheduled for another event that same day and time.

4. What budget ranges does the consultant work with?

Do not allow any wedding consultant to be evasive on this issue! Some will say, "I will work with almost any budget within reason." Translated, this could mean she will try to talk you into something more than you can afford down the line. Be very clear on what you are willing to spend and demand that she be very clear on what is included in her fee. Ask for a cost break-down in writing. What is included in her fees? Are periodic updates included? How many meetings with you and how often? Does it include her presence at the rehearsal, ceremony and reception? For how long?

5. A written contract is a must :

This is so basic that there is nothing to elaborate on, except that if there are any changes made over time, you must insist that they be added to the contract in writing and signed and dated by both parties.

6. A good wedding consultant should belong to a professional organization :

Ask which organizations she belongs to. Two that are very good include The Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants and The Association of Bridal Consultants. You may also want to check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been any complaints about the consultant.

7. Consider the consultant's personality :

You will be spending a lot of time working with this person over the coming months! If you feel comfortable with her and know that she sees your vision for your wedding, you will get fabulous results and love your wedding. However, if you have the feeling that she is trying to push you toward something more in line with her vision for your wedding, don't give in because she is the "expert." It is your wedding! Pass the pushy consultant by and find one who fits your own dreams!

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7 Unusual Wedding Venue Ideas From Budget To Luxurious!
Date: May 29, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Ceremonies & Civil Weddings & Destination Weddings & Reception & Unique Ideas & Venues

When choosing a wedding venue, most brides think of celebrating in style by going straight from the church to a hotel or banquet hall by car or limousine. This is the traditional wedding venue of choice, but it certainly isn't the only choice for romantic festivities.

1. Private golf clubs are becoming more popular for couples these days as more and more clubs are opening up their facilities to even those who aren't members. These facilities offer all the advantages of a fine restaurant and almost always have a fine view of the golf course as well. Add the perks of a wait staff who are well-seasoned and the opportunity for gorgeous photo opportunities outdoors and you have a great package.

Visit these examples: Gainsborough Greens and Hope Island.

2. Barns and Other Outdoor Buildings in rural areas can be surprising beautiful locations. These hidden treasures can be wonderfully accommodating because of their sheer size and out-of-the-way locations. Many bed and breakfast establishments these days also have renovated barns on their property that have been renovated for functions such as receptions. They have will have wooden dance floors, elaborate sound systems, and heating systems installed. The rustic high-beamed ceilings can be enhanced with fairy lights at night for a touch of romance, and the upper doors opened to let starlight in on summer evenings.

Visit these examples: Elms Barn Weddings and The Tudor Barn.

3. Paddle-Wheelers or Day Cruisers can provide everything from the wedding itself to the dinner and dancing of the reception in one package price. Think how much your guests would enjoy a cruise down a local river, watching the scenery flow by while you and your fiancé exchange vows on deck. Then everyone enjoys a leisurely dinner and heads aft later for dancing to the music of a live band. These wedding packages are usually all-inclusive, saving you the trouble of shopping around for prices for catering, music, etc.

Visit these examples: Great Lakes Schooner and Vancouver Paddle Wheeler.

4. Local Wineries provide charm and a unique atmosphere to your wedding day. Call around and inquire about having your wedding in the vineyard. Afterward, host a wine-tasting reception and give favors with a wine theme to your guests. Many small to medium-sized wineries can also offer wedding venues in conjunction with local specialty food producers (cheeses, chocolates, etc.) in order to create a wedding day with truly local flair for you.

Visit these examples: Viansa in Sonoma and Hansfahden.

5. Local attractions such as museums, historic landmarks, etc. are all ways to put a personal stamp on your special day. Are you a local history buff? If you've been volunteering at one of the local historical societies, they may be willing to allow you to hold a small wedding and/or reception in a historical home or house museum. If there is an unusual landmark such as a fort or stockade, consider it for a charming rustic wedding.

Visit these examples: New York Museums and Stuhr Museum.

6. Natural vistas abound with possibilities, depending on where you live. Have you considered getting married in a national park near that gorgeous waterfall where you first went camping with your fiancé? What about in the basin of dormant volcano at Volcano National Park in Hawaii? Nothing could be more dramatic! (Always get permission for any wedding in a National Park!) In the New England states, autumn weddings are gorgeous against a back-drop of changing leaves in the mountains, so plan an outdoor wedding. Wedding venues abound that feature outdoor catering under tents that allow for views of the hills with their brilliant foliage.

Visit these examples: Hawaii and New England.

7. Destination Weddings - for Full-Tilt Luxury. Finally, consider fulfilling your ultimate travel fantasy by taking not only your soon-to-be spouse, but all of your friends on an incredible journey by having a destination wedding. This wedding venue has become more and more popular in recent years, and can turn your wedding day into an exotic weekend-long retreat for you and your friends. No location is off limits - Europe, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa. If you love to travel and want something truly unusual to make your wedding day memorable, a destination wedding is one way to make it happen.

And finally visit these examples: Destination Weddings by Wyndham.com and USBride.com - if you can afford them!

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Six Questions You Must Ask Your Wedding Videographer!
Date: May 27, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Videography

When you plan a wedding there are so many questions .. the ones you have to ask yourself and also the ones you have to ask each of your suppliers. Take for example your wedding videographer - where do you begin? Well to help you on this front I have listed six key questions you should be asking.

1. How many cameras and microphones will you be using and when will you arrive to set up?

They should be very clear on this and explain exactly why they will use each piece of equipment and what their expectations are. Professionals will usually ask to see the site in advance once a contract is signed so that they can make sure they have adequate coverage.

Ask about how they will manage the time for breaking down and setting up between the wedding ceremony and the reception. This can be tricky, but if they are experienced wedding video professionals they will have this down to a science. Don't let them dismiss your concerns with "Don't worry, we'll have it under control." This is unprofessional and may indicate that they tend to fly by the seat of their pants - something you don't want on your wedding day.

2. Who will do the editing and how much experience do they have?

Editing is as crucial to the quality of a professional wedding video as the filming itself. In fact, if plenty of footage has been shot, the editing can be more important, so be sure you find out if the person doing the editing of the tape is a professional and how long they have actually been doing this kind of work, what their educational background is and credentials they have. Preferably, the person editing will be the same person filling your wedding so that they are familiar with the people at your event and know you personally. Editing "blind" isn't a good thing.

3. Do you guarantee Sound Quality and Light Quality?

Many brides have received a beautifully edited wedding video but been disappointed because they couldn't hear the actual vows being exchanged or found that the reception hall shots were so dark you could barely see the guests. What happened? Most likely the videographer was inexperienced and he simply didn't compensate properly for low indoor lighting (in the case of the reception hall) or he didn't have things properly miked (in the case of the wedding vows).

Be sure to make it clear that you expect the sound and light quality to be guaranteed for the entire project. If they balk at this, move on to another wedding video specialist.

4. Do they incorporate Special Effects?

Ask about special effects that can be incorporated into your wedding video. What ones do they do and how long have they been doing them? Ask to see sample videos that incorporate special effects they have done.

5. How long will it take to get a final copy of my wedding video back?

This is an essential question. Some videographers will take endless streams of film of your wedding day, then not bother to do anything with it for weeks or even months. No newlywed couple wants to wait until they are planning their first anniversary to see their wedding video for the first time. Insist on a concrete time frame, not an approximation, and ask that the date be put in the contract if you decide that this is the videographer you decide to use.

6. Will you customize your contract?

This can be a tricky question to ask, but it is essential that you are protected since most videographers these days charged around $2,000 for a wedding and reception, if not more. If the videographer comes back with the "standard contract" observation (and most of them are standard, printed contracts), suggest that you will simply type up an addendum that can be attached to the contract and signed by both parties. This is simple and will protect both parties.

In the US I would recommend you start your online research at The Wedding and Event Videographers Association International (WEVA). To quote them:

Based throughout the US and around the globe, WEVA International members are dedicated video producers who specialize in the art of documenting and preserving important social and corporate events and presentations.

You can find a member in your area by filling in this form.

In the UK I would recommend visiting some of the sites listed on Dmoz.org, there are over 50 to keep you busy!

Hopefully with thorough research you will chose the right videographer, and you'll realize when you get the wedding video that you made a sound investment as you relieve your wedding day again and again.

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To Tip Or Not To Tip - Gratuities For Your Wedding Suppliers

Recently I received the following question on tipping wedding suppliers:

"I would like to know if I need to tip the hired photographer and the piano player at the wedding ceremony? In fact, who do I have to tip according to etiquette?"

Here is my response:

Please note: Although I have referred to the tipping amounts within this article in US dollars for UK-based readers the figures remain the same.

Etiquette

Tipping etiquette at a wedding is a common area of confusion. Although we tip service providers in everyday life when it comes to your wedding day the etiquette of to whom and how much to tip can be bewildering. Tipping is supposed to be voluntary. However service providers do expect tips nowadays. Traditional wedding custom is to tip a wedding supplier if you think that they did a great job or provided you with outstanding service. Tipping should be based on the quality of service provided to you on your wedding day and in the run up to your wedding. By tipping them you are letting them know that you are happy with the service they provided you with prior to and/or on your wedding day. If you appreciate the work that they have done for you then you can show your appreciation by tipping them.

The Oxford dictionary defines a tip as a small sum of money given to someone for performing a service. Whilst most wedding suppliers are not contractually obligated to receive a tip they might expect one.

Budget

Tipping is an additional cost which you should include in to your wedding budget so that you ensure that you have money allocated for this purpose. Wherever possible calculate the tips you intend to give before your actual wedding day, using the guide set out below. Wedding tips are commonly overlooked when couples set up their wedding budget. It is important to calculate as much as possible prior to your wedding how much you can afford to tip your wedding suppliers. This cost and a contingency amount for extra tips which arise prior to and on your wedding day must be added to your overall wedding budget. Use the following information as a guideline but also use your personal judgment. Whilst tipping costs should be factored into your budget you must remember that they are discretionary and if you are on a tight wedding budget you should not feel obligated to tip.

It is not always necessary to provide a monetary tip to suppliers to whom you wish to show your appreciation. If you think your wedding supplier did a great job then an alternative idea is to send them a gift with a thank you note after the wedding. Remember that the most valuable gratuity you can give to any wedding supplier is your recommendation of them to others! You could show your appreciation to the service provider by sending them a personal letter of recommendation.

You should calculate your budget on the basis that, if you can afford to, you will tip most of your wedding service providers and then you can make the final decision on the wedding day as to whether the services provided exceed your expectations. Do bear in mind that your decision on whether or not to tip is entirely at your discretion. If a wedding supplier has gone above and beyond the call of duty for your wedding then tip them to show your appreciation of their extra effort they put into making your wedding day truly perfect. Sometimes in the run up to your wedding day some wedding suppliers work wonders to accommodate you and your hectic schedule. If this is the case for you then it would be nice gesture to give them a tip to show that you appreciate their extra efforts for you.

Contracts - read the small print

I recommend that you thoroughly read your contract with each supplier to see if a tip is included in their price. Some wedding package rates include tips (particularly if you are getting married abroad). You should note that some wedding suppliers, most notably caterers, add a gratuity to the foot of their bill and they usually call it a service fee or service charge. Most wedding suppliers will inform you of their tipping policy when you enter into an agreement with them for their services. If you are at all confused then ask the supplier directly for an explanation of their service charges and tipping policies. You must be clear about what each wedding supplier is being paid so that you can make judgment calls on whether or not additional tipping might or might not be necessary. Another good reason for being clear about the tipping policy for each supplier is to that you do not end up double tipping them!

Tipping Guidelines

There are some wedding suppliers who you will be expected to tip and there are suppliers who whilst not expecting a tip would greatly appreciate it. Below are some tipping guidelines which suggest amounts each service provider should be tipped according to wedding etiquette:

Hairstylist, Makeup Artist, Beautician - You should expect to tip these service providers just as you would on a normal visit to a salon. Tips should be 15% - 20% of your total bill.

Officiant (Clergy, Priest, Minister etc) - Although officiants do not usually ask for financial recompense for their services they do expect you to make a donation to the church or their organization. As to the amount of the donation, traditionally they will suggest an amount when you finalize arrangements with them. The amount varies from a flat fee to an honorarium and can range from $50 up to $500. If you are expecting the officiant to travel outside of their local area then you should also compensate them for their travel costs. Do not directly offer a tip to an officiant. The nominated tip giver should pass the agreed amount to the officiant after the ceremony. If you are using the services of a civil servant, such as a judge, Justice of the Peace or a City Clerk, then you are allowed to tip them (although it should be called a “donation” rather than “tip”) provided you do not exceed $75 and you must ensure that it is paid to them outside of court/office hours.

Transportation (chauffeurs, limousine drivers, horse-drawn carriages, etc) - Do check to see if a gratuity has been included in their bill as this is often the case with transportation fees for weddings. If not or if you want to reward them for their service on your wedding day then the norm is to tip them 15%-20% of the total cost of the bill.

Valets and Parking Attendants - Tips should range from $1 - $2 per car.

Coat Check and Restroom Attendants - Tips should range from $1 - $2 per guest.

Waiters and waitresses - It is not necessary to tip the servers if you have already paid a gratuity in your contracted price. Check to ensure whether a service charge is included in the caterer’s contract. If there is no such provision then you should expect to tip 15% - 20% of the total food bill. Although it is not expected for you to tip individual serving staff if you decide that a particular individual has provided you with first-class service then feel free to give that server an additional tip.

Catering/Venue Manager – Traditionally the caterers and venue management will calculate a tip into their cost estimate, in the form of a service charge. Check your paperwork and if in fact a service charge has not been included then you should allow 15% - 20% of the total bill or $1 - $2 per guest.

Bartenders - Usually you will find that the bar manager will add a service charge to the bar bill. If this is not the case then you might want to tip the bartenders 10% of the total amount of the liquor bill. This amount can be shared out between them equally if there is more than one bartender.

Seamstress/dress fitter - Although it is not customary to tip your seamstress or dress fitter if you feel that they have made an extra special effort on your behalf then tip them between $15 - $30.

Wedding Planner - Wedding planners work for a set fee and will not expect a tip. If you want to show them how grateful you are for their hard work in planning your wedding then 10% of their total fee is more than adequate.

Delivery Staff (including Florist, Bakers etc.) - Staff responsible for your flowers and wedding cake do not expect to receive a tip. You will have agreed to pay their set fee and that is sufficient. However if you feel that they have provided you with exceptional service and/or outstanding quality of products then a tip of $15 - $20 per person is adequate.

Church Organist or Church Musician - This fee is usually included in the rental fee for the church. You should check your paperwork and if this is not the case you should tip them between $25 - $40 per person.

Musicians - Live musicians do not expect to receive a tip but if you consider their performance at your reception to be exceptional and worthy of a tip then you should allow $20 - $25 per band member.

DJ - As with the musicians, if you consider the DJ’s performance to have made your wedding reception swing then a tip in the range of 15% - 20% of their fee is appropriate.

Photographers - Whilst most photographers do not expect a tip if you want to reward them for their good work on your wedding day then this should be between $20 - $30. Alternatively you can indicate your satisfaction with the photographer’s work by placing a large order for additional prints – they will always greatly appreciate that.

Additional Tipping Tips!

* Traditionally it is the Best Man's duty to take care of tips on your behalf on your actual wedding day. If they are unwilling or unable to accept this responsibility then nominate one person who you feel comfortable with and who is happy to handle this task. This person should be responsible for distributing the tips amongst your wedding suppliers. To make it easier for the nominated tip distributor you should label envelopes prior to the wedding day and pass them to the nominated person to keep safe and hand out at the relevant times throughout your wedding day. By labeling them you will ensure that the correct amount of tip goes to the correct supplier. Always provide the nominated tipper with a contingency fund envelope containing a bit of extra cash just in case you have forgotten someone important who you feel deserves a tip on your wedding day or you might decide to tip someone a bit extra on the actual day.

* A common question is who should the tip be presented to with regard to groups of wedding suppliers. The answer is to hand it to the head of the group. For example with a band the tip should be given to the band leader and with waiting staff it should be presented to the head waiter or maitre d' who will ensure that it is distributed evenly amongst the team.

* If any of the wedding service providers you are utilizing are friends or family then you should definitely ensure that you tip them generously!

* An important point to note is that if you are tipping the valets, coat check and restroom attendants and particularly the bartenders (who are notorious for putting out their own “tip jars”) agree with them and the venue manager that it is unacceptable for these members of staff to accept tips directly from your guests. A sign placed near each of these services that says “No Tipping Please” should be sufficient to deter your guests from offering tips and deter the staff from accepting them!

* You might want to consider tipping your wedding service providers prior to the wedding day in the hope that they will go the extra mile and ensure that everything is faultless on your wedding day.

* Inevitably during your wedding day your wedding suppliers will need to be fed and watered. You should expect to feed your photographers, videographers, DJ and musicians. They cannot provide you with a good service if they are running on empty! Caterers will usually ask you what provision you want to be made for these service providers during your wedding reception and will make some suggestions as to menus and seating arrangements. It is important prior to the wedding day to agree with the caterers and confirm to the individual service providers where they will eating on your wedding day. This will ensure that on the day there are no slip ups or confusion. You will also be expected to bear the costs of drinks for the abovementioned wedding suppliers on your wedding day.

* If after reading this information you are at still unsure about how much you should budget for tipping those wedding suppliers who will be expecting a tip for good service then it might be better to arrange a flat fee prior to the event.

I hope that this tipping guide helps you. Remember that the most important person on your wedding day is you so relax and enjoy your wedding planning. Whether you tip or not you are sure to have truly memorable day!

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Discover The 7 Secrets to Avoiding A Wedding Dress Disaster
Date: May 23, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Dresses

Maybe it will be this weekend or even next - but sooner or later you may find yourself in a wedding dress shop thinking this wasn't how it was meant to ! Sadly if you don't start out on the right footing, the fun element of choosing your dress can very quickly go straight out the window! I have thus provided 7 tips to help you avoid a wedding dress disaster and consequently have a thoroughly enjoyable time.

What I can't promise you though is the world record of just 17 minutes to find a wedding dress set by Erica Goldstein who writes for the New York Observer's Bridal Blog.

"We bought my wedding dress yesterday and from start to finish the entire process took about 17 minutes (yep folks, that includes trying the dress on). I know some brides take months hunting down the perfect lacey, frothy fantasy number, and hey...we all work at our own pace. Mine just happens to be greased lightning."

Here are my seven tips:

1. Don't Shop with Too Many People :

Take one to two people you really trust to give you an honest opinion, perhaps your mother and your best friend. This isn't the time to take all of your best friends and turn it into a giggling day of shopping. Too many opinions will turn looking for your dress into days or even weeks of confusion and arguments. Someone's feelings will end up getting hurt and the attention will turn away from what you want and end up on smoothing egos. Choose people who know you and your taste and what suits you, and will give you honest feedback.

Visit: DavidsBridal.com

2. Do Tell the Salesperson Your Price Range :

While it may seem like fun to try on a couture gown, don't waste the salesperson's time. She is there to help you, and she can better help you if you let her know right away what you can afford so that she can find beautiful dresses in your price range. She has many other brides to help as well, and you wouldn't want some other bride wasting time she could be spending on you, would you?

Visit: PriscillaofBoston.com

3. Do Consider Your Figure :

Is the sheath dress all the rage this year? It may look great on all of those lithe models who are long and lean, but if you have a curvy, hourglass shape with plenty of bust, it's probably not the best style for you. The dress won't change your build, so talk to the experts at the bridal shop. They can suggest similar wedding gowns that will have a similar style and look, but be more flattering to your figure. It's the best of both worlds.

Visit: VeraWang.com

4. Don't Give Up Your Dream :

Are all the magazines showing plain gowns in elegant satins with very little trim? Have you been attending weddings that are very 1940's glamour? That's fine, but if you've been dreaming of a Southern bwedding gown with a full skirt and re-embroidered lace set with crystals and seed pearls, go right ahead and get that gown. The key to your wedding day is remembering that it is the one day that really is all about you, and your wedding gown should really be your dream and no one else's.

Visit: MoniquelHuillier.com

5. Do Take In Photos of What You Like :

Pictures from magazines are always helpful when shopping. The shop may not have that exact dress, but it can give them an idea of what you have in mind and guide them in selecting some wedding gowns for you to try on. A solid starting point will save time and energy.

Visit: AngelSanchezusa.com

6. Don't be "Hopeful" When Ordering :

Far too many brides look down the road to their wedding date and think, "I'm going to be a size smaller by then, so I'll order the dress a size smaller." It's a terrible, terrible mistake! The stress of planning a wedding means you often don't lose as much weight as you planned to, and then find that you can't fit into your dress.

It is so much easier for a seamstress to take a dress in than it is to let a dress out. In fact, some wedding gowns are designed to such exacting standards that there isn't enough material in the seams to let them out at all, so if you buy it a size to small, you are stuck if your diet doesn't succeed. Order the size you are now!

Visit: Lazarobridal.com/

7. Don't Pass Up the Perfect Dress :

If you find the perfect dress at only the second stop on a long list of shops your mother has in mind, don't give in to the pressure to "just make sure you've seen everything." Many a bride has been disappointed when they have gone on to look at many other shops and gone back only to discover that perfect wedding gown has since been sold to another lucky bride who came along three hours later. If you fall in love, buy it. Sometimes you just know the dress when you see it, and know that it is "the one." You didn't pass up the perfect man; don't pass up the perfect gown.

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Vote For Which Wedding Dress Angelina Should Wear!
Date: May 22, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Celebrity Weddings

If you consider yourself to be a fashion expert why not take a look at Usmagazine.com and vote for which wedding dress you think Angelina Jolie, Katie Holmes and other celebrities should wear at their upcoming nuptials!

Designers have chosen two dresses for each of the celebrity bride-to-be's to suit their individual hair colouring, complexion, body type and most importantly their personalities!

Although these beautiful designer creations are probably out of most bride's price range, take a look and see which styles the expert Hollywood design team have selected for these stars.

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A Less Than Perfect White Wedding!
Date: May 21, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Checklists & Funny

A message to all grooms:

The last few days before your wedding can be particularly stressful, but nevertheless it is vitally important you check everything before the big day.

Play the video for a reminder of what can happen if you don't!

Pass this link:

http://www.wedaholic.com/archives/a_less_than_perfect_white_wedding.php

on to a groom near you!

x

P.S. Check out this other critical video tip

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A Jelly Belly Wedding!
Date: May 20, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Funny & Themes & Unique Ideas

Brides are constantly dreaming up unique ideas for their wedding days. Evidence of this is in the wedding venue and theme bride Lori Woolery chose when she married her fiance Daymon Tracy in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin last week.

Their wedding took place at their local Jelly Belly Candy Store. The wedding was officiated by the Rev. Larry Schneekloth in a section of the store known as 'Jelly Belly Junction' .

Lori wanted something fun and different for her big day and she certainly got it when the was walked down the aisle of the store by a human-sized red jelly bean in a top hat and gold bow tie. After the wedding ceremony the newlyweds and their guests took a ride on the Jelly Belly train that takes visitors on a tour of the premises.

What a fun and novel wedding concept!

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Wedding Gifts: How Much Money Should A Mother Give To Her Children
Date: May 19, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Ask The Planner & Budgeting & Relationships & Traditions & Customs

You are more than welcome to send me your wedding related questions, I will always do my best to answer. Here is a recent question I received:

"Hi Emily, I appreciate reading all of your helpful tips. As a Mother of 5 children. this information will come in handy especially that my son was married last year and my daughter will be married next year.

The question that is looming in my mind is the appropriate gift that should be given to my children. Where I live money is the only gift that is given except in rare instances. So my question to you is what is a fair amount to give? In the case of my son I did what all groom's parents do, Rehearsal dinner etc. For my daughter we will be paying for the entire event except what the groom's parents traditionally pay for. Do I make a distinction based on that or not? Also how much would you recommend giving? I'm sort of stumped and need advice on that. Any suggestions?"

I gave the following advice:

Congratulations on your children's nuptials. I totally understand your predicament as you want to be equally fair to both your son and your daughter with regard to how much you give them as a wedding gift.

The first step is not to feel under pressure about this. I recommend that you examine your own financial state of affairs and determine what the maximum amount of money you can comfortably afford to give to each child is. Traditionally in the UK parents give their children wedding gifts of anything up to £5,000 (approximately $9,000). This is usually equivalent to the average cost of a honeymoon.

Without doubt you will be spending a lot more money on your daughter's wedding than you contributed towards your son's wedding. You should use your own judgement as to whether you should make a distinction between what you contribute to each of your children as a gift. Is your son likely to feel aggrieved that your daughter has garnered more financially through her wedding than he did when he got married? The last thing you want is for any family members to fall out over money.

If you think that in fairness your son should be given more money than your daughter then perhaps after deciding the amount you should speak to your daughter and explain why you intend to give your son a larger cash gift than she herself is to receive from you.

Good luck and remember to relax and enjoy your daughter's upcoming wedding!

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Four Wedding Blogs Reviewed
Date: May 17, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Site Reviews & Wedding Blogs

Yesterday I received a nice surge in traffic from a site called BridalWave.tv and this got me thinking that really I have limited ideas regarding the best wedding blogs on the internet. Ever since October 2005 I have kept myself to myself just trying to make Wedaholic.com a useful and fun resource for brides around the world – seems like I have been a bit blinkered. It may seem weird but the honest truth is that what with other things going on I haven’t really branched out to see who my friends and neighbours in the “wedosphere” are, so to speak.

In the beginning I wasn’t even sure I would be able to maintain the blog, in so much that you hear many stories of people that lose motivation after a few months. Thankfully that has never happened to me, I just seem to be addicted to weddings. I get a buzz from writing long in depth articles on wedding advice. For example, I’m particularly proud of this blog on Double Weddings and this one on using your iPod at a wedding instead of a DJ. Equally, I thoroughly enjoy writing articles about the latest celebrity weddings and reviews of wedding related films. My aim is to provide a entertaining mix of information for today’s bride. In fact even after the wedding I would like to think brides are still tuning in for some of the more amusing stories I post!

So my aim in this article is to walk you through some of the best wedding blogs I have found over the past day or two. Admittedly I could turn this walk into a marathon but initially I thought I would stick to a few that instantly make an impact which I have bookmarked to visit in the future.

So lets start with BridalWave.tv, the site that initially got me thinking about other wedding blogs!

BridalWave.tv

This is a wedding blog run by freelance journalist and writer Camilla Chafer. She posts daily and all in all she seems to be a very busy lady, writing for a whole host of other websites including the girl's guide to gadgets weblog Shinyshiny.tv.

Both sites are run by Shinymedia.tv and I was intrigued to find out exactly who was responsible for running this company. It seems from reading this page that they are a media company set up in August 2003 . To quote them directly, they are a “London-based pico-publisher” where BridalWave.tv is part of a very strong blog stable that includes other quality blogs like Trashionista.com/, Shoewawa.com and Catwalkqueen.tv.

So what does BridalWave.tv have to offer you?

Well it seems from a quick glance to offer an array of wedding related stories, many focused on the UK market where, like me, Camilla is based. At random I clicked on the “Attendants” link in the category listings and saw that many of the posts feature links to UK stores and sites, an interesting selection of names and brands – some I had heard of and many I hadn’t. This is great for brides, for example there is a review of “Absolutely Audrey” a shop that allows you to personalise your shoes with shoe clips for all occasions.

I could spend a whole day visiting all of the wedding ranges featured on this blog. Most posts are fairly short and to the point. The bottom line is that they are informative and definitely have something interesting to say. For example on the Keepsakes and Favours page any bride could easily while away a good hour during her lunch break surfing this page alone. Finally, before I move on to another blog please take time out to check out this - I just had to click on the category title “Yay or Nay” to find out exactly what it meant. It turns out that this is a funny review of the best and worst dresses on the market today, as Camilla puts it:

"Amongst all the beautiful gowns, a monster lurks. And not just one, there's lots and lots of these hideous creations just waiting to pounce on the poor unsuspecting bride."

She is dead right, there are some ghastly creations out there. Every Wednesday a different dress is posted on BridalWave.tv, and if your own dress looks similar to any of the ones featured you may want to think again! It’s definitely entertaining to review the comments section. In fact the “Yay or Nay section” is a feature of a few of the other Shiny Media blogs, for example check out TheBagLady.tv

Ok I have to move on. I thoroughly recommend you add BridalWave.tv to the list of blogs you read on a regular basis. It will really bring a smile to your face!

Moving on to WeddingBee.com!

On the right hand column of BridalWave.tv there is a heading called “Blogs We Read” and under it a list of other wedding blogs. (It reminds me I must set something up like this on Wedaholic myself, it just makes sense that a bride would want to jump from one wedding blog to the next.) Anyway my eye jumped to a blog called “Wedding Bee” and on arriving at the site I see that for Tuesday 16th May there are amazing 14 posts! I'm so amazed that I hit the previous button at the bottom of the page to see whether this was a one off or the norm. It is the norm. I can see myself spending a ton of time on this site! Time to put the kettle on!

Whilst reading the About page I see that Wedding Bee is authored many times a day by brides (and grooms) planning their weddings in New York. Of all the authors though a certain “Mrs Bee” seems to be the most prolific contributor to this site, so I had to find out more about her!

Its fun to read each of the author biographies and it is here that I find out that in fact Mrs Bee is actually Mrs Bee – this is her real name and she got wed back on the March 5th 2005. Sadly I can’t tell you too much more about her but fortunately some of the other authors are more forthcoming. For instance Mrs. Ladybug tells us at length about her two wedding proposals http://www.weddingbee.com/2005/12/05/the-real-proposal/ . In fact when I saw that her wedding actually happened not so long ago on 16th April this year I was intrigued to find out how the big day went. Like me you can read her whole story and relive every step. I love the photos , particularly the ones posted on 13th May and the ones of the “breakfast date”on the 4th May.

She says:

We did not take any Engagement photos. These were taken the morning of the wedding - our last “breakfast date” together before we got hitched. I knew we weren’t going to have any time to ourselves all day so this was an hour that we set aside just for us which I HIGHLY recommend you do. It could be anything.

Definitely a great idea!

I also discovered a page on WeddingBee.com that in future would be fun to have on Wedaholic, namely a page that tells the reader which articles are the most popular and who has actually been leaving the most comments.

Again you can spend a life time on this page!

In fact with Wedding Bee you have the opportunity to become a blogger on the site if you are getting married in Manhattan?

All in all there is a wealth of information on this blog - no wonder BridalWave.tv linked to this site. I particularly like the "Dear WeddingBee" posts where for example brides send in questions. For example,

"As her maid of honor, I am planning my friend’s bridal shower. I have never even attended a bridal shower, so I have no clue how to start."

You can check out Mrs Bee's great response here.

Where next?

Well both BridalWave.tv and WeddingBee.com recommend Manolobrides.com, so it makes sense to pop over and have a look.

The first thing that strikes me is that Manolo isn’t just interested in weddings, he has blogs relating to shoes, food and men. Secondly it isn’t that easy to find out exactly who Manolo is, as he states on his blog – "Manolo the Shoeblogger is not Manolo Blahnik"

Manolo himself likes to remain anonymous but his bridal blog is written by someone with the name “Never teh Bride”. Though this writer posts daily to Manolobrides.com it has been some time since she posted to her own personal blog.

As she puts it:

"The story of one woman's quest to stop being the bridesmaid, and to seize control of her inner matrimonial bliss."

Anyway lets cut to the chase - Manolobrides.com is an entertaining wedding blog, and from what I can see there is generally one post a day. The topics covered in recent days range from wedding cup cakes, how to get your own personalised wedding song, a wedding teddy gun that shoots small stuffed bears at your guests, great wedding films, advice on mother of the bride dresses and even working out for your wedding. There is definitely something for everyone!

Every day there seems to be an interesting post, so much so that I have added their feed to my Bloglines account. In fact I recommend all brides have a Bloglines account so that each morning they can easily review all the latest wedding blogs in one place without necessarily visiting each site. For instance, while you are in Bloglines be sure to add my feed.

Like the other blogs I have reviewed there is a list of recommended blog links in the right hand column - even more so with Manolo’s site. In fact when there is a list of nearly twenty blogs it really is tough working out which you should visit next. I personally look at the names and go on instinct. Scanning this list I was taken by the name "Here Comes the Blog" - it made me chuckle!

On arrival at this wedding blog, like at most blogs I visit, I try to find out a little bit about the people behind the site.

Jayne Leigh Hallock runs HereComestheBlog.com and is the main blog writer and message board moderator. She is also head writer for MyWeddingFavors.com and ElegantWeddingBands.com and has over 15 years of professional writing experience!

The blog also has five consultants, all featured on this page.

The five wedding consultants are:

Joyce Scardina Becker, wedding planning expert who runs EventsofDistinction.com and has had her work featured in TheKnot.com

Erica Goldstein, stationery and trend expert who runs PaperBride.com. Her work has also appeared on notable wedding sites such as The Wedding Channel.

Diana Kirschner, psychologist & love expert who has appeared on Oprah, Good Morning America and NPR Radio and runs her own site OpeningLovesDoor.com

Tatiana Byron, responsible for running The Wedding Salon - a luxury wedding showcase.

Karin Sloan, a veteran wedding expert, founder of Let-me-tell-you.com

With all this expert opinion it shouldn't be surprising that this blog bursts with quality information. The posts don't seem to be regular, some can be over a week apart, but certainly you can see the content is professionally written. So as I don't miss a post I have added their feed to my Bloglines account.

So there you have it - four great wedding blogs:

Camilla's BridalWave.tv

Mrs Bee and the other New York brides' WeddingBee.com

Manolo's Manolobrides.com

Jayne's HereComesTheBlog.com

In time I am sure I will recommend many more wedding blogs. In addition I will also be shortly setting up a "Blogroll" in the right hand column of Wedaholic.com so that you always have a handy list of blogs which you can access.

If you are aware of a fun and entertaining wedding blog you believe I should know about, please do not hesitate to leave a comment so that I can review the site at a later stage.

More Blogs - Updated 3rd July 2006

Don't Be That Bride - A Wedding Blog Not To Be Missed!

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Tyra's Celebrity Wedding Tips
Date: May 14, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Celebrity Weddings & TV Shows

To find out how you can get married celebrity style on a budget tune in to the Tyra Banks Show this Tuesday 16th May. Tyra shows you how to have "Weddings for Less".

The show investigates why Americans spend $72 billion a year on weddings and Tyra gives you ideas on how to cut your wedding costs.

If you too have cut out a picture of Pink's wedding dress and have been trying to find a match for a budget price then tune in as Tyra will be showcasing Pink's wedding gown, alongside other celebrities' bridal gowns, at a fraction of the original designer prices.

Witness to what lengths a prospective bride will go to win $15,000 in Tyra's bridal giveaway. Plus Tyra surprises one financially challenged couple with the fantasy Vegas wedding of their dreams!

For show times in your area go to www.TyraShow.WarnerBros.com.

Perhaps Tyra will be taking note herself of some of the wedding suppliers details as things get more serious between her and boyfriend Tyler Perry. The cute couple have been dating for a couple of months and Tyra has been overheard mentioning that when she and Tyler have a child they will have to call it Ty-Ty! It sounds like wedding bells may not be far off for the 32 year old ex-model and host of "America's Next Top Model"!

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Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston's $8Million Wedding Revelations!
Date: May 14, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Celebrity Gossip

As soon as Vince Vaughn agreed to appear on the Oprah show he must have known it was going to be difficult to stay quiet about his relationship with Jennifer Aniston. We all know Oprah has a way of getting information from celebrities that they rather people didn't know!

With his guard down Vaughn openly admitted that he loves to spend time with the former Friends star and that being with her was so easy. In fact he went on to say that before they have children they need to have the $8 million wedding first, check him out saying it here.

"No, I have not talked about having kids with Jennifer. First we have to have the $8 million wedding."

The couple got it together while filming "The Break-Up". You can view a trailer of the film here, basically it's about a couple, Brooke and Gary, that despite agreeing to part find that neither actually wants to leave the condo they share together in Chicago. In fact they resort to mind tricks to try and force the other out, until it dawns on them that all this effort may be because they want the relationship to last. The official movie site states that it's out on June 2nd in the US.

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Will Kate Adams Be The Next Bridezilla? Discover The Highs & Woes!
Date: May 12, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Funny & Stress & Wedding Blogs

Let me introduce you to Kate Adam's new wedding planning blog called YouMayNowKissTheBlog.com

A few things you should firstly know about Kate:

* She is getting married in less than two months - which might just be the reason she is craving a cigarette despite the fact she has never smoked!

* Kate is using her blog as a way of relaxing before the big day and hopefully offering some advice along the way.

* She has never lived for the day, you know the girls - the ones that clip pictures from Martha Stewart Weddings as soon as their prom is over!

* Kate is feeling the heat, the stress is building up fast as the reality of planning a wedding is hitting home.

* Despite everything there is no way she will become the next "bridezilla", as Kate says about her cousin Samantha who evidently did:

She had it all down to a science and went through the whole experience like a mutant android on steroids—leaving a swath of dead bodies in her wake. I’ve sworn to myself I wouldn’t be like that. I WILL maintain a clear head through all of this. But it IS becoming harder and harder to do.

* Kate finds it hard not to ponder on cakes smashed on arrival, dresses damaged in transit, flower girls opting for a Halloween costume on the day, - where will the humiliation stop?

I highly recommend you take a time out to read her latest hilarious thoughts on planning her wedding including some amazing animations, here are some links to the first three:

1. My Awesome Ring

2. Whose Wedding Is This Anyway?

3. Gluttiny vs. Philanthropy

Enjoy Kate's Highs and Woes!

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Emily Shares Her Ideas On The Future Of Wedaholic.com
Date: May 10, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: About Emily & Site News

The purpose of Wedaholic.com is to share ideas, advice, tips, thoughts and inspiration regarding wedding planning. Since October 2005 the site has offered practical advice to brides around the world, whether by addressing their specific questions sent into me or by reviewing service and products they are likely to be interesed in. In just a short space of time Wedaholic.com has been acknowledged as one of the top wedding blogs.

Here is a little bit about myself. My name is Emily. I have been happily married for over 6 years and live and work in Surrey. My passion is wedding planning. This blog gives me the opportunity to talk about weddings and a wide range of topics associated with weddings. Without a doubt it is very exciting to have this opportunity to share and discuss wedding ideas with you.

Wedaholic.com is a collection of wedding ideas posted, journal-style for you all to see, use and comment on. I hope you find my blog interesting and helpful. My intention is that Wedaholic.com becomes your personal wedding planning assistant over the course of your engagement. You will find it contains entries based upon my personal wedding planning experiences and in depth research.

Weddings are definitely a rapidly evolving business and at Wedaholic.com you can keep up-to-date with wedding fads and trends. I understand the impact celebrity weddings have and keep you updated on the latest wedding celebrity gossip for inspiring and unique ideas.

If you have any wedding related questions or ideas for topics you would like to see at Wedaholic.com please let me know via email. I invite you all to comment on my blog. Please do feel free to join in the wedding discussions and feel free to link to my blog.

Remember wedding planning should be fun. Relax and enjoy your wedding planning!

Best

Emily

Disclaimer:

Wedaholic.com assume no responsibility or liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred as a result of any use or reliance upon the information and material contained within or downloaded from its website. Wedaholic.com, its employees and agents will not be responsible for any loss, however arising, from the use of, or reliance on this information. Wedaholic.com has taken considerable care in preparing the information and materials which are displayed in this website. However, Wedaholic.com are unable to provide any warranty concerning the accuracy or completeness of any information contained herein.

Hypertext links to third party websites outside Wedaholic.com are provided for the convenience of users only. Wedaholic.com is unable to provide any warranty concerning the accuracy or completeness of any information held within these third party websites - this is the responsibility of the publisher of the third party website.
Furthermore, by linking to other websites, Wedaholic.com in no way endorses the views or information held within such websites and is unable to grant permission to use material found on such sites.

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Preston And ChantBook Their August Wedding Reception in Essex
Date: May 03, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Celebrity Gossip & Celebrity Weddings

News has it that Big Brother 7 will start earlier in May than anticipated, which is great for all UK fans of this hit reality show!

Other Big Brother news is that Preston and Chantfrom the last celebrity show are still heading for a wedding in August. This follows news that they have been able to book a date at the Stock Brook Country Club in Essex due to a cancellation. The happy couple have hired the huge banqueting suite, garden room, patio and lawn for a reception for up to 250 guests. The site states that for a Saturday this will cost £3000, £1500 for Friday and Sunday and £800 for Monday through to Thursday.

I found this quote on Ananova:

"Chantwanted class and was thrilled when the booking became available. She is getting used to the finer things in life and this place delivers."
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Kelly Brooks and Billy Zane's Get Set For A Big Fat Greek Wedding!
Date: May 03, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Celebrity Gossip & Celebrity Weddings

Whilst filming the new steamy thriller Three, Kelly Brook and Titanic star Billy Zane fell for each other and have announced that they are planning a Greek Island wedding. Zane's mum is Greek and he lived there for four years, so although he has never been to a proper traditional Greek wedding, being able to speak fluent Greek will be a huge advantage in planning his own.

No wedding date has been set but Brook 26, said

"We haven't set a date yet but when we do we'll let everyone know."

Wedding guests include ex-lover Jason Statham, as Kelly says they are still best pals. Though maybe we should take this with a pitch of salt as Jason was gutted when she left him for Zane. In fact Jason was rumoured to say he would "blow his legs off".

For those interested in seeing the film - the story goes that businessman Jack Matson and his sexy wife Jennifer end up morooned on a desert island with boat-hand Manuel played by Juan Pablo Di Pace. You guessed it - in this low budget movie Jennifer and Manual end up getting much too close to the annoyance of Jack! I The movie's tagline is "Three arrive. Only two survive". Check out these stills from the movie here.

Brook, who spends most of her time in a little bikini, admitted it might have been love at first sight but matters of the heart had to be put on the back burner whilst she concentrated on making the movie.

In a nutshell she said:

"Any romance or hanky-panky had to wait until after the movie. It's very much like athletes - you save it for after."

The film opens nationwide in the UK on the May 5th following the premiere yesterday in London's Leicester Square. It will go straight to DVD in the US. Brooks was reported to have wowed fans with a tight fitting teal coloured dress, whilst Zane says he knows he is a very lucky man!

Finally back in December the happy couple commented that a honeymoon destination might be Scotland - one I can definitely recommend!

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As you plan your wedding you will receive advice from just about everyone. Friends and family have a million and one tips to pass on, in fact here at Wedaholic I have been offering tips galore.
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