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The Scottish Wedding Directory - For All Brides Marrying In Scotland
Date: June 30, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Directories & Industry News & Shopping & Site Reviews

Everyone loves a Scottish wedding! I know I won’t forget my big day back in 2000. I was blessed with glorious sunshine in Largs, Ayrshire.

These wonderful memories spring to mind on hearing that the Autumn/Winter 06 issue of the Scottish Wedding Directory is out tomorrow on the 1st July.

The Scottish Wedding Directory is a directory and 480 page magazine, split into two - The Directory and Scottish Wedding Venues.

The Directory features 750 wedding suppliers and is crammed full of ideas, advice, adverts, and pictures. In addition there are articles on everything from the latest trends in wedding gowns for Scottish brides to musicians, transport, photography, stationery and flowers. Also look out for a number of great competitions to be won!

The Magazine “Scottish Wedding Venues” offers comprehensive information on wedding venues throughout Scotland. This includes the “Gazetteer “ which enables you to quickly scan all the available venues and their facilities. There are also features on unusual venues, marquees, catering and a whole lot more!

This special 2 magazine package can be bought over the internet for £6 via this link. Delivery within the UK should take a minimum of four working days and includes postage and packing. You can also buy it from all major newsagents.

I would also highly recommend you checkout their website for every wedding service imaginable. For example whilst looking for stationary suppliers in Scotland I came across the very company I used, namely Isis Stationery. We combined the English rose and Scottish thistle motifs to represent the marriage of an Englishman and Scottish woman!

Finally before you leave the site sign up for their monthly newsletter, the form is on the left side of the homepage. Here is a link to the April newsletter called "Something New".

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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


Betting Slips And Lotto Tickets - The New Trend In Wedding Favors!
Date: June 30, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Favors & Funny & Shopping & Unique Ideas

An innovative couple from London have come up with a unique favor for guests at their wedding - betting slips! What a great idea - much more fun for the guests than almonds or a book of commemorative matches!

Newlyweds James Walton, 31, and Faye, 30, came up with the idea of creating "The Faye and James Wedding Special" bet which cost £1 and was for a treble win: England to win the World Cup, England to win the 2005 Ashes cricket series, and Carlisle to win the League Two title 2005/2006. Faye told the News and Star "We decided to give out betting slips as it was a bit different and sporty." James' family are from Silloth in Cumbria so they are ardent Carlisle football fans. Their local footbal team became heroes (and managed to win some of their wedding guests their bets) when they won the League Two title in May this year. They also gave out different variants on the treble bet and so far two of the bets have been successful. If England win the World Cup next week more of their guests will be cashing in!

The couple also gave the female guests at their wedding lottery tickets. Whilst none of the female guests won the jackpot three women managed to win £2, £10 and £40.

This couple's creative choice of favor is a variation on the new trend of giving lottery tickets to guests as wedding favors. Nowadays couples planning their wedding are looking for alternative favor ideas to show their guests in a unique and creative way how much they appreciate that guest sharing their special day with them. Lottery tickets, lotto tickets and scratch cards are definately an up and coming trend and always bring a smile to guest's faces (especially when they win!). Who doesn't love to scratch off lotto tickets? How exciting would it be if one of your guests scratched their lotto ticket and won $100 or even $10,000!

To keep pace with this new trend most wedding favor suppliers now provide envelopes, cards, scroll ribbons or miniature favor boxes to attractively present the lottery ticket, scratch card etc to the wedding guests. The most popular option nowadays is to conceal the ticket in an envelope or a custom-printed favor box. Confetti.co.uk offer cute silver coloured cards with "Lucky in Love" printed on the front at £4.99 for a pack of 10.

Bliss Weddings suggest that you place the ticket in a glassine envelope and add a penny minted in the same year as your wedding so that the guests can use it to scratch their tickets. Additionally they offer a range of personalised labels which you could use to decorate the envelopes. They sell 50 glassine envelopes for $7.99.

This great card is available from PartyBlock and it can either be left blank or can be personalized with a message from you to your guests, along with your names and wedding date.

If you are on a budget or if you just feel like being creative you could use some card to make holders for the lottery tickets yourself and decorate them to match the theme of your wedding. You could choose some card to match your wedding colors and cut it into postcard size pieces. Cut slits into the card and tuck the corners of the lotto ticket in so that it is secured in place in the middle of the card. Add some narrative to the card, such as "Lucky in love" or "Wishing you riches from the New Mr. and Mrs. XXX". Remember to add your names and wedding date too.

Whilst being an economical choice of wedding favor, at just $1 per lotto ticket, the tickets will also bring a fun element to your wedding day. I'm afraid there are no guarantees that your guests will win anything but there is a definite guarantee that they will have fun trying!

To read more about fun and unique wedding favors click here.

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Discover The Five Secrets To Wearing Stylish & Comfortable Wedding Shoes
Date: June 30, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attire & Bridal Party & Music & Dance & Shoes & Shopping

Wedding shoes have been important to the complete bridal ensemble ever since Prince Charming slid the glass slipper onto Sleeping Beauty's delicate foot. Today, it's important to make sure that the shoe you choose matches the style of gown you are going to wear, and with so many types of gowns and weddings this is quite a dilemma!

Are you getting married on the beach, in a church or in a rustic chapel? The range of shoes you may select from could include flip-flops, jeweled heels, leather boots or even the proverbial glass slippers with little kitten heels. There are a few things to keep in mind, however:

1. Remember to keep comfort in mind :

Your wedding gown is going to be the real focus of attention. In many cases, you gown is going to cover most, if not all, of your shoes, so don't choose a shoe that is excruciatingly painful because it is "gorgeous" if you know it is going to be painful by the end of the day. If you don't normally wear three inch heels, don't wear them on your wedding day. Choose a slender one-inch heel in an attractive style instead so that you will be comfortable. Or better yet, a lovely ballet-style flat that compliments your dress. Of course, if you are used to heels, by all means wear them!

Visit BridalShoes.com

2. Match fabrics as well as colors :

Many brides try to get shoes dyed to match their gowns and then are disappointed when they don't match because they have looked only at the price and gone with the cheapest material possible. If you choose a different material than what your gown is made from, the dye, no matter what color you attempt to use, will not "grab" the same, and the light does not reflect in the same manner. Satin, peau-de-soie, silk, brocade and other materials all have different reflective and dye qualities. You must choose shoes out of similar materials to get a good match.

Visit Shoes.com

3. Don't assume high price means best fit :

Having said that you should pay for good quality material, we won't claim that high price ensures the best fit. The only way to know what shoe fits you best is to try the shoe on. Each brand will run different, and some shoes will fit in one size in one brand and another size in another brand. If you want to dance the night away on your wedding day, be sure to walk around in a few pairs and check the fit so that you find a pair that not only looks great but fits comfortably. You may be surprised to find that some very inexpensive shoes have a fantastic fit.

Visit Shoebuy.com

4. Consider looking at shoes that aren't "bridal shoes" :

If you will be doing a lot of dancing, look into purchasing shoes from a store specializing in dance shoes. Ballet or ballroom shoes are designed to be extremely comfortable and come in a wide range of styles and colors that are extraordinarily versatile and attractive, with plenty of give and flexibility. Once you try these on, you may find yourself going back to these stores for special event shoes beyond your wedding day.

Visit BellissimaBridalShoes.com

5. Save money for your bridesmaids by going neutral :

If your bridesmaids are wearing pastels, consider allowing them to purchase off-white or white shoes. If they are wearing rich, deep tones, go with bone, taupe, muted metallics or even black for their shoes. Remember, if they are wearing floor-length gowns their shoes aren't going to show, and really, they aren't the center of attention - you are. Your bridesmaids will thank you for the opportunity to invest in comfortable, attractive shoes they can wear again and again instead of a pair of mint green heels that will languish in their closets and be tossed after they gather dust for months.

And last but not least visit QualityBridalShoes.com

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Do You Want To Be A Star Bride As Part Of A New BBC1 Wedding Show?
Date: June 28, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: TV Shows

Lion Television are looking for brides who have not yet started their wedding planning to feature in their new wedding planning show which will be shown on BBC1.

They claim that if you agree to be featured on their new show they "will help create a truly sparkling wedding" - sounds exciting!

Read more about how to apply at Confetti.co.uk.

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Wedding Fridge Magnets – What A Great Way To Save The Date!
Date: June 26, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Funny & Guests & Invitations & Announcements & Unique Ideas

What better way to let your guests know the date of your wedding than a personalized save the date fridge magnet! Save the date cards are quite a new concept in the UK although they have been a trend in the USA for a long time. They are a fun and unique way of announcing your wedding date to your guests in advance of sending them out a formal invitation, so that they can be sure to keep the date free. You can choose fridge magnets to send to your wedding guests as engagement announcements and save the date reminders. All of your family and friends will enjoy receiving such a useful and stylish wedding date announcement.

Here are some of the advantages of sending a save the date fridge magnet to your wedding guests:

♥ As mentioned above, these are quite a new concept in the UK so your guests will be very excited to receive this novel wedding date notification.

♥ Unlike traditional paper wedding date announcements, fridge magnets will never get thrown out! The recipients will undoubtedly find them useful - your unique fridge magnet will be sure to get pride of place on their refrigerators, filing cabinets and desktops as a reminder of your fantastic news.

♥ Traditionally save the date fridge magnets are sent out between 3 to 6 months prior to your wedding date but you could send them out as early as 12 months before the wedding date. This is particularly relevant if you are planning a destination wedding where accommodation and flights might need to be booked well in advance.

♥ Save the date cards are a particularly good idea if your wedding date falls during the summer months when your guests might be planning their vacations or during a public holiday, such as Easter or Christmas, and for out-of-town and overseas guests who will need to make travel arrangements in advance for your wedding. Out-of-town and overseas guests might even want to plan their vacations around your wedding, so the earlier you can let them know your wedding date the better. This will help to ensure that your guests can get the best deals on flights and other travel and accommodation arrangements they have to make.

♥ If you need to let your guests know about your wedding well in advance yet do not want to rush your decision when choosing your wedding stationary, then why not send out save the date fridge magnets. Once you have sent them off to your guests you can relax and enjoy the rest of your wedding planning, safe in the knowledge that your guests are all aware of that special date which they must keep free!

♥ I think the main advantage of sending out save the date fridge magnets is that you get to enjoy designing a unique fridge magnet – this might be one of the most fun parts of your wedding planning! If the theme for your wedding is going to be quite elegant and thus your wedding invitations are likely to be sophisticated then this is where you can show your guests you and your partner’s fun personalities - choose a wacky fridge magnet design which get your guests talking!

♥ The advantage of a fridge magnet over a save the date card is that they are durable, long-lasting and it is highly likely they will be displayed in one of the most prominent parts of your guest’s home – their fridge! They are very unlikely to forget your wedding date when they are visiting their fridge at least a couple of times a day!

Top tips for choosing your fridge magnet

♥ There is no need for your save the date fridge magnet to match the wedding invitations which you intend to send at a later date. This is your chance to have some fun. Choose a design which offers a true reflection of you and your partner’s personalities, your relationship and your style

♥ Let your imagination go wild – save the date announcements are not meant to be formal! Having fun is very important at this early stage of your wedding planning!

♥ You should definitely consider adding a photograph of you and your fiancé as this really adds a personal touch.

♥ However, this is the first impression your guests will have of your wedding so perhaps you would prefer to stick with the theme and style of your wedding whilst still selecting a creative and unique fridge magnet. You may want to choose fridge magnets which exactly match your wedding invitations.

♥ Some fridge magnet design companies give you the option to print anything you like on your fridge magnet (within reason!).

♥ There are so many creative and unique designs out there to choose from. There are new trends in save the date fridge magnets emerging every day as they become more popular worldwide. I have highlighted below some websites which have a great selection and which seem to accommodate most individual tastes ranging from the beautifully elegant to the totally wacky! Have a look around the various websites to see which magnet design suits your personal taste.

♥ It really is simple - just choose a size or style, a design or image and decide if you want to add any personal text.

Choose a shape and size

♥ The norm for fridge magnets is to choose a rectangular one.
♥ Also available are square and oval fridge magnets
♥ Slightly more expensive (but they do look great) are heart shaped magnets
♥ You can choose from various sizes ranging from 3" x 2" up to 7 1/2" x 8 3/4"
♥ The fridge magnets are available in both horizontal and vertical layouts

Choose a style and image

♥ Do you want your fridge magnet to be highly personalized or simply to bear your name and wedding date? If you prefer you can choose from a stock catalog of images ranging from sunsets to seasonal images such as snowflakes or falling leaves to animals such as dolphins.

♥ If you are not feeling very creative you can select a pre-designed fridge magnet from one of the wedding categories on the fridge magnet websites. They will create a colorful fridge magnet for you and add your basic wording. You don’t have to add lots of embellishments to your fridge magnet – it is your choice!

♥ If you are feeling creative and choose to design your own fridge magnet you will find plenty of ideas and eye-catching designs at the websites I have listed below. There are many design options available. You can choose from a sophisticated design style of magnet to a fun magnet.

♥ You have the option with most of the fridge magnet companies to choose a black and white image, sepia or the full spectrum of colors. You should try to use bright, bold colors that will make an impact so that your wedding date will stay in the thoughts of even the most absentminded guests! Most websites provide you with a choice of background colors and patterns and lettering styles.

♥ If you have already chosen the color theme for your wedding then why not use this to guide you in your fridge magnet design. Include graphics or colors that make sense to the location and time of year your wedding will be set in. For example use shades of blue for an oceanside or beach wedding or choose yellow roses, white and yellow daisies and tulips in pastel colors for a spring wedding.

♥ If your wedding has a theme (e.g. beach wedding, medieval wedding, Las Vegas or other destination wedding) then why not reflect this in your choice of design for your fridge magnet. For example if you are having a beach wedding choose a fridge magnet design with palm trees, a tropical beach, seashells etc.

♥ The best way to personalize your fridge magnet is to use an image of your own. You can use many formats but jpeg, bmp, gif or pdf formats seem to be the most acceptable amongst the fridge magnet manufacturers. Note that if you are submitting your own artwork, please do follow the artwork specifications given on the fridge magnet website you decide to use so that delays in proofing time can be avoided.

♥ If you decide to go with the popular option of using your own photo then you can either choose a pre-designed layout for the photo and wording or have one tailor made to your requirements. There are lots of options with photos on fridge magnets and the great thing is that as your photo is unique, no one else will have designed a fridge magnet quite like yours!

♥ How about using your engagement photo to announce your wedding date?

♥ One of the hot trends at the moment is a strip photo like a photo booth. You and your fiancé can pull funny faces and hold up cards with writing on them. For example:

• We're getting married
• Save the date
• 20th April 2007
• Be there!

or simply

• Save
• The
• Date
• 20th April 2007

All you have to do is submit the sequence of photos to the fridge magnet company and they will take care of the rest. This is a popular choice so you will find most fridge magnet companies can provide this design.

♥ Alternatively you could have a photo taken of you and your fiancé holding up cards with numbers on them in each hand to signify the wedding date and have a title along the top of the magnet saying “Save the date”.

♥ Other photo options are:

• Using a photo of you both taken at the wedding venue
• Using photos of you both as children mocked up

♥ For something a bit different you could choose a glow in the dark fridge magnet.

♥ Photo calendar magnets are one of the most popular types of save the date fridge magnet. The magnet is designed to look like a mini calendar month with the date you have chosen for your wedding circled or decorated so that is stands out.

♥ What better way to ensure that people add your important date to their calendar than to send them an actual calendar! These fridge magnets have a 15 month calendar beneath a photo or image of your choice with tear-off calendar pages. You can choose for the months to run from January, April, July or October.

Wording

♥ The basic wording on a save the date fridge magnet should include:
o Your names (first names are fine unless some of the recipients do not know you very well)
o The date of your wedding
o The city or town where the wedding is due to take place (unless you have not yet finalized this)

♥ If you have set up a wedding website remember to include this address also so that guests can keep up-to-date with your wedding news.

♥ Because save-the-date cards magnets are a recent trend in the UK some guests may not have received one before and might misinterpret this as the actual wedding invitation. To avoid any confusion include wording on the fridge magnet along the lines of “Invitation to follow” or “Wedding invitation and details to follow” so that guests know that (a) they do not have to respond to the save-the-date magnet as they would a formal invitation and (b) they can expect more details in the future to assist them with arranging travel, accommodation, childcare arrangements and gift list details.

♥ Just as there are many design options for fridge magnets, so too are their innumerous options for narrative that you print on your magnet. You can have choose up to 6 lines of narrative to be printed on the horizontal magnets and up to 8 lines on the vertical magnets. If you would like to include a poem or some optional romantic sentiments but are lacking ideas have a look at this website PhotoMagnets.com which has some lovely choices of wording.

Other points to note

♥ Save the date fridge magnets range in cost from $0.50 each for very basic small ones. There is something for every budget, you just have to do a bit of research by looking at the websites I have listed below. My best advice to you is to shop around as some of the fridge magnet companies have special offers if you order certain amounts and some even offer free shipping.

♥ The smallest order is usually 20 fridge magnets but obviously the more magnets you order the cheaper each they are.

♥ Do make sure that you order them well in advance as they can take up to 5 business days to be produced and shipped.

♥ You can mail out the fridge magnets in exactly the same way you would a wedding invite, with a normal postage stamp – they are very thin and light. Most of the fridge magnet companies provide you with a card for you to slide the magnet onto and an envelope.

♥ Remember that you should only mail out your save the date fridge magnets to people who you definitely intend on inviting to your wedding – so make sure that your guest list is finalized before you start to send them out. Once you have asked your guests to keep the date free you cannot then un-invite them!

Fridge magnets are not just for announcing your wedding date. You can also choose fridge magnets as the perfect way to send your guests personalized thank you messages after your wedding or wedding shower invites.

Fridge Magnets as wedding favors or thank you cards

♥ A novel idea for a wedding favor is to give each guest (or each couple) a fridge magnet. If you prefer not to design it yourself then check out the beautiful collection at BridalPeople.com. If you choose to personalize your fridge magnet and present it as a favor or thank you gift to your guests then this truly is a creative and unique way of thanking them for sharing your wedding day which will last forever. There are plenty of options for wording and designs to put on the fridge magnet:

♥ You could simply thank them for sharing your special day and include the date on it as a reminder (they’ll never forget your anniversary then!).

♥ You could have a photo of the two of you with a special message from you both to your guests.

♥ You could have a short love poem or some words which are meaningful to both you and your partner with an appropriate graphic.

♥ Why not include your new address on the fridge magnet – this will save you having to send out change of address cards when you get back from your honeymoon!

♥ If you prefer you could personalize each fridge magnet by having each guest’s name put on it. These could double up as place-cards for the tables during the wedding banquet.

♥ You could personalize the fridge magnets further by having specific magnets made for each of your bridal party (e.g. one for your bridesmaid with a special message of thanks, one for your best man etc).

♥ Alternatively you could have a photo of you both on your wedding day made into a fridge magnet and send them out to guests after your wedding in place of thank you cards. This would be a lovely reminder for your guests of your wedding day, as well as being useful. You could use an official wedding photo or a photo of you both looking more relaxed on your wedding day which might be more informal.

♥ You could also send these fridge magnets out to guests who were unable to attend your wedding but who you want to say thank you too (e.g. people who were too ill or too old to make the journey).

♥ Something a bit different from a normal photo fridge magnet as a thank you gift is the mini-word magnet. This consists of a large photo magnet personalized with your own choice of wording and it is attached to a magnetic sheet which holds 55 die cut mini words. These are a mixture of romantic and fun words which are easily pulled apart to create words, phrases and poems on your guest’s fridge door. They are available in vertical or horizontal forms and cost approximately $2.95 each when you order 100. They are available at PhotoMagnets.com.

Car Door Magnets

♥ A novel new concept is the car door magnet. As the name suggests, they are magnets which you put on the car doors which bear the wording “Just Married” with your names or “Newlyweds”. They cost $29.50 for 2. These are bound to raise a few laughs on your wedding day as you drive off into the sunset!

Invite to bridal shower

♥ Rather than sending out a traditional bridal shower, bachelorette party or hen night invitation, how about sending a fridge magnet instead – what a unique idea! There are lots of fashionable and stylish designs for you to choose from this website.



Make your own fridge magnets

♥ If you are constrained by your tight wedding budget and cannot afford to splash out on designer fridge magnets then why not try making your own. With a little effort and for a very small cost you could have beautiful personalized fridge magnets.

♥ You can buy the peel-and-stick magnets in bulk at most office supply stores (approx $8.95 for 50 individual business card sized adhesive backed magnets) and then decorate your own stickers for the front by using your pc and printer in conjunction with your own photos or clipart. Here are the exact instructions of how to make your own peel-and-stick fridge magnets.

♥ I totally recommend BrilliantWeddingPages.com which explains with easy-to-follow instructions on how to make fridge magnet wedding favors. Take a look – you have nothing to lose!

The fridge magnet websites I recommend are as follows:

i4image.co.uk
CritterZone.com
MagnetQueen.com
MagnetStreet.com
PhotoMagnets.com
TheAmberCat.co.uk

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Australia's Wedding Of The Year – Nicole And Keith Say “I Do”
Date: June 25, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Celebrity Weddings

Hollywood star Nicole Kidman and country singer Keith Urban exchanged wedding vows today in a twilight ceremony at Cardinal Cerruti Memorial Chapel at St Patrick's Estate in Manly, Sydney. The gothic-style sandstone church was set on a cliff top overlooking Manly beach and the Pacific Ocean – very dramatic!

Keith, who arrived at the beachside suburb of Manly in a blue four-wheel drive vehicle, wore a black suit, white vest and black tie with a white rose on his lapel.

The majority of the 230 guests attending the black-tie wedding were Australian friends and family. Amongst them were celebrities including Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Naomi Watts, Baz Luhrmann, Rupert Murdoch and his wife Wendi Deng, Murdoch's Sydney-based son Lachlan and his wife, model Sarah O'Hare. The wedding guests were ferried from their luxury Sydney hotel to the Chapel in a convoy of luxury sedans and minibuses.

The Chapel and marquee where the reception was being held were decorated with a cornucopia of beautiful flowers including white freesias, gardenias, lilies and orchids – typically generous of Nicole and Keith is the fact that these were later donated to the Sydney Children's Hospital.

The wedding party arrived at the Chapel in a convoy of cream Rolls-Royce wedding cars. It was made up of Nicole’s sister Antonia, as maid of Honor, Isabella, 13, Nicole’s adopted daughter with ex-husband Tom Cruise, and Antonia's daughter, Lucia, who was a flower girl. Standing by Keith at the altar were his brother Shane, who acted as best man and his good friend Marlon Holden, as usher. Nicole’s adopted son Connor, 11, was also expected to act as an usher.

Nicole arrived at the church for the candlelit ceremony accompanied by her father Antony as the sun went down, waving and smiling to the crowds from her cream Rolls Royce limousine. As predicted, she was wearing an elegant ivory-colored empire-waisted wedding gown, reportedly designed by Nicolas Ghesquiere for Balenciaga, and this was set off by the simple yet elegant posy of white roses which she carried. The stunning bride wore her hair flowing around her shoulders and adorned her ears with drop pearl earrings. Nicole chose to wear a sheer veil which she kept on throughout the ceremony until she finally lifted it to say her wedding vows. A guest from the wedding told People "Nicole cried all the way to the church in the car and then she cried all during the ceremony and had to wipe her eyes under the veil. It was the most emotional and beautiful ceremony. Nicole looked ethereal with her veil floating, like a vision in white. ... Keith cried when he looked at her.”

The traditional Roman Catholic ceremony was officiated by Father Paul Coleman, a Jesuit priest who has been a Kidman family friend for more than 30 years. The wedding ceremony was said to have lasted 35 minutes and included gospel readings, a lecture to the couple on the secret of keeping their love alive and a string quartet from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra was expected to perform also. As the church bells chimed at 6.25pm the crowds of fans and paparazzi outside the Chapel cheered as this signaled that Nicole and Keith had exchanged their vows.

The reception kicked off shortly after 7pm as the newlyweds and their guests moved into the dramatically floodlit white marquee which was erected on the lawn of the St. Patrick's Estate. There the guests enjoyed hors d'oeuvres and champagne as jazz music played. For the wedding meal the guests were expected to dine on tuna as part of entree, a choice of Tasmanian Atlantic salmon or lamb for the main course with baby carrots and a celeriac and potato mash on the side and a raspberry and mascarpone dessert to finish the meal off.

As for entertainment at the reception Hugh Jackman (who as well as being a great actor is also an acclaimed Broadway musical star) and Crowded House's Neil Finn were expected to perform. Nicole had been kept in the dark as to what to expect for the evening entertainment as Keith was keen to surprise her. He reportedly planned to serenade his new wife with a selection of songs from his latest album, Be Here - he favored the love song 'Making Memories Of Us' as it is said to perfectly capture his feelings towards Nicole.

Security for the wedding was planned months in advance and it certainly looks as if the well-laid plans paid off. Police, black-suited security guards and a high wire fence ensured that the wedding did not fall prey to any uninvited guests.

According to People Nicole and Keith released a statement with an official wedding photograph to the waiting media stating, "We just want to thank everyone in Australia and around the world who have sent us their warm wishes.”

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Could This Be The World's Heaviest Wedding Dress?
Date: June 24, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Dresses & Funny & Unique Ideas

The last thing any bride wants on her wedding day is to spend it counting the minutes until she can take her uncomfortable wedding dress off! When choosing your wedding dress it is of the utmost importance that, as well as choosing a stunning dress which makes you look and feel beautiful, you have to choose a dress you can move freely in which is comfortable for you to wear - after all you are likely to spend all day in that dress. I was reading an article today which made me realise that some brides really do put aesthetics over practicality when it comes to choosing their wedding dress.

Teenager Carly O'Brien considered her own comfort to be a low priority when she chose the wedding dress for her recent marriage to landscape gardener sweetheart Michael Coffey, 17, at St Peter's Catholic Church in Gloucester. Not only was her wedding dress made up of 30 layers of material (including an 18m train), metal hoops and 3,000 Swarovski crystals but this resulted in her dress weighing a breathtaking 159kg - it could earn the title of being the world's heaviest wedding dress! The voluminous dress is believed to have cost Carly's father approximately £25,000.

Carly, 16, took inspiration for her dress design from her role model Jordan and the dress she wore for her wedding last year to Peter Andre. Carly even went as far as arriving at the church in the same horse-drawn glass carriage that Jordan used.

It took family and friends 9 hours to help Carly into the dress and the tiny-framed bride (she has a size 4 figure!) then had to be pushed up the aisle by 10 guests as her dress was so heavy that she could not walk in it. She was also unable to stand up or walk during the reception so she spent the remainder of her wedding day sitting down!

Carly's wedding guests allegedly commented that she looked more beautuful in her wedding dress than Jordan, so I guess for this bride that was the most important thing!

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A Mischievous Tip For Entertaining Wedding Guests
Date: June 22, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Funny & Guests & Reception & Shopping & Unique Ideas

Further to my blog I posted last week with my top tips for encouraging guests to mingle at your wedding I have just discovered a novel idea which is sure to get your guests mingling - MissChief's Original Forfeit Cookies!

These cookies offer a modern alternative to fortune cookies. When you break them open each one contains an original forfeit (there are over 200 different forfeits in the complete range). The forfeits are a great way of encouraging your guests during the wedding reception to have a laugh amongst themselves and get them interacting and talking. I imagine even the shyest guests will feel compelled to participate in the forfeits as they are so much fun! The forfeits range from performing a short belly or pole dance, to re-enacting the scene from When Harry Met Sally, to telling an embarrassing story about somebody sat at the same table. They are designed to encourage the guests at each table to get up to mischief at your wedding!

However, unlike typical fortune cookies, these cookies are delicious as well as fun. They are not your usual crescent shaped cookie, they are Italian golden sugar wafers with each end dipped in 73% single origin dark chocolate. The cookies are contained inside a beautifully designed cigarette-style box which contains 11 individual dark chocolate dipped cookies, plus one white chocolate dipped group cookie (this contains a forfeit for the whole table to participate in) and a rules card so that your guests understand what they are expected to do. These cookies are ideal for placing on each table at your wedding reception - make sure you place a disposable camera alongside them so that your guests can capture each other's michevious behaviour!

Also available from the same company are Hen Night Forfeit Cookies (which I have seen in action and which are great fun. They contain great forfeits (which are not so racy that they will shock your more faint-hearted guests) which really encourage your friends who may not know each other very well to participate in the forfeits together and most importantly to have a laugh. Intimate Forfeit Cookies (which are quite racy) are perfect for you and your partner to share on a romantic weekend away.

The cookies are available from from Getintomischief.com for £9.50 including postage and packaging or from Confetti.co.uk for £13.99 including postage and packaging.

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ChantChooses A Wedding Dress Fit For A Princess
Date: June 22, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Celebrity Weddings

I am impressed to hear that ChantHoughton, winner of Celebrity Big Brother earlier this year, has chosen none other than Elizabeth Emanuel to create her wedding dress. Designer Emanuel became famous for creating Princess Diana's wedding dress in 1981. The ivory silk and taffeta wedding dress became famous for its 25ft train and bodice which was hand-sewn with 10,000 pearls and sequins.

It is quite a choice for 22 year old Chant- 5 months ago she was an unknown promotions girl from Essex and now she is having a bespoke designer wedding dress made for her. Emanuel’s new label Art of Being will make Chantelle's dress.

Chantis due to walk up the aisle with fellow Big Brother housemate, Ordinary Boys singer, Samuel Preston, 24, this summer. According to The Sun the loved-up couple have booked picturesque Stock Brook Country Club in Essex as their wedding reception venue. It looks, from their choice of swanky wedding reception venue and wedding dress designer, that their wedding will be a classy affair. That will suit Preston as he was recently heard commenting that he would rather die than have an over-the-top wedding like Jordan and Peter Andre’s pink extravaganza!

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Double Wedding Question
Date: June 21, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Ask The Planner & Ceremonies

Hi Everyone,

I had this question regarding double weddings:

"I am unsure how we should approach this double wedding. We have a lot of ideas about sharing a cake with different flavors in each layer and our fiancées have both agreed on a donut cake, since they are police officers. We have decided on colors for the wedding, and many other items, but we have not discussed how to do the ceremony. We know that it will be two back to back ceremonies, since our dresses are completely different and we are a little selfish and want them separate, but who should go first? Or how should we decide? I don't want to upset the other bride in anyway, but I am unsure how we should do this."

This was my reply:

I think it is such a lovely idea to have a double wedding with your friend. I expect most of your guests will never have attended this type of wedding before so I understand that you are probably anxious about making the right choices for the ceremony.

When considering a double wedding, it is one of the most important questions any bride-to-be has - who goes first? No matter how generous you feel towards your friend on her wedding day, as a bride yourself you will want to shine on your special day and have the limelight directed on you as you walk down the aisle and take your vows. There is nothing selfish about feeling like that!

Although the logistics of your double wedding might seem complicated, with efficient organization prior to the wedding ceremony, everything will run just as smoothly as it would for a single-ceremony wedding.

Traditionally the elder bride enters first and does everything else first as well. If you, your friend and your partners are all agreeable though there is no reason why you can't switch it round and have whomever is the youngest of you and your friend walk down the aisle and perform her vows first. However, it might be the case that you and your friend are the same age or you might both feel that the "age" issue is not an appropriate means of deciding who will go first.

With a double wedding there is always going to have to be a certain amount of compromise between the couples organizing the event. I shouldn't imagine that reaching a fair decision about who should have their wedding ceremony first will be a huge problem between the two of you . After all, you must enjoy a special relationship with your friend already if you have come this far in your wedding planning and have decided that you want to share your wedding day with each other.

You and your friend might both feel virtuous telling each other that you don't mind who goes first but you want the decision to be fair to both parties. If the thought of tossing a coin, pulling straws or shaking a Magic 8-Ball to come to the decision does not appeal to you, then perhaps you should consider if any of the following points are appropriate to either of you - they might well help you to reach that important decision of who goes first!

♥ Are there any specific reasons why one of you would prefer to have their ceremony first? For example, do either of you suffer from stage-fright or nerves and prefer to get the ceremony finished with early on in the day so that you can relax and enjoy the rest of your wedding day?

♥ Would one of you prefer to have more time available to get ready on the morning of the wedding? If so, then perhaps you would be glad to have the later slot for the ceremony.

♥ Do you or your friend have young attendants (flower girls or page boys) who are likely to perform better earlier on in the day?

♥ Does the officiant have a preference as to which of the ceremonies takes place first? You have not said if you are getting married in a Church, but if you are you will inevitably find that the minister has the final word in deciding the ceremonial arrangements. It is worth checking with him when making your decision of who goes first.

Whilst sharing your wedding day jointly with your friend can add an especially meaningful aspect to your friendship, it can also cause problems in a friendship if either of you feel aggrieved about the decision of who should go first. You need to come to a decision which both couples are happy and comfortable with. Do make sure if you have any conflicting feelings over the decision which has been made that you resolve them as soon as possible. Both you and your friend should have a relaxing and unforgettable wedding day, not one that leaves you seething with resentment and ruins a friendship!

Whatever decision you come to, don't feel that either one of you will be taking second place to the other. Whether you walk up that aisle first or second, you can be sure that you will be the star of the show for your family and friends!

For more information about planning a double wedding including wording for invitations, reception arrangements, and top tips for organizing the logistics of it all, take a look here.

I hope that you have found this useful. Thank you for your question.

Good luck with your double wedding planning!

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Could It Be A Shotgun Wedding For Nicole Kidman?
Date: June 16, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Celebrity Gossip

The rumour mill is grinding into action as Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban's
wedding day approaches. Rumours are rife that there might be more squeezed into Nicole's Balenciaga wedding gown than her size 6 figure!

Speculation that Nicole might be pregnant was fuelled by a photo taken at the beginning of this year of her chatting to her parents while Keith lovingly patted and stroked her stomach! According to reports, Nicole has also been photographed during recent public appearances with a slightly swollen belly. This always leads the media to believe that a slim woman is pregnant but we'll have to wait to find out as Nicole and Keith's representatives are refusing to comment on whether or not the soon-to-be newlyweds are expecting their family to grow later this year.

Lets keep our fingers crossed for her as this will be Nicole’s first biological child (she has two adopted children from her marriage to Tom Cruise, Isabella, 12, and Connor, 10). Nicole has been pregnant before - she suffered a miscarriage a few months after splitting up with Tom Cruise.

With her upcoming wedding and, hopefully, a baby on the way things are certainly looking rosy for this Hollywood star!

Click here to read more.

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Tips To Help You Sign Up To Wedaholic's Weekly Wedding Tips
Date: June 14, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Site News

Each week you can receive a wedding planning tip simply by using the sign up form. In addition you will also be sent a free report I wrote for anyone stuck for wedding dress ideas.

To date these tips have proved very popular, here are some of the testimonials I have received:

"Thank you so much for all your information! You've made planning my wedding so much easier, and everything I need is right here at my fingertips! You provide an amazing array of money and time saving tips that I've never seen anywhere else. You're a real lifeline! Thanks again for your time and dedication to something as wonderful as a wedding." - Kellie, Oregon

"Your tips have been very useful .... our wedding is in a couple of weeks and everything is organised." - Louise, UK

"I greatly appreciate all the time and devotion that you have put into these wedding planning tips. They have been a tremendous amount of help towards the planning and work of my upcoming wedding. ...Once again, thank you so so much for all of your help. And I know that if I need some more help or tips, I will surely be re-visiting your web site. Thanks again so much. Great appreciation" - Stephanie, Toronto

To start receiving your very own wedding tips just follow these 6 Simple Steps:

STEP 1.

Fill in your first name and email address and hit the button that says "Send My 1st Tip". Once you have done this you will be taken to the "Video Tips To Help You Sign Up To Wedaholic's Weekly Wedding Tips" page if you are not already on it.

STEP 2.

Now check your email inbox for a confirmation email.

If you don't see it within a few minutes (most of the time it takes less than a minute to arrive) please check your spam filters to see if it has been blocked out.

STEP 3.

Next open up this email and look for the verifcation link under where it says "CONFIRM BY VISITING THE LINK BELOW:".

It is very important that you click on this link, if you don't you won't receive your free wedding tips and ebook.

The Wedaholic tips list is called double opt-in, which basically means you have to confirm twice that you would like to receive the tips. This prevents Spam and ensures only the brides that want the tips get them. This is in accordance with the 2004 Federal CAN-SPAM law.

Once you have clicked on the verifcation link you will receive confirmation in the form of a pop up window.

STEP 4.

Now check your email inbox again for your first tip.

STEP 5.

Now the easy bit - reading the first tip at your leisure!

At the top of each tip I have posted a link to some of my best wedding planning articles. I encourage you to click on these links each week and read them.

STEP 6.

Finally check the first email tip for an attachment, this is your free wedding dress ideas ebook in pdf format. I have also included a link to it within the email.

Each week you will receive a wedding tip. Many brides have written to tell me how just one gem made all the difference on their big day - I hope this will also be case for you!

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Croquembouche - Discover The New Trend In Wedding Cakes
Date: June 14, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Cakes & Catering & Reception & Traditions & Customs & Unique Ideas

If you watched the Discovery Home and Health Weddings Live Show last weekend then you would have seen their feature on the latest trends with wedding cakes. One of the eye-catching cakes they showed, which they claim is becoming an increasingly popular choice with modern brides, is the Croquembouche.

What is a Croquembouche?

The Croquembouche is a tower of profiteroles (choux pastry puffs filled with vanilla pastry cream) which are coated in a thin crust of crispy caramel. The “glue” which holds the puffs together in their stunning pyramid shape is melted toffee or chocolate ganache. The delicious pyramid usually rests on a base or stand made of edible nougatine.

This unique tower of delicacies looks stunning but for extra effect you can choose to have them decorated further. There are plenty of creative ways of decorating the Croquembouche including:

♥ sugarcraft work including sugar flowers scattered around the top and sides of the tower

♥ webs of spun sugar cascading down the sides

♥ sugared almonds sticking out in between the puffs and scattered around the base - you could choose dragees to match the colour scheme of your wedding (have a look at the selection available on Confetti.co.uk)

♥ strings of light-catching crystals threaded around the base

♥ a small cake topper or ornament for the top of the tower

♥ small fresh flowers either studded around the base of the tower and/or sat on the top peak

♥ curls of ribbon matching the colours of your wedding theme

♥ drizzles of melted white, dark or milk chocolate cascading down the tower

♥ fresh strawberries or other fruit placed around the base of the tower

There are lots of variations on the Croquembouche fillings too to suit your own personal taste. Alternatives fillings include coffee, lemon cream, amaretto cream and strawberry mousse.

Who invented the Croquembouche?

The Croquembouche originated in France back in the early 18th century as their traditional wedding cake. Back then guests would bring their own sweet breads to the wedding reception and would use them to create a tower. The newlyweds would attempt to kiss over the top of the sweet bread tower as this was said to bring them prosperity and fertility for their future life together! When French patissiers invented choux filled pastries (profiteroles) these were brought to weddings instead of the simple sweet breads and they were balanced into a pyramid. The Croquembouche has certainly evolved since then, with many different variations of the original version being made by chocolatiers and patissiers all over the Europe and America.

The cutting of the cake

Traditionally the Croquembouche is served by the bride and groom hitting it hard with a sword and the bridesmaids catching the pieces in a tablecloth. Nowadays the more popular and functional option for cutting the Croquembouche are:

♥ The bride and groom pose with a knife against the Croquembouche for the benefit of photos being taken and it is then whisked away by the catering staff for dismantling and serving to the guests

♥ A metal hammer is often provided by the cake-makers for the bride and groom to knock the top of the tower off (perhaps a safer option than using a sword!)

♥ If the bride and groom are feeling very daring they could cut into the top section of the Croquembouche or simply pick one profiterole each off of the top of the pyramid and feed it to each other

How to serve the Croquembouche

The Croquembouche can be used in addition to, or as an alternative to, dessert at your wedding reception. Ideally if you are serving it in place of wedding cake you should allow a portion of 3 profiteroles per guest, or if you are serving it as the main dessert then allow a portion of 5 profiteroles per guest. A delicious idea is to serve the Croquembouche to your guests with a choice of raspberry coulis, chocolate sauce or fresh cream.

If you choose an informal catering package you could leave your Croquembouche for guests to break off pieces themselves.

If it’s good enough for Madonna …….

Madonna and Guy Ritchie chose a Croquembouche for their December 2000 wedding at Skibo Castle. Their bespoke confection featured pomegranates, golden tassles, green ivy and hot chocolate sauce. It was created by master patissier Eric Lanlard of Savoir Design, whose elaborate Croquembouche have garnered him a fantastic reputation and an A-list clientele.

Advantages of choosing a Croquembouche for your wedding

♥ Not only is the Croquembouche absolutely delicious but visually it creates a truly breathtaking centerpiece for your wedding reception – something to capture your guests‘ attention. Standing at a minimum of 18 inches high for the smallest version the Croquembouche definately stands out!

♥ Although they are becoming very popular the Croquembouche is still viewed as a unique style of wedding cake, so dare to be different!

♥ The Croquembouche is fully transportable and does not need refrigeration.

♥ Each profiterole is baked fresh on the morning of your wedding and then stacked up into a tower.

♥ You can have a tower of 700 pieces so there will be plenty to go around at your wedding reception.

♥ If you prefer to stick with tradition and have a tiered wedding cake at your wedding reception, perhaps you could have the Croquembouche solely as your dessert or choose a smaller one simply as an eye-catching centerpiece.

How much does a Croquembouche cost

The cost of the Croquembouche varies depending on what size you are going to require for your wedding reception which depends on how many guests you will be feeding. I had a look on the internet at Wedding-Cakes.co.uk who are a British based company and they have a lovely selection of Croquembouche on their website for you to peruse. Their prices start at £245 for a 120 piece Croquembouche which is comparatively cheaper than the average cost of a traditional tiered and decorated wedding cake, which is £300.

If you wanted to be adventurous and try to make your own Croquembouche then check out the mold available at Amazon.com (cost $124.71) or Widerview.com (cost $109.95). For the recipe I found that this one was easy to follow (and free!) or you could buy the recipe book “A Sweet Quartet“ which contains the recipe for the Croquembouche (available at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk).

The Croquembouche is radically changing the shape of wedding cakes for the future by providing a modern twist to the traditional tiered wedding cake. Your cake is really important part of your special day so why not try something unique and memorable!

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How To Plan A Dream Wedding On An $8,000 Budget
Date: June 11, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: TV Shows

With the average wedding costing more than $30,000 it's no wonder so many couples put off getting married!

For those couples who are planning on saying "I do" on a shoestring budget, the most precious advice they can receive is how to keep their wedding costs down. This is exactly the idea behind the HGTV show "Wedding: Design on a Dime" (airing June 10th, 2006 10pm E/T, June 11th, 2006 2am E/T and June 17th, 2006 6pm E/T on HGTV). According to HGTV this budget-minded program shows couples that you can have the stylish wedding of your dreams for a fraction of the cost that an average American couple spend on their wedding. With a budget of $8,000 designer host Kristan Cunningham and Dave Leiberman from the Food Network set to work on planning a couple's wedding. You should tune in to pick up top tips. For more details about this show have a look at Bestweddingsites.com.

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Nicole Kidman's Sunset Wedding Plans
Date: June 10, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Celebrity Weddings

Nicole Kidman is heading back home to Sydney, Australia for her upcoming wedding. The oscar winning actress and her country singing fiance Keith Urban have busily been making preparations in anticipation of their June 25th wedding.

The Hollywood couple have arranged to have their wedding in the evening in the hope that the darkness will prevent the paparazzi from obtaining aerial photos of their nuptials. The couple have supposedly booked up every local helicopter to deter paparazzi from flying overhead. Security and traffic plans are already being put in place by Sydney's police force to prevent a crowd and media frenzy. The couple have asked all wedding suppliers, including chefs, stylists and helicopter pilots, to sign confidentiality contracts to ensure that no details about their wedding will be leaked to the media.

Their ceremony, which is believed to be a traditional Catholic ceremony, is due to begin at sunset at North Sydney's Mary MacKillop chapel. Nicole has attended the chapel before with her parents. Since divorcing Tom Cruise in 2001, who she wed in a Scientology ceremony, Nicole has returned to her Catholic roots and has been attending Mass regularly. According to the Daily Telegraph, Nicole and Keith chose this chapel because of its limited access by both air and road for uninvited guests! The couple have agreed with media publications that they will release two photos of the wedding and a short piece of video footage so long as the paparazzi respect their privacy during their wedding ceremony.

This wedding is set to be one of the showbiz weddings of the year with a guest list that includes many international A-listers. The couple have been trying to keep their wedding plans top secret - so secret that even the guests don't know what to expect yet! They have asked their 200 guests to book into a five-star Sydney hotel and they will then be given further instructions about the rehearsal dinner, ceremony and star-studded wedding reception.

Nicole will be wearing a custom-made Balenciaga wedding gown. She will certainly not have to worry about having a bad hair day on her special day as she has arranged to fly her personal hairdresser and make-up artist to Sydney from New York.

It has not been confirmed but it is thought that Nicole's adopted daughter Isabella and her sister Antonia will be her maids of honor, whilst Keith will have his brother Shane stand by him as his best man. Celebrity chef Luke Mangan is rumoured to be in charge of the wedding catering for the star-studded event, whilst the wedding entertainment will be handled by none other than Bette Midler! Nicole and Keith begged Bette (who is not your typical wedding singer!) to perform her hit "Wind Beneath My Wings" for them at their wedding. A source close to the couple told the British newspaper The Sun, "It is Nicole and Keith's special song. Bette and Nicole are very close. They were both born in Hawaii, so they have a lot in common".

After the wedding festivities the newlyweds are jetting off to Fiji to relax and enjoy a week long honeymoon at the exclusive Wakaya Island Resort. It will be a well-deserved break for the hardworking couple. At present Nicole is on her way back to Sydney after finishing filming on her latest movie in New York. She is due to have a stopover in Shanghai for an appearance at the Shanghai Film Festival on June 13th to promote her upcoming film, The Lady From Shanghai. Meanwhile Keith made a surprise appearance on Wednesday at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville for a live performance with country duo Brooks & Dunn.

The loved up couple have decided against signing a pre-nuptial agreement. They are obviously not interested at all in the material benefits of getting married as they have asked that instead of wedding gifts, guests should donate money to charity instead. What a kind and generous couple - obviously all they need is each other!

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Lessons On How Not to Give A Groom's Wedding Speech!
Date: June 09, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Funny & Speeches

I just found this video on Google Video:


This is just so BAD!

Just shows what can go wrong if your groom doesn't write a speech beforehand :-)

If you don't want your groom to be as bad as the one in this video ...have a look at this recent blog I wrote on the "7 tips to giving a great wedding speech". Also if you are giving one yourself, have a read of "15 tips for delivering a bride's speech".

In addition I recommend "Who Else Wants 20 Professionally Written, Awe-Inspiring, Groom Speeches....".

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Wedding Discount Coupons From JewelryTelevision.com
Date: June 08, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Budgeting & Coupons

In the past I have written blogs about wedding costs, some of the recent ones being:

Dealing With The Touchy Subject of "Money"!

Budgeting Wedding Breakfasts v. Buffets

How To Buy Your Wedding Dress in the UK For as Little as £60!


Whilst trawling the net for wedding information I often come across coupons that could really benefit brides and grooms. In fact, more so in the US, there are enough coupons on the internet to devote a whole blog to! My intention tough is to post coupons where I come across something that rings my bell and makes me think that really could save a bride a lot of money. The following did just that!

Jewelry coupon codes for June and July from JewelryTelevison.com

JUNE
Code – DISCJNAFFS
Validity Dates - 6/1/06-6/30/06
Offer - Free Shipping on your next entire purchase-Single Use Only

Code - DISCJNAF15
Validity Dates - 6/1/06-6/30/06
Offer - 15% OFF on your next entire purchase-Single Use Only

JULY
Code – DISCJYAFFS
Validity Dates - 7/1/06-7/31/06
Offer - Free Shipping on your next entire purchase-Single Use Only

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In fact I just did a search in the "Diamonds Favorites" category and there are over 500 to choose from - plenty of ideas for wedding and engagements rings!

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Ben Affleck's Baby Bro Weds
Date: June 06, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Celebrity Weddings

Actor Casey Affleck tied the knot with his girlfriend Summer Phoenix in a small private ceremony in Savannah, Georgia at the weekend.

Casey, 30, is the younger brother of Ben Affleck and Summer, 28, is the younger sister of actors Joaquin and the late River Phoenix. It was Joaquin who first introduced Casey to Summer after the two of them became friends in 1995 whilst filming "To Die For". Casey took time out from playing the male lead in brother Ben's directorial debut film "Gone Baby, Gone" to marry his girlfriend of 6 years. Ben took time out from shooting on Friday night when he and wife Jennifer Garner flew down to Savannah for the weekend nuptials.

The newlyweds, who have been engaged since Christmas 2003, share a love of politics, animal rights, veganism and their two year old son Indiana August.

For the full story check out EOnline.com.

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Keanu Reeves Wants To Get Married - Any Takers?
Date: June 06, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Celebrity Gossip

One of Hollywood's favourite bachelors, Keanu Reeves, has admitted to People Magazine this month that he is ready to settle down and get married - the only thing is he has to find Mrs Right first!

"I want to get married. I want to have kids. That's at the top of the mountain. I've got to climb the mountain first. I'll do it. Just give me some time."

Heart-throb Keanu is beginning to feel the pressure of not being part of a couple now that he has turned 40. Read the full story at People Magazine.

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Unique Ideas For Asking Friends To Be A Bridesmaid Or Matron of Honor
Date: June 04, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attendants & Bridal Party & Unique Ideas

It is a great honour to be asked to be a bridesmaid so you should make it a moment to remember for both you and your bridesmaid. Without a doubt bridesmaids are always touched and flattered to be asked to stand up for you. By asking someone to be your bridesmaid you are singling them out and showing them how important they are to you. You are asking them to be a part of your wedding experience, one of the most important days of your life, so try to think of a unique and stylish way of doing this.

I should mention that throughout this blog entry where I have referred to bridesmaid I do mean attendants in general including maid and matron of honor.

I have set out some creative suggestions below. If the people you intend to ask to be bridesmaids are scattered across the country, or indeed the world, then it may not be possible for you to ask them in person. Therefore I have included some ideas for alternative ways to ask them to be a bridesmaid which are a bit more innovative than simply asking them over the phone.

Whether or not you're able to ask your bridesmaid in person, here are some imaginative and unique suggestions on how to do it:

♥ You could buy her a bridesmaid handbook and present it to her. I recommend “The Bridesmaid Guide” by Kate Chynoweth which was given to me by my friend when I was one of her bridesmaids. This book is great with plenty of up-to-date top tips for bridesmaids on how to handle all situations in the run up to and on the actual day of the wedding. It’s available from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Have a look and see - there are lots of other bridesmaid books you could choose instead which have great bridal shower and bachelorette party ideas and tips on how your bridesmaid can be diplomatic on a variety of wedding issues including the choosing of the bridesmaid’s dress!

♥ To make it even more memorable you could give your bridesmaid a gift which will always remind her of the moment when you asked her to be your bridesmaid. If its within your budget you could buy her a luxury item which you know she has been coveting for a while.

♥ You could arrange to meet your bridesmaid and present her with a personalised gift such as a t-shirt with “Bridesmaid” and your wedding date emblazoned on it – that should provide her with a big clue as to what you want to ask her! Your bridesmaid could wear the t-shirt at your bachelorette/wedding shower to identify herself, so this gift should get a lot of wear (take a look at ExclusivelyWeddings.com for cute t-shirts and tank tops). Alternatively, you could give her a personalised tote bag with her name on it or a photo printed on it of the two of you (MomentsofElegance.com have a nice selection). This gift, you could tell her, would come in very handy in the upcoming months for all of the paperwork she will accumulate when she helps you with the organization of your wedding!

♥ If you intend on buying your bridesmaids a piece of jewellery or an accessory for your wedding day anyway then you could buy this in advance and present it to them and ask if they would wear it on your wedding day as they stand beside you as your bridesmaid. Beware though of the fact that if they turn you down it might be a bit awkward to ask for gift back so perhaps think it through carefully before splashing out on Tiffany bracelets for your bridesmaids!

♥ If all of your prospective bridesmaids live nearby then you could take them out to lunch and pop the question to them! You could give them each a small gift or if you are on a budget give them a card or simply a cute note scrolled up with a ribbon telling them your wedding date and the part you would like them to play on your special day.

♥ If money is no object then take your friends to dinner, order some champagne and present them all with mini bouquets and explain to them that you would like them to hold a similar arrangement on your wedding day.

♥ Similarly, you could choose a flower you intend to use in your wedding and send it to your bridesmaids with a card explaining that this is a flower which you would like them to carry in their bouquet on your wedding day, or give it to them personally.

♥ You could frame one of your favourite photos of you and each of your potential bridesmaids and present it to them with a note telling them how important they are to you and whether they will be your bridesmaid.

♥ If you have time you could put together a small memory book with special moments from your friendship with your prospective bridesmaids. You could have photos with narrative describing special moments in your friendship and times that you’ve shared together. On the last page you could leave a blank space for a photo and just add the title of both your names and your wedding date. Or on the last page you could add a poem or letter asking them to be your bridesmaid.

♥ Arrange to meet your bridesmaids in the vicinity of your local bridal shop and whilst walking with them past the shop ask them if they which style of bridesmaid dress they would choose – this should give them a hint! Be aware that they may not want to try on bridesmaids dresses there and then (most brides and bridesmaids prefer to have their “special” underwear on and their hair and make-up looking great for such an occasion!).

♥ If you notice that there is a wedding fair on locally ask them if they want to tag along with you. Most friends will reluctantly agree to go with you! Whilst at the wedding fair pop the question to her and then you can get excited together looking at all the wedding stands and dresses.

♥ If you are on a budget invite your bridesmaids to your house for lunch or dinner and ask them then. If you are embarrassed to have a schmaltzy conversation about how much your friend means to you then you could write your request on a card, placecard or napkin and place it on their plates. If you do this, ensure that if you are inviting friends within the group who are not potential bridesmaids that you seat everyone at the right spot – you would feel awful if one of them thought the bridesmaid proposal was for her and it wasn’t!

♥ An inexpensive idea would be to rent the movie “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and as you both reach for the hankies ask her to be your bridesmaid!

♥ Whether or not to ask your bridesmaids as a group or individually is a decision only you can make. Personally I asked my maid of honor separately and then my other two bridesmaids together. I would recommend that if you are having a maid or matron of honor and bridesmaids too, make sure that you ask the former before the latter. This will mean that if your first choice of maid/matron of honor turns down your offer then you can promote the others to maid/matron status without them feeling hurt that they are your second choice.

♥ If asking your bridesmaid in person is not an option then many of the above ideas are deliverable by post. You could also consider sending a bouquet of flowers, a balloon, a telegram, a teddy bear or candy gram or simply a card asking them to be your bridesmaid.

♥ Although it might seem impersonal to write to ask someone to be your bridesmaid, if you have no alternative because of the geographical distance between you and your bridesmaid then don’t worry about it. A great alternative to a simple letter is a personalised handmade card. You could either make a card yourself or try CafePress.com or WeddingStand.com. They have a fantastic variety of fun, colourful, handmade cards with specific “Will you be my bridesmaid” wording in them.

♥ If you decide to make a card yourself you should include some cute wording. Mention what a great friend/sister/cousin she is, tell her how important she is to you and how you want her to share your special experience in the run up to your wedding and to stand by you on your wedding day. Just say something from the heart and you can’t go wrong.

♥ In conjunction with a lot of these ideas including the flower or tote bag you could attach a card with a poem or verse written on it. For poem ideas have a look at TheKnot.com. One poem written on a wedding card on a website which I think is great is “Roses are red, violets are blue, will you be my bridesmaid? Please say "I do"”. I think that rhyme is really cute but you can get lets of other ideas from the internet. Choose wording which is symbolic to you and the person you are asking to be your bridesmaid.

♥ I recommend that you ask your bridesmaids as far in advance as possible. The perfect time to ask could be at your engagement party when spirits are high anyway and everyone is in a celebratory mood. That way you will be giving them enough advance notice. Do bear in mind that if you are getting married around the time of a public holiday (e.g. Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving) people book vacations in advance so do give them plenty notice to avoid disappointment.

♥ Judge for yourself whether the person you are asking to be bridesmaid is likely to feel any pressure by you asking her. If so then perhaps you should hold back on giving any gifts, cards, poems etc. as this might make them feel awkward about turning you down. Judge for yourself whether it is enough to simply ask your friend whether she would consider being your bridesmaid.

♥ If the unthinkable happens and the person you ask to be bridesmaid turns you down then do not get disheartened. They probably have a genuine reason for not being able to stand by you on your special day. A close friend of mine was asked to be a bridesmaid in the very early stages of her first pregnancy and she was caught in the dilemma of not wanting to disappoint her friend but also knowing that her due date was around the same time as the wedding date! If you feel it is appropriate to persuade your friend/family member to reconsider their decision then you could point out the advantages to being your bridesmaid to help sway them in their decision:

o If the person you are asking to be bridesmaid is single point out that they will be the centre of attention, a real VIP at your wedding and traditionally bridesmaids get endless dance requests at the reception!

o Remind her that she will get the opportunity to wear a beautiful dress which she can help to choose – if you intend on paying for it then this will definitely be a plus point worth mentioning to her!

o Try flattering her by telling her how you really need her creative skills to help organize your wedding, bachelorette party and wedding shower.

o Assure her that you will not turn into a bridezilla and will remain a calm and normal person throughout the wedding!

o If she seems nervous about her ability to carry out the tasks expected of her as a bridesmaid, boost her confidence by telling her that you have chosen her because she is perfect for the job! Flatter her and tell her you need her organizational skills, efficiency and resourcefulness.

o If all else fails resort to emotional blackmail and tell her that without her you might well turn into a stress-head heading for a nervous breakdown in the run up to and on the day of the wedding without her by your side! Tell her you need her to keep you organised, calm and sober on your special day!

As you can see from the above, there are many creative and special ways to ask someone to be your bridesmaid. You should take this opportunity to do something truly unique rather than just asking them straight out to be a bridesmaid. Have fun!

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Choose Your Wedding Dress Style
Date: June 03, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Dresses & Funny

Perhaps you have always dreamt of what style of wedding dress you want to wear on your big day, but most bride-to-be's find that the style of dress they think will be perfect for them does not actually suit their body type or complexion.

Have a bit of fun and try Discovery Home & Health's interactive wedding dress selector. It will give you an initial idea of what style dress will suit your body shape.

First you need to choose the body shape that is closest to your own.

The choices are: Thin, Thick, Plump, Pear or Hourglass

Naturally I chose "Hourglass" (in my dreams!)

Then you have to click on the dress style you think best suits you best. I chose the middle one of the five.

On making your decision you get either "That's Right" or "Are You Sure About That?"

Either way you get a full explanation for the decision, for example:

Curvaceous womean with small waists can get away with most styles and will look fabulous in fitted dresses that show off thieir cruves. If you are petite and want to look taller you should consider a short dress. If you prefer the more traditional look opt for a dress with an uninterrupted line. Dropped waist styles will emphasis your curves and make your waist look tiny. Avoid dresses that cut you in half such as those that have tightly fitting bodices and very full skirts. Wear the highest heels you are comfotable with and avoid too many fussy frill and flounces which will swap you.

Here is an example of where I deliberately chose a nightmare wedding dress!

I loved playing around with the different body shapes and dress styles. Fortunately everytime you get a "Are You Sure About That?" you are also given the "Suggested Dress Style" and the reasons why!

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Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Ask Ex-Idol To Sing For Their Wedding
Date: June 03, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Celebrity Weddings

Not everyone can afford to ask an American Idol runner-up to sing at their wedding but that is exactly what Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have done! They became huge fans of Katharine McPhee during the recent series of Pop Idol so have asked her to sing at their upcoming wedding.

For the full story click here.

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How To Successfully Choose Your Wedding Songs And Music
Date: June 02, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Music & Dance & Site Reviews

Whether you choose a live band, a string quartet, a DJ or even do it yourself with an iPod your musical choices will set the mood and the pace for your wedding day. Wedding songs are one of the elements of the wedding day remembered most by guests, so be sure to put your own stamp on the day through your choice of music for both the wedding ceremony and the reception.

The music you select for your wedding will help to create the right atmosphere for your big day. It is really crucial that you take time to select wedding music which best reflects your feelings, your personality and the theme of the wedding you want to create. After all you want your wedding to be remembered for the right reasons – not the fact that you allow the DJ to play D:Ream’s “Things Can Only Get Better” for your first dance!

Some of the things you might want to consider when choosing your wedding songs are as follows:

* Remember that you will need to select music for the wedding ceremony, the cocktail hour or pre-reception drinks party and the reception.

* If your wedding has a specific theme (for example medieval, beach, tropical, Asian or Italian) you should choose music to match.

* If you are selecting music for your first dance than really think carefully about your choice. Have a look at the lyrics for your chosen song and practice dancing to the beat of it with your partner to ensure its not too slow or fast for you both. Beware of choosing songs which are trendy and popular at the moment. Its more important that you choose a song which is meaningful to you both.

* When selecting music for your ceremony talk to your officiant. They might well have strict guidelines about which wedding songs can be used during your ceremony in their house of worship. Its important to discuss this with them at an early stage to agree which songs will be used at your wedding. Officiants could well have some recommendations they can make to you for songs too.

* You will want your guests to not only feel relaxed and enjoy themselves but additionally you might want them to feel included in your wedding day. Perhaps you could choose a specific song for a specific guest to make them feel special.

* A key piece of advice professional wedding planners give regarding choosing wedding music is to plan out an outline or plot for your wedding, as if it is a movie. This will mean that you know which key moments will require specific wedding music (e.g. walking down the aisle, father/daughter dance, the bouquet or garter toss) and which moments simply require background music (e.g. during the reception meal).

* Always ensure that you have given clear instructions to your live band, DJ or whoever else is responsible for your wedding music so that both they and you know what music is being played at what time during your wedding day.

To simplify the process for you of choosing the perfect soundtrack to your wedding day I have researched some of the most popular wedding song websites and have set out below a brief review of some of the best. Most of the websites I’ve recommended contain large libraries of wedding songs to choose from and some of them have broken the lists down into categories and sometimes even sub-categories, such as processional or ceremony music and then celebratory or reception music. You might also want to consider having a look at these websites to select music to include on your wedding video. Have a browse through the websites and have some fun!

OurWeddingSongs.com

This is a slick site with very nice graphics. It is easy to navigate and sets out in detail descriptions of each different type of song available for each different segment of your wedding day - from the ceremony to the reception, including bouquet toss songs, unity candle songs and even cake cutting songs. There seems to be a good amount of songs to choose from and they range from oldies to more recent chart-toppers. With each song suggested they include lyrics, which is great so that you can check that the wording of the song you choose for a specific part of your wedding is totally appropriate.

This website is set apart from the others by the fact that it gives you ratings out of 10 for each of the songs displayed within the different categories which members of the public have voted on. This is great as it tells you which are the most popular wedding songs, or you might prefer to think of them as the most common (meaning perhaps you should set yourself apart from everyone else and use something different!).

WedAlert.com

This website has a varied selection of categories and sub-categories to choose from. It features 1200 songs which are said to be the most popular wedding songs in North America.

Although it does not have lyrics to many songs you can listen to soundbites of a lot of the songs. By clicking on a certain song title within one of the categories Real One Player opens up and allows you to hear a 45 second sample of the song (only if you have speakers though!). Some people might prefer hearing the sample of the song rather than reading the lyrics as it can really help to remind you of what a song sounds like. Be warned though 45 seconds can sometimes not be long enough to help you decide whether a song is going to be appropriate for your first dance. This site does have links though telling you where you can buy the CD’s the songs are taken from.

This website has lots of good suggestions for songs you might like to play for different aspects of your wedding including father/daughter dance, mother/son dance etc. As well as listing contemporary and classical songs this site also has a well presented ethnic music selection with plenty of variety to inspire you with your choices. I think that this website gives great advice on how to choose your wedding music and how to organize timings for the music on your wedding day in order to create the right atmosphere.

WeddingMusicCentral.com

The wedding music library within this website is fantastic. There are a huge selection of popular wedding songs and lots of song suggestions within each category. Unfortunately only some of the listed songs have samples attached to them that you can listen to, but you will find that the most popular wedding songs do have sound clips available. A great feature of this site is the CD listening room. It sets out recommended wedding CD’s which you can select and then listen to taster songs from each CD. The site also has links on how to buy those CD’s.

Another reason to visit this website is that it has an invaluable guide on how to pick the soundtrack to your perfect wedding. There is a huge amount of well laid out information to help you select which songs you need and when you should play them at your wedding so that you can organize the music for the whole ceremony and reception. The expert planning section is fantastic and I think it will greatly assist you in making your music selections.

Look out for the article within this website on “How to avoid the 3 biggest wedding mistakes most couples make with wedding music” by Gloria Sklerov and Barbara Rothstein. This is a must read!

Wedj.com

This website says that its selection of wedding songs have been chosen by disc jockeys who have performed at weddings throughout North America. I think that this is brilliant because you know that the songs listed are authentically chosen by experts who are in the know as to which songs are most popular. This could be especially useful if you are planning on using an iPod at your wedding and handling the music selection yourself as it will give you an idea of which songs are appropriate for the different stages of your wedding. For example, by using the suggestions listed on this website you can gain ideas of which songs are great for getting people up onto the dancefloor, background music during the meal or even music for cutting your cake to.

Although there are not as many categories as the other websites I have reviewed above they have got a very full selection of music for the 4 categories that there are. As before, when you click on a link to a song Real One Player opens in another window and allows you to hear a 45 second snippet of each song.

This website also has numerous links to live bands who are available all over North America for wedding hire, which is very useful if you are thinking of having living music at your wedding. In conjunction with this, they have the facility on their website for you to listen to samples of popular wedding songs being played live by bands free of charge. This is a great way to get an idea of a band’s sound before you consider contacting them.

I hope that you’ve found my reviews useful. Good luck with selecting your wedding music!

Further Reading On Wedding Music and Songs:
20 Essential Wedding DJ Choosing the right DJ is crucial and my top tips should help you get it right.
Alanis Morissette Favours An iPod Over A Wedding DJ - How About Yourself? - How to save money by opting for an iPod.
Revealing Five Wedding Song Ideas 5 tips to selecting the best wedding songs you can.

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"Countdown to Your Perfect Wedding" - A Fantastic Guide For All Brides!
Date: June 01, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Books & Checklists & Planning & Shopping

With so many wedding planning books out there, it really isn’t easy for a bride to find one that will reliably hold her hand through the 12 months prior to her wedding. If you search on the term “wedding planning” in Amazon.com you are presented with nearly 700 book titles!

Thus I am pleased to recommend a book that is definitely a cut above the rest, meaning you can buy with complete confidence.

The book is called “Countdown to Your Perfect Wedding”,, written by Joyce Scardina Becker and published by St. Martin's Press. I first came across Joyce on the expert panel at the blog Herecomestheblog.com whilst writing a recent review of four top wedding blogs. Joyce runs a wedding planning and design company based in San Francisco called Events of Distinction, catering for the Who’s Who list of influential luminaries.

I continually receive questions from brides on checklists and wedding planning advice and from now on I will always be advising the purchase of this superb 310 page book!

The beauty of "Countdown to Your Perfect Wedding” is that it is arranged on a 52 week timeline, thus guiding you through the all important milestones. Each task is broken down into a manageable chunks of information, ensurung you won't miss anything as you approach your big day.

Joyce has received many excellent reviews, including this one from Diane Forden, Editor in Chief of Bridal Guide magazine:

"Joyce Scardina Becker's experience as a wedding consultant is obvious on every page of this book. Her insight, invaluable advice and smart ideas are sure to ease the wedding planning process for help engaged couples everywhere."

And also this review from Antonia van der Meer, Editor in Chief of Elegant Bride and Modern Bride magazines.

“Today’s bride faces so many important decisions, from selecting the dress of her dreams to making sure every last detail of her big day is picture perfect. Joyce Scardina Becker’s book is a well-organized, thoughtful and enormously helpful guide to the modern bride seeking thorough and creative solutions to wedding planning.”
Available from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

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Be A Wedding Guest From The Comfort Of Your Living Room This Saturday
Date: June 01, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: TV Shows

Other people's weddings are always a good place to find inspiration and ideas for your own big day. If you don't have plans this Saturday then you should tune in to Discovery Home and Health where they are televising six live weddings.

One wedding will be shown per hour and the weddings will be taking place across Britain. The style of weddings being shown will range from a gay wedding for two brides, a traditional Hindu wedding, a seadide wedding including an English cream tea and a red double-decker bus trip and a movie themed wedding. With this amount of variety in the wedding themes brides-to-be are bound to pick up some creative and innovative ideas.

Tune in on Saturday 3rd June from 12 noon to 6pm. Repeats of the show will be shown on Sunday 4th June and Friday 23rd June.

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Ever Wondered What Celebrity You Look Like?
Date: June 01, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Funny

This is just a bit of fun and really has little to do with weddings! It might make you chuckle though and forget the wedding stress you may be suffering this morning!

Ever wondered what celebrity you look like?

Just by visiting MyHeritage.com you can discover the celebrity that has your good looks! A few minutes ago I uploaded the photo I use on Wedaholic and within seconds I was shown visual proof that I look like Françoise Hardy, Holly Marie Combs and Jennifer Aniston.

These celebs I could easily live with, though I was concerned that if I changed the gender to male I was told I have a close resemblance to the American poet Ezra Pound! Surely this has to be a bug in this highly entertaining face recognition database.

On closer inspection I see the site has multiple photographs of over 3200 celebrities from around the world, ranging from movie stars, sports stars and politicians to famous people from yesteryear. You can get a full list of all the celebrities via this link.

Jennifer Ansiton

Ezra Pound !

So if you need a confidence boast before your big day just spend a few minutes at MyHeritage.com uploading your own photo and seeing what glamourous celebrity you look like. But please don't blame me if you get a dodgy celebrity like good old Ezra!

Plug for Richard from The Gadget Show for telling me about MyHeritage.com

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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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