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28 Reasons Why I Love Google!
Date: July 28, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Books & Coupons & Destination Weddings & Directories & Dresses & Honeymoon & Magazines & Miscellaneous & Planning & Reception & Reviews & Shopping & Unique Ideas & Venues & Videography

Yes it's true - I love Google in so many ways.

Let me explain why. Most of us have a friendship with Google and meet up most days, either at work or home! It's just so easy to find exactly what you want, just type in your query and Google delivers. To be honest though my friendship turned into a full on love affair when I started to learn ways that Google could help me even futher. There really is so much more to Google than just a simple search.

I would like to show you specific Google services and queries that can help you plan your wedding.


Google Services:

♥ Google Answers

Type in your wedding related question and have an expert reply to it, or alternatively, as I do, just browse existing wedding questions at your leisure. There is a non-refundable listing fee of $0.50 per question plus an additional 'price' you set for your question that reflects how much you're willing to pay for an answer. I recommend you review some of the wedding questions to get an idea of how much information you will receive for any given amount. The lowest you can pay for a question is $2. Google Answers is a great resource and an excellent opportunity to get your wedding question answered.

♥ Google Blog Search

Using Google Blog Search you can search for content on many wedding blogs - either informational sites like Wedaholic.com or personal blogs set up by engaged couples. Additionally you can review wedding related references made on other blog sites. Quite often the information found on a blog is much more current than a major wedding portal.

♥ Google Book Search

Use Google Book Search to find the full text taken from wedding books and also discover new ones at the same time. Most wedding books are on “Limited Preview”, but nevertheless this gives you an idea of what the book is like before you buy it.

♥ Google Calendar

Google allows you to set up a special “Wedding Calendar” so that you can record all of your key dates leading up to the big day. This is great tool for sharing with your parents, bridesmaids, best man etc. If you already have a Google Mail you can toggle between your email and calendar with ease.

♥ Google Catalogs

This is a fantastic way to shop for wedding favors, gifts and so much more. Simply by using Google Catalogs you can see all the references made to weddings in the top shopping catalogs. Just flick through the catalogs as if they had been delivered to your door!

♥ Google Desktop

All the Google information and functionality you ever wanted, right on your desktop.

♥ Google Directory

Use Google Directory to search the web organized by topics into categories. This way you can really find the wedding site you want - you defintely won't find any fluff or spam sites here.

♥ Google Earth

Google Earth combines satellite imagery, maps and the power of Google Search to enable you to review potential wedding venues and honeymoon possibilities without moving from your desk - a very powerful tool. Before you know it you will have spent an hour circling the globe in amazement!

♥ Google Groups

Google Groups is a free service which allows groups of people to communicate effectively with each other using email and the internet. I recommend you take a look at the alt.wedding and alt.wedding.marketplace groups.

♥ Google Images

This is a brilliant resource for searching for images of your dream wedding dress or the type of reception you desire. Additionally it is a great place to catch up with all the celebrity wedding pictures!

♥ Google Maps

Invaluable as a way to find the exact location of a wedding supplier or get precise directions to a possible wedding reception. One of the most powerful time saving Google tools.

♥ Google Notebook

As you browse the internet searching for wedding ideas don't you wish you had somewhere to save all the scraps of information you come across? Well look no further! Using Google Notebook you can add clippings of text, images and links from web pages to your own notebook without ever leaving your browser window.

♥ Google Movies

When the wedding planning gets too much, treat yourself to a movie. Google Movies gives you the latest information and times before you book online. Is there anything Google doesn't do!

♥ Google News

When you're addicted to weddings you just have to have the latest wedding news - I know the feeling! Keep track with all the celebrity wedding gossip by visiting Google News.

♥ Google Pages

Use Google Pages to easily and quickly create your own wedding web pages. This free online tool makes it easy for anyone to create and publish attractive pages in minutes. If you want a simple page announcing your wedding then this is the tool for you. As you edit your page, you will see exactly what it will look like when your wedding guests see it. There are definitely no complex tools to learn and no web designers to hire.

♥ Google Suggest

I love Google Suggest, just start to enter your query and you are presented with a number of alternatives you will have probably never thought of.

♥ Google Video

It would take you a lifetime to view every movie on Google Video, such is the array of varied content. Search on "wedding dress" for example and begin to see the many options you have.


Google Operators:

Next time you search in Google I recommend you use some of the following operators for a more precise search.

define:wedding

Use this to get the exact defination of a keyword. For example Wikipedia states that "A wedding is a civil or religious ceremony at which the beginning of a marriage is celebrated". No suprises there, but try defining the internet in one sentence!

link:theknot.com

This operator enables you to find a list of websites that link to your favourite wedding site. In this case I'm able to find other wedding sites simply by asking Google for a list of those ones that link to TheKnot.com.

related:hitched.co.uk

You can use the related operator to find sites similar and related to any of your favourite wedding sites. Click on the link to see web sites related to Hitched.co.uk

site:weddingchannel.com

Ever wondered how many pages there are in a web site? Use the site operator to get links to every page on the site. If you have the time you can read all 275,000 pages at WeddingChannel.com!

allintitle:wedding ipod

The allintitle operator restricts the results to those with all the query words in the title. So, for example, if you are looking for specific articles on the use of ipods at weddings you could use the query above, as this would only return documents that have both "wedding" and "ipod" in the title.

intitle:wedding budget

The intitle operator restricts the results to documents containing that word in the title. For instance the query above will return documents that mention the word "wedding" in their title, and mention the word "budget" anywhere in the document.

allinurl:wedding songs

If you start a query with allinurl, Google will restrict the results to those with all of the query words in the url. For instance, my example will return only documents that have both "wedding" and "songs" in the url.

inurl:wedding tips

If you include inurl: in your wedding query, Google will restrict the results to documents containing that word in the url. For instance, my example will return documents that mention the word "wedding" in their url, and mention the word "tips" anywhere in the document.

wedding * dress

This query will return documents that contain wedding and dress separated by exactly one word.

-inurl:htm -inurl:html intitle:"index of" mp3 "wedding"

Use this query string to search for wedding mp3s. Alternatively you can just replace the word "wedding" with the name of any music artist.

I hope these links help with your wedding planning and with your other Google searches. Undoubtedly the major reason I love Google is because of Google Romance - how else would I have met my husband!

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How To Invite Children To The Wedding Ceremony Only
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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


Announcing Eight Free Online Wedding Budget Planner Reviews
Date: July 27, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Budgeting & Checklists & Planning & Reviews & Shopping & Site Reviews

We all know that weddings can be as expensive as they are elaborate. The first step on the wedding trail that all newly engaged couples need to take is deciding on how much they can comfortably afford to spend on their big day. The Knot carried out a survey which showed that 44% of couples admitted that they did not set up a wedding budget before starting planning for their big day. Setting up a wedding budget is the best way to ensure that you do not overspend. You can see what amounts of money need to be allocated to each area of your wedding planning and it will give you an overall estimated cost for your wedding. It is helpful before you actually start spending money on wedding services to have in your possession a sensible estimate of what it is going to cost you to have your dream wedding. Your wedding budget must be realistic to your financial circumstances.

According to a survey carried out by the Condé Nast Bridal Group, which publishes Brides, Modern Bride and Elegant Bride magazines, the average cost of a wedding has nearly doubled in the past 15 years to $27,852. With one third of all weddings now being paid for entirely by the bride and groom, $27,852 is a vast amount of money for the average couple to stump up. This is why I totally recommend you use a wedding budget planner. These calculating tools are not only free (one of the few wedding services you will encounter which can claim this!) but they also take the stress out of managing your wedding finances.

How Interactive Wedding Budget Planners work:

♥ Usually the budget planners provide you with a comprehensive list of all the costs you will encounter when planning your wedding including: Reception, Ceremony, Photography/Videography, Catering, Rings, Attire, Music, Flowers, Honeymoon, and Decoration.

♥ Some of the websites allow you to add your own items which are unique to your wedding planning (e.g. cost of caricature artist, release of doves, firework display or ice sculpture at reception).

♥ With every planner you begin with the overall amount which you can afford to spend on your wedding. You input that figure and the wedding budget planner breaks the amount down and calculates for you what you can afford to spend on each aspect of your wedding.

♥ Most of the interactive budgeting planners offer you estimates and average prices which couples spend on each area of their wedding which help you to work out how much your wedding is likely to cost.

♥ You can enter into some interactive budgeting planners how many guests you are planning to invite (you only have to give a rough approximation at this stage, you don’t have to finalise that decision until you are ready to book your venue, catering and order your stationery) and some of the planners ask how many male and female attendants you plan to have. By inputting this information you enable the interactive planner to divide up the budget accordingly (e.g. catering might be $80 for each guest, so by inputting that you are planning on inviting 100 guests the planner calculates that the estimated catering costs for your wedding will be $8,000). Overall this helps you to work out how much each aspect of your wedding is going to cost.

♥ The interactive budgeting planners range in timescale from the moment you get engaged to after your honeymoon when you are at the “Sending thank you letters” stage.

Advantages of creating your own Wedding Budget Planner

♥ It is better to have a clearly categorized wedding budget set out before you rather than a vague list of wedding services and approximate costs. The more itemized your wedding budget is the better so that you can see clearly where your money is being spent and, if need be, where you are able to cut back.

♥ The budget planner will help you to understand from the outset how much you can realistically spend on each aspect of your wedding (e.g. $700 is too much to spend on a wedding cake if your total wedding budget is $5,000!). You have to know how much money you can afford to spend on your wedding.

♥ By seeing the figures set out in black and white on the budget planner it should help you to keep track of your wedding expenditure and stick to your original budget. You have to have to keep an eye on your wedding spending otherwise you will be paying for your wedding for the next 10 years!

♥ These planners are great because they show the areas you will need to think about when planning your wedding (e.g. you are unlikely to overlook flowers if it is on the list with $150 next to it). They pinpoint areas of your budget you have to consider when planning your wedding and help you create a “to do” list as you realize you have not even considered some of the wedding planning categories yet!

♥ A definite advantage of some of these planners is that if you are on a tight budget the planning tool might well be able to help you decide on what size of wedding you can comfortably afford. For example, if your budget is only $4,000 then you might prefer to have a lavish wedding for 12 guests than a budget wedding for 60 guests. Sometimes a wedding budget can help you to determine the number of wedding guests you invite or sometimes the number of guests you intend to invite help you to determine your budget.

♥ By using a budget planner you can easily choose which aspects of your wedding planning to forego if necessary. You will clearly be able to see where your largest area of spending has been to date and you can also see which “extras” such as favors, lavish centerpieces and extravagant catering can be sacrificed to keep your budget looking healthy. Of course every bride and groom want the wedding of their dreams for an affordable budget but you must use the budget planner to help you prioritize your spending.

There is no need for you to spend lots of money on paper and software wedding planners. I have researched eight of the online wedding budget planners for you and checked what facilities each one has. The interactive wedding planners I have reviewed below are all free to use.

BridesMagazine.co.uk

♥ This interactive wedding budget planner is simply but attractively laid out and very easy to navigate.

♥ There are two blank columns for you to enter the estimated and final figures spent on each area of your wedding.

♥ The third column contains “average” figures for each different wedding planning category. The planner has calculated these already for you based on a total wedding budget of £17,740 or $27,852 (as mentioned above, Condé Nast Bridal Group who own this magazine carried out a survey and found that this amount is the average wedding cost in the UK and USA). This is really useful as you can use them as a guide price and check whether your own estimate is accurate or over-the-top!

♥ As you click out of each cell it automatically updates the whole budget planning table including the total amount at the bottom.

♥ The wedding categories it gives are quite basic but all areas of wedding planning seem to be covered (except wedding insurance).

♥ An advantage of this wedding budget planner is that you can save it (by becoming a Bride’s member, which is very straightforward and free) which means that you can come back to it and update it on a regular basis as you plan your wedding.

BlissWeddings.com

♥ When you click on this interactive wedding budget planner it asks for your names (which I thought is a nice personal touch) and the total amount of your estimated budget.

♥ The planner then breaks down the total budget you have given into different amounts for each of the categories, giving you their estimates for each area of your wedding planning and what you should expect to spend. This makes up the “estimate” column and alongside it you have the “actual” column for you to enter what you end up paying for each element of your wedding.

♥ The major fault with this planner is that although they call it “interactive” you actually cannot fill in any of the cells, you have to print this budget out and fill it in by hand!

♥ A further disadvantage is that the planner tends to lump things in together in each of the categories – for example “wedding attire” is for the whole wedding party rather than it being separated out into wedding dress, groom’s outfit, attendant’s clothing, veil etc. I think that the categories seem a bit vague as to what is being covered under each of them. It is far better to have as much of your wedding budget itemized as possible so that you can see clearly where your money is being spent and, if need be, where you are able to cut back.

♥ This planner gives you the option to email it to a friend or print it but does not have the function to let you save it and revise it at a later date (not that you would want to really as you cannot alter it online anyway).

ChicagolandWedding.com

♥ This is a great interactive wedding budget worksheet which is not specifically for Illinois residents, it is for anyone (including UK residents - although the figures are in US dollars).

♥ With this planner you enter in your available funds for your budget, add in your actual wedding costs and click on the “Calculate” button which updates your wedding budget and shows you what your overall budget is minus expenses so far.

♥ The only drawback with this interactive planner is that it does not suggest estimates for each wedding planning category and does not even include a column for estimates.

♥ The advice they give is to start by calculating your “ideal” wedding budget. You do this entering in your estimated wedding expenses into each of the categories and the resulting negative number in the "Wedding Budget Totals" is how much your ideal wedding will cost you. If you prefer to calculate how much you spend on your wedding this way then go for it but personally I would rather work out what I could afford to spend on the wedding and have that figure dictate what I spend on each wedding category.

♥ The categories are divided up into wedding planning sub-sections such as “Bridal Trousseau” which encompasses the wedding dress, veil, shoes, wedding dress cleaning fees, wedding night lingerie and more, and “Personal Appointments” which includes the categories hair, make-up, manicures pedicures and even dental appointments. These sub-categories have unambiguous headings and from what I can see they cover all aspects of wedding planning you are likely to encounter. They even include an “Essentials and Extras” category which includes all of the additional costs you might choose to add on to your budget from pre-wedding dance lessons to wedding planning books and software. Even if there are items within the categories which you think are unnecessary for your own wedding budget, they do serve as a reminder of costs to consider.

♥ I like the fact that each category is calculated separately – it makes it easier to see where the varying proportions of your wedding budget are being spent.

♥ An advantage of this wedding budget interactive planner is that the figures you enter will automatically be saved when you exit the website (so long as the cookies are enabled in your browser’s settings). I was able to re-access my wedding budget very easily and update it.

♥ The hints and additional information at the foot of the planner is really helpful and give you reminders for things you might otherwise forget when wedding planning.

WedAlert.com

♥ This is a very basic wedding budget checklist and it is not interactive.

♥ It has estimated and actual wedding cost columns. You can either type your costs into the columns and print this budget out, or just print off the blank budget and fill it in by hand as you go through each stage of your wedding planning.

♥ The categories seem to cover all aspects of wedding planning but they do have some random categories such as postage stamps, calligraphy and wedding parties. Again, this is another planner which overlooks wedding insurance on their wedding budget guide!

♥ It goes without saying that there is no option to save this wedding budget planner and add anything to it or update it in any way. It is only useful as a printable wedding budget checklist.

TheWeddingNetwork.co.uk

♥ This is a really cute interactive wedding budget planner. I think it is one of the best ones available for free on the internet for UK residents.

♥ You do have to register and log in to access the planner but this means that you are able to save your budget and come back to update it regularly.

♥ Each section has a link to local suppliers in your area (you give them your postcode when you register) so this is helpful if you need contact details and ideas for your reception entertainment, caterers and even addresses of local wedding dress boutiques.

♥ It has two columns, one with reasonable estimates and the other for the actual cost you pay for that aspect of your wedding planning.

♥ It is easy to remove items from the budget planner which are not required and you can update the whole planner with the click of a button – very user-friendly!

♥ One of the things I love about this wedding budget planner is that each sub-category has a little clickable information symbol next to it, which provides you with a helpful hint or piece of friendly advice relating to that area of your wedding planning (e.g. next to wedding dress it tells you that national average in the UK is £750 but that £300 can get you nice dress too).
♥ An advantage of this planner is that each planning category (such as “For the Bride”, “For the Groom” and “Fun Stuff”) breaks down into easy-to-read sub-categories and at the end of each section you can calculate the total amount you have spent solely on that section.

♥ At the bottom of the planner you have a “Total Estimate” figure and (my favorite) an “Under-budget by £xxxx” figure – what a great idea! Every bride wants her a dream wedding which does not break the bank so it adds a bit of excitement to your wedding planning as you see how long you can maintain that “Under-budget” figure for!

Hitched.co.uk

♥ This is another great interactive wedding budget planner aimed at couples planning weddings in the UK.

♥ It has four columns alongside each wedding planning category. One for “who pays”, “hitched estimates”, “your budget” and “actual cost”.

♥ Hitched’s estimate for an average UK wedding is £13,875 and they have broken down this figure and calculated the average amount of money which should be spent on each area of your wedding planning. The estimates seem quite low to me to be honest but they are serving only as guide price for you.

♥ You have to register at Hitched and log in to access your wedding budget planner but it does save your budget and allows you to amend and update it as often as necessary. It updates the figures very easily.

♥ You might find the “Who Pays” column useful to keep track of who is paying for a certain aspect of the wedding, particularly if your families are contributing towards the wedding costs.

♥ With this planner you cannot add in other categories of your own which is a disadvantage if you have your own wedding planning ideas which are not covered by Hitched’s various categories. However, you can easily delete the categories which you will not be utilizing for your wedding. I recommend that you do delete any unnecessary categories as it will make the planner totally personalized for your wedding and also easier to read.

♥ To be honest this is quite a basic wedding budget planner. Whereas some of the other wedding budget planners available online are slick in their design and add your name and sometimes even your wedding date to the top of the planner, this one is average but it does serve its purpose!

UtahBrides.com

♥ This is quite a basic interactive wedding budget planner. You enter the amount of your total wedding budget, how many guests you are inviting, how many male and female attendants you intend on having and the planner then calculates an estimate of how much should be spent in each area.

♥ The planner has two columns, an estimated amount and a column for you to insert the actual amount spent. There are sub-totals for each section, and at the bottom is a reminder of your total budget amount and a tally of what you have spent so far – all very clear to read.

♥ The categories are straightforward but seem to cover most areas of wedding planning. However you are not able to add in your own wedding planning category and if you deselect one of the existing categories, rather than deleting it the planner simply enters a “$000” value into the column for it.

♥ You can update the planner easily by simply hitting the “update” button.

♥ I like the fact that if your spending has gone up in one area (way over their estimate of how much you should spend on this area of your wedding planning) the budget automatically re-calculates all of the other areas which you have not yet spent in so that you can see where you will have to make recommended cut-backs. That could prove invaluable to brides who pay double what they expect to for that dream wedding dress!

♥ A disadvantage of this planner is that you can print it but not save it, despite the fact that you have to register and log in to access the tool.

TheKnot.com

♥ This is the most polished and thorough of the free interactive wedding budget planners I have looked at and it is definitely my favorite of the bunch.

♥ You have to register on The Knot and log in to access your interactive planner but it does add your name and wedding date to the top of the page, as well a countdown counter to your wedding date which automatically updates every time you log in to your budget planner - I think that is a nice touch!

♥ They have laid out a sample budget which you can have a look at to see how it is done, which is helpful.

♥ The budget planner has two columns, the first is the estimated cost of each category and sub-category and the other is the actual cost you pay for each area of your wedding planning. The estimates are based on whatever you insert into the budget planner as your overall total wedding budget. In my personal dummy budget, which I have linked to above, I inserted a budget of $18,000. The planner breaks the total sum down for you - it couldn’t be easier!

♥ This planner is easy to navigate and clearly shows you their recommendations of how your wedding budget should be divided up.

♥ I think that the average costs it gave me for my dummy budget looked very realistic. However, even when I inserted a budget of $5,000 the planner still gave me achievable wedding cost estimates. I think that whether your wedding budget is $5,000 or $50,000 this planner is perfect for you as it will take the total of whatever funds are available to you to spend on your wedding and distribute it in appropriate proportions to each area of your wedding planning.

♥ In order to calculate your budget this planner asks how many male or female attendants you are planning on having. This is so that the planner can calculate the cost of dressing your attendants and how much you can spend on their thank you gifts.

♥ It also asks you to insert how many guests you intend to invite so that it can divide the catering and favor costs by this amount of guests to get a “per head” cost for you.

♥ I like the way this wedding budget planner breaks each section down (e.g. music - ceremony music, cocktail hour music, reception music). The details within each section help to remind you of costs you might not have thought about yet or might remind you of things you have yet to plan (notoriously you forget to include pre-wedding pampering costs for yourselves!).

♥ It looks to me like every wedding planning category is covered in this wedding budget planner. This planner also gives you the option to click on the categories which are required, unlike some of the other planners where you have to just leave the category blank. You are also able to add your own categories too, which is great if you have something which is not a traditional cost in a wedding budget (e.g. cost of wedding attire for your pet!). The items you add in can be inserted into a category which already exists on the planner rather than having to add random items in to the bottom of the planner. This is brilliant as it keeps your budget planner organized and allows you to modify the budget planner to your specific needs by deleting unnecessary categories and adding in your own wedding budget items.

♥ This planner give you the option to click a “View Advice” button which gives you advice and tips for each category (e.g. for the wedding gown category it reminds you to include the costs of possible dress alterations, cleaning costs, shipping costs etc). I think most couples will find these reminders and information invaluable when they are planning their wedding.

♥ At the foot of the planner it sets out the “total budget”, “spent to date” and “amount left to spend”. Each category gives you a sub-total too so you can clearly see where might be overspending. It is easy to add or delete wedding costs, you simply click on the “update” button.

♥ Additionally, The Knot provide you with a payment tracker which was a unique idea. There are several columns spread across the worksheet. As you enter figures into the wedding budget planner, the costs will also automatically appear in the appropriate columns on the payment tracker; “Deposit”, “Second Payment”, “Final Payment”, “Amount Paid” and “Balance Due”. You can insert additional details such as method of payment and diarize the payment due date which is fantastic news for busy couples planning their weddings. I speak from experience when I say that it is all too easy to overlook paying one of your wedding suppliers! You can add calendar reminders so that this does not happen to you. This worksheet, like the wedding budget planner, is printable and you are also able to save it.

Now remember, setting your wedding budget is the unpleasant bit - now you can move on to the fun planning stage!

Good luck!

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How To Invite Children To The Wedding Ceremony Only

Hi Everyone,

I received this question regarding inviting children to the wedding ceremony only:

"My daughter is getting married next summer and I am helping her with her arrangements etc. How do you invite some people to the "wedding ceremony only", without hurting feelings? Most of the people in question would be children, ones that really would like to be there. The bride and groom would like the reception to be "adults/or at least legal drinking age" only. The wedding and reception will be held in different locations. Keep in mind that the parents of these children will be invited to both the ceremony and reception. Another reason for this is the tight budget. We are trying to give my daughter the wedding she would love...but on a very tight budget."

This was my reply:

Thanks for your question.

This is a topic which is often the subject of fierce debate amongst couples who are planning their weddings. With today's escalating wedding costs many brides and grooms feel that inviting children to a wedding reception is an unnecessary expense. At an average cost of $60 - 80 a head for catering having children at the reception not only increases your wedding expenses but it also increases your guest list to vast proportions. For most couples if they have to make a choice between asking 4 special friends to their wedding reception or the 4 children of their friends, the adults will win hands down. Sometimes children just cannot be included.

I think that nowadays it is becoming more popular for couples to plan an adults only wedding reception so I don’t think that you and your daughter need to explain your reasons for children not being invited to the reception. What you do need to do is ensure that you make it perfectly clear to your guests that children are welcome to attend the wedding ceremony but not the reception afterwards.

Invitation wording

The best way to do this is to send two separate invitations, one to the wedding which will be sent to the whole family who are invited to attend the wedding ceremony, and a second invitation which will be sent to adults aged 21 and upwards who are invited to the wedding reception. You should insert the wedding ceremony invitation in with the reception invitation for those that are invited to both events. I think that if you try to combine the two events on one invitation you risk causing confusion.

If you decide to send one invitation with the words "Adults Only Reception" or "Adult Reception" printed on it, it is very likely to confuse the wedding guests and you might well find yourself under fire with lots of phone calls asking for explanations as to who is invited to which event and why. Families need specifics of who is invited to the wedding reception and who is not so that they can make appropriate childcare arrangements.

This is a delicate situation as you don’t want to offend any of the guests with children. It is far better to make it clear to your guests with children from the outset that if they intend on attending your daughter’s wedding that they will have to make alternative childcare arrangements for the duration of the wedding reception.

The worst thing you could do is send out the invitations to the wedding reception and simply leave the children’s names off of it. This would definitely be offensive to parents - you need to make it clear that their children are not invited to attend the wedding reception because it is going to be for adults only.

RSVP

You might well find if you send out "Adult Reception" invitations that guests rsvp with their children’s names included on it. In this circumstance you will have no alternative but to make a phone call to the guest concerned and apologise that children cannot be accommodated at the wedding reception due to it being for adults only. Although you are not obligated to give guests a reason as to why you are choosing to have adults only, if necessary explain that financial constraints mean that you have to keep the guest list to a minimum. At the end of the day it is your daughter’s wedding day so they should respect her decision.

In the same way you and your daughter must respect a guest’s decision if they decide not to attend the wedding ceremony or reception. Some people are overly sensitive when it comes to children and weddings and can be easily offended. Some parents believe that their children should be invited everywhere! A lot of parents and even people without children will argue that it is rude and improper to exclude the younger members of a family as weddings are supposed to be all about family. In my experience these guests will be in the minority. Nowadays modern parents realize that couples might prefer an adult only reception. At my own wedding I invited children but over half of the parents I invited decided not to bring their children - a lot of them wanted the chance to let their hair down and enjoy the wedding ceremony and reception without having to look out for their children’s welfare. Sometimes parents like a day off!

Gatecrashers

Do bear in mind that some guests might ignore the invitation and turn up at the reception with their children anyway. All you can do in such circumstances is either make a place for the child at the parent’s table or politely tell them that although you would love for their child to join in it is not appropriate as it is an adults only party. Inevitably the whole family will feel insulted and leave but that is something you will just have to grin and bear - it is rude to bring an uninvited guest to a wedding even if it is your own six month old baby! Some parents believe that their children should be invited everywhere.

A possible solution for guests with children

If you are aware of guests who would like to attend your daughter’s wedding but who will be put off by the “adults only” theme to the wedding reception then perhaps there is a solution. You could suggest to them that a few of them group together and arrange for a hotel bedroom to be used as a sort of crèche for their children (this is assuming that your daughter’s reception is being held in a hotel). They could hire a couple of qualified babysitters (depending on how many children there are), the hotel could arrange to have DVD player put in the room (if there is not one there already) and the children could be entertained at their own mini party! It is important that your guests understand that if the children are being entertained on the premises where the reception is being held, that the same rules apply – children are not invited to join in with the wedding reception! This solution would be perfect for out-of-town wedding guests who want their children to travel with them. You do not have to feel obligated to arrange this or pay for it on behalf of the guests but you could suggest it to them. I’m sure they will appreciate that your are trying to help them sort out their childcare arrangements.

Having an adults only wedding reception puts a different slant on the evening. You can concentrate your planning on making it a real party atmosphere. It does take pressure off you knowing that you just have to cater for adults with your choice of menu, entertainment, timings, venue facilities etc. You can organize a reception which probably would not be suitable for children, such as a cocktail hour and dancing going on to the wee hours.
Be warned though - you might be saving money not having to pay out for children’s meals but those parents let loose without their children for the night will drink your bar dry!!

I hope you enjoy your daughter's wedding - how exciting!

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Review Of Confetti's Glasgow Store
Date: July 19, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Budgeting & Cameras & Candles & Favors & Flower & Decorations & Industry News & Invitations & Announcements & Planning & Reception & Reviews & Shopping & Themes & Unique Ideas

If you are local to Glasgow then you should definitely check out the Confetti store on Queen Street. As mentioned in my blog on 8th July, I visited this shop to see what they had to offer couples planning their weddings.

I was very impressed with how much they had managed to fit into quite a small shop. The store contains a cornucopia of stylish and traditional wedding must-haves from silver chocolate balls to biodegradable confetti. Confetti have thought of everything from battery operated candles to personalized paper napkins. If you wander round this shop you are unlikely to overlook any aspect of decorating your wedding venue!

Great layout and presentation

The shop’s layout is easy to move around with well thought out displays of the products for sale and signs identifying each separate section. Each section of the shop seemed to have a different theme too with 4 large round tables set up for a wedding reception in 4 unique styles. The presentation of the tables was superb. If you have looked at Confetti’s website then you will be familiar with their ubiquitous attention to detail and distinctive style. One of my favorite Confetti looks is the burgundy marabou feather in the wine glass on the tables and I was pleased to see this on one of the tables in the shop!

Table styles

My cousin (who is a bride-to-be herself) and I agreed that the most stunning table in the shop was the Scottish themed table (we might be biased as we are both Scottish!). One of its many features was the Black Watch tartan ribbon tied around white linen napkins and decorated with tiny purple thistles,. They were set off beautifully against the silver charger plates, purple organza bags and blue favor boxes which were decorated with tiny co-ordinating flowers. If I was getting married this would definitely be my perfect table setting!

I love the way that Confetti shows you how to create the look yourself for your tables with inspiring ideas for centerpieces, favours, place settings, glassware, napkins, table decorations, name cards and subtle touches such as scattered confetti, candles and even chair decorations.

Shopping assistance

The sales staff in the shop were attentive and friendly without being domineering. From what I saw, they were letting the customers in the shop browse but were more than happy to lend their opinion when asked. When I asked a member of staff for assistance with an item which appeared to be sold out she could not have been more helpful. I also noticed a couple ordering their personalised wedding stationery and the Confetti sales assistant helping them seemed very efficient. The staff at this store seem to have a real knowledge of the wedding business and all of Confetti’s products - they are not just working the tills!

What is on offer?

The shelves in the Glasgow branch of Confetti were brimming with products, including:

♥ An entire wall of table decorations.
♥ A fantastic selection of candles and huge display of favor containers from heart shaped plastic moulds to miniature top hats.
♥ A “Create Your Own” section, which was the most popular area on the day that I visited. Here they have a beautiful range of paper in a huge array of colours with all the trimmings for you to create your own stationery.
♥ There was a party section which included lots of things suitable for a hen or stag party (lots of giggling ladies hanging around this area of the store!).
♥ I loved the huge columns of different flavoured jelly beans in the centre of the shop which you can use as table decorations or as favors – either way they look and taste great!
♥ There was a whole wall devoted to their selection of wedding guide books. The variety available was amazing and I think every area of wedding planning was covered. Personally I liked the essential mini guides which are a bargain at £2.99. At this price you could buy them for your bridesmaids, best man, mother of the bride as charming gifts at the outset of your wedding planning, so that they can feel involved too!

Best-sellers

I was told that the best-selling item in the Glasgow branch were the small metal buckets (which you can fill with jelly beans or other sweeties) which are a snip at £1.49 and the white umbrellas (which cost £19.99) which I suspect are more popular in the Glasgow branch of Confetti than they are in their sister branches in the south of England!

There were some items which I think are totally unnecessary and cannot imagine anyone buying, such as the pink coloured “Just Married” passport cover or the keyrings with “Father of the Bride” etc on them. Overall though the majority of the products in the shop have made an appearance at weddings or parties I have attended.

Bargain hunting

I think that Confetti’s prices for most things are quite reasonable. If you are a bride-to-be on a tight budget though there are bargains to be had. I saw a whole section of sale items which were reduced in price. Keep a look-out in your local Confetti branch for when the items you are after become sale items and then snap them up!

Do-it-yourself

I guarantee you will come away from a visit to Confetti’s shop and want to get stuck in to some do-it-yourself wedding projects yourself. Their inexpensive yet cute organza sachet bags are crying out to be filled with scented candles or love heart sweeties. I love the way that Confetti give you ideas of how to put together favors yourself rather than paying over the top prices for ready made ones. It means that you can really personalize your wedding and ensure that it is truly unique. Confetti are encouraging bride-to-be’s to come up new innovative ideas of how to fill their favor boxes, bags, buckets and bombonieres.

Even if you are not ready to start buying items for your wedding just yet I definitely recommend you take a look at Confetti’s products as they cannot fail to give you great ideas for how you could style your wedding. Whether its sparkly confetti or party poppers you are after, get down to Confetti and be inspired!

This Saturday the Glasgow store have organised a wedding cake and sweet tasting session to mark their first birthday. They are also running an in-store competition for customers to win a £100 Confetti gift voucher.

You can find Confetti at:

15 - 17 Queen Street
Glasgow, G1 3ED
0870 766 9237
Printer friendly map and directions

Their opening times:
Monday 9.30am-6.00pm
Tuesday 9.30am-6.00pm
Wednesday 9.30am-6.00pm
Thursday 9.30am-8.00pm
Friday 9.30am-6.00pm
Saturday 9.30am-6.00pm
Sunday 12.00pm-5.00pm

Further Confetti.co.uk Reading:
Compare Confetti's Wedding Insurance to other UK products.
Confetti.co.uk Coupon - Save £10, ends 31st July 2006
Confetti's New Must-Read Magazine - Confetti Receptions

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Tips For Hosting An Outdoor Wedding Reception In A Unique Location
Date: July 19, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Ask The Planner & Budgeting & Flower & Decorations & Miscellaneous & Planning & Reception & Shopping & Themes & Unique Ideas & Venues

Hi Everyone,

I had this question regarding how to decorate a Village Square in Cyrpus for a wedding reception:

"I would like to ask you a question. My fiancé is from a village in Cyprus in a really beautiful location -very romantic. We have decided to have the wedding reception in the village square. I have no idea how to decorate it as I do not want to spoil the whole thing. The square is concrete, only pedestrians, no statues or sculptures - there are only very old houses like cottages (with very old stones not bricks). We have the permission from the council - they were very excited about the idea because young people have stopped using the square and have their wedding receptions at a pool or a hotel. Please can you help with decorating ideas. Thanks very much."

This was my reply:

Thanks very much for your question. I think it is lovely that you have decided to hold your wedding reception in such a traditional location rather than following the trend of opting for a hotel or pool - it sounds beautiful.

I am assuming that you intend to decorate the Village Square to provide you with a seated area for your wedding guests to dine at and an area for dancing. I would advise you to do some research locally and I’m sure you will find tables, chairs, umbrellas, linen and tableware, etc. which you can rent for the wedding reception. Try to choose wooden rather than metal seats as they tend to absorb heat rather than scorch your guests’ when they go to sit down! I recommend that you use the tables, chairs and possibly ornamental arch (see below for details about arches) to define your areas in the Village Square. You could position your tables and chairs all around the dance floor area in a circle or you could set your tables up at one end of the Village Square and leave the remainder of the space for dancing and the band (if you are having live music). For a distinct layout, replace round tables with large oval or long rectangular tables that can sit up to 16 guests.

I do not know what the intended colour scheme of your wedding is, but you could choose flowers, candles and other decorations to complement this and carry your theme right through to your wedding reception. From the details you have given me it sounds as if your wedding is going to have a romantic theme to it and so I have used this as the basis for my decorating ideas set out below.

At an outdoor wedding reception Mother Nature provides most of the decorations with the trees, plants, flowers and surrounding views, so you really don’t have to spend a fortune to decorate it. I have set out below some creative and practical tips for you to follow to elaborate on the charming atmosphere your Village Square venue already has.

Decorations for the Village Square

To create a romantic atmosphere try the following:

Lighting

Lighting will help to transform the Village Square into a magical wedding reception venue. I’m not sure from the brief details you have given me whether or not you will have a source of electricity available for your use in the Village Square. Going on the basis that you are not able to use electricity here are some ideas for lighting the Square for your wedding reception:

♥ String up some fairy lights from trees in the Village Square or even along the top of the stone walls surrounding the Square. These white static battery-run LED Fairy Lights are available from Lights4fun.co.uk and cost £4 for 1.5 metres. These will look great as the evening gets darker.

♥ If electricity is available for your use then you could string up normal fairy lights in the same way. These come in a fantastic array of colours nowadays. You can also choose different shapes (butterfly lights, hearts etc) to match the theme of your wedding reception. Strings of lights can be purchased very cheaply and they are a fantastic way of creating a fantasy wedding reception.

♥ If the Village Square does not have great streetlights lighting it up at night-time then you might want to consider renting some spotlights as you don’t want your guests falling over each other in the darkness!

♥ Light large tiki torches or citronella torches that can be stuck in the ground for light and also repel bugs. If you are unable to stick them into the ground (you say the Square is made of concrete) find large buckets, fill them with sand and stick the torches in them.

♥ If there are trees surrounding the Square:

- Suspend paper and metal accordion lanterns from trees with candles in them.

- Hang Chinese lanterns in the branches like these ones available from TheUrbanGarden.co.uk.

Flowers

One of the advantages of having an outdoor wedding reception is the natural beauty which surrounds you and reduces the need for vast amounts of decorating to be done. Visit the Village Square in the weeks running up to your wedding reception and check out how many flowers and plants surrounding the area are in bloom. This will give you a rough idea of how many pots of flowers and garlands of greenery you are going to need to decorate the Square for your reception. Flowers are an excellent way to decorate the Village Square inexpensively.

♥ Garlands of foliage and greenery such as ivy can be strung up around the Square. If you don’t want to use fresh flowers you can buy rolls of artificial greenery off of the internet.

♥ If there are any unsightly stone walls or anything that you want to hide, you can use garlands of flowers, fairy lights or a mixture of both to detract the eye from what is underneath.

♥ To add height and to define the perimeter of your reception space use big potted topiaries. If you can’t borrow or hire them for the day then buy some and they can either be given to members of your bridal party as gifts after the reception or they can decorate your garden! If the topiaries are very tall you can decorate them with fairy lights and ribbons to match your colour theme.

♥ A simple idea is to use galvanized metal buckets or other planters and fill them with flowers. If you are on a tight budget you can use whatever the local flower is which is in season. If money is no object then you can use elegant roses in a colour which compliments the rest of your colour theme.

♥ If there are fittings around the Square from which you can hang baskets of trailing flowers then this could add a colourful element to your decorations.

Arch or arbor

♥ A lot of couples who stage their wedding receptions outdoors choose to have some sort of focal point erected such as an arch. You can leave this unadorned or you can decorate it with flowers and ribbons to match your wedding colour theme or even swathe it in sheer white chiffon or voile. Not only will be arch be a focal point for your wedding guests but it will also provide a perfect backdrop for your wedding photos.

♥ You could place your wedding cake underneath a canopied arbor to create a focal point and help to organize the different areas of your wedding reception around it.

♥ Try to decorate the arch with flowers which co-ordinate with those used on your table settings and bridal flowers. You can ask your florist to decorate the arch or do it yourself.

♥ A definite advantage of using an arch at your wedding reception is that after the event you can place it in your garden as a reminder of your wedding day!

♥ Decorate the Village Square with pastel colored paper streamers. This is very inexpensive but an effective way to add colour and define the area of your wedding reception.

Table decorations

Flowers, floral arrangements and lighting form an essential part of decorating the Village Square but what will really add a sense of uniqueness to your wedding reception will be your choice of table decorations - these help to create an elegant ambience.

♥ You could bring your tables to life and add height to them by anchoring balloons at the centre of the table. Balloons are an inexpensive decoration. eBay sells heart-shaped helium balloons in a variety of colours and prices start at a mere £2.99 for 10 balloons. You could tie colourful ribbons to the end of your balloons to match your colour theme. You could use the balloons to decorate surrounding trees too.

♥ Sprinkle rose petals or confetti onto the tables. They are so many different colors for you to choose from. Have a look at confetti.co.uk. They have real flower petal confetti which is biodegradable - this is important so that you do not have to worry about clearing it up after your reception. It costs £7.99 for 1 pint of confetti. If the weather is likely to be windy then skip this idea as it would make too much mess if the confetti was blown around.

♥ Use greenery to transform the tables by decorating them with garlands of ivy.

♥ Use glittery table linens to add some pizzazz to your wedding reception. These will look great by candlelight!

♥ Cover the tables with white or pastel colored tablecloths and use colourful linen napkins at each setting.

♥ For a quick and inexpensive way to add style if you use long rectangular tables at your wedding reception, try gift-wrap runners down the centre. To find out how to achieve this look click here. The great thing about this is that you can make the wedding favors for your guests to match with the same gift-wrap paper.

♥ For an outdoor feel fill tiny terracotta flower pots with sugared almonds or traditional Cypriot sweets and place them at each table setting.

♥ For favors which double up as table decorations use individually planted flowers of your choice in tiny terracotta pots tied with a ribbon to match your wedding color theme. You can tie a card to them with each guest’s name so that they serve as a place setting as well.

Candles

Using candles to decorate the village square will add a romantic intimate atmosphere and will also provide gentle illumination when the sun goes down in the evening.

♥ Turn plain glass lanterns into something really pretty by twisting lengths of ivy around the rim and fasten them with a small knot at the back. Arrange these on the table or hang from tree branches, trellises or dot about the periphery of the Village Square.

♥ Tie pastel colored organza ribbon in a bow around clear glass votive cups. These can double as guest wedding favors.

♥ As an alternative to lanterns, fill terracotta flowerpots with sand or pebbles and then stand taper candles in them. If you use plenty candles in each pot you will create a beautiful glow.

♥ For easy, inexpensive centerpieces for your tables fill glass bowls with water and place floating candles in them. You could intersperse these with floating flowers too.

♥ As you are having an outdoor wedding you could use scented candles to create a lovely aroma.

♥ As your reception will be outdoors you should also consider using citronella candles to ward off bugs and bees, otherwise your guests will be swatting bugs all evening! If the Village Square is a known hot-spot for bugs in the evenings then perhaps you should consider arranging for an exterminator to spray the area with insecticide the day before your wedding reception.

♥ Candles glowing from inside lanterns creates a simple and elegant look for your wedding reception. Look at the selection of clear glass lanterns available at Beau-coup.com. They have a wire handle attached to them so you can use them as a tabletop illumination or suspend them from a tree. They come in a variety of sizes. You could present these to your guests as wedding favors.

♥ Place tea lights around the tables for a simple romantic glow.

♥ For informal, inexpensive lanterns use jelly jars. All you have to do is wrap a piece of flexible greenery around the jar just below the lip, and twist a piece of floral wire around the ends to secure and place a nightlight or small votive candle inside. You can decorate the jars with ivy, willow or other local greenery. These are perfect for protecting your candles from breezes.

♥ To add height to your table settings use large votive trees. These are available from Etreasuresgifts.com for $69.95 but shop around. The great thing about these is that you only need a couple of them to add a stunning focal point on the reception tables and the best bit is you can keep them afterwards - a unique reminder of your wedding reception! The pressed two-toned glass leaves can be arranged in any position you want around the 5 votive holders so that the candlelight can shimmer off the leaves.

♥ If you are on a tight budget you could create your own outdoor chandelier of lights by placing a large branch off of a tree into a pot (you could spray paint the branch gold or silver first if you feel creative!), fill it with sand or stones to hold the branch firmly in place and then suspend tea light holders, glass votives or even jelly jars off of the branches using metal wire. If you are using tables for your reception which have a hole where the umbrella slots, you could place a large branch in there and use it as a votive tree.

Centerpieces

As the wedding reception is outdoors you should add height to the tables by adding stunning centerpieces to each of them.

♥ I love this table setting from TheKnot.com. It merges a low candle arrangement with a tall one using fuchsia, bright blue and yellow pillar candles to give the large open space a warm and vibrant feel. This sort of look would great for your Village Square and is easy to recreate.

♥ Use various candleholders of varying height and style and place them on each table. When the candles are lit all across an open space it will create a very elegant and romantic look for your wedding reception.

♥ Use floral arrangements as centerpieces. These can be as simple or elaborate as you choose.

♥ You could fill terracotta pots with flowers to match your colour theme.

♥ Another idea for a unique centerpiece which will look great in an outdoor wedding reception setting is a beach bucket centerpiece as shown here. You take a small metal beach bucket and paint it in your wedding colors. You can then pot a small tree in it and scatter petals over the top of the soil so it does not show.

♥ Fill a galvanized watering can with fresh summer flowers as a centerpiece.

♥ Use tall vases and fill them with flowers. These will help to anchor the tablecloths in place as well.

♥ Have a look at Theknot.com for instructions on how you can make your own centerpiece for the wedding reception tables.

♥ For a stunning citrus centerpiece you could try this idea from Martha Stewart. Tie lemons and grapefruits with yellow taffeta ribbons and pile them into a glass bowl. The bows are secured by pins and sheer yellow organdy drapes from the bowl.

Additional things to consider

♥ For additional colour you could decorate the chairs at your wedding reception. Tie large bows on the backs of chairs with ribbon streamers.

♥ I’m sure that you will be having children attend your wedding reception as I know how family-oriented Cypriot people are (my brother’s wife is from Cyprus!) so how about renting a bubble machine to add a touch of fun. It creates a lovely party atmosphere and the children will love it.

♥ The wedding cake should be given pride of place in the village square as this will form the centerpiece for your wedding reception. If the weather is going to be hot perhaps you should place your cake in the shade or underneath a canopied arch as you don’t want it melting before you and your new husband have a chance to cut it!

♥ If the Village Square lacks colour then choose bright vibrant colours in your wedding decorations to give it an eye-catching appearance rather than using muted pastel colours.

♥ If there are any unattractive features around the Village Square then you might want to shield them off using trellis which can be decorated with trailing greenery and flowers. This is not too expensive to buy and you can use it in your garden after the wedding reception.

♥ Will there be enough bathrooms for your wedding guests? If not, you might want to consider renting port-a-potties. These port-a-potties are fitted out with a sink, vanity unit and mirror. If you decide to do this make sure you decorate them with some fresh flowers, perfumed hand soap to make them more festive.

Weather

♥ Have you had any thoughts about what you will do if the weather turns bad? Perhaps you should have a back up plan in place just in case. Having a backup plan for any outdoor wedding reception, anytime of the year, is always a wise move. It might be a good idea to rent a marquee which could provide your guests with shelter just in case.

♥ If there is a possibility that your guests might get cold in the evening when the sun goes down perhaps you should think about renting outdoor patio heaters like the wedding setting pictured here.

♥ Likewise, if the weather is likely to be extremely hot then think about renting tables with umbrellas which would provide your guests with some shade. You don’t want your guests to be melting in the heat! If it going to be very hot weather you should consider renting large electric fans (which could be powered off of a generator in the absence of electricity) and spreading them around the periphery of the village square.

♥ If there is a chance that the village square might be a windy location make sure that you protect your table settings and your candles.

♥ Even a light wind can blow out candles so if there is a chance of wind you should definitely use votive holders, hurricane lamps or fishbowls which will ensure that your candles remain lit.

♥ You can prevent your table coverings from blowing off by using heavy table items as centerpieces, such as large vases of flowers, potted plants or candles. If it is very breezy put large smooth pebbles on the corners of the table to secure the tablecloths or you could use garden twine to tie pebbles to the corners of the cloth. Another idea is to sew small weights into the seams to weight them down.

One thing I have not yet mentioned is the logistics of getting the Square decorated in time for your wedding reception. It is probably best to decorate the Square on the morning of your wedding. Ask a group of your friends and family to volunteer for this job as you and your fiance will prbably not have time to get involved yourselves on the morning of your wedding. Give them clear instructions for doing it and if possible have a trial run prior to the wedding so that you can plan out where your guests will sit and where the dancefloor should be.

Remember that if you are on a tight wedding budget it is possible to decorate the Village Square and keep your costs down. Try eBay for a lot of your decorating supplies as they are very affordable and will undoubtedly deliver them to you in Cyprus. To save money bulk buy items like citronella candles and garlands of greenery.

My final thoughts are that you don't have to go overboard on decorating the Village Square. You will find that the outdoor atmosphere creates its own magical atmosphere without too many embellishments. If you decorate it with some creativity you can add a romantic touch to your wedding by turning the Village Square into a unique setting for your wedding reception.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Good luck with your wedding!

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Couples Saying "No Thanks" To £16,000 Wedding Budgets
Date: July 17, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Budgeting & Industry News & Planning

At long last couples are coming to their senses and realising that you don't have to break the bank to have the wedding of your dreams. According to a survey carried out by Halifax Bank one in four people think that an amount somewhere between £5,000 to £10,000 is adequate to spend on your wedding day.

This is good news for couples planning their weddings on smaller budgets as up until now £16,000 was the estimated cost of a wedding in the UK being bandied around by the wedding industry professionals. Having this huge figure looming over them from the outset of their wedding planning was enough to put a lot of couples off getting married in the past. The survey reveals that now only 9% of UK residents think that the £16,000 national average cost of a wedding is a reasonable amount of pay. Ian Corfield, head of Halifax Unsecured Personal Loans, says:

"Our survey suggests that there may be a change in opinion as to how much couples should spend. It may be that the costs typically involved have reached a level which is no longer considered reasonable."

To read the full article click here.

Although I can totally understand how easy it is to spend £16,000 on a wedding, I also think that with all of the budgeting tips, DIY options and money-saving ideas readily available on the internet couples have no excuse for inflating their budgets to huge proportions - they can achieve a memorable wedding on a smaller budget.

Further Wedding Budget Reading:
Announcing Eight Free Online Wedding Budget Planner Reviews - discover my top recommendation for your wedding budgeting.

Related Posts :
CLICK HERE & GRAB WITH BOTH HANDS Your 273 Page Book To Planning The Perfect Wedding - No Catch - No Hassle - Simply Click For Your Secret To A Perfect Wedding
Tips For Hosting An Outdoor Wedding Reception In A Unique Location
Take A Peek At "The Running Of The Brides" Live Video
Discover Ken York's "Father Of The Bride" Wedding Advice Blog
Brand New Wedding Dresses Up For Grabs On eBay
Wedding Insurance – Compare Wedding Insurance -Time Saving Links To Policy Documents


Take A Peek At "The Running Of The Brides" Live Video
Date: July 14, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Budgeting & Dresses & Funny & Unique Ideas

Further to my blog about the annual "Running of the Brides" dress sale at Filene's Basement check out the live footage from Towson, Maryland this morning.

According to WJZ News every one of the 700 wedding dresses were cleared from the dress rails at Filene's store just minutes after the store opening at 8am. However what I find amazing is that not one bride-to-be hit the cash registers until 8pm! I think 12 hours of trying on wedding dresses is a bit excessive!

I hope those bride-to-be's are at home with their feet up right now having secured their dream wedding dresses!

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World Wedding Dress Day
Date: July 14, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attire & Dresses & Funny & Magazines & Unique Ideas

After your wedding is over your beautiful wedding dress that you spent so much time and effort procuring is likely to sit in your wardrobe for decades gathering dust. Well now you have the perfect excuse to dust it down and raise money for charity at the same time. Take a Break have joined forces with Barnardo's children's charity to launch National Wedding Dress Day on Friday 25 August, 2006.

To participate all you have to do is get people to sponsor you by the hour for wearing your wedding dress in public. You could choose to wear it at work, to the pub, out shopping, out to dinner or you could even host your own party and encourage your other married friends to dress up for the occasion! The rules state that you can also wear bridesmaids dresses, mother-of-the-bride outfits and men can dress up too - what a great theme for a party!

This is a really good excuse to get some wear out of that dress again and prove to yourself that you can still fit into it! You could plan a really fun night out with friends and help charity at the same time! Barnardo's are the lead charity but you are free to nominate any good cause you choose.

Take a Break hope to turn National Wedding Dress Day into a major annual fund-raiser and it has garnered such popularity in Britain already that they are launching World Wedding Dress Day.

“It began in Britain with thousands of women volunteering to wear their wedding dresses to raise money for charities - ranging from Barnardo's to hospitals, from the elderly to breast cancer research. Now women all over the world are being invited to take part as well. It will be the biggest all-female event ever staged. It will combine fun with a purpose.”

Women all over the world share the tradition of holding onto their wedding dress in the knowledge that they will never have another chance to wear it! According to Take a Break, World Wedding Dress Day on Friday August 25, 2006 “will unite all women, half of the world's population, with one symbol - the wedding dress.”

The idea for National Wedding Dress Day originated after Take a Break published the story of Gail Mercer, a 33 year old mum-of-three from Strathaven in South Lanarkshire in April this year. Gail had hit upon the unique idea of raising money for charity by organizing a Wedding Dress Ball - the first ever in the world. The entire event was styled as a proper wedding reception with a champagne reception, wedding cake, photographer, four-course meal, wedding band and disco. The ball took place at the Strathaven Hotel on April 22 and was a great success - all 80 women wore their wedding dresses (their husbands wore wedding attire too) and they managed to raise £8,100 for the Kilbryde Hospice Appeal charity. Take a Break realized after reading about the success of Gail’s Wedding Party that women were openly embracing the opportunity to blow the dust of their wedding dresses and wear them in public.

The National Wedding Dress Day actually falls on the same date as my cousin's 1st wedding anniversary so she is planning an anniversary/wedding dress wearing dinner party. Judging by the excited stir this has caused amongst her circle of friends (including myself – I can’t wait for an excuse to squeeze into my stunning dress again!) it seems obvious that married women really are just waiting for an excuse to dress up like a princess again! Some of the couples attending the party have been married for years so it will be really interesting to see the different wedding dress fashions and how styles have changed over the years. I’m really glad I held on to my dress – I’ve been tempted over the last couple of years to give it away or sell it on eBay!

When you’ve spent a fortune on a wedding dress and have only worn it once it seems a crying shame to let it gather dust never to see the light of day again. So come on ladies – get those wedding dresses,bridesmaids dresses and other wedding finery out of the closet and let them have some fun!

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Pets At Weddings - Tips For Getting Your Dog, Cat or Even Horse Involved!
Date: July 14, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attire & Etiquette & Extended Family & Funny & Miscellaneous & Pets & Planning & Shopping & Themes & Traditions & Customs & Unique Ideas

It’s all very well having butterflies or doves released at your wedding to symbolize the love, fidelity and union of your relationship but is it really wise to include your own pets in your wedding day? Are you just asking for trouble by choosing to include your pet in such a momentous occasion?

The Popular Trend

Dogs in particular are becoming the new untraditional participants in wedding ceremonies. They are either being entrusted with roles such as ring bearers, bridesmaids, and groomsmen or are simply present during the ceremony to bear witness to their owner’s nuptials. This is probably because dogs are the most socially acceptable pet to be seen out and about with in public and also because they can be trained quite easily to perform at your wedding.

When Jane McBride walks down the aisle in Chicago this September she has handed the role of ring bearer to her Mufasa, an 85-pound Akita-shepherd mix. She has already chosen Mufasa’s wedding attire - a multicolored bow tie that will hold the wedding rings. Jane admitted to the Chicago Tribune that she would never consider leaving Mufasa at home on her wedding day.

It’s not just dog-lovers who are including their pets in their weddings. Wedding planner Joey Lizotte, owner of Artisan, Cathedral City, helped to organize a wedding at a home in La Quinta in which a bridesmaid patiently held a gray-and-white cat during the vows. Also Gloria Steacy, an ordained minister and owner of Royal Wedding Gardens & Chapel in LaSalle, recalls a medieval theme wedding where the bride and groom's two cats sat in cages near the altar during the ceremony. It is fast becoming the new trend to include your pet in your wedding day. I have even read a story about a couple who had their horses attend their wedding! Throughout this article I have referred to “dog” as this is the more popular guest at weddings but you could easily substitute this for your own pet whether it’s a ferret or a goldfish -anything is possible! I have also referred to dogs as “he” - this is because my dog (who features in the wedding photo with me!) is a he, it’s not that I am excluding bitches when I make references to dogs.

One of the family!

According to Palmspringslife.com Mindy Weiss a wedding planner based in Los Angeles, who has coordinated the happy occasion for numerous celebrities, says that “I find that about 30 percent of my weddings involve pets.” Many couples consider their pets to be part of their family or their best friends so it is only right that their pet should be given a starring role in their wedding day. For their Californian wedding Myra and John Pugh had their 75-pound Akita-German shepherd mix dog Joy accompany a groomsman down the aisle sporting a collar of red roses and greenery. Palmspringslife.com reports that Joy wagged her tail in approval as the couple made their wedding vows. Myra said “She is a huge part of our life. During the wedding, she didn’t bark once. I think she knew that this was serious stuff.” If you are an animal lover then including your pet in your wedding day is no different to inviting your family and friends. Alice Moon-Fanelli, a certified applied animal behaviorist and assistant professor at Tufts University in North Grafton, Mass. says “Including pets is a statement of solidarity by the couple who mutually agree that the pet plays a major role in both of their lives.”

An increasing number of modern couples are treating their pets as children. Sheila Spitza, co-owner of Wet Nose Pet Spa in Geneva, Illinois says "Couples don't have children, but they do have a dog, so it only makes sense that they would stand up in their wedding". According to Cleveland.com Laura and Bob Mutsko who tied the knot at St. Bede's Catholic Church in Mentor in 1999, had a traditional wedding ceremony but had their “only child” their 4 year old dog Murphy walk up the aisle with them and present their rings and sat amongst the congregation. “Several of the guests came just to see Murphy” Laura says.

Personally, I wanted to have photos taken with my dog on my wedding day and to spend some time with him on the morning of the wedding. This worked out perfectly and he looked very dapper in his tartan bow! Whilst everyone else rushed around me in a mad panic on the morning of my wedding I chilled out in the sunshine outside with my dog – he totally kept me calm. It was the perfect way to start my wedding day!

Evidence of the rise in popularity of dogs participating in weddings is the rapidly increasing sales at pet boutiques of dog tuxedos, miniature sequined wedding gowns, frilly bridesmaid dresses and dog-friendly ring bearer pillows.

Despite the fact that it has become more socially acceptable to make your pet a special part of your wedding day, do be prepared for raised eyebrows and disapproval from some disapproving wedding guests. Don’t worry about it though – in this day and age when themed weddings are bordering on the ridiculous having your dog walk you down the aisle should not shock your guests!

You’re in good company!

Although it is not the norm for couples to include their dogs in their weddings, be assured that it is not just wacky dog lovers who are doing it. Celebrities are indulging in this new trend too!

♥ When Premiership footballer Ashley Cole and singer Cheryl Tweedy get married tomorrow at Highclere Castle in Berkshire their pet chihuahua Buster will be playing a part in their wedding. Cheryl's Girls Aloud bridesmaids have bought Buster a wedding outfit with “Cheryl & Ashley” written on it in diamante.

♥ For her London wedding to Gavin Rossdale, singer Gwen Stefani was escorted down the aisle by her sheepdog Winston, who was decked out in a rose-covered collar and lead.

♥ Tori Spelling wanted her beloved pug Mimi Larue to look her best as she served as flower girl and ring bearer at Tori’s wedding, so she hired a special fashion designer to create her wedding outfit.

♥ Comedian and Hollywood star Adam Sandler had his dogs Matzoball (pulled down the aisle in a wagon) and Meatball at his Malibu wedding. Meatball was his “best dog” and was dressed in a tux with a yarmulke on his head.

Pink and Carey Hart even had their four dogs accompany them on their snowboarding honeymoon earlier this year.

Advantages of having your pet participate in your wedding day:

♥ I think it’s a lovely way to personalize your wedding day and to bring a smile to everyone’s faces. You don’t have to dress your pet in a tuxedo to raise a smile from your guests - the novelty of a pet being present at your wedding will be enough to make them smile.

♥ It makes your wedding less of a formal occasion and can lighten up the mood which is always a good thing. Weddings are not supposed to be somber affairs!

♥ If you do not have nieces, nephews or little ones to act as flower girls or page boys then a pet is a perfect alternative! In the same way they love to see a cute flower girl or page boy walking up the aisle, on the whole wedding guests do enjoy seeing a dog walk down the aisle - it brings a fun element to the wedding.

Get permission!

♥ The first thing to do if you plan to include your dog in your wedding party is to check with the officiant. Make it clear to them what your dog’s role in the wedding will be. Ensure that they are comfortable with this idea.

♥ Be warned, churches do not usually allow dogs unless they are accompanied by a blind person. If the officiant is not happy with your dog being part of the wedding ceremony try appealing to their better nature and remind them that dogs are God’s creatures so they too should be welcome in a church. It could be that the officiant is worried about the dog wreaking havoc or having a toilet incident. Reassure them and have them meet your dog if necessary.

♥ You should also check with your ceremony and/or reception venue whether dogs are allowed. This is really important and you should not leave something like this to chance on the day – refusal to allow your dog entry to the venue because you have not received permission prior to the wedding would cause unnecessary upset on your special day. Ask in advance so that you can either plan to include your dog in the wedding or make alternative arrangements for his care on your wedding day.

♥ Some venues will have banned dogs because of a prior bad experience at an event at their venue involving dogs. Depending on how badly you want your dog to be present at your wedding you could challenge this by taking your dog down to the venue, meeting with the owner and demonstrate to them how perfectly well-behaved and loveable your dog is!

♥ Something to consider in your wedding budget is that some indoor venues charge an extra fee for dogs (this is due to the extra cleaning they have to carry out afterwards to remove evidence of a dog having being there – hopefully just the dog’s hairs!).

♥ As a courtesy you should also check that the other members of your bridal party are comfortable with your pet dog being included in the wedding party. Remember that not everyone is a dog lover and some people are allergic to dog hairs. I will leave it up to you to deal with if one of your bridesmaids gives you an “It’s me or the dog” ultimatum!

♥ Inform the photographer that your dog is to be included in the wedding photos. Make sure they do not have a problem working with animals.

Ensure your guest’s comfort

♥ Make sure you inform all of your guests of the dog’s participation in your wedding. If you have a wedding website then this would be a great way of letting them know your dog’s role and perhaps even advertising for dog-helpers amongst the guests on the day!

♥ Be warned that some guests might refuse to participate in a wedding ceremony that includes dogs or other animals and some might be severely allergic to dog hair.

♥ Whilst not all of your guests might share you and your partner’s enthusiasm for having your dog be part of the wedding, they will appreciate you having forewarned them in case they do have an issue with it.

♥ Remember that your cute little dog has the potential to frighten some of your wedding guests. Make sure that your dog is kept well away from any guests with a fear of dogs - you want them to relax and enjoy your wedding day not grip their seats in terror!

Are they up to the job?

You must ask yourself if your dog is well-behaved enough to participate in your wedding. Be honest with yourself. Just as a cute dog will always be remembered on your wedding day, so too will a naughty unruly dog. You don’t want your wedding day to be spoilt by a doggie disaster!

Here are some points to consider:

♥ First and foremost think of your dog’s comfort. Will he be comfortable attending your wedding? Will he have to travel a long distance to get there? If the answer is he would be more comfortable at home, and if this is an option, then you should do what is best for your dog.

♥ You should assess how your dog reacts to large crowds and to noisy situations. Does it bother your dog? Do you think he would rather not be there? You know your dog so use your own judgment on this one.

♥ Does your dog have unpredictable behavior? Of course, like children, you cannot predict exactly how they are going to behave on the day of the wedding but if you have any doubts that the dog might get over-excited or aggressive it is best not to include them in your wedding ceremony.

♥ Is your dog well-trained? What is his obedience level? Does he respond to commands? A dog that has yet to master simple commands such as "sit" and "stay" might not be suitable to be included in your wedding. This is very important if you intend on giving them a role in the wedding where they are expected to follow orders (e.g. walk down aisle and wait patiently whilst you untie the rings from around his neck). Unless you are absolutely certain that your pet can be counted on to behave during your wedding ceremony then it might be better to have them participate in the wedding photos and leave it at that.

♥ Is your dog likely to get distracted as it walks down the aisle? It might be wise to keep even the best behaved wedding dog on a leash to prevent them from veering off the aisle and going to say hello to everyone. This is especially true if you are having your wedding ceremony in an outdoor location where other pets are present.

♥ Is your dog a lapdog? If so he might be likely to pester you or your partner to be picked up. Your dog may not understand why you cannot devote your attention to him as you usually do, so perhaps in this case it is best to leave him at home.

♥ Is your venue dog-friendly, or if not is it safe for your dog if you intend to let him wander at the reception? Is there a swimming pool which your dog might try jumping into?

♥ Is your dog a barker? If there are songs or music included during your ceremony, is this likely to bother your dog or is he used to this sort of noise? The last thing you want is your dog interrupting your ceremony.

♥ Does your dog jump up? Even dog-lovers may not appreciate a dog jumping up on them when they are in their best clothes.

♥ If you intend on having your dog present at the wedding reception, is he likely to steal guests’ food? Of course this can be prevented if they are kept under close scrutiny.

♥ If you have any doubts about your dogs ability to stop themselves from cocking their leg during an indoor wedding ceremony then you should definitely not consider including them in your wedding ceremony.

Wedding roles for your pet:

You should choose a role for your pet in your wedding which is appropriate to their temperament and behavior. A dog who is highly energetic will need to be kept on a leash throughout the wedding ceremony whereas a lapdog might be quite happy to be held by one of the wedding attendants/guests during the ceremony. Here are some ideas for roles in your wedding for your pet:

♥ The popular choice is to have your dog bring the rings down the aisle on a satin pillow or in a small bag tied to his collar. Bridalpeople.com have a really cute ring pillow which attaches to the collar with 2 Velcro fasteners. The pillow shown here is suitable for medium and large breed dogs but there are lots of smaller pillows available on the dog clothing stores listed below or on eBay. You could even make a pillow yourself.

♥ If your dog is really well trained he could carry the rings down the aisle in a pouch using his mouth – this is guaranteed to get gasps of delight from your wedding guests!

♥ How about having your pet accompany you to the altar. This might be a popular choice if the alternative for you or your partner is walking down the aisle alone.

♥ You could have your dog act as flower dog and carry flowers in his mouth or a basket of flowers if at all possible. Do make sure beforehand that they are not toxic to your dog and will not present a choking hazard to him.

♥ It is becoming popular nowadays for dogs to stand as maid-of-honor and best man. Have one of the other wedding attendants walk your dog down the aisle so that they can stand proudly next to you during the ceremony.

♥ Rather than carring a bouquet of flowers you could carry your dog (if he is small enough) down the aisle. Make sure that someone is willing to hold your dog during the ceremony though - you can’t exchange rings holding your pup!

♥ If your venue does not allow your pet to participate in your wedding then why not just have them included in your wedding photos. That is what I did as our wedding venue did not allow dogs. I had the best of both worlds as my dog got to have some fun meeting and greeting all the wedding guests in the gardens of the venue whilst the photos were being taken and then my bridesmaid’s mother kindly collected him and took care of him for the rest of the day, so I was able to relax knowing that he was being well taken care of!

♥ Do you own a pet which is small and quite patient? Would it be willing to sit in the arms of one of your wedding guests? If you think it would be safer and the pet would be more comfortable then keep them secured in their carrier during the ceremony.

♥ If you own a bird such as a parrot or cockatoo they could sit on a perch and be carried down the aisle by a willing helper.

♥ If you want your cat to be present for your wedding consider having him walked down the aisle on a leash or even carried on a decorative pillow or basket.

♥ As mentioned, dogs are the traditional choice of pets at weddings but if you have a smaller, less social pets such as a hamster, lizard, guinea pig or even snake which you desperately want to bear witness to your nuptials perhaps you could place its cage nearby as you exchange vows or have one of the (willing) wedding guests hold it during the ceremony!

Tips for getting the best out of your pet on your wedding day:

♥ If it is paramount to you that your dog plays a key role in your wedding then, for his comfort, perhaps you could choose a dog-friendly venue for the ceremony and/or reception. The ideal venue would be outdoor such as a park, arboretum, beach or somebody’s garden in their backyard!

♥ A lot of dogs can’t handle the heat so if it is a hot day either reconsider having your dog in your wedding party or ensure that they are able to sit in the shade or (even better) an air-conditioned room during the ceremony or reception until the sun has gone down. Do make sure that your dog has access to fresh water if it is a hot day.

♥ You should nominate one wedding guest or member of your bridal party to be in charge of your pet. They should be prepared for all eventualities during the wedding with a supply of dog treats (especially useful for bribery during the photo-taking session), poop bags and a plan to remove the dog from the venue if he becomes unruly or restless.

♥ Make sure that your nominated dog handler knows the key commands which your dog will obey, such as “Come,” “Sit,” “Stay,” “Down,” “Wait,” and “Quiet.” Have them practice with your dog prior to the wedding so that they become familiar with your dogs behavior and responses to commands and so that your dog can get to know them too! It is important that your dog becomes familiar with the nominated dog handler before the wedding day if possible.

♥ Sometimes it is best to draft in professional help to look after your dog. After all which member of your bridal party is going to want to scoop your dog’s mess of the lawn during your wedding reception! Delegating the pet-handling task to a professional will alleviate unnecessary stress on you, your partner and your wedding guests. You should definitely consider hiring a pet co-ordinator or pet-sitter who will be responsible for dressing your dog on the morning of the wedding, transporting him to and from the reception, ensuring he gets fed, watered and takes toilet breaks and deals with any antisocial doggie behavior. The hire cost depends on how long you need the dog handler for. For dog-handlers in the USA have a look at Petsitusa.com or for the UK try Petpals.com.

♥ If possible make sure your dog is familiar with the ceremony and reception spaces so that they know how to sit comfortably there. It is a good idea to include your dog in the rehearsal so that your dog can get to know strangers he will encounter during the wedding as well as his new surroundings. This is also a great way of checking out, from your dog’s point of view, what possible hazards there could be for your dog on the wedding day, including toxic plants, swimming pools or other animals which might distract him during the wedding ceremony.

♥ If you intend on having your dog sit in the receiving line then practice beforehand so that he gets used this. The earlier you start this sort of training the better.

♥ If you are getting married out of town remember to make sure that you book accommodation for your dog at a pet-welcoming hotel.

♥ It is important that whoever is handling your dog on the day of the wedding (whether it is a professional or one of your bridal party) is aware of the timings of key events in the wedding ceremony and reception. They need to have time to walk your dog and make sure that he is well exercised and has used up some of his energy so that he can walk calmly down the aisle or sit patiently during the ceremony.

♥ Avoid giving your dog too much food or water immediately prior to and during the ceremony. This will help to prevent unwanted toileting accidents!

♥ It is important to ensure that whoever is walking the dog down the aisle is strong enough to control the dog. The last thing you want is your bridesmaid being dragged down the aisle on the end of a dog leash Indiana Jones-style!

♥ Make sure that your dog is not permitted to run around unsupervised, especially if there are children present at your wedding that your dog is unused to. Your dog might behave like an angel usually but if he is provoked by a child wielding a stick up his bottom you don’t know how he might react!

♥ Have a plan in place that if your dog becomes tired or antisocial he can be discreetly taken away from the wedding ceremony or reception and cared for - this is a good reason to employ a professional dog-sitter as your attendance is not going to want to miss out on the wedding because of your dog!

♥ You must be flexible if you are including your dog in your wedding ceremony. Anything can happen and you have to be prepared for that, to have measures put in place to deal with dog emergencies and be able to laugh it off!

♥ Never cause your dog any unnecessary stress. If you feel it is necessary bring their cage with them so that they can be locked up safely and comfortably if your wedding proves to be a bit too much for them.

♥ If you have a totally unpredictable dog but you really want them to participate in your wedding, have a parent or friend lead to the alter to deliver your wedding rings during the ceremony and then they can lead the dog away immediately before he has a chance to do anything mischievous!

Wedding catering for your pet:

If you have included your dog as a wedding attendant then it is only right that they are given a treat like all of your other wedding guests. Here are a couple of ideas which are a bit more special than bonio dog biscuits:

♥ You could arrange to have a cake made for your dog (and any other canine guests) to enjoy at the reception made from dog-friendly ingredients such as beef chunks, chicken mince, rabbit etc.

♥ For designer dog treats take a look at the Bones-n-Scones website. They have a range of tasty sounding dog treats and meals ranging from cookies to “5-Star Mutt Buffet: a tasty assortment of meaty “mutt loaf” made with turkey, yams, and green peas”.

♥ According to Doggienews.com Chez Puppy, a gourmet dog bakery in California, sells dog wedding "ruffception" packs.

Wedding attire for your pet:

To help your dog look the part for your wedding, outfit them for the occasion. Some ideas for doggie wedding attire are:

♥ A simple bow tie, bandana or ribbon around your pet’s neck to match the color theme of your wedding (my dog wore a tartan ribbon for my wedding photos - very simple but incredibly cute!).

♥ A new collar and leash that match your wedding colors.

♥ A dog tuxedo, formal dress or t-shirt with printed words on it (see selection listed below). According to the owner of a dog wedding apparel store the bridesmaid’s gowns and ring-bearer tuxes are increasingly the best-selling items.

Tips for buying a wedding outfit for your pet:

♥ Wedding attire for pets can run anywhere from $30 to more than $100, depending on the embellishments and fabric you choose. Do try to choose fabric which is not going to irritate your dog.

♥ If your dog is part of your bridal party try to co-ordinate the color of their outfit with the rest of your attendants. A lot of the websites I have listed below will custom-make clothing for your pets in colors to match your wedding theme. Pawprintzpetboutique.com can customize a t-shirt for your dog in studs or rhinestones to spell out what you want it to say.

♥ Try to avoid putting flower arrangements around your dog’s neck as some of them are toxic to dogs (particularly lilies, daffodils and hydrangeas) and if they are constructed using wire this could injure the dog. An alternative is to decorate their leash with flowers and ribbons (à la Gwen Stefani) or add a corsage to the leash handle.

♥ If you are dressing your dog for your wedding, always ensure that the outfit is made of high quality fabrics that allow some stretch to ensure your dog’s comfort. You don’t want them squirming all the way through your ceremony!

♥ Check the outfit you propose your dog wears for beads and ribbons which could present a choking hazard to him. Definitely do not put human jewelry on your dog (obvious I know!).

♥ Remember that to properly fit your dog for a collar measure the inches around the dog’s neck and make sure you can fit two fingers under the tape measure.

♥ Practice dressing your dog to check what he will and will not tolerate! Buy the outfit and/or ring bearer pillow well enough in advance that your dog can become comfortable wearing it and moving around in it. Sometimes (particularly with larger dogs) it takes a bit of getting used to if they have never worn anything on their body before.

♥ If you want to dress your dog on a budget have a look on eBay as they seem to have a variety of dog attire ranging from $12. You don’t have to worry about it being a used item either - your dog is never going to know!

♥ Remember you cannot justify spending more on your dog’s outfit for the wedding than you do on your own - be sensible!

Entertaining pet clothing websites to check out:

♥ Have a look at Thepuppyshop.com. I love their classic dog tuxedo which includes a top hat too with an elasticated chin strap. Prices for this start at a very reasonable $14.99.

♥ How cute does this dog look! His outfit is from Doggiedesigner.com. They also sell mini tiaras for dogs!

♥ This cute little t-shirt (pictured above right) for your ring-bearing dog is available from Cafepress.com for $17.99.

♥ Cute dog t-shirts (pictured to the left) as well as tiaras and ruffled collars are available from Pawprintzpetboutique.com.

♥ Here are some of the other websites which I found which have cute pet outfits perfect for attending your wedding:
o Advantagebridal.com - they have a fantastic selection of cute outfits for dogs including angel wings, dog collars with “Maid of Honor, Best Dog, Ring Bearer” on them and t-shirts too.
o Charming Pet Products - they design jewelry and accessories for pets, with wedding-inspired collars, tiaras, and pooch pearls!
o Pawpalaceonline.com offer a really cute t-shirt with “Always The Bridesmaid" printed on it for $20.
o Pampered Pets Boutique - Tammy Peace creates custom make designer style wedding and pageant dresses for your small dog.

♥ Although there are not many wedding outfits available for cats, if your wedding day would be incomplete without kitty attending then you could either have an outfit custom-made or Kiittycity.com have this Top Hat & Tails Cat Costume available.

Personally I think that just the fact that your pet is attending your wedding will be cute enough for your guests so there is really nor a great need to dress them up in formal wedding attire. It is you decision though – do what you think is best for you and your beloved pet!

If you are unable to logistically include your pet in your wedding your alternative is to include them in some other way.

♥ You could include their picture in your wedding stationery or have a photo of them displayed at the reception.

♥ New York cake-maker Sylvia Weinstock topped a wedding cake for one couple with a replica of their dog. Perhaps having your pet adorning your wedding cake is a step too far!

Check out this fun article at Manolobrides.com which might help you to decide whether or not your pet should attend your wedding.

Unless you are absolutely certain that your pet can be counted on to behave during your wedding then it might be better to have them participate in the wedding photos and leave it at that.

Of course some dogs at weddings probably turn out to be better behaved than the human wedding guests! My opinion is that if your pet is important to you and your fiancé and I you don’t mind sharing your spotlight with a four legged friend, then embrace the new trend and include them in your wedding - it is your special day and you don’t want to have any regrets!

Futher Information On Pets And Weddings:

Harrods Wedding Service - For Dogs! - The “Puppy Love Package”
Two Dogs Marry In The US - Clinton Township, Michigan.

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Jennifer Hudson Says "I Do" To Having Her Dogs In Her Wedding Party!
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The 2006 Scottish Wedding Show At The SECC Glasgow
Date: July 13, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Industry News & Shopping & Shows

I can thoroughly recommend "The Scottish Wedding Show” at the SECC, Glasgow. You can pick up so many ideas and even make an official booking as I did for my videographer a few years ago. Often each wedding company will be running a special offer just for the duration of the show. It can be exhausting talking to all of the exhibitors, but the amount of contacts and savings you make ensure it is time well spent!

Dates: 28-29 October 2006

Highlights & Features include:

♥ Over 250 exhibitors to cover every wedding category imaginable. For example : Balloons, Bands, Beauty, Bridalwear, Bridesmaids, Cakes, Cars, Caterers, Chocolate Fountains, Dance Classes, Event Decoration, Favours, Financial, Flowers, Groomswear, Guestwear, Hats, Hen & Stag, Honeymoons, Jewellery, Magazines, Marquees, Mother of the Bride, Photography, Speech Preparation, Stationery, Tiaras, Venues, Videographers, Wedding Insurance, Wedding Lists and Wedding Planners

♥ Free Entry to View the Largest Bridal Collection in Scotland (Catwalk Show Times: 10.30am, 12.00 noon, 1.45pm, 3.15pm and 4.45pm.) See the latest wedding dresses and collections from Bridal Path, Capri Skies, Catherines of Partick, Fascinations of Larkhall, Glitterati, Geoffrey Tailor Highland Crafts, 21st Century Kilts, Joyce Young for By Storm, Kiltpin, Kinnies Bridal, La Novia, Liliana Dabic, MacGregor & MacDuff, Mackenzie Menswear, McCalls, Moss Bros, Rage of Hyndland, Roberta Buchan, Signature Brides, Suelise Bridal, and The Wedding Planner.

♥ Free Make-Up Applications by Benefit Cosmetics in Scotland

♥ Free Wine Tasting with Tesco - Presented by Scotland’s only female Master of Wine, Rose Murray Brown

♥ Free Specialist Beauty Advice & Demonstrations with medéspa

Tickets: You can book online in advance or phone 0141 587 6088 and gain entry to the show on Saturday and Sunday. Advance tickets are only £8 and Advance Wedding Party Tickets (for 4 people) are only £28

Event Organisers: Clarion Events Scotland Ltd

Location: SECC, Glasgow, G3 8YW

Contact: Tel: 0141 248 3000 - Fax: 0141 204 0077 - info@clarionscotland.co.uk

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Discover Ken York's "Father Of The Bride" Wedding Advice Blog
Date: July 13, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Budgeting & Family & Relationships & Unique Ideas & Wedding Blogs

Have you ever wondered how fathers feel in the run up to their daughter's weddings? Well you need wonder no more as a father of a bride-to-be has come up with an innovative new blog offering advice designed to help other fathers of brides to give away their daughters without taking out a second mortgage!

The concept behind this blog is to chronicle the experiences of its writer Ken York while he helps to plan and pay for his daughter’s wedding due to take place in October 2006.

“I am about to spend more money on my daughter’s wedding than I did buying my first house and first new car combined and 90 percent of the advice I’ve found for fathers of the bride is to be supportive and write checks”.

With 2.3 million couples getting married in the United States in 2006, there are a similarly large number of fathers of the bride who are about to shell out over $20,000 for their daughters’ one-day wedding event. The average wedding today costs $26,800 according to the Wedding Report, yet there is a distinct lack of information oriented towards the father of the bride. From the time the planned wedding is announced, daughters and wives are thinking of how wonderful the day will be and immediately start to mentally review every wedding article, magazine, book, television show and conversation that they have ever had concerning weddings. The father of the bride, on the other hand, probably only has a vague memory of his own wedding day and is a bit lost in the whole planning process.

“As I go through this process people are opening up to me telling about their positive and negative experiences,” said York. “I intend to both post this information along with my research on the blog and in an E-book that I am writing.”

You should definitely point your Dad in the direction of this blog as it offers guy-oriented advice on how to orchestrate/save money on daughter's weddings as well as following Ken's progress as he humorously develops his own strategy for dealing with his daughter’s wedding.

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How To Organise The Perfect Wedding Including Children Part I
How To Organise The Perfect Wedding Including Children - Part III
How To Organise The Perfect Wedding Including Children - Part IV


Brand New Wedding Dresses Up For Grabs On eBay
Date: July 12, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attire & Budgeting & Cakes & Cameras & Candles & Dresses & Favors & Flower & Decorations & Jewelry & Shoes & Shopping & Unique Ideas

Would you be interested in finding the designer wedding dress of your dreams at a fraction of the normal cost? That is exactly what happened to bride Ashley Purvis from Louisville, Kentucky when she bought her dream wedding dress from eBay for the bargain price of $161!

The dress Ashley set her heart on, made of matte satin with a beaded top, chapel train and corset back, was advertised at a retail price of $500 on the wedding online store ChicBridal.com. According to Courier-Journal.com Ashley’s mother, Tina Hunt, spotted the exact same dress up for auction on eBay. She said "I never dreamed, honestly, that it would be on eBay, but I found the exact same dress, bid on it, and got it."

Don’t assume for one moment that it was a second-hand wedding dress that Ashley wore down the aisle for her wedding on 26 May this year. The dress was in brand new condition and was shipped to her straight from the dress manufacturer’s factory. Whilst eBay do sell a wide variety of once-worn or "gently used" dresses on their popular internet auction site, Ashley bought her dress from eBay’s online wedding store, eBay.com/Bridal (also UK brides can check out bargains on eBay.co.uk).

In actual fact Ashley managed to make huge savings on most aspects of her wedding. Courier-journal.com reports that Ashley sourced her wedding bouquets, attendant’s outfits and wedding stationery all from eBay at a fraction of the cost she would have paid to wedding suppliers.

"I got my wedding dress, my veil, the tiara, the ring-bearer's tux, the flower girl's dress. These are brand-new items. I didn't buy used. We got the invitations off eBay, too, and my bridal bouquet. Yeah, it was crazy. We saved a whole lot of money."

Like Ashley, by using the bargain-hunting marketplace of eBay couples can shave up to 80% off of their wedding budgets. In addition to the items which Ashley bought off of eBay you can also buy favors, disposable cameras, wedding cakes, jewelry including wedding rings, attire for the wedding party, gifts for the wedding party and the all-important honeymoon, all at fantastic prices!

If you find navigating your way around eBay’s online wedding store a minefield, try reading the guidebook, "How to Buy Everything for Your Wedding on eBay... and Save a Fortune! at Amazon.com" and Amazon.co.uk which is a snip at only $11.02 or £6.59. This book is written by Dennis Prince who is the author of other instructional books about eBay and his co-authors Dan Joya and Sarah Manongdo are newlyweds who saved big money when they planned their wedding using eBay – so these people are guaranteed to know what they are taking about when it comes to shopping for your wedding using eBay. The book guides you through strategies for searching for and bidding for wedding items on eBay, how to resell items after the wedding and advice from 60 eBay wedding PowerSellers on how to bag the best wedding bargains on eBay.

Here are my top tips for buying a new wedding dress from eBay’s online wedding store at a discount price:

♥ Once you have found your dream wedding dress either in a magazine, at a wedding fair or at your local wedding dress shop it is worth having a look on eBay’s online wedding store to check if the same dress appears there on their auction pages.

♥ If you are unsure what type of dress you are looking for you could browse through eBay’s Dresses & Gowns pages. Select your dress size and location (e.g. USA, Europe, Worldwide) and then have some fun perusing the index list and picture galleries of available dresses. If you see a dress which you like the look of click on the link or picture to see a larger photo and the seller’s description.

♥ eBay usually have a huge selection of dresses available in every conceivable style and color so do take a trip to your local wedding boutique first, if possible, so that you have some idea of what style, color, size and even brand of dress you are looking for. This will help you to narrow down your search on eBay.

♥ Of course you cannot try on the wedding dresses before you bid for them on eBay but a lot of sellers will allow you to return the dress if it does not fit – it is always worth asking an eBay seller whether they have a returns policy in place.

♥ Beware as a lot of the stores selling wedding dresses on eBay are either going out of business and disposing of their stock or they are selling off discontinued styles. Do make sure that you find out prior to bidding if the store has a returns policy.

♥ Always order wedding dresses from eBay to fit your largest body measurement because it is far easier to take in a dress bought in advance of your wedding than it is to accommodate pounds gained in the stressful run up to your wedding!

♥ Remember that if you fall in love with a dress on eBay but it is too big, you will be able to afford the cost of altering it with the money you have saved overall on your bargain eBay wedding dress!

♥ Never bid on a dress without first seeing a picture of it (obvious I know!).

♥ If you do decide to buy a once-worn wedding dress from eBay ask the seller as many questions as possible about the condition of the dress.

♥ How about recouping some of your own wedding costs by selling your once-worn wedding dress on eBay?

I think that buying your wedding dress is a great way of saving money – it’s much better than buying a full price gown. Let’s face it, no one will ever know except you!

Happy bidding!!

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Wedding Insurance – Compare Wedding Insurance -Time Saving Links To Policy Documents

Without doubt all brides and grooms should take out wedding insurance, in fact here are 11 golden reasons to back this statement up.

To save you the time and trouble we have provided time saving links to eight of the top wedding insurance companies in the UK. You can easily review the levels of cover, explanation of cover for each level, policy documents, cover summaries, contact details, ownership, underwriters, regulators and reviews.

All of the companies can be checked on the Financial Services Authority's register by visiting their website at www.fsa.gov.uk/register or by contacting them on 0845 606 1234.

Of the eight companies Confetti.co.uk Wedding Insurance, Debenhams Insurance, MRL Insurance, and Wedding Plan Insurance are all underwritten by AXA Insurance UK plc.

Both Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc and The Equine and Livestock Insurance Co Limited are both wholly independent and are underwritten by themselves. Marks and Spencer Insurance and Hitched.co.uk are underwritten by Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc.

These insurance companies are listed alphabetically and are not in any order of recommendation:


CONFETTI.CO.UK INSURANCE

Cover: 3 levels at £54 (Gold), £104 (Platinum) and £154 (Diamond)
Explanation of cover for each level
Policy Document
Summary of Cover

Order Online:
Gold Cover Application Form
Platinum Cover Application Form
Diamond Cover Application Form

Contact Details:
Confetti Wedding Insurance, TPS Limited, 1 Prince of Wales Road, Norwich NR1 1AW Reg. No. 2587396
Confetti.co.uk/shopping/insurance/default.asp
Tel: call 0870 774 4065 - No times stated
Email: Not Available

Ownership:
Owned by Confetti Wedding Insurance, TPS Limited

Underwriters:
AXA Insurance UK plc

Regulation:
Confetti.co.uk Wedding Insurance 2006 accepted by UK Underwriting Ltd, underwritten by AXA Insurance UK plc, Registered Office: 5 Old Broad Street, London EC2N 1AD, Registered in England No. 78950 and Primary Insurance Company Ltd an insurance company established in Ireland and authorised and licensed by the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority. Registered in The Republic of Ireland, registration number E340407, registered office First Floor, Fitzwilton House, Wilton Place, Dublin 2, Ireland. AXA Insurance UK plc and UK Underwriting Ltd are authorised and regulated by the FSA.

Online Reviews:
Not Available



DEBENHAMS INSURANCE

Cover: 2 levels at £59 (Gold) and £100 (Platinum)
Explanation of cover for each level
Policy Document
Summary of Cover

Order Online:
Application Form

Contact Details:
Travellers Protection Services Limited, 1 Prince of Wales Road, Norwich NR1 1AW
DebenhamsWeddingInsurance.com
Tel: call 0870 77 44 196 quoting DOL - Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am-8pm and Saturday to Sunday 10am-4pm
Email: Not Available

Ownership:
Debenhams Wedding Insurance is arranged by Travellers Protection Services Ltd

Underwriters:
AXA Insurance UK plc

Regulation:
Debenhams Wedding Insurance 2006 accepted by UK Underwriting Ltd, underwritten by AXA Insurance UK plc, Registered Office: 5 Old Broad Street, London EC2N 1AD, Registered in England No. 78950 and Primary Insurance Company Ltd an insurance company established in Ireland and authorised and licensed by the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority. Registered in The Republic of Ireland, registration number E340407, registered office First Floor, Fitzwilton House, Wilton Place, Dublin 2, Ireland. AXA Insurance UK plc and UK Underwriting Ltd are authorised and regulated by the FSA.

Online Reviews:
Not Available



ECCLESIASTICAL INSURANCE

Cover: 4 levels at £48, £60, £110 and £160
Explanation of cover for each level
Policy Document
Initial Disclosure Document and Summary of Cover

Order Online:
Application Form

Contact Details:
Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc, Beaufort House, Brunswick Road, Gloucester, GL1 1JZ
Ecclesiastical.co.uk
Tel: 0800 336 622 - 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays)
Email: insurance@eigmail.com - will respond to your email within two working days.

Ownership:
Ultimately owned by Allchurches Trust Limited (ATL), a registered charity. ATL’s Charity Number is 263960

Underwriters:
Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc

Regulation:
Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc. (EIO) Reg. No. 24869. Ecclesiastical Insurance Group plc. (EIG) Reg. No. 1718196. Ecclesiastical Life Ltd. (ELL) Reg. No. 243111. Ecclesiastical Group Asset Management Ltd. (EGAM) Reg. No. 2170213. Allchurches Investment Management Services Ltd. (AIMS) Reg. No. 2170173. Allchurches Mortgage Company Ltd. (AMC) Reg. No. 1974218. All companies are registered in England at Beaufort House, Brunswick Road, Gloucester GL1 1JZ UK. Tel: 01452 528533. EIO, ELL, EGAM & AIMS are authorised and regulated by the FSA and are members of the Financial Ombudsman Service. EIO & ELL are members of the Association of British Insurers and AIMS is a member of the Investment Management Association.

Online Reviews:
ReviewCentre.co.uk



E & L INSURANCE

Cover: 7 levels at £49, £65, £85, £105, £155, £260 and £360
Explanation of cover for each level
Policy Document
Summary of Cover

Order Online:
Application Form

Contact Details:
The Equine and Livestock Insurance Co Limited PO Box 100, York, YO26 9SZ
eandl.co.uk/wedding-insurance.htm
Tel: call 08704 022 710 - Mon-Fri 8am to 9pm and Sat-Sun 9am to 6pm
Email: info@eandl.co.uk

Ownership:
Owned by The Equine and Livestock Insurance Co Limited

Underwriters:
All our policies are underwritten by The Equine and Livestock Insurance Co Limited

Regulation:
Equine and Livestock Insurance Company Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority Registration no: 202748.

Online Reviews:
reviewcentre.com



EVENT INSURANCE

Cover: 6 levels at £55, £85, £120, £175, £225 and £320
Explanation of cover for each level
Policy Document
Summary of Cover

Order Online:
Application Form

Contact Details:
Event Insurance Services Ltd, Event House, 20A Headlands Business Park, Ringwood, Hants. BH24 3PB.
Events-insurance.co.uk/Wedding_Insurance.html
Tel: 0800 515980 and 01425 470360 Fax: 01425 474905
Email: info@events-insurance.co.uk and an Online Form

Ownership:
Owned by Event Insurance Services Ltd

Underwriters:
AXA Insurance UK plc

Regulation:
Arranged by Event Insurance Services Limited accepted by UK Underwriting Ltd, underwritten by AXA Insurance UK plc, Registered Office: 5 Old Broad Street, London EC2N 1AD, Registered in England No. 78950 and Primary Insurance Company Ltd an insurance company established in Ireland and authorised and licensed by the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority. Registered in The Republic of Ireland, registration number E340407, registered office First Floor, Fitzwilton House, Wilton Place, Dublin 2, Ireland.

Online Reviews:
Not Available



MARKS AND SPENCER FINANCIAL SERVICES

Cover: 4 levels at £59, £99, £154 and £189
Explanation of cover for each level
Summary of Cover
Questions
Policy Document

Order Online:
Application Form

Contact Details:
Marks and Spencer Financial Services plc, Kings Meadow, Chester, CH99 9FB
www6.MarksandSpencer.com/pages/default.asp?PageId=home&Product=WI
Tel: 0800 316 5985 - 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays)
Email: Not Available.

Ownership:
Owned by Marks and Spencer Financial Services plc and underwritten by Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc

Underwriters:
Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc

Regulation:
Marks and Spencer Money is a trading name of Marks and Spencer Financial Services plc (Kings Meadow, Chester, CH99 9FB) who are authorised and regulated by the FSA.

Online Reviews:
None available



MRL INSURANCE

Cover: 4 levels at £65 (Standard), £99 (Classic), £135 (Premier) and £165 (Supreme)
Explanation of cover for each level
Summary of Cover
Key Facts
Policy Document

Order Online:
Application Form

Contact Details:
MRL Insurance Direct, Princess Caroline House, 1 High Street, Southend-on-Sea, Essex SS1 1JE
MRLinsurance.co.uk
Tel: 0870 870 4401 - Fax:0870 241 1884
Email: admin@mrlgroup.co.uk

Ownership:
Arranged by MRL Group Ltd with UK Underwriting Ltd by Axa Insurance UK and Primary Insurance Company Ltd

Underwriters:
AXA Insurance UK plc and Primary Insurance Company Limited

Regulation:
Arranged by MRL Insurance Group with UK Underwriting Ltd, underwritten by AXA Insurance UK plc, Registered Office: 5 Old Broad Street, London EC2N 1AD, Registered in England No. 78950 and Primary Insurance Company Ltd an insurance company established in Ireland and authorised and licensed by the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority. Registered in The Republic of Ireland, registration number E340407, registered office First Floor, Fitzwilton House, Wilton Place, Dublin 2, Ireland. AXA Insurance UK plc and UK Underwriting Ltd are authorised and regulated by the FSA.

Online Reviews:
None available



WEDDING PLAN INSURANCE

Cover: 3 levels at £54 (Gold), £104 (Platinum), and £154 (Diamond)
Explanation of cover for each level
Summary of Cover
Policy Document

Order Online:
Gold Application Form
Platinum Application Form
Diamond Application Form

Contact Details:
Weddingplan, 1 Prince of Wales Road, Norwich NR1 1AW
WeddingPlanInsurance.co.uk
Tel: 08707 744178 - Fax: 08707 744045 - Open 8am to 8pm weekdays, 9am to 5pm Saturdays and 10am to 4pm Sundays
Email: weddingplan@tpsltd.com

Ownership:
Owned by Travellers Protection Services Limited (Registered Company No. 2587396)

Underwriters:
AXA Insurance UK plc and Primary Insurance Company Limited

Regulation:
WeddingPlanInsurance accpeted by UK Underwriting Ltd, underwritten by AXA Insurance UK plc, Registered Office: 5 Old Broad Street, London EC2N 1AD, Registered in England No. 78950 and Primary Insurance Company Ltd an insurance company established in Ireland and authorised and licensed by the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority. Registered in The Republic of Ireland, registration number E340407, registered office First Floor, Fitzwilton House, Wilton Place, Dublin 2, Ireland. AXA Insurance UK plc and UK Underwriting Ltd are authorised and regulated by the FSA.

Online Reviews:
ReviewCentre.com



Useful Wedding Insurance Articles:
If misfortune blights your troth, are you protected? Melanie Bien from The Independent reports on how to insure the cost of your wedding against disaster.
Top Ten Wedding Claims by Confetti.co.uk
Wedding insurance - Cover for your big day can save you stress and money, says Sarah Jagger from Channel4.
Yahoo Finance - Wedding insurance: do you take this policy by Sarah Modlock
Get cover for the bid day by the Times Online.

Further Wedding Insurance Reading:

Will Your Wedding Insurance Cover You If You Cancel Before The Event? - A full list of circumstances you need to check are listed in your policy documents.
11 Golden Reasons All Couples Should Have Wedding Insurance - Make sure you take out wedding insurance today.
Hitched.co.uk Has Chosen Ecclesiastical Insurance To Provide Wedding Insurance Policies Through Its Website - Wedding insurance joins the range of wedding planning services and advice already offered by Hitched.co.uk.

DISCLAIMER

1. The information provided on this Wedaholic.com web site has been compiled for your convenience. Wedaholic.com makes no warranties about the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this web site.
2. Wedaholic.com, including its directors, will not accept any liability for any loss, damage or other injury resulting from its use.
3. Links to other web sites are provided for your convenience and Wedaholic.com is not responsible for the information contained on those web sites. The provision of a link to another web site does not constitute an endorsement or approval of that web site, or any products or services offered on that web site, by Wedaholic.com. Wedaholic.com will not accept any liability for the use of those links to connect to web sites that are not under our control.

Financial Disclaimer

Wedaholic.com does not accept any liability for any investment decisions made on the basis of this information. This web site does not constitute financial advice and should not be taken as such. Wedaholic.com urges you to obtain professional advice before proceeding with any investment.

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Kelly Rowland's Wedding Faux Pas
Date: July 12, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Celebrity Weddings & Magazines

Calling off your wedding must be one of the most difficult things you might do in life. It is inevitably a highly emotional time when you probably feel a combination of huge relief mixed with horrible guilt and some regret. Imagine then how Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland must have felt last year when she called off her wedding only to appear days later on the cover of one of America's widest circulating wedding magazines in a wedding dress - how embarrassing!

Kelly was planning her wedding to Dallas Cowboys American football player Roy Williams last year when they decided to call off the impending nuptials because they both felt they were too young and not ready for marriage. This would have been fine but for the fact that Kelly was the cover girl in the April/May 2005 issue of American magazine Modern Bride and it was due to be released just days later!

According to The Sun Newspaper Kelly explains: "Our timing couldn't have been worse. That issue of Modern Bride had just come out. I was so embarrassed. For weeks I would walk past the newsstand at the speed of light, my hat pulled down." In the wedding magazine article Kelly talked about her wedding plans. She discussed how her Aunt Tina (Beyonce's mother) was designing her bespoke wedding gown and how she planned for all of the guests to participate in the wedding ceremony by placing flowers in a circle for her and Roy to stand inside while they were married. What a difficult time it must have been for her anyway without her abandoned wedding plans becoming public knowledge - I do feel sorry for her. Perhaps next time she will think twice about discussing her wedding plans and modelling a wedding dress for a magazine photo shoot!

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How To Avoid Terrible Wedding Photographs Using Disposable Cameras
Date: July 11, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Cameras & Photography & Reception & Shopping & Unique Ideas

Many brides who put disposable cameras on their wedding tables often find that the guests do not use them wisely. They end up spending a lot of money on the cameras and developing and don't even get one good shot and regret using them at all. The fact is many people are clueless about taking good pictures. Then again there is always the occasional photography disaster where the couple ends up grateful to have any photos at all!

1. Some guests just need some advice!

One solution if to include a list of wedding reception photography tips with the camera and perhaps some examples of good wedding pics from the internet. No one likes pictures of themselves eating or with a half eaten or dirty piece of food in front of them. It may even be a good idea to designate the camera to a certain guest at each table who is known for a having an eye for photography. Some older children may be fine with a disposable camera but to others it ends up just being a toy to play with. In fact some guests sometimes hand the camera to a child for them to have fun with.

2. A special wedding disposable camera collection basket is an absolute must!

Instead of ordering double prints it is actually better to order a single set and the photos on CD, then they can be emailed to guests and you can save on postage. It is also wise to have a special collection basket at the reception that is clearly visibly so as the cameras don't just walk out the door and never return!

3. Don't let the heat get to your camera!

Disposable cameras should also not be left in the sunlight or hot car before or after the wedding. Some of the new digital disposable cameras in the $10 plus price range are not a bargain but take substantially better pictures. Never buy cameras off of auction site as they could have passed their expiration date or have heat or moisture damage because they have not been properly cared for.

4.Taking the hassle out of having disposable camera!

Ultimately many brides are not bothering with disposable cameras at all and asking at least selected people to bring their own digital cameras so as they can take some pictures, then email them or download them to services like Shutterfly.com in the US and Photobox.co.uk in the UK.

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Winner of Nicole Kidman's Bouquet Made To Hand It Over
Date: July 11, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Celebrity Gossip & Celebrity Weddings & Flower & Decorations & Funny

The wedding guest who caught Nicole Kidman's wedding bouquet had to leave her prized possession behind when she discovered that she was not permitted to fly out of Australia carrying plants.

Evelyn White, a retirement village manager, was invited to Australia's wedding of the year in Sydney last month as she is best friends with Keith Urban's mother Marienne. When Nicole tossed her elegant bouquet of fresh peonies, white roses and gardenias from a balcony during the wedding reception it missed a group of female guests waiting to catch it and landed at Evelyn's feet! Evelyn told The New Zeland Herald "What can a girl do when it falls at her feet?". After picking the bouquet up, Evelyn realised that Australian biosecurity rules would make it impossible for her to travel home to New Zealand with the bouquet. Reluctantly she offered individual flowers to the other wedding guests and eventually handed over what remained of her stunning souvenir to her friend Marienne Urban and country singer Keith's father, Bob.

According to The New Zeland Herald Evelyn commented that the celebrity nuptials had been "a moment to treasure for the rest of your life." Despite the fact that she had to relinquish the bouquet Evelyn said that the Tiffany clock, which Nicole and Keith gave to each of their guests, was a beautiful reminder of the wedding day.

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Hello's Hot Bridal Styles From The Spanish Catwalk
Date: July 08, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Dresses

If you are still trying to decide on what style of wedding dress you would suit, take a look at Hello Magazine's beautiful collection straight from the Spanish catwalks.

There are lots of glamorous wedding dresses, all in different styles. Ranging from cleavage-enhancing corset dresses, to curve hugging dramatic Hollywood-style gowns with contemporary chic and plunging necklines, to empire-style dresses for a more sophisticated look.

According to Hello, one of this year's hottest bridal trends is layers! The designers have created wedding dresses with layers of fabric such as tulle or lace to give brides the ultimate silhouette. Personally I think the cascading layers are a bit froufrou but you can take a look and form your own opinions.

They even have a selection of dresses in stunning colours if you want to avoid the traditional choice of ivory or white for your wedding dress. I love the scarlet dress - the fabric and colour look stunning!

Have a look and see if you can find your perfect fairytale wedding dress!

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Confetti.co.uk Coupon - Save £10 On Your Next Online Order
Date: July 08, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Budgeting & Coupons & Shopping

As someone who is always on the look out for a bargain, I thought the following offer from Confetti.co.uk would be great for brides in the UK.

£10 off your next online order when you spend £50 before 31st July 2006

On the Order and Payments page, you must enter the media code AFJ0706 into the labelled box just above your address. An email with your discount code for your next online purchase will be sent to your inbox within two weeks.

N.B. If you have spent over £39 on cameras, you can enter the code, CAM2006 into the voucher code box, and press on “apply voucher” to receive your £10 discount.

I can highly recommend Confetti and take great delight in reviewing their products, the latest being their new magazine “Confetti Receptions”.

By the way last Sunday I was in their Glasgow store and therefore intend to write up my review very shortly - I don't think I am giving anything away by saying I was very impressed! If you live close enough to visit I highly recommend a trip there!

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Confetti.co.uk Coupon - Free Delivery On Orders Of £75 Or More


Wedding Dress Scene Straight Out Of An Episode Of Friends!
Date: July 07, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Budgeting & Dresses & Funny & TV Shows & Unique Ideas

Have you ever seen the episode of Friends where Monica enlists the help of Rachel and Phoebe to attend a wedding dress sale? Do you remember the scene where Monica shows her friends a picture of the wedding dress she is looking for and sends them off into the affray armed with whistles to signal when they have found her dream dress?

The picture of the 3 friends elbowing their way through hordes of bloodthirsty bargain-hunting brides-to-be in search of their dream wedding dress at a bargain price sprung into my mind today when I read ManoloForTheBrides.com's blog about the annual "Running of the Brides" dress sale which is taking place at Filene's Basement’s next week in Towson, Maryland.

I thought that the creators of Friends had concocted that storyline themselves - I had no idea that these sales actually happened! I can see how tempting it would be for a bride to bag themselves a bargain dress though - you could make huge savings in this area of your wedding budget. There are sales at various other branches of Filene's Basement - check out their website for details of sales in your area and for their top 10 tips for success at their wedding dress sales.

Well done ManoloForTheBrides.com for bringing this to our attention. All you brides-to-be, have a read, get your entourage together, sharpen up those elbows and head out to Filene's Basement!

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20 Essential Wedding DJ Tips
Date: July 07, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Budgeting & Legal Matters & Music & Dance & Planning & Reception & Themes & Traditions & Customs & Venues

Music and entertainment are essential elements of your wedding reception and getting it right can make or break your wedding! It is a difficult decision to make with so many different varieties of bands, entertainers and DJs available. It is no wonder that so many couples have trouble deciding whether to have live music or a DJ for their wedding reception. It can be even more difficult to make the decision if you don’t know what you should expect these service providers to provide for your wedding reception.

Focusing on wedding DJs, we are all familiar with the stereotypical cheesy wedding DJ who embarrasses your guests and whose appearance and performance become a standing joke at your wedding! What should you be looking for when choosing a wedding DJ? Nina Callaway at About.com sums it up nicely when she says:

“Frequently a DJ or band leader will act as the MC of a wedding reception, which means you'll need them to be entertaining but not annoying, polished, friendly, and charismatic.”

For many couples, less time is spent on choosing the DJ than any other aspect of the reception - this can be a costly and disappointing mistake! Overlooking this aspect of your wedding planning is easy to do. However, choosing the right DJ is crucial to the success of your wedding reception and my top tips below should help you accomplish this:

1. Know what you really want in terms of music before you begin looking for a wedding DJ

This is crucial and is the simplest way to eliminate DJs that aren't quite right in the first round. If you and your fiancé are dreaming of classic Big Band sounds, be very up front about this the first time you talk to prospective DJs. A DJ who specializes in rock and pop music may be wonderful, but his play list will be limited when it comes to what you want, and you'll be disappointed.

I recommend you read “How To Successfully Choose Your Wedding Songs And Music” where I describe how wedding songs are one of the elements of the wedding day remembered most by guests and I list four services that allow users to download and review a large selection of wedding songs.

2. Ask for references

Any DJ who consistently pleases his clients should be more than happy to provide you with contact details so that you can obtain recommendations from other satisfied customers. When you do this, be sure and ask the other customers when the reception took place - the references must be recent, not two years old! If the DJ has no recent references be sure to ask why this is. Additionally, if the DJ has a website (which is now the popular trend) you should take a look at it to see whether it contains any testimonials. You want to be sure that your DJ has a good reputation for overall conduct, interaction with guests, use of alcohol, punctuality and ability to work alongside other wedding service providers. I recommend that you check at least four references for your chosen DJ. In a business where any unqualified person can easily enter the DJ profession you need to do research to ensure that you hire someone that will provide you with a top quality service.

Obviously if you do your own research and start asking friends and recent newlyweds for DJ recommendations you have there the best type of reference possible! Do make sure that if a friend recommends a DJ to you that you check that you and your friend’s music tastes and expectations of a wedding DJ are similar!

Another idea is to ask the DJ if they can show you an example of their work by letting you see a video clip taken at another wedding where they have performed. Most DJ's nowadays will be able to provide you with an example of the quality and style of their performance.

You must ask the DJ how much experience they have had in this business. Has the majority of their work been at weddings, or is for the corporate market? These types of questions will enable you to determine whether they are the right person to perform at your wedding reception.

3. Always meet your DJ in person

Once you have whittled down your choice to 3 or 4 prospective wedding DJs it is recommended that you meet each one in person. This way you can check out their personality and general appearance, something you just can’t do properly over the phone. Finding out a DJ’s personality is very important (how many cheesy wedding DJs can you remember - far too many I bet!) as you definitely want your guests enjoying the music at your wedding rather than spending the night commenting on how bad the DJ is! By meeting with them in person you get an indication of whether they are punctual. You might find in some instances that the DJ fails to show up for your meeting - it is better to find out if they are unreliable in the planning stages rather than find this out to your detriment on your wedding day!

During your meeting with the DJ watch them to see whether they are paying attention to your specific requirements for your wedding music. Are they taking notes? Professional wedding DJs always have a pad and pen with them to jot down notes about what style of music is going to suit your wedding. No DJ has that great a memory that they can memorize all of your musical preferences!

4. Discuss your wedding song play list and look for flexibility

Is it your intention to have a DJ that will be proactive in getting the dance floor full right from the beginning of the evening or is a more laid back approach more your style for your wedding reception? Ask the DJ for a consultation several weeks before the reception and go over your song preferences with him in detail. Ask your DJ if he has a list of his music collection and if he would object if you highlight a few tracks that you would like him to play during the evening. A professional will take note of which songs you want to hear as well as which songs you don't want to hear. You will need to tell your DJ the wishes for special dances such as your first dance, the father and bride dance etc. Ensure that your DJ knows the flow of key moments throughout the wedding reception so that he can keep the music in synch.

Usually DJs are willing to take requests from wedding guests on the night but you should ask about this specifically beforehand. Ultimately you want your DJ to be flexible but some DJs use pre-programmed music which might make it difficult for them to accommodate your guests' requests.

If you imagine that your DJ will be working for approximately 4 hours and each song is 4 minutes long - that is a total of 60 songs that will be played. Whilst you will want your special songs played you should rely on the DJ to determine the best musical taste to get people on the dance floor. Your DJ will know songs that have worked at weddings in the past. The family and friends you invite to your wedding probably vary in age from 5 to 85 years old. It is quite a task to cater to all tastes with wedding music but that is exactly what you are expecting of your wedding DJ. An experienced DJ will know when to play which kind of music. They will take note when your guests arrive of what type of music suits the crowd. Ask the DJ what their tricks are for encouraging and motivating people to dance. Can you get a sense from them that they are able to “read” a dance room – can they give you examples of which songs they would use in different circumstances?

Have these open discussions with your DJ and ensure you are on the same wavelength to avoid any confusion on the day. It is important that you discuss the types of artists and styles of music you enjoy - remember your DJ isn’t a mind reader! You want to be able to form a good relationship with your wedding DJ. Does he listen to your suggestions? Does he offer you his professional opinion or simply agree with everything you say?

5. Ensure your DJ’s music is up to date

Make sure that your DJ has a wide range of music including the most recent chart-topping songs. Beware of amateur DJs who claim that they can obtain any song that you want for your wedding by downloading it online. Even though you and I might obtain our music from internet downloads, this is definitely not the approach a professional DJ should take. Nowadays all professional wedding DJs subscribe to paid services such as Promoonly.com and Tophitsusa.com so that they can be sure to have the most up-to-date song releases on a weekly or monthly basis. Your DJ should have a wide range of music including the most recent songs in the charts and you can check this by asking to see their latest CDs and verifying their release dates. Do provide the DJ with a list of specific songs which you want to be played at your wedding so that he can source them out prior to the wedding reception if he does not have them in his current music collection.

6. Ask the DJ about his professional status

Don't be hesitant to ask a DJ if you can check their credentials. Most professional DJs will be a member of the American Disk Jockey Association (ADJA), so ask them for proof of membership to confirm this.

It is also really important that you check that your DJ has public liability insurance. If one of your wedding guests trips over a cable that the DJ has not taped down to the floor or if a speaker falls on top of a guest then it will be the DJ they look to for compensation. Ask to see a copy of their insurance cover.

Make it clear to your DJ that you don’t want any self-promoting signs for his services displayed at your wedding - this is your wedding reception not a school disco! Sometimes a DJ will ask if he can display a sign or have business cards on display. This is totally up to you - you have to ask yourself if you want your wedding to be used as a place to market the DJs services. Some brides and grooms object to this and some agree a reduction in the DJs fee in exchange for the prominent display of their advertising sign.

7. Does the DJ perform emcee duties?

Although this seems obvious, there are some DJs, particularly if you are using a non-professional DJ, who simply play the music at the wedding. If you want the DJ to make announcements, such as the introduction of the newlyweds’ first dance, the cake cutting or the bouquet being tossed, and act as an overall emcee during the evening entertainment be sure to check that they are comfortable doing this. It takes years to build up experience as a DJ of speaking into a microphone. If you are unable to get an opportunity to see the DJ performing live, ask to see a video clip. For a wedding you need to choose someone who has a fun personality and a professional delivery for announcements.

8. What music format does your DJ use?

You should ask your wedding DJ whether they will be playing CDs, MP3s or even vinyl records. This is important as you need to know that they have a back-up plan if their sound system fails - you don’t want to have to wait for your first dance as man and wife whilst the DJ reboots the PC attached to his mixing desk! Most DJs have progressed into the digital era nowadays.

9. Ensure your DJ knows the dress code

Always ask about how they intend to dress on the day of your wedding. Your DJ should always dress in a manner that is appropriate for the occasion. Whilst this does not mean that he must wear a tuxedo you do not want the other extreme of him turning up in shorts and sandals! The DJ is a service provider on your wedding day so should always be neatly dressed. If you are having a themed wedding make sure you have informed your DJ so that they can fit in as best they can with the theme of your wedding.

10. Ask about emergency arrangements

It is any DJs worst nightmare that the sound system fails during a performance. It is really important that you ask your DJ beforehand if he has any backup equipment available for use in case there is a problem during your wedding reception. Although it doesn't happen often, equipment can fail, and if it happens on the night of your reception and it is the only set your DJ has, you may find yourself faced with a night without music!

Also, discuss what alternative arrangements will be made in the event that the DJ you hire is sick or unavailable for your wedding reception. Will he provide a back-up DJ that is suitable for the occasion? It is vitally important that you get the reassurance that you are covered in the event of a problem – this should be fully dealt with in your contract too. If you book an active member of the American Disc Jockey Association they are more likely to know a fellow professional that can take over in the event of an emergency. I can’t emphasis enough how important it is to have a full backup plan!

11. Does your DJ own quality audio equipment?

A professional DJ will generally have spent over $10,000 on their equipment and will be proud to discuss the technical side if asked. I recommend that you ask them which brand of equipment they use – you should look out for names including Crown, Denon, ElectroVoice, JBL and QSC as these demonstrate your DJ is serious about DJing . The mention of names like American DJ, FBT, Gemini, MTX, NEXT, Peavey Sound and Tech should make you a little more cautious because they are poorer sound quality. By finding out the brand names of the DJs equipment you will quickly be able to gauge the quality of their audio equipment and this should help you to decide whether or not you want to use their services for your wedding reception. Proper equipment will give good sound quality that will not be disturbing for your wedding guests. There is nothing worse than being seated next to a speaker at a wedding that is producing poor sound quality. Like anything though the use of top quality equipment does not guarantee that the DJ is a huge success, but at least you will know that you will be listening to professional quality sounds for starters!

12. Will your DJ be using a wireless microphone?

Wireless microphones work well at weddings and allow the DJ to roam the dance floor without tripping over a chord. This is great as it gives them the flexibility to teach wedding guests all the steps to a group dance. Sometimes DJs prefer sticking with a chord microphone because they are more likely to get interference from a wireless microphone. Personally I think that this is a bit of a cheap get-out because if their sound system is properly setup with today's technology they generally should not get a problem when using a wireless microphone. If you have a preference discuss this with your DJ beforehand.

13. Has the DJ worked at the venue before?

Do ask your DJ whether they have performed at your choice of wedding reception venue before. Although this is not essential, the more familiar they are with the layout and staff at your chosen venue the better. If they have not played there before, it is best to meet your DJ at the venue so that you can discuss the specifics of setting up the DJ table, dance floor location and speaker positions.

14. Does your DJ understand the best way to set up speakers at your venue?

Always ask your DJ how many speakers they intend on using. As a bare minimum there should be a subwoofer or a pair of speakers positioned on the ground and a pair on stands. Anything less will cause problems - having two speakers solely on the ground will produce a muffled sound and lack of clarify when announcements are being made. Equally a pair of speakers on stands is great for microphone clarity but won’t be ideal for the music as this will sound hollow.

If your reception room is large you should ask your DJ whether he will be using far-field speakers. These are ideal for throwing the sound further than normal speakers and are essential if you are dancing outside. Ask your DJ whether he intends to perform sound checks prior to the entertainment commencing.

Ideally you will meet your DJ at the venue so that you can discuss the actual positions for the speakers. If there are hard surfaces like marble ask them how they are going to overcome issues such as acoustical echoes. Solutions to overcome this problem could be as simple as setting the ground speakers so that they point upwards at 45 degrees. If the speakers are obtrusive or ugly looking, feel free to ask your DJ if they can be covered to make them less visible.

15. How much time will your DJ need for setting up?

Normally the DJ will need at least an hour to set up his equipment at the reception venue. Check with your DJ whether this will be sufficient for his requirements beforehand and let the wedding venue know if he needs more time. It is important that if you are eating your meal in the same room as the dance floor, you arrange for there to be a time lapse between the end of the meal and the tables being cleared to the evening entertainment commencing. Usually guests are quite happy to mingle in the bar area or stretch their legs outdoors after the meal.

16. Who pays for your DJ's food?

Feeding the DJ is often overlooked but it is necessary. They are providing a wedding service for you so you should definitely feed and water them during the course of the wedding reception - you don’t want them wilting halfway through the evening’s entertainment! I would not recommend adding another cover to your wedding breakfast total (that's far too expensive and totally unnecessary). You should arrange to provide the DJ with a smaller meal that is quite inexpensive - you can pre-arrange this with your catering manager and confirm this with the DJ. Alternatively, if you have a wedding buffet in the evening you can let the DJ know that they are welcome to help themselves to it - within reason!

17. Will your DJ provide a lighting system?

Before you even get into a conversation about lighting systems you must be very confident that your DJ can deliver on the music front first. Why? - because it is the music and the DJ’s emcee skills that are most important! Once you have chosen your ideal DJ then you can discuss the lighting with them.

Most DJs will be able to offer an intelligent lighting system which is choreographed with the music. This is much more sophisticated than the old days where a few flashing lights and a mirror ball constituted a lights show! Typically most DJs offer a basic lighting system within their fee but if it is within your wedding budget you could pay extra and upgrade. How about an amazing light show that includes your names and those of your guests projected in laser light on the wall as their names are announced at the reception! That is a little over the top for me, but there are other variations available with the lighting - discuss it with your DJ. Undoubtedly he will have plenty of options he can tell you about.

18. How much will your DJ cost?

Everyone with one eye on their wedding budget wants to cut their costs down, but make sure that you are not selling yourself short by drafting in a bargain-priced DJ - you might be paying for what you are getting in this instance! Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you are paying over the odds for your DJ because all that they are being paid for is to play music for 4 hours! Professional DJs will have invested a lot of time in your wedding prior to your actual wedding reception. Typically they will be spending between 10 to 20 hours consulting with you, purchasing the music, editing, preparing, setting up the equipment, packing up the equipment and other administrative tasks.

DJ prices can vary enormously and it is important to realize that a lot of couples say in hindsight that they wished they had spent more of their wedding budget on the entertainment. Research shows that you can spend between $400 and $3200 on a wedding DJ, but in general $1200 for 4 hours is the average for a professional DJ.
You will generally pay more if you hire a DJ as part of a wedding venue's package deal compared to finding your own DJ and paying them directly.

19. Ensure you include all the details in the contract

Finally, after choosing your wedding DJ, do remember to get everything in writing. Most DJs provide formal contracts. Make sure that any changes you have requested are attached to the contract and ensure that it is signed before you proceed any further. The contract should include a clause regarding what happens if the reception overruns - will there be extra charges and what will they cost? The contract must specifically state the name of the DJ who you have requested for your wedding day - you don’t want someone else from the same company but who you have never met before. Remember to confirm the arrangements with the DJ in a phone call during the week preceding your wedding.

20. How to find a DJ online

Hiring a wedding DJ in the US :

Wedj.com - Use this site to search for a wedding DJ in the US, using postcode and date filters.

Weddings.Respond.com - Respond’s Directory lists the top wedding DJ businesses in your area, organized by category and location.

Discjockeys.com - Search for prescreened and member referred wedding disc jockeys.

Gigmasters.com - Search within the US and Canada using your city and state. Select from thousands of wedding DJs for hire.

AllTimeFavorites.com - Browse this site for DJs in the US.

Hiring a wedding DJ in the UK :

UK-Disco.co.uk - Comprehensive UK list of wedding DJ and karaoke services in your area.

Hitched.co.uk - Review featured local services for music and DJs, with listings categorized by county.

Musicmoz.org - Search this comprehensive directory of all things music including DJs, edited by volunteers.

The sooner you book your DJ the better. You should definitely aim for having a DJ booked no later than 9 months in advance of your wedding day if you want to guarantee a professional DJ service in your local area. Do be aware that if your wedding is held in a major city, it is wise to book even earlier than this as, not surprisingly, the best DJs will be booked at least a year in advance. Likewise with weddings falling on major holidays, such as Christmas - the earlier you book the better.

I totally recommend that you also read the advantages of using an iPod for your wedding music entertainment, and Nina’s article on the Pros and Cons of Choosing a DJ or Wedding Band so that you can make a well informed decision on whether you really want a wedding DJ, as opposed to a band or going the DIY route and using your own iPod!

If you follow these steps you will have a memorable wedding reception that everyone will enjoy! Good luck.

Further Reading On Wedding Music and Songs:
Revealing Five Wedding Song Ideas 5 tips to selecting the best wedding songs you can.
How To Successfully Choose Your Wedding Songs And Music - Whether you choose a live band, a string quartet, a DJ or even an iPod these tips will help you make your choices.
Alanis Morissette Favours An iPod Over A Wedding DJ - How About Yourself? - How to save money by opting for an iPod.

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Discover The Top Ten Wedding Day Gripes, Gaffes And Mistakes!
Date: July 06, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Etiquette & Funny & Guests & Planning & Traditions & Customs


I attended an evening wedding reception last weekend and whilst the ceiligh band was fantastic fun, when the DJ arrived and his first song choice was “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion, myself and most of the other wedding guests inwardly cringed and slunk off the dance floor! Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time at the wedding reception but as the Oscar-winning Titanic theme tune about a couple separated by death was droning on it got me thinking about how easy it is for simple wedding gaffes to affect guests’ enjoyment of the wedding day!

Every couple want their guests to enjoy their wedding day as much as they themselves do, but no matter how much consideration is put into making those pre-wedding planning decisions there is always going to be something which ticks off some of your guests. Usually the newlyweds are unaware of these glitches in their wedding planning which affect the guests' enjoyment of the day until after the event. I know that I was completely unaware of the fact that a large proportion of guests at my own wedding missed out on the evening buffet because the hotel had mistakenly set it up in the wrong room, so other (uninvited) hotel guests were helping themselves to the food that we had bought and paid for! Latterly the hotel apologized for this gaffe on their part but nothing can assuage my guilt at the thought that some of my friends and family had to dance away the rest of my wedding reception with rumbling tummies!

Just take a look at theknot.com’s article “The Great Gripefest Where Guests Tell All” where honest guests reveal the best and worst about weddings they have attended. It makes interesting (and amusing) reading for anyone planning their own wedding as it gives an invaluable insight into what can potentially ruin the fun for wedding guests.

Here are a couple of my favorite excerpts from the article:

"I dread those receiving lines with about ten people in them, including the entire wedding party. I suppose it's great for the very few guests who know the bride and groom's families and all of their wedding party pals. But most of us just want to congratulate the couple and their parents. Unfortunately, you always get stuck making chitchat with a stranger in a bridesmaid dress who doesn't particularly care who you are, either, while the people in front of you hug the bride." --Margaret, 42, Sarasota, FL
"I hate that dorky Chicken Dance. It's not a nice thing to put your guests through. I have never heard someone say that they liked everything about a wedding but missed doing the Chicken Dance; but I have heard people speak with dread about the impending possibility of being subjected to this 'tradition' at some point in the night." --Elizabeth, 25, Frederick, MD
"I hate cash bars. It's like sending your wedding present COD." --Susan, 28, New Fairfield, CT

I researched what the most frequent wedding gripes given by wedding guests are. Here are the top 10 most popular:

1. Cheesy wedding music choices (I definitely agree with this one!)

2. Wedding speeches that go on for longer than 5 minutes – it is a proven fact that wedding guests’ attention spans starts to waver after anything more than 5 minutes

3. Seating Arrangements at the reception - sitting guests on their own on a “misfits” table where they do not know anyone just shows a lack of thought on the couples part during planning

4. Guests having to drive long distances between the ceremony and reception - transportation should be provided by the bride and groom if the two venues are located far apart

5. Traffic jams in the receiving line so you end up having to make small talk with a random bridesmaid!

6. Large time gaps in between the ceremony and food being served – you should always provide drinks, snacks and sometimes even entertainment if there is going to be a long wait before your wedding meal commences

7. Obtrusive centerpieces on the tables at the reception venue which obstruct guests’ views – try to limit the height and width of these as although they are talking points in themselves you don’t want to prevent your guests from actually being able to comfortably talk to each other!

8. Cash bars are definitely the biggest wedding gaffe - guests feel that they should not have to pay for their own drinks at a wedding

9. Newlyweds who forget to greet their guests personally – although you can’t have full-blown conversations with each and every guest during your wedding day it is crucial that you at least acknowledge them

10. The tradition of cake smashing – guests are all agreed that they definitely do not consider it fun to watch couples smash cakes into one another’s faces – it makes them very uncomfortable so try to avoid this gaffe!

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Confetti's New Must-Read Magazine - Confetti Receptions
Date: July 05, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Industry News & Magazines & Reviews & Shopping

I've just received my copy of the new wedding magazine from Confetti, ‘Confetti Receptions’. I had originally thought that the magazine would simply be another vehicle for Confetti to advertise their own products but after having read it cover to cover I realize that I was mistaken - it is fabulous!

Confetti Receptions is an indispensable guide which touches upon all aspects of wedding planning from choosing your wedding venue to arranging your honeymoon. If you are lacking inspiration and need some unique and creative ideas for planning your wedding then this is the magazine that has everything you need. It is packed with expert advice from wedding trade professionals, features lots of beautiful photography of a variety of wedding reception themes and has plenty of hints and tips to ensure that every detail of your wedding day is perfect.

Here is what particularly stands out to me about this wedding magazine:

♥ Unlike other bridal magazines it is a convenient handbag size.

♥ At £2.95 it is a very reasonable price for such a large amount of ideas and information.

♥ This is not just a catalogue of Confetti's wedding merchandise. It is only to be expected that the magazine features many of the products available for purchase from Confetti’s online store but it features many other products too.

♥ The authors of the articles in Confetti Receptions are not suggesting that you to simply buy everything you need to plan your dream wedding from Confetti, they are encouraging you to try to style your wedding yourself. This magazine actively promotes using simple products and creative ideas to design your own individual wedding style, which I think is great.

♥ If you lack creative flair then this magazine does the hard work for you - it shows you how to recreate their wedding styles through their impressive photos and easy to follow narrative in the magazine.

♥ The magazine is easy to read and has a comprehensive products list at the back so that the items featured in every section can be easily tracked down by you.

The topics covered within the magazine are:

Planning - This includes a great wedding budget planner which tells you the average amount spent by British brides on each area of their wedding budget (e.g. £970 is the average amount spent by brides on their wedding dress). This section also covers guidelines for choosing a venue (with listings of some popular venue choices in the UK) and transportation ideas.

Wedding style and table decorations - This was my favourite section of the magazine - it gives suggestions for colour themes and design ideas. The colourful photos in this section really help you to see how the looks for the rooms and tables are put together and how to find your own wedding style.

Amazing table decorations are what Confetti are best known for and in this section of the magazine you can see all of the most popular wedding trimmings attractively presented on different table layouts. Confetti have laid out photographs and narrative giving hints and tips on how to co-ordinate everything on the tables at your wedding reception, including the china, linen (the variety of napkin styles to match different colour schemes is amazing!), glassware and table decor. I particularly love the "Think Pink" wedding style they have created in the magazine, which is very pretty and eye-catching with pink gerberas, feathers and tea lights decorating the table - simple yet stunning.

The magazine also has some ideas for unconventional table centerpieces. I love the idea of a glass bowl lined with feathers in your chosen colour scheme and filled with chocolates or a bowl with real goldfish in it! The article on how to decorate a children’s table at your wedding is very colourful! There are a great variety of finishing touches illustrated in the magazine which could make all the difference to your wedding style, such as acorns with little cards attached (perfect for an autumnal wedding). Most of the ideas are based around items available within the Confetti online store but some, such as the acorn idea, can be recreated independently.

Favours - Of course no wedding magazine would be complete without some ideas for unique wedding favours. There are ideas for edible favours, favours to match every colour scheme and details of Confetti's top selling favours. I personally thought that the idea of a candy bar from which the wedding guests could help themselves throughout the reception looks like great fun and very unique!

Stationery and Create Your Own - I think this section would be really helpful for couples wanting to create their own wedding stationery. Here Confetti provide you with invaluable advice on how to make your own invitations, orders of service and table planners. There are helpful photos alongside each step-by-step set of instructions which make it look very easy to do, as well as creative tips and ideas on how to make your stationery stand out from the rest.

This section of the magazine also features stunning bouquets and unique ideas for creating your own floral displays at your wedding. A top floral designer gives his tips for selecting wedding flowers. Again the photos are fantastic quality and show the flowers in all of their stunning glory - I imagine a lot of brides will be ripping the pages out of the magazine and asking their florist to recreate the arrangements for them!

Photography - Confetti provide you with an invaluable photography checklist which includes the all-important questions to ask your photographer and also 3 professional wedding photographers answer the most frequently asked questions. Additionally in this section of the magazine, Confetti give you ideas on how to make everlasting keepsakes of your wedding day.

Real life weddings - This was my second favourite section of the magazine as it reports on 11 couples’ real life wedding days, allowing you a sneaky peek into their wedding styles and discovering the inspiration behind their choices of reception themes. There are lots of variations of wedding styles between the 11 weddings and the photos look like they are straight out of a Confetti catalogue! They all have beautiful table arrangements, floral displays and some innovative ideas which you could recreate for your own wedding day. One couple named each table at their wedding reception after a place in New York (e.g. Trump Tower, Central Park etc) because that is where they got engaged – what a great idea!

Food and drink - This section features advice on how to choose the ultimate wedding menu and drink within your budget. There are delicious ideas, details of different options for the wedding breakfast and also a helpful checklist of questions for your wedding caterer.

Wedding cake - 3 top cake makers offer their expert opinions in this section and give advice on choosing your wedding cake. As with all of Confetti's articles, they offer you ideas to encourage you to go down the DIY route when it comes to your wedding cake. Here Confetti shows you how to create and decorate your own wedding cake. There is a stunning lilac and butterfly themed cake, which I thought was a simple yet beautiful DIY wedding cake option.

Entertainment - Aunt Betti, Confetti’s resident wedding expert, gives some top tips for making wedding speeches, as well as suggestions for daytime, evening and alternative types of wedding entertainment. This section also has a fascinating list of the top ten first dance songs chosen by couples.

Presents - There is a brief section on how to make a wedding gift list, tips for what it is acceptable to ask for as a wedding gift and which are the most fashionable and traditional gifts couples ask for. There are also ideas for personalized gifts for your wedding party.

Travel - If you are planning a destination wedding then this section of the magazine would be particularly helpful to you, as it contains advice on how to organize an overseas reception, including details of a real life Mediterranean wedding. There are also some top tips for planning the ultimate wedding and honeymoon.

Confetti describe this publication as "simply a must have for the modern bride to be" and I agree with them. Confetti Receptions is available to buy online or in-store. I totally recommend it and I will be eagerly anticipating the next issue!

Further Confetti.co.uk Reading:
Compare Confetti's Wedding Insurance to other UK products.

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Win A Wedding Dress Inspired By Reese Witherspoon!
Date: July 05, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Dresses

If you are a fan of Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon then perhaps you would like to own a beautiful wedding gown which was inspired by her!

Award-winning celebrity designer Monique Lhuillier, who designed both of Britney Spears' dresses for her wedding to Kevin Federline, has agreed to create the bespoke gown pictured here, for the lucky winner of an auction which is being hosted by online auction website CharityFolks.com. Monique claims that the dress was inspired by Reese's beauty and grace. The current bid is $2,500 but the dress is thought to be worth $5,000. There are 5 days until the auction ends so take a look and get bidding!

According to pr-inside.com both Reese and America's Next Top Model host Tyra Banks are busy designing wedding dresses for charityfolks.com's upcoming charity auction to benefit the American Cancer Society.

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Channel Five's Celebrity Tudor Wedding Show
Date: July 04, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: TV Shows

It seems that Channel Five are honing in on the trend for themed weddings at the moment. Last week they featured a medieval themed wedding in their 'Wedding Belles' show hosted by Colin and Justin, and this week its a Tudor wedding ceremony that they are placing their splotlight on.

'Celebrity Tudor Wedding' airs at 8.00pm on Channel Five this Thursday. Three celebrities, Jenny Eclair, Kevin Woodford and Lowri Turner, are challenged to organise an authentic Tudor wedding for a modern couple in Devon using only 16th century materials, resources and techniques. Celebrity chef, Kevin Woodford, is responsible for the catering at the wedding. I'm looking forward to seeing what his wedding banquet consists of as traditionally guests at Tudor weddings would feast on deer, boar meat, roast tongue, sparrow, pigeon or peacock - not every bride's dream wedding menu!

Tune in this Thursday to get your fix of wedding reality TV!

To read more about recreating your own Tudor themed wedding have a look at Kentwell.co.uk or to see a selection of beautiful Tudor wedding gowns have a look at VeryMerrySeamstress.com.

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Top Tips From Brides.com - Planning Small To Large-Scale Weddings
Date: July 04, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Budgeting & Planning

When planning your dream wedding one of the first decisions you need to make is what scale of wedding can you afford to have. Sometimes it is not just a small budget which dictates how many guests you can invite to witness your special day, the size of your chosen venue can also restrict your decision as to whether you can plan a large-scale wedding. Have a look at this article at Brides.com. It covers 3 real-life weddings on 3 different scales and budgets.



The first wedding is a very small-scale low-key wedding with just 8 guests in San Francisco. The second wedding has a Rat-Pack theme and took place in Las Vegas with 90 guests present. This story has a fantastic quirky surprise for the guests! The third wedding they report on is a large-scale "regal and romantic" wedding with 225 guests in New York city. At the end of each of the 3 editorials there are fabulous handy tips on how to achieve small, medium or large-scale weddings. Enjoy reading!

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Nicole Kidman & Keith Urban's Wedding Keepsakes On eBay!
Date: July 04, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Celebrity Weddings

Wedding favors are traditionally supposed to be a token of appreciation from the newlywed couple to their guests to thank them for sharing their special day with them. Usually guests are given a precious keepsake that allows them to treasure the memory of that wedding day. It is hard for me to believe therefore that a guest who attended Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban's wedding in Sydney 2 weeks ago has now put the wedding favor they received from the couple up for auction on eBay!

Nicole and Keith presented each of their guests with a Tiffany desk clock valued at $512 each, on the back of which they had inscribed "A moment in time, 25th June 2006, Nicole and Keith". According to The Herald Sun one of these beautiful Tiffany wedding favors, along with a collection of other mementos from the wedding including the book of ceremonies, the menu from the wedding reception and a piece of their wedding cake, appeared for sale on eBay.

It is unbelievable that someone who Nicole and Keith chose to include in their exclusive wedding day is trying to make some money out of it! Wasn't attending one of this year's top showbiz weddings enough for them?

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Winner of Nicole Kidman's Bouquet Made To Hand It Over
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Don't Be That Bride - A Wedding Blog Not To Be Missed!
Date: July 02, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Funny & Unique Ideas & Wedding Blogs

Since writing the post "Four Wedding Blogs Reviewed" over six weeks ago I have always been on the look out for entertaining wedding blogs. In fact I’m seem to be adding a new feed to my Bloglines RSS reader every day!

One blog that continues to attract my attention is www.DontBeThatBride.blogspot.com and I would love to share it with you.

Don't BeThat Bride is written by a twenty-seven year old university graduate, otherwise known as "The Wedding Fairy", who presently lives in New York City and works as a real estate attorney.

She says that through her large social network, whispers about tacky and inappropriate bridal behavior have begun to grow into a loud reverberation. Having acted as both a bridesmaid and guest, she has witnessed unseemly behavior on the part of the brides, grooms and others associated with the "joyous occasion."

Her very first blog sums it up:

“Women lose their minds when it comes to weddings--or, perhaps less dramatically--their practical thinking skills.”

To be more specific...

"Brides-to-be so are concerned about "their day", that they completely lose sight of the larger picture. While these women may have apartments littered with issues of MODERN BRIDE magazine and Emily Post etiquette books, they forget that practical information (about how to respectfully treat their friends and family) is nowhere to be found among those pages."

You will find this blog is both a humorous and forthright take on how to avoid offending bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers and other guests in attendance at wedding ceremonies and receptions. In a nutshell "Don't Be That Bride's" mission statement is to help women globally avoid the inevitable "What Wasn't She Thinking" question!

Some of the Wedding Fairy's favorite posts are those that relate to bridesmaids and the funny (and oftentimes ridiculous) things that have happened to them along the way--for example--hair-dos gone wild as well as the arduous expenses of bridesmaid's dresses.

Most of the Wedding Fairy's posts are general (and gentle) reminders about how to treat ALL guests that are attending the wedding--whether or not they are participating in it. This includes issues about transportation and costs that guests must bear as relates to getting to the church (or temple or reception hall) on time.

I love reading all the feedback via the comments from people who have experienced similar behavior. It is truly an outlet and sounding board for wedding ideas. I believe many women will benefit from reading this outsider's perspective -- and perhaps laugh a little along the way.

This blog has undoubtedly made a huge splash into the colorful world of weddings - I urge you to check "Don't Be That Bride" out!

Further "Don't Be That Bride" Reading:
Don't Be That Bride's 5 Part Series On How To Deal With Divorced And Separated Parents

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How To Never Miss A Story On Wedaholic.com - And You Don't Even Have To Visit The WebSite!


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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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