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Designer Diamond Engagement Rings at
Date: November 28, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Engagement & Jewelry & Shopping & Sponsored Reviews & Unique Ideas

This is a sponsored review.

A diamond engagement ring is the ultimate symbol of ever lasting love, devotion and commitment between two people. According to 70% of brides receive a diamond engagement ring. As we have now entered prime proposal season I thought I would let you know about a fantastic online diamond retailer who create stunning engagement rings. create handcrafted stunning diamond engagement rings. Led by fifth-generation diamond cutter Brian Gavin, the team of highly skilled craftsmen at Whiteflash use the finest quality materials and together with their traditional manufacturing techniques they manage to design and create exquisitely unique diamond engagement rings. At your fingertips Whiteflash provide you with one of the vastest selections of diamonds I have ever seen on the internet including their exclusive 'A Cut Above' Hearts & Arrows Diamonds.

”The reward for consistent and masterful use of traditional hand tools throughout the creation process gives a clean, distinctive look and feel. This is the secret that sets us apart. That is why the appeal of each piece is unrivaled.”

Whiteflash’s website itself is very easy to navigate. It has 3 main categories to choose from, Diamonds, Diamond Jewelry and Custom Design. For the uneducated diamond lovers amongst us, the jewelry search dropdown menu on the homepage is a really quick and easy way of navigating around the website.

Unless you or your fiancé are diamond experts choosing an engagement ring can be confusing. Whilst most couples know how to choose between a solitaire diamond or a cluster of stones, when it comes to deciding on the cut, clarity and color of the diamond confusion will inevitably arise. Choosing an engagement ring need not be intimidating when you use’s easy to follow guide. They give you helpful advice and help you to understand the process. Whiteflash explain to you the 4 Cs which are the characteristics which determine the value, rarity and beauty of a diamond - Carat, Cut, Color and Clarity. Unlike some online diamond retailers Whiteflash break the terminology down into easy to understand narrative. By the end of reading Whiteflash’s guide you should be well educated enough about diamonds to be able to make an informed decision about your choice of diamond engagement ring. Not only does the Whiteflash website contain easy to understand narrative but it also has explanatory video clips which you are free to watch - I think that these could be really helpful to novice diamond ring buyers.

Buying an engagement ring is a significant purchase and at they seem to respect that and provide you with a range of exquisite diamond rings to suit all budgets. You do not have to spend a fortune to get an elegant engagement ring. Whiteflash have many pricing and style options for you to choose from.

“An engagement ring from is the perfect symbol of pure and eternal love.”

When it comes to designing your own engagement ring on the Whiteflash website they take you through the process step by step allowing you to design every aspect of your own ring. You are encouraged to browse the many beautiful images and pictures of the beautiful diamonds and available settings before you make your final decision. I like the fact that when you hover above the picture it gives you a brief description about each diamond. In addition every Whiteflash diamond can ve viewed at 40 times its actual size, accompanied with detailed reports and further information. In fact there is more information on every diamond on the Whiteflash website than any local jeweller will be able to provide you with. The diagrams of the rings are very easy to understand and teach you the difference between the different shapes of diamonds and settings. It certainly taught me a few things - I did not know what the difference between a 4 prong or half bezel was until I looked at Whiteflash’s website!

When you click through from the engagement ring design page it brings up a table with the prices of each diamond suitable for your choice of stone, setting etc. One of the things I liked was the fact that you can tick the boxes alongside each diamond you like and it compares them for you. It compares all the aspects of each diamond including measurements, clarity, cost and symmetry.

The custom design section of Whiteflash’s website allows you to design your own engagement ring from scratch. You need to provide Whiteflash with a detailed description and pictures and/or a sketch of the ring you require. Whiteflash will give you the benefit of their expertise and guide you along the way explaining possible options and ideas. Once the design has been decided they will then e-mail an order confirmation to you with an exact price for creating your unique engagement ring. So that you can approve the ring before they create it, they will produce a wax model of the ring and several pictures of it will be e-mailed to you.

Diamond engagement rings are not the only string to Whiteflash’s bow. They also create other fine diamond jewelry including elegant designer wedding bands, right hand rings, earrings, pendants and bracelets.

The Whiteflash item I am coveting is the stunning diamond and sapphire bangle bracelets. The dazzling bracelets are crafted in white gold and set with a combination of premium ‘A Cut Above’ brand diamonds and baby pink sapphires. I’m in good company as Lindsay Lohan celebrated her 20th birthday wearing hers! There are other beautiful bracelets available at prices start from $595 with a choice of amethyst, yellow sapphires pink sapphires or blue sapphires.

Whiteflash provide uncompromisingly great quality diamond engagement rings. I recommend that you have a browse on their website to feast your eyes on the beautiful diamonds they have on offer, to educate yourself about diamonds in general and to see what kind of engagement ring matches your style and your budget.

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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

The Engagement Season Has Begun!
Date: November 24, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Engagement & Etiquette & Invitations & Announcements & Planning & Traditions & Customs

According to based on recent estimates it is predicted that 1/3 of all engagements for the entire year will take place over the holiday season. That amounts to nearly one million couples! The reason for this is that the holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year, present an abundance of opportunities for memorable proposals to take place.

With prime proposal season being upon us I thought that I would help out newly engaged couples with some advice on what comes after the proposal! This will include:

♥ How to announce your engagement
♥ Ideas for celebrating your engagement
♥ Top tips on how to start planning your wedding

If you are newly engaged or hoping to get engaged over the holiday period then take a look for some great advice and exciting ideas.

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How To Win A Stunning Engagement Ring
Date: November 24, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Budgeting & Contests & Engagement & Jewelry

Without a doubt the engagement ring is the most essential ingredient of a successful marriage proposal. If money is tight at the moment but you are planning on getting engaged during the holiday season then why not try your luck at winning a beautiful engagement ring.

The Knot have announced the launch of their annual "Diamond-a-Week Giveaway Game" on 1st December 2006. In conjunction with luxury diamond company “Hearts On Fire” The Knot have created an interactive game based on three-card monte, where each week during the holiday season potential proposers can click to play and have a chance at winning one of four Hearts On Fire diamond engagement rings, each worth up to $15,000. For your chance log onto from 6th December onwards.

Be lucky!

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Marks & Spencer's New Bridalwear Range
Date: November 20, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attendants & Attire & Bridal Party & Budgeting & Cakes & Dresses & Flower & Decorations & Groom & Guests & Insurance & Invitations & Announcements & Jewelry & Lingerie & Shoes & Shopping & Stationery

Marks & Spencer’s are already an easily affordable one-stop shop for couples planning their weddings with their range of wedding products and services available, including stationary, insurance, lingerie and accessories, flowers and cakes. Now they have taken a bigger bite out of the wedding pie by launching a range of wedding dresses ranging in price from £59-£150 - perfect for the bride-to-be on a budget!

The new collection of bridal and occasionwear will be available at M&S stores and online in March 2007. The collection consists of wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, grooms' suits, page boys’ outfits and occasionwear for guests and other attendants. According to a review at brides-to-be can choose from a range of five wedding dresses which include full length and knee length skirts and strappy and bustier style dresses in classic white or cream. Take a look at one of the dresses yourself at I personally think that M&S’s dresses will sell very well. It’s great that modern brides are being offered the option of choosing a more affordable wedding dress. It’s about time that the wedding dress market realized that they need to make wedding dresses available to suit every pocket and every style of bride.

According to the average bride spends £826 on her wedding dress. This is a huge amount of money to spend on a dress which will only be worn once, even if the wedding dress is one of the main focal points at a wedding. Every bride wants her chance to play dress-up and shine like a fairytale princess or a Hollywood star on her wedding day, but nowadays there is no need for you to spend such a huge proportion of your wedding budget just to get yourself a beautiful dress. With the advent of the new ranges of off-the-peg wedding dresses being produced by stores such as Asda, H&M and M&S you can grab yourself an elegant wedding dress without having to compromise on style and fashion and most importantly without having to pay designer prices!

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Wedding Podcast Network Offers Expert Advice On Your iPod And MP3 Player
Date: November 16, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Engagement & Groom & Industry News & Lose Weight & Planning & Podcasts & Reviews & Site Reviews & Unique Ideas

Back in October I wrote about a site called that I use to keep me up to date with all the wedding industry news on a daily basis. I highlighted the ease with which it is possible for me to read various stories without having to visit the actual web sites if I don’t want to. This all happens due to the magic of RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds, certainly every blog has such a feed – though not all web sites do. This might not be news to everyone, but for those brides discovering it for the first time you will certainly enjoy the luxury of having all your news in one place.

One site I am always excited to hear the latest news from is the Wedding Podcast Network (WPN), at, run by husband and wife team Robert Allen and Holli Ehrlich. They provide an alternative to mainstream wedding planning advice in a portable, on-demand format you can listen to where ever you are. WPN allows brides and grooms to easily listen to advice on wedding planning and obtain valuable information in an entertaining and educational format that can be downloaded to an iPod, MP3 player, mobile phone or on the computer free of charge. I love the idea of downloadable audio giving me the opportunity to control which specific wedding programs I hear, when, and even where.

Listen To Free Wedding Advice Today:

I recommend you open a Bloglines account and subscribe to the main Wedding Podcast Network feed today.

Robert Allen, WPN co-founder and executive producer says:

“We wanted to establish an authoritative resource for brides and grooms that are planning their wedding, but realize they have busy lives, whether they are commuting to work, working out at the gym or running errands. Wedding Podcast Network is like listening to wedding talk radio on-demand on your iPod or computer.”

Robert and Holli offer not only authoritative but also entertaining and fun shows to listen to. You can keep copies of your favourite shows and play them over and over again.

The Wedding Podcast Network features seven original internet radio programs including:

♥ Meet the Masters - Listen To Show Here - Exclusive interviews with the wedding industry’s foremost style shapers and consultants. Guests have included Preston Bailey, Ron Ben-Israel, Sylvia Weinstock, Laura Geller, John Mahdessian of Madame Paulette, and celebrity wedding planners Ann David and Nicky Reinhard.

♥ Bridal Scene - Listen To Show Here - Trends and happenings including exclusive, behind-the-scenes interviews from the industry’s premier shows and events. Some of the subjects of on-site guest interviews have included bridal registry trends, destination weddings, bridal beauty, scrapbooking, invitations and honeymoons. Recents podcasts include a couple of entertaining shows from the Bridal Market in New York City (part 1 and 2).

♥ Lovecast - Listen To Show Here - Relationship advice from The Love Doctor, Dr. Terri. Dr. Terri teaches listeners how to accept differences, communicate, and resolve conflicts. Fun quizzes, valuable advice and important life lessons about one’s significant other and each other's families are part of the programming. Men and women differ greatly how they talk about the relationship with their partner - listen to these podcasts to find out why!

♥ Newlywedcast - Listen To Show Here - Real couples recount their wedding stories and share firsthand advice from a purely personal perspective. Listeners hear unique proposal stories, surprising confessions, original ideas
and secrets to planning a successful wedding. Listen to newlyweds, Kim and Quint, share the details of their April destination wedding in Lake Tahoe, California and wedding at the Sugar Bowl Ski Resort. Or how Jamie and Daniel planned their wedding in just 4 days!

♥ Wedding Workout - Listen To Show Here - This fitness-focused podcast offers advice and tips on how to lose a size and get gown ready before the walk down the aisle. So get pumped! get motivated! and become a buff bride today! Listen to Real Pilates owner Alycea Ungaro discuss how exercise is an enormous stress reliever which is critical during wedding planning.

♥ Grooms with a View - Listen To Show Here - Grooms offer their perspective on the big day. In the first show Craig Michaels, author of Thirty to Wife (see my review here), talks about what every prospective groom should expect at a wedding. Craig shares some great cost saving ideas without cheapening the affair.

♥ Planet Bride - Listen To Show Here – Michand Henry Roth, sister and brother design duo, share their three generations of family bridal tradition and take you on a unique wedding planning journey. Hear how to get real and how to deal from a pair that know the wedding business like no other. In their first show Henry & Michdiscuss the ever important pivotal component that sets the tone for the whole wedding - the wedding dress!

If you have any questions about RSS and podcasts just pop me an email and I will do my best to help.

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Harrods Wedding Service - For Dogs!
Date: November 13, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Unique Ideas

To brighten up your Monday morning I had to post this cute story about Harrods' new wedding service for dogs (Tel: 020 7225 6884). Following on from the success of their “Anything is Possible” promotion in September, which included Harrods' first ever dog wedding service and their fantastic Pet-a-Porter canine fashion show, Harrods now offer canine customers the opportunity to exchange collars and vows at their London store.

For a mere £2,500 Harrods “Puppy Love Package” includes:

♥ Pooch designer bride and groom wedding outfits
♥ The Wedding Ceremony where collars are exchanged
♥ A dog-friendly wedding cake
♥ Marriage Certificate
♥ Champagne reception for 20 human guests at the Harrods Restaurant, London
♥ A "Just Married" sign
♥ A luxury honeymoon for the newlyweds at the exclusive Paw Seasons Dog Hotel, Kent

Dog owners also have the option to shell out another £1,000 for the "premium" package which includes a horse-drawn carriage and photographers at the wedding ceremony.

A wedding which took place in September this year at Harrods saw the "bride" Muffin (an eight month old shih tzu) arrive for the wedding ceremony at Harrods department store in a horse-drawn carriage, dressed in a white frock and veil. Muffin and her "groom" Timmy (a two and a half year old bichon frisé) were married before a group of human guests at an event costing up to £3,500. According to Timmy and Muffin found love in the colourful surroundings of Harrods' pet department as they were being fitted for coats. Their owners, Dominique Day and Rachel Little, decided to keep in touch by taking the dogs for walks together and upon hearing of Harrods new dog wedding service decided that their pooches who have been described as “a lovely couple” should declare their love for one another and exchange collars!

The wedding outfits for the day were from (Tel:020 7580 7580). Just click on the dog photographs to buy your very own dog wedding dress and tuxedo!

The respective dogs owners were encouraged to write the vows for the dogs. According to the at the Harrods wedding service of Timmy and Muffin the pair vowed to,

“be yours in times of Pedigree Chum and in times of old bones. I promise to always share my squeaky toys. I will bark at cats, chase squirrels away and always defend you against the postman.”

Harrods claim that the new dog wedding service is attracting a lot of interest. Harrods spokesman Alexia Williams says:

“Owners just want to indulge their dogs and this is the perfect way to do it. Often dogs who have been playmates for years are the most likely candidates for the weddings. It’s basically a great party that the dogs can get involved in and be the centre of attention.”

These dog weddings are marking a new trend in Britain as, like our American counterparts, increasing numbers of pet owners lavish more and more money and attention on their pets. According to British pet owners are already spending £294 million a year on presents for their pets. Dogs in particular are increasingly being treated as members of the family. As I mentioned in my blog a lot of dog owners enjoy including them in their own wedding ceremonies - from walking them down the aisle to acting as a ring bearer! I think dog weddings are the natural progression for dog lovers.

Well, if dog owners have the money and inclination then why not give their pooches their chance to bask in the limelight of being a newlywed for the day!

Futher Information On Pets And Weddings:

Pets At Weddings - Tips For Getting Your Dog, Cat or Even Horse Involved!
Two Dogs Marry In The US - Clinton Township, Michigan.

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The Perfect Favor For Your Wine Loving Guests
Date: November 10, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Favors & Shopping & Sponsored Reviews & Unique Ideas

This is a sponsored review.

Choosing wedding favors is one of easiest and fun parts of planning your wedding. You get to choose a gift for your guests which will serve as a memento of the happiest day of your life. Nowadays couples planning their wedding are looking for favors which will show their wedding guests in a unique and creative way how much they appreciate that guest sharing their special day with them.

What better way to stamp your own personal style on your wedding favors than to give your guests a gift which is everlasting, practical and truly unique - a personalized wine bottle stopper. is a company which produces beautiful hand-made wooden bottle stoppers that are sure to add a touch of sophistication to your wedding reception. Whether they are wine connoisseurs or not your guests will adore the style of the stoppers which are handcrafted by skilled artisans from the finest maple wood. These stoppers are not only attractive to look at but they are perfectly practical too and would be sure to dress up any bottle of wine!

“Let your guests know that their presence at your wedding is truly appreciated by giving them unique and personalized wedding favors which will be used and treasured for years to come.”

Prices start at $7.40 CDN per stopper (depending on the quantity you order) and the stoppers can be personalized with your own message of up to 32 characters. You could add you and your fiancé’s names and the date of your wedding or you could be creative and add your own personal words to your guests.

Of course you can choose yourself how to present the bottle stoppers to your guests. There are many ways that you could decorate and embellish the gift-wrapping of the elegant bottle stoppers to tie in with the color theme and style of your wedding. helpfully offer a small selection of wedding favor boxes which the bottle stopper fits into perfectly. There are four styles of boxes available for you to choose from on their website and with prices starting at $0.49 CDN they are definitely an affordable option. If you can't decide which will suit you best and if you want to see for yourself the quality of the craftsmanship that goes into every handmade bottle stopper, why not order a sample pack? You can request a Wedding Favor and Gift Box Sample Pack at a cost of $7 CDN.

Also available from are a selection of unique handmade bowls and woodturnings, which would make lovely gifts for your bridal party.

If you are looking for favors which will add a stylish finishing touch to your wedding then I recommend that you take a look at’s personalized bottle stoppers. What a perfect way to express your gratitude towards your wedding guests and give them an everlasting token of your wedding day which will definitely not be banished to the back of a drawer!

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The Autumn National Wedding Shows 2006 Preview - The New Way For Advertisers To Get Their Products And Services Reviewed On
Date: November 10, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Sponsored Reviews

This is a sponsored review.

Over the past year I have written about many wedding related products and services. These have been totally unbiased reviews and even though in the most part I have applauded the topic I am writing about, I haven’t been shy to say some negative comments. Sometimes I will attend a wedding show and come across some really amazing ideas I want to share with you and equally sometimes I receive books and favors in the post that I am more than willing to review. This I believe works well with all the practical wedding advice and tips posts I also write.

That’s great if you are product or service I have actually had first hand experience of, but what if you are a wedding company that would like to appear on and really I don’t know you from Adam!

The answer is simple, it is a new site launched today called, run by Andy Hagens and Aaron Wall.

This new website allows advertisers to get their products or services reviewed by related web sites, and benefit from valuable exposure, feedback, and viral buzz. lists each blog an advertiser can have their product reviewed on with a rating out of five stars, this is determined by looking at its Alexa Rank, Technorati Rank, and an estimated number of RSS subscribers. is listed within the directory of blogs at, just search on the keyword “wedding” to find us. Currently has a rating of 2 stars, and as a consequence the cost to appear on the site is $60 ($30 is paid to and $30 for This way I’m not hiding anything, you can see exactly what I am being paid for the sponsored posts on the site.

For $60 you get the following:

1. You get great exposure on , typically it takes 2 -3 days for our posts to be indexed in Google. The rule and regulations at state that the post should be a minimum of 200 words. This to me seems low and I definitely like to write more and add photographs with permission.

2. An ethical review of your product or service to the best of my ability. Please have a look at my existing list of reviews to see the high standard of writing I maintain There will be no pressure for me to positive, though if the product or service looks great I will definitely say so.

3. I will end the post with the words “"This is a sponsored review. Please note that this post represents ethical and unbiased review” in so as there is no confusion as to whether I am writing the review out of the goodness of my heart or I am receiving cash for it.

This represents a great opportunity for wedding products and services, especially new ones, to receive immediate exposure in front of a very targetted audience.

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The Perfect Favor For Your Wine Loving Guests

Confetti East - The New Site For Asian Weddings By
Date: November 09, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Reviews & Shows & Site Reviews & Themes & Traditions & Customs & Unique Ideas

The UK’s Number one wedding website has launched a brand new micro site called Confetti East, dedicated to South Asian Weddings and festive occasions. This exciting new micro site offers ideas, inspiration, products and services relating to the exotic east and is a complete one-stop source for anyone planning an Asian or Asian style celebration.

Sections include exciting features such as Indian traditions to include in a wedding, an etiquette guide to South Asian celebrations and interesting facts about henna or mehndi. Practical guides include dos and don’ts of shopping in the Indian subcontinent and how to avoid the most common planning errors.

With guides to style, fashion and beauty and customs, the site educates, informs and entertains anyone planning a Hindu, Sikh or Islamic wedding as well as appealing to those brides who wish to add a little something different to a traditional ceremony.

To Celebrate the launch of Confetti East, you can visit the Confetti stand at Mela from 17 – 19 November at the Birmingham NEC, where there will be a beautiful array of table settings using Confetti products and experienced staff on hand to advise on any aspect of wedding or celebration planning.

Further Reading:

Announcing The New Confetti Wish List Service - The Gifts You Really Want! Coupon - Free Delivery On Orders Of £75 Or More Launch Their New Site - New Improved Layout!
Review Of Confetti's Glasgow Store by Brown.
Compare Confetti's Wedding Insurance to other UK products.
Confetti's New Must-Read Magazine - Confetti Receptions
How To Use For A Stylish Christmas - a one stop shop for wedding and party advice.

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Top Tips For A Waiter-free Wedding Reception
Date: November 06, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Ask The Planner & Catering

Hi Everyone,

I received this question from a bride-to-be regarding how best to manage a wedding reception buffet without using any wait staff.

"I plan to have a buffet at the reception. I will not have wait staff, but will be using china and glass. How can I be effective in having guests return dishes to a specific area once the evening meal is over? Also, when we have a toast, I plan to have champagne. How might I get this opened and served without wait staff? I thought about having the beverage in buckets at each table and asking groomsmen and relatives to open and pour at their tables only. What do you think?"

This was my reply:

With good planning there is no reason why you and your guests should not be able to enjoy a perfect and hitch-free wedding buffet. Although some couples might baulk at the idea of having no wait staff at their wedding reception I personally think that it will add an air of intimacy to your wedding buffet. Just you and your guests - how relaxing!

Wedding buffet clean-up

Here are my tips for how to effectively ensure that your guests return their used dishes to a specific area of your reception venue once the buffet is over.

♥ Discuss with the reception venue in advance the layout of the room and decide on where the best place to set up the station for soiled tableware is. They will probably suggest a rolling table with a garbage can nearby for uneaten food. Make sure that it is not going to look too obtrusive at your wedding reception. It is important to agree these details in advance of your wedding day.

♥ Ensure that the area where the soiled plates and cutlery are being returned to is clearly marked with a sign. This will help to avoid confusion of where guests have to leave their dishes - the last thing you want is your guests wandering around with dirty plates not knowing where to leave them! You could put together a sign politely worded asking all guests to return their used dishes and cutlery to the designated area, e.g. “Please place your plates here when finished. Thank you for your help.” and ask the reception venue staff to place it at the station for dirty plates on the day of your wedding reception.

♥ Before the meal begins nominate someone on your top table to include a few words additional to or in their speech reminding guests that there are no wait-staff. They could ask guests to help out by returning their used plates to the designated area. They could say something along the lines of:

“We hope you enjoy the delicious buffet and would ask that when you have finished eating please take your plates and cutlery to the designated clean-up area [and have them point in that direction so that your guests are clear where they should leave their soiled plates]”.

Remember to thank your guests for their co-operation with this. I think you’ll find that most people will be glad to help you out on your wedding day!

♥ As a back-up plan for those guests who forget, refuse or are unable to clear away their own plates politely ask (rather than nominate!) a couple of responsible groomsmen, bridesmaids or even a couple of helpful wedding guests if they would check that the tables have been cleared of dirty plates. Do this in advance of your wedding day so that you know someone has it covered and that you and your partner do not need to get involved in the cleaning up process!

Champagne Toasts

Whilst having wait-staff to serve drinks at a wedding is helpful it is by no means necessary. Your guests are very likely to be able to open a bottle of champagne and pour themselves drinks. I don’t think you will hear any complaints about this!

Here are my tips:

♥ I agree with you that beverage or ice buckets in the center of each table is the perfect way to display your champagne. It will be within easy reach for the guests on each table and will also serve as a sophisticated centerpiece for each table.

♥ There are lots of ice buckets available nowadays either to buy or to rent. Whilst silver ice buckets look elegant, if you prefer to co-ordinate the buckets to match the color theme of your wedding then how about clear plastic or glass buckets which can easily be decorated with beautiful flowers, trailing greenery and surrounded by candles in colors to match your wedding. You could also use silver or colored pails and decorate them to co-ordinate with your wedding style.

♥ Calculate how many bottles of champagne you will need for each table depending on how many adult guests are seated at each table. Remember that the average bottle of champagne will yield 6 flute glasses.

♥ Champagne is best served chilled so organize for the buckets to contain a mixture of ice and water for the bottle to sit in for at least 20 minutes prior to opening. It is not only preferable to serve champagne chilled but it is also essential as champagne that is too warm will foam over and spill when the bottle is uncorked. So ensure the champagne is chilled - you don’t want your guests sucking champagne off their dinner plates with a straw!

♥ Remember that some guests are scared of opening champagne bottles whether this is due to the loud pop sound it makes, the fact that they usually spill most of it and don’t want to embarrass themselves in front of your wedding guests or that they might never have opened a bottle before! Perhaps you should find a fun way to ask a guest at each table to volunteer to open the champagne bottles at their own table and serve the guests seated with them. You could place a card on each table or, even better, hang a little note off of the neck of the champagne bottle. On the card/note you could ask for a guest or guests at each table to open the champagne bottles and keep everyone’s glasses topped up for the toasts.

♥ You could also print up a helpful little note to help guests who are unsure about how best to uncork the bottles and place one on each table. Here is a sample:

1. Use a napkin to dry off the bottle a bit so you can get a good grip.

2. Remove the foil top and loosen the wire cage. Leave the wire cage in place until you are ready to open the bottle(beware as some bottles have enough pressure built up in them (especially if they have been shaken when being handled) that the champagne cork will fly out immediately upon taking the wire cage off).

3. Have glasses ready in front of you and remove the wire cage.

4. With the bottle upright drape the napkin over the cork at the top of the bottle (this will help to catch the cork rather than it flying across the room and hitting another guest!) and get a good grip on the cork.

5. Hold on tight to the cork. With your other hand get a good grip on the fat part of the champagne bottle and slowly and gently TWIST BOTH HANDS IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION. As soon as you feel the cork forcing its way out, apply pressure to push it back in whilst continuing to twist it. This way the cork will be released with a sigh rather than a pop!

6. Take the cork and towel away and start pouring the champagne!

With the help of your guests there is no reason why a waiter-free wedding has to be more complicated than one with waiters buzzing all around your reception venue. By going it alone you and your wedding guests can enjoy an efficiently run yet relaxed and fun wedding reception!

I hope this helps.

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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.