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How To Organise The Perfect Wedding Including Children Part II
Date: January 23, 2008 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attendants & Budgeting & Cameras & Ceremonies & Children & Etiquette & Flower & Decorations & Guests & Music & Dance & Planning & Reception & Unique Ideas & Venues

This is Part II of a 4 part series on How To Organise The Perfect Wedding Including Children

Please refer to Part I, Part III and Part IV for the full article


How To Entertain Children During Your Wedding

So, now you have hopefully found a perfect venue and qualified child carers for your guests' children. Your next step is how to transform it into a children’s wonderland so that the children can enjoy your wedding every bit as much as the adults do.


How To Entertain Children During The Wedding Ceremony

Children are, by nature, unpredictable. There is no guarantee for parents that having been in a joyful mood all morning their little one’s temper will not erupt just as your wedding ceremony is starting. Whilst a few sniffles, coughs or whispers from the amassed guests is acceptable during a wedding ceremony, no bride wants to exchange her vows against a backdrop of screaming children. I’ve experienced many weddings myself where the vows have been drowned out by children crying or whining. I also know first hand that the last thing a bride, groom or wedding guest wants to worry about is dealing with a cranky child.

Have a think about the ages of the children who are invited to your wedding and ask yourself if they are capable of sitting quietly through your ceremony. As an experienced nanny myself I would say that any child under the age of 7 is likely at some stage to become impatient, restless or fidgety - more so if it is a religious service rather than a Disney movie which they are being made to sit through!


Tips For Preventing Meltdown During The Ceremony

♥ If it is within your budget and if a small room is available at your ceremony venue perhaps organizing for a child carer or sitter to be on standby for this part of your wedding would prove invaluable. You have to bear in mind that a church, or other religious service, is not exactly designed as children's entertainment. The child carer could entertain the children in a school room, crèche, vestry or anteroom (in a Church wedding) or a function room (for a wedding at a hotel or similar venue) whilst the parents enjoy the ceremony without interruptions from the children.

♥ Be warned some parents will opt not to place their child with your child carer but instead insist on having them sit with them through your ceremony. This is their choice (and sometimes the child’s choice too – believe it or not some children love wedding ceremonies!) so give them both options, but remember you can’t force them. If you only want children to attend the wedding reception and not the ceremony then remember to make this clear on the invitation.

♥ If you are organizing activities or child care during the ceremony make sure parents are aware of this in advance. Also ensure that the children’s room and toilets are well signposted.

♥ Think about asking the officiant to say a few diplomatic words prior to the ceremony beginning to reassure parents not to feel uncomfortable about leaving during the ceremony to take their fractious children outside.

♥ Ask ushers to seat parents with babies or very small children, where appropriate (e.g. not the groom’s sister), towards the back of the ceremony room or church or at least at the end of aisles, so they can make a swift exit and leave with a minimum of fuss if awkward moments arise during the wedding ceremony (taking their little one with them of course!).

♥ Put together a paper bag or box for each child to be handed out prior to the ceremony beginning containing a toy, juice box and snack (such as individual bags of crackers, lightly sweetened cookies or small boxes of raisins) to keep them fed and entertained. To avoid conflict, make sure there are enough bags to go around!


How To Entertain Children During The Wedding Photos

Here are some ideas for entertaining the children whilst the photos are being taken after the ceremony:

♥ If you have children in your wedding party who need to be included in the wedding photos organize with the photographer that these are the first photos they take so that the children can relax and roam free.

♥ Children love to feel included so ask your photographer to take a picture of you both with all of the children.

♥ A great way of entertaining the children is to provide them with:

o Bottles of bubbles - children love blowing and chasing bubbles and the bubbles look great in the photos too! (A word of warning though, beware of unsupervised wobbly toddlers approaching you or your wedding party, bubbles in hand - the last thing you want is a bubble spillage ruining your outfit before you even make it to the reception!).

o A confetti cannon pouch - these are inexpensive palm-sized pouches which inflate via a straw and then pop up to release a shower of colorful tissue paper pieces (remember to check first that your ceremony venue allows this type of confetti before investing in these for the children though).

o Goody bags - As mentioned above, you could put together a bag for each child with a snack and a simple toy to keep them entertained (refer to Children’s Favors in Part III for unique ideas and recommendations for goody bag contents).

o Treasure hunt - If you have outdoor space available to you this would be a great time to organize a treasure hunt. I attended a wedding reception a few years ago where the groom-to-be arrived at the reception venue early and with the aide of a couple of his groomsmen planted small well wrapped toys and candy prizes in and around the venue gardens. During the cocktail hour, whilst us adults enjoyed champagne and nibbles, the children ran themselves ragged trying to find the treasure which was marked on the maps they had been given after the wedding ceremony. It was great fun to watch them and very inexpensive to organize. (NB: At this wedding there was no child care required because the adults were in the same enclosed (safe) gardens watching the children.)

If you intend on organizing a treasure hunt or even an Easter egg hunt remember to discuss this with your reception venue and check:

• that they will allow it (some venues are a bit finicky about children rooting through their shrubs!)

• whether they can help organize the treasure hunt if necessary

• whether you will need child care to supervise the children or are the adults likely to be in the same area and therefore be able to keep an eye on them

• is the outdoor space safe for the children to run around in – are there any danger areas (e.g. water features, ramshackle walls, expensive unstable statues)?


How To Entertain Children During The Wedding Reception

For every sweet, charming, well-behaved child who you invite to your wedding be aware that there is also going to be another who is an uncontrollable monster! Even children who are absolute angels, when hungry, bored and tired, are liable to tantrums. Be prepared for this and minimize the chances of meltdowns during your reception by having plenty of entertaining and fun activities planned in advance for the children to divert their attention away from the fact that during the reception they are not the center of their parent’s attention. You cannot expect young children to sit still and quiet throughout the entire wedding reception.

With just a few tips and ideas you can have the wedding reception you have always dreamt of whilst keeping your pint-sized guests and their parents happy too.


Children’s Seating

Deciding place settings for your wedding reception can be one of the most challenging parts of planning your wedding reception. Keep it simple when it comes to seating children – decide at the outset whether you want a designated children’s table or not.


How To Decide Whether To Have A Separate Children's Table

♥ Firstly, look at your guest list and take note of the invited children’s ages. Children’s tables at weddings only really work with children over the age of 5 upwards. Therefore for under 5’s you might want to seat them on their parent’s table as some of them will need help with their food (e.g. having it cut up and fed to them, being encouraged to eat etc).

♥ Secondly, think about whether the children will be able to mix easily. If you have a lot of children attending the wedding who know each other (i.e. they are cousins/friends/schoolmates) then seating them on their own would be a great idea – they will be really excited to have their own table and will have great fun amusing each other and catching up during the wedding meal.

Handy Tip: Whilst you want the children to have a great time remember that if they are sitting together they are likely to be quiet boisterous. Have someone remind them that they should keep quiet during the speeches – whilst some heckling is expected during wedding speeches, unruly children screaming at one another is not!

♥ For children who don’t know one another I would not recommend seating them on their own table. Young children and teenagers alike can be painfully shy so it is kinder to sit them with their parents rather than force them to mingle with children they have never met before.

♥ Remember to take your child-free guests into consideration when deciding where to seat families with children at your reception – will they be happy sitting next to a boisterous two year old for the duration of the meal?

♥ When making your decision take into consideration that whilst some parents will want to keep their young children nearby, some parents feel that having a separate children’s table frees them up and allows them to relax and enjoy the wedding meal, speeches etc.

♥ Of course if you decide early on in your planning to hire sitters or child carers for the children during the reception then you could sit the smaller children with them at a children’s table - they will be able to supervise and help with feeding, cutting up food etc.

Top Tip: Let the venue know in advance how many children will require booster seats on the chairs or highchairs for little wrigglers (ask parents on the note you put in with the invitation whether they will require either of these on the day).


Organizing A Children’s Table

Whether you intend on seating children at their own table or are seating them alongside their parents at adult tables here are some pointers for how to make them comfortable and keep them entertained during the wedding meal.


Child-Friendly Centerpieces For The Tables At Your Reception

There is no point in putting extravagant centerpieces on children’s tables – they will be totally unappreciative of your carefully chosen potted orchid centerpiece. If you are looking for creative child-friendly centerpieces for the children’s table here are some ideas:


Candy Centerpiece - You could place a small bowl of candy or a couple of jars of candy in the center of the table. If the children are sitting with adults make sure there is enough for everyone. I attended a wedding last year where we had Dolly Mixture candies on each table which the adults pounced on – the children did not get a look in!

Handy Hint: If the children are sitting at a table on their own unsupervised don’t set out bowls of candy, such as jelly beans or M&M’s, which they can easily throw around. A good alternative is to give them an individual candy bar or cookie.


Fruit Centerpiece – For a healthier alternative (and to prevent the children peaking too early with their sugar highs!) you could create a decorative edible centerpiece made up of pieces of fruit.


Balloons – Whilst balloons are a perfect inexpensive and colorful way to decorate the children’s table beware that unsupervised crafty children with cutlery in front of them might make their own entertainment during your speeches!


Goldfish Bowl – I attended a fantastic wedding where the organizers had placed a bowl with a couple of goldfish in it on the children’s table. It made a really unique living centerpiece and completely enthralled the children who were entertained watching the fish swimming back and forth. You can place the bowl on top of a circular mirror in the center of the table, add colored stones (to match your wedding color theme), some rocks and a couple goldfish. These items are all quite inexpensive to buy and the best bit is you can give the bowl and fish to one of your guests at the end of the night (someone that does not to make a plane journey to get home!). Here are some tips to consider if you decide to go down the goldfish bowl route for your table centerpiece:

♥ You should check with your reception venue to make sure that they are agreeable to having goldfish on the tables.

♥ If the bowl is uncovered make sure the children are supervised - the last thing you want is them terrorizing the poor goldfish by poking them with breadsticks or throwing bits of chicken nugget in on top of them!

♥ Goldfish do not typically have a long lifespan so ask a member of the venue staff to check that the fish are still alive and well prior to the reception beginning – children and adults alike do not want to see goldfish floating belly up before they sit down to eat at your wedding!

♥ To prevent arguments breaking out over who claims ownership of the fish and bowls at the end of the night (especially if you are having goldfish bowls on more than one table) you could put a tag on each bowl with the name of who it should go home with. Alternatively you could award it as a prize for the best drawing, best dancing, best cookie decorating etc (see Prizes below).


Candy Topiary - I think Candy Topiary would make a fantastic centerpiece for the tables with children on them. They are mini topiaries made up of mini candy bars which the children (and adults) can pick off the tree during the reception. They were created by Dylan Lauren of Dylan's Candy Bar for the Martha Stewart Show. Take a look at this video clip to see how easy they are to make yourself. You could even use candy bars in colors to match the theme of your wedding.


Themed Wedding Centerpiece – If you are planning a themed wedding or a beach wedding then carry this through to the child-friendly centerpiece which you choose. I love the idea for a seaside reception location of creating a pirate theme at the children’s table. You could have pirate flags, hats and eye patches decorating the table for the children to play with and in the center a pirate ship or a treasure chest filled with candies.


Children’s Tabletop Safety At Your Wedding Reception

♥ The decorations and centerpiece on the children’s table at your wedding reception not only has to look fun and enticing but also has to be child-friendly. To ensure the safety of the children do not place ornate towering candle holders or twinkling tea lights on their table.

♥ Avoid using crystal or glass drinking glasses for the children's table. To keep the children, the table and everyone else seated on it dry ask the venue to provide cups with lids for very small children. They might not add much to your beautiful table decorations but think of the alternative if a child spills their drink.

♥ Remember to tell your venue staff which table children are going to be seated on so that if you are having favors at your reception they do not give children adults favors by accident. This might sound obvious but I’ve attended a wedding before where expensive liqueur truffles and whisky miniatures were put on the children’s table!


Setting Up A Children’s Table

Discuss your preference for a children’s table with the manager at your wedding reception venue. They might be able to make helpful suggestions for creating child-friendly tables at your reception and they could possibly have a few games and toys on hand to keep the children entertained during the reception.

When planning the children’s seating and entertainment do remember to share your plans with your wedding reception venue staff. In particular, if you are intending on providing crayons, pencils and stickers for the children’s tables check that they allow them. Some venues (depending on how pernickety they are) might insist on using alternative table coverings for the children’s tables if there is any chance that they might get crayon or worse on them. Discuss your options with the venue manager and remember that having to switch to less expensive tablecloths for the children’s table is definitely preferable to losing your deposit because of a little one’s artistic efforts on the white damask tablecloth on your wedding day!


Activities To Entertain Children At The Table During The Wedding Meal

Whilst adults enjoy chatting and lingering over their meal at weddings (unless they are seated on the table with the bride’s mad uncle!) children need something fun to do otherwise they could get bored and create mayhem!

You can’t expect children, whether they are 4 months old or 14 years old, to sit quietly and happily at a table during a 4 course wedding meal followed by toasts and speeches. Be warned, bored children leads to screams of frustration during the speeches!

What you want is to plan age appropriate quiet activities to keep the children so busy that they will forget they are sitting at a table listening to boring speeches and waiting for (a) the food to be served and (b) the fun dancing to start!

Here are a few hints and tips for keeping a table full of young children entertained during the wedding meal:

♥ Coloring and Drawing - Washable crayons, pencils and paper are perfect – a lot of children will draw happily for hours. You could even arrange a children’s coloring competition - ask each child to draw a picture of the bride and groom and hand them in to a designated member of the bridal party when they have finished. You can judge the pictures, hand out prizes for the winner and runners up and you get to keep the pictures as a memento of your wedding day!

♥ Budget Option - If you are on a tight budget you could print off some pictures for coloring prior to your wedding and leave them on the table for the children with some washable crayons. Websites such as Free-coloring-pages.com offer a variety of free printable colorable pictures for children – your only cost will be some ink and printer paper!

♥ Tabletop Art - For instant tabletop entertainment cover the children’s table with white butcher paper and put out cartons of crayons. Let the children cover the table with their creative etchings - this should help to keep them occupied during the speeches and still protect the venue’s furniture.

Arts and crafts items are a great idea, but bear in mind that they will not hold the attention of all children for very long. Here are some further tips to help you entertain a table full of child wedding guests during your reception.

♥ Cameras - You could place a couple of disposable cameras on the table for the children to join in with the fun and take some snaps of the action at your wedding reception. If the children are unsupervised on their own table make sure you leave instructions for the older children on how to operate the camera.

♥ Goody Bag - On the table at each children’s place setting put a small box or bag containing toys and goodies appropriate to each child’s age. Alternatively, if you are on a tight budget or run out of time to organize goody bags you could simply place a small, age-appropriate, individual item in each child's place. Here are some ideas:

a puzzle book

sticker sets

small story book

mini activity books and washable crayons

coloring books

crayons, pencils and paper

sticker sets (younger children will definitely need to be supervised with these or you run the risk of having your wedding venue walls being jazzed up with Barbie stickers!)

assorted puzzles and tabletop games

a small box of Lego

stuffed finger puppets

masks and hats (these always provide a great party atmosphere for children)

a jewelry or bead set

Top Tip: For the sake of your other guests during the wedding meal I advise you to stay away from noisy items such as racing cars, books with noises, musical instruments, electronic games etc.

Make sure that the goody bags are clearly labeled with each child’s name and placed at their assigned seat so that there is no confusion (and no fists flying amongst the children) over which bag belongs to which child.

♥ Wedding Table Activity Sets - You could buy ready made wedding table activity sets. Search on the internet as there are lots of different varieties available for all age ranges and for both boys and girls. These sets cost $29.95 and come with enough fun activities to keep up to 6 children entertained.

For further unique gift ideas for the children at your wedding see Children's Favors in Part III.


How To Entertain Children After The Meal If You Have No Separate Room For Them At Your Wedding Venue

If your wedding venue has no separate room available for use by the children for the duration of your wedding reception then don’t panic – there are a couple of options available to you.

Activity Area – Set up a table in the corner of your function room (preferably as far away from the load music and bar area as possible) which is available throughout the evening for children to visit at their leisure. Even if you expect the children to be eating and then dancing all night, it doesn't hurt to have a table in the corner set up with crayons, pencils, paper, fun coloring and activity books and some board games and puzzles. As before, cover it with butcher block paper instead of a tablecloth. You could also set up an easel for the children to work at on their creative masterpieces.


Imaginative Play Area – Set up a children’s table with cuddly toys, mini-stuffed animals, feather boas, princess crowns, pirate hats and other fun costumes and toys for the children to play with. These are the type of items which you could ask to borrow from a local crèche or ask generous parents to lend them to you for your wedding reception.


Venue - Sometimes the actual venue itself can keep children amused (especially if it has a special child-friendly feature like a maze). Has your venue got lots of places to play games (e.g. hide and seek is a firm favorite) and run about? Remember to check whether your venue staff are happy for children to do this. Some venues will ask that children are supervised by an adult at all times during your wedding.

Even if you think children will be happy to sit with the adults during the wedding reception I recommend you have an area set up in a corner of the function room where they can leave the table and do some activities. Rather than sitting and listening to the wedding speeches (which, lets face it, must be boring for young children) they can move on to the activity table and entertain themselves.


Music And Dance For Children At Your Wedding Reception

We all know that children love to dance. I think for me that is the hardest part to understand of why couples don’t want children attending their wedding reception. There is nothing cuter than seeing children and adults dancing. You only have to look at some of the footage on You Tube to see how adorable children getting down on the wedding dance floor can be. This is part of the fun of having little ones at a wedding.


To Dance Or Not To Dance - If you are having musical entertainment at your wedding reception decide early on whether you want the children to join in with the adult guests on the dance floor. If you don’t want children sliding across the dance floor on their knees (I’ve seen adults do this too when they’ve had one too many drinks at weddings!) then there is no harm in making the evening entertainment an adult themed party. Simply make parents aware in advance of your wedding that the dance floor is strictly off-limits for children by putting a note in with their invitation (see How To Keep Parents Informed in Part IV).


Inflatable Fun On The Dance Floor - If you are including children in your evening dance entertainment, to add a bit of fun on the dance floor why not buy some blow up guitars, saxophones and microphones for the children (and the adults if they can get their hands on them!). They cost about $2 and are widely available on the internet from stores such as Noveltiesgalore.com. They are quite big when inflated so be aware that unsupervised children on the dance floor might end up using them as weapons against each other!


Dancing Competition - At my wedding there was no separate room available for the children so one of the things which I arranged was a disco dancing competition for the children which was judged, by my husband and I, and prizes handed out (we had runners up prizes for the less abled dancers too!).


Music For The Children - I recommend you get a good DJ for your wedding reception who is willing to include some fun songs at the beginning of the night for the children to dance to (they can save the schmaltzy stuff for later when the children go to bed!). By providing the children with music targeted at their age group you are allowing them to join in with the wedding fun which they (and their parents) are sure to appreciate.


How To Entertain Children During The Wedding Reception If You Have Only A Bedroom Available

Don’t panic if you only have a bedroom available at the wedding venue for your use. As a nanny I’ve hosted plenty of fantastic children’s parties in some of the smallest hotel rooms known to mankind! I’ve even organized a pitch and putt competition with a plastic golf set and mountains of cushions for the children (both boys and girls) at one wedding party in a hotel room. All you need is to be prepared.

♥ Find out in advance if the room has a TV and DVD/VCR player for the chill-out movie session for the children later in the day. A CD player would be great too so that if you have younger children you can play some nursery rhymes.

♥ Ensure that on the wedding day the room is stocked up with child-friendly snacks, drinks, and games and craft supplies as mentioned previously.

♥ Borrow movies and children’s CD’s from friends for the wedding reception or ask your child carer if they could provide these.

♥ Obviously there would be a bed in the room for children to take naps on, but find out if any of your guests are going to need a travel cot or space for strollers for their small ones to nap in (you could ask them about this in the notes to parents – see How To Keep Parents Informed in Part IV).


How To Entertain Children During The Wedding Reception If You Have A Separate Room Available

If your wedding venue is able to provide you with a function room at an affordable cost here are some tips for kitting it out and ideas for activities to keep the children entertained and out of mischief.


How To Set Up An Activity Room For Children Of All Ages


Furniture and Decoration

♥ The children’s room should be furnished like a traditional crèche or children’s nursery - table and chairs (small furniture would be better if you have children aged 1-4 attending), some floor cushions, bean bags or inflatable sofas (see details below).

♥ Depending on the ages of the children you are expecting to use the children’s room at your wedding reception, traditionally children prefer an arts and crafts table (or tables if you have a lot of children over the age of 4 years old), a comfy seated area for reading books and story telling, a television for movie time, a table set up for board games, puzzle play etc., and a table with some drinks and snacks set up on it. You can modify the room layout to suit the needs of the activities which you choose for the children on your wedding day.

♥ If your venue are unable to provide you with any furniture, or if you are getting married in an unfurnished venue, you could rent the pieces which you need. To hire or borrow furniture ask at a kindergarten, pre-school or church crèche close to the vicinity of your wedding venue. Alternatively, ask friends with children if they could lend you some of their children’s furniture. If you are unable to locate any furniture by these means hire companies offer children’s tables and chair, picnic tables and activity tables for daily rental.

♥ You could decorate the children’s room with balloons and soft furnishings matching your wedding color scheme.


Health And Safety In The Children’s Activity Room

No matter what the age range of children using the room is you must ensure that it provides them with a hazard-free and safe environment. Speak to your venue manager or person in charge of the children’s room and your child carer about your requirements. It should:

♥ be cleaned to a high standard (the flooring especially so if babies are likely to be crawling on it)

♥ have socket covers on unused electrical sockets

♥ have floor space which is clear of electrical cables (which children might trip on)

♥ have sufficient lighting for the children to carry out their arts activities, read books comfortably etc.

♥ be well ventilated with a source of heat/air conditioning

♥ have enough power sockets for CD players, electronic games etc.

♥ have lockable windows and doors and a well sign-posted fire exit (just in case)

♥ have a range of child-size aprons on hand to protect children’s smart clothes from glue, paint, frosting and any other messy decorative activities they might participate in – packs of 10 disposable children’s aprons are available for $3 from Kidzcraft.co.uk.

If you are employing a professional child carer they will have experience of how to maintain a comfortable environment in the children’s room for the children (e.g. comfortable room temperature, ventilation etc).


Activities For Children During The Wedding Reception

There are a wide range of entertainment choices suitable for every size and style of wedding venue which are sure to create a fun environment for the children.

To decide which activities to arrange, first find out what the age range of children attending your wedding will be. If you are setting up the children’s room yourself you will need to set out age appropriate games, e.g. children ages 5-11 really enjoy activities involving building and creating things and problem solving, whilst younger children prefer arts and crafts (the messier the better!) and imaginative play. Children aged 8 upwards like sports, board games, electronic games and activities based around hobbies (model making, beading, origami, chess etc). For more information on age appropriate activities for the children at your wedding check out Familytlc.net which has some great ideas.


Competitions

Competitions appeal to all children’s competitive streak and the chance of winning a prize, so why not organize one of the following:

♥ An art competition, with prizes for the best efforts, or for younger children have a coloring contest with prizes for the most colorful drawings

♥ A treasure hunt (see Part III for further details on this)

♥ An Easter egg hunt – I have organized this for a wedding before. We helped the children to make and decorate cardboard Easter egg baskets and then went into the grounds of the hotel to hunt for the pre-planted eggs. The winner who found the most plastic eggs was given a prize (no child went away empty handed though!)

♥ A disco dancing competition during the evening entertainment in the main function room or in the children’s room

♥ I’ve even attended a wedding where the child with the highest score on the Bopit toy won a prize.


Prizes For Children

If you are planning on organizing a few competitions to entertain the children at your wedding reception make sure that you buy some prizes to be handed out on the day. Leave them with your child carer (if you have one – otherwise ask venue staff to keep them hidden away from the children’s sight until you ask for them) so that she can hand them out to the children at the appropriate time. You can find small trophies at a party-supply store but more child-friendly prizes are candy and small toys. I supervised the children’s room at a very extravagant wedding once where MP3 players were given out as prizes to winners. This is fine if you have oodles of money in your wedding budget but really children are just as happy to receive a more typical prize of a coloring set, box of candy or sticker set. These are items that you can purchase in advance of your wedding (remember to check dollar stores for small inexpensive items too). For more ideas for prizes ask friends with children for suggestions, search on the internet or check out Smalltoys.com.

Make sure you buy enough to go around and have a few spare items put by just in case.

Top Tip: If you are having a treasure hunt, disco dancing or coloring competition make sure that everyone wins something – all of the children should be winners on your wedding day!


Art and Craft Activities

Children of all ages enjoy crafts so how about setting up an arts-and-crafts table in the children’s room. Provide some simple arts and crafts supplies such as coloring books, crayons, pencils, colored card, collage materials and glue sticks, sticker books with stickers and stencils.

Other craft activities which the children at your wedding might enjoy:

beading - supply beads for the children to make their own bracelets and necklaces which they can take home

pot painting

origami

handbag making and decorating

mask or crown making and decorating

T shirt painting – children could create a work of art which they can take away with them and wear. This is a very popular craft activity for children of all ages and abilities. Every child gets a new good quality T shirt to decorate using a range of fabric paints, marker pens and other decorative effects. You can hire companies such as Partypop.com who will come to your party and provide all the equipment including tables and stools and also supervising staff. Alternatively you could set this activity up yourself easily and ask your child carer to supervise the younger children. You can buy both t-shirts and the fabric paints, marker pens etc very inexpensively – try stores like Target and StencilWarehouse.com or alternatively they are available online at Kidzcraft.co.uk with prices starting at $4.


Other Activity Ideas

Toys such as miniature cars and a mat for them to play on, Bop It, Etch a Sketch, Battleships, card games like snap or Top Trumps

Comics and story books

Activity and puzzle books

Nail varnish painting (little girls love this!)

Jigsaw puzzles and board games – Organize popular games which can be played by children on tabletops or on the floor on their own or as a team, such as Operation, Connect 4, Pictionary, Monopoly, Mousetrap, Twister, Jenga, Snakes and Ladders, Scrabble, Buckaroo, Cludo, Chess, Ludo, jigsaw puzzles etc (you can hire packages of board games Kidsco.co.uk if you are unable to beg steal or borrow them for your wedding). Also, I think this chocolate Jenga game would be a big hit with the children.


Piñata - How about investing in a wedding-themed piñata for the children. For those of you not familiar with this children’s party essential, piñatas are large papier-mâché dolls or shapes which are filled with small toys and sweets, hung from the ceiling and then the children take turns to hit it with a bat in an attempt to get it to release the treats inside. You can buy ready-filled piñatas or you can fill it yourself. They can be bought from party stores or websites such as Partypop.com. The piñatas are available in a variety of designs and themes. I love this one which costs $26 and is shaped like a wedding cake – how perfect is that! If its likely to be predominantly young children at your wedding it might be safer and easier to use a pull-string piñata.


Traditional party games - You must remember fondly what fun you had at parties as a child before Playstation Dance Mats and Ninetendo Wii’s were invented. Party games such as musical statues, pass the parcel, pin the tail on the donkey and musical chairs are a great way of getting all the children at your wedding involved and having fun. For further party game ideas check out Littlekidsgamesonline.com.


Music – Have a CD player in the room so that the supervisor can play a choice of music depending on the age range of the children (ranging from nursery rhymes to disco music). You will also need music if the children are going to play games which require it, such as musical statues.


Cuddly toys, dolls and action figures – The children could bring their own doll or other toy to the wedding and dress them up, have a tea party or you could borrow a dolls house for them all to share.


Dressing-up clothes (especially wedding gowns, tiaras, top hats and kilts!) – Young children really enjoy imaginative role play and a chance to dress up in costume.

Movie making - If you are aware that you have some budding thespians amongst your younger guests you could ask them to put together a short movie. Ask your child carer in advance if they would be willing and able to operate a video camera and help with putting the show together with the children. Alternatively, ask your videographer to bring along an extra camera operator to work with the children in their room. Provide them with a trunk of old clothes, footwear, handbags, jewelry and any other child-friendly props you can lay your hands on. The supervising adult or eldest child within the group can help the children put together a simple story, allocate roles to each child (reluctant children could be given behind the scenes roles such as doing sound effects, background music, in charge of props etc. rather than acting parts), help them dress up, do their hair and make-up (just like real movie stars), rehearse their characters and then its lights, camera and action! The final video could be shown during the reception for the other wedding guests. It would make an excellent memento of your wedding day for the children and you. You could even award the stars of the movie chocolate Oscars!

Handy Hint: Dressing up clothes and accessories are definitely something that you could ask the children to bring in advance of the wedding in the note you put it with their invitation (see How To Keep Parents Informed in Part IV).


Puppets and a puppet theatre – Putting together a DIY puppet theatre is as simple as draping a large tablecloth over a table. Again, you could ask the children to bring their own puppets from home or even organize making puppets such as finger puppets or wooden spoon puppets as one of the craft activities available to them. They could then perform a puppet show together.


Building toys –Although it is predominantly boys who enjoy playing with Lego, Meccano and other construction toys, the girls do like to do some building work too. This is an activity which can be done on the table top or floor in the children’s room.


Ball Pool - How about setting up a ball pool or pit. The children will enjoy hours of fun together at your wedding diving around amongst the brightly colored balls. You can rent inflatable or pop up ball pits from companies such as Partyoutfitters.com for US customers or PJEntertainments.co.uk for UK customers, or you could borrow one from friends or buy a ball pool (with prices starting at $20 they shouldn’t break your wedding budget!).


Pop Up Play equipment - As with the ball pool idea, pop up play equipment is simple to set up in the children’s room (or outdoor space at your wedding venue) and is ideal for filling a large space quickly and cheaply. For venues where space is limited pop up castles and tunnels make a perfect soft play activity area for toddlers. Again, equipment like this is rentable (and reasonably cheap to buy) but I’m sure you know a parent who would be willing to share their pop up equipment with you.


Racing Cars - Whether you have boys or girls in the children’s room both will have fun playing with a 6 lane Scalectrix track. The track is available to rent complete with a choice of cars, grandstands, pitstops, bridges, control towers and experienced race marshals. Up to 6 children can compete against each other racing their Porsches and Formula 1 cars, amongst others. The only trouble I envisage for you with this idea is keeping the grown men away from it all night!


Sports Activities - Depending on how big a space you have to work with at your wedding venue you could transform the children’s room into a mini sports arena for the children - you won’t see them all evening! Rent or borrow ping-pong, air hockey and snooker tables, hula hoops, jump ropes, foam darts board and a mini golf putting machine or chipping net (with plastic golf balls obviously!).


Wii Consoles - Everyone knows how popular Ninetendo Wii’s are with children, so what better way to keep them happy at your wedding than to rent them for the children’s use. As well as Wii consoles companies such as this also have available for rental:

PS2 and Xbox machines, the latest state-of-the-art arcade video games, racing and flight simulators, Formula 1 and Rally Amusement Machines, Pac Man machines (very retro!).

♥ The machines are available with a good variety of age appropriate games, they can come with 2 or 4 controllers and they are all set on unlimited free play so the children do not need any money to play them (unless you want to cash in at your wedding!). You could even rent the dance mat and set up the dance games for the children – they are great fun. Typically the rental companies will bring the machines to your wedding venue, set them up and collect them at the end of the day. Prices start at $90 for one day rental of the Wii machine but you can book up packages of a couple of machines. Search on the internet for your local stockists or alternatively ask a friend with a machine if you can borrow it for your wedding.

Handy Hint: Hire companies do not usually include monitors for the machines which need them (although they are available to hire separately) so find out in advance if you can connect the machines to a TV or projector screen at your wedding venue. I supervised at a children’s party where the PS2 was connected up to the projector screen in the hotel’s conference room and the children had amazing fun competing against each other on such a huge screen with the spectating children cheering them on!


TV/DVD – Most wedding venues will be able to provide you with a TV and DVD player for the children to watch some cartoons or children's TV shows and/or use for connecting to PS2/Xbox machines (as mentioned above).

Handy Hint: Make sure an adult is supervising what the children are watching to ensure that it is age appropriate. I have experienced walking into an unsupervised Kids Club before and found the children (aged from 10 months up to 13 years old) all lined up on bean bags in front of the TV watching a particularly violent episode of South Park. It took me the rest of the day to convince my 3 year old nephew (who I had been collecting) not to repeat some of the inappropriate language and behavior he had seen!


Cinema – Ask your venue staff to have a TV (preferably a large plasma screen) set up with a DVD player in the children’s room and transform it into a movie theatre for them in the evening. Have the child carer ask the children for their movie preference from the selection you have available and go with the most popular choice or choices.

♥ If you want to be really organized let the children and parents know in advance (in the note you send them with the invitation (see How To Keep Parents Informed in Part IV)) the proposed movie start time and movie choices (ask friends with children for their top movie choices and ask to borrow the DVD if possible).

♥ Also, remember your reception venue (particularly if it is a hotel) might be able to provide you with a selection of up-to-date DVD’s for the children’s viewing pleasure.

♥ Organize for drinks, candy, potato chips, pretzels, popcorn or ice cream to be served during the movie or at the break halfway through the movie (for a toilet break). If chairs or sofas are unavailable use bean bags and cushions to make a comfy area for the children to sit. You could even purchase fun inflatable sofas for as little as $8 on eBay.com.

♥ At a local hotel where I used to supervise the children’s crèche they had an in-house movie theater which seated approximately 100 people. At 7.30pm on weekends, and when weddings and other functions were taking place at the hotel, they showed a just released movie (appropriate to the ages of the children attending) which ran with a short break halfway through (for hotdogs, fries, popcorn and a trip to the toilet). This was so popular with the children, the adults and the supervisors who got to sit down and have a breather! The reason I mention this is that you should check with your reception venue whether they themselves have an in-house movie theater or auditorium with large screen which could be used by the children attending your wedding. It really makes the day special for the children, gives them something to look forward to and helps them to wind down towards the latter part of the evening after all the fun and frolics of their day.


Children's Karaoke – The children could host their own karaoke party. Regardless of their age and talent giving them 5 minutes in the spotlight with a microphone will make them feel like superstars. The supervising adult could give each child a slot on the karaoke machine to perform their own rendition of their favorite song! Karaoke machines are inexpensive to hire (if you don’t already have one or know someone who is willing to lend you theirs). For hire in the USA check out Partymachines.com or for UK karaoke machine hire try Rock-box.co.uk.


Music and Dancing - As mentioned previously, children love to join in with the adults on the dance floor. However you might decide that it would be more enjoyable for both the children and adult guests if they had their own dance space.

♥ If you have a lot of space available to you at your wedding venue and a flexible budget you could hire a lively DJ solely for the children in a separate room. This is a fantastic way to entertain them. As mentioned previously you could ask the DJ or supervising adult to organize a disco dancing competition and award prizes for the best (and worst!) efforts.

♥ To add a unique and exciting element to your wedding, and to get the children using up some energy, you could organize dance instructors to teach them some disco dancing routines to the latest pop hits! This is suitable for children aged 7 upwards but I know that younger children would love to have a try and join in too (you try stopping them!). Once the instructors have taught the children some dance routines you could let the children put on a performance for your wedding guests.

♥ Be prepared though, you could go to the trouble and expense of organizing all of the above for the children but some enthusiastic youngsters might still surface on the dance floor in amongst their parents and the other boogying adult guests.


Holiday Themed Activities For The Children

Halloween – How about some pumpkin carving (no sharp knives though for the younger children), bobbing for apples or toffee apple decorating.

Easter – As mentioned, you could organize an Easter egg hunt or, at the art table in your children’s room, set up materials for decorating Easter egg baskets, bonnets or simply have Easter- themed coloring pictures for the children.


How To Set Up A Toddlers Area

If the children attending the wedding are predominantly toddlers you might want to set up an Under 5's Activity Area for them. To do this add a good selection of colorful, appealing soft toys and age appropriate equipment including activity gyms, small slides, rockers, ride on cars, mini bouncers, mini see saws, pop up castles etc.

With play equipment for toddlers it is best that the children are not left unsupervised. For their safety arrange to have this area manned by a qualified child carer or at the very least a parent who is willing to take responsibility for supervising the area.

When hiring children’s play equipment from companies (as mentioned above) check that they comply with health and safety regulations and ask someone (a venue staff member or a friend whose children are attending your wedding) to check that the room looks safe, clean and properly set up for the children.

With all of the suggestions which I have made above simply choose from them a selection of pieces to suit your space and location.


How To Set Up A Baby Play Area

Similarly, if a lot of parents are bringing babies to the wedding you could set up a Baby Play Area for them to enjoy. You will need to make sure that floor coverings are suitable for crawling infants. I suggest that you arrange to put down a baby-friendly soft floor covering and add bean bags (for child carers and parents to lounge on) as well as some colorful, clean and fun baby play equipment. Babies love interactive toys especially those with lights, sound and music.

If your guests include mums with young babies remember to ensure that there is an adequate area at the wedding venue for them to be changed and fed. For Mums who are still breastfeeding they will need somewhere comfortable, quiet and private (not a bathroom) to feed their babies. Although it will be difficult for you to judge how many babies will be present at your wedding, particularly if you are planning your wedding more than 9 months in advance, it is best to be prepared and organize somewhere for them just in case.


How To Set Up A Children’s Chill Out Zone

Whilst some teenagers will be quite happy to join the “grown ups” on the dance floor, the majority of them will not get into the festivities as much as the adults. Teenagers do love being treated like adults though so if you are expecting teenage wedding guests why not set up a separate room for them – their own chill-out room to relax and watch TV, listen to music, watch a show or just hang out with friends. You could create a lounge atmosphere with a few tables, chairs, inflatable furniture, bean bags, comfy cushions and funky furniture (all of which can be rented). Provide them with a stereo system to listen to their own choice of music, supply sodas, magazines and a selection of board games. If your budget extends to it you could even arrange for them to enjoy their own karaoke machine, computer with games or rent a games machines (as mentioned above). I guarantee your teenage guests won't want to leave!


CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING THIS ARTICLE


This is Part II of a 4 part series on How To Organise The Perfect Wedding Including Children

Please refer to Part I, Part III and Part IV for the full article

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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



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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


50 Money Saving Tips From Martha Stewart
Date: June 06, 2007 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Budgeting & Catering & Flower & Decorations & Magazines & Planning & Site Reviews & Unique Ideas

If you are looking for some money saving tips when it comes to planning your wedding then you should definitely check out Martha Stewart’s website. Her feature “50 ways to trim your budget” contains fantastic budgeting tips for general wedding planning, flowers, decorations and catering.

Here are a few of my personal favourites:

Pay wedding costs with a credit card to earn frequent-flyer miles toward your honeymoon. Just make sure to avoid incurring interest charges by paying the balance in full each month.
After the event, donate your flowers to a hospital or nursing home; it's a thoughtful thing to do and also a tax deduction.
Eliminate reply cards and have guests handwrite a note instead. You'll save on stationery and postage, and the responses will be great keepsakes.

Take a look for yourself as the tips are sure to give you some inspiring ideas and help to shave money off your all important wedding budget!

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How To Customize Your Wedding With Beads
Date: March 22, 2007 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attire & Books & Dresses & Favors & Flower & Decorations & Gifts & Invitations & Announcements & Jewelry & Reviews & Stationery & Unique Ideas

I wanted to let you all know about “Beaded Weddings” by Jean Campbell. This book is a fantastic craft guide which is sure to encourage even the most reluctant DIYer to have a go. Not only does the book give you unique and inspirational ideas but it also teaches DIY novices basic craft skills. There are over 75 fabulous ideas for DIY projects which would,

“give your wedding a unique, unforgettable style of its own”.

Please take a look at my 6 minute video review of the book by clicking on the play button below. Alternatively you can visit Google Video or YouTube.com.

This book is very easy to read with friendly narrative and beautiful photos. It is broken down into 6 sections including invitations, thank you notes, reception décor, wedding finery, accessories and gifts.

One thing I like about this book is that there is a real variety of choices for skilled beaders or novice beaders (like myself!). For the braver DIYers amongst you there is a section on wedding dress embellishments, showing you how to jazz up your wedding dress. For the less skilled amongst you (this would include me!) or for those of you that do not have a lot of time on your hands to take on DIY projects in the run up to your wedding, there are things like bridal bobby pins which are so simple to make and yet they look as pretty and sparkly as shop-bought accessories.

One of my favorite DIY projects in the book is the beaded gift bag. You simply slip a pretty bead of your choice onto the end of a drawstring on an organza bag and there you have it – an effortless, yet eye-catching, result! A personalized gift bag which you could use for wedding favors, gifts for your bridal party or for future gift-giving occasions. How about wowing your wedding guests with how creative you are - try the cake stand necklace. It combines India glass and Czech fired polished beads with ivory and crystal seed beads. You could really dress up a plain glass cake stand with this very inexpensively.

Techniques used throughout the book include crimping, wire wrapping, bead embroidery, simple fringe and knotting. This might all sound highly technical to you but you really have nothing to worry about – this book takes you through each technique step by step with clear color pictures and diagrams to guide you along the way. It is all very well laid out. A perfect example is the elegant pearl necklace. There is a list of materials and tools needed so that you can get yourself equipped and organized before you start. The narrative then describes how to put the necklace together with diagrams showing how to tie the specific knots needed and it also gives you a lovely big photo of the end result – a stunning pearl necklace custom made to your own specifications.

Also, in the introductory section of the book it gives you a description of each material you might be using including beads, clasps, pins, wires, fabric, ribbon, glue and tools. Don’t worry though, it’s not like a home maintenance manual (if you’ve other tried to follow one of those!) - this book has easy to understand lingo and the terms used are not too technical.

If you are unsure about where the materials recommended come from then all you have to do is flick to the back of the book where there is a list of suppliers. Most of them have websites through which you can order what you need. When I’ve attempted DIY craft projects myself I’ve discovered that most of the raw materials are far cheaper and much more widely available than I previously thought.

Do bear in mind that there is a vast range of items in this book ranging from straightforward to the more complicated. As you can imagine some projects take more time than others. This book provides you with a list of time estimates. For example a tiara can take up to 3 hours whilst cute table favors can take only 2 minutes each.

I have to admit I was not a huge fan of beads before I read this book but now I am a convert! The designs using semiprecious stones, glass pearls and crystals, amongst other materials, are simple, elegant and most importantly unique.

“Beads can make a gorgeous contribution to wedding-day pieces”.

So what are the advantages to you of reading this book?

♥ You get the chance to learn a new skill which could well prove to be invaluable to you both with your wedding planning and in the future.

♥ You are custom making these items to your own specifications. You can add your own unique twists to the designs in the book and adapt any of the projects to suit your own wedding palette and style. There are no rules to say that you must stick to the same colors and styles of beads used in the book. Let your creativity and your imagination run wild!

♥ One of the most important advantages to you is that you will be saving oodles of money! Rather than buying jewelry, wedding stationary and other wedding items from commercial vendors you are only paying out for the materials which you use.

♥ One of the biggest rewards you should get from reading this book is having fun! The book suggests that you recruit helpers to assist you with making your chosen items, so how about hosting a beading party with your friends.

Without hesitation I totally recommend this book for those of you who are not afraid of getting stuck in to some DIY craft projects either on a small or large scale. Go ahead and get creative! Whether you end up with stunning results or something less than perfect, the most important thing for you to bear in mind in the run up to your wedding is to have lots and lots of fun!

Available from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

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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 Fashionunited.co.uk 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 Bridalwave.tv. 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 lse.co.uk 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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Wedaholic.com Recommends Bellenza For Elegant And Affordable Wedding Favors
Date: October 31, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Candles & Favors & Flower & Decorations & Gifts & Guests & Planning & Reviews & Shopping & Themes & Unique Ideas

Choosing wedding favors might be one of the smaller details of your wedding planning but it is certainly requires some thought and effort. You want to choose favors which add a stylish finishing touch to your wedding and which show your guests your appreciation for them being there to celebrate your special day.

For unique wedding favors, gifts and accessories take a look at Bellenza.com

What Bellenza has to offer?

Bellenza offer a vast selection of beautiful favors ranging from favor bags to porcelain keepsakes at prices starting from $0.50. Bellenza also have items which are more expensive, but of course, you don’t mind spending that bit extra for favors which your wedding guests are guaranteed to truly cherish. Remember too that depending on which favors you choose they can save you money as they might be able to double up as table decorations at your wedding reception!

I liked the huge selection of useful wedding favor bags which are available on Bellenza’s website. They come in a broad spectrum of colors and in many different styles, shapes and sizes. Another unique aspect of Bellenza’s website is that they provide you with great ideas of what to put inside your favor bags, including cookies, candies and other small wedding favors for your wedding guests.

There is more to Bellenza than simply wedding favors. They also offer elegant bridal accessories and a wide rage of attendant gifts. Handsewn stunning ring pillows and chic purses to exquisite silk bridal shawl.

Finding your way around

I found the Bellenza website really easy to navigate. They have created an attractive layout for the favors and use extensive product pictures alongside informative details specific to each favor. I thought that it was extremely helpful that Bellenza’s website had categories for customers to select from including Party Themes, Gift Ideas, Styles and Duo+ables.

The “Duo+ables” section is very innovative as it contains clever pairings of favors available for you to choose. This simplifies the process for you of choosing matching combinations of favors. I really like the pairings which they have put together. Bellenza obviously have an eye for design and have chosen colors and styles of favors which complement each other. I particularly like the Marikei Porcelain Hatbox which is wrapped in a matching Zaarni Organza Wrap Circle with Ribbon. I think it would make a beautiful wedding favor and it also makes an eye-catching table decoration too!

Bellenza also have an “Advice” section which contains lots of top tips and suggestions for wedding themes, ranging from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” to “Beach Weddings”. With each theme suggested Bellenza give their ideas on which wedding favors are appropriate. I like the fact that Bellenza put emphasis on the usage and theme which applies to each of their favors and that they are giving you free advice on how to use their products to create a unique style for your wedding. Bellenza’s website gives you fantastic ideas for accessorizing your wedding and complimenting your chosen wedding theme with some stylish matching items.

Design details

“We are meticulous about selecting the right combination of materials and fabrics, while paying close attention to both texture and color in order to give our products an elegant look, as opposed to a mass-produced one.”

It is the quality of their workmanship combined with the distinctive materials and fabrics which they use is their designs which makes Bellenza’s favors stand apart from some of its contemporaries. Through their ongoing commitment to originality and artistry Bellenza are creating unique and timeless handmade wedding favors and couture-inspired bridal accessories. Sometimes when you look at wedding favor websites you see the same style and quality of products but Bellenza’s use of unique textures and materials such as seashell, rhinestone, and silver help to catch your eye!

Amongst Bellenza's line of elegant favor bags, pouches, and wraps is the Sofearélla Rose Pomander Favor Bag. This is a perfect example of Bellenza’s ability to use delicate fabrics in imaginative ways. They have carefully sewn pieces of satin and organza individually into flowers, rendering them to follow the form of a pretty Victorian pomander. To make the bags even more functional a decorative pearl handle was added allowing the bag to be used both as a favor container and a place card holder – Bellenza really do think of everything!

Their design team must have a great eye for aesthetics as they manage to combine a perfect combination of materials in a vast range of colors and embellishments to create masterpieces!

“At Bellenza, our philosophy embraces this ideal with a passion for designing products that are both creatively useful and unique.”

I think that Bellenza definitely simplify the task of choosing elegant yet affordable wedding favors, accessories and gifts. So go on, have a browse – you won’t regret it!

For more ideas about favors take a look at my blog "26 Wedding Favors Your Guests are Guaranteed to Love".

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Halloween Wedding Tips
Date: October 31, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attire & Bridal Party & Candles & Catering & Ceremonies & Dresses & Flower & Decorations & Funny & Guests & Planning & Reception & Unique Ideas

I was amused to read a story about a couple who chose to say "I Boo" at their Halloween Wedding in Moundsville, West Virginia at the weekend. According to wtov9.com Alvin and Carol Stillwell exchanged their vows in full Halloween costumes and their friends and family followed the Halloween theme with their wedding attire too - there were plenty of ghosts, witches and goblins cheering the couple on!

A lot of couples, like the Stillwell's, choose to get married on Halloween because it is their favorite holiday. It is certainly one way of ensuring your wedding is remembered for years to come as it is a very unique and wacky theme.

For those of you with a fun-loving nature and a penchant for all things Halloween why not consider it as your wedding theme? Think of the abundance of Halloween decorations there are available for you to use for your wedding if you chose this theme. You could host the wedding reception in a spooky mansion or castle and decorate it with pumpkin carvings, jack-o-lanterns, candelabras, plastic spiders, skulls, bats and eerie lighting. A bubbling cauldron (using a dry ice machine) would be sure to add a spooky atmosphere to the wedding reception and you could tie in the catering to match your Halloween theme (click here to read one bride's catering choices for her wedding including a Jell-O brain mould!). You could carry the Halloween theme all the way through your wedding planning from the wedding invitations down to the cake and favors - what fun! A black wedding dress is a popular choice for Halloween brides and their wedding party and you could choose dramatic blood red roses for your bouquet. By using a Halloween theme for your wedding you would also giving your guests an opportunity to let their hair down and dress up in costumes rather than their Sunday best!

Take a look at Wednet.com for more Halloween decorating ideas.

Do bear in mind that Halloween weddings need not be tacky. If you need reassurance read the Knot's story of a couple who exchanged vows dressed in black at a gothic church in Manhattan and then celebrated their reception in a big, spooky dungeon.

Just think, you will never find a better excuse to host a Halloween party every year than it being your wedding anniversary! Use the comments section below to share your opinion - I would love to hear from you!

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Hitched.co.uk Has Chosen Ecclesiastical Insurance To Provide Wedding Insurance Policies Through Its Website

You may remember that back in July I wrote a comprehensive listing of all the best wedding insurance companies in the UK. Namely Confetti.co.uk, Debenhams, Ecclesiastical, Equine and Livestock Insurance Company Ltd, Event Insurance, Marks and Spencer, MRL Insurance Direct, and Wedding Plan Insurance. If you missed it, here is a link to it along with a link to the 11 golden reasons all couples should have wedding insurance. I know I'm biased but I do highly recommend it because instead of having to visit each insurer's website you now only have to visit one page. There are in depth descriptions of all the different types of covers offered and links to the policy documents, how to order online, company details, ownership facts, and links to the underwriters with notes on their regulations. I have tried to make it as easy as possible for every bride and groom in the UK to compare each policy against the next.

Within this article I stated:

"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 are underwritten by Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc. "

I can now report that the wedding planning website Hitched.co.uk has chosen Ecclesiastical Insurance to provide wedding insurance policies through its website or by calling 0800 336622.

Wedding insurance joins the range of wedding planning services and advice already offered by Hitched.co.uk, which include speech-writing, venue-shopping and gift-buying.

Ecclesiastical will also offer the opportunity to purchase honeymoon insurance at the same time.

Darren Noel, Business Development Director at Hitched, said:

"The Hitched site offers couples everything they need to organise their perfect day. And with so much time, effort and money spent organising a wedding, it makes sense to protect it with insurance."

Ian Henderson, Customer Services Manager at Ecclesiastical said:

"Wedding insurance gives peace of mind during all the preparations leading up to the day itself. Couples shouldn't assume their home insurance covers them – wedding insurance covers damaged dresses, lost rings and suppliers going bust for example. And with so much riding on the day, it's not worth taking the risk of not insuring."

Ecclesiastical's wedding insurance policy provides cover for cancellation or curtailment, re-arrangement, attire, presents, rings, cakes and flowers, photographs and video, failure of suppliers, transport, wedding documents, public liability and marquees (Marquee cover provided for an additional premium, not available with Tier 1 cover). The policy also includes legal expenses cover and a free counselling helpline provided by DAS Legal Expenses Insurance Company Limited (not available with Tier 1).

For full details of Ecclesiastical's wedding policy cover and exclusions please see the policy document.

Further Wedding Insurance Reading:

UK Wedding Insurance Companies -Time Saving Links To Policy Documents
11 Golden Reasons All Couples Should Have Wedding Insurance - Make sure you take out wedding insurance today.
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.

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
Marks & Spencer's New Bridalwear Range
Fancy Owning Madonna's Wedding Tiara?
Wedding Insurance – Compare Wedding Insurance -Time Saving Links To Policy Documents


A Unique Concept In Wedding Table Planning - TheTablePlanner.com
Date: October 04, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Flower & Decorations & Funny & Groom & Guests & Planning & Reception & Reviews & Shopping & Site Reviews & Stationery & Themes & Unique Ideas

A seating plan is an essential piece of stationery for your wedding reception. By having a seating plan on display for wedding guests to refer to you avoid any unnecessary confusion about where they are expected to sit. Seating plans also prevent the usual chaos which can prevail if you have an open seating arrangement at your wedding reception, which traditionally begins with a mass free for all as guests seat themselves and ends with a few lonely people ambling around the reception room looking for a spare seat or a friendly face!

You can tell I am a real advocate of seating plans at weddings, so I was fascinated to come across the TheTablePlanner.com stand at the National Wedding Show last weekend. They are a table planner design company who produce stylish and distinctive table plans. I was impressed with the quality of their beautifully framed and mounted table plans and by the diverse and quirky design assortment they offer. I hardly had a chance to speak to Creative Director Mike Daniels at the show as he was surrounded by a throng of prospective bride and grooms asking questions about his funky table planners, which has to be a sign of their popularity!

“Ideal for events, functions and weddings. Thetableplanner.com offers you a fresh and exciting new idea to compliment your special occasion. We have a team of designers who will work with you to create a unique table plan for you and your guests. The table plan will then become a picture that records your cherished day as a memento of you with your family and friends.”

Take a look for yourself at the website to see the unique and distinctive array of table plans you could choose from, the themes range from “Reservoir Dogs” to “Greek Gods". The table plan designs are all created by the design team who are more than happy to custom design your table plan depending on your wedding theme, hobbies or interests. How about personalising your table plan by basing it on your favourite sport (Formula 1), your chosen honeymoon destination (Hawaii) or one of your interests (Cocktails)! I particularly liked the James Bond themed table plan which is not shown on the website but was on display at the Wedding Show - this is surely a design which prove to be popular with every groom for their own 007 wedding reception! I think that these table plans would be particularly great if you are hosting a themed wedding - you could use the design of the table plan to convey your wedding theme. I wish I had known about them when I planned my wedding as it was loosely based on a golf theme but unfortunately we did not think of carrying this through to the seating plan and table names.

Once you have chosen a table plan design all you have to do is provide the design team with the table layouts and wedding guests’ names typed in word or excel format and they create the table planner for you.

Prices for the table plans start at £395. Whilst this might seem like quite a princely sum for a table plan, do bear in mind that these table plans look like pieces of artwork and would definitely look fantastic adorning a wall in your house after your wedding as a lasting keepsake of your special day. Thetableplanner.com are also able to provide table number or name cards for each table utilising the same design theme, as well as holders for these and place cards. If your reception venue is unable to provide you with an easel or suitable wall fixture to display the table planner on then Thetableplanner.com are able to provide this too.

These table plans could bring the fun and colourful element to your wedding reception which will have your guests talking about it for years to come! This is a very original concept and I imagine it will be popular with couples who want their weddings to be unique. You will not find these anywhere else and I imagine even the most adept wedding DIY expert would not want to attempt one of these masterpieces themselves.

Take a look and see for yourself. Happy planning!

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How To Customize Your Wedding With Beads
Marks & Spencer's New Bridalwear Range
Request Your Free Copy Of Confetti's New Catalogue Today!


Wedding Shop Review - Ruth's Flowers Shoppe & Gowns By Ruth & Audrey in Indianola, Iowa
Date: September 25, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attire & Dresses & Flower & Decorations & Jewelry & Reviews & Shopping

I take great pleasure in posting this latest wedding shop review from a bride called Shawna. She reviews a shop called Ruth's Flowers Shoppe & Gowns By Ruth & Audrey in Iowa.

Ruth's Flowers Shoppe & Gowns By Ruth & Audrey - 401 E. Euclid, Indianola, Iowa 50125 Tel (515) 961-3945

"Ruth's Flower Shop and Gowns by Audrey are two separate, but not separate shops in Indianola. They sell bridal gowns, although the selection seemed rather out-dated, bridesmaid dresses and mother-of-the-bride dresses. They also have jewelry, undergarments, shoes, tuxedo rentals and flowers- real or fake.

They are locally owned (Ruth and Audrey are a mother-daughter duo) and they are super nice and helpful. I found a necklace there that was perfect, after months of searching exquisite jewelry shops and the internet. I also was able to speak with Ruth's flower wholesaler to make sure we can get the exact flower I want and know what kind of price we are looking at. Their service was exceptional.

Shawna"

I welcome any wedding shop reviews you would like to make public on Wedaholic.com

All wedding reviewer details are available upon request.

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The Autumn National Wedding Shows 2006 Preview
Date: September 20, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attire & Cakes & Dresses & Favors & Flower & Decorations & Hair & Beauty & Honeymoon & Industry News & Jewelry & Shows & Themes & Unique Ideas

Next week sees the The National Wedding Show at London Earls Court from the 29th September to the 1st October and later on at the Birmingham NEC on the 13th to 15th October.

The Shows aim to provide everything a bride and groom could want to create their perfect wedding, all found under one roof. From designer dresses to fancy favours, wedding cakes, flowers and accessories, amazing honeymoon destinations to fireworks and photographers, there is inspiration everywhere!

The shows will include a dazzling selection of wedding dresses, from top designers to high street fashion brands, for all budgets and tastes. Visitors can admire exclusive wedding outfits by Simultane who have designed dresses for Erin O’Connor; a chic and elegant collection from top designer Marion Thomas; traditional be-spoke styles by Antonia Pugh-Thomas. Paul Simonson, a designer for ultra feminine fashion label Ghost, will be showing his own exclusive bridal range.*

Couples can sample gift lists from John Lewis, Argos, Wrap It and Debenhams. Floral arrangements will be displayed throughout the show, along with scrumptious wedding cakes from Linda Fripp Designs and Cake Couture to name a few. There will be accessories from hand made jewellery to stunning headpieces including tiaras from Isabel Kurtenbach, as well as sweet treats from Swizzle Matlow and The Original Chocolate Fountain.*

To help the bride and groom choose the honeymoon of their dreams there is an impressive selection of perfect destinations including exhibitors: Italian Retreats, Sunset Faraway Holidays, the Bahamas Tourist Office, Transpacific Holidays, Safari Consultants, and Seychelles Travel and many more.

Wedding planning can be stressful and lengthy, so the National Wedding Shows aim to make the decision processes as easy and as fun as possible. Each event features a choreographed Catwalk Show with designs to inspire the imagination, including the latest range of colours from designer dresses and suits to the high-street alternatives.

Style expert Caryn Franklin, best known for her appearances on GMTV and This Morning and as host of the BBC Clothes Show, hosts a live make over session at the ‘How To Look Good’ stage. The top tips and wedding day advice given throughout the session are tailored for a lucky bride to be, picked at random from the audience, who is transformed live on stage. A team of experts including celebrity makeup artist Ariane Poole and hairdresser Errol Douglas* will accompany Caryn for the session.

For fun and informative interaction, live Inspiration Sessions are hosted throughout the day. Celebrity florist Mathew Dickinson and patissier to the stars and royals, Eric Lanlard from Savoir Design, will be bringing their ideas to life on the stage, helping to supply top tips for the big day.

Visitors can begin the celebrations with a touch of sparkle, with the option to sit back and relax in the Champagne bar.

Tickets are available on the National Wedding Show website with ticket prices starting at £10 for the Birmingham Show and £12 for the London show. Alternatively, callers to the Box Office can purchase tickets by credit card on 0870 730 0064.

* please note that exhibitors and guest speakers differ for each show, please consult the Press Office team to check latest exhibitor information.

Future show dates for 2007: 16-18 Feb NEC Birmingham, 23-25 Feb Olympia London.

See you there!

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How To Use Confetti.co.uk For A Stylish Christmas Wedding
Date: August 15, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Flower & Decorations & Industry News & Miscellaneous & Reviews & Shopping & Site Reviews & Themes & Unique Ideas

Whether you are planning a winter wedding or simply celebrating the festive season in style, Confetti has all the pieces to create a truly stylish affair. Order from the most popular wedding website in the UK, Confetti.co.uk states that over 90% of brides use their website at some stage in their planning process) or visit one of their five stores nationwide, in London, Reading, Birmingham, Leeds and Glasgow.

Confetti is a one stop shop for wedding and party advice and planning, with a huge array of wedding suppliers and expert advice as well as exciting and innovative products.

I recommend you decorate a festive table in stunning white and silver or classic gold and red for an occasion guests will never forget. Begin with stylish personalized stationery to set the tone, and then dress tables with an assortment of stationery and accessories, stylishly co-ordinated and beautifully presented.

Let me take you through some of their offerings for this coming Christmas:

♥ Snowflake confetti sprinkled on tables adds a touch of sparkle and glitter to any winter celebration.Snow confetti £1.99 and Mini Frosted Filled Votives £0.99 each

♥ These cute wired doves will sit merrily on top of the cake, twist in to a floral decoration or bouquet or can be wired on top of a favour box for a truly special decoration. £12.99 for 6.

♥ Add a touch of festive fun to favours with personalized ribbon in burgundy and gold – select from a variety of colours to suit any winter theme.
10 mm Personalized Ribbon £14.99 for 10 m
Chocolate Coins £4.99 for 200g
Ribbed Favour boxes £5.99 for ten

♥ These wonderful place name holders are perfect for the Christmas table – choose from "Perfect Angel" or "Cuddly Santa".
Angel/Santa place name holders £0.99 each.
Blank name cards £1.99 for ten.
and Choc Balls £9.99 for 775g.

♥ Create your own table planner with Confetti – guests will know exactly where to sit and the planner remains a beautiful keepsake of a special day.
Table Planner kit £12.99.
Organza Bows £1.99 for twelve.
Petal Confetti £19.99 for 150g.
Ribbon Favour Boxes £8.99 for ten.

♥ Christmas is a time for fun – break the ice with these fabulous trivia sets from Confetti.
Paper trivia £9.99 for six.
Paper Chance £3.99 for four.

♥ Let the season commence with a personalized fabric advent calendar – place chocolates in each pocket for extra fun! Who can resist the excitement of Christmas Eve? Increase the pleasure by hanging up a personalized stocking – a gift to remember year after year.
Advent Calendar £14.99.
Stocking £12.99.

Personalized presents make lasting gifts – Confetti has a wide range all year round.
Personalized Champagne Glass £9.99
Personalized tankard £9.99

♥ Commemorate a special Christmas with these fun personalized baubles – why not give one to every member of the family to enjoy and build up a wonderful collection to last forever?
Baubles £9.99 each.

Whether celebrating a wedding or simply planning a magical family Christmas, Confetti has everything to make the season glow.

Good luck with your festive wedding!

Further Confetti.co.uk Reading:
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

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How To Choose the Best Diamond Setting For Your Wedding Ring
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How To Make Sure Your Wedding Centerpiece Idea Is A Success
Date: August 11, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Flower & Decorations & Reception & Traditions & Customs & Unique Ideas

When your guests walk into whatever venue you've chosen for your reception, you want the wedding centerpieces to elicit gasps of admiration. But you also want to make sure those admiring glances last through the entire reception, not end up leading to irritation or problems by the end of evening. Sadly, it has happened to more than one bride who has selected over-the top centerpieces that ended up as distractions instead of decorations.

How do you know when a wedding centerpiece is "just right?" These guidelines will help you choose wisely:

1. Keep the size of the tables in mind

If you are using small tables with conversational groups of six or eight at each, you should keep the centerpieces correspondingly smaller. After all, you don't want to take up so much space that the place settings are crowded out. With round tables you have less space to work with than with square ones, so keep shape in mind as well.

2. Mirrors can add impact

Most rental companies and florists can provide small square or round beveled mirrors that you can place under your floral arrangements or centerpieces to double their impact without making them larger. This increases their "presence" without taking up additional table space and adds light and sparkle to the room, especially if there are candles on the table or in the centerpiece. This is easily one of the most economical and romantic ways to add real "wow" to your centerpieces.

3. Avoid too much height

The tall, elegant candelabras with trailing flowers and ivy that you see in pictures running down the length or a table may look lovely, but they aren't practical. On a bridal table, they prevent guests from seeing the bridal party clearly and on guest tables they block easy conversation when guests have to constantly bend around the distracting candle holders. Don't put anything on the tables that will be at the same height as your guests heads - it will be an annoyance, no matter how beautiful they are!

4. It doesn't have to be about just the centerpiece

If the rest of the tabletop is lovely, you can spend less on the centerpieces themselves. Try sprinkling a dusting of delicate confetti or glitter in your wedding colors across the tablecloths. With coordinating place cards and linens, your tables will be well on their way to looking lovely and will require only simple centerpieces to be complete.

5. Variety is the spice of life

To add interest, choose two or three closely related styles for your centerpieces and use them. Your tables don't all have to look exactly the same. This will not only add interest, but can also keep the cost down. Try varying the color balance as well - if you are having a fall wedding, try mostly oranges on one table and predominantly yellows on another.

6. You don't have to say it with flowers

While the traditional centerpiece is usually a floral arrangement or flowers and candles, nothing dictates that you must do this. Be creative - do you have a hobby or interest that you share with your spouse? Something that you collect that could become the theme for your centerpieces? One couple who were avid baseball fans used their collection of baseball memorabilia (bobbleheads, signed baseballs, etc.) as centerpieces, putting them on reflective mirrors. They were great conversation starters !

7. Try framed photos

If you have assigned tables, indicate this with centerpiece photos such as "Table Eight - David and Susan in Australia" - and have a lovely framed photo of your vacation in Sydney as a centerpiece (perhaps with a boomerang next to it!). Another one might say, "Table Two - Our Third Year at University" - and a framed photo with a college pennant or fraternity pin. These are also great conversation starters for your guests, guaranteeing fun and reminiscing!

Further Reading On Wedding Centrepieces:
75 Ultimate Centerpiece Ideas by UltimateWedding.com
Beautiful Reception Centerpiece Ideas listed at YourWeddingCompany.com
DIY Wedding Centerpieces The Basics: by TheKnot.com

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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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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
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How To Choose the Best Diamond Setting For Your Wedding Ring
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How To Use Confetti.co.uk For A Stylish Christmas Wedding


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

Recently I received the following question on tipping wedding suppliers:

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

Here is my response:

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

Etiquette

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

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

Budget

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

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

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

Contracts - read the small print

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

Tipping Guidelines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional Tipping Tips!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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