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A Bit Of Fun From The Knot - How To Create Your Inner Bride!
Date: April 08, 2009 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attire & Funny & Hair & Beauty & Pets & Planning & Reviews & Site News & Site Reviews & Unique Ideas & Wedding Blogs

If you're in need of some light relief from wedding planning head over to The Knot and check out their "My Inner Bride" online wedding tool which allows you to create a wedding avatar of yourself.

Using their easy to use free wedding widget you can choose your own body, face shape, hairstyle, dress (you can mix and match necklines and skirts to create your perfect dress) and backdrop. They have some cute and cheeky accessories too for you to select from.

As you can see from my avatar I chose a pair of cute pooches as accessories over the more traditional bouquet! Once you've created your wedding icon you can save it as your "My Knot" profile image, send it to your friends, or embed it onto your own wedding website (so it's useful too!).

So come on, put down your wedding to-do list, let your imagination run wild and have a bit of fun!

Leave me a comment and a link to where I can find your avatar.

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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


Jennifer Hudson Says "I Do" To Having Her Dogs In Her Wedding Party!
Date: March 31, 2009 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attire & Bridal Party & Celebrity Gossip & Celebrity Weddings & Etiquette & Family & Funny & Pets & Planning & Unique Ideas

As if further proof is needed that it's not just wacky dog lovers who are indulging in the trend to include their pets in the most important day of their lives, Jennifer Hudson has jumped on the pet wagon too!

The Oscar- and Grammy-winning star has announced that she is planning on including her 3 dogs, Oscar, Grammy and Dreamgirl, in her upcoming wedding to Harvard Law grad and reality show star David Otunga.

An increasing number of modern couples, like Jennifer and David, are treating their pets as part of their family or their best friends so it is only right that their pet should be given a starring role in their wedding day. From personal experience I have found that some dogs at weddings turn out to be better behaved than the human wedding guests!

According to People.com Jennifer is already thinking of possible roles for her dogs.

"Oscar might be the ring bearer. We’ll send them down the aisle with a little tux or something, a little dress."

If you too are considering including a pet in your wedding check out my blog for unique tips on how to dress them, roles for pets in your wedding, important things to consider beforehand and ideas on how to ensure they don't steal the limelight from you on your wedding day for all the wrong reasons!

Have fun with your wedding planning!

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Would You Let Your Husband And His Best Mates Plan Your Entire Wedding?
Date: October 30, 2007 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Budgeting & Etiquette & Funny & Groom & Planning & TV Shows & Unique Ideas

The traditional roles of primary wedding planner usually fall to (a) the bride or (b) the wedding planning but it is extremely rare for the job to be passed to (c) the groom! That is exactly what happens during "Don't Tell the Bride", a brand new six-part series on BBC Three which sees grooms planning the entire wedding without any input from the bride. As the groom is banned from having contact with the bride until the wedding ceremony, the only people he can turn to for advice are his best mates.

Whilst most bride-to-be’s agree on the fact that they want their partner to be involved in the wedding planning, would any bride actually want him to organise the complete wedding day? This new reality TV show follows the husbands-to-be as, armed with a £12,000 budget and a 4 week deadline, they negotiate the ups and downs of planning the wedding day their future bride has always dreamt of. They must organize every single thing for the wedding themselves, including choosing a wedding theme, a venue, organizing the stationery, catering, transportation, photography, entertainment and the all important wedding attire.

As the average cost of a wedding in the UK at present is approximately £15,000 I think that the £12,000 budget which the show has provided the groom with is a realistic amount. Of course that depends on whether the groom is able to calculate a wedding budget and stick to it. If he can’t then he might be forced to cut costs in places his bride may not agree with on the wedding day!

Through video diaries viewers can watch the excitement and drama unfold as the wedding plans progress from both the bride and groom’s viewpoint.

Viewers will be able to witness what happens when you mix a wedding obsessed bridezilla with impressively glamorous plans for her wedding with a notoriously disorganised fiancé who is left to organise the wedding on his own in 4 weeks - it sounds like a sure-fire recipe for disaster! The couple in question, who participated in “Don't Tell the Bride”, are Katy and Sam of Weybridge, Surrey. It fell on Sam’s shoulders to organize the wedding which Katy had always wanted. However whilst she had dreamt of a stylish white and silver theme for her big day, Sam opted for a Moulin Rouge theme complete with DIY table decorations and invitations. To read more about their story click here.

Even though Katy admitted that she really enjoyed the wedding day which Sam had planned for them both, according to The Daily Mail, she said that

“Looking back, I do feel as though something was taken away from me. Not being involved in the planning myself left me feeling a little as though I had turned up at someone else's wedding rather than my own.”

Whilst this type of wedding reality show makes great viewing, I personally don’t think I could have give my husband the responsibility of planning our entire wedding. This is not because I fear he would have made terrible choices, as I trust his taste implicitly plus he is far more organized than me, however I would have hated for him to be put under that amount of pressure and stress. I think it is so important for both the bride and groom to enjoy the build-up to their wedding day.

I think that the brides featured on "Don't Tell The Bride", regardless of their partner’s wedding planning blunders, should realise how lucky they are to have a man that was willing to take on this responsibility and role.

Watch for yourself to see how each of the couples fare - "Don't Tell The Bride" is on BBC Three on November 8th at 9pm.

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A Unique Way To Arrive At Your Wedding
Date: April 27, 2007 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Budgeting & Funny & Transportation & Unique Ideas

Whether you choose a vintage car, a stretch limo, a horse-drawn carriage (á la Jordan and Peter Andre’s wedding) or even a helicopter, there is one important consideration for a bride when choosing her wedding transportation and that is reliability. The last thing any bride-to-be wants is to arrive late for her own wedding!

That is why I was surprised to read about bride Kirsty Ainsworth. For her nuptials in Macclesfield dressed in her full-length white beaded satin wedding dress she strolled down the road from her Mum’s house to her local bus stop with her bridesmaid and patiently waited for the No 10 bus to take them both on the five-mile, 20-minute route to Macclesfield Register Office. I’ve heard of hiring a vintage red London double-decker bus and have even attended a wedding where the guests were ferried around in such a bus but I have never heard of the bride catching a lift on a public bus.

According to Manchestereveningnews.co.uk Kirsty said,

"I just wanted to do something a bit unusual and have a day to remember. I did get a few beeps, some waves and quite a lot of funny looks while I waited for the bus.”

We all know how unpunctual buses tend to be so she was very brave to risk this! I guess it provides the bride with a wonderful story to tell people about her wedding day and of course it will have saved her money – a £3.20 bus ticket compared to the average £300 spent on wedding transportation is a superb saving!

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A Great Way To "Thrill" The Guests At Your Wedding Reception!
Date: March 03, 2007 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Funny & Music & Dance & Unique Ideas & Videography

It is the norm nowadays for couples to think up different ways of ensuring their guests are entertained at their wedding. Whether they choose to arrange live music, DJ's or other forms of entertainment, one thing is for sure - newlyweds do not want their wedding guests to go home bored or disappointed.

An amazingly unique idea which Oklahoma newlyweds Brian and Sandy Lundmark came up with was to stage an awe-inspiring rendition of Michael Jackson's Thriller dance. After confessing her love of the Thriller dance sequence featured in her favorite movie "13 Going on 30" Sandy asked fiance Brian to put together a dance routine for their wedding to surprise their guests. They asked members of the wedding party to participate in the dance and the whole group practiced several times a week for over a month to learn the dance moves together. The end result was a fantastically entertaining dance sequence at their wedding reception.

What a novel idea and a surefire way to make your wedding reception not only stand out in every one of your wedding guest's minds in the years to come but also capture the interest of a million YouTube viewers! This YouTube video not only featured on Good Morning America but it was also voted YouTube Video Of The Week. Take a look and see it for yourself!

Watch other "Thriller" Wedding dances: Joe and Sheena Roberts (after 48 secs), Jocelyn and Jim, Adam Smith (after 1 min 24 secs) and Jim O'Deanny.

Finally you would go a long way to beat Norm and Renee's first wedding dance. During the first 1 min 8 secs they dance to Jack Johnson's "Better Together" - nothing to write home about there but just wait for the change in tempo as they dance to Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel" - Not to be missed - watch the video below!

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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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The Modern Alternative To A Wedding Guest Book
Date: October 29, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Funny & Guests & Photography & Reviews & Shows & Speeches & Unique Ideas & Videography

i-vox, the leading brand of video diary rooms, were at Earls Court a few weeks ago collecting feedback from visitors to the National Wedding Show. It got a great response and visitors and exhibitors thought it was an innovative and fun way of capturing opinion.

The format of having a room to film yourself in rather than a feedback form is one that appealed to the show organisors so they can analyze what visitors really thought of the show, and not be confined to the boundaries of written questions.

Watch some samples here. If you like what you see you can pop around to the next two shows in the Spring, they are Birmingham 16-18 Feb 2007 and London 23 - 25 Feb 2007.

How does this relate to weddings?

Well i-vox also offer a service where by they will set up your very own video diary room at your wedding. So instead of the usual guest book, guests can visit the room anytime they want (as it is constantly recording) to say a few words about how much they are enjoying the wedding!

A great alternative to the traditional wedding guest book. Let me know what you think of this unique idea by leaving a comment below.

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Bridalwave Frock Horror - Check It Out Every Friday!
Date: October 20, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Dresses & Funny & Unique Ideas & Wedding Blogs

Every Friday I have a chuckle! Why you may ask - well I always make the effort to visit the Frock Horror page on Bridalwave.tv.

Each week the editor Camilla Chafer picks out a horrific wedding dress she has found on the internet. It is amazing how many of the top gown designers can get it so wrong with some of their creations. Today she picks up on a dress by Benjamin Roberts, take a look this is definitely a dress of two halves!

I highly recommend you bookmark Bridalwave.tv and look forward to checking out the latest wedding dress disaster every Friday.

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Would You Wear An Edible Wedding Dress?
Date: October 14, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attire & Cakes & Dresses & Funny & Unique Ideas

Usually brides have the choice between taffeta or tulle, silk or satin or even chiffon or velvet when choosing the material from which their dream wedding dress should be created. Such a decision was taken out of the equation for bride Viktoriya Shtefano when her husband-to-be, pastry chef Valentyn Shtefano, chose to create her wedding dress out of flour, eggs, sugar and caramel!

The edible wedding dress was made of 1,500 cream puffs, weighed in at 20 pounds (9 kilograms) and took Valentyn two months to make for their wedding in August 2006. Click here to see a photo of it.

"At first, he sewed empty cream puffs together, but the dress collapsed. Then, he carefully attached the puffs to a wedding dress frame, and Viktoriya spent a couple hours each night before the wedding modeling the dress as Shtefano added more puffs."

By the end of the wedding reception, bride Viktoriya didn't want to take her unique wedding dress off, much less devour it. Her dress was accessorized with a matching crown, bouquet and necklace made from caramelized sugar!

According to www.examiner.com the 28-year-old Ukranian chef is renowned in his hometown Uzhhorod for his controversial yet delicious pastries and he is fast becoming a rising star.

"For many in Uzhhorod, cake was just something to eat, not something that can also be looked at and admired."

At least wearing an edible dress to your wedding solves the dilemma of how to store the dress after the wedding - simply pull it apart and enjoy!

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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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A Cautionary Tale Of Why Your Wedding Guests Must Be Fed Well!
Date: September 19, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Catering & Funny & Guests & Reception

As all couples planning a wedding know, one of the most important aspects of planning your wedding reception catering is to ensure that all guests are fed and watered sufficient amounts. Nobody likes to think that their guests are going to slope off to McDonalds mid-way through the evening to vanquish their hunger pangs after a paltry wedding breakfast or buffet!

According to the Vermont news channel Wcax.com that is exactly what happened with a guest who had attended a wedding in Rangeley, Maine. Abigail Edmund, a 23 year old from New Hampshire, was caught by a member of staff at the Rangeley Inn after she had broken into the inn's kitchen.

"An employee spotted her at about 1:15 Sunday morning with luncheon meats and brownies and heating up some pasta."

Police arrested the hungry wedding guest and charged her with burglary, theft and criminal mischief.

I bet the bride and groom will be embarrassed when they realize they underfed this guest!

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Fun And Stylist Wedding Gifts For Brides and Bridesmaids
Date: September 18, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attire & Bridal Shower & Funny & Gifts & Lingerie & Reviews & Shopping & Unique Ideas

Are you looking for a fun gift for a bachelorette party or wedding? The brand “2Belles” featured on Figleaves.com offer shorts for brides and bridesmaids alike. Both have a stylish look and a flattering cut at the back, and are finished with dainty ribbons. For the bride, the short from 2Belles has “The Mrs” logo emblazoned on the back and completed by bow details on either side.

For the bridesmaid check out the bridemaid shorty with pink ribbon. They have a fun 'Bridesmaid' logo embroidered across the back of the short and it is finished with pink bow details on each side.

You can select from 3 choices: small, medium and large where small is equivalent to a US size 6.

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Wedding Book Review - "The Engaged Groom" by Doug Gordon

Wedding planning is not the exclusive domain of the bride - that is Doug Gordon's point in his new book "The Engaged Groom". He takes the stance that no groom need be left out in the cold when it comes to the decision making. In fact there is plenty of scope for the groom to take charge of certain tasks and responsibilities. Indeed this book is a revelation, grooms now have the chance to get active with their very own wedding planning guide. It can be bought from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

"The Engaged Groom" all started with Doug's blog called PlanetGordon.com with the first entry on the 2nd September 2003 at 6:17pm.

It read:

A Decent Proposal

I got engaged on Wednesday. Actually, that statement is a little too passive. Makes it seem like I picked up something on the way home from work or dropped a subscription card in the mailbox or developed some sort of temporary condition for which medication or a topical ointment is available from my doctor.

Let's start over.

I proposed to my girlfriend on Wednesday night.

To continue reading this blog entry please take a look at this page and scroll to the bottom.

I divulge, having read all 279 pages I can confidently hold my hand up and say that "The Engaged Groom" is a must read for all grooms that want to get involved in their wedding. Doug's funny style of writing makes it a real joy to read. Grooms will quickly learn a whole array of tips and practical information. In fact if they take all of his advice on board they will be heading to their local beauty salon for a manicure - it makes sense really when you think of how many people will want to see the groom's ring on the big day!

Whether they have just a few questions or many this is definitely the book for all grooms. As a bride, if your groom is worried about how to minimize the risk of his best man forgetting the rings (page 237) or how he can ensure he won't say the wrong thing during the speeches (page 251) - this is the book for him.

I practicularly liked the following sections, for their excellent overviews and useful tips :

Paying for the Wedding - Doug gives a good review of the various costs associated with planning a wedding. Interestingly he picks up on the how often couples forget to budget for gratuities, something I have extensively written about here.

Picking a Date and Venue - I quickly learnt the pros and cons of having your wedding on a holiday three day weekend and in addition the advantages and disadvantages of choosing a destination wedding.

The Guest List - Planning a guest list is never easy, as Lesley Anne recently wrote about here, but Doug gives some great insights. This is your chance to learn who definitely does need to be invited. You can also get the lowdown on inviting the President of the United States or The Pope!

Food and Music - This is your chance to have your cake and eat it! Doug recounts the day he ate no fewer than ten pieces of cake at three different bakeries. If you have a sweet tooth you definitely want to be involved with choosing the wedding cake - especially when prices at soar to as high as $10 or $15 a slice.

Turn to page 65 for an entertaining list of inappropriate songs. It is highly advisable that you always listen to the lyrics first, especially for the all important first dance. The list doesn't just stop at slow dances, some well known disco classics should be placed on your DJ's "Do Not Play List".

Photography - Here I agree with Doug, disposable cameras definitely belong to the "Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time" file. Today most guests have digital cameras and are more than happy to share their photographs with you.

On the subject of videographers, page 75 neatly sums up why this isn't an area to get too stressed about. Also check out the tips on how to make signifcant savings on this aspect of the wedding.

Best man Duties - Doug answers your questions on whether you can have two best men, or even have a female one! More importantly he gives his opinion on what groomsmens and bridesmaids should wear - it's a refreshingly honest approach that many more couples should adopt (Page 92).

What to Wear and How to Look Your Best - Expert advice on which tuxedo to wear, along with helpful hints on whether your build is best suited to a single-breasted jacket, double-breasted jacket, tailcoat or morning coat. You can also take advantage of the "How to Tie a Bow Tie" page which has been deliberately reversed so as you can tie your bow tie looking in the mirror!

Save-the-Date, Announcements, Invitations, and Getting the Word Out - "The Engaged Groom" is full of valuable tips, such as the one called "The Separation of Church and Crate (& Barrel) on page 122. Doug makes it clear that in no circumstances should you send the invitation and the registry information together. This is a massive faux pas, but unfortunately it has to be said many couples still do it. Reading other tips on getting the assembly of invitations right (page 126), the value of using wedding planning software (page 130) and why B-list wedding guest lists are more trouble than they are worth (page 133) is highly recommended.

Registries, Wedding Showers, and Thank You Notes - I really enjoyed reading the section on what things you want to register for, but shouldn't on page 150. It is both humorous and informative - a great reminder that you aren't bound to the traditional registry list of kitchen and dinnerware! Doug dicusses the whole art of getting your Thank You notes written with thought and appreciation, with particular reference to what you should and shouldn't say.

Planning the Honeymoon - Traditionally this is the groom's responsibility and though he is expected to pay for it, it really should be a joint decision as to where you go. Discover the benefits of delaying your honeymoon and why a "minimoon" might be just right for you!

The Bachelor Party - This is one of the most entertaining sections of the book. I love Doug's humour, neatly summed up in this quote:

You'll have plenty of chances to party with your friends in the future, and if you're worried that your marriage will mean a loss of your freedom. I suggest you talk to a therapist and not a stripper.

The book is full of practical advice and some common sense reminders, for example:

Never, never, never be hungover on your wedding day.

Doug leaves the debate on whether strip clubs on a bachelor party are a good idea to others, by including a random sampling of quotes from eight different women. Definitely worth reading.

A Groom's Checklist - Emergency Provisions - Turn to page 230 for a list of things that every groom should have packed in a small bag on their wedding list. Items range from personal care prodcuts, spare clothing to miscellanous essentials that are all to easy to forget.

You might not catch your groom browsing through all your wedding magazines, but I can guarantee he will find "The Engaged Groom" of real interest. Buy it today.

Doug has been interviewed and featured on TV and radio stations across the country, including this appearance on the "Today Show". You can check out the book's official website at EngagedGroom.com and the MySpace site at MySpace.com/engagedgroom

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Top Tips For Using Parks Or Areas Of Outstanding Beauty As Backdrops For Your Wedding Photos
Date: September 05, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Budgeting & Cameras & Ceremonies & Civil Weddings & Etiquette & Family & Funny & Guests & Legal Matters & Photography & Planning & Unique Ideas & Venues & Videography

If you are thinking of having your wedding photos taken in a public park please remember that it is essential to obtain permission before photography, or videography for that matter, will be allowed. Remember to bear in mind that any land, such as a park, which is privately owned requires prior permission before you can take photographs within the grounds. Nowadays most parks in the UK are stationing park wardens to ensure that all commercial photographers in the park are in possession of a valid permit.

In the USA a new policy, which came into effect on 15th May, means that permits need to be obtained and fees need to be paid by those wanting to take commercial (i.e. wedding) photographs at the most popular landmarks on National Park Service land such as the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, the Statue of Liberty, Yellowstone National Park or Grand Canyon. USAToday.com reports that:

“Officials said the fees are in response to a 2000 federal law that requires various agencies to come up with ways to recoup the costs of maintenance, security and other expenses stemming from commercial filming and photography on federal land.”

The payment charged to couples varies from $50 to $250 - the actual cost depends on the size of the wedding group. The National Park Service are hoping to standardize the fees in the near future.

According to WashingtonPost.com Lee Dickinson, the Park Service official who oversees the program, has already seen an improvement in the smooth running of the service provided to couples. He says that by charging fees and requiring visitors to obtain prior permission it has helped Park Service workers to avoid scheduling conflicts amongst visitors and wedding parties at the most popular of the 390 monuments, parks and historic sites.

A lot of couples feel that they should not have to pay to use public land which their tax dollars pay for. Jolie Bouton is one of them - she is due to get married this month on land controlled by the National Forest Service in Sedona, Arizona. She told WashingtonPost.com,

"I'm just having a half hour ceremony on land we all own, and it shouldn't cost me 150 bucks!”

You might wonder why you have to pay a fee to hold an event or simply have photos taken in a public park. The reason is most parks do not receive much (if any) funding from the government or local authority to maintain the public space. They are therefore dependent on donations or revenue created by charging those who wish to use the park space for their own profitable, promotional or exclusive use. You will find nowadays that with parks requiring more and more financial outlay for maintenance and upkeep of the grounds and facilities on it, local authorities who maintain the parks and public areas are charging a site or permit fee for shooting photographs or filming. The revenue garnered from such sources is used to maintain and improve the park’s beauty and functionality. How else do you think stunning parks such as the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, Central Park in New York or Jardins du Luxembourg in Paris can afford to maintain such amazing quality of flowers, plants, ornate features, public facilities and seating areas for the public to use.

Top tips

Here are my recommendations if you are planning on having your wedding photographs taken in a public park or outdoor area:

♥ Do your research in advance of your wedding date to see whether you require a wedding photography permit. If you do make sure that your application is submitted early enough and that permission is granted - simply posting or faxing off an application to the Mayor’s office or Parks and Gardens Department of your local council is not sufficient. Assign this task to your wedding planner or even photographer if you prefer.

♥ If you are in doubt as to whether you will need a wedding photography permit visit the park you intend to use for your photos and ask an official or park warden there. They will be able to tell you where you can obtain an application form.

♥ You will find that most parks and gardens prefer to be advised (and paid) in advance but some do have a “walk up” facility where you can turn up and pay on the day. Of course with this choice you run the risk of another couple using the park on the same day, at the same time as you want to take your photos. If you want to prevent hanging around waiting to have your photos taken then it is advisable to arrange this is advance.

♥ If you are being married in a castle, stately home, mansion house etc. which has its own extensive grounds check whether wedding photography is permitted in the grounds and also check whether it is included in the price of your wedding package.

♥ If you are on a tight budget or if you baulk at the thought of paying to use public land for your wedding photos, your other option is to try to do it on the fly! However you can that you do run a risk of being caught and ejected from the park! If you think it is worth the risk then just make sure that the bride is wearing flat shoes in case she is required to run!

♥ Another way to avoid having to pay the wedding photography permit fee is to go without a tripod for the camera being used for the photos. If you don't use a tripod then you don't need a permit! So you could either ask your wedding photographer to skip using a tripod or you could simply nominate a friend who is a keen photographer to take some informal snaps of you at your chosen location.

♥ If you do ask a friend or relative to take your wedding photos then these are seen as non-commercial photos so this way you avoid having to pay the permit fee too.

♥ You will find that the park photography permit usually stipulates some rules. Whilst most will be common sense (e.g. do not throw litter, wedding guests must stay out of flowerbeds, flowers in the park must not be picked, etc) some rules will be unique to each park or open space (e.g. no rice or confetti may be tossed, some sculptures cannot be photographed, certain areas may be off-limits, etc).

♥ As well as the permit fee, some parks might charge you a deposit which will be refundable if the park or garden is not littered or damaged in any way by your wedding party.

Please don't let any of the above tips put you off using a beautiful park or area of outstanding beauty as a backdrop for your wedding photos. I had my wedding photos taken in a local park which held a lot of special memories for me, so I think it is totally worth that tiny bit of extra planning (and it was free as my local park had not photography permit regulations in place at that time!). There are so many stunning parks and gardens which you could use for your photos and is really not a great hardship to obtain permission in advance. Remember, it could well ruin your day and your photos but for a little advance planning!

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Liz Hurley To Change Wedding Outfit 13 Times!
Date: September 03, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attire & Celebrity Gossip & Celebrity Weddings & Ceremonies & Destination Weddings & Dresses & Funny & Traditions & Customs & Unique Ideas

For most brides picking out one wedding dress is a difficult task. With so many styles and colors of wedding gowns on offer, it makes choosing one probably the most difficult decision you have to make when planning your wedding. It surprises me therefore that Elizabeth Hurley is planning 13 different wedding outfits for her upcoming nuptials!

According to Grazia Magazine actress, model and fashion-designer Liz has ended months of speculation by revealing that she and her fiancé, businessman Arun Nayar, are due to get married “very soon”. The couple, who have been together since January 2003, are planning two wedding ceremonies. The first will be an intimate wedding at Liz’s hometown in Gloucestershire and the other will be a 3 day wedding event in Arun’s native India.

Liz is to select 3 outfits for her English countryside wedding, one for the morning, one for the wedding ceremony and the third for the wedding party. For the Indian ceremony she is rumored to be considering 10 changes of outfits during the 3 day wedding party. Earlier this year Liz was reported to be unable to make a decision as to which of her designer friends she should ask to make her wedding dress. Grazia reports that she has now chosen her friend, Donatella Versace, to design several gowns for her English country wedding. Liz has not yet revealed what style of wedding dress she favors but she has commented that she thinks her age precludes her from wearing a Cinderella-style dress.

“She won’t be wearing a full on wedding dress because she is worried it’s not appropriate for someone her age, but the idea is to have different outfits for the morning, for the ceremony and the party,” a source told Grazia magazine.

Liz also plans to wear traditional Indian dresses for the second wedding ceremony. She told the Daily Mirror,

“I love the pomp and color associated with Indian weddings”.

At least Liz will not have to worry about how she will budget for her many wedding outfits - the couple have negotiated a $3.76 million deal with a magazine to photograph their nuptials!

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Fancy Owning Madonna's Wedding Tiara?
Date: September 01, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attire & Celebrity Gossip & Celebrity Weddings & Funny & Insurance & Jewelry & Shopping & Unique Ideas

I’ve mentioned before to you how you can pick up some real bargains for your wedding on eBay. Well the latest “bargain” item on their website is Madonna’s wedding tiara - it’s a snip at a mere US $225,000!

Madonna has donated the diamond tiara which she wore for her December 2000 wedding to Guy Ritchie at Skibo Castle in Scotland to raise money for charity.

The tiara, was originally bought by Madonna from exclusive jewelers Asprey of London. It dates back to the Edwardian era (1910’s) and is made up of 765 diamonds with a weight of approximately 78 carats. It can be converted into a fringed necklace by removing the top swag pieces. They will even throw the monogrammed green presentation box in for free!

The proceeds from the sale, which ends today at 18:00:00 PDT, will go to the charitable Kazanjian Foundation, which funds projects to help disadvantaged kids.

So far there have been no offers made for the stunning, if somewhat pricey, tiara. So if you are on the lookout for that final breathtaking accessory to complete your fairytale wedding outfit then get bidding!

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Chicken Wing Wedding For Second Time Bride!
Date: August 31, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Catering & Ceremonies & Civil Weddings & Family & Funny & Guests & Music & Dance & Reception & Second Weddings & Unique Ideas & Venues

Further to my blog yesterday on second weddings I just wanted to illustrate to you how much fun you can have when organizing your second wedding if you've done the big church wedding in the Cinderella dress and want something a little different and unique.

According to Niagara-Gazette.com a couple are planning to say "I do" at this weekend’s National Buffalo Wing Festival! The unnamed couple have traditionally attended the festival every year since it began 5 years ago and it is thought that their first date was at the festival! It is the second marriage for both of them so they wanted something a little different for their special day to surprise their family and friends.

The nuptials are due to take place amidst the chicken wing noshing this Labor Day weekend at 4 p.m. Saturday, while the chicken wing festival itself runs from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday at Dunn Tire Park in Buffalo. Running alongside the wedding will be chicken wing speed-eating contests, a Miss Buffalo Wing pageant and the first ever induction into the Chicken Wing Hall of Fame (it is thought that Buffalo resident Anchor Bar's Buffalo Wing Sauce will win this accolade!). There will be live music courtesy of Buffalo's very own 6 piece band Hit N Run so the newlyweds will not have to worry about organising entertainment for their wedding guests.

Well, this couple have definately chosen a very unique venue for their encore wedding - lets just hope their wedding guests like chicken wings!

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Wedding Crashers: The Movie, TV Show, Celebrities and How To Stop Them Ruining Your Day!
Date: August 30, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Celebrity Gossip & Ceremonies & Church Weddings & Civil Weddings & Funny & Guests & Miscellaneous & Planners & Planning & Reception & Stress & TV Shows & Unique Ideas & Venues

It seems celebrities think they have the right to crash weddings and get away with it. In fact Ashton Kutcher and his production company Katalyst Films, Inc have decided to create a reality show that crashes the weddings of unsuspecting couples. The new TV series based on the hit movie Wedding Crashers (see the trailer) will be shown in 2007 on the US network NBC. It will feature a whole host of actors, who will deliberately set out to confuse and amuse wedding guests on the most important day of their lives in each of the planned six hour long programs. Sadly Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, the stars of the movie Wedding Crashers will not feature in the show.

It might well become compulsive viewing, much like Kutcher’s celebrity practical joke show Punk’d on MTV, but really how funny is it to potentially ruin a bride’s wedding day just for the sake of a cheap joke! Reading the twenty or so comments at WeddingBee.com, I’m not surprised to learn that the majority of brides would be horrified if Kutcher turned up at their wedding. As TVSquad.com quite rightly points out, emotions are already high on a wedding day and the sight of a TV crew descending on your wedding could really set the fireworks off! The only saving grace is that the program doesn’t set out to embarrass the bride and groom, but instead has the actors entertaining the wedding guests with funny stunts and pranks at the ceremonies and receptions. It still sounds like a recipe for disaster to me but I admit I had to laugh when reading Cinematical’s take on this new program, speculating that Kutcher’s next reality TV show would be based on the movie Snakes on a Plane.

A little research shows that Ashton Kutcher won’t be the first celebrity to crash a wedding, others include:

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah has surprised a number of brides in Tulsa, Oklahoma (or should I say Oprahoma, as reported in the press!) by crashing their weddings back in June for footage that can be seen in a September episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show. Oprah and her best friend Gayle King unexpectedly attended the weddings of Morgan and Bethany Francis and Ben and Heather Klein, one after the other.

Oprah may only spend 10 minutes at your wedding but she certainly makes them memorable by posing for pictures with the wedding party and mingling with your guests. Though, if there has been no tip off you are likely to spend all of this time in shock!

The new Mrs. Francis was reported to have said:

"I tried to compose myself, but there's no way you can do it when there's someone that famous in the room"

If Oprah does crash your wedding though, don’t expect an expensive gift, and certainly not something that is going to stretch her purse strings - disappointingly Morgan and Bethany were just given dishes from Dillards department store. I ask you, you would expect something a little better than that from Oprah wouldn’t you!

Finally, catch this exclusive video taken of a bride shortly after she had had her wedding crashed by Oprah!

Madonna

A few weeks ago Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie surprised British couple Imogen and Neil McCarthy and their 70 guests as they were enjoying their wedding reception at the 5 star Hotel De Russie in Rome. Madonna, in Rome as part of her Confessions Tour, was keen to congratulate the happy couple and wish them well.

The BBC state that the DJ Luca Lacovello, on noticing her, immediately played Madonna’s hit “Hung Up”. This went down like a lead balloon with the Queen of Pop as she didn’t want to draw attention away from the bride.

Bill Clinton

Back in 2001 US President Bill Clinton crashed a wedding in the grounds of Rudding Park, Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Following a round of golf at the reception venue he noticed a newlywed couple and took the time out to wish them well and appear in a family photograph. The bride and groom were delighted to welcome this unannounced visitor to their wedding.

Which celebrity would you like to crash your wedding?

Check out the other celebrities that people would like to see attend their own wedding on this BBC survey The miscellaneous list includes celebrities such as Nelson Mandela, Lady Margaret Thatcher, James Brown, Imran Khan, Freddie Mercury, Sir Sean Connery, William Shatner, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino to name just a few.


How to recognize the 8 different types of Wedding Crasher

1. The uninvited stranger

The movie Wedding Crashers is based on two young womanizers, Jeremy played by Vince Vaughn and John played by Owen Wilson, who use weddings to date women. This is the most popular type of uninvited stranger you can get at a wedding. Their motto is “Life's a party - Now go out there and crash it!”. They like to take advantage of the free food and booze and use the romance in the air as a cunning way of chatting up women. Experienced wedding crashers such as these will have all the tricks up their sleeve, and from an entertainment point of view this is where a lot of the laughs in the film come from. You can even visit the movie site to get instant access to the ultimate Crasher Kit. This includes how to make culturally sensitive name tags, the book “How To Crash Weddings” by the master and original crasher Chazz Reingold, lessons on how to impress the kids and melt the moms by creating a balloon poodle and how to print your own hero photo of yourself as a adventurer, soldier or sport hero.

In fact if you really want to beat the wedding crasher at his own game you need to read “The Rules of Wedding Crashing” as an education and for amusement. Of the 115 rules, I have a few favorites that make me laugh - these include:

Rule 7: Blend in by standing out.
Rule 15: Fight the urge to tell the truth.
Rule 39: The way to a woman's bed is through the dance floor.
Rule 41: Never hit on the bride -- it's a one way ticket to the pavement
Rule 88: You're from out of town. ALWAYS.
Rule 92: Tell the bride's friends and family that you are family of the groom and vice-versa.

2. The invited guest that drinks heavily

This wedding crasher can easily be managed if you do your homework first. If you are using a wedding planner they can be responsible for keeping their eyes on any likely suspects. I recommend you give the planner a list of names that might fall into this category. If you don’t have a planner you should pass this task to a responsible guest, preferably a non-drinker who can act as the "drunk person supervisor". I have written more about this topic in an article called "Tips For Dealing With Drunk Driving Guests At Your Wedding".

3. The larger than life guest

This guest gets all the attention for all the wrong reasons. Again the planner, or a chosen guest, should be notified of any guests that are likely to cause havoc if they aren't controlled. Often the groom is hesitant to name any friends that may cause a disturbance, but this can be easily solved by reminding him of the trouble he will be in if his future wife is upset by a scene on the most important day of her life. Remember, the advice given is straightforward and simple but at the same time crucial if you want to ensure an uneventful wedding!

4. The extra guest an invited guest brings to the wedding

Why do some wedding guests bring a friend or date if their invitation clearly just says their own name? This can create so much stress on the day and is a very selfish thing to do. The bride and groom will have spent a long time planning the seating chart, and the addition of one extra seat can ruin the whole set up. Lets also not forget that no provision has been made for the extra cover and thus ultimately the married couple will have to pay more than they had planned.

5. An ex-lover

This is one of the worst kinds of wedding crasher. Their sole purpose is to disrupt the wedding in any way they can. They are looking for maximum attention and will stop at nothing to ruin the day. Quite simply you have to remove this type of crasher as quickly and as quietly as possible. In most circumstances brides and grooms will be aware of the likelihood of this happening and should advise the guests that they feel will be able to diffuse the situation. Sometimes ex lovers arrive at the ceremony unannounced and even though may quietly sit at the back, their presence is enough to cause considerable stress. A softly softly approach would be recommended in the first instance, so as to avoid a major outburst, especially if you are in a church. Obviously less diplomacy can be used during the reception and afterwards when matters aren’t so delicate.

6. The crasher from next door's wedding

Beware of wedding crashers from reception venues that are hosting more than one wedding at a time - this is often the case with large hotels. Your wedding may seem a lot more fun than the one next door but this doesn’t mean you want everyone to join in!

7. The curious crasher

This crasher is naturally curious and tends to appear at weddings taking place in hotel resorts close to public traffic. They simply see the fun going on and slip right up to the free bar! Often they will have been attending another formal function in the hotel and thus are dressed smartly and blend in with your guests.

8. The criminal crasher

This crasher has no interest in taking part in your wedding, they will be looking to take advantage of you and your guests. Many married couples like to display their wedding gifts in an open and public manner. This tradition is ok as long as it is only accessible to guests and can be easily monitored. Ideally you only want to allow your guests to place the gifts in one designated area in a secure place.


Tips for spotting a Wedding Crasher

Even if a wedding crasher isn’t causing any harm, there is no forgetting that they are eating and drinking food and drink laid on by you for your invited wedding guests. Therefore, if you cast your mind back to when you were budgeting for the wedding, you will remember wrestling over the numbers fully ware of the expense of inviting just one more guest. One extra guest can cost as much as $150 / £80 more - this is when it really brings home the fact that uninvited guests are definitely unwanted!

If you spot a crasher you should quietly ask them to leave, so that you don’t cause a scene. On most occasions this will work and you can quickly get on with the rest of your wedding. If you try to catch a wedding crasher out be prepared for the old chestnut, "don’t you remember me I’m the second cousin removed"!

In order to write these tips and help you spot a crasher before they cause trouble at your wedding I read the article which was called "How To: Crash A Wedding" at AskMen.com, written for the sole purpose of giving advice to potential weding crashers!

1. Crashers like to arrive late

The most popular time for a person to crash your wedding is after the reception. They like to arrive late so that no one notices their entrance. Typically everyone is looking forward to the first dance and less attention is given to whether any uninvited guests have sneaked into the venue. Everyone has had a drink, the lights are low and this offers the perfect opportunity for the crasher to subtly emerge from the washroom and hit the dance floor or bar.

2. Crashers like to blend in by standing out

They often take a bullish approach to crashing a wedding by standing out in the open. They will slip into the reception line and generally offer a warm handshake to everyone. No one will recognize them and all will be too polite to ask who they are. The crasher will offer such pleasantries as "It's a great day, isn't it?" , revealing absolutely nothing about themselves. My recommendation is to call their bluff and start to ask some personal questions. This way you can reveal their true identify.

3. Crashers like to look the part

Crashers will typically make the effort to look smart, wearing something like a classic black suit to blend in with the rest of the wedding guests. The last thing they want to do is look over the top, after all their aim is to impress the ladies present.

4. Crashers like to do exactly what an invited wedding guest would do

The ultimate way to blend in is by dancing with the oldest women at the wedding, something only a real guest would do!

5. Crashers like to pretend to be a long lost relative

Understandably it can difficult to keep track of all the relatives at a wedding. A wedding crasher will pretend to be a long lost relative. They know the that brides and grooms can’t possibly keep track of all the distant relatives invited to the wedding. You have to laugh when AskMen.com suggest that pretending to be Great Uncle Terrence from Kalamazoo will do the trick or that phrases like "I'm the second cousin thrice removed on your uncle's side" will pull the wool over everyone's eyes!

6. Crashers like to carry gifts

An experienced crasher will carry a beautiful wedding present, often one they have picked up from the gift table! They rely on the fact that no one suspects someone who has been kind enough to bring a gift.

7. Crashers like to pretend to be working at your wedding

Are they pretending to be a member of staff? Remember, hired hotel staff often don’t know each other that well so it is very easy for the crasher to blend in. They will be quick to pick up a tray and pass themselves off as one of the caterers. The more daring will even try to pose as the reception manager, walking in with a clipboard and tie. You simply trying to call their bluff by asking their name may not be enough as they often turn the tables and ask for your name. It doesn’t just stop with the kitchen staff - the more adventurous crashers pretend to be part of the weddings band!

8. Crashers like to pretend they are Bob's friend!

Often crashers find it difficult pretending to be on the groom or brides side. The oldest trick in town is thus to say you’re a friend of Bob’s! With so many people at a wedding the numbers work in a crashers favor. Variations of this are Muhammad or Viji for an ethnic wedding.

9. Crashers never speak about themselves

Wedding crashers will comment on anything but themselves, so expect remarks about the food and service but nothing that gives away their real identity. They will never volunteer more information than they have to. If forced they will say they are an old friend of the groom’s or used to date the bride’s best friend. You may find them excusing themselves or changing the topic of conversation if you ask too many awkward questions.

Remember, as long as there are parties there will be party crashers – and this is exactly the same with weddings!

Watch out!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Popular Trend

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

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

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

One of the family!

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

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

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

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

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

You’re in good company!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Advantages of having your pet participate in your wedding day:

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

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

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

Get permission!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ensure your guest’s comfort

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

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

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

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

Are they up to the job?

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

Here are some points to consider:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wedding roles for your pet:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wedding catering for your pet:

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

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

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

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

Wedding attire for your pet:

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

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

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

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

Tips for buying a wedding outfit for your pet:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Entertaining pet clothing websites to check out:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Futher Information On Pets And Weddings:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Don't Be That Bride - A Wedding Blog Not To Be Missed!
Date: July 02, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Funny & Unique Ideas & Wedding Blogs

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

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

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

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

Her very first blog sums it up:

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

To be more specific...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top tips for choosing your fridge magnet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Choose a shape and size

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

Choose a style and image

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

or simply

• Save
• The
• Date
• 20th April 2007

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

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

♥ Other photo options are:

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

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

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

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

Wording

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

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

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

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

Other points to note

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fridge Magnets as wedding favors or thank you cards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Car Door Magnets

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

Invite to bridal shower

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



Make your own fridge magnets

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

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

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

The fridge magnet websites I recommend are as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I just found this video on Google Video:


This is just so BAD!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ever wondered what celebrity you look like?

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

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

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

Jennifer Ansiton

Ezra Pound !

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

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

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

A message to all grooms:

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

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

Pass this link:

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

on to a groom near you!

x

P.S. Check out this other critical video tip

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

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

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

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

What a fun and novel wedding concept!

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

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

A few things you should firstly know about Kate:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. My Awesome Ring

2. Whose Wedding Is This Anyway?

3. Gluttiny vs. Philanthropy

Enjoy Kate's Highs and Woes!

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Confetti The Movie Opens on Friday 5th May in the UK
Date: April 29, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Funny & Miscellaneous & Wedding Films
Not Everyone Wants Their Special Day Ruined By A Gimmick - But Some People Do!"

To quote Jimmy Car, who plays Antoni the owner of Confetti Magazine.

The 5th of May sees the release of a new comedy "wedding" film in the UK called "Confetti". Directed by Debbie Isitt you can check out the trailer right here - even download it to your iPod.

I popped over to IMDB to see if anyone had had a chance to see it and luckily there have been some great reviews from people who went to the test screeningd. You can also check out further reviews at TimeOut.

To quote one of the reviews:

I saw this film at a preview screening on 25 April 2006. This is an awesomely funny film that can only be described as British. My immediate reaction was that this film is funnier than "four weddings..." even though they are poles apart in their feel.

In a nutshell the film follows Confetti magazine as they run a competition for the most wacky wedding, with the prize for the lucky couple being a house. The three finalists are the musical wedding (Matt & Sam) , the tennis wedding (Josef & Isabelle) and the naturist wedding (Michael & Joanna) - all competing for `Most Original Wedding of the Year'.

It seems the film is shot in a similar way to "The Office", very much the look and feel of a fly on the wall documentary (or should I say 'mockumentary' as seems to be the right buzz word for it!) , with brilliant improvised acting from many great British actors - in fact Martin Freeman plays Matt in the film.

To learn a little more about what it is like to be on set of an improvised film take a read of Martin Freeman's brother Jamie describing his own experience:

"For me this mostly involved chatting (in character) to whichever actors happened to be around....Not a single word of dialogue has been written; it was all made up in the heat of the moment."

The cast also includes:

Jessica Stevenson (Shaun Of The Dead, Spaced, The Royle Family)
Stephen Mangan (Green Wing)
Felicity Montagu (I'm Alan Partridge)
Rob Webb (Peep Show)
Olivia Colman (Peep Show, Bruiser)
Meredith MacNeill (Man Stroke Woman)
Alison Steadman (Topsy-Turvy, Life Is Sweet)

I can't wait to see it!

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Couple Marry During the London Marathon at Tower Bridge
Date: April 24, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Ceremonies & Civil Weddings & Funny & Unique Ideas & Venues

Tower Bridge, one of the most famous landmarks in London, was yesterday a scene to a wedding with a difference!

During the 2006 London Flora Marathon Katie Austin 25 and Gordon Fryer 34 from Romsey near Southampton ran the first 13 miles with her Bob to the Tower, where they then stopped for a 80 minute service! They then continued afterward with the bride's mum Tina, all the way to the finishing line.

You could hardly mistake the couple as Katie was wearing a length ivory wedding dress with train above her running shoes and Gordon and Kate’s father wore traditional waistcoats and wing-collared shirts and cravats. They did though shortened their trousers so as their running wasn’t impaired.

The ceremony took place at the Bridge Master's Dining Room which is registered as a licensed premises for civil ceremonies by Southwark Council. Reports state that despite the rain the brides hair and makeup held up and on leaving the bridge they were greeted with confetti showers and loud cheers.

Despite getting married they still had time to raise money for Help the Hospices and if you would like to donate please head over to http://www.justgiving.com/marathonwedding. This national charity gives time and care to people with incurable illnesses.

Their wedding video was produced by PurpleWeddings.co.uk and hats off to them for capturing this fantastic wedding.

You can watch the whole day unfold by watching this amazing 42:09 min video or a 4:32 min montage. The movie starts with their early morning preparations at the hotel, then next shows their trip to the start line on the tube with the bride's father Bob. Following this we see how they mingled and waited at the start line in the celebrity tent with the likes of Jade (not to be missed!), Steve Redgrave, Sophie Anderton, Rebecca Loos, Zoe Salmon and Gordon Ramsay. The movie shows the trio's interview with Sue Barker before they set out on the marathon through a pack of press photographers.

After aerial sots of London - Katy, Gordy and Bob are seen arriving at Tower Bridge for the 1pm ceremony. Next we see the couple exchanging vows with a reading from Katy's mum Sue, the registry being signed and then everyone relaxing with a glass of champayne. After chatting to the guests the married couple and the bride's parents leave Tower Bridge, through even more press. Finally we next see all four finish wilth Gordy carrying Katy over the finish line - amazing!

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Brit Marries A Dolphin!
Date: January 08, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Funny & Unique Ideas

I thought the story of a woman visiting Israel on vacation, finding the partner of her dreams and getting married was a story with a beautiful story with a fairytale happy ending - then I found the woman's chosen partner was a dolphin (and I don't mean the kind that plays for the Miami-based football team)!!!

Read all about it here.

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Two Dogs Marry In The US
Date: November 09, 2005 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Funny & Miscellaneous & Unique Ideas

Everything seems normal when you read this ...

Bobby wore a top hat, black tuxedo and red bowtie, while Gracie, her nails painted pink, sauntered down the aisle in a puffy white gown.

...until you realise this is about 2 dogs!

Can you believe it 2 dogs have got married in the US.

The wedding ceremony in Clinton Township, Michigan cost $700.

The pastor is reported to have said:

"We are gathered here today, to celebrate the joining of the paws of Bobbie and Gracie on this beautiful Sunday."

Further details available by clicking here.

It doesn't say whether the 70 guests were human or canine!

Futher Information On Pets And Weddings:

Pets At Weddings - Tips For Getting Your Dog, Cat or Even Horse Involved!
Harrods Wedding Service - For Dogs! - The “Puppy Love Package”

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Wedding Ring Not A Boxing Ring!
Date: October 19, 2005 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Funny & Photography & Planning

When it comes to planning a wedding you should try to consider everything in your life that might make your choosen date unsuitable.

This is clearly something tough fighter Andrew Facey clearly forgot to do.

It so happened that his chance to compete for a world title was scheduled for six days before his wedding!

This was one fight he clearly wasn't going to win. Tina his fiance was pulling no punches.

"She looked at me and replied instantly: 'No chance'!

Can you imagine how he might have looked for the wedding photographs with black eyes and other post-match injuries - people would think that there had been a brawl at the wedding!

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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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