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How To Boost Your Wedding Budget – Invite Your Guests To Pay For Your Wedding!
Date: June 02, 2008 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Budgeting & Etiquette & Gifts & Guests & Honeymoon & Industry News & Planning & Reviews & Site News & Site Reviews & TV Shows & Unique Ideas

When you look at the following facts:

♥ the average cost of a wedding in the UK tops £20,000

♥ increasing numbers of couples are marrying after they have already set up home together

♥ most couples plan and fund their own weddings nowadays

it’s no wonder that:

♥ couples are now looking for alternative ways to pay for their weddings (rather than having to depend on family contributions, loans or credit cards)

♥ couples planning their weddings don’t require traditional wedding gifts to furnish their home with such as housewares and fine china

The conclusion which can be drawn for couples planning their weddings nowadays is that what they need more than anything is financial help with their spiraling wedding costs.

As I mentioned in my previous blog in the last couple of years online honeymoon gift registries such as Traveler's Joy, Honeymoon Wishes and Honeymoon.com have become hugely popular. Couples planning their nuptials turn to these websites to save themselves money as their wedding guests contribute funds towards their dream honeymoon.

One step on from the honeymoon gift registry is Youbuymywedding.com, an innovative website which allows couples to pay for their wedding by inviting guests to make financial pledges online towards their wedding costs rather than buying them a traditional wedding gift. I think that this is an ingenious concept.

As featured on Five News, Youbuymywedding.com encourages brides and grooms-to-be to opt for money rather than traditional wedding presents and thus take the financial strain off of their wedding plans. For couples who want a dream wedding but find that it is beyond their restricted wedding budget this website is perfect as rather than having to scrimp and cut corners you can share the wedding costs with your guests.

According to Youbuymywedding.com its aim is to

“help couples finance their weddings by inviting their guests to share the cost of paying for the big day, instead of buying wedding gifts in the conventional way”.

So how does Youbuymywedding.com work? It appears to be quite simple. You set up your own personalized wedding page using the website and choose the pledge items you want to be covered, using up to 20 categories covering every aspect of your wedding, including invitations, flowers, reception, cake, car hire, honeymoon, rings and even the dress. Next, decide how much you want to raise for each category. Your guests can then visit your personal wedding page and browse through your selected pledge items. A great feature is that the website also indicates to your guests which items have received the most support, and which still need contributions. Guests can make a donation towards their choice of wedding expense using the secure online payment service Paypal, and they will receive an email confirmation of their pledge, which can be made anonymously if they prefer. Once they have made their pledge Youbuymywedding.com will also notify you by means of an SMS text alert.

So that you can keep up-to-date with your wedding budget you can check your wedding fund balance on the website any time and make withdrawals at any time (in the form of a bank transfer or cheque) to pay for or book items in advance of your wedding.

I think that this website has advantages too from your wedding guests’ point of view. Rather than them having to find and buy a possibly unwanted or duplicate wedding gift, they can save time and effort by simply logging on to your website and give you the gift you really need – money!

Whilst honeymoon gift registries have proven to be a popular choice with modern couples who want to register for alternative wedding gifts, I think that unique websites such as Youbuymywedding.com will also be popular amongst couples who already have everything they need for their marital home but who could use some financial assistance to bolster their wedding fund.

So, if you don’t want to rein in your wedding plans, restrict your wedding budget or have to finance your wedding using a loan or credit card and start married life in debt then why not take a look at Youbuymywedding.com.

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Solving The Double Wedding Invitation And Gift Dilemma
How To Customize Your Wedding With Beads



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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


Unique Tips For Choosing The Perfect Wedding Gift For Your Parents
Date: May 25, 2007 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Budgeting & Extended Family & Family & Gifts & Second Weddings & Unique Ideas

Hi Everyone,

I received this question:

First and foremost I wanted to thank you for your site being so helpful and the best wedding advice ever! I will definitely be using your site to help me arrange my own wedding!

The question that I have for you is not for my wedding, however, but for my mother's. She is getting remarried in the VERY near future and my 2 brothers and I are completely stumped with the question of what to get them as a wedding gift. Our situation is that my brothers and I are all in our early 20's and don't have a lot to spend on a wedding gift. Our budget would be around $500.

In addition to that, they are moving to Greece right after, which makes it much harder to think of a good wedding gift. I've searched online for hours, but no website has any tips for good wedding gift ideas for your parent(s). So, I was wondering if you had any good ideas up your sleeve and could help me out.

This was my reply:

Many thanks for your kind comments about my website. I’m really pleased that you enjoy reading my wedding blogs.

I have a couple of suggestions to make with regard to solving your wedding gift dilemma for your Mother and future Step-father at their upcoming wedding. I think that $500 is a perfectly reasonable budget for a gift from you and your brothers so don’t worry about that - the most perfect wedding gift can sometimes be the least expensive option on offer. Have a think about what sentiment you want to convey with your wedding gift. Do you want it to be something fun and unique or do you want it to be a sentimental reminder of their special day? Here are some ideas:

Gift Certificate

♥ Two of the most stressful things couples experience in life are getting married and moving home. If your Mother and her fiancé are doing both in the upcoming months then it sounds like they could definitely use a bit of pampering once the wedding and house move are completed. How about a gift certificate for a luxurious 5 star resort in Greece. I imagine that not only will this be appreciated by the newlyweds as a welcome chance to de-stress and relax but it will also allow them to experience another area of Greece which they might not otherwise have chosen to visit. Most of the luxury hotels in Greece offer gift certificates. Be sure to ask when booking whether the certificates can be used for spa treatments and dining as well as for overnight stays at the hotel. Gift certificates are usually valid for up to 2 years so the newlyweds don’t have to feel pressurized into booking their pampering treatment/overnight break straight away. Check out Greek hotels resorts and spa information at websites such as Relaischateaux.com or Myconiancollection.gr.

Ship It

♥ Traditionally second time brides and grooms have already have set up their own households so I assume that your Mother and her fiancé will not need traditional wedding registry items such as toasters, kettles and towels. However, if there are any practical home goods or other items which your Mother or her fiancé have expressed an interest in then do not feel put off. You could buy the gift and follow either of the options below:

♥ Arrange to have the gift shipped to the newlyweds’ new home in Greece. This is perfect if the newlyweds are emigrating shortly after the wedding but if their move is not for a few months you might prefer to present them with the wedding gift on their wedding day.

♥ Alternatively you could buy the gift, give it to them on their wedding day and additionally provide them with a shipping gift certificate to cover the cost of shipping the item to Greece as and when they move. Iomoi.stores.yahoo.net offers shipping gift certificates in denominations of $5 (they have a handy facility for calculating how much your chosen item will cost to ship to Greece).

Picture It

♥ If you want to give the newlyweds something a bit more heartfelt and sentimental then why not arrange to have a formal photo session with you and your brothers. I’m sure that your Mother and her new husband would love to receive a beautifully framed photo. You could choose an elegant silver frame and have it engraved with a special wedding message from the three of you. Do bear in mind that not all formal photo sessions result in cheesy “posed” photos. Choose a photographer who is willing to let you all relax and be yourselves, strike some fun poses and allow the photographer to capture your true personalities that your Mother knows and loves. If you are considering this option then remember that image proofs are usually available three weeks after the photo session - so make sure you organize this well in advance of the wedding.

♥ Alternatively, if you like the idea of presenting the newlyweds with a photo frame but are not keen on a framed portrait of yourself and your brothers then how about giving an engraved elegant photo frame on its own or insert into it a photo of the happy couple pre-wedding.

♥ Another low-cost variation on the photo idea is to use family photos and photos of your Mother and her partner during their early years together and produce a custom-made photo book. Websites such as www.shutterfly.com allow you to upload your digital photos onto their site and then create your own hard-cover photo album. This would not only make a lovely keepsake for the newlyweds but would be easy for them to transport to Greece.

Expat Gift Hamper

♥ As your Mother and her new husband are planning on emigrating to Greece then how about a gift certificate from a company which will provide them with a taste of home. If they get homesick for their favorite US treats they can simply log on to the internet in Greece and order them to be shipped to their new home. American shopping services for expats such as Americanfoodworldwide.com allow them to shop online for all of their favorite foods from a regular American supermarket.

Gift Basket

♥ To keep within your budget you could consider putting together a basket or hamper filled with appropriate gifts for the newlyweds. Think about their personalities, hobbies and things they like when choosing gifts for the package. You could include:

♥ A Greek or American cookbook (one to give her some tips and advice on how to prepare and cook the classic local cuisine of her new home and one to remind her of the traditional recipes of her former home)

♥ Personalized stationery (and air mail stamps!)

♥ Personalized luggage tags

♥ You could even include practical and fun items for their new lifestyle in Greece such as sunglasses, sun-hats, a guidebook for Greece, an electronic multi-language translator, beach towels or even some “Just Married” sandals for your Mother and her partner to get some wear from whilst strolling on Greece’s beautiful beaches. Remember to include plenty of lightweight items which will not be too heavy for them to transport to Greece.

♥ If all else fails you could give the newlyweds some American Express Gift Cheques. They are useable to buy virtually anything so they could use them to pay for whatever they wanted once they have moved (e.g. furniture for their new home in Greece, money towards their return flights back to visit you and your brothers, an island hopping trip in Greece).

A lot of people attending their parent's encore weddings get caught up in what constitutes an appropriate gift for the newlyweds. The essential thing to remember is that a gift, no matter how much it costs, will always be appreciated if some thought has been put into it. Remember that the wedding gift you and your brothers choose to give to your Mother and her new husband is a token of your celebration of their wedding day and their new life together.

I hope that this helps and that you and your brothers manage to find the perfect wedding gift for your Mother and her husband-to-be.

Good luck!

Related Posts :
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How To Boost Your Wedding Budget – Invite Your Guests To Pay For Your Wedding!
How To Find Wedding Gift Boxes In South Africa
How To Announce A Belated Destination Wedding Reception
Solving The Double Wedding Invitation And Gift Dilemma
How To Customize Your Wedding With Beads


How To Find Wedding Gift Boxes In South Africa
Date: May 10, 2007 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Ask The Planner & Favors & Gifts & Shopping

Hi Everyone,

I received this question:

“I am looking for a gift shop that makes lovely wedding gift boxes. Do you know of any shops in Cape Town?”

This was my reply:

Thanks for your email. Although I am not familiar with Cape Town’s shops personally I did find the following information for you.

How about Theletterpresscompany.co.za who are based in Cape Town. They sell a selection of handmade linen boxes, lined in paper and tied with satin ribbon - I had a look on their website and they look beautiful. Their contact details are:

P.O. Box 50189, Waterfront 8002, Cape Town
Email: info@theletterpresscompany.co.za

I also found a selection of handmade gift boxes in a variety of sizes made in Cape Town at Capementalhealth.co.za.

Alternatively, how about checking out online retailers at Bidorbuy.co.za. I found these reasonably priced handmade boxes which looked very pretty.

You could also consider buying from an online seller at Ebay.com. I found many sellers on Ebay who are willing to ship their gift boxes to South Africa. Of course you will incur a standard international flat rate shipping fee but you might well recoup this with the savings you make by buying from an Ebay seller.

Finally, you should take a look at artisan studios or craft markets in and around Cape Town. If craft markets are anything like British ones then will be an ideal place for you to find stalls with people selling their unique gift boxes. When I researched it I found that craft markets are held regularly at Kirstenbosch and Hout Bay.

I hope that this information helps you. Good luck with your wedding plans!

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How To Announce A Belated Destination Wedding Reception
Date: March 26, 2007 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Ask The Planner & Destination Weddings & Etiquette & Gifts & Guests & Invitations & Announcements & Planning & Reception & Stationery

Hi Everyone,

I received this question regarding the appropriate wording for a destination wedding announcement:

“My son and his wife had a private destination wedding. I am getting ready to announce it in our hometown newspaper. They do not have a definite date for a reception - do I leave that off - or state that a reception date will be announced later? Please help.”

This was my reply:

Many thanks for your question.

If your son and daughter-in-law have not yet decided on a date, or the finer details of their wedding reception, then it is definitely advisable to leave this information out of the newspaper announcement. Wording for the newspaper announcement of your son’s wedding should be along the lines of:

Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Jones
announce the marriage of their son
Michael Nicholas
to
Amber Frances Franklin
on Saturday, the ninth of April
at
The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Hawaii

However, I must point out that I personally have experienced the curiosity of wondering whether friends who have jetted off to get hitched on their own intend on having a reception when they return. Most friends and family of newlyweds want an opportunity to celebrate their newlywed status together! Not only that, but have you or the newlyweds considered the subject of wedding gifts? Most close friends and family will want to celebrate the marriage by giving a gift, regardless of whether there was a wedding ceremony and reception involved.

If you give some indication to friends and family that a late wedding reception will be held in the not-too-distant future then this will ease their concerns over gift-giving and wanting to celebrate with the newlyweds. Whilst there is nothing wrong with adding additional wording to the newspaper announcement I think that a more personal way to let important people know that your son has been married and that they intend on hosting a wedding reception in the future is for you (or your son and daughter-in-law) to send personal announcements to their friends and family. You could include in it wording along the lines of:

“A wedding reception to honor the newlyweds will be held at a date and venue to be confirmed.”

If you at least know the venue of where the wedding reception is going to take place (e.g. your home or the newlyweds’ home) then you could add:

“A wedding reception to honor the newlyweds will be held at 52 Lawson Court, Newtown. Details of the date and time will follow soon.”

Announcements such as these are best mailed out to close friends and family within a few days of the wedding ceremony or as soon as possible after the event.

I hope that this helps. If you need any assistance with ideas for organizing a formal or informal wedding reception check out wedding forums such as forums.weddingsolutions.com and hitched.co.uk which have unique tips and advice from other destination bride and grooms. Also, the knot.com have fantastic ideas for organizing your own wedding reception after a destination wedding.

Good luck and congratulations to the newlyweds!

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Solving The Double Wedding Invitation And Gift Dilemma
Date: March 25, 2007 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Ask The Planner & Ceremonies & Etiquette & Gifts & Guests & Invitations & Announcements & Planning & Stationery & Traditions & Customs & Unique Ideas

Hi Everyone,

I received this question regarding the protocol for double weddings:

“How do you word invitations for a double wedding? Do you have more than one invitation? One for the guests that are only coming for one party and one for both? Also, will guests feel that the have to bring a gift for both couples? How do we go about this so our guests do not feel that they have to bring a gift for the other couple?

This was my reply:

Many thanks for your question. In response to the first part of your question about whether you should share a wedding invitation with the other couple, the answer is definitely yes. If you are choosing to share your wedding day with another couple then sharing wording on a wedding invitation is inconsequential in comparison. By sharing a joint wedding invitation you will be ensuring that your wedding guests understand that they are being invited to a double wedding. As your wedding ceremony is taking place hand in hand with the other couple’s wedding ceremony your guests will understand why both couples’ names are on the wedding invitation.

Due to the fact that double weddings are not as popular as single ceremony weddings you are unlikely to find pre-printed standard wedding stationery conveying the double wedding invitation. However, you can choose a custom-made invitation to match your color theme and wedding style. These are easy to source on the internet or alternatively you might want to visit a wedding studio or local stationery store. The only limitation you will have when choosing your invitation is that it must have enough space to accommodate your additional wording for the double wedding.

With regard to wording for double wedding invitations please take a look at the sample wordings I have given in my previous post where I have listed a variety of contemporary wording options to cover most double wedding situations. However, as double weddings are not as traditional as single weddings, you should definitely feel free to create your own wording for the invitations, so long as the other bride and groom sharing your double wedding are in agreement with you and your fiancé! When choosing wording do remember to emphasize the ‘double’ nature of the wedding so that your guests are fully aware of the type of wedding they are being invited to. You don’t want to surprise them and have them thinking they are seeing double when they catch sight of two brides and grooms on your wedding day! This applies even more so if you do decide that you want to send separate wedding invitations to your own family and friends.

With regard to wedding gifts, it goes without saying that, unless your wedding guest is a friend or family member of both couples participating in the double wedding, that they need only buy a wedding gift for the couple that has invited them to the wedding. I know that the wedding invitation might well bear the names of both couples but your wedding guests will know that the invitation is coming from you (or your parents) to them.

As double weddings are not everyday occurrences the majority of your wedding guests will not necessarily know whether or not they are expected to bring a gift for the other couple. One way of getting the word out is to let your parents, wedding party, close relatives and friends spread the news for you. Even though this is certainly the easiest way to inform your guests that they need only buy a wedding gift for one couple, I don’t know if it is the safest way to ensure that all guests receive the same message. If you would prefer to make the matter of gift giving entirely unambiguous then the best way to do this is to deliver the message to your guests yourself and have the other couple sharing your wedding celebration do the same with their own wedding guests. Whilst it is wholly against wedding etiquette to mention gift-giving in the wedding invitation, you could add the information to your wedding website or communicate it by letter, email or over the phone. You could word it along the lines of:

“We are delighted that you will be joining Mike and I on our special day. If you were thinking of giving us a gift we wanted to let you know that we are registered at Macy’s and Crate and Barrel. Whilst Mike and I are excited to be sharing our double wedding day with Carol and Bob we wanted to let you know that you are not expected to bring them a wedding gift.”

Your guests will appreciate being given the heads up on this gift-giving dilemma and appreciate your honesty.

I hope that this helps with your double wedding planning. Check out my other post too for even more double wedding planning tips.

Good luck!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Available from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

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Couples Use TravelersJoy.com To Create Their Own Dream Honeymoon Registry
Date: January 10, 2007 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Gifts & Honeymoon & Sponsored Reviews & Unique Ideas

This is a sponsored review.

With increasing numbers of couples marrying after they have already set up home together, the need for the traditional wedding gift list which includes items such as housewares and fine china for the newlyweds to furnish their home with, isn’t so nearly as prevalent as it has been in the past. In contrast online honeymoon registries are one of the most rapidly growing areas of the wedding registry market and are definitely the most popular choice for couples who want to register for alternative wedding gifts. For couples who already have everything they need to fill their marital homes, then what better gift to ask your guests to contribute towards than a luxurious honeymoon for the two of you! Weddings, no matter how well planned and picture perfect they are, leave newlyweds feeling exhausted so without doubt the best way to kick-start married life together is to have a dream honeymoon!

The Traveler's Joy Honeymoon Registry at TravelersJoy.com is an excellent example of the way the honeymoon registry industry is evolving. It provides an online service that allows couples to create their own customized honeymoon registries. The Traveler’s Joy account can be used as an alternative to a traditional wedding registry or as a complement. Judging by the testimonials on their website it is easy to see why Traveler's Joy has become so successful and popular since its launch in 2004.

Traveler’s Joy offers a high level of personalized service, enabling couples to tap into an extensive proprietary advice on creating a registry and researching and planning travel. Staff can give advice ranging from the popular honeymoon destinations to the more adventurous and unique holiday spots. It is important to remember though that couples are not required to book their honeymoon through Traveler’s Joy - it is a registry service, not a travel agency. All couples have the flexibility to book travel arrangements through the agent or carrier of their choice.

Brandon Warner, president and co-founder of Traveler's Joy, says:

"Non-traditional registries are a great way for couples to really focus on the gifts they want. The Internet is providing modern solutions for an industry that hadn't really changed much in decades.”

In fact he goes on to say that wedding guests tend to give more generous gifts than they do on traditional wedding registries.

"Our members average about $2,400 in gifts per registry, which is a big chunk of the average honeymoon cost of around $3,500. A sizable portion of our members not only pay for their entire honeymoon, but are able to upgrade or extend it with the additional gifts from their registry."

Family and friends can easily and securely contribute money towards a couple’s honeymoon and any specific gifts, such as a romantic dinner for two or theatre tickets, that they have additionally requested.

There are no hidden fees, the fee structure states that couples pay a 7.5% commission on the total amount contributed by their wedding guests. This is deducted before the balance is then sent to the couple. This is a competitively low commission compared to other online services. It isn’t uncommon to find lower fees but typically this will mean the couple will have to book their travel with them. As always it is important to read the small print. Some services advertise themselves as “free” honeymoon registries, but usually for your guests to contribute via credit card they will need to sign up for a third party payment service incurring additional fees.

Setting up a Traveler’s Joy account:

Newlyweds only need a five minutes to set up their account. Following this they can easily create a great registry page like this example:

http://www.travelersjoy.com/members/kellylovestim/

Using simple steps it is possible to quickly create a sophisticated design complete with gift descriptions, video, pictures, and travel plans. Ultimately each couple can completely customize their own registry to reflect their own style and interests.

Subsequently the couple will have their own easy to remember link to share with friends and family. It comes in this format:

http://www.travelersjoy.com/members/CUSTOMIZE_HERE/

Guests can be notified of the link by using a free email registry notice postcard service, or by mailing postcards, and letters.

Once guests receive notification, even the least tech-savvy ones, will be able to log in, buy a gift and contribute to the couple’s honeymoon account. The site uses industry standard 128-bit SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to ensure that the guest’s sensitive data (credit card number, name, address, etc.) is transmitted securely - every time. In addition, Traveler’s Joy do not save credit card information once a gift transaction has been completed. The gift transaction itself is encrypted.

Each time a gift giver’s credit card is charged, the money is deposited into a special account at Wachovia Bank. This account is only used for member deposits and withdrawal requests.

At this stage an email detailing the gift will be automatically sent to both the gift giver and the couple. In addition, the online account information is immediately updated. There is also the option for the gift giver to request, for a small additional fee, a custom gift card to be sent directly to the couple or to themselves (to give to them at a later time).

Paying for your dream honeymoon:

When it comes time to pay for your honeymoon couples simply log into the "Your Account " page and click the "Redeem Gifts" link. From there, they can schedule a check to be sent to them. This service offers three check delivery options (USPS First Class, FedEx 2Day, and FedEx Overnight). Please note a fee applies for FedEx requests. To protect the couple checks are only issued in the name of the primary account holder. It takes 72 hours for funds from a gift transaction to be available for withdrawal.

Thanking your guests:

Traveler's Joy provides its members with the gift-givers' contact information in order to make the thank you card process as easy as possible. Within the Account Management page, you can easily click on the "Create Printable Thank You List" link and a custom window will pop up ready for printing.

Contact Details:

Traveler's Joy, Inc.
11 S Hampshire Court, Suite 200
Wilmington, DE 19807
Toll Free: 888-878-5569

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How To Save Money On Wedding Supplies - Be A Savvy Sale Shopper!
Date: December 03, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attendants & Budgeting & Cameras & Coupons & Favors & Gifts & Shopping

We all know that the cost of wedding decorations and supplies can mount up when you are planning your wedding. If you want to shave money off your wedding costs for these items then my top tip is to take a look at clearance sales. Although not all wedding items will be placed on sale you might just be lucky and find exactly what you are looking for to use at your own wedding at a greatly reduced price. Even if your wedding isn’t happening for another few months it’s always best to grab these bargains when they are available as you can’t guarantee you will see them at such a low price again as your wedding date draws closer. Don’t we all envy shrewd brides-to-be who manage to nab the best bridal bargains? It always makes sense to check wedding supply websites out when they have a sale on.

That is why I recommend that you take a look at TheKnot.com tomorrow as they start their 2 day sale. They are offering great discounts of up to 75% off of wedding items including gifts for each other, attendant’s gifts, unique personalized wedding favors and ceremony accessories. The best bargains I saw on their website were the disposable cameras which start at $3.99 each and are available in a wide range of colors to match your wedding theme and the ring pillow which has been reduced from $15.95 to $3.99 – what a steal! Additionally you can enter the promotional code HOHOHO at the checkout and save an extra 10% off if your order values $85 or more.

Another web-site which has a bargain-filled sale on is Americanbridal.com. They are having a huge close-out sale to make way for their new stock, so their sale items are priced at up to 70% off. I had a peek at their sale items and if you are looking for a tiara or wedding jewelry they have a great selection at heavily discounted prices.

Happy bargain hunting!

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

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

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

What Bellenza has to offer?

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

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

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

Finding your way around

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

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

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

Design details

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Honeymoon Wedding Registry Service Ideas - Lists With A Difference!
Date: October 19, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Budgeting & Coupons & Gifts & Honeymoon & Reviews & Site Reviews & Unique Ideas

Are you looking for a true alternative to the traditional wedding list? I know you already have your fair share of towels and kitchen appliances between you and your partner and you want something different.

If this is the case, I recommend you take a look at the honeymoon wedding registry service MyHoneyMoon.co.uk and see how your wedding list could pay for a wonderful holiday to Hawaii, Mauritius, Barbados, or even Paris!

This is definitely a fun way for your guests to make a donation towards your honeymoon costs. They can use a secure online payment facility to make a payment using their credit card or debit card – or even pay by cheque.

MyHoneyMoon director, Daniel Ox says:

“It's the perfect alternative to a cutlery set or kettle as the guests are really buying wonderful memories for the newlyweds."

A HoneyMoon account costs just £49.99. For this your account is setup and you will receive expert travel advice including suggested itineraries, stylish notification cards for you to distribute to your guests, and your own personal wedding homepage to display photos and memorable stories.

Small Print:

As always you should definitely read the FAQ and in particular the “How much does the service cost?” section:

“ If you decide not to book your honeymoon with us then that is fine but to help cover the ongoing expense of administering your registry and providing full services to you and your guests, a 7% service fee is payable against the final balance of the account.”

Thus with this service you can save yourself the 7% service fee if you actually book your honeymoon through MyHoneyMoon.co.uk.

Compare this to another UK honeymoon registry service called HoneyMoon.co.uk. based in Edinburgh. Here you are charged 9% service fee on gifts purchased from your list. The fee is deducted from your total gift fund when the donated funds are transferred to you.

The services covered by this fee include but are not limited to credit card transaction fees, gift registry updates, gift acknowledgments and thank you card manager updates. You can liken the costs incurred in the service fee to the cost of your guests buying wrapping paper, card, postage and packing, etc.

So it is up to you which registry service you prefer. I must say though I do like the wedding list samples found on HoneyMoney.co.uk.

Special Promotion:

There is currently no set-up fee for a HoneyMoney list. All you need to do is enter the code PRMT21 in the appropriate box on the registration form and the usual £50 fee is waived.

Good luck and please leave comments if you have used either of these services.

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OurGreenWeddingList.com - The Wedding List That Doesn't Cost The Earth
Date: October 18, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Gifts & Reviews & Site Reviews & Unique Ideas

Here is a new wedding list site with a difference - OurGreenWeddingList.com - one that doesn't cost the earth!

This site encourages couples to have a greener wedding list and an environmentally friendly wedding day. So certainly not the list for those adamant they want a mahogany coffee table or patio heater!

To quote the site:

"Our Green Wedding List offers you environmentally considerate goods at comparable prices as an alternative to mass produced and environmentally damaging products. Some items (subscriptions to organic veggie box schemes) even enable you to start the first months of your married lives with an environmental outlook."

The products are sourced from UK based suppliers so as airmiles are reduced. Although Fair Trade goods are imported from beyond the UK. Products fall into a number of categories, namely Recycled, Craft/Artisan, Organic
Environmental benefit, Energy efficient, Made in the UK in an environmentally responsible way and Fair trade. In essence you will find the same type of products you would find on a traditional wedding list, but greener!

The site was set up this year after the founder Holly Long at Wedding List Giving Ltd had conversations with friends about green products 'not being as nice as conventional factory goods' and wanted to ask only for a few ethical gifts for her own wedding. Holly's dream of making 'green/ethical' goods more accessible is certainly NOW a reality. OurGreenWeddingList.com really does encourage people to think about having a green wedding list.

Holly Long can be contacted on 01273 476015 or here

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Announcing The New Confetti Wish List Service - Receive The Gifts You Really Want!
Date: October 17, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Budgeting & Gifts & Guests & Honeymoon & Industry News & Shopping & Site Reviews & Unique Ideas

Confetti.co.uk now offer a superb wedding list service where by you can receive the gifts you really want, from honeymoons to house deposits. As a couple you simply ask for money to be placed on a Confetti Wishlist prepaid Maestro® card in place of gifts. Guests do this simply by visiting your very own customised web page and making a contribution online. The web page link can even be changed to include your own names and wedding date. You can then share this link with your guests by sending an email from the wish list service, or by using the template online to create a gift list card that can be slipped into your invitations.

These cards are perfect for all couples whatever their financial situation. For couples getting married later in life who have all the basics, this is a unique opportunity to ask for gifts and experiences which aren’t normally available on the high street. Imagine you can add gifts such as donations to your favourite charity, a piece of art, a trip round around the world or plants for the garden. Equally if a couple are on a tight budget the Wishlist Card would be ideal for helping with wedding expenses, honeymoon costs or car and house deposits. Basically you can use the Confetti Wishlist Card wherever you see the Maestro® acceptance mark, including shops, restaurants, online or on the telephone.

Research has shown that over 50% of couples would prefer to receive money but are too embarrassed to ask for it directly. In fact guests are happier to give money if they know what it will be spent on. They have the ease of buying online 24 hours a day with no need to put cash or cheques in the post or ask for the couple’s bank details. The Wishlist Card ensures your guests no longer have the age old problem of finding a wedding gift in a specific price range, as they can now easily group together with other guests to contribute towards any gift they like.

As always don't forget to read the small print, Confetti provide a comprehensive FAQ and the terms and conditions, including what happens if your card is lost or stolen and how long it remains valid. I urge you to read all these pages in their entirety, like you would with any other financial product.

Sign up for your Confetti Wish List card at ConfettiCard.co.uk today

Further Confetti.co.uk Reading:

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

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3. Links to other web sites are provided for your convenience and Wedaholic.com is not responsible for the information contained on those web sites. The provision of a link to another web site does not constitute an endorsement or approval of that web site, or any products or services offered on that web site, by Wedaholic.com. Wedaholic.com will not accept any liability for the use of those links to connect to web sites that are not under our control.

Financial Disclaimer

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

Trademarks

Maestro® is a registered trademark of MasterCard

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Join Wrapit.co.uk For An Evening Of Food, Wine And Great Wedding Ideas!
Date: October 03, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Gifts & Shopping & Shows

It was fun meeting some of the girls from Wrapit.co.uk over the weekend. I learnt that Wrapit really is a refreshing approach to wedding lists and a service I will definitely review in the near future (especially as the founder Pepita Diamond studied at St Andrews just down the road from me!)

Anyway if you are in London on the 26th October, I recommend you take full advantage of a free event they are holding at their West End store.

Over a drink (or two!), you can wander around their stylist showroom and chat to their carefully selected wedding experts. There will also be an opportunity to chat with a Wrapit consultant about the fabulous service they offer, as well as exclusive offers, fabulous prizes and a goodie bag.

Date: Thursday 26th October
Time: 6.00- 8.30pm
Venue: 89 Great Titchfield Street W1W 6RN (Nearest tubes stations: Oxford Circus, Warren Street and Great Portland Street)

If you would like to attend this free event please email london@wrapit.co.uk with your name and the name of the person you would like to bring along. Wrapit will confirm your place by email within a few days

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The Alternative Gift Wedding List - Donating To Charity
Date: October 03, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Gifts & Reviews & Site Reviews & Unique Ideas

I would like to recommend "The Alternative Wedding List", an online wedding list service with a difference!

Using this list, couples sign up to gifts of donations to various charities - instead of the usual toasters and kettles! There are no charges to couples for registering a list. Take a look at this page for an example of how your wedding gift list could look.

Charities you can donate to include Breast Cancer Care, British Heart Foundation, FARM-Africa, PDSA, Samaritians, Sense, St. John Ambulance, Terrence Higgins Trust and War on Want (more charities are listed here). This service really appeals to me and it is no wonder that since its launch in March 2004 it has gone from strength to strength.


There are a variety of great reasons why couples are choosing to use this an alternative to the usual wedding gift lists:

♥ Many couples already have everything in their homes that they could possibly need.

♥ Increasingly, couples are looking for something different and want to stand out from the crowd.

♥ Lots of couples want to feel good about their choice of gift list.

♥ The range of charities that participate provides a variety of list options for couples and means guests have a grest choice of charities to donate to rather than just one.


More about the Gifts:

Gifts range in price from £10 upwards. Each gift purchased represents a donation to the charity whose gift a guest has selected. Example gifts include:

♥ £27 pays for a gift to Sight Savers International to allow them to pay for a contaract operation for a child in Bangladesh,

♥ £50 buys a gift to Save the Children to allow them to buy a set of winter clothes for a child in Serbia.

♥ £20 covers the costs of a Marie Curie Cancer Care nurse for an hour in the home.

♥ £100 enables Help the Aged to make an older person's home safe and secure.

♥ £100 also enables Barnardo's to pay for an activity day for children living with HIV.


It is so easy to create an Alternative type of Wedding List:

Couples simply have:

♥ To register online and select one of the groups of charities that we've put together.

♥ Send their guests details of where their list is held.

♥ To logon to their list to view purchases and messages from guests, download details onto a PDF at any time and then receive final confirmation of total donations to each charity.

It really couldn't be easier!


The Alternative Wedding List is part of Give It Limited, a non-profit making set-up founded by Andy Hickey. Their main goal is to generate incremental charitable donations for a broad group of UK registered charities. It is important to remember that:

♥ They pass on 100% of the value of donations made through the service to the charities.

♥ They use the Gift Aid (an extra 28% of the value of eligible donations) to fund the operation (website, card processing, management, advertising) and the target is to use less than half of this money. Whatever's left also gets passed onto the charities.

♥ There are no upfront fees or other charges for the charities.


Finally his type of charity gift lift isn't just for weddings, other sites operated by Give It Limited are:

GiveIt.co.uk - The online 'individual gift' service, where you can make a one-off selection of a gift to celebrate someone's birthday, a wedding, Christmas or any event you care to think of.

TheAlternativeGiftList.co.uk - Here you can turn your big day into a special occasion for even more people than you and your family and friends

The AternativeChristmasList.co.uk - Would you like your family, friends or work colleagues to spend their cash on something other than a pair of socks for you this christmas? If so this is the site for you!

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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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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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