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The Scottish Wedding Show at The SECC, Glasgow This Weekend
Date: February 16, 2009 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Industry News & Planning & Shopping & Shows & Unique Ideas

If you are in, or near, Glasgow this weekend I highly recommend you take the time to visit the Scottish Wedding Show. The show runs from 21st to 22nd February at the SECC.

Highlights of the weekend show will include:

♥ Catwalk shows showcasing a dazzling array of wedding dresses, from top designers who create gowns for the stars to high street fashion brands, covering all budgets and tastes.

♥ Outfits to kit out your Groom, Mother of the Bride, Bridesmaids and other attendants.

♥ Free make up sessions.

♥ Free wine and champagne tasting.

As well as this, over 300 of Scotland's leading wedding suppliers will be showcasing everything you need for your perfect wedding day including wedding gowns, accessories, cakes, stationery, entertainment, cosmetics, shoes, tiaras, hats, cars, favors, gift lists, caterers, venues - basically everything you need!!

Remember too that wedding shows are a great place to bag yourself a bargain as many wedding vendors exhibiting will offer discounts on their services if you book with them there and then.

For more information on exhibitors, take a look here.

I can thoroughly recommend this wedding show as I attended the last one in September 2008 at the SECC. It was really enjoyable, professionally laid out, with staff and wedding vendors who were cheerful and offered plenty of helpful advice to the couples attending.

You can book your tickets here
.
I’m going along myself at the weekend to have a look around and keep my eyes peeled for some unique ideas and wedding bargains which I can share with you all.

Hopefully I’ll see you there!

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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


Free Berketex Bride Dress For One Lucky Bride
Date: June 13, 2007 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attire & Contests & Dresses & Shopping

If you have already found your dream wedding gown amongst the beautiful array on offer at Berketex Bride but have not yet got around to purchasing it then get your skates on as you could win a full refund of the price of your wedding dress! As part of Berketex Bride's "One & Only" Promotion through Confetti.co.uk all you have to do is purchase a full-price (not a sale item) Berketex Bride gown from one of their stores. Your name will then be entered into a draw and the winner of the refund will be chosen on Friday 22nd June 2007.

The offer ends on Saturday 16th June so get in there quick to bag yourself a free wedding dress!

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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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PinkPrincess.com Your Ideal Choice For Flower Girl Dresses
Date: January 25, 2007 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Dresses & Shopping & Sponsored Reviews

This is a sponsored review.

Wedding etiquette dictates that the parents buy their daughter’s flower girl dress. Thus whatever the budget you will want to buy a dress that is both elegant and fun!

One website that offers just such a collection of stunning dresses at affordable prices is PinkPrincess.com. Their wide range of exquisite designs are gorgeous and comfortable, meaning your little girl will feel like a princess on the day!

Using drop down menus in the left hand navigation bar you can select which colour of flower girl dress you prefer to look at. The options include blue, burgundy, gold, ivory, lilac, pink, red, sage and white. Each dress is affectionately given a girls name for quick reference and browsing, allowing you the opportunity to easily find a dress that will tie into the overall wedding theme.

Dresses:

There are many lovely classic dress designs including the "A-line" that looks luxurious and glamorous, in fact some dresses even have the "grown up" look of double-spaghetti straps. Equally there are beautiful fun dresses adorned with beads, sequins, & flowers. You can take your choice from the many different types of organza, satin and taffeta dresses.

Bodice:

Stylish bodice designs include matte satin, a sleeveless princess style, embroidered organza, coloured velvet, silk with polka dots, stretch velvet, two toned shantung, and v-neck.

Some of the bodices are adorned with hand sewn faux pearls offering an elegant look that can’t be achieved with zippers. Alternatively view the bodices that have rhinestones sprinkled throughout them to keep your princess smiling all day long!

Skirts:

Skirt styles include two layered tulle, printed and embroidered organza, taffeta and shantung. Lengths vary from short to ankle length, though there is no disputing the fact that you can’t beat the playfulness and splendid abundance of the full-length skirt. Many have a sash or dainty flowers that tie into a bow around the back.

Some of the skirts come with embroidered daisies & scalloped edges. Other designs are accented with satin butterflies and trimmed with satin ribbons.

Accessories:

These include detachable rose buds at the waist, removable pinned flowers, satin shawls, matching hair clips and sashes with floral and ribbon accents. The range also include baskets, gloves, socks, petticoats, capes, jackets, pillows, shoes, jewellery, and petals.

Flower Dress Measurements:

Sizes range from 9 months to 8 years old.
Chest sizes range from 20.5” to 28”.
Waist sizes range from 20.5” to 27”.
Length ranges (Shoulder to Hem) 16” to 35”.

I recommend you take a look at the gallery page to see photos from actual customers. This will help you visualise how the dress will look in real life.

It is also worth noting that PinkPrincess.com sell pageant and communion dresses for girls and suits and tuxedos for boys.

Please let me know whether you purchase from PinkPrincess, I would love to display any wedding day pictures you take.

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Introducing the Castigliano “International Room” In Knightsbridge, London
Date: January 22, 2007 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Dresses & Industry News & Shopping

I am happy to announce that on the 26th January wedding dress designer Caroline Castigliano is opening a new store called the Castigliano "International Room" at 154 Brompton Road in London SW3 1AS. The store will not only showcase all her fabulous designs, which are made individually and start at £2000, but also those of several carefully selected international designers.

The other designers have similar price points and share Caroline's commitment to quality and style and making each and every bride feel special. They include:

Amy Michelson - her signature look is sexy, liquid elegance, with designs that are cut to flatter the female form. Amy is the recipient of the prestigious Couture Bridal 2001, 2003 and 2004 “Designer of the Year” Award.

Atelier Aimee - an Italian collection using the finest lace and jewels with exquisite detailing.

Kenneth Poole - pure Hollywood glamour ! A truly modern couturier who refined his skill while working for Vera Wang.

Mariage - a collection of pure romance soft colours and layers with charming floral finishes for the girly bride.

Oleg Cassini - old style glamour brought to the modern world. Famous for developing Jackie Oasis's signature look of timeless elegance.

Sharon Hoey – based in Dublin Sharon has won many coveted awards including a Late Late Show Fashion Award and the Bridal Designer of the Year.

Caroline's own collection is updated each season to incorporate current trends using the finest fabrics and attention to detail.

Fittings are by appointment only and can be made by calling 020 7993 9622 or by booking online at the website.

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

This is a sponsored review.

A diamond engagement ring is the ultimate symbol of ever lasting love, devotion and commitment between two people. According to Aweddingministers.com 70% of brides receive a diamond engagement ring. As we have now entered prime proposal season I thought I would let you know about a fantastic online diamond retailer who create stunning engagement rings.

Whiteflash.com create handcrafted stunning diamond engagement rings. Led by fifth-generation diamond cutter Brian Gavin, the team of highly skilled craftsmen at Whiteflash use the finest quality materials and together with their traditional manufacturing techniques they manage to design and create exquisitely unique diamond engagement rings. At your fingertips Whiteflash provide you with one of the vastest selections of diamonds I have ever seen on the internet including their exclusive 'A Cut Above' Hearts & Arrows Diamonds.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is a sponsored review.

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

What better way to stamp your own personal style on your wedding favors than to give your guests a gift which is everlasting, practical and truly unique - a personalized wine bottle stopper.

Seafoamwoodturning.com is a company which produces beautiful hand-made wooden bottle stoppers that are sure to add a touch of sophistication to your wedding reception. Whether they are wine connoisseurs or not your guests will adore the style of the stoppers which are handcrafted by skilled artisans from the finest maple wood. These stoppers are not only attractive to look at but they are perfectly practical too and would be sure to dress up any bottle of wine!

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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.

DISCLAIMER

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

Financial Disclaimer

Wedaholic.com does not accept any liability for any 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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The Designer Wedding Show At Battersea Park on November 3rd - 5th, 2006
Date: October 12, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attire & Dresses & Hair & Beauty & Industry News & Invitations & Announcements & Shoes & Shopping & Shows & Unique Ideas

Following the National Wedding Show at Earls Court, nearly two weeks ago, comes another top class wedding show for all London brides. This time it is turn of The Designer Wedding Show at Battersea Park on November 3, 4 ad 5. There will be more than 130 quality creators of wedding gowns, accessories cakes, stationery, entertainment, cosmetics, shoes, tiaras, hats, cars, favours, gift lists, caterers, venues, - basically everything you need for the perfect wedding! I can thoroughly recommend it as I went in 2005.

The exhibitors include Ben De Lisi, Alice Temperley, Vera Wang, Susan Neville, Jenny Packham, Stewart Parvin, Christiana Couture, Pronovias Valentino Sposa, Elie Saab, Manuel Mota, Monique Lhuillier, Peter Langner, Oscar De La Renta, Reem Acra, Sharon Cunningham, Wedding Shop, Caroline Parkes, Christine Kendall, Simultane, Candy Anthony, Louise Selby, Sarah Owen, Sarah Treble, Sassi Holford, Hello!Lucky, Somerley, The General Trading Company, The Wren Press, Emmy Shoes, Goodwood House, Linda Fripp Cakes, Alastair Lockhart, Italian Secrets, Louise Richardson Stationary, Borrowed Blue Press, Abercrombie & Kent, Rachel Trevor Morgan, Jamie Aston Flowers And many more.

For more information, see DesignerWeddingShow.co.uk.

Key Facts About The Designer Wedding Show:

Location :
The Designer Wedding Show
British Genius Site
North Carriage Drive
Battersea Park
SW11 4NJ

Enter by Chelsea Bridge Gate on Queenstown Road

Click here for location map

Box Office : - 0870 190 9098 or book online here.

Tickets : cost £16.50 online (including £1.50 booking fee) and £17.00 on the door.

Door Times : 10am - 5pm daily.

Show Info : Catwalk Show - Included in ticket price & takes place 4 times each day - 10.30am, 12noon, 2pm & 3.30pm.

Food : Gourmet caterer Italian Secrets will be providing a choice of restaurants and bars. The restaurant will serve coffee and breakfast pastries until 11.30am, a two-course lunch from 12 noon and afternoon tea with a selection of Italian cakes will be served from 3pm. Click here to book a table and here to see the menu. The Pol Roger Champagne Bar will be in the centre of the exhibition.

Cars : Look out for AA yellow directional signs to the show.

Parking : Parking: Limited pay & display parking is available in & around the park and disabled parking is available adjacent to the exhibition hall.

Nearest Tube : Sloane Square (District & Circle Lines)

Nearest Station : Battersea Park - Overground from Victoria or Clapham Junction.

Complimentary Shuttle : Leaves from outside The Sloane Square Hotel every 10 minutes.

Bus : Numbers 44, 137, and 344

Email : info@designerweddingshow.co.uk

Organiser : Foxglove Events Ltd Po Box 28860 London SW13 8WT

Next Show : If you can't make this show one in November there is always the next on the 16 - 18 February 2007

Related Posts :
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Two Free Tickets For The Great Bridal Expo In New York
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Confetti.co.uk Coupon - Free Delivery On Orders Of £75 Or More
Date: October 10, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Coupons & Shopping

Hot off the press Confetti.co.uk have just released a coupon that entitles you to free shipping on any order over £75.

Free delivery on orders of £75 or more (excluding personalised stationery, insurance and wish list)

To claim free delivery on your Confetti.co.uk order you will need to enter the voucher code FRDEL06 into the shopping basket page, before placing your order. Existing members will need to sign in, new members will need to register first.

The promotion runs from Monday 2nd October to Tuesday 31st October, 2006. It is available on deliveries within the British Isles and only one promotional voucher per transaction is allowed.

N.B.You can still make a saving when you spend over £39 on cameras, just enter the code CAM2006 into the voucher code box, and press on “apply voucher” to receive your £10 discount.

Further Confetti.co.uk Reading:

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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Win A Free E-Engagement Announcement From OurWeddingCast.com Today
Honeymoon Wedding Registry Service Ideas - Lists With A Difference!
28 Reasons Why I Love Google!


Wedding Shop Review - Alena's Bridals in Fairfield, Connecticut
Date: October 09, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attire & Dresses & Reviews & Shopping

Here is our latest wedding shop review from a bride called Amy. She reviews a shop called Alena's Bridals in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Alena's Bridals - 1525 Black Rock Tpke, Fairfield, Connecticut 06825 Tel (203) 384-8085

"This was a walk in... shop is very small, I would say intimate but dresses were nicely organized and seperated by designer. I showed her the picture of a dress by Alfred Angelo (which is a line she carries) and they didn't have it in stock. They had similar dresses or could order that one for me if I wanted to purchase it.

She let me look around... giving me the bride-to-be opportunity to talk about my wedding and ideas. She picked out a beautiful tea-length dress and said remember you have to try something on to truely see it's potential. I loved the dress and the whole experience. I would say this shop is for people who need a little help seeing her potential.

Amy"

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

All wedding reviewer details are available upon request.

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London Designer Wedding Dress Sale - Up To 70% Off!
Date: October 04, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Budgeting & Dresses & Shopping

Imagine finding your perfect designer wedding dress discounted by up to 70%. Crazy I know, but if you pop along to the Thistle Kensington Palace Hotel, De Vere Gardens, Kensington, London W8 5AF on either the 25th or 26th November your dreams may just come true.

I recommend you register your tickets today. You will have the opportunity to choose from hundreds of designer wedding gowns at unbelievable prices!

The tickets are entirely free, they only ask that you let them know if you cannot attend so they can release your tickets to another bride. In registering for the sale you will have to book a specific session time so as proceedings run smoothly and the time you have to wait is kept to a minimum. (This way there is no occurrence of the chaos you see annually happen at Filene's Basement in Towson, Maryland). Don't worry if you are attending on Sunday, there will still be a good selection as restocking will take place on Saturday night - so rest assured there will be an excellent selection on Sunday.

The dresses on sale are a mixture of window dresses, fashion show samples, end of line gowns, one off prototypes and shop samples. Gowns will range from size 8 to 18, however the gowns will mirror UK sales trends with the majority being 12 to 16. Unfortunately this is just a bridal gown sale and there will be no opportunity for bridesmaids to try on bridesmaids gowns as well.

If you are looking to buy a gown then this is an excellent place to choose from a huge selection. Though the organisers state that if you are only hoping to browse and look for ideas, this really isn't for you and it is recommended you go to a department store or local boutique . It may seem harsh but I guess they only have so many staff and they are really looking to help brides that have a clear idea of what they are looking for.

How does the sale work?

Firstly you will be measured and advised of the appropriate size of gown you should look for. You are then free to browse and select gowns to try on. You will be helped by a trained bridal wear consultant who will help you find the right style of gown for you. An alterations service will be available for all brides.

Sadly if you see a gown you like, you won't be able to come back and try it again. All of the sale gowns will be leaving the hotel at the end of the sale and not returning.

Bridal designers include Amanda Wakeley, Anna Christina, Annabel B, Blue Strawberry, Caroline Castigliano, Christiana Couture, David Fielden, Fabio Gritti, Jasper Conran, Jenny Packham, Lyn Ashworth, One & Only, Peter Langner, Rebecca Street, Sharon Hoey, Sophie English, Toi Creazioni and many more..

If you are fortunate to find the dress of your dreams you should be aware that payment can be made with cash and credit/debit cards (if you have a new Chip & Pin card please make sure you know your Pin number)

Good luck and if you have any further questions please email info@bridaldesigner.co.uk

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Request Your Free Copy Of Confetti's New Catalogue Today!
Date: October 04, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Industry News & Magazines & Planning & Shopping & Stationery & Themes & Unique Ideas

>The new Confetti catalogue has just popped through my door! Having had a look at it I definitely recommend you request your free cop now.

Confetti's new catalogue is packed full of inspring ideas and products to help you create your perfect day. There are 115 pages divided into seven sections, namely: planning (p4-5), stationary (6-37), create your own (p38-63), table decorations (p66-87), party (p88-97), gifts (p98-107) and memories (p108-112). I can guarantee you will find things to make your wedding personal and unique.

Remember Confetti isn't just for weddings, but any event requiring a unique celebration - engagements, christenings, birthdays, anniversaries etc.

Further Confetti.co.uk Reading:

Confetti.co.uk Launch Their New Site - Wedding Planning Just Got A Whole Lot Easier!
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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World Wedding Dress Day
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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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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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Wedding Shop Review - Ruth's Flowers Shoppe & Gowns By Ruth & Audrey in Indianola, Iowa
Date: September 25, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attire & Dresses & Flower & Decorations & Jewelry & Reviews & Shopping

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

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

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

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

Shawna"

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

All wedding reviewer details are available upon request.

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Wedding Shop Review - Truly Delightful In Totnes, Devon
Date: September 20, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attire & Dresses & Reviews & Shopping

I recently received this wedding shop review from a bride called Clare. She reviews a shop called Truly Delightful in Totnes, Devon.

Truly Delightful - 8 The Plains, Totnes, Devon TQ9 5DW Tel 01803 863583

"Truly Delightful in Totnes Devon is the most fantastic weding shop EVER so good I travel down from Cheltenham to go there.

The two ladies that run and own it are absolutely fantastic. They just want you to look fab on your big day.

I went with my friend after trying a dress on there to get a second opnion. Whilst I was there they bought out a dress they had just got in that they thought would suit me more, I tried it on it looked fantastic and it was half the price!!!!! I totally recommend it.

Clare"

If you have had a positive wedding shop experience that you would like to tell everyone about, please do not hesitate to email me or simply post a comment on this page.

All reviewer details are available upon request.

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Check Out The Catwalk Couture Chic At The Autumn National Wedding Shows
Date: September 20, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attire & Bridal Party & Dresses & Industry News & Shopping & Shows & Themes & Unique Ideas

I have been reliably informed that the Autumn/Winter 2006 bridal collection appearing on the catwalk at this year’s National Wedding Shows in London and Birmingham will reflect the ‘wow’ factor normally associated with the catwalks of Milan, Paris, New York and London. The dresses will be glamorous with lines and structure that accentuate the bride’s curves. I have also learnt that colour is also a strong feature for this Autumn and all the shades of blues can be seen as well as pastel pink, peach and green.

Susi Rogol, Editor of Bridal Buyer comments:

“The choice is as breathtaking as the gowns themselves. Sumptuous Marie-Antoinette multi-layered skirts topped by tightly sculpted bodices (Sophia Coppola’s movie will make this the look); 50s-style flirty-skirt shorties with pretty princess necklines; slinky body-skimmers in soft, fluid fabrics worn with tiny lacey bolero tops, gossamer-fine shrugs, or short tailored jacket with high collars. Taffeta is the big-news fabric – crunched, scrunched, swathed and ruched to accentuate curves. Look out for colour – softly, softly pinks, blues, greens and rich topaz golds. There couldn’t be a better time to be a bride.”

The overall theme of the catwalk show is The Four Seasons. Brides, grooms and mother of the bride will find inspiration for all types of wedding.

Spring: Enchanted Garden with fauna and flora inspired decoration and Dressing Up Box with vintage inspired gowns.

Summer: Beach Bride will include a selection of chiffons, silks and natural fibres in neutral colours while Tropical Island will be the same in bold hot colours.

Autumn: Magic Carpet will showcase ethnic influences bridalwear as well as menswear followed by Medieval Heroes and Heroines in their rich and opulent fabrics and styles.

Winter: Snow Palace featuring cloaks and capes.

The catwalk shows will include a dazzling selection of wedding dresses, from top designers who create gowns for the stars to high street fashion brands, covering all budgets and tastes.

I can hardly wait!

If you are in or near London next week I highly recommend you take the time to visit the show. The dates are: London Earls Court Sept 29-1 Oct / Birmingham NEC Oct 13-15 Oct.

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Weddingbee.com Lists The Upcoming Trunk Shows And Sales In Manhattan
Date: September 19, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attire & Budgeting & Dresses & Shopping & Site Reviews & Wedding Blogs

Every Tuesday Weddingbee.com features listings of many of the upcoming wedding trunk shows and sales in Manhattan. In fact if you know of a trunk show, sample sale, or sale that isn't on their web page please send it to them at tips@weddingbee.com

I continue to thoroughly enjoy reading WeddingBee.com following my review back in May, though at times it is hard to keep up with the number of posts!

There are currently 15 “Miss Bloggers” who submit posts to the site, in conjunction with entries from 5 “Mrs Bloggers”.

I've only been to New York a couple of times and of course loved every second of it. I can only imagine how amazing it must be to actually get married there!

Weddingbee.com is a great insight on life in Manhattan, plus it provides all brides an extensive array of amazing wedding ideas where ever they live in the world.

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Wedding Shop Review - Christine Daniels in Bracknell, Berkshire
Date: September 19, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attire & Dresses & Reviews & Shopping

I recently received this wedding shop review from a bride called Nicola. She reviews a shop called Christine Daniels in Berkshire.

Christine Daniels - 1st Floor Princess Square, Bracknell, Berkshire RG12 1LS Tel 01344 425090

"Hello - I visited a bridal shop in Bracknell called Christine Daniels after the owner. Christine was absolutely brilliant and she takes bookings so that you have the whole place to yourself.

My bridesmaid and I were there for over two hours and tried on many many dresses, all of which were beautiful. I really struggled getting only three favourites on my list of dresses to think about when I left!!

Christine's was very professional and not pushy at all, in fact helpfully suggested coming back after having 'slept' on my decisions.

She also has a great selection of dresses in various sizes - something which is great if you are a bit curvier as many other shops I had been in only caterer for the slim girls when having things available to try on.

I would definately recommend the shop. - Nicola"

All reviewer details are available upon request.

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Wedding Shop Review - David's Bridal in Chattanooga, Tennessee
Date: September 19, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Bridal Party & Dresses & Reviews & Shopping

I have recently received wedding shop reviews from brides who subscribe to my weekly wedding tips, most being located in the US and the UK.

I believe it is useful to provide this information, so as engaged brides can see which shops have previously provided a good shopping experience.

The first review is definitely biased as it is written by someone who works in the actual shop! Nevertheless if an employee has taken the time to write to me with a informative review of their shop I see no harm in posting it. In fact I will gladly post this type of self promotion if it offers an interesting and valuable overview of their wedding shop.

So here goes, with a lot more reviews to come:

David's Bridal - Gunbarrell Pointe Shopping Center, 1820 Gunbarrel Road, Suite 400, Chattanooga, TN 37421

"I work at this particular wedding shop, so I guess this might be a bit biased....however...

The selection is huge here and you can buy your wedding gown, bridesmaids, mothers, or flower girl dresses off the rack or by order. There are informal and formal styles, the David's Bridal Collection and three designer collections featuring Oleg Cassini, Monique Luo, and Galina.

Bridal gown orders can take 12 weeks, but often come in in three or 4. Most bridesmaid orders take around 6 weeks but can get in in less than that in a lot of cases.

Prices are also reasonable and able to fit all budgets - styles run from $299 to $1200 for wedding gowns, and often there is a sale for $99 dollar gowns which discounts all other gowns and accessories. Bridesmaids run from $99-$240, so there is a choice for all budgets. (AND, your bridal party members get discounts on their gowns when you buy your wedding gown there...makes for happy people).

Sizes run from 0 to 26W in wedding gowns and 2 to 26 in bridesmaids/mothers styles. There are somewhere near 30 different bridesmaids colors and styles to match formal and casual weddings. Flower girls run from 18months to 14 childrens and Junior Bridesmaids are 8 to 18 childrens.

Almost all bridal accessories are available as well - veils, blushers, jewelry, headpieces, gloves, shoes, handbags, handkerchiefs, garters, etc. are available for order or purchase. A full line of dyeable shoes (sizes 5-11) and dyeable purses as well as silk shoes and purses (not dyeable).

You can check some of it out online at DavidsBridal.com, however not all items are on the website.

I really think it's a great resource especially if you are on a time crunch. Besides, if I do say so myself, the staff are splendid! Be sure to call for an appointment to ensure availability of a consultant when you arrive.

Debra"

All reviewer details are available upon request.

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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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How To Choose the Best Diamond Setting For Your Wedding Ring
Date: September 05, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Jewelry & Shopping & Traditions & Customs & Unique Ideas

When you select a setting for your diamond, you are choosing the stage that will allow your stone to shine. How can you choose the very best stage possible for your diamond to dance upon?

First, pick your star. Choose your diamond before you choose your setting. By looking at loose diamonds, you will be able to focus on the attributes of the stone itself.

Second, resist the urge to fall in love with the setting you saw in a magazine or jewelry store window. Keep an open mind and actually try a variety of settings on. You will be surprised at how different a diamond setting actually looks when you place it on your finger. You may also find that some settings enhance the diamond you have selected more than others.

Try on several settings before you decide which one is the right one. If you are buying a diamond online, go to a jewelry store and try on diamond settings like those you're considering.

Third, choose the type of metal you want for your diamond setting. Diamond settings come in yellow gold, white gold or platinum. Platinum is the most expensive option. More than 70 percent of diamond engagement rings are set in yellow gold, but you don't have to follow the crowd. Choose the metal that looks best with your skin tone, your diamond and your style.

Fourth, choose the style of diamond setting you prefer. You will have a nearly endless number of choices. You can opt for a solitaire setting where your diamond will stand alone in the spotlight, or a three-stone setting where diamonds or other gems will play a supporting role. Remember that the setting should enhance the diamond and allow the most light to play off the stone.

Do you want your diamond setting to have an ornate or a plain band? You can select bands that are covered with small diamonds or carved with intricate filigree patterns. The choice is yours.

Remember you get to set the stage!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good luck with your festive wedding!

Further Confetti.co.uk Reading:
Review Of Confetti's Glasgow Store by Brown.
Compare Confetti's Wedding Insurance to other UK products.
Confetti's New Must-Read Magazine - Confetti Receptions

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How To Design Your Own Engagement Ring Online


How To Design Your Own Engagement Ring Online
Date: August 14, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Engagement & Groom & Jewelry & Shopping & Unique Ideas

Designing your own engagement ring online has never been easier. Prospective grooms now have the opportunity to use sites such as Mondera.com. This gives them the functionality to design every aspect of the ring.

Before shopping online it is worth noting that wedding guidelines state that a man should spend approximately two months' salary on a diamond engagement ring, though obviously this is totally up to the groom at the end of the day. I would recommend though that you take the time to browse the internet and to educate yourself on all the possible options. In order to successfully design your ring it is important to understand each decision you make whilst making your order. This is one area where you don't want to make a costly mistake. It would also be prudent to take a look at your partner's existing rings to see if she has any strong preferences. Does she refer yellow or white gold, or even platinum, is there a common style that she buys for herself?

Using Mondera.com as an example, here are the steps you need to make. Firstly go to their build a ring page.

Select Your Diamond And Setting

1. Shape

The first step in creating the perfect unique ring is to select a diamond design, this involves choosing from the following shapes: round, princess, emerald, radiant, oval, pear, marquise, heart or asscher.

One of the most popular is the Round Diamond Cut. This shape is generally more expensive than any of the other fancy shapes that can be bought. It is of course not perfectly round but in fact has 58 facets including the culet. One of the newest shapes is the attractive Princess Cut, the appealing factor being the fact that it is rectangular but with the brilliance of a round cut. Another rectangular shape is the Emerald, this though has a “step cut” as opposed to a “brilliant cut” where its facets are broad.

Take time to browse the many images and pictures of these shapes before you make your final decision, and try to judge what shape would sit well on your partner's finger.

Find out more at BlueNile.com

2. Enter Price

Once you have decided on the diamond shape you can input your desired price range or leave it blank. I recommend you don’t enter a price as you are only searching at this stage and it is much more fun and informative to see all the options - even if you can't afford them all!

3. Select Your Search

Your options are Dynamic and Basic Search. The default is Dynamic, though please note that this requires Java. If your browser does not have this plug-in please click here

Within the Dynamic Search you have the ability to narrow your search down by moving the 5 sliders for Carat, Cut, Price, Color and Clarity.

As you can imagine there is quite a bit to understanding the terminology and science of each of these subjects, fortunately just a brief understanding of each will enable you to make an educated diamond ring purchase.

♥ Carat

To begin with it is important to know that the metric carat equals 0.20gram. You should be able to chose from a scale starting at ¼ and then onto 1/3, ½, ¾, 1, 1½, 2, 3, 4, and finally 13ct. As always you will need to work within your budget and determine the maximum carat weight you can afford without making too much of a sacrifice on the cut, color and clarify. If your preference is to build an engagement ring that has a heavy carat weight you may have to select a good cut, SI1–SI2 clarity and color in the “G – J near colorless” range

Find out more at Mondera.com, About.com, Wikipedia.com and BlueNile.com.

♥ Cut

Diamond cut as used in the Four C's refers to a stones ability to reflect light, not its outward appearance. We often confuse the shape of a diamond (round, pear, emerald, etc.) with the cut.

A good cut brings out the best. Just like a good haircut enhances the face, a good diamond cut will enhance the stone. A well-cut diamond will reflect the light it absorbs back out through its top surface, or table.

The “Cut” of the diamond is often referred to as the most important characteristic because without the right cut the sparkle will be dull despite perfect color and clarity. The diamond’s brilliance or sparkle is determined by its width and depth, perfect proportions will mean the light will enter the diamond and exit in the form of maximum brilliance. If the diamond is too shallow the light will escape through the sides and if it is too deep the light will exit from the bottom.

All diamonds are graded with the following characteristics: “ideal cut”, “very good cut”, “good cut”, “fair cut” and “poor cut”. An “ideal cut”” diamond represents roughly 3% of diamond quality based on cut, a “very good cut” represents 15%, “good cut” represents 25%, “fair cut” represents 35% and “poor cut” includes all diamonds that do not meet the “fair cut” proportion standards.

In addition the polish and symmetry of the diamond are two other important factors to be taken in to considerable when studying the cut of the diamond. The polish grade describes the smoothness of the diamond's facets, a dull polish will mean a lack of sparkle. The diamond’s symmetry grade refers to the alignment of the facets, light can be misdirected if the diamond possesses poor symmetry. All diamonds are graded with a American Gem Society “AGSL” or The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grading report. The AGSL report has the following sliding scale of ideal (ID), excellent (EX), very good (VG), and good (G). A (GIA) grading report ranks a diamond’s symmetry with a scale that starts with excellent (EX), then very good (VG), and ends with good (G).

If you retain any information from this article, make it this. The diamond's cut may be the most important feature. It is the cut that will have the most effect on how the diamond looks. A well-cut diamond will seem to generate a glow that comes from inside the stone. A poorly cut diamond will have little eye-catching sparkle. You don't have to be a rocket scientist or even a gemologist to know a well-cut diamond when you see one.

Find out more at Mondera.com, About.com, Wikipedia.com and BlueNile.com.

♥ Color

Next you need to decide the "color" of your chosen engagement diamond. The most expensive are those that have no color, known as white diamonds, these have hardly any yellow or brown in them. The scale on which the color of diamonds is measured is easy to understand as it is a simple sliding scale devised by the GIA where "D" is colorless and "Z" is yellow. In between you have grades such a "M" which is know as faint yellow and "R" known as very light yellow. Any diamonds that are graded "D" through to "F" are essentially colorless, and basically differ in transparency. These are will be highly sought after and consequently expensive. From K on, slight hints of color begin to appear.

Remember a diamond's value is strongly influenced by its color. People tend to prefer diamonds that are colorless, thus the more yellow you see - the cheaper it will be. You may also come across another color scale devised by the American Gem Society Labs. This works on grading color from zero to ten, where zero is completely colorless.

I recommend you do not buy a diamond graded with any other method than the two mentioned above.

Find out more at Mondera.com Wikipedia.com BlueNile.com and About.com for fancy diamond colors.

♥ Clarity

Next you need to select the clarity of the diamond you would like to buy. Diamonds with blemishes or inclusions are obviously not as rare as those without and hence a premium is paid for flawless diamonds. In fact if a diamond is completely free of blemishes when viewed under 10x loupe magnification it is deemed to be internally flawless (IF). The clarify ranges from IF, VVS1-VVS2, VS1-VS2, SI1-SI2 and through to I1-I3, this being a ring where inclusions are visible under 10x magnification as well as to the human eye.

After carat weight, diamond clarity has the biggest influence on price. Truly clear, faultless diamonds are rare and extremely expensive.

Most diamonds that have already been found to be jewelry grade look clear to the naked eye. Clarity is measured by what is not there. When a skilled gemologist grades a diamond's clarity, he will downgrade the stone if he finds inclusions or blemishes. Inclusions are imperfections, cracks or spots of colors within the diamond itself.

Blemishes are flaws on the exterior that may have been caused during cutting or polishing. Clarity matters because flaws affect a diamonds ability to reflect light. Obviously, you probably want to avoid diamonds in the lowest clarity grade category. Beyond that let your eye be the guide. Does the diamond sparkle? Can you see any imperfections that distract from the beauty?

Diamond clarity can be enhanced using lasers and fillings. Your diamond certificate should clearly state any treatments that have been used. Remember any clear fillings used to seal small surface cracks are not permanent and will need to be periodically inspected and perhaps replaced.

F - In this case F is a very good and very rare grade. A diamond given an F grade is judged to be flawless.

IF - These diamonds are internally flawless and also extremely rare. They may have minor surface blemishes.

VVS1-VVS2 - These grades are given to diamonds that have very, very slight inclusions that are very difficult for even an expert to detect under a microscope.

VS1-VS2 - Diamonds in this category have very slight inclusions that are not easily seen under a microscope.

SI1-SI2 - The slight inclusions in these diamonds can be seen when magnified 10 times under a microscope.

I1, I2 and I3 - Diamonds at this grade-level have inclusions that are visible to the naked eye.

Find out more at Mondera.com, About.com, Wikipedia.com and BlueNile.com.

Each diamond that fits your search criteria is listed with detailed information, including the certificate number, measurements, depth, table, gridle, culet, polish, symmetry and fluorescence.

Choosing yor setting

Once you have selected the diamond you want you are presented with a choice of settings. These include traditional solitaire setting, diamond accent setting, and gemstone accent setting. Each type of setting comes in a variety of styles, for instance the band you chose may be 18k white gold, 18k yellow gold or platinum. For example a band of platinum with a four-prong head accommodates a round diamond well, it is up to you though to study all of the alternatives.

Selecting the right ring size

Once you have selected the setting the final design choice is to decide on the ring size. Obviously for the ring to be a secret and a wonderful surprise it is different to measure your future wife's finger without her knowing. The measurement you need is in millimetres, we thus recommend you borrow a ring that you know your partners wears on her fourth ring and carefully place it on your little finger. Next make a note of wear it fits on the finger and use a piece of string or strip of paper to wrap around this point. Use a pen to mark the point that the string or paper overlaps itself, thus allowing you to measure the length in millimetres. Once you have this measurement you can use this chart to select the official size.

Alternative ways to get your partner's ring size without her knowing can be found at About.com

The only thing to do now is to pay for the price and wait for delivery within 3 - 4 weeks!

Good luck with your quest to build the perfect diamond engagement ring for your wife to be, hopefully with the information supplied above and by reading the detailed descriptions found on the merchant websites you will feel more comfortable with your purchase decisions.

Further Advice For Grooms On Buying Engagement Rings:
Engagement Ring Advice for Guys by Carly Wickell at About.com
Engagement Rings: Settings 101 at TheKnot.com
How To Buy Diamond Engagement Rings or Loose diamonds & Avoid Scams by Jeff Ostroff at BridalTips.com

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Announcing "Boudiche" - Edinburgh's Stunning Bridal Lingerie Boutique
Date: August 05, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attire & Lingerie & Reviews & Shopping

If you are local to Edinburgh then you should definitely check out a wonderful wedding lingerie shop called Boudiche on Frederick Street, literally just off Princes Street. You can check out their web site at Boudiche.co.uk. This really is a haven for all brides – the perfect place for you to find white, ivory and gold wedding strapless bras, basques and corsets. Boudiche offers you a marvellous opportunity to pamper yourself whilst you find elegant and beautiful lingerie for your wedding day. Whether you are looking for something luxurious, sexy or decadent, you will definitely be spoilt for choice!

This boutique style lingerie shop is run by Clare Thommen and Fiona McLean, two former charterd accountants, who were quick to fill the gap for an upmarket women's underwear shop back in July 2005. These two successful young female entrepreneurs have created a shop with a Parisian boudoir feel where you can truly relax and try on underwear at your leisure. Plush changing rooms with brass bells for assistance, a day bed, scented candles, Louis XV style chairs, massive chandeliers, Venetian glass mirrors and purple velvet drapes make Boudiche a truly welcoming place. Every exclusive designer range has been handpicked by the girls during their visits to fashion shows around the world including the top catwalks in the UK, France and Italy.

Clare says:

"We get lots of brides visiting Boudiche for their bridal lingerie and honeymoon underwear / swimwear and many of them have been looking for some time to find something really pretty, yet that they can wear under their wedding dress, and they are always delighted when they realise there is gorgeous lingerie for them (after having been told by many bridal shops or department stores to go for something really plain, skin coloured or that is going to hold them all in and look like Bridget Jones knickers)."

Bridal collections

The wedding lingerie ranges include Beau Bra, Damaris, Macpherson Intimates, La Perla Black Label, Lise Charmel, Maisie & Lilly, Spoylt, Rigby & Peller and Panache The honeymoon swimwear ranges include the “Just married” diamante bikini’s by Pin Up Stars and are exclusive to Bouchide.

Other designer ranges include Mimi Holiday, Lejaby and Argentovivo

Prices range from £25 to £300, so this really is a chance to treat yourself without blowing the wedding budget! Isn't it important you feel great on your wedding night - surely you can spend a little less on the favors i it means you get to wear amazing designer lingerie!

Bouchide is a fun place to shop with items such as a pair of chastity pants for the bride and a pair of blue satin pants that have a silver padlock on the front of them - the key simply says "For the Groom" !


Bridal appointment service

I recommend you take advantage of their special bridal appointment service for your very own bridal lingerie fitting. This is your chance to try on amazing wedding and honeymoon lingerie and swimwear while being given a VIP service and sharing a bottle of pink sparkling wine. Simply phone on 0131 226 5255 to make your appointment and receive a small mini heart soap gift. Appointments by arrangement are available between 10 and 5 Monday to Friday with some 6pm and 7pm evening appointments available and Sundays between noon and 4pm. In fact you can take along a bridal party of up to 5 people - so there is no excuse to include your mum and bridesmaids!

There is a booking fee of only £5 and this is redeemable against any order or purchase on the day.

Customer service

Both Clare and Fiona are passionate about underwear and are always on hand to advise and assist.

Clare says:

"Wearing something gorgeous gives you confidence. I think women should be able to wear quality underwear every day and not just for a special occasion."

Research shows that too many women actually wear the wrong bra size and this is your chance to have a proper fitting. Whether you are looking for a girly theme or an elegant look Boudiche is sure to have the style you are looking for.

Plus Size

Please don't worry if you are a plus size, as their bras start at a 30" back and go up to a GG cup size. Women with a fuller figure or large bust should certainly not worry - we certainly aren't all size 8 super models - though saying that it is fun to take a look at the celebrity ranges including Love Kylie and Caprice. There really are so many gorgeous and sophisticated garments for all sizes.

Reviews and awards

The shop has received rave reviews and is currently up for 'The Vows' awards this year, run by the Scottish Wedding Directory. Clare tells me that they are using Boudiche in some of their PR for the awards having interviewed one of their brides who felt they went the extra mile for her helping pull the last few things together for her on the day before her wedding which she was really grateful for.

Clare and Fiona were recently awarded joint second prize in the Edinburgh and Borders Shell Livewire Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2006.

More than bridal lingerie!

Finally remember Boudiche isn't just about bridal lingerie, they sell maternity, larger cup lingerie, loungewear, jewellery, shoes, bags, pampering products, menswear, swimwear, accessories, and make up.

Why not treat yourself to some lotions such as Mor's Marshmallow Body Polish and Butter or Pomegranate Bath Soak! Or alternatively go for the Gianna Rose Altier soap petals and soaps.

You can find Boudiche at:

15 Frederick Street
Edinburgh
EH2 2EY
0131 226 5255
Email: info@boudiche.co.uk
Web Site: Boudiche.co.uk

Printer friendly map and directions
Open 7 days a week

You currently can’t order online but they do accept telephone orders and goods are shipped first class within 24 hours.

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

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

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

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


Google Services:

♥ Google Answers

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

♥ Google Blog Search

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

♥ Google Book Search

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

♥ Google Calendar

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

♥ Google Catalogs

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

♥ Google Desktop

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

♥ Google Directory

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

♥ Google Earth

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

♥ Google Groups

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

♥ Google Images

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

♥ Google Maps

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

♥ Google Notebook

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

♥ Google Movies

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

♥ Google News

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

♥ Google Pages

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

♥ Google Suggest

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

♥ Google Video

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


Google Operators:

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

define:wedding

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

link:theknot.com

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

related:hitched.co.uk

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

site:weddingchannel.com

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

allintitle:wedding ipod

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

intitle:wedding budget

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

allinurl:wedding songs

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

inurl:wedding tips

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

wedding * dress

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

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

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

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

Related Posts :
CLICK HERE & GRAB WITH BOTH HANDS Your 273 Page Book To Planning The Perfect Wedding - No Catch - No Hassle - Simply Click For Your Secret To A Perfect Wedding
The Scottish Wedding Show at The SECC, Glasgow This Weekend
Wedding Podcast Network Offers Expert Advice On Your iPod And MP3 Player
How To Invite Children To The Wedding Ceremony Only
Review Of Confetti's Glasgow Store
Tips For Hosting An Outdoor Wedding Reception In A Unique Location


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

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

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

How Interactive Wedding Budget Planners work:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Advantages of creating your own Wedding Budget Planner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BridesMagazine.co.uk

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

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

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

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

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

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

BlissWeddings.com

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

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

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

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

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

ChicagolandWedding.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WedAlert.com

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

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

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

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

TheWeddingNetwork.co.uk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hitched.co.uk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UtahBrides.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

TheKnot.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good luck!

Related Posts :
CLICK HERE & GRAB WITH BOTH HANDS Your 273 Page Book To Planning The Perfect Wedding - No Catch - No Hassle - Simply Click For Your Secret To A Perfect Wedding
Tips For Hosting An Outdoor Wedding Reception In A Unique Location
Couples Saying "No Thanks" To £16,000 Wedding Budgets
Take A Peek At "The Running Of The Brides" Live Video
Discover Ken York's "Father Of The Bride" Wedding Advice Blog
Brand New Wedding Dresses Up For Grabs On eBay


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

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

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

Great layout and presentation

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

Table styles

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

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

Shopping assistance

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

What is on offer?

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

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

Best-sellers

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

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

Bargain hunting

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

Do-it-yourself

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

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

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

You can find Confetti at:

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

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

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

Related Posts :
CLICK HERE & GRAB WITH BOTH HANDS Your 273 Page Book To Planning The Perfect Wedding - No Catch - No Hassle - Simply Click For Your Secret To A Perfect Wedding
The Scottish Wedding Show at The SECC, Glasgow This Weekend
Fun And Stylist Wedding Gifts For Brides and Bridesmaids
How To Choose the Best Diamond Setting For Your Wedding Ring
Fancy Owning Madonna's Wedding Tiara?
How To Use Confetti.co.uk For A Stylish Christmas Wedding


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

Hi Everyone,

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

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

This was my reply:

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

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

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

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

Decorations for the Village Square

To create a romantic atmosphere try the following:

Lighting

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

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

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

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

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

♥ If there are trees surrounding the Square:

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

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

Flowers

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

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

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

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

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

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

Arch or arbor

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

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

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

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

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

Table decorations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Candles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Centerpieces

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional things to consider

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weather

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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The 2006 Scottish Wedding Show At The SECC Glasgow
Date: July 13, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Industry News & Shopping & Shows

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

Dates: 28-29 October 2006

Highlights & Features include:

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

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

♥ Free Make-Up Applications by Benefit Cosmetics in Scotland

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

♥ Free Specialist Beauty Advice & Demonstrations with medéspa

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

Event Organisers: Clarion Events Scotland Ltd

Location: SECC, Glasgow, G3 8YW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy bidding!!

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

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

1. Some guests just need some advice!

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

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

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

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

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

4.Taking the hassle out of having disposable camera!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The topics covered within the magazine are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Scottish Wedding Directory - For All Brides Marrying In Scotland
Date: June 30, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Directories & Industry News & Shopping & Site Reviews

Everyone loves a Scottish wedding! I know I won’t forget my big day back in 2000. I was blessed with glorious sunshine in Largs, Ayrshire.

These wonderful memories spring to mind on hearing that the Autumn/Winter 06 issue of the Scottish Wedding Directory is out tomorrow on the 1st July.

The Scottish Wedding Directory is a directory and 480 page magazine, split into two - The Directory and Scottish Wedding Venues.

The Directory features 750 wedding suppliers and is crammed full of ideas, advice, adverts, and pictures. In addition there are articles on everything from the latest trends in wedding gowns for Scottish brides to musicians, transport, photography, stationery and flowers. Also look out for a number of great competitions to be won!

The Magazine “Scottish Wedding Venues” offers comprehensive information on wedding venues throughout Scotland. This includes the “Gazetteer “ which enables you to quickly scan all the available venues and their facilities. There are also features on unusual venues, marquees, catering and a whole lot more!

This special 2 magazine package can be bought over the internet for £6 via this link. Delivery within the UK should take a minimum of four working days and includes postage and packing. You can also buy it from all major newsagents.

I would also highly recommend you checkout their website for every wedding service imaginable. For example whilst looking for stationary suppliers in Scotland I came across the very company I used, namely Isis Stationery. We combined the English rose and Scottish thistle motifs to represent the marriage of an Englishman and Scottish woman!

Finally before you leave the site sign up for their monthly newsletter, the form is on the left side of the homepage. Here is a link to the April newsletter called "Something New".

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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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Discover The Five Secrets To Wearing Stylish & Comfortable Wedding Shoes
Date: June 30, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attire & Bridal Party & Music & Dance & Shoes & Shopping

Wedding shoes have been important to the complete bridal ensemble ever since Prince Charming slid the glass slipper onto Sleeping Beauty's delicate foot. Today, it's important to make sure that the shoe you choose matches the style of gown you are going to wear, and with so many types of gowns and weddings this is quite a dilemma!

Are you getting married on the beach, in a church or in a rustic chapel? The range of shoes you may select from could include flip-flops, jeweled heels, leather boots or even the proverbial glass slippers with little kitten heels. There are a few things to keep in mind, however:

1. Remember to keep comfort in mind :

Your wedding gown is going to be the real focus of attention. In many cases, you gown is going to cover most, if not all, of your shoes, so don't choose a shoe that is excruciatingly painful because it is "gorgeous" if you know it is going to be painful by the end of the day. If you don't normally wear three inch heels, don't wear them on your wedding day. Choose a slender one-inch heel in an attractive style instead so that you will be comfortable. Or better yet, a lovely ballet-style flat that compliments your dress. Of course, if you are used to heels, by all means wear them!

Visit BridalShoes.com

2. Match fabrics as well as colors :

Many brides try to get shoes dyed to match their gowns and then are disappointed when they don't match because they have looked only at the price and gone with the cheapest material possible. If you choose a different material than what your gown is made from, the dye, no matter what color you attempt to use, will not "grab" the same, and the light does not reflect in the same manner. Satin, peau-de-soie, silk, brocade and other materials all have different reflective and dye qualities. You must choose shoes out of similar materials to get a good match.

Visit Shoes.com

3. Don't assume high price means best fit :

Having said that you should pay for good quality material, we won't claim that high price ensures the best fit. The only way to know what shoe fits you best is to try the shoe on. Each brand will run different, and some shoes will fit in one size in one brand and another size in another brand. If you want to dance the night away on your wedding day, be sure to walk around in a few pairs and check the fit so that you find a pair that not only looks great but fits comfortably. You may be surprised to find that some very inexpensive shoes have a fantastic fit.

Visit Shoebuy.com

4. Consider looking at shoes that aren't "bridal shoes" :

If you will be doing a lot of dancing, look into purchasing shoes from a store specializing in dance shoes. Ballet or ballroom shoes are designed to be extremely comfortable and come in a wide range of styles and colors that are extraordinarily versatile and attractive, with plenty of give and flexibility. Once you try these on, you may find yourself going back to these stores for special event shoes beyond your wedding day.

Visit BellissimaBridalShoes.com

5. Save money for your bridesmaids by going neutral :

If your bridesmaids are wearing pastels, consider allowing them to purchase off-white or white shoes. If they are wearing rich, deep tones, go with bone, taupe, muted metallics or even black for their shoes. Remember, if they are wearing floor-length gowns their shoes aren't going to show, and really, they aren't the center of attention - you are. Your bridesmaids will thank you for the opportunity to invest in comfortable, attractive shoes they can wear again and again instead of a pair of mint green heels that will languish in their closets and be tossed after they gather dust for months.

And last but not least visit QualityBridalShoes.com

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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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"Countdown to Your Perfect Wedding" - A Fantastic Guide For All Brides!
Date: June 01, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Books & Checklists & Planning & Shopping

With so many wedding planning books out there, it really isn’t easy for a bride to find one that will reliably hold her hand through the 12 months prior to her wedding. If you search on the term “wedding planning” in Amazon.com you are presented with nearly 700 book titles!

Thus I am pleased to recommend a book that is definitely a cut above the rest, meaning you can buy with complete confidence.

The book is called “Countdown to Your Perfect Wedding”,, written by Joyce Scardina Becker and published by St. Martin's Press. I first came across Joyce on the expert panel at the blog Herecomestheblog.com whilst writing a recent review of four top wedding blogs. Joyce runs a wedding planning and design company based in San Francisco called Events of Distinction, catering for the Who’s Who list of influential luminaries.

I continually receive questions from brides on checklists and wedding planning advice and from now on I will always be advising the purchase of this superb 310 page book!

The beauty of "Countdown to Your Perfect Wedding” is that it is arranged on a 52 week timeline, thus guiding you through the all important milestones. Each task is broken down into a manageable chunks of information, ensurung you won't miss anything as you approach your big day.

Joyce has received many excellent reviews, including this one from Diane Forden, Editor in Chief of Bridal Guide magazine:

"Joyce Scardina Becker's experience as a wedding consultant is obvious on every page of this book. Her insight, invaluable advice and smart ideas are sure to ease the wedding planning process for help engaged couples everywhere."

And also this review from Antonia van der Meer, Editor in Chief of Elegant Bride and Modern Bride magazines.

“Today’s bride faces so many important decisions, from selecting the dress of her dreams to making sure every last detail of her big day is picture perfect. Joyce Scardina Becker’s book is a well-organized, thoughtful and enormously helpful guide to the modern bride seeking thorough and creative solutions to wedding planning.”
Available from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

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

Recently I received the following question on tipping wedding suppliers:

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

Here is my response:

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

Etiquette

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

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

Budget

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

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

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

Contracts - read the small print

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

Tipping Guidelines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional Tipping Tips!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How To Buy Your Wedding Dress in the UK For as Little as £60!
Date: April 23, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Budgeting & Dresses & Industry News & Shopping

I love my wedding dress to bits and I can't imagine ever throwing it away. It would be like throwing away some of the memories, plus I daren't think about the cost!

Here in the UK I'm not surprised to hear that the average cost of a wedding gown is now £826, an increase of 32% from the price tag of £625 in the year 2000. I know for a fact that most brides can't afford a dress at this price, though this doesn't stop them taking out a loan to pay for all or part of their wedding. As the average cost of a wedding soars to £20,000 in the UK it just scares me the amount of debt newly weds commit to at the beginning of their married lives.

So with all this in mine wouldn't it be great if you could buy a wedding dress for under £100, in fact pick it up whilst doing your weekly supermarket shop!

No I'm not dreaming because I would like to report the launch of the new George Bridal Collection at ASDA supermarkets in the UK! I have written a lot in Wedaholic.com about saving money and try to offer as many tips as possible, because not surprisingly it is a major source of stress. So for the budget consious I would like to point out that buying a dress from a supermarket may not be such a bad idea when you consider the oppportunities you have to personalise it.

Much of the media focus has been on a 2 piece cream wedding dress, where the corset top is £25 and the line skirt is £40. Though the collection also includes a 100 per cent polyester ruched-front dress retailing for £60 with a netted skirt and a contemporary full-length gown. In addition you can buy another second full-length gown which is described as sleeker with thin straps around the top. The bias cut dress is 100 per cent silk.

Angela Spindler, George's managing director, said:

"You've heard of fairytale weddings. We think that most wedding dresses are being sold with a fairytale price tag."

I read online that Kay Davidson, a corporate designer and personal stylist, praised the styling of the two-piece dress.

"They have kept it simple to reduce the cost but it allows the bride to customise the dress easily by adding beading or lace."

I couldn't agree more, why not get a dressmaker to add some elegant embroidery!

In fact for as little as £35 you can buy an adult bridesmaid dress and even cheaper at £18 you can purchase dresses for 1 to 10 year old girls.

So there you have it will this be the start of all supermarkets offering affordable wedding dresses? I do hope so!

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The Designer Wedding Show
Date: October 29, 2005 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attire & Dresses & Hair & Beauty & Shopping & Shows & Themes & Unique Ideas

Planning a wedding is all about exposing yourself to as many ideas as possible in the beginning.

For those in the UK I highly recommend "The Designer Wedding Show", at Battersea Park, London on November 4, 5 and 6 where you will be able to see the latest designer bridal collections from more than 24 of the world's top bridal designers.

For more information, see DesignerWeddingShow.co.uk

Key Facts:

Box Office - 0870 190 9098.

Tickets cost £15 in advance or £16.50 on the door.

The Designer Wedding Show
British Genius Site
North Carriage Drive
Battersea Park
SW11 4NJ

Enter by Chelsea Bridge Gate on Queenstown Road


2 for 1 Offer: Quote "The Daily Telegraph" when booking and you will receive two tickets for the price of one. Offer closes on November 2.

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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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