30th March, 2013 - Posted by Lia - No Comments
When it comes to preparing a wedding, it can become really stressful – so hiring a wedding planner seems like a tempting way to eliminate that stress. However what are the advantages and disadvantages to getting hired help to do the work for you – we assess some of the pros and cons.
The positive side is that instead of worrying about the caterers and getting a good venue, you can get someone else to do it for you. So you can focus on more fun things like your honeymoon or making yourself gorgeous for the day.
A wedding planner can make sure that everything will run smoothly on your big day, and because someone else is focusing on the little stressful details means that you’ll be a beautiful and relax bride rather than one who is fretting about everything being perfect.
Connections are also the key – and a professional wedding planner will know who to go to for the right food, venue, flowers and who can send out those perfect invitations. You want a vintage wedding but have no idea where to start with the details? A planner can sort all that out for you with minimum effort.
So what are the downsides? Well, primarily there is the cost. Weddings are expensive as they are on their own – without hiring a personal assistant to take care of all your whims. You might have a better idea for budgeting, a wedding planner may not be aware of these concerns.
Also planning is a lot of fun. Many brides and grooms enjoy getting ready for the big day – assuring that they’ll have the most perfect experience imaginable. You might tell a planner you want vintage, thinking of throwing a 1930s jazz era and you end up with a Mad Men themed event. You may be specific and know what you want, but the wedding planner may believe they know best. In fact, perhaps working with a planner may stress you out even more!
At the end of the day, if you’re not sure what to do and need a helping hand – and you can afford it a wedding planner may be a good investment. But for the more creative types or those who know what they want, then perhaps it’s better to plan it yourself. The main question is whether you trust someone else, no matter how professional they are, to plan your special day.
24th February, 2013 - Posted by Lia - No Comments
Strippers and beer – those are the first thoughts to come into our heads when we think of bachelor parties, and most brides to be dread them. But there is a way to celebrate your last night of freedom without the kegs and tangas.
A good way to plan a fun and classy bachelor party is to pick an activity and base the party around that. Just because you leave out the naked dancing girls doesn’t mean it’ll be a boring affair. Make it a night to remember rather than a cliché.
If the groom is looking for something wild, then why not get the adrenaline pumping? Rent some ski jets for the day or head up to the mountains for some snowboarding or skiing.
Paintballing is another fun way to let boys be boys, and this way no one gets hurt or even hung over.
Sports are a great chance for some male bonding, either plan a game of soccer or basket ball or attend a professional game together. Golfing or bowling are also good ways to have some lad time.
For those of you looking to mark your last days as a bachelor in style then create a casino night. Hire a professional croupier, sip some martinis while wearing a tuxedo and you too can feel like something out of a James Bond movie.
Rugged and outdoorsy types may enjoy a camping trip to the mountains with some good old hiking.
Have fun and be sensible – don’t do anything insanely dangerous. The bride is not going to be very happy when presented with a husband-to-be with a broken limb. A cast on the leg will make for a big damper on the honeymoon.
It’s a nice touch to surprise the groom with the party, but do take into account his own interests and personality. If he’s not the outdoorsy type, then perhaps the camping trip that may be heaven for you could turn out hell for him.
Once you’ve picked your central, bachelor party activity then be sure to plan a good meal afterwards. In the summer, something on a terrace or in the garden makes a good choice, while winter celebrations may benefit from something more formal. If you opt for the later, why not rent a room at the groom’s favorite restaurant?
Enjoy a bit of boisterous fun with funny toasts and an alternative version of the best man’s speech you’d rather the bride’s parents didn’t hear.
8th February, 2013 - Posted by Lia - No Comments
Cocktail hour is one of the most important parts of the wedding reception – it gives your family and friends a chance to mingle and have a bit of a social time before the formal sit-down dinner. You can opt for something understated and elegant like the champagne cocktail, but if you’re looking to dazzle guests, then try out some of these concoctions on your big day.
Find the big day tiring and you’re looking for a pick-me-up to fuel you for a long night of revelry? Then the Espresso Martini is the cocktail you need. For coffee lovers, this is the perfect drink, combining coffee flavored vodka with Kahlua, Bailey’s and espresso.
Throw it into a shaker with some ice cubes; throw it about a bit before you strain it into a martini glass. Garnish with a few coffee beans and that’ll keep your guests buzzed till the late hours.
If you have a taste for the sour and tangy, then Lemonhead is what the doctor ordered. This is made by mixing up some sprite, sour mix, Smirnoff Citrus vodka, a little triple sec and a dash of pink lemonade. Make sure you serve this up in a sugar-rimmed glass.
For a berry flavor, dazzle guests with a Purple Haze – a blend of alcoholic raspberry, cranberry juice, Chambord and Champagne or a Berritini, swapping the Champagne for sour apple rum. Serve them up in a martini glass and you’re good to go!
If you’re having a summertime wedding, then the Watermelon Martini is the trick. Just add some Watermelon liqueur, like DeKuyper Watermelon Pucker to Midori, Citron vodka and sour mix. This is ideal for those who don’t like the taste of alcohol but are looking for a buzz.
Are you a sweet tooth? Do you want something luxurious and sensual to offer your guests? Then the White Chocolate Truffle cocktail fits the bill. This dessert-in-a-glass combines vanilla vodka, Bailey’s, Frangelico and Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur. Add a bit of espresso, a dash of milk and Kahlua and it’s a bit of decadence that packs a punch – despite its innocent appearance.
These picks are guaranteed to get your guests talking and will help to make your wedding a big one to remember, however there are always some safe options to keep in mind for guests who like their traditional cocktails. Make sure you have the ingredients stacked for a Mojito or a Margarita, which can of course come in a variety of flavors. Some love the traditional Martini, whether made with gin or vodka. For the ideal mix, offer your guests a mix of traditional, tried and tested cocktails alongside those of a more adventurous nature – who knows after a few safe Mojitos, you’ll find guests with a White Chocolate Truffle or a Purple Haze in hand. Definitely a wedding to remember – or not to remember, if your guests get carried away with the cocktails.
6th February, 2013 - Posted by Lia - No Comments
Centerpieces set the theme for the room and define the décor. Depending on the theme you’re going for, your centerpiece will be the defining element in capturing the essence of your wedding day. There are many ways to create effective centerpieces, from lighting to mirrors, flowers to water dyes, the only limitation here is what your imagination is capable of.
To set the mood, you want one large centerpiece to catch your guests’ eyes, but then replicate that in miniature on each table. For example, you have a large floral display on the main table, size that down on the individual tables scattered round. An effective way to illustrate this is to invest in vases of varying sizes, that way you can cater your floral arrangements appropriately around the house.
A creative technique for flower arrangements is to buy some colorful vase filler and top up some martini glasses and add some flower heads on top. Do you have large lilies on your table, then set only a few small lily heads in the glasses decorated round the tables. You can also go in the favor of candles and opt for floating candles in martini glasses or glass pearls.
Another eye catching centerpiece idea is to opt for hanging glass orbs. You can do a lot with this, whether you chose to go with elaborate floral displays or candles.
Rustic colors and textures are in season this year, and a great way to capture that is to use bark in your decoration and centerpieces, birch is a particularly great choice in doing this. You can couple these with wildflowers, berries or even dried flowers to recreate that countryside charm. Ghost wood branches and natural branches are also effective to capture the feel of the outdoors.
For a modern, avant-garde feel, use some midollino sticks to create a sense of height and shape. Go wild with the colors, deck the top with flower heads, again there is just so much you can do with this. Other alternative flower displays are agora vase stands, vials and mirrored vases, to give a futuristic element to your displays.
Candles wrapped in diamond mesh wrap invoke a sense of glamour and festivity. They’re an inexpensive and beautiful way of crafting a centerpiece that’ll add class to your wedding.
The options are limitless, and you’re really spoiled for choice with the number of ideas out there for centerpieces. Decide on what kind of wedding you’d like to have and then you can go crazy with the designs, techniques and applications of your centerpieces.
24th January, 2013 - Posted by Lia - No Comments
Planning a wedding is one of life’s most stressful experiences – so why not take the edge off and hire a wedding planner? If you decide to go down this route, then you need to make sure you’ve got the right wedding planner to match your needs. Here are some tips to help you find the right fit.
One thing that’s important to take into account is that the very first impression is everything. When you meet a wedding planner – go with your instinct. It’s vitally important that you pick someone you’re comfortable with, if you’re going to leave your big day in the hands of someone else you’ll need to trust them and you’ll also need to have a good relationship. The same goes for taste. You need to like your planner’s aesthetic. Take a look at their website. Do the photos and testimonials appeal to you?
Weddings are expensive affairs, so make sure that the planner knows your financial situation. It’s hugely important that they plan a wedding that doesn’t break your bank account. Draw up a budget and be firm on it. Make sure they keep you up to date with the costs so you have no nasty surprises. A good planner should be able to tell you what to prioritize and what to cut.
Be clear on vendors. A good planner will come up with a selection of retailers and caterers with a list of prices. Discuss this together on which one would be the optimal choice for your wedding. This is a good time to find out how the planner can get the best deals with these vendors for your wedding. Perhaps the planner has a good relationship and gets a discount. This can play to your advantage rather than going out and looking for a place on your own.
Your wedding is about you, and a good planner knows that your needs come first. They need to be flexible about working with your preferred vendor, for example.
When meeting your planner, you need to find out what they can contribute. You might have your own ideas, but a good planner might be able to expand on your original idea to bring things above your expectation. You might have the idea for a theme and your planner can help bring that to life in a way you couldn’t have imagined.
Organization is key, and you need to make sure your planner can deliver a projected timeline and milestones. This will help you see how the planning process is coming along and what needs thinking about. You’ll get an impression just how your wedding is going to shape up and you can tell whether your expectations will be met.
19th January, 2013 - Posted by Lia - No Comments
You’ve spent ages planning the perfect wedding from the location and your wedding dress down to the finer details such as the flower arrangement. Now all you need is someone to capture your special day so you can cherish the memories for life.
First and foremost – do your research. There are so many wedding photographers to choose from that finding the right one for you might take some time. There are plenty of websites out there that can help out, but you can also do a little bit of investigation at some wedding fairs, where you can personally meet photographers and get a sense for their style, not to mention their prices.
There is this trend to find a photographer with an avant-garde style, but honestly, it’s a much better bet to stay traditional. The last thing you want is for your wedding photographs to look dated in ten years time. Opt for someone who has a timeless style and avoid any gimmicks because these go out of fashion very quickly. You also want to avoid a photographer who depends on Photoshop. Find someone who is skilled at capturing the right light and angles, and you’re set for some classy and beautiful memories.
It’s vitally important to meet the photographer before the wedding. You can discuss your needs and requirements, and build up a relationship with them. Meeting up for the first time six months in advance is a good time.
Make sure the images from your wedding are sharp and with good exposure. Many photographers use digital cameras, so make sure they can give you high-resolution images so you can make print copies to give to family and friends.
Discuss the budget in advance. What you don’t want are any additional costs to surprise you on the day. Check for wedding packages, these are a good way to know what you’re getting and you’ll be able to budget for it.
Do make sure you know what you want. Provide the wedding photographer with a list of shots that you desire, so that way they can plan to capture things the way you want. This will help you to speed up the time it takes on formal photographs, which you have to admit are pretty tedious, so you and your guests can enjoy the party.
Finally, how would you like to receive your images? Are you looking to get them on a disk instead of the traditional photo album? Maybe the photographer could set up a website where your friends and families can take a look at their own liberty. Some packages might give you a mix between prints and digital.
So with a little research and communication, it’s really easy to find the perfect photographer for your special day.
4th December, 2012 - Posted by Lia - No Comments
We might not get our celebrity weddings, but we can watch and dream about them, so here’s some of the most iconic weddings of all time to inspire you.
Grace Kelly’s story is that of pure fairytale. The beautiful Hollywood actress married Prince Rainer of Monaco in the mid-fifties in a gorgeous lace and silk dress. She began a huge new trend in wedding couture, moving the trend away from the slender styles that were in fashion back into the full, and traditional wedding gowns.
Jacky Kennedy became one of the biggest style icons of the 60s, so it’s only understandable that she’s gone down in the wedding history books. Her wedding dress is one of the most photographed in the history of the USA, which is unsurprising since she became the most elegant and stylish First Lady’s in history.
Gwen Stefani has always been a style icon, ever since she’s been in No Doubt, so when she married in 2002, we were all dying to see what she would wear. Her marriage to Gavin Rossdale took place in Covent Garden in London, where she wore a stunning dress designed by friend John Galliano, in pink and white. Different and unique – that’s our Gwen!
Love them or hate them, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes became the most talked about couple of all times following their intense, whirlwind romances. The couple married back in 2006 in an Italian castle in what was truly a decadent ceremony. The couple walked down the aisle in Armani with some of the top stars in the audience including Jennifer Lopez and Victoria Beckham.
With Tom paired off, it seems only fair that Nicole followed suit, who married Keith Urban in 2006 on her home turf in Australia. Kidman wore a gorgeous Balenciaga dress paired with Christian Louboutin heels.
Naturally, it’s impossible to talk about iconic weddings without talking about Prince Charles and Princess Diana. The wedding pictures from the 1980 wedding went on to define a whole era, with the dress spawning a trend of meringues. Diana’s bridal gown was designed by Emmanuel and carried a 25-foot train and 10,000 hand sewn sequins and pearls.
Speaking of royalty – how can we forget the royal wedding of 2011 between Prince William and Kate Middleton! Regal, yet at the same time understated. St. James’s Palace has just announced that Kate Middleton is Pregnant
We might not have the budget for a celebrity wedding or a designer gown, but we can all take home a little bit of the dream and try to incorporate it in our own wedding day.
25th November, 2012 - Posted by Lia - No Comments
Everyone knows that accessories make the outfit, and one way to complete your bridal look is by picking the accessories that are right for you, so let’s take a look at what’s hot for 2013.
Vintage is going to be all the rage in the upcoming year, most especially with the Great Gatsby glitz and glamour of the 1920s. So flesh out your outfit with art deco pendants and earrings and go vintage. If you have some vintage jewelry handed down to you by your grandmother, that even better, but there are plenty of contemporary pieces that follow an antique design and will suit your needs.
Another hot thing for 2013 is the rustic feel and getting back to basics with nature. Think florals, leaves and buds for inspiration. Give yourself a delicate rustic touch, whether it’s in your bouquet or opting for a traditional flower wreath to wear down the aisle. It’s romantic and a soft look, and great for brides looking for a more bohemian edge.
One trend that’ll be huge in 2013 on the bridal catwalks is avian; yes anything to do with birds is going to be hot, hot, hot. Feathers are all the rage, whether you choose to decorate the rims of your gown with bird feathers, opt for an avian headdress, or choose jewelry with an “eggy” theme. It brings a whole new meaning to the word “lovebird.”
Nothing says romance like the city of Love, Paris, so why not bring a bit of French glitz and glamour to your wedding with some classy Parisian style accessories? Think glamour and think couture. Take a stroll down the Champs Elysees or pick up some elegant pieces from Chanel if you really want to feel like a Parisian goddess.
Finally, color is back in again for the wedding, and whether you’re opting to go for a bolder statement by bypassing the traditional white wedding dress for colors, or you’re just choosing to accent your write wedding gown with some color detail, you have plenty of accessories to choose from. Make a statement with some bold colors or keep to tradition by simply adding something blue to your outfit.
There are so many looks to choose from, and whether you plan on going all out with the full spirit of these looks or whether you’re just up for a touch of vintage or bird theme, the accessories are out there to make you the most beautiful bride.
21st October, 2012 - Posted by Lia - No Comments
There is something magical and romantic about winter, and it’s not just Christmas. It’s the snow coating the floor of the world to the warm, snuggled evenings by the fire sipping mulled wine – so why not go for a winter wonderland themed wedding?
When it comes to dressing to impressing, winter is the ideal time and there is just so much opportunity to pull of the glamour of old Hollywood. You can have the groom in vintage tails and the bride could wear a long, slinky silk dress with just a touch of fur or faux fur. Even opting for a glamorous strappy dress that might seem impractical for the winter months can be warmed up with wraps, shrugs and even capes for those outdoor shots in the snow. You can even play with the concept of the wrap, giving those to your brides maids as part of their wedding attire and makes a great present.
Good locations for a winter soiree is an inn with a fireplace for a more intimate affair, but for those with bigger parties and bigger budgets could hire a historic mansion or a historic club house. Make sure to decorate the place with seasonal decorations, and asking the venue to use their usual Christmas ones may also help you save money on the décor. One thing that is important – check the heating. Getting married in drafty and cold church may give you chills from the cold rather than from emotion.
You can go all out on a seasonal theme with warm, winter dishes like a delicious pumpkin soup. Serve hot beverages like eggnog, mulled wine or even hot chocolate where the latter can even be spiced up with a little rum. You can opt for the traditional white wedding cake with a little winter embellishment from snowflake patterns to sugar sculptures or even acorns. Try to get a decorative snow globe to place on top of the cake.
Winter may not be famed for its floral season, but you can find some flowers that’ll fit right well in the season. You can go for an elegant look of white and silver or be bolder with Christmas colors of reds and greens. Think of dusty-miller, baby blue eucalyptus or silver-dollar eucalyptus for silvery looks and pair them with white roses, crocuses or even lilies. Red roses with holly and pine greenery make a great choice for a more seasonal bouquet, but you can also pick tulips or even ornamental berries for that Christmas feeling.
21st October, 2012 - Posted by Lia - No Comments
Congratulations, you’re getting married! Now comes the fun part of making a ton of decisions as to how you’re going to host the big day. One question that is a must for any bride and groom to be is how large the wedding should be – are you opting for a large or small wedding?
The most important question that needs asking concerns the topic of budget. Some couples might choose to take out a second mortgage to pay for their wedding years later, but perhaps your lucky and have parents who can afford to foot the bill.
There are many girls who fantasise about wearing the most beautiful dress in a regal wedding – but just how realistic is that dream?
Perhaps less is more some of the times, and some statistics show that large weddings often end in a messy divorce in the space of a couple of years. The money saved on a big wedding could go towards a new house, a large honeymoon or even a college fund for the kids.
A large wedding involves so much planning – from caters, renting a reception hall, bridesmaids dresses, flower girls, food planning and preparation and so on. A smaller wedding would be so much less hassle where maybe you might just think about having a maid of honour.
Also, do you really want to invite those relatives you never see or speak to? How about an intimate ceremony with your closest friends and relatives in a small church or even a house? It’s also possible to host a beautiful wedding in a courthouse.
For an intimate gathering, you needn’t worry so much about getting a professional photographer on board; just get a friend with a good camera and a good eye to capture the memories.
Large weddings are the dream of any bride and hold a fairytale status. However, unless you’re a royal or a Kardashian, perhaps opting for a smaller affair is the wisest. Just because you don’t invite hundreds of people to your wedding doesn’t make it a dull affair. Some of the loveliest weddings have been the simplest and it’s about the two of you anyway, not about your extended family.
If you can afford a big wedding, then don’t write it off. But otherwise maybe it’s a good idea to question whether a large-scale function is what you really want and to weigh up the pros and cons.