Bridesmaids top tips for the big day

The bridesmaid’s role at a wedding might not be as clearly defined as the best man’s, but it’s just as vital. And from emotional support to practical assistance, your duties start long before the big day.

1) Check the Venue

You might be asked to help set up or make sure the placing is correct on the morning itself. Don’t worry about losing out on “getting ready time” — remember the bride is the only one who needs to look perfect, your help and support is much more valuable.

2) Getting Ready

Get dressed as quickly, quietly and efficiently as you can (the bride won’t thank you for hogging the GHDs or having a tantrum over a bad hair day) and take charge of any younger bridesmaids to ensure everyone’s dressed with hair and make-up done.

3) Act as Photographer’s Assistant

Before the ceremony, liaise with the photographer as well as rounding groups of guests up later on.

4) Attend the Bride

As well as walking down the aisle, hold the bouquet as she says her vows and arrange her train. Later, check she and the groom have champagne and canapés.

5) Public Speaking

More and more bridesmaids are making a speech, They’re also often asked to give a reading and the chief bridesmaid may be a witness. So be prepared to show the best man how it’s done.

6) Be Ready for Emergencies

Have a kit prepared, including lipstick, sewing essentials, tissues, baby wipes and blister plasters.

7) Get the Party Started

Make sure guests go in to the wedding breakfast when they should, and be one of the first onto the dance floor later.

8) Don’t Forget the Details

Check everyone has confetti, remind the bride to throw her bouquet (and make sure there are people to catch it!) — you can even help to distribute the cake.

9) Go the Extra Mile

One idea is to take the brides mobile phone on the morning of the wedding and not let her have to deal with any phone calls. Let her enjoy her morning and get ready without the hassle of having to answer calls.

Wedding Times

What Time Of Day Should You Get Married?

While 11am or 1pm remain the most popular ceremony time historically, sunset and candlelit weddings are pretty appealing too.  So, how should you choose what time to get married?

When you first meet with your wedding venue coordinator, you’ll be presented with options for the scheduled timings of a traditional wedding day. While they may be popular for good reason – a 1pm ceremony gives you plenty of time to get ready and take photographs with your bridal party – there’s nothing to say that your perfect day has to fit the same mould.

Over the last few years, here in the UK marriage laws have relaxed considerably. These allow for more relaxed schedules in turn. So, if you’ve been imagining a sunrise elopement with the dawn chorus or exchanging vows beneath the stars, they needn’t be pipe dreams anymore.

There may be times that are particularly sentimental for you as a couple. How about the time of your first date, of the proposal, or other relationship milestones, for example. You could use these to guide the time you marry too.

The time of year you choose to tie the knot will influence the time you choose to hold your ceremony. If you want a candlelit ceremony or to have your couples portraits at sunset, then you’ll be able to tie the knot much earlier in the day during the winter months than in the summer.

But, while moonlit ceremonies do sound very romantic, you must consider the practicalities of your chosen times too. Your wedding needs to be held at a comfortable time for your guests to attend and suppliers to set up. Thorough planning in advance will make many things possible, though.

Perhaps the set up can be completed the day before and accommodation provided for your guests…

There’s also the question of whether you want exclusive use. If you’ve chosen a wedding venue that is open to the public, then you may need to work around their opening hours to have the place to yourselves. You could encounter this if your venue is a country house with open gardens during the day, a gallery or a museum, for example.

There are benefits of marrying a little later in the day once the crowds have dispersed, though. A 5pm ceremony means you only need to cater for one meal, saving you a significant sum of money that could be invested on your honeymoon instead

On the other hand, if you’ve booked multiple wedding entertainment acts, then it makes sense to hold your ceremony earlier to give you time to enjoy it all. We’ve seen couples book everything from magicians and fire-breathers to photobooths, bands and bouncy castles. Some entertainment will be better suited to the daytime or evening. Anything for children specifically should be planned earlier in the day.

 

DIY your Wedding

It’s great to see that so many brides and grooms-to-be are drawing on their own talents, and no doubt those around them, to make their big day their own. It is lovely to be able to make your wedding special and unique to you by having real input into it.

When the newlyweds were asked to reveal which items were made or altered through do-it-yourself means, they found the most common DIY details to be the favours, invitations, and the wedding cake. The more unusual answers included the wedding dress (9%), the music or entertainment (6%), and even conducting the service or ceremony (2%)!

Here are the top 10 DIY details at weddings:

Photography – 19%

Flowers – 18%

Catering – 15%

Order of service prints – 14%

Guest book – 13%

Beverages – 11%

Favours – 41%

Invitations – 38%

Wedding cake – 24%

Venue decorations/styling – 21%

DIY is not for everyone, though, and if you’re starting to feel a little overloaded or panicked, you need to make sure you have time to put your feet up too! It’s okay to get some outside help, but be sure you can trust wedding suppliers and that they can help you make your dreams a reality.

A survey conducted found that fewer than one fifth of weddings do not feature any do-it-yourself touches, with the vast majority of newlyweds relying on the method to save a bit of money, add that oh-so-special personal touch, and to make sure everything is done the way you want it.

Most guests love to see a bit of a handmade touch in weddings, and that’s why there is no surprise about how many people are DIYing their wedding these days.

 

Budget Wedding Decorations

Perfect as favours or place names, why not showcase your talents as we show you how to make these fun felt wedding decorations

What you need

  • Coloured felt
  • Stuffing (cotton wool balls)
  • Contrasting thread or wool
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Card template

Instructions

Pin your heart template to your felt (you can print a paper one from the computer) then cut around the template. Be sure to keep the template tight to the felt for a professional-looking finish.

Put the two felt hearts together and pin in the centre. It’s now time to start stitching, using a blanket stitch. If you are unsure of this stitch, you are sure to find it on You Tube.

For the stuffing we used unravelled cotton wall balls. Stuff as much or little as you like, the more shape the better the finish.

Continue to sew the heart, once at the end, tie a knot with the needle and thread. Snip the ends and you have a beautiful felt heart.

 

If you wish to use the heart for hanging, pull a piece of thread through one of the stitches, or put wire or a small stick in the bottom of the heart and use as a cake topper or in your wedding flowers,

alternatively scatter loosely on your wedding table for a pretty look.

 

Planning a Jewish Wedding

There are many traditions to uphold, but they are also lots of fun! So don’t worry. From the kidushin to the chuppah, we’ve got you covered. In short, a Jewish wedding is all about love, family, and commitment. They’re a beautiful blend of tradition and romance, and end with a huge party.

The ceremony for a traditional Jewish wedding generally takes place after sundown on Saturdays, or any time on Sundays. The bride and groom are not allowed to eat until after the ceremony is over.

Before the wedding takes place, the ketubah is signed by the groom, in the company of two witnesses. This is a legally binding Jewish contract, and outlines what the groom is expected to give the bride in the marriage. This includes food, clothes, marital relations, friendship, love, and communication, and outlines that all of these things are necessary to a happy union. Many ketubahs are beautiful pieces of art and are framed and hung in the home.

Next, in a tradition known as badeken, the bride’s face is veiled (usually by the groom) and a prayer is said for her. The couple hasn’t seen each other in at least 24 hours (sometimes up to 7 days) at this point, so it’s usually an emotional moment for both the bride and groom.

The ceremony takes place under a chuppah, or wedding canopy, and is officiated by a rabbi. The chuppah symbolizes the new home that the bride and groom will build together. When the ceremony is starting, the groom is led into the chuppah by the two fathers, while the bride is led by the two mothers, in a tradition called unterfirers. Finally, the bride circles the groom seven times when she arrives at the chuppah. This may come from Jeremiah 31:22 which says “A woman shall surround a man.” The number seven is said to mean perfection or completeness in the Bible.

A traditional chuppah where the Jewish bride and groom will take their vows.

A traditional Jewish wedding has two distinct parts, with the first known as the erusin (betrothal) or kiddushin (holiness). First, two blessings are given before the betrothal. The first is over a cup of wine, which the couple then tastes. The second is the betrothal blessing. Next, the groom is required to give something of value to the bride (usually a ring). The ring should be a plain gold band, to symbolize the simplicity and purity of their love. Lastly, they both exchange rings and vows.

Finally comes the part that almost everyone is familiar with…the breaking of the glass. After the rings and blessings, the groom crushes the glass (usually wrapped in cloth) with his right foot and guests shout “Mazel tov!” which means “congratulations.” In some contemporary weddings, a light bulb is used instead since it’s easier to break. This signifies that the ceremony is over and is greeted with loud cheers and applause from the crowd.

In order to complete the ceremony, seclusion is necessary, so yichud is practiced. This means leaving the bride and groom alone for 10-20 minutes in a room. It can take place in any room, from the rabbi’s study to a synagogue classroom. Husband and wife take some time away from family and friends to reflect on their new vows and the ceremony.

 

Mad Hatter Weddings

Do you love that things are not conventional, do you love to have fun, or you just don’t want to grow up yet? Well, we have an idea just for you that is just Mad, and just like the Mad Hatter himself we’ve come up with some wacky idea for a Wedding Breakfast..

Tea

Earl Grey is the only tea to be served. It needn’t be high quality and can be of any origin, just make sure it’s Early Grey.

Sandwiches

There are three sandwiches which are appropriate for a Mad Hatters Tea Party; minted cucumber, egg mayonnaise and mustard cress, and smoked salmon and cream cheese. Cutting your sandwiches into heart shapes is cute, but would Alice approve of your allegiance to the Queen of Hearts?

The Chelsea Bun

The Chelsea bun is known predominantly for throwing, so get involved, it’s what Tea Parties are made for.

Shortbread

Height should not be discriminated against; therefore, shortbread is totally acceptable at the tea table.

Floristry

Wedding flowers perfection should be avoided at all costs. If you have a budget for plants, stick to twigs, decaying leaves and fungi.

Invitations

The maddest guests needn’t be invited, they will simply fall through the rabbit hole and stumble across your party by chance.

Dress code

Colourful, bold and avant-garde.

Hair code

No one is allowed to have similarities in wedding hair colour or style, other than that, anything goes.

Wedding Décor

Matching furniture is forbidden; the more quintessentially Wonderland, the better.

Guests

Be specific when choosing your guests based on personality, if they aren’t at least slightly crazy, they won’t fit in.

Hospitality

Being hospitable is essential. This can be achieved through planning a range of unrecognisable party games.

Weather

If you’re worried about being outside and it raining, it doesn’t matter too much as the best Mad Hatters Tea Parties are set in very little sunlight. For big budget tea parties, rain and mist machines are encouraged.

Seating

If you can’t get bums on seats, bums on anything is fine. Stools, shelves, giant mushrooms; anything goes.

Cheshire cat

One ginger cat is required as ‘purr’ its Cheshire heritage.

Timekeeping

This is banned as there is no time in wonderland. However, we would only suggest this tip as optional as if adhered to it can cause havoc, after all, you don’t want your guests to be late for this very important date.

 

Shedding some extra pounds

Unsurprisingly, brides hope to shed extra pounds before getting married. However, perhaps more shockingly, as many as one in three will resort to crash dieting in an extreme bid to get their ideal bridal body.

The sooner you start the better. Don’t wait until the last minute to try and lose weight and then expect miracles.

You should be thinking about your diet and exercise plan as soon as you start planning a wedding, so that you don’t end up resorting to a crash diet in a bid to lose pounds at the last minute. Ideally you should aim to reach your weight loss goal within 4 weeks of your wedding, in time for the final dress fittings. That way you’ll be able to focus more on the finishing touches of the wedding planning rather than worrying about fitting into your dream dress.

Make sure you take regular exercise over the first four to six weeks for general fitness, then start to target specific areas such as your stomach, thighs and bottom. Keeping a fitness diary will also monitor your progress and help you to feel good about your achievements.

Finding the right kind of exercise regime to suit your needs and schedule can vary from a brisk walk to a full workout in the gym or an exercise video that you found online.

If you have a demanding work and life schedule that rarely allows you to fit exercise in, then try to make lifestyle swaps wherever you can. For example, ditch the car and walk to work or the shops and try to take the stairs instead of the lift – even just taking up small exercises like this will help you keep trim.

High intensity interval training (known as HIIT for short) is great for a busy bride. This consists of short bursts of intense exercise mixed in with small rests, which could benefit you more than a long session in the gym.

You need to start sweating and exercising alongside a healthy diet to make great changes to your body but this doesn’t mean that you need to spend hours on a treadmill.

Above all, have fun and don’t beat yourself up if it takes a while to get the results you want. Getting fit and losing weight healthily takes time, but stick with it and you’ll feel fabulous inside and out when you finally get into that dream wedding dress.

 

The Groom should feel fabulous too

When planning a wedding so much of the build up to the wedding is about the bride and her beauty regime, whether she decides to do her own wedding makeup or opt for amazing nail art, but what about the groom?

The groom will appear in plenty of pictures on his wedding day, so it’s important to be looking your absolute best.

Consider Your Scent

You’re pretty much guaranteed at least one kiss on your wedding day, but to guarantee you get a few more make sure you smell incredible. Look for an aftershave that comes with a matching moisturiser and shower gel – by using products that all have the same scent, the smell will be stronger. It’s also worth investing in a decent deodorant – test run it ahead of the big day!

Facial Hair

Moustache: To make sure your moustache is in perfect condition, start growing it ahead of the big day. Avoid trimming it above the lip until you’re pleased with the length, and comb through it regularly, brushing the hairs outwards.

Stubble: Designer stubble is big trend  – it’s great news if you struggle to grow a full beard, or can’t be bothered to shave regularly! To make the most of your stubble, allow the hairs to grow until it starts to feel itchy and follow the natural lines on your face to create the shape. Wet shave any of the areas that don’t fit the template. If your face is quite chiselled, fade or taper the stubble so there’s not such a defined outline.

Tight Beard: If want to be on trendy with a beardy look but can’t deal with feeling unkempt, the tight beard is for you. Keep your facial hair trimmed short for this look, as it gives a well-groomed feel. Set your trimmer to 2-3 millimetres and trim evenly all over, before wet shaving the surrounding areas for a well-defined, sharp look.

Short Long Beard: A long beard isn’t for everyone – that trend may be best left to the hipsters. A long beard can appear quite straggly so for a tidy take on the look go for the short long beard. Follow the shape of your face to style this beard and use sharp, groomed lines. Don’t let the beard go past a couple of inches below the chin and leave the hair under the chin and on the neck to grow for a fuller look.

Style Your Hair

Don’t get so caught up in your facial hair that you forget about the hair on your head. See a barber in the run up to your wedding – around two weeks before – to make sure your hair is tidy and in top condition. You may need to trim your neck and hairline just before the big day. Now is not the time to change your trusty hair products in case they don’t result in the desired effect. Stick to your usual style and products.

Get a Manicure

Consider getting a masculine manicure to make sure your nails are looking their very best for the big day. It’s quite likely that your hands will feature in a lot of photos – as you place the wedding ring on your partner’s finger, and as the two of you show off your shiny new rings after the ceremony. By getting a manicure you can make sure your nails look neat, tidy and buffed ready to be captured on camera.

 

Staying healthy for your big day

If you are looking to prevent a cold or just want to kick-start a new healthy lifestyle. Here are some of the ways you can avoid getting sick in the run up to your wedding:

Include Probiotics in Your Diet

Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for your health and can be great for keeping a healthy lifestyle. If you are looking for a natural source of probiotics, then include yogurt into your diet – try and opt for more natural low sugar options rather than the highly sweetened variety.

Have Breakfast

Not only will having a healthy breakfast get you energised for the day, it will also stop any reckless snacking mid-morning. As your sugar levels crash you risk reaching for the sweet stuff, keep those hunger pangs at bay my making sure you have a good breakfast.

Get into a Good Hand Washing Routine

Regular hand washing can help keep germs at bay – particularly if you have friends or colleagues around you who are sick! When washing your hands. Handwashing with soap works by removing bacteria and viruses from hands before they get a chance to cause infections or spread to other people. When you wash your hands make sure you use soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 seconds.

Up Your Fruit and Veg Intake

Planning a wedding an sometimes feel like a full time job! So keep your body happy and healthy by giving it the right fuel – not only will you feel like you have more energy but you will also be more prepared to fight off infection. Some simple ways to up your fruit and veg intake is to add a small glass of fruit juice to your day, sprinkle some berries on your morning cereal and keep things like carrot sticks, cucumber and celery to snack on at your desk.

Drink More Water

We all know this but making sure you drink enough water is important for pretty much every aspect of your body. If you struggle to drink enough water, then consider filling up a jug and keeping it on your desk – with the aim to finish it before you leave work. If you are always on the move, then keep a bottle of water handy so you can stay hydrated throughout the day.

 

Beach wedding hair

Are you planning a dreamy beach wedding? Once you’ve found the perfect beach wedding dress and booked an amazing seaside wedding venue, you need to start thinking about your hair.

What constitutes beachy wedding hair for you? Braids, texture with waves. A fresh unstructured playful look.

The best thing to do would be to have braids or twists in the hair, or have the hair pulled back fairly tightly. Always embrace the texture and using salt spray to add to it, perhaps have some braids around your face for some pretty detail and then it doesn’t matter so much if the rest of the hair gets a little frizzy as it adds to the look. You can also use a strong hairspray to seal the hair but it can look quite fixed so although it seals away moisture it may not fit for a relaxed look as much.

A loose chignon of some sort to keep the hair away from the face. A look with loose tendrils and texture would be ideal, nothing too fixed and neat. Then if it isn’t too structured the odd hair being blown about will add to the look and it will not look as though anything is out of place.

Hair accessories for a beach wedding would be a flower head crown– Or a few faux flowers dotted through the hair.

Beach weddings can be more relaxed than traditional ones, if its windy then embrace your long hair and let it blow over your face for a romantic look. A good wedding photographer should capture these moments to make you look like a beach gorgeous bride!!

 

Wedding Planning

We know how important it is to make sure that your special day is also your perfect day. That being said, we’re also aware of how stressful planning a wedding in one of the U.K.’s most incredible cities is! We’ve narrowed down the lists to find you the top 5 wedding planners in London.

The Bijou Bride

- Even the ethos of this company is exactly what you’re looking for. The Bijou Bride runs off the motto “Your wedding, your rules”.

- The weddings that they produce are those of fairy tales. They have been featured in numerous magazines for their stunning creations, and the head designer was even a commentator for the Royal Wedding. They also have vendor associations for days.

- They only offer minimal packages and these guys are busy, a testament to their incredible prowess and producing some of the most glamorous weddings.

Pocketful of Dreams

- Another incredibly fashionable luxury wedding design company, Pocketful of Dreams’ founder, Michelle Kelly has been given extremely high praise and features in some of the top fashion magazines, including Vogue and Glamour.

- Pocketful of Dreams also offers fewer customizable services for the bride to be and the wedding options. This is easily made up for by the incredible vendors and venues they have at their disposal.

SnapDragon

- SnapDragon knows how to throw an unforgettable event. Many of their parties are over the top in the best way possible. They are the gurus of weddings that aren’t just weddings, but events that will be absolutely unforgettable.

- They offer specialties in Indian, Asian, and Jewish weddings and if that’s what you’re planning, you’ll be more than aware of how many details there are that must be flawlessly executed.

- They also offer destination wedding packages which are utterly fab!

My London Wedding Planner

- Lead designer Ayshea Donaldson has been featured in quite a few wedding magazines and it’s no wonder why. Her aesthetic is absolutely incredible. With bespoke luxury wedding design that speaks to a wide variety of brides, she is an up and coming star, renowned for her innovative creations of your ideal vision.

- Easy to book and excellent value for money. My London Wedding Planner has a keen sense of which vendors and venues will fit your personal style best.

Lindy Dowling

- Lindy Dowling is one of London’s unsung heroes in the wedding planner world. Her weddings are absolutely breathtaking and incredibly affordable.

- Lindy Dowling offers a wide range of packages and options available with up front pricing and a zest for finding exactly what fits you best.

- She has been referred to as “professional and personable”, ready to help at any moment, but also great when it comes to getting you the best deal for your needs.