Honeymoon trends for 2020

Love and pasta

Rolling hills, winding streets, fine wine and food like your own mama does not make. Puglia is the perfect place to relax, unwind and put an end to the pre-wedding diet. If you really want to escape head back 300 years to Lama di Luna, a fortified estate set in 190 hectares of organic olive groves, overlooking the coast. Deliberately cut off from the modern world, this once-working farm feels more like a monastery than a hotel and provides a heavenly escape for food lovers looking for peace – and the world’s best pizza! Eat at the Michelin starred Antichi Sapori just down the road, bring books, borrow bikes and relax with the one you love.

 

Paradise lost

Looking for a heavenly escape after the hustle and bustle of planning your wedding? This is it. White sands, turquoise seas and nothing, nothing, nothing to do but lose yourselves in the paradise that is Bora Bora. Its remote position in the middle of the Pacific Ocean does mean it’ll take you a day to get there but once you arrive you’ll discover pure peace, ridiculous relaxation and unlimited luxury. Your only chore will be to choose whether to sleep on land – in a bungalow with private beach and pool – or on water – in a hut on stilts overlooking the crystal clear sea.

 

When nature calls

Whether your wildlife enthusiasts, animal lovers or adrenaline junkies, Costa Rica has it all. A Jurassic landscape, eco accommodation and jungle activities mean you can get as close to nature as you dare! For unrivalled romance stay at The Pacuare Jungle Lodge where you can sleep in a secluded bungalow nestled in the rainforest canopy, watch the wildlife from the comfort of your candle-lit terrace, soak in your private plunge pool and cosy up in a hammock made for two.

 

Family fun

Want to combine romance and relaxation with some quality time with the kids? Family friendly, boutique hotel Caserio del Mirador is the answer. This picturesque farmhouse, set amongst almond and olive groves in the Spanish mountains, offers you and your children a chance to get in touch with nature in a safe and serene setting. Half an hour from the beach, with gorgeous gardens, a child-friendly pool and ponies, goats and a pet pig to play with, there’s plenty to entertain the children during the day. Then once they’ve gone to bed, you can sit back, relax and enjoy being served a delicious dinner every night, knowing your kids are safe, happy and loving the familymoon as much as you.

 

Have a break from Wedding Planning

When planning a wedding, wedding breaks are fast becoming a must for newlyweds. They’re not a minimoon for a few days or a honeymoon or a week abroad. Wedding breaks are a post-wedding, pre-honeymoon getaway for a night or two, somewhere nice, near home.

Here are some of our favourite places to take wedding breaks;

The Scarlet

Perched on a cliff top overlooking the stunning beach at Mawgan Porth, The Scarlet is a luxurious

hotel perfectly positioned on the Cornish coast. Cornwall is filled with pretty villages to visit and views to swoon over, but if you fancy something more active, it’s the perfect place to learn to surf. The hotel can arrange private lessons or why not join the surf school?

Not to be missed during your stay is The Scarlet Spa, where total indulgence awaits. The Spa focuses on wellbeing as well as beauty, offering a fab range of eco-friendly treatments. Prices start from £180 B&B in low season – worth every penny!

Peak Edge Hotel

The Peak Edge Hotel is the gateway to the Peak District in Derbyshire. Aside from the panoramas of rolling dales from every window, there is great local food cooked to perfection in the adjoining 17th-century inn, beautifully designed décor and an extensive activities package to keep you busy here. There are 27 brand new boutique bedrooms with picturesque views and sumptuous finishes. Bathrooms boast double-ended baths, rain showers and underfloor heating. You’ll also find LED flat screen TVs, decadent bedding and Wi-Fi internet to enjoy inside.

Blakes Hotel

Blakes in London is the sort of hotel that makes you want to stay in your room, sipping Champagne, indulging in room service! Locally you’ll find shops galore on Kensington Church Street, and Harrods is a short taxi ride away, as are the V&A and Natural History Museums. Each of the 47 rooms is designed by internationally acclaimed designer Anouska Hempel, and each is daringly different.

The Royal Scots Club

The Royal Scots Club is a members’ club situated in one of Edinburgh’s finest Georgian streets. It’s about a two-minute walk from the main shopping areas of Edinburgh, and it takes about 25 minutes to get to the hotel from the airport by car.

It’s quite a formal place to stay, oozing sophistication and class. It’s perfect for couples looking for privacy. There is no place for jeans and t-shirts here, especially at dinner time. The restaurant serves indulgent dishes, which are an absolute must try. The decadent decor, beautiful furnishings and the luxurious rooms create a cosy country manor house feel, despite their size. Accommodation prices start from £140 per room for bed and breakfast based on two sharing.

 

Polish weddings

In Polish culture, weddings are preceded with engagement celebrations. Those are usually small parties held for the closest family members of the groom and the bride and are meant to get the two families meet and get to know each other better. The engagement dinner party means that both families accept the engagement.

In the past, the engagement ceremony was the time when the future bride received a ring from her beloved partner before the entire family gathering in a very official way, which resembled to some extent the wedding ceremony itself. In recent years, however, that official note has been largely abandoned and a ring is delivered when the future groom pops the question for the first time in a more private setting. The family gathering is just a nice way of informing the family members about the mutual decision once it has been made.

The Polish Wedding Ceremony

For many years, preparations for the Polish wedding ceremony and reception were largely concerned with finding a place for the wedding, organising food, drinks, making guest-list and inviting people to the wedding. In some regions, especially in the countryside, the custom was to invite family, friends, and neighbours in person, so the future groom and bride would devote a lot of time to visiting people before the wedding day. In the modern day, although the tradition prevails in some places, open-minded Polish younger generations and celebrities copy the western examples and some Polish brides and Polish grooms like to hold Hen and Stag parties shortly before the wedding day.

Most Polish weddings take place on Saturdays and continue through Sundays. The marriage ceremony and wedding reception for all guests are held on Saturday, while a smaller, more private party for close friends and family is continued on Sunday. There are no weddings during the 40-day Lent before Easter and during the Advent before Christmas. Those periods of year are believed to be the time dedicated for penance and preparation for the most important Christian holidays, so there is not space for public celebrations and dancing parties. Interestingly enough, there are very few weddings in May as well. This is mostly due to superstition, as many people believe that persons who marry in May are not going to be happy and won’t live together long.

In the church, the bride and the groom walk up the aisle together preceded by their groomsmen and bridesmaids. The parents and other guests are usually already seated when the couple enters the church. Whether the ceremony takes place in church or at a local magistrate, there must be two witnesses of the marriage, who sign the documents alongside of the bride and groom. During the religious ceremony, the traditional in the Western movies kiss basically does not exist. Civil ceremonies are less solemn and usually only the bride and groom, and the witnesses are allowed in the room, so whether they kiss or not, very much remains their private venture.

In Poland, weddings in the countryside are usually much bigger than weddings in the city. The reason for that is simple; in the countryside all people know each other, so most get invited to the wedding unless there is some conflict going on between the families. Thus, weddings in the country are longer and more extravagant because more people attend, and more guest return on the following day to celebrate, eat, drink, and dance some more.

A special moment on the first day of Polish wedding celebrations is when the Polish bride is taken the white veil off and an apron is wrapped around her waist. This symbolizes that she gives up her innocence and accepts her duties as a wife, a hostess, and a mother. Once this tradition is satisfied, the wedding guests give presents to the newlyweds. In most cases, those are congratulation card with money, but other useful household objects are also quite common.

 

African Wedding

There is something special about African weddings with celebrations from jumping the broom to tasting four elements. To make it memorable and happy, here are some traditions that you can include in your wedding to personalize it so that it pleases everyone with unique experiences.

Jumping the Broom

This tradition reaches all the way back to slavery times. Today, this game consists of the bride and the groom jumping over a beautifully decorated handmade broom to publicly signify their commitment to one another. The newlyweds can hang the broom in their home as a reminder of their wedding day and commitment to one another.

Libation Ceremony

As a way to honour the elders in your families and to honour your ancestors, this ceremony has lots of meaning. To perform the Libation ceremony, use holy water or alcohol to pour on the ground in east, west, north and south respectively. Someone should be designated to learn and recite the prayers to say during the ceremony.

Kola Nuts

The Kola nut is given to the couple during an African wedding. With the nut symbolizing the happy couple and extended family, it means the couple is willing to help heal together as one. The Kola nut should be shared between the newlyweds and their parents.

Tying the Knot

With this ceremony, the bride and groom are tied around the wrists with a cloth or grass that has been braided for the ceremony. The braided grass symbolizes the unity of marriage. The ceremony is conducted while the wrists are tied.

Crossing Sticks

Use two tall wood sticks that represent life force among the trees and the couple will cross the sticks to represent the unity of their love and start their marriage on the right foot.

Knocking the Door

In this ceremony, the groom will knock on the door of his future in-laws and bring them gifts and requests permission to marry. This ceremony brings the families closer together.

Purple and Gold

Choosing these colours for your wedding colours not only adds fabulous and modern feeling, but it is also an African American wedding tradition because they represent royalty in many African cultures.

Feeding the Family

After the four elements tasting, it’s time to sit down and share a meal with the family. Joining the families is important in the African wedding ceremonies.

Ditching the Diamond

Because many diamonds have been mined in Africa, some brides choose to use a different stone as a symbol of their marriage instead. Ditching the diamond is becoming more popular today.

Kente Cloth

All brides want to have the Kente cloth as part of their wedding. This bright fabric is gold, green, and red in color and is made in Ghana. The groom’s vest can be made from this material or you may see it in the bridesmaid dresses.

 

Japanese weddings

Shinto is the ethnic religion in Japan and it has a huge impact on the country’s culture and ceremonial traditions. Even today, more than 79% of Japanese people still belong to Shinto temples. Still, a large majority of people in and even outside of Japan are not very familiar with how the religion influences different ceremonies and events in Japan. The same is the case with Japanese wedding traditions that may come as a surprise to many.

The Betrothal/ Engagement

Called the yuino in Japanese, the betrothal ceremony is an exchange of symbolic gifts between the bride’s and groom’s families. The most popular gifts are a seaweed called konbu, which refers to “childbearing woman”; a long piece of hemp in white that represents the wish that both husband and wife will grow old together; and a folding fan that spreads and indicates future growth and wealth. The most common gifts also include a hakama for the groom and an obi for the bride. One of the main gifts in this ceremony is money, which can be £5,000 or more – the money is offered in a shugi-bukuro, a special envelope with gold and silver strings. Ornate rice-paper envelopes are also used to give other gifts.

The Venues

Since most Japanese weddings take place in Shinto temples, the wedding venues are always quite attractive. These locations also feature religious iconography that give the whole function a special feel. Some of the most common are water pavilions, stone dogs, and tall red gates that symbolise the division between the corporeal and spiritual worlds.

San-San-Kudo

This sake sharing ceremony is common for Buddhists as well as Shinto Japanese weddings. It is among the most interesting Japanese wedding traditions for outsiders. There will be three stacked cups of sake and both bride and groom have to drink taking three sips. “Three, three, nine times” – just as the name San-San-Kudo suggests. Ku or 9 means good luck in Japanese culture. So, some believe that the three sips each time represent love, wisdom, and happiness, while others believe they represent earth, heaven, and mankind. Some believe they represent the three couples – the bride and groom, the groom’s parents, and the bride’s parents. However, some believe they represent the biggest human flaws, which are passion, hatred, and ignorance, which the couple will overcome together in life.

Wedding Wardrobe

Something that will always fascinate you in a Japanese wedding is the wedding wardrobe. It is all in white – at least most of the time. The country’s national colors are red and white, and you will notice these same colours in Japanese weddings. While a bride’s gown may be of delicate silk or some other material, the colour is usually white. Sleek evening gowns may come as a surprise to you, but they are quite common. Grooms usually opt for black – they may wear a suit or kimono. At some Japanese weddings, brides wear a white silk material over the bun in their hair – that silk headdress is called a wataboshi and is one of the oldest Japanese wedding traditions.

Speeches

Wedding speeches hold a great place of importance in Japanese wedding ceremonies. Family, friends, teachers, colleagues, and other relatives stand in line and wait for their turn to wish the couple well. These speeches can be moralistic tales about marriage, but they can also be heartfelt messages of love from family and friends.

Gifts for Parents

As you may have gathered, Japanese wedding traditions are often about exchanging gifts. There will be loads of presents for the parents of both the bride and groom. The most common gifts are a toast for the parents, bouquets of flowers, and a personal letter of thanks and love. These simple gestures make Japanese weddings very intimate and special.

Gifts for the Guests

Japanese weddings have a lot available for the guests as well. Brides usually spend up to £50 or even more on favours for their guests. These favours might be a lace bag of sweet almonds and much more.

 

Join in the Entertainment

In the hopes of ensuring that everybody at your wedding can ‘break the ice’, here are four interactive wedding entertainment ideas that guests will enjoy.

Garden Games

If you are looking to plan a summer wedding, then you might be wanting to hold much of the big day outside in the sun. If this is the case, then after the ceremony and perhaps during the drinks reception, you might like to offer some garden games for your guests. Also able to be enjoyed after the wedding breakfast, games like  croquet or quoits roll back the years and ensure a level playing field from the ages of eight to eighty!

Ceilidh

When it comes to booking music for a wedding, you generally have two options – book a wedding band or book a DJ. But there’s actually a third option. Rather than booking a function band, you might like to book a Ceilidh instead! Similar to a barn dance, a Ceilidh band has an experienced caller who explains the dance moves to you ahead of time and ensures that all ages get involved. A fantastic option for your wedding entertainment.

Retro Games

It used to be that if you liked computer games, you’d keep it to yourself for fear of being ‘geeky’. Games are very much in these days though with the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and recently released Nintendo Switch proving to be extremely popular and why not tap into this love by hiring retro games for your wedding. A bit of fun at the wedding reception, having a Mario Kart tournament featuring your Auntie and colleague from accounts is sure to be one of the most surprising events of the evening! Not sure on going digital? How about booking Scalextric for a wedding instead?

Photo booth

One of the most popular additions to weddings in recent years, a photo booth brings people together like no other wedding entertainment can. Creating memories of your big day, guests will ordinarily be able to instantly print their photos and keep a copy for themselves whilst also sticking in another photo into an album that the bride and groom will be given after the wedding comes to an end. Photo booths often come with props for an extra dose of comedy and you’ll be even able to send yourself a digital copy as well. Marvellous!

 

Controversial music pieces

One area that doesn’t seem to be quite so unique is the wedding ceremony music; many opt for a traditional theme that they have heard before like Mendelssohn’s Wedding March or Pachelbel’s Canon in D. That being said, some of the pieces are a tad controversial. Here’s why!

Mendelssohn’s Wedding March

Although hugely popular, Mendelssohn’s most famous work has proved to be controversial to its literary origins. Mendelssohn was commissioned by Prussian monarch Friedrich Wilhelm IV to compose a number of pieces to accompany various pieces of literature in order to revive a lagging genre in society at the time. In 1843, Mendelssohn was tasked with writing music for Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and this is where the Wedding March comes from. Why controversial? That particular play features a lot of pagan mythology including magic, fairies and fantasy, of which many in Roman Catholicism are uncomfortable. Is it therefore inappropriate for a Christian wedding ceremony? We don’t have the answer but it’s always best to check.

Schubert’s Ave Maria

Another tune that is popular during the wedding ceremony or as a prelude to the bride’s arrival, Ave Maria is a beautiful piece of music that was originally composed by Schubert for Sir Walter Scott’s Lady of the Lake in 1810. The plot of the story focuses on King James V banishing the Douglas clan to a castle on Loch Katrine and one of the group’s number is Ellen, a daughter who has to live with her exiled father. The initial lyrics have changed over the years to convey a more matrimonial tone, but some fear the lyrics don’t quite go far enough. Some hear them and feel the song is a beautiful hymn to a loving mother while others believe the words to convey the desperate cries of an exiled bride.

Wagner’s Bridal Chorus

Richard Wagner’s Bridal Chorus is perhaps the most well-known music chosen by couples on their wedding day. Known by many as ‘Here Comes the Bride’, we are pretty certain that you’ll have heard the piece before, even if not at a wedding. Why is it controversial? The music was composed as part of Wagner’s opera, Lohengrin and lovers of the operatic music scene may very well be aware of where the piece featured. Although it was used during a wedding scene, the marriage itself was short-lived. Not the omen you’d like on your wedding day! Richard Wagner was also notoriously anti-Semitic, which is another reason you may wish to avoid picking the Bridal Chorus for your wedding ceremony.

No matter which wedding music you opt for on your big day, we advise a couple to choose whatever makes them most happy. Still, it’s interesting to know the provenance of the tunes you might hear!

 

How best to choose your entertainment

When it comes to choosing wedding entertainment, many have absolutely no idea where to begin. Very few newlyweds have ever been married before so to expect the bride and groom to know how to choose wedding entertainment is ludicrous. Thankfully, we are here to help!

What’s most important to you?

The bride and groom are often exceptionally busy on the wedding day itself so tend to ‘miss out’ on a lot of what’s going on by virtue of having other things to do. While your guests are sipping at champagne, the happy couple will often venture off to have their wedding photos taken. As everybody is enjoying their wedding breakfast, the couple often have to walk between tables as each guest wishes to congratulate them on their day. So what matters most to you? If you’d prefer to have attendees chatting to one another, a magician can help break the ice. If you’d like a fun photo album of your day, booking a photo booth is a must. Have a think and we are certain you’ll be able to prioritise accordingly!

Inside/Outside

Booking wedding entertainment definitely varies depending on whether your wedding is inside or outside. In the summer, you might want to book a strolling acoustic act, but always have a backup idea in place if it starts to rain! If your event is taking place mainly indoors, there will naturally be a few types of wedding entertainment that won’t necessarily work.

Consider your budget

The final consideration to make when it comes choosing wedding entertainment is your budget. Newlyweds don’t want to start married life with a mountain of debt but it does happen so please only book what you can afford. At the end of the day, a wedding is a marvellous celebration of a couple’s love for one another and nothing should get in the way of that. If you can’t afford a function band, then perhaps look at booking a DJ. There are a multitude of options available for any budget so there really is something for everyone.

Restrictions

It’s best to start by looking at the wedding venue you have chosen and working backwards from there. Are there any restrictions in place that might immediately cut down your list into  a more manageable size? Many wedding venues are very old or are situated close to public areas. In this case, they may have a sound limiter which means you probably won’t be able to book that Metallica tribute band you had your eye on. Others might prevent wedding parties from having jugglers or acrobats indoors due to the highly expensive art on the walls. So ask your wedding venue whether they have any restrictions in place before booking wedding entertainment.

Taste

The important thing to remember about your wedding day entertainment is that it is all about you! The bride and groom! There’s no point booking a harpist if you can’t stand the harp (though in all honesty, we not sure any harp haters actually exist) and if you absolutely love card tricks, feel free to book a magician if it’s what you want. Your wedding day is exactly that: your wedding day. Make sure it’s everything you first envisaged after getting engaged!

 

Traditions for weddings

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue… You’ve probably had this old wedding rhyme quoted to you ever since you got engaged.

It’s a superstition that you need to have all of the above included on your big day, so you can have a long and happy marriage. And while we don’t think anything’s going to happen to your marriage if you don’t follow these rules, it is a fun way of building some items into your wedding look.

People are definitely going to ask you what items you’ve got on that are old, new, borrowed and blue, so you might as well have something to tell them!

With the trend for vintage looking like it’s not going to go away anytime soon, there are quite a few ‘old’ items that you can incorporate into your wedding look.

We love the idea of wearing your mother’s or grandmother’s jewellery on the big day. It might be a brooch, garter, neckline or a pair of earrings. Maybe you had a christening bracelet you want to wear on your wedding day. Something old doesn’t have to mean clothing or accessories, either. If you’ve an old family cake topper you could use that.

If there’s an old family veil that your mother, aunts or older sisters wore on their big days, ask to borrow that. Wedding veils don’t date too much, so this could be a money-saving item for you, too.

Your something new is most likely to be your wedding dress or your new husband! If you’re recycling a family wedding dress or borrowing one, then what else would be good that’s new? Kate Middleton wore a new pair of diamond earrings on her wedding day to Prince William, her parents had them commissioned especially for her, lucky girl.

In fact, many generous grooms buy their brides-to-be a gift that is presented to them on the morning of their wedding, which might be something like a pearl bracelet, earrings or a necklace.

Alternatively, if you’re not into possessions you could treat yourself to something new that’s going to give you a different look. You could have a brand new look by having a teeth whitening session or have laser eye surgery. Or you could even just buy a new lipstick or makeup if your budget is tight. Just make sure your something new is something practical that you’re going to enjoy in the long term.

Kate Middleton had the ultimate borrowed accessory on her wedding day when the Queen lent her a sparkling vintage diamond tiara. While your new in-laws may not have something quite as valuable to lend you, your mother-in-law may be delighted to lend you a vintage accessory or brooch to decorate your bridal bouquet.

We think wedding accessories are a great thing to borrow if you can. It will make the lender feel that bit closer to you on your big day.

We see a lot of brides-to-be add a bit of blue to their garter as their something blue, but you could choose a more visible blue accessory.

Light blue wedding shoes can look amazing with a traditional wedding dress. You could even opt for a coloured wedding dress it doesn’t have to be in a dramatic shade but pale blues and pinks are right on trend now for wedding gowns.

 

Artificial Flower Guide

Even the least green-fingered of brides can discover a penchant for florals as they work with their florist to create their bouquets and centrepieces.

While it’s pretty tough to beat the fragrance of fresh flowers, choosing faux flowers does bring many benefits. From budget to dates to décor, here’s seven reasons why you should to choose artificial flowers for your wedding…

If you’ve been dreaming of a blush bouquet of barely open peonies but set the date for September, your first thought will be disappointment. Do you really have to give up one dream in favour of another?

Choose from high quality suppliers for realistic replicas for all of your favourites – whether that’s ranunculus, delphiniums or prized peonies – and you can carry bouquets, wear buttonholes or choose table centres with any blooms at any time of year, allowing you to have your day as you dreamed it while also taking advantage of off-peak dates if you wish.

When you’ve got a venue to set up and decorate as well as getting ready on your wedding morning, we’d forgive you for feeling just a little over busy. Give yourself the relaxing morning you deserve by planning and setting up in advance.

That’s the beauty of working with artificial flowers – you needn’t worry. Not about them wilting in the warmth of your marquee or the flowers fading and crumpling or even how you’ll find the time to arrange them.

They can all be arranged into vases weeks in advance, making the final few days before the big one much more blissful.

If you choose a fresh flower wedding bouquet and want to keep it after the wedding, you’ll encounter the challenge of preserving the petals and flower heads perfectly. This challenge is only compounded by the fact that you’ll probably be jetting off on honeymoon soon, so there’s very little time to get these kinds of tasks done.

With an artificial wedding flowers bouquet, though, you can simply wrap them in protective paper and stow them in a box, forming a lasting memento of your perfect day without half of the fuss.

You might have heard of couples gifting their floral centrepieces to family, friends or perhaps members of the bridal party as thank you gifts. It’s a lovely touch, but with faux flowers to gift the present will last so much longer.

In general, purchasing artificial flowers usually works out cheaper than buying them fresh from a florist. This means that for some couples, going faux can facilitate far more in the way of flower walls, garlands and canopies, and standout table centres, making all the difference to their overall reception décor.