Tips for Wedding Shoes

Every girl loves a new pair of shoes, especially if it’s the pair she will be wearing on the day of her wedding! Whilst the dress is usually the most exciting part of your bridal look, we believe your shoes are just as important. We take a look at 8 wedding shoe tips to ensure your shoes are comfortable and perfectly complement your wedding dress and personal style!

1. Quality

It is understandable that many brides opt for cheap wedding shoes especially if they are trying to stick to a budget. They usually feel it’s a waste to spend money on something that won’t really be seen under a long dress and that you will only wear once. However, you are going to be on your feet all day so we highly recommend investing in a good quality, comfortable pair of shoes, which won’t ruin your day with sore feet. It really isn’t worth it! Good quality shoes don’t have to break the bank. Inquire at your local bridal shops about sales or ex samples or check out sites such as eBay, Preloved and Gumtree for a second hand pair.

2. Heel Height

This really depends on what you’re used to. Some brides wouldn’t leave the house without their favourite 4 inch heels, whereas others are happier sticking to a heel height of just a couple of inches. Whatever your preference don’t be tempted to go much higher than what you normally wear and what you’re used to. You want to glide down that aisle with elegance and grace, not hobble awkwardly and trip!

3. Shoe Size

There’s always that dilemma if you are in between sizes. Do you go up or down a size? We’d always recommend going up. Your feet will swell as the day goes on, which means they will begin to pinch if you opted for the smaller shoe. Shoes that are slightly too big can easily be amended with insoles and heel grips and can be removed later in the day when your feet swell to fit.

4. Wear Them In

You’ve probably done it before. Gone on a night out with a fabulous new pair of shoes, but within a matter of hours if not minutes, they are rubbing your feet. Even if your wedding shoes felt comfortable when you tried them on in the shop, we recommend breaking them in before your big day. Wear them around the house, to help soften them up and practice that all important walk!

If your wedding shoes are particularly slippy it may also be worth gently sanding the soles with sand paper to add a bit of grip. Think of all those first dance ‘You’ve Been Framed’ video’s you’ve seen…

5. Shoe Accessories

Make sure you have these must have shoe accessories for your wedding day!

Heel grips – if your feet keep slipping out the back

Gel insoles – to reduce the pain you get on the balls of your feet from standing up or dancing, for a long period of time.

Shoe protector spray – to protect your shoes from water marks and stains.

Clean heels – to stop you sinking in the grass!

6. Try on With Your Dress

There are a couple of reasons to try on your wedding shoes with your dress. Firstly you want to ensure that the colour and style suit the style of your bridal gown. If you have already been wedding dress shopping you will have come to realise that wedding dresses don’t just come in ivory or white. There’s diamond white, pale ivory, alabaster, blush, light gold…the list goes on! If you are matching your shoe colour to your dress you want to check that one of them isn’t significantly paler or darker than the other, as one of them may end up looking dirty. Obviously carrying your dress around with you whilst you shoe shop isn’t exactly convenient, so try and get hold of a swatch of the fabric that matches your dress. Either ask the bridal shop where you purchased your dress, to send you one or see if there is something small from the dress you can take such as a sash or removable strap.

Secondly it is important that you try your shoes on with your dress to check if the hem needs altering. Ideally you want the hem to sit just off the ground to ensure you don’t trip. Bare in mind that when you are walking down the aisle, you are going to have a bouquet in one hand and the person that is giving you away in the other. You won’t have hands free to hold up the front of your dress too.

On the other hand you don’t want your dress swinging around your ankles because your heels are too high. If you are concerned that the length of your dress might be too short with your heels there are a couple of things you can do. If you haven’t purchased your dress yet or you ordered it quite recently, ask your shop if there is the choice to order it in a longer length. If this isn’t possible, did you try the dress on with a hoop petticoat? If so this slightly shortens the length, so try it without. Your final option will have to be to rethink the height of your heels.

7. A Second Pair

If you just can’t resist those sky scraping heels, get you’re self a second pair of lower, more comfortable shoes for the evening. From pretty pumps, to flip flops and customised Converse, there are styles to suit everyone. Bare in mind however, that if you choose to lower your heel for the evening and you are wearing a full length dress, it will drag on the floor, so be careful not to trip!

We also love the idea of filling a box full of flip-flops for your guest to slip into in the evening, so that they are free to dance the night away in comfort!

If there is a chance of rain or snow it is worth having a second pair of shoes to get you from A to B so that you don’t ruin your smart bridal shoes. Cue the wedding wellies!!

8. A Pair to Wear Again

If you are resenting having to purchase a pair of shoes you’ll only wear once, just buy a pair that you will get use out of even after your wedding day. Just because your wedding dress is ivory, doesn’t mean your shoes have to be! Pick a pair in a colour or pattern that you’ll wear again and that matches your wedding theme and colour scheme. This is the opportunity to have some real fun and show off your personality. They also make great photos and talking point between guests!

Alternatively, choose a pair that can be dyed in your favourite colour after your big day so that they can be worn over and over again to make the most of your purchase.

Bridesmaid dress dislikes

Being asked to be a bridesmaid for a close friend or relative is an honour. Being asked to publicly wear a bridesmaid dress you hate is not! Here’s how to decide on your bridesmaid dress and ensure everyone is happy on the big day!

Compromise is all about communication. Discussing the colours, styles, and costs in advance and then hitting the stores together goes a long way to making sure everything goes smoothly and both bride and bridesmaids are happy.

Safety in numbers

If you are really unhappy with what the bride wants you to wear, try talking to the other bridesmaids to get their view. If they are all happy, then you will probably have to grin and bear it. If not, try to find a gentle way to talk to the bride, and have alternative suggestions ready. Present possible solutions, not just problems. If you do get together with the others, make sure that the bride doesn’t feel as if you are ganging up on her.

Problems can arise if one bridesmaid is being difficult about the dress. It’s then up to the others, particularly the chief bridesmaid, to find out what the problem is and use some diplomacy to get things back on track.

Something to suit everyone

Choosing outfits to suit you all can be tricky if there are lots of bridesmaids, or a large age range. Adults won’t want to be dressed the same as children, and hopefully your bride will also bear in mind that the outfit(s) she picks need to flatter people of different ages (and sizes!) If she doesn’t, you have the option of dropping a few helpful hints.

It’s just one day…

While being a bridesmaid is a big deal, it is after all just one day. Before you risk falling out with the bride over her choice of outfit, you should ask yourself whether it is really worth upsetting her.

Friends help each other

Let’s face it, most brides want everybody to be happy on their special day, so it is unlikely that she will want you to wear something completely hideous. However, if you feel there is likely to be a clash then maybe you should think very carefully before you agree to be a bridesmaid in the first place.

On the other hand, if you think she is deliberately trying to make you look terrible, maybe she’s not quite the friend you thought she was…

While there are no hard-and-fast rules about bridesmaids’ outfits, the bottom line is that it is the bride’s day and it is likely that she will have some pretty clear ideas on the subject. So, how do you keep her happy and still get your point across?

Get involved

If you are worried that the bride might dress you like a meringue, get involved in the process from the outset. This doesn’t mean forcing your ideas on her, but why not suggest a girls’ night in with some wine and wedding magazines, and gently let her know what delights (and horrifies) you?

If there are to be several of you, arrange a shopping day early on (with the bride of course!) and try on a wide range of outfits. It will soon become clear what does and doesn’t work for you all. If one bridesmaid lives a long way away, email or text her pictures of different styles and get her opinion.

Another alternative you could suggest to the bride if you all live a long way apart is that she provides the material and you have dresses made in the same fabric, but different styles, which is actually the way bridesmaids’ outfits were traditionally made.

Be constructive

Think carefully about any objections before voicing them to the bride, and consider whether they are actually valid.

For example, a lifelong aversion to peach taffeta is really not a good enough reason to upset the bride. On the other hand, if you are allergic to a certain fabric it’s reasonable that you avoid an outfit that is going to cause you discomfort.

Equally, just because you live in trainers it doesn’t mean you should complain at having to sport stilettos for the day. However, if you really hate your legs but the bride wants you in a mini skirt, then it’s worth trying to reach some compromise.

Child Friendly Wedding

Often the cause of much debate but to invite (or not invite!) children to attend your wedding day does not have to be a daunting prospect; with careful consideration everyone can have a fantastic day…
There you both are saying your vows carefully chosen and delivered with heartfelt emotion and a little voice in the background says, “Mummy I need a wee”! But with a little thought and preparation it could be easier than you think to include children in your big day.

Some couples may well not have the budget to cater for children at the reception, or the chosen wedding venue may not be suitable, or have enough space – so the decision is already made for you! Sometimes a way of keeping costs down or overcoming this is to stipulate an ‘adult’s only day’. This point can easily be put across without offending anyone by way of a small carefully worded inclusion on the bottom of your invitations. This could be followed up with a list of adult activities available at your chosen venue to reinforce your message. Anyway, most couples like the thought of a child free weekend now and then with time on their own, so will probably jump at the chance of a day (and night) away from their little ones!

It is also worth considering the number of small attendants you want to include in your wedding party; your guests may be offended if you then have ten small flower girls and pages when the day is supposed to be child free.

There are so many great reasons to invite children to your big day, children can be brilliant “ice breakers” and bring some comical and magical moments to your day. With a little bit of thought you can keep everyone happy and have a great time.

1. Ask ushers to seat families towards the back of the ceremony room or church so if any awkward moments arise parents can slip out with their little ones unnoticed.

2. If you have the budget and a small room is available a children’s entertainer may be the answer to keep little ones happy throughout the ceremony.

3. Just providing a colouring book and crayons for each child during the service is a cost effective alternative

4. Ask a family member to provide small bags of freshly chopped fruit or boxes of raisins to keep hungry moments at bay.

5. It is always an idea to think of photography in advance. If you can sort the pictures with the bridesmaids and children first they are then free to roam for a while!

6. To prevent boredom setting in during the drinks reception hire a bouncy castle, or a giant board game such as ‘Twister’ or ‘Snakes and Ladders’. The adults will get as much fun out of it too!

7. During the reception think about where to seat families with children. Your child free guests may not be happy sitting next to a fidgeting two year old!

8. Safety also has to be an issue, think about table decorations. What will be child friendly, not towering candelabras or too many twinkling tea lights. A puzzle book or a small story book placed in each child’s place, perhaps with a bead set for girls and a small box of Lego for boys, will keep them entertained throughout the speeches.
Guests should always assume that children are not invited, unless they are named on the invitation (i.e. Mr and Mrs Johnson, Samantha and Rebecca).

If you are not inviting ANY children, it is sensible to include a note with the invitations saying “unfortunately we are unable to accommodate children” – don’t feel that you need to justify your reasons.

If you are only inviting children of close friends and family, it is tactful to telephone others with children before sending out the invitations to let them know or they may feel that their children have been singled out.

If you do have to invite children to your wedding, here are some tips and handy hints to try and keep “little ones” amused and allow the adults to have fun.

Hire babysitters or a crèche service.
Hire a children’s entertainer, clowns or puppet show.
Seat children together at a special “kids table”. Cover the tables with paper and put crayons or felt-tip pens in the middle.
Give each child an activity pack including games and puzzles, bubbles, crayons, colouring books.
Serve a kids meal consisting of chicken nuggets, pizzas, cheesy potatoes, pasta, fish fingers etc.
Give children jobs at the wedding reception i.e. asking guests to write messages in the Guest Book, passing around favours, handing out disposable cameras.
Have a special cinema corner set up for young ones, with comfy pillows, popcorn and juice showing tiny-tot favourites like Finding Nemo, Shrek, The Lion King etc.

It may seem like a lot of additional effort, but this day is one to remember for the rest of your life, and if having children at the wedding means you can ensure your closest friends and family can also be there, it’s well worth it!

5 intimate weddings

Modest guest lists lend themselves to unusual and exceptional wedding venues. Be inspired by our top 5 venues for small and chic weddings in the UK.

1. Temple of Apollo, Stourhead, Wiltshire

Who for: Romantic couples who want a beautiful, classic and intimate ceremony. The garden temple will seat 30 guests to witness your wedding

What: A tranquil paradise. Situated in one of the finest landscape gardens in the world, the stone built Temple of Apollo, built in 1765, is truly stunning. Looks familiar? You may well have seen it in the proposal seen in remake of Pride and Prejudice. If it’s good enough for Keira Knightley Matthew MacFadyen…

Why: It’s timelessly beautiful and will provide a magnificent backdrop for your wedding photographs.

2. Millbrook Estate, High Bickington, Devon

Who for: Nature lovers who want to be married hidden away, in a breath taking valley. Millbrook specialises in weddings for up to 20 guests, they also do ‘Runaway Weddings’ for less than four guests…

Why: Stunning and very private, Millbrook is set within a valley location of 32 acres of beautiful countryside with lakes, wild flower meadows and mature woodland. Marry in the extremely intimate secret garden conservatory or in the summerhouse, which has enormous folding doors to let the outside in, and a huge fireplace for roaring log fires in the winter months. The venue even offers private dinning for true romantics.

3. Forter Castle, Perthshire, Scotland

Who for: The Bride and Groom who want a venue fit for a King and Queen. The castle can accommodate 16 for a sit down meal or up to 24 for a buffet and sleeps up to 12.

What: This16th century fortified tower is like something from a fairy-tale – it’s been lovingly restored from a ruin to retain its original character and charm, but with opulent modern-day comforts and even boasts its very own chapel. The surrounding highlands are unspoilt and sure to impress.

Why: It’s dramatic and intimate at the same time.

4. Nash Point Lighthouse, Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales

Who for: Quirky couples looking for a unique place to tie the knot. The spectacular Lighthouse can hold 25 guests, over two floors.

What: One of the few operational lighthouses where you can get married, beautiful Nash Point Lighthouse is situated on one of the cleanest, sandy coastlines in South Wales and noted for its variety and birdlife. You’ll be treated to a spectacular view while you say ‘I do’ – a great choice for those with an affinity with the sea.

Why: It’s a deliciously different option and a real statement about who you are as a couple.

5. Tunnels Beaches, Ilfracombe, Devon

Who for: Couples who want to a beautiful, informal ceremony at the beach. Tunnels Beaches encourage weddings for up to 60-70 people, with the option of more even guests.

What: A network of hand carved tunnels lead you to a tidal Victorian bathing pool and stunning sheltered beaches, where this chic, contemporary venue lies. Get married in the Thatched Gazebo overlooking the sea, with a sublime view of the rugged coastline and the sound of the sea.

Why: It’s a stunning yet understated choice and the scenery will look fantastic in your photos.

Invite Your Mum to the Hen party

Have a great relationship with your mum and soon-to-be mother-in-law? Wonderful. But do you love your mum and she’s your best friend. She just called and asked if she can come to the Hen party – now what? Well, there’s no right or wrong answer here. It all comes down to your relationship with your mum and if you and your friends are comfortable with the idea. If your first thought is “Of course!” then the answer is really simple — invite her along! Traditionally, having mums in tow hasn’t been the norm, but recently, an increasing number of brides are having them along for the fun. Simply put, it’s your wedding and you should have whoever you want at your Hen party whether it’s going to be raunchy or relaxed.

But if you’re uncertain or downright against your mum attending, then you may need to handle the situation a bit more carefully. First of all, it’s totally okay to say “no” to this request (in the nicest way possible of course), even if you’re not having the heavy drinking, sex toy gift-giving, all-night clubbing kind of bash. Here are more tips for how to tell mum she’s not invited to the Hen.

Be honest.

This is our advice for just about anything where feelings and relationships are involved. Instead of giving a vague response like “We’ll see!” or putting a decision off until later, just be upfront about the fact that you only want your friends and bridesmaids at the Hen. She’ll probably be completely understanding if you list your reasons you’d rather not have her there. And if you get some pushback, try and talk it out and even offer an alternative. Which brings us to our next point…

Plan a two-part Hen party.

Dinner, a cooking class, spa treatments and crafts are just a few of the family-friendly of the ways you can start off your Hen Party. Then that night or later on in the night, plan to do all the things you’d want to without your mum. This way, she feels like she’s part of the gang and you can still have a parent-free night later on. This is also a great idea if you have underage family members you also want to include.

Schedule a mother-daughter date.

Think about the reasons why she might be asking to come — maybe she feels like she hasn’t had the chance to spend enough time with you lately and is feeling left out. If that’s the case, you could set aside some time for just you and her to catch up and enjoy each other’s company.

Unique Weddings

Here are some top ideas to make your wedding a standout celebration.

A Luxurious Reception Lounge

Give guests a place to mingle between dance breaks by creating a lounge area at your reception. Fill the space with couches or chairs and plenty of pillows to sink into. It’s the perfect way to keep everyone in on the party even when they’re resting. Really want to wow? Close off the area with curtains to create a VIP vibe.

Ushers

You may already be planning to have your ushers escort guests to their ceremony seats, but consider having reception ushers. These “live escort cards” walk guests to their tables for an upscale restaurant experience. Ask your reception venue or caterer if its waiting staff can do this double duty, or assign a few ushers to the job.

Guest Transportation

If you’re planning on shuttling your guests from the ceremony to the reception, make the journey part of the fun by renting some seriously cool mass transportation. Take wedding transportation to new heights with a hot air balloon ride. Or, if it’ll suit your wedding style, get nostalgic with some charming buses. And for extra flair, customize the ride by playing fun music or decking out the wedding bus with a sign that reads, “Wedding Guests”

Pre ceremony cocktails

Your guests won’t be expecting any drinks until the reception, so give them a pleasant surprise by setting up a table of light beverages on the way into the ceremony. Just don’t serve anything too strong — think: mimosas or fruit-infused iced teas they can sip before taking their seats (and don’t forget to have non-alcoholic versions too!). Have your caterer or ushers collect any stray glasses to make sure the space is tidy before the processional begins.

Welcome Bags

Make your guests feel like VIPs with welcome bags that go beyond a map and a few snacks. Stuff personalized tote bags with mini bottles of bubbly or a six-pack of a local microbrew, a gift certificate to your favourite local coffee shop and an individual “Welcome!” note from you.

Make your guests feel like VIPs with welcome bags that go beyond a map and a few snacks. Stuff personalized tote bags with mini bottles of bubbly or a six-pack of a local microbrew, a gift certificate to your favourite local coffee shop and an individual “Welcome!” note from you.

Wedding favours

Keep your guests comfortable all day by thinking ahead. Out of town guests will appreciate a custom scented soap so they don’t have to rely on the standard hotel samples. Planning on dancing until the next morning? Put out baskets of flip-flops (in your wedding colours, of course) so guests can take their shoes off. Having an outdoor reception that might get breezy? Make sure guests keep warm by offering up some cosy pashminas. And for a summer outdoor ceremony in the afternoon, provide a station with spray-on sunscreen and a stack of inexpensive sunglasses.

Convenient Child Care

Hire a babysitter (or two) and set her up in a room so your youngest guests have a place to go when they tire out. If it’s possible, pick a room near your reception location so parents can stop by to check in on and then return to the party easily. Stock the room with snacks, games and a portable DVD player to keep them entertained, and make sure there’s a soft sofa and blankets for those inevitable naps.

First Dance Confetti Drop

Your first dance will be one of the highlights of your wedding, so add this extra-special touch to up the entertainment factor (and make for some serious photo ops!). If your song is slow and romantic, have fresh flower petals instead of confetti dropped from the ceiling. Your rental company and florist can work together to make this happen — and don’t forget to make sure the reception waiting staff will be standing by to clean up.

Show stopping ceremony exit.

If you play it right, your ceremony exit will be one of the most heavily photographed moments of your wedding — so forget the rose petals and birdseed. Jazz up your exit by passing out small bags of colorful confetti, paper airplanes, mini beach balls, or even lavender buds for everyone to toss your way. Even better: Stage your own mini parade by passing out parasols and noisemakers for your guests to escort you to your getaway car.

Wedding Night gifts for the Groom

A hand-written love letter, an engraved keepsake, or something suitably sexy. Here’s some inspiration for meaningful gifts for your groom, from boudoir shoots to honeymoon accessories for every taste and budget, with romantic ideas for how you can make it a night to remember.

Meaningful gifts for your groom are best served up on your wedding night, before the acrobatics begin. It’s the time you finally get to be together, just the two of you, so make it memorable. You should know, better than anyone, what he will appreciate most, whether it’s an act of love or something he can keep forever, or both.

A Bed of Rose Petals and Fairy lights

Set the scene: light the room with gently glowing heart-shaped fairy lights, small scented votives and church candles and scatter the bed with real rose petals as a prelude to your night ahead. Hang the fairy lights around your own bed when you get back home.

A Champagne and Candle-lit Bath

Leave all the drama and spectacle of your wedding day behind you by running a romantic, candle-lit bath and share a bottle of Champagne as you relax together.

Sexy Photograph Surprise

Present him with stunning professional boudoir style photographs of yourself. You will love the experience, which can do wonders for your confidence, and he will love the results. The framed photo can be hung on your bedroom wall when you get back from your honeymoon.

Beautiful Bridal Lingerie

Ask him to help you out of your wedding dress to reveal the sexiest lingerie he has ever seen you in, complete with garter! Alternatively, change out of your ivory bridal lingerie into something befitting your night of passion ahead.

An Engraved Pocket Watch

A vintage pocket watch, with your own engraved message of love for him to see every day is both thoughtful and practical. Add your wedding date and he’ll never be able to forget your anniversary either!

His ‘n’Hers Passport Covers

If practical gifts are more his style, give him a passport cover with matching luggage tags for your honeymoon and get yourself the same!

Whatever you feel he would love most, your wedding night is special, and to mark it in this memorable way shows how thoughtful you are. Just don’t forget to hint that you’re getting him a little something…

Fairytale Weddings

When it comes to romance, beauty and timeless charm, Disney has it all sewn up. Everyone has a favourite Disney character or story, and even if you’re not the biggest Disney fan, it’s hard not to be bewitched by the escapism of Disney’s larger-than-life fairy tales.

In celebration of Disney’s enduring sparkle, be inspired by four of the most famous — and best loved — Disney princesses. Whether you’re looking for inspiration for a Disney themed wedding, or you’d just like a touch of Disney magic on your big day, check out these four very special Disney princess mood boards.

Eternally Elsa

Frozen is a modern classic, loved by millions across the globe. Perhaps you’re such a big fan of the film that you’ll be playing “Let It Go” as you walk down the aisle…or maybe you just want to incorporate some of Elsa’s signature sky blue into your wedding styling. With her side plait and ice cool beauty, Elsa is a stunning Disney icon — and a few touches of Frozen magic will make your wedding day spellbinding.

Charming Cinderella

Cinderella is perhaps the most popular princess to inspire a wedding day. Her fairy-tale revolves around love and marriage — and a beautiful girl’s search for Prince Charming. Now you’ve found “the one”, you could celebrate your own love story by taking a leaf out of Cinders’ book: go for full-on glamour with a huge ball gown, sparkling headdress, sensational underwear, a horse drawn carriage, glitzy reception décor and — of course — a beautiful pair of glass slippers.

Seductive Snow White

Snow White is a dark fairy-tale complete with a wicked witch, a poisoned apple and a glass casket where Snow White sleeps until she is woken from her slumber by a handsome prince. If you’re using this story as your inspiration, forget the seven dwarves and concentrate on the enigmatic beauty of this Disney classic. Opt for dramatic make-up, a crimson dress, blood red roses against bright white icing, linen and candles, and a classic red and white colour palette. If you’re a raven haired beauty with a mysterious side, Snow White is definitely the princess to inspire you.

Rocking Rapunzel

In the 2010 Disney movie Tangled, Rapunzel appeared as a feisty, independent and spirited princess with a bubbly personality — as well as magic golden hair. If you want to blend timeless Disney romance with a contemporary edge, use Rapunzel as your role model. Look for a boho-inspired gown, 70s-style headband, pops of purple in your colour scheme and – in keeping with Rapunzel tradition – a castle with a tower for your reception.

Guests Dos and Don’ts

Brides often worry about some guests that may not behave and are worried about how to approach the issue of the Grooms (or her) relatives or others that may not behave well. Here is a list a do’s and don’ts for guests. We dare you to include a print-out in your wedding invitations!

1. RSVP on Time

Hi guest! You’ll notice on your wedding invitation there’s a date for RSVPs to be in by. That deadline is there for a reason, so please make sure you get back to us by then. The seating plan is hard enough to sort without all of the RSVP’S!

2. No Kids Means No Kids

You might notice your wedding invitation is addressed to just you and your partner. As much as we love little Cosmo and Chrysanthemum, we’ve decided to have a child-free wedding. No exceptions. Not even for children as delightful as yours. Don’t ask. (This goes for everyone – if the name isn’t on the invitation, they NOT invited.)

3. Don’t Wear White

Or ivory, or cream. Steer clear of those colours, and even more so if lace is involved too. You can wear your nice white lace dress to any event of the year. Brides get one day to wear their nice white lace dress. Don’t ruin it.

4. Don’t Wear Black

Black is a bit funeral-esque, and traditionally wearing black was a way to protest against the marriage. So unless you not-so-secretly wish the bride was marrying you, put your black tie back on the rack and pick out a more jaunty floral one.

5. Just Obey the Dress Code in General

Unless the wedding invitation states that there’s an informal dress code, don’t assume there is one. That means no jeans! Yes, they’re comfy and you can do an awesome slide-across-the-room-on-your-knees in them, but it’s not the time or the place.

6. No Last Minute Change of Plan

If you’ve said you’re going, unless it’s a serious emergency or you’re horribly, contagiously ill, do not even think of cancelling. Likewise, if you said you’re not attending, don’t even think about rocking up to the wedding breakfast unannounced. Even if you bring an awesome gift. Come to the evening party (with the gift).

7. Switch Your Phone Off

Picture the scene, the registrar is guiding the couple through their vows, the bride is delicately wiping tears of happiness from her eyes and…what’s that? ‘Toxic’ by Britney Spears starts blaring out. Oh, that’s your phone? TURN IT OFF.

8. Don’t get in the Photographer’s Way

So you have over 500 followers on Instagram? You’re still not the photographer the couple hired for their big day, so don’t get in their way, wielding your iPhone. Or iPad. But no one would actually bring an iPad to a wedding, right…?

9. Think about Your Hat

If you’re wearing a hat to the wedding, good for you. More people should wear hats. But be considerate when choosing it – a tall hat will block views at the ceremony and a wide hat will eclipse guests during the group pictures.

10. Don’t Smuggle in Alcohol

You’re not going for a night out in Oceana. You’re going to a fancy wedding, where the couple have paid a considerable amount to host you, and may be limited by corkage charges. Don’t risk getting them fined or getting yourself thrown out for the sake of a few Malibu miniatures in your clutch bag.

11. Don’t Drink Too Much Alcohol

There’s a fine line between dancing with your friends and taking some hilarious photo booth pictures, but if you start to cry, swear or be sick, you’ve gone too far. No one wants to be the person who wrote a rude message in the sentimental guest book after one too many Sambuca’s.

12. Behave Yourself

You wouldn’t go to a restaurant and decide to steal some of the décor (at least we hope not), so resist the urge to make off with one of the carefully assembled centrepieces or inhale the helium from a giant balloon before giving an impromptu speech. Unless you’re invited to, in which case, knock yourself out

13. Do Not Touch the Seating Plan

I know Uncle Jerry is a bit boring, but if you’re sat by him – tough luck! The couple have spent hours working out their seating plan and you can’t even begin to imagine the logistics. If you switch place cards for whatever reason, all hell could break loose.

14. Try Not to Sulk

There’s a thing about wedding season – lots of wedding tend to happen. If you’re marrying at a similar time to a friend, don’t be upset if they, like you, have gone for a rustic theme or a similar dress. It happens! No one will notice, unless you point it out.

15. Consider the Environment

Everyone loves the confetti shot – it’s so much fun! But be considerate and choose biodegradable confetti. It’s nicer for the environment and avoids the happy couple getting whacked with any fines for flouting the venue’s rules.

16. You get what you’re given

Don’t moan about the menu choices to the couple. It’s their wedding and they’re footing the bill, so it’s only fair they’re allowed to eat their favourite wedding foods. As long as they’ve catered for any dietary requirements, you can’t complain. And don’t try and ask for different food on the day anyway. It won’t happen.

17. Try Not to Be an Entertainment Hog

It’s fine to request a song or two, but be wary of being the guest who hassles the DJ or band with an endless stream of requests, or commandeers the iPod playlist to introduce everyone to your favourite experimental jazz band. It’s quite likely the couple will have a playlist worked out – now is not the time for experimental jazz. We’re not actually sure there’s ever a time for experimental jazz.

18. Have Fun!

It seems like a lot of rules and diva demands, but really it’s just courtesy and common sense! Be happy for the newlyweds and enjoy yourself!

Engagement ring dislikes

You’re head over heels in love, you just had the most perfect proposal, there’s just one thing…you hate the engagement ring your partner chose for you.

Choosing an engagement ring is tough, and it’s very common for the choice not to be exactly to the bride-to-be’s liking: but if you don’t like your engagement ring, you don’t necessarily have to exchange it for another – or put up with a ring that you’re not in love with.

We asked three of the UK’s top jewellers what to do if you hate your engagement ring;

Brides tend not to like their engagement ring for three main reasons: the width and profile of the band isn’t right, the diamond or other precious stone is low set, or the whole ring is not what they imagined. Thankfully, many things can be done about these problems.

If you don’t like the width and profile of your band, you could set your stone into a new ring mount: budget-wise, this isn’t too much of a hit as the main cost is usually the diamond or stone. Another option is to re-shank the ring, cutting the bottom part of the ring off and adding a new bottom (from flat to court shape, for example) so the ring has a softer edge.

To solve the problem of a low set diamond, you have two options. The first is choosing a new ring mount and re-setting the stone higher, so you can see the stone better. The other – possibly cheaper – option is to replace the collet, which is the basket that holds the stone at the top of the ring. It may be possible to attach the new collet higher on the ring.

For couples dealing with these problems, always go to a jeweller with technical experience in this area. They can run you through all the options and the most cost effective way of changing your engagement ring.

If you want to avoid choosing a ring that doesn’t meet your partner’s expectations, the best thing to do is buy a loose diamond or precious stone and propose with that: your bride-to-be gets to choose or make the engagement ring she always wanted, but you still have something amazing to propose with. Alternatively, do some research and either ask questions sneakily to your other half, or get a close family member to help you choose. They should have a good idea of the style your partner will love and then it’s not so much of a blind choice.”

Many people are presented with an engagement ring that is not to their taste: often this is a ring that isn’t what you had hoped for, or an inherited piece. The temptation is to sell it, but this is usually the worst thing to do: second-hand jewellers base their buying prices on scrap metal values, even when the jewellery is brand new or in perfectly good condition. Often they will not even add value to the price if there are gemstones in the ring. With jewellery remodelling, you will have to pay for the commission – but the finished piece is then worth the same, if not more, than the original piece.

A typical scenario might be for a fiancé to propose with a yellow gold diamond engagement ring that cost £2,000 – and the bride-to-be doesn’t like it. If she sells it to a second-hand hand jeweller she might get £495 and although she buys a new ring that she prefers the style of, a ring for £495 is way smaller and has lower quality diamonds. She has effectively downgraded her jewellery.

If she came to us with the original ring, we could remove the diamonds from the first ring and reset them into a new design. She could also change the ring from yellow gold to white and use the gold setting as part payment. Such a remodelling process would cost £495 and, by using the original diamond, the ring retains its commercial and sentimental value.”

The reasons brides-to-be dislike their engagement ring include incorrect size (they would have liked a bigger or smaller diamond), the centre diamond is the wrong shape or they wanted a clear/coloured diamond. Some brides feel there’s not enough sparkle, or they would have liked a multi-stone diamond ring or shoulder set diamonds. Others would have preferred rose gold/ yellow gold/platinum. Some brides-to-be want a ‘wedfit’ set (an engagement ring shaped so the wedding ring will eventually sit neatly next to it and look like one ring).

In the first instance, take the ring back to the retailer to see if it can be exchanged or made to meet your requirements. Alternatively, speak to a reputable jeweller who is a member of the BJA (British Jewellers Association); they will give you impartial advice on the different options available.

We can try to change the stone size up or down and, if a coloured diamond is required, we can remove the existing diamond and replace it with the customer’s choice. If the centre diamond is the wrong shape, we would either remodel or make a new shank to fit the correct stone. We also offer a shape to fit service on any diamond engagement ring, making a diamond/plain wedding band to sit neatly next to it without gaps.

If you’re looking for a diamond engagement ring, try to identity the four Cs with your partner before you buy, finding out what cut, colour, clarity and carat she prefers. Based on this information, shop around to see who can give you the best deal.

It’s important to buy a diamond ring handcrafted in the UK; if it’s above 0.30ct, make sure it has a diamond certificate and is British Hallmarked. The difference in the quality and the diamond setting will ensure the diamonds never fall out (unless you accidently damage the ring) so it lasts a lifetime. If you have the budget, purchase a platinum diamond engagement ring, rather than 9ct or 18ct white gold, to avoid the unnecessary costs of rhodium plating the white gold periodically.”