Under Your Wedding Dress

What are you planning to wear under your wedding dress? A pretty matching two-piece, sexy Basque lingerie or maybe shapewear to hold you in? Consider your wedding dress style, body shape and remember to factor in comfort. Here are some pointers to help you make the best choice when it comes to choosing underwear to wear on your wedding day and how to avoid doing what I did when I accidentally flashed mine at all my guests in church…

When you’re wearing a bridal gown, whether a heavy duchess satin meringue with layers of underskirts or a slinkier number, it’s important to find the right underwear. So where do you start?

Here’s what to consider;

How to support and make the most of your bust whatever size you are

Where to find the right bra if your gown is strapless or backless

Whether to wear tights, stockings and suspenders or hold-ups

What style of knickers for comfort and/or style

How to flatten your tummy and shape your hips to create smoother lines under your gown

How to narrow your waist to create more of an hour-glass figure

Whether to wear a garter or not

Bra and knickers

A bra and knickers (or just the knickers) is likely to be the most comfortable option. It’s worth trying on several different types of bras with your wedding dress before you decide on one, considering how it feels as much as how well it supports and how pretty it looks.

The good news is there is an underwear solution for every gown, whatever the cut. You can find strapless, backless, multi-way, low-front and low-back bras, bras to support, maximise or minimise or push-up breasts to create cleavage. You don’t have to wear white either; with the right dress you could wear a pastel shade or even a darker shade of underwear, only to be revealed on your wedding night.

Strapless and backless bras

Strapless dresses are still very much in vogue and many are gorgeous and flattering but they do differ greatly in their construction. Some are made with inner support for your bust while others will need a good strapless bra to be worn underneath.

Backless or low-backed gowns can be worn without a bra for the few of us who are brave enough but a clever multi-way bra is, for most of us, a much better option.

Knickers or G-string

The knickers you choose have to be comfy. Don’t be tempted to try something different on your wedding day such as the delicate derriere dental floss fashion’ of the G-string, just to impress the man you have already impressed

If you’re used to G-strings then fine but if not, trust us, this is not the day to try one out for the first time.

Basques and corsets

A sexy alternative to the separates is a one-piece Basque or corset. Some will support your bust and pull in your waist and tummy but not all so it is worth trying these on with your gown, ideally before buying. Most come with suspenders attached, just add knickers and stockings. You could look stunning in the right corset or Basque.

Shapewear

If you want a flatter tummy, slimmer hips and/or a lifted bottom then consider shapewear. It can make a real difference and doesn’t have to look like a Bridget Jones wet suit. Shapewear is not all beige, some is now silky, lacy and sexy as well as shaping.

Garters, stockings, tights and hold-ups

You don’t have to wear anything on your legs but nylons can make your shoes more comfortable. There are pros and cons as tights can be hot (and arguably unsexy at the end of the night) while sexier stockings can be fiddly with suspenders and hold-ups can feel tight and don’t always hold up all day.

If you don’t mind suspenders then stockings are a good option and one your groom will enjoy helping you take off at the end of the night. Wear a garter if you want to – when will you ever get to wear one again?

Why brides wear a garter

Are garters a thing of the past? A recent poll had a mixed reaction. It seems some of you love them, while others think they should be consigned to the dustbins of history.

So how do you wear them and what should they look like? Garters are often ivory and blue silk, satin or lace – ivory to match your dress and the pale blue to be your ‘something blue.’ They come in old fashioned lacy Edwardian or racy contemporary styles in all colours and widths, with ribbons or crystals or, if you’re superstitious, a lucky 6pence in a matching bag stitched to the garter. You can even get edible candy garters for the naughty child in you! Garters should be worn mid-thigh and were originally designed to hold up silk stockings by tying a length of silk or cotton around the top, before the invention of elastic, or nylon, or tights for that matter!

Garters for every size of thigh

For slim or sexy thighs they provide an ideal photo opportunity for the wedding album. And for sexy plus-size brides there are plus-size garters out there to fit every thigh. About a Bride offers plus-size bridal garters in dress sizes from 18-54. Yes 54! So there’s no excuse if you want to wear one!

Embroidered keepsake garters

Sweet Nothings Lingerie and Silk Garters both offer a bespoke service where you can have a garter made in your chosen style, colour and fabrics. A biker bride could have a leather garter made, another bride may prefer to have a personalized garter embroidered with her new married name and the date of her wedding to have as a keepsake long after the wedding.

Tossing the garter

These days many brides have two garters, one to treasure as a keepsake of the wedding, the other for her new husband to (ahem) ‘toss’ to the male guests at the reception. Traditional folklore has it that the groom removes the bride’s garter and throws it to his single friends after the wedding in much the same way that his new wife throws the wedding bouquet, but this strikes a startling image of a hapless male struggling to get the darn thing off. No, once slipped onto a sexy thigh, we think it’s better left there for your new husband to peel off later, much, much later.

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.

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!

Marriage and equality

Celebrate “Love Wins” with these inspired same-sex wedding décor ideas — from cute “Mr.” and “Mr.” chair signs to customized cake toppers featuring two brides.

When it comes to crafting a beautiful wedding, it’s all about representing the couple’s style and personality — and same-sex weddings are no different. With the law changing in favour of marriage and equality, we’re feeling especially inspired to share some gorgeous wedding-planning ideas for gay and lesbian couples.

We’ve rounded up a few décor ideas that provide a unique twist on traditional wedding details: Kick off the festivities with a personalized billboard sign, a fun way to welcome your guests — and get them excited for the nuptials ahead! Add a twist to traditional ceremony seating with a tongue-in-cheek sign pointing guests to choose a seat and not a side (either way it’s for a bride!). Want to show off your newlywed status in style? Opt for matching ‘Groom and Groom chair designs adorned with greenery or display whimsical “Bride” and “Bride” laser-cut letters in front of your handcrafted sweets. You can also add a humorous — and elegant! — upgrade to the grooms’ cake with tiered chocolate cupcakes adorned with mini bowties and top hats. For brides, go for simple “Hers” and “Hers” calligraphed signs in front of delicious, non-traditional wedding cakes. And as the night’s celebration comes to a close, send off your guests with personalized canvas totes that read “Love is Love” — a perfect closing to an unforgettable night!

Whether you’re sticking to tradition or going all-out with personalized details celebrate love with these creative wedding ideas that make for a truly unique same-sex wedding!!

Welcome your guests with a sign with big personality — like a billboard with your wedding-day phrase!

Beach themed weddings

Many absolutely adore heading to the seaside as a relaxing day out away from the troubles of modern life. Be it diving head first into the waves or sprawling out on your towel, it’s fair to say that we as a nation love going to the beach – we even spend money to sit on the sand abroad – but have you ever considered a seaside themed wedding?

You can’t actually get married on the beach in the UK without jumping through a few hoops. As such, it might be better to merely theme your wedding around the seaside instead, opting to exchange vows at a cliff-side stately home.

Strolling entertainment

A strolling musical act is a very popular act of all – For example you could book a strolling act comprising two guitarists and a saxophonists, the group have a pre-prepared repertoire that they hand out to guests as they stroll about your wedding venue. Like the look of a song on their sheet? Request it! A bit like a live walking jukebox. We can readily assure you that guests will not stop talking about your wedding day for many months to come!

Acoustic Band

An acoustic band is perfect for the beach because let’s face it, electronics and water don’t really mix. Or rather, they do mix a little too well and that is very dangerous for all concerned. A summer party down on the sand after your wedding ceremony might just be the order of the day and with this in mind, they can stroll around with your guests and everybody can have a marvellous time!

Mermaids

Let’s be honest, a wedding is often a somewhat magical affair and to that end, why not take it from the realm of reality by hiring a mermaid or two to swim elegantly in the waves? At first, guests won’t be totally sure of what they’ve seen but after getting a glimpse or two of the tail, we are sure they’ll absolutely love the surprise! A fascinating act that is performed by experienced aqua performers, your wedding photos will be a sight to see, keep this in mind when planning your wedding entertainment.

Ice Cream Van

What’s a trip to the seaside without an ice cream? No trip to the beach is complete without a Mr. Whippy with 99 flake or a few scoops in a cone and your wedding is the perfect timing to hand one out to everybody! With the sun beaming on your wedding day and the sea breeze cooling everybody down, an ice cream will surely make a welcome change from the bottles of fizz doing the rounds!

 

The best surprise of all

When it comes to weddings, there are many opportunities to surprise the bride and groom. Be it with gifts, a fun interactive game for the newlyweds to engage in during the wedding reception or the Best Man’s speech, each surprise is sure to delight and entertain those in attendance. But what about surprising the bride and groom with entertainment? Here are three brilliant options.

Stand up Opera

One for the couple who love a bit of musical theatre, Stand Up Opera is a comedy and music performance unlikely anything you’ve ever seen! The concept begins during the drinks reception, where two charismatic performs will mingle with other wedding guests. Later in the day, the duo take centre stage to commemorate the new Mr. & Mrs. but their witty chatter quickly turns into an impressive and unexpected performance with operatic and classical crossover duets. The perfect blend of laughter and spine-tingling music for your big day!

Breakdancing Waiters

For those who are familiar with flash mobs, Breakdancing Waiters shouldn’t be too hard to explain. For the uninitiated, a flashmob is when a group of people who appeared not to be linked suddenly break out in song and dance! If you book Breakdancing Waiters for your wedding, you’ll receive a troupe of performers who immerse themselves among the wait staff and then break out into a stunning dance routine that will shock everybody in the room. A tremendous alternative to Singing Waiters but just as enjoyable!

Singing Waiters

Perhaps the most famous of the surprise acts, since their arrival on the events scene over the past decade, Singing Waiters have been a hugely popular booking for wedding entertainment each and every year. Working as part of the catering staff throughout the wedding breakfast, Singing Waiters surprise every person in the room by breaking out into song at a pre-arranged time. Perhaps the bride and groom have a special song that would be perfect for the Singing Waiters treatment? Hugely fun, this is sure to stun the room.

 

Getting the music mix right

We all know that when it comes to creating the perfect atmosphere for your wedding, music plays an important part. But if you really want to personalise the soundtrack to your big day, why not consider a completely bespoke musical experience? Here are our top tips for creating bespoke wedding music that wows!

A string quartet playing Bohemian Rhapsody, for example sounds awesome. The traditional wedding march on electric guitar? Seriously cool. You can even see if your musicians will mix up their dress code and typical band setting – we once had a band who loosened their ties and set down their instruments before crowd surfing over guests!

Singing waiters may seem a bit cheesy to some, but they’re still great fun. Or you could try something similar – one of my favourite wedding gigs involved recreating the scene from the film Love Actually where the musicians sit amongst the congregation in the church and stand up as each instrumental section joins the wedding march.

When it comes to wedding entertainment, the sky’s the limit. Depending on your tastes you can choose from heavy metal, bandeoke (karaoke with a live band), reggaeoke (karaoke with a live reggae band), an opera performance, or even Burlesque dancers and fire eaters. Just decide on what’s going to make the day special for you and reflect your tastes, and go for it!

Combining Reggae with Charleston makes for a lot of fun, for example. Or mixing world music styles such as Sega and Mauritian traditional music. Speak to your band to see what’s possible. Depending on the preferences of you and your better half, don’t choose between them;combine them and make something totally unique to your personalities.

 

How to choose a choir

Many wish to follow in the footsteps of Harry and Meghan and host a choral ensemble that will wow guests on their wedding day. But should you go for a gospel choir or something else? We look into your options.

Gospel Choir

A gospel choir traditionally focuses on Christian music (that is after all where gospels come from) but the creation, performance, significance, and even the definition of gospel music varies according to culture and social context. When it comes to events and weddings, one can expect tunes that have been adapted to feature a whole lot of soul and the result is a hugely uplifting choral performance. Everybody will be smiling!

A Cappella

When we talk about a cappella, we are talking about a very specific type of choir for weddings, in this case those that have their routes in American performance. Think Glee, think Pitch Perfect and you are definitely on the right track. Able to perform a variety of pop songs in an a cappella style, the choirs are often only four or five people strong but pack a huge punch.

Choral Ensemble

A choral ensemble is slightly larger than what we envision when we think about an a cappella act. Think of the world famous Sixteen or the choir to which your grandma or grandpa belongs. There tend to be clear distinctions between the parts that people are singing (tenor, soprano, etc.) and the result is a wall of music that will astonish and amaze guests at your wedding.

Beatboxing

When we say beatboxing, we actually a cappella with beatboxing but it’s far easier to distinguish between the two if we focus on the main difference! A very modern form of vocal accomplishment, a beatboxer brings a whole new vibe to the singing at your wedding. They often set the beat (as the name suggests) and will often perform a short solo to the amazement of wedding guests.

Christmas Carol Singer

A blog on choirs for weddings wouldn’t be complete without suggesting Christmas carol singers and the best bit is that often, if you request it, a choir may very well be able to do one set of Christmas songs as well as their usual setlist. Get the festivities flowing on your wedding day by booking a choir today!

 

Incorporating kids at your wedding

Children at weddings? Do you invite them or not? It’s always a heated topic when discussing wedding planning and we’re here to help you make a properly informed decision. Read on to find out more…

Do you invite all kids? Just babies? Or just teenagers? What about if you’re having young flowergirls and pageboys? Can you then ban your friends from bringing their offspring (we think not).

In addition, you may have teenagers at your wedding too. They are easier to entertain (they’ll like chatting to friends and maybe even dancing if they consider the music cool enough) but you’re still going to have to bear their likes and dislikes in mind.

First off, let’s think about the young children. Very young babies aren’t such a problem – they’ll hopefully sleep and can be cuddled by everybody (something the grannies usually enjoy!)

However toddlers and under 5s can be quite demanding. Supermodel Kate Moss solved this problem at her wedding by having a marquee dedicated to children, with drama teachers and nannies on call.

Obviously that’s not something most of us can copy as we don’t all have a supermodel’s budget, but you can have children’s play areas on your wedding day – maybe a corner of the marquee or barn stocked with colouring books, toys and somewhere peaceful to watch a DVD. Overtired children can get tearful so if you can have a quiet chill-out area for them, so much the better.

If you’re having a Christmas wedding, you could invite ‘Santa’ to visit the young children and bring a gift – this would be good timing just after the wedding speeches when everybody is getting ready to party.

Finally, if you do employ childcare for the event, make sure that the individual is CRB checked beforehand.

Children of all ages – including ‘seen it all before’ teens will enjoy watching a good magician – particularly one who works the tables and does magic close up.

An experienced conjurer will gauge his tricks according to the age group he’s entertaining – you just have to look at the cult following of Dynamo to see that ‘how did he do that’ magic has never been more popular.

If you’re having a summer wedding and you’ve room outside, consider having a bouncy castle for the kids but alternate sessions for different age groups. An energetic 12-year-old boy let loose amongst toddlers will quickly result in tears and of course you’ll need to have a responsible adult to keep an eye on proceedings.

Garden games always go down well (but remember they’re largely weather dependent). You can hire giant games of Jenga, croquet and even old-fashioned fairground swings.

The trick to making sure kids have a great time at your wedding is to think about them beforehand, maybe consulting the parents as to what they like and have some planned strategies and entertainments.