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.

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…

Church Wedding

With more UK wedding venues available than ever, saying your vows in a church is no longer the norm. But for many couples, a church wedding is still an essential and traditional part of the big day.

So with around a third of UK couples still choosing a religious ceremony, here’s our beginner’s guide to booking a wedding ceremony in church:

What are the legal requirements for a church wedding?

Couples must be 18 to marry without their parents’ consent in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, or 16 with their approval. The ceremony must take place between 8am and 6pm, witnessed by two people.

In Scotland it’s legal to marry from 16 without consent and at any time of day, although you do still require two witnesses.

Most marriages require banns to be published before the wedding, signifying your intention to marry. These need to be read out in the parish where each of you lives, as well as the church where you’ll be married for three Sundays during the three months before the wedding.

If there isn’t enough time for this, you can apply for a license costing from £200, which you may also need if one of the couple isn’t British or lives outside England. In Scotland, you need to give 15 days’ notice with the local registrar.

NB: Marriage and Civil Partnership laws are changing from March 2015 when it comes to giving notice. Find out more!

Are the rules different in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

Yes — Scotland in particular has different laws than England and Wales, while there are stricter residency requirements in Northern Ireland. Catholic churches also differ, for example, needing a dispensation if one person is not Catholic but not requiring the banns to be read.

Can I get married in any church?

For a ceremony in England and Wales, you can marry in any church if you meet one of several conditions: that either of you has lived or attended services in the parish for at least six months, was baptized or prepared for confirmation there, that one of your parents or grandparents was married in the parish, or one of your parents has lived or attended services there for at least six months after you were born. If you’ve recently moved, you’ll be eligible to marry in your new parish too.

In Scotland, there are no residency requirements so you can marry in any church you choose. In practice, it may depend on availability and the individual minister who’s likely to want to meet couples who aren’t members of the church beforehand.

In Northern Ireland, one of the couple must be resident in the district where you plan to marry for at least 14 days before being eligible, unless you apply for a special licence

Do I have to attend church before I can get married there?

Not for a Church of England ceremony, although if your heart is set on marrying in a church where you have no connections, attending services for six months — even a single service each month — would allow this.

Do I have to be religious to have a church wedding?

Not necessarily. The Church of England says anyone is “welcome to have a Church of England wedding, regardless of your beliefs… as vicars understand that spiritual beliefs are complex and varied”.

How far in advance should I book a UK church ceremony?

Churches can become booked up several months in advance, so ask the vicar or church office as early as possible, especially for popular dates. Many churches won’t arrange weddings during Lent, although this doesn’t apply to Catholic ceremonies.

How much will a church ceremony cost?

The legal fee for marrying in 2015 costs £486 in England and around £500 in Wales, which covers expenses for calling the banns, the certificate, vicar and church. Extras such as having an organist, bells, choir or flowers — as well as heating — will incur an additional cost. In Scotland and Northern Ireland there are no fixed costs.

Can I use my own vows in church?

Not in England and Wales, where legally no part of the wedding vows can be changed. However it’s possible to include poems, readings or songs which have a special significance in the service, depending on the individual vicar. In Scotland, you can vary the traditional forms or write your own with the minister’s approval.

Can I decorate a church with my own flowers?

Yes. Most churches will be able to recommend someone, but you can also use your own florist. It’s worth discussing any plans for large displays with the vicar to check they won’t cause any problems during the ceremony.

What happens during a church wedding rehearsal?

The rehearsal is a chance for the bride and groom, as well as bridesmaids, the best man and any family and friends who are involved in the ceremony, to run through the service and make sure everyone knows what to expect.

Will my guests be allowed to throw confetti outside the church?

The rules on throwing confetti vary from church to church so it’s worth asking whether or not confetti is allowed so that you can inform your guests in advance. If confetti is not allowed then the church might allow a natural or bio-degradable substitute.

Can I have my reception in the church hall?

Yes, although it depends on the individual church and their facilities. However you can also arrange the reception at another venue if you prefer.

Fairground weddings

If wedding entertainment is high on your list of priorities when planning your big day, why not consider giving your guests a real thrill by booking a wedding venue with a funfair?

We’ve picked out five funfair wedding venues to inspire you if you want to treat your guests to something a little different on your wedding day. If you can’t find a wedding venue with a funfair near you, why not look into hiring funfair attractions to add something extra to your reception?

1. Marleybrook House

Kent wedding venue Marleybrook House, former home to legendary cabaret star Eartha Kitt, has its own Vintage Fayre! The venue will set it up for you – we recommend keeping it a secret until the day so you can see your guests’ faces when you arrive!

There are retro side stalls including an original 1940s High Striker to test strength and swing boats from 1890. Set up next to hay bales, apple crates and a vintage tractor, it will take you back in time.

2. Blists Hill Victoria Town

If you’re looking for a unique wedding venue in the Midlands, the Ironbridge Gorge Museums in Shropshire are a good choice. This includes Blists Hill Victorian Town, which is a recreation of a working Victorian town complete with a funfair.

The funfair is set up opposite where most receptions take place and you and your guests can enjoy chair-o-planes, coconut shy’s, swing boats, and on certain days, a magnificent Victorian carousel featuring galloping horses. Imagine the wedding picture opportunities.

3. The Hop Farm

Home to The Hop Farm Festival, The Hop Farm also has a funfair which you can use at your wedding. It includes the amazing ‘giant jumping pillows’ to bounce away on, as well as an amazing vintage carousel, amongst other things.

The Kent wedding venue is popular for those who want a wedding with a fun, unique twist!

4. The Garden Room Syon Park

The Garden Room at Syon Park lends itself perfectly to wedding receptions with a fun twist.

This stunning wedding reception venue comes complete with adjacent outside space, set within acres of idyllic parkland. The gardens can be used for welcome drinks, giving your wedding day the wow factor from the very start. The gardens can also be used to host a fun fair to entertain your guests, complete with rides, side stalls and candy floss.

A light and airy reception room comes complete with contemporary furnishings and an understated colour scheme, enabling you to keep it traditional or create a personalised look for your special day.

5. Preston Court

Preston Court has a lot to offer when it comes to your wedding – there are large gardens with lakes, lawns and a magical island that boasts a regency wrought iron bridge – so you can marry outside in the garden or in front of a magnificent fairground organ, located in the barn.

There is a full scale and fully operational Victorian carousel, complete with galloping horses and chariots – lots of fun for your guests and amazing for pictures – and a Victorian showman’s wagon which is used as a dressing room on the day. The fairground organs can be played on the day, and there is a selection of fairground games available too.

The perfect wedding venue

It’s one of the earliest— and most important — tasks a couple takes on, and for good reason. The site determines the date, ambience, and location of the whole affair. With so much pressure to make the right decision, how does a bride make up her mind? We asked brides on Facebook to share how they made their choice to shed a little light on this planning selection. Here, our favourite answers which may inspire you:

“We visited the ‘dream’ venue”, you know the one you fantasize about getting married at from being a little girl? And it was awful so my fiancé took it upon him to find us a better one and he did. Within a week, we’d visited and booked it — love at first sight.”

“We visited our venue on a holiday before we got engaged and we both said, ‘That’s the place we want to get married.’ We got engaged there and now we’re marrying there next September!”

“We picked an area where we had are first kiss and it held so many sentimental memories for us too, we just had to get married in a place that meant so much to us”

“I picked a place that was not only cost-efficient, but when I went to see it, I knew that it was unique and I had it have it. I love my venue and I absolutely can’t wait to get married there!” See more:

“We wanted ceremony and reception in the same location, so we saw a few wedding venues, but nothing said ‘us’ that was a romantic setting until we saw our venue. It’s perfect and I can’t wait to get married there. It’s my happy place, we both love it.”

“Our original venue cancelled on us and our new venue was the only one free and big enough! Luckily it is a much nicer venue!”

“We must’ve seen over 40 wedding venues. We choose Disney because we fell in love with it! And, well we got some pretty amazing pictures.”

“My grandparents’ garden where I had pretty much grown up. It had so many memories and sentimental reasons to have my wedding where I grew up and learned so much.”

“There was a vintage merry-go-round everyone could ride during the reception. Amazing fun!”

We hope that some of the brides have inspired your to find your perfect venue, just make it personal, after all this is a special day which you will want to remember for the right reasons!!

Wedding cakes

Whether you prefer sugar or fresh flowers, pretty blooms are the perfect accessory for your wedding cake!

One of the highlights of every wedding; the cake! Guests might forget your first dance song or the colour of your table runners, but your friends and family will always remember what your wedding cake tasted like — and looked like.

Wedding cakes with flowers are one of the most popular big day desserts, and for good reason! Pretty blooms add vibrancy to an otherwise simple cake at a relatively low expense. It allows the bride and groom to skip pricier decorative techniques — like fondant or hand-cut details — in favour of floral adornments.

And though sugar flowers cost more than fresh, the fake buds are still a cost-effective way to upgrade your wedding cake without bursting your budget. The best part about going the faux-flower route is that the colour and design options are endless.

If you prefer to use real flowers (which look absolutely gorgeous on a big cake!), choose a bloom that’s currently in season and complements your wedding theme.

One of the most popular ways to include flowers on a big-day dessert; the topper! Many couples are forgoing traditional cake toppers in favour of fresh blooms. But if you can’t image skipping the classic bride and groom, consider other options, like sugar petal details or scattered buds at the cake’s base or between layers.

With countless options, including hand-painted, cascading, single-bloom, and overloaded-floral styles, it’s impossible not to find a delicious confection you absolutely love.

Floral Wedding Inspiration

Flowers play a starring role in most weddings, but if you’re big on blooms, floral details can run throughout your celebrations: it’s not just about bouquets…

Floral wedding décor may sound traditional but — creatively speaking — the sky is the limit when it comes to dressing your reception with wedding flowers. Play with props to present your blooms and use flowers to enhance the features of your venue.

Choosing a traditional paper wedding invite that features a beautiful bloom, and one you’re planning to incorporate on your wedding day, is a simple and stylish way to bring a floral theme into your wedding stationery.

If there is one element of your wedding that is crying out for floral décor, it’s the ceremony. From the heady scent of fresh flowers to the dazzling colours a floral display can add to the setting, nothing is more romantic than a floral backdrop as you say your vows

A fabulously flowery wedding cake: surely it’s the ultimate floral–inspired feature. From a traditional tiered confection adorned with edible roses to a funky chocolate creation decorated with fresh blooms, floral cakes look as delicious as they taste. There are so many styles and combinations to choose from and a bouquet presented on the top tier looks breathtaking.

Wedding tables need flowers: how you choose them depends on your theme, your style and just how high you want to turn up the floral details on the day. Bountiful arrangements can look spectacular, and if you want a contemporary edge, try using several sized vases, each filled with a bunch of your favourite flowers.

 

Wedding Beauty

Skincare, Health and Fitness

Certain beauty treatments such as facials, are the most obvious thing a bride feels that she needs but to be honest with you, if you aren’t having regular facials already then there is really no need to start now.  The same thing goes for any other treatments or products promising to tone, tighten or take years off you!  

The best thing you can do for your skin is to keep yourself healthy.  Making a conscious effort to drink more water, eat more vegetables and increase your protein intake will give you far better and quicker results than any “wonder” treatment or product.  Green and herbal teas are great for keeping you hydrated and for flushing out toxins and they are a lot more interesting than water.

Nails

As for manicures and pedicures, while it is lovely to visit the salon and be pampered while they do it for you, this can become extremely costly. Fear not however! These are super simple to do at home and in all honesty I actually prefer doing these myself at home. I don’t have to sit impatiently waiting for my nails to dry in a strange place, I can watch TV or read a book in the comfort of my home while any polish sets.  

Hair and Makeup 

Firstly, make sure it is just a basic trim and not a complete restyle that they need you to model for! There should be no need to worry as you’ll usually find a senior stylist present at all times to ensure there aren’t any mistakes.  As for conditioning your hair, again, it’s nice to get wrapped up in all the beautifying but you don’t need to rush out and buy the latest keratin treatment! There are lots of home remedies you can make to nourish your hair or even just applying coconut oil can help bring any ratty locks back to their ultimate shine!

 

When it comes to wedding makeup for the day, if you don’t have the budget for a makeup artist then putting some hours in on YouTube tutorials to teach yourself can really help.  It’s like learning any new skill, it’ll take time so be patient. I would make sure you find a YouTube artist that you find easy to follow and stick with following their videos only instead of confusing yourself hopping from one to another. If you’re in need of some new makeup anyway, then getting yourself down to a makeup counter for a ‘“free” makeover which is redeemable off products purchased after then this could be a great learning tool for you too.

 

If you really don’t have a budget for wedding hair or makeup artist then don’t scrimp on costs or forego a hair or makeup trial unless you are absolutely sure that they will do a great job for you on your wedding day. Tension will be running higher than normal on your wedding morning and time will be precious so you do not want any nasty surprises or added stress of trying to rectify a bad hair or makeup situation! You could be better off just doing it yourself if you’ve practised enough – that way you will know exactly what you are doing and what to expect.

 

Research Your Photographers

Have you been looking for a wedding photographers but feel overwhelmed because there are so many options and so many styles?

 

Or, maybe you’ve dreamed about being a wedding photographer but aren’t sure how to push fear to the sidelines, take that leap of faith and turn your hobby into a full-time career.

What To Ask A Wedding Photographer

 

  1. Cost is almost always a concern, but it’s not the most important element to your decision. Find out how much the photographer charges for different packages and prints.
  2. Find out how long the photographer has been in business.
  3. Do you actually like the photographer and can you spend the day with the photographer you’re considering hire?
  4. What kind of experience do they have – the longer they’re in business doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best choice for you.
  5. What contingency plan does your wedding photographer have in place in case something goes wrong?
  6. Ask to look at group photos to ensure all the guests are smiling and laughing, because it’s usually the photographer that makes them smile so you want to know what kind of rapport they will build with you AND your guests.

 

If you spend a little more time researching the right wedding photographer, it will be well worth it in the end.