Honeymoon on a Shoestring

Honeymoon destinations will always be romantic just because you are together, so don’t feel you need to spend a fortune to have a wonderful time. With tips for how to spend less on your honeymoon, from all-inclusive packages to fabulous discounts to where to look closer to home, here are five fabulous honeymoon ideas in the UK and abroad

1. Olympic Lagoon Hotel, Paphos

All-inclusive honeymoons can be great value for couples looking for luxury without additional hidden costs. The Olympic Lagoon Hotel is a new and highly innovative five-star hotel in a truly fascinating resort. Featuring an array of sublime swimming pools and water features, this hotel has a premium all-inclusive programme with five fabulous restaurants and five bars to choose from. An island paradise and a unique hotel-within-a-resort concept featuring romantic facilities and services exclusively for adults.

2. Royal Palm, Mauritius with Beachcomber

The most prestigious of honeymoons can be booked for substantially less when you take advantage of latest special offers and deals. Said to be the finest hotel in Mauritius, Royal Palm is a tranquil haven ideally located on the sheltered north-west tropical coast. Stay in an elegantly decorated suite with a stunning sea view. This 6-star hotel by the sea is surrounded with pure white sandy beach, and offers the ultimate luxury honeymoon experience, boasting a choice of three pools, spa, sports centre and an award-winning chef for the finest in haute cuisine.

3. Greek Islands with Combadi

You could save hundreds of pounds by honeymooning for one week instead of two when you jet off to a hot climate just a short flight away. Combadi offers a holistic, eight-day honeymoon with a difference in a gorgeous coastal setting in the Greek island of Skyros. This is a honeymoon for couples who can choose to hide away from the rest of the world or join a vibrant community and take part in classes in yoga, paths to finding happiness, windsurfing and even trapeze. Courses are held outdoors by the sea, on stone terraces surrounded by pine forests. Enjoy the tranquillity of the bay during the hot daytime and then choose to attend local parties, lively discussions or events together each evening.

4. Wooldown Holiday Cottages, Cornwall

There are so many beautiful and historically interesting countries in Europe and surrounding areas, and while exploring far-flung shores can be wonderful, so is travelling closer to home. You could not only save money on travel but get an extra day or two of your honeymoon!

For those looking for a luxurious retreat closer to home with outstanding countryside and sea views, Wooldown Holiday Cottages offer cosy country cottages and ultra-modern apartment style barns with super-king size beds, spa baths, walk in rainfall showers, some even have copper baths in the bedroom to make your honeymoon that extra special!

Explore all Cornwall has to offer, from romantic walks together along part of the stunning south west coastal path, to the pretty fishing villages of Port Isaac, Rock and Padstow and take a stroll through the Victorian seaside town of Bude with Summerleaze and Crooklets beach. The world famous surfing beach at Widemouth Bay is not far away and offers the perfect opportunity to surf the waves before enjoying a candlelit dinner.

5. Gadlys Coastal Cottages, Wales

Set in an area of outstanding natural beauty, near the beautiful Church Bay, Gadlys Coastal Cottages offer peace and comfort in a pretty rural setting near Church Bay in Anglesy, North Wales. A small delightful bay with rock pools and sandy beach and beautiful coastal walks it is an ideal place for relaxation or activity from boating, fishing, hiking, horse riding, windsurfing and more.

The newly renovated and extended Gadlys Farmhouse has gorgeous sea views, a traditional oak inglenook fireplace to enjoy a warming log fire, master bedroom with balconette overlooking the sea, relaxing spa bath, all within five minutes’ walk from the beach and fantastic seafood restaurants.

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!

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.

Perfect Venues for Outdoor Weddings

If you want to get married outside then take a look at some of our favourite wedding venues where you can hold an outdoor ceremony

Although the weather isn’t always reliable, outdoor ceremonies are growing in popularity in the UK.

If you’d love to say your vows outside, here are some UK venues to consider:

1. Ta Mill, Cornwall

There’s a choice of outdoor options at Ta Mill, on the fringes of Bodmin Moor, including lawns that can accommodate up to 100 guests with a wildlife pond in the background. If the weather changes, a canopy can be used on the lawn, or up to 60 guests can be accommodated in the indoor venue. To continue the outdoor theme you can enjoy a bespoke wedding breakfast in a personalised marquee in the gardens.

2. Heaton House Farm, Cheshire

As well as offering a choice of two barns, Heaton House Farm also has a beautiful oak pagoda available for outdoor weddings. Licensed for civil ceremonies, and with its own patio area, the pagoda has panoramic views across the Cheshire plains. Guests can be seated on the patio area with additional seating extending onto the grass if required.

3. Laughern Hill Estate, Worcestershire

Laughern Hill Estate can provide a “complete al fresco outdoor wedding experience”. It has a selection of ceremony locations, including beside a wishing well. You could have a quintessentially British marquee wedding or a boho festival style tipi. You could dine under a vinery of real leaves and sumptuous grapes or devour a mouth-watering hog roast within the walls of a secret garden. You could even dance the night away under the stars…with your own silent disco.

4. Careys Manor, New Forest

Careys Manor Hotel is the only venue in the tranquil New Forest that holds an outdoor wedding licence. The hotel’s elegant, custom-built wedding pavilion harnesses the traditional romance of a walled garden with its serene design and sweet floral aromas. Up to 100 guests can be accommodated here – and they will also be able to use the award winning spa facilities.

5. Nymans, Sussex

In a peaceful country setting, Nymans is a National Trust property with a loggia that is licensed for weddings and civil ceremonies. A beautiful gothic building, with soaring arches and ivy clad walls, the loggia is set within a sunken garden that has striking floral displays. Intimate ceremonies for 30 guests can take place inside the loggia or, for a larger congregation, an unlimited number of additional guests can be seated on the lawns.

6. Brinkburn, Northumberland

Offering an unusual historic, tranquil and quirky experience, the estate is set in a secluded wooded ravine on the banks of the river Coquet in Northumberland, with a beautiful 12th century church and stables in the grounds. Outdoor ceremonies can be held here with the sound of the birds singing and the river running as a gorgeous soundtrack to your day.

7. Polpier, Cornwall

If you’re looking for an outdoor wedding venue with a stunning view, picturesque Polpier on the Cornish coast has a spacious front lawn that looks down on Mevagissey fishing village and harbour. With a feature gazebo that can be dressed with flowers and decorations, up to 100 guests can be accommodated at an outdoor ceremony in the self-contained gardens.

8. Cripps Barn, Gloucestershire

An old Cotswold stone barn has flag stone floors, an open fire place, a large south facing terrace with fire pits and a bonfire in the garden. Couples can get married either in the barn or outside in the woodland glade which is equipped with a microphone and speakers in the trees so guests can hear music and the couples’ vows. After the wedding, the barn is a perfect place to party – and there is free camping available in the field next door for any outdoor-loving guests.

9. Jollydays Glamping, Yorkshire

Although Jollydays isn’t licensed for a legal ceremony, it’s a great choice if you are a glamping fan: couples usually have a legal ceremony at the nearby village church, or at the registry office in York, and then have a humanist ceremony in the Jollydays woodland. There are three wedding packages to choose from; you could have a festival vibe, a posh vintage tea party or a romantic boho extravaganza.

When marrying abroad

Considering getting married in Spain, France, Greece, Italy or Mustique? You’ll need to do your homework first – luckily for you, we’ve done the legal bit for you…

CERTIFICATE OF NO IMPEDIMENT (CNI)

What? A certificate confirming there are no objections to your marriage.

How? It is a legal requirement that each party gives notice prior to any proposed marriage. You’ll need to arrange a meeting at your local register office – your notice will then be displayed for 15 days before your CNI is issued.

When? The certificate is issued without an expiry date. However, the country in which you intend to marry may have its own validity period; so check.

Who? If you are getting married in Italy, Spain or Greece, you will be asked for a CNI. You’ll need to get your CNI translated and sworn before the courts or Justice of the Peace in the relevant country.

Cost? A register office notice fee costs £35 per person while there is no charge for a CNI.

STATUTORY DECLARATION

What? A legal declaration used to confirm your single status.

How? You will need to make a declaration under oath, in the presence of a solicitor, stating your intent to marry in the destination that you have chosen.

When? This document must be obtained within three months of your intended wedding date.

Who? Italian law requires a Statutory Declaration.

Cost? The cost is nominal (from £5).

LEGALISATION

What? The Foreign & Commonwealth Office needs to certify your statutory declaration and CNI as genuine.

How? You will need to complete the legalisation application form at gov.uk and then send away the relevant documents and payment to be processed.

When? Immediately after you have your Statutory Declaration and CNI, as the SD has a three-month expiry date.

Who? Weddings in Spain, Greece and Italy require the legalisation of documents.

Cost? This service costs £30 per document, plus postage.

The countdown

The perfect Wedding needs planning and we thought that this 12 month handy planner maybe just the job to ensure you are organised for the big day;

12 months to go…

Have the budget conversation with your fiancé and your parents
Fix a date and time
Decide on guest numbers
Visit reception venues and book one as soon as possible
Buy wedding insurance

11 months to go…

Send save-the-dates
Book your photographer and videographer (Make sure the church or wedding venue allows photos and videos to be shot!)
Book the caterer, DJ and/or band
Make appointments to try on wedding dresses

10 months to go…

Choose your guests – bridesmaids, ushers and best man etc.
Decide on your dress (allow at least six months for a made-to-measure dress to be delivered)
Choose and order your bridesmaid’s outfits.
Start thinking about a honeymoon, including the costs, season and flights

9 months to go…

Find a florist and discuss your flowers, including buttonholes, bouquets and arrangements for the church and reception venue
Taste and confirm your menu and drinks with your caterer
Choose and order your bridesmaid outfits

8 months to go…

If you’re getting married in a church, discuss readings with the minister or priest and music with the musicians
If it’s a civil ceremony, enquire about what readings and music are permitted
Order invitations and envelopes (allow one invitation per married couple or family), plus place cards, menus and a seating plan

7 months to go…

Book transport to the wedding venue and on to the reception for you and your bridal party (as well as a car to take you to your first-night hotel or the airport)
Order your wedding cake
Choose and order wedding favours

6 months to go…

Remind your fiancé to get his and the usher’s outfits
Choose gifts for the wedding party
Pick your wedding rings
Confirm the order of service with your priest or registrar, and then have guest booklets printed. If you have a choir, they need copies, too

5 months to go…

Go honeymoon shopping (Remember summer clothes aren’t easy to find in the winter and vice versa!)
Book a hairdresser and style consultation (do this earlier if you’re planning to grow your hair)
Book your make-up artist and trial appointments

4 months to go…

If you’re changing your name, renew your passport now or do it after you have your honeymoon. The officiating minister or registrar will sign the form
Find out if you need visas or inoculations for your honeymoon.
Discuss hen and stag night plans with your friends.

3 months to go…

Pick a company and start gift-list window shopping!
Book for a colour (if you get your hair coloured) and a trim
Organise a rehearsal and inform those who will need to be there
Attend a reading of the banns, if you’ll marry in a church

2 months to go…

Send out invitations six weeks before the day and keep a list of acceptances
Check that your fiancé has organised the rings, his wedding clothes, and your first-night hotel
Try on your whole wedding outfit, including headdress, shoes and underwear. Forgotten anything? Get it!
Book any other beauty treatments (nails, fake tans, etc.)

1 month to go…

Confirm numbers with caterers and do the seating plan
Discuss special requests with your band or DJ
Order honeymoon currency and traveller’s cheques
Visit the hairdresser to try out hairstyles with your veil and tiara, and have your final cut and colour
Have your hen and stag nights – after all that running around, it’s time to party!

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!

Bridesmaids tips for the day

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

1) Check the Venue

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

2) Getting Ready

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

3) Act as Photographer’s Assistant

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

4) Attend the Bride

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

5) Public Speaking

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

6) Be Ready for Emergencies

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

7) Get the Party Started

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

8) Don’t Forget the Details

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

9) Go the Extra Mile

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