Flowers for your Wedding

Flowers have been attributed with meaning for centuries. In Victorian times, it was popular to send small posies of flowers to express sentiments, to lovers and friends. This language of flower was quite complex, for example sending a friend a bouquet of begonias with blue hyacinths could be a warning message to beware of being unfaithful. Some of these traditional meanings are still used in popular culture, for example red roses signify love, while white heather is commonly used as a symbol of good luck.

Like all areas of weddings, flowers take their turn in being fashionable or passé. Large, open Stargazer lilies were popular for decades, to be replaced in the last few years with simpler, more elegant Calla lilies and a return to traditional roses. Colour is also now more popular in bouquets, reflecting bridesmaid dresses and overall wedding themes. The bride who is daring enough to make a statement can opt for tropical flowers such as orchids or bird of paradise for a striking and colourful bouquet.

wedding flowers

The shape of bouquets has evolved too, and there are now various styles of bridal bouquets to choose from. ‘Cascade’ bouquets include flowers and foliage which drape down from the main display, creating a large bouquet that is a large part of the bride’s look. ‘Hand Tied’ bouquets are a simple group of flowers, tied around the stems with ribbon. ‘Nosegays’ or ‘Tussie Mussies’ are a similar style of bouquet, but with a more structured feel where the stems are usually hidden. ‘Arm’ bouquets are a style of bouquet that is held laid across one arm and is a popular option for calla lilies.

The beauty and scent of real flowers is hard to beat, but in the hot Spanish summer, blooms can fade fast if they are not cared for properly. Another option is to have silk flowers. These can be just as beautiful as real flowers although don’t be fooled into thinking that they will be cheaper as this is not always the case, especially if you are buying high quality silk flowers. Silk flowers are ideal for decorating your venue, as they can be wired and attached almost anywhere without worrying about damaging them.

Bouquets are now frequently complimented by accessories, and this is the area where you can really jazz up your flowers. Fine wire with jewels can be woven around the arrangement, adding sparkle to your bouquet. Or you can add gems directly to the petals for a dazzling dewdrop look. Vibrant green palm fronds give a tropical feel to any bouquet, while large waxy leaves folded around the edges of a bouquet are a stylish way to frame flowers.

If you want a slightly more unique way to incorporate flowers into your wedding, why not use miniature rose bushes as centrepieces, or small Azaleas plants, which are the Chinese symbol of womanhood. These flower in abundance and you don’t have to worry about them wilting. They make great gifts for members of your wedding party, or a lasting addition to your garden to remind you of your special day when they bloom each year.

When your wedding day is over, you don’t have to throw your flowers away. Your bouquet can be preserved and framed in a stylish display. Your flowers are given to your florist or a specialist, who will dry and preserve the flowers and work with your requirements to create a framed piece of art incorporating your wedding bouquet. Keep a single flower for a simple but effective presentation, or preserve your whole bouquet to have on show for years to come.

Wedding Insurance

The main things that a good policy will cover are the following:

Cancellation of Wedding Reception

Possibly one of the most frustrating things to occur is the venue cancelling on you with little to no notice. This does happen, and has happened to this writer! There are various reasons a venue might let you down, one being that the company has gone under and are no longer in business, and if you paid upfront or even a deposit this can often be lost, and be rather costly.

Damage or Loss of Bridal/Ceremonial Attire

Your wedding and bridesmaids dresses can be covered, but different policies have different time frames for which they will cover. A good wedding insurance company will cover this for 3 months before the wedding and usually 48 hours after.

Damage to Wedding Gifts

Wedding gifts are usually one of the most valuable items in a wedding, and insuring them is a wise move. However keep in mind that most policies will NOT cover you for theft of your gift but only for damages, which is stock standard across all companies. Standard coverage for gifts is only 24hrs after your wedding, so make sure you get your gifts back home as soon as possible after your wedding day. However if you have a gift registry get longer, and usually get 90 days, but this can be extended to 12 months if you use John Lewis wedding insurance and also use their gift registry.

Loss or Damage to Wedding Rings

Wedding rings are another expensive item and not something you want to lose, although we all joke about the best man losing the rings, you would be surprised how often wedding rings go missing amongst the sometimes frantic lead up to the big day! Keep in mind that most wedding insurance companies will only cover wedding rings for about 7 days prior to the wedding day and only 24hrs after.

Wedding Cars

Wedding car companies sometimes run into problem, as any company does, common issues are double booking the cars out to two wedding by mistake and not having a car on hand for your wedding, or damage to the cars days leading upto your wedding. A good policy will also cover for this though.

Photography

One of the last things you want to hear from your wedding photographer is that the photos have been lost, stolen or damaged beyond repair, but it can and does happen. Sometimes the photographer may not even turn up. What the situation it is not pleasant but something you can get insurance for.

Suppliers

If the suppliers you are using for your wedding catering is not able to provide the service any longer due to bankruptcy or liquidation, your wedding insurance should cover this, but you need to read the policy carefully to make sure this is in there. A good company will reimburse you for any losses.

Wedding Invitations & Stationery

Wedding invitations can be surprisingly expensive, sometime into the thousands of pounds even. The main issue that people run into with invitations is when the wedding gets canceled or the venue changes and the printing has already happened. The cost of the printing and stationary can be covered though with good wedding insurance and you will be reimbursed this cost.

Legal Expenses

If something has occurred at your wedding that results in you wanting to take legal action against another party for damages or even death, then legal cover as part of your wedding insurance will cover your legal fees. However this is something you need to read the policy carefully for as it is not always covered.

This sites wedding insurance reviews covers everything you need to consider and the best companies to go with, good luck for your big day and hopefully you want need to make a claim!!

Getting Away From It All

There’s a lot to be said for choosing a special location away from home for your wedding. Although weddings traditionally took place near the bride’s parents’ home, many brides these days don’t feel any connection with this place, particularly if you left home years before. Or you may want a particular kind of wedding, which may not be possible in this location.

On the other hand, the place where you live now may not be feasible either for many reasons. For example, one or other of your families may live predominantly at the other end of the country – if you have elderly relatives it may not be practical to ask them to travel the distance. The ideal solution is to find a different destination.

There may be a great location equidistant from both your families. Alternatively, there may be somewhere special to the two of you that will really add a sense of occasion to your wedding. And by choosing such a destination, you can really make a weekend of it by finding accommodation where your entire wedding party can stay together. This way, you’ll really get to spend some time with your friends and family.

wedding location

At Home or Abroad?

Many brides are opting to celebrate their weddings in a range of exotic locations such as the Caribbean or Tuscany. Destinations such as these offer an incredible backdrop to the day, and with several specialist agents to choose from, the organisation and legal side of things shouldn’t be a headache. However, the disadvantage of going abroad may be that many guests will not be able to afford the additional costs of flights and accommodation, and you may end up with fewer of your friends and family there to celebrate your day with you.

Perhaps the best way forward is to find a location in Britain, which has both the scenery to make your wedding extra special, and satisfies the inevitable practical considerations. Cumbria and the Lake District, for example, offer everything you could wish for the perfect wedding. It is a location that provides an amazing and romantic setting, particularly when combined with the range of high quality venues available in the area.

You can opt for your own stately home for the weekend, or for a first rate hotel, all with views that will make your photographs especially beautiful. Added to this, the region is easily accessible by road and rail. There is also a wide range of accommodation options, so that all your guests will be able to find something to suit their budgets.

Practically Perfect

Of course, organising your wedding in a place you are not familiar with may pose some organisational difficulties, and it is a good idea to consider employing a wedding co-ordinator with specialist knowledge of the area. Although this may feel like a luxury, a good co-ordinator will save you money overall by finding suppliers and suggesting ideas which will be cost effective and still fit in with your theme. In this way, you will be in control of your wedding, while being confident that everything will be just as you wished.

If you have problems with you marriage, read following tips on how to save your marriage.

Choosing the Perfect Wedding Cake

The cake you choose for your wedding will be one of the lasting memories that your guests take away from the day, so it is very important that it reflects both your personality and the theme of your wedding. The days when a wedding cake had to be three tiers of royal iced and marzipanned fruit cake are long gone, but this move away from traditional cakes can leave a bride-to-be bewildered by the huge choice available.

What sort of wedding are you having?

The size and type of venue needs to play a part in your choice of cake. If you are having a small wedding at a country pub with a few close friends and family as guests you aren’t going to need an enormous six-tier confection, and a 6″ single tier would be dwarfed inside a grand castle venue with dinner and dancing for 200.

The time of year is also a factor. Wedding cakes are still food no matter how they are decorated, so the choice of cake needs to reflect the environment in which they are served. A marquee wedding reception in the height of summer is beautiful, but if you want the cake on display throughout the day, avoid a cake made with chocolate and fresh cream and go for something, which will not suffer in the heat.

How many people does the cake need to feed?

Bare in mind the number of people you want it to feed. This may include people, who couldn’t attend the wedding, so don’t forget to add these people to the number of wedding guests when calculating how much cake you need. Don’t forget that only needing a small number of slices of cake doesn’t necessarily mean that you can only have a small wedding cake – extra tiers can be made around a polystyrene dummy, and as long as you don’t forget which tiers are cake and which are artificial when you cut it, no one would ever know. Likewise, if you need 300 portions for your guests but don’t want a monster cake, ask for undecorated cutting cakes to make up the numbers.

wedding-cake

What type of cake do you want?

Some people love fruitcake, some people can’t stand it. Other people will eat chocolate cake until it comes out of their ears but won’t touch a crumb of carrot cake. And you can almost guarantee that what the bride loves, the groom can’t stand! The simple solution here is to have a bit of everything. Most cake makers will make different tiers from different types of cake for you, as long as it doesn’t make your cake structurally unstable (balancing a heavy fruit cake on top of a soft butter cream sponge in NOT a good idea…. have the fruit cake at the bottom.).

The type of cake you choose as a base determines the style of decoration that is possible. With their long shelf life fruitcakes can be used as the base for elaborate and heavy designs, while sponge cakes have to be made at the last minute so more simple decoration is the norm. A good cake decorator will be happy to tailor their recipes to your tastes and needs – if you can’t stand cherries in fruit cake, they will replace them with other dried fruit. It is important to make them aware of any requirements at an early stage, particularly with fruitcakes, made up to 3 months in advance.

What style do you want?

If you look in any wedding magazine or on any wedding website, the choice of cake styles is overwhelming. Fortunately, it can be surprisingly easy to narrow down all this choice to the perfect cake for your wedding. A formal wedding is the perfect setting for a formal cake, while a softer design or a novelty cake will compliment a more relaxed event.

Look at any themes running through your wedding: dress fabric, invitations and flowers are all good sources of inspiration for cake design, and matching the cake to the colour scheme you have chosen for bridesmaids and/or flowers can look beautiful.

Having individual cakes for your guests has become popular in the last few years. These can be a cluster of mini wedding cakes, each covered with marzipan and icing with piped or floral decoration, individual chocolate cakes or fairy cakes iced with a variety of designs. The best thing about these mini cakes is the flexibility, as the cakes can be made of pretty much anything you want, in any combination. They can, however, be an expensive option as there is a lot of work in decorating each individual cake, and the cake maker may have an upper limit on the number of cakes they are willing to make (about 100 fairy cakes is probably the upper limit unless you approach a specialist mini cake maker).

Choosing a cake decorator?

Unless you or as relative are making the cake yourself you’ll need to have a cake made by one of the following:

Your wedding venue – some venues offer the wedding cake as an extra in their wedding package. This is good as there is the minimum of stress involved, but the downside is that these cakes can be expensive, and you often have little choice of style. A bakery or sugarcraft shop – buying your cake from a larger company can work in your favour as they will have a wide range of designs to choose from at a reasonable price, but they can be more inflexible than a smaller designer.

A wedding cake designer with set designs – designs are usually customised to match your colour scheme and flowers, but choices are limited. Choosing a wedding cake from a range can be very cost effective if you don’t want something designed specifically for you, but would still like the attention to detail that a small-scale cake designer can provide. A bespoke wedding cake designer – a bespoke wedding cake designer will generally design each cake they make through face-to-face meetings with the wedding party. An individually designed cake can be whatever you want, no matter how extravagant or wild and wacky it may be. The price will often be higher than a standard design due to the extra work in designing them.

It is absolutely essential to look at some of your chosen cake decorator’s previous work – often websites are a good starting point, as you can get an idea of their style in the comfort of your own home. Don’t despair if the cake decorator who seems to offer the best service in your area doesn’t have an example of your dream cake on display, often they will be keen to try out new things. Watch out for hidden costs when you speak to the designer, as delivery, Stand hire and knife hire can add a significant amount to the bill.

Bridal Announcement Sites

A bridal announcement site, amongst other things, can be used as a valuable tool to assist in the planning of your wedding, as a resource of information for your guests and to involve those who can’t make it to the wedding. There are a number of various resources that can provide wedding websites. Some offer a custom website built specifically for you. Some offer DIY websites where you can choose a particular style, enter information about the wedding and ‘Hey Presto’ your website is created. Others offer both.

Custom sites will be designed and built by a web designer and should be a one off to meet your requirements. The main benefits are that you have a site that is truly unique, possibly complements your stationery and the work is all done for you. Disadvantage is cost, involvement with designer, cost for updates and the time taken to create the site.

DIY sites are designed so that you can enter details about your wedding, upload your favourite photos, choose a website style that you like and it will automatically generate the website for you. Advantages include; instant website, easy to create, flexible enough to customise, cheap, easy and instant updates. Main disadvantage is that it is not as flexible or unique as having a custom site created.

What should you go for Custom or DIY?

That is really your personal choice on what you want your wedding website to do for you and how much you are willing to spend. Before making your choice though you should have a look around to see what you could get for your money. Custom designers will in most cases have a portfolio of sites they have created in the past. DIY sites usually have demonstration sites and offer free trial periods, so you can create your own site and see exactly what you are getting.

Costs for wedding websites range from being free to potentially thousands. It all comes down to what you want! A standard DIY website with approx. 10 pages including a photo album, guest book, RSVP form, etc would cost £50 to £100 per annum. A custom website of the same size would cost approx. £300 to £1000 depending on the designer.

Top Tip

After care and support can make the difference. Ensure that the supplier you choose provides support and is easy to contact and won’t charge a fortune for their time. You don’t want to be left stranded with a half built website, or wanting changes made but can’t get a hold of anyone.

Scan through the supplier’s site and look for help pages and contact information. One way to test the level of support is to contact the supplier via email or phone with a question before buying. This can be anything, e.g. can I have my custom website designed to match my wedding stationary? or I was thinking of getting a DIY website, can you tell me if I can add short movies?

Choosing a Wedding Videographer

Consider what you want, and why you want it?

You are planning a major day in your and your family’s life. Dependant on your financial circumstances, the affair will be modest, posh or even grand wedding occasion, but relative to your resources it is going to be expensive. Accept that and you’re well on your way. Of all the Major expenses, the greater part will expendables. The reception venue, clothing, flowers, drinks, transport, stationery – are all part of the set you are building. Don’t waste it.

A good videographer will see and capture the love and effort that has gone into the preparation of your wedding day. His or her job is not to make things happen (although he or she may guide you or offer a little advice here and there), the videographer should see all the little things that have gone into the wedding preparations and capture them on film to the best of his or her ability, along with the major events of your wedding day.

With a pocket full of tapes the videographer, will return to the edit suite where dependant on the scale of the production, they will face between 2 to 5 days editing the visual images and audio, together with the insertion of transitions, fades, composition of titles and backgrounds. Artwork for cassette covers, DVD cases and plus a few other things I may have forgotten.

So what are you looking for?

•    Ideally a recommendation is the best place to start.
•    Failing that, telephone around.
•    If they sound good on the phone – arrange a visit their studio.
•    Is the work you are seeing is the work of the people who will attend your wedding?
•    How many cameras will be used, and do they use professional equipment?
•    Where and when will filming start on the day, and at what point it will end?
•    What the total cost will be, is VAT chargeable, and is there a written contract?

If you like their work (you’re happy to have them as a guests at your wedding), ask for 7 days to make a decision (meet a few other videopgraphers), unless you get that YES feeling. My final thought for your big day (when you’ve chosen your videographer) – we respond well to the odd cuppa throughout this very demanding day.

A Few Noteworthy Wedding Trends

When you set about planning your wedding – or even helping a friend plan his or her wedding – there are nearly endless sources of inspiration and ideas. From weddings you see in films or on television, to weddings you’ve been to in the past, and even blogs and expert opinions you might consult, you will come into contact with virtually every possible type of ceremony and reception. So how can you help to sift through the ideas and come up with a perfect wedding? A great deal of this depends on your own personal touch, and your vision for the wedding. However, it might also be helpful to focus on some trends in weddings that are currently popular, rather than considering everything nice you’ve ever seen at a wedding. Here are a few miscellaneous trends to help get you thinking.

Weekend Weddings

One particular trend lately is for couples to invite guests for an entire weekend’s worth of wedding festivities. This allows for more time for your friends and family to enjoy each other’s company and truly appreciate the event, rather than rushing things. This is an important first idea to consider, as it can set the tone for the entire wedding.

Bridesmaid Dress Variety

In planning a wedding, one of the major decisions will be in picking out the bridesmaids’ dresses. However, by adhering to the recent trend of allowing bridesmaids to have more choice in the matter, you can save yourself some effort, and let the bridesmaids have some fun! Instead of picking a uniform dress, simply pick a uniform colour, with a few different styles to choose from. This will keep them looking like a bridal party, but will allow them to pick dresses as individuals.

Taste The Cake

If you want to make your wedding truly unique, you can take this surprising step – find a cake that actually tastes good! With all of the focus on decoration, many wedding cakes actually taste very bland, and this can be a bit anticlimactic. Whether you do your cake shopping at Marks and Spencer or the local bakery, do some taste testing in advance so that you can choose a delicious and attractive cake for your reception centrepiece.

Late Night Food

Another unique and fun trend you can use to enhance your wedding is to have food trucks or caterers provide late night food. Wedding receptions generally include dinner, but they can also go late into the night, and people who have been dancing and drinking for hours want food! Providing some catering trucks can be a very fun touch.

Take Back Your Power On Your Wedding Day!

If there’s one thing that you should give yourself on your wedding day, it should truly be a little bit of peace! Indeed, taking back your power on your wedding day sounds complicated, messy, and stressful…but it’s always worth doing. The reality here is that if you don’t claim your own power, nobody will step up to do it for you. That means that you always need to keep your wits about you. It’s tempting to just assume that you won’t have any problem in the world on your wedding day but you might be surprised.

While your family means well, they tend to want to have things done in a way that’s pleasing to them. You might even have family members that boss around your wedding planner. Wedding planners have truly seen everything and they can handle themselves but it can still be embarrassing to see your mother changing what you have planned out months in advance.

Many brides feel like they are crossing a line when they speak up, because everyone has taken such time and money to see them get married. Still, it’s your day — not theirs. They can say that the wedding is for the family, but if you don’t feel 100% comfortable on the best day in the world for you, then what’s the point?

It’s important to sit down with everyone long before the wedding day and make sure they understand these points. Sure, you might have some hurt feelings but the truth is that you need to focus on what really matters here. Just going with whatever will create less waves is really dangerous. You have to always be thinking about the type of day that you want to have. Your family should love you enough to step out of the way and just let you enjoy it for a change.

A lot of people feel like they shouldn’t confront their family ahead of time, waiting till the last minute instead. That’s the wrong approach because your family will feel pressured and ambushed. Bringing it up a few times well in advance shows them that you really mean what you say, and you’re not trying to be mean. Of course, if they’re really going to misbehave, then there’s no point in having them at the wedding — family or not!

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help On Your Wedding Day

If there’s one mistake that we see a lot of women make, it would have to be the fact that they don’t ask for help on their wedding day. It goes without saying that this is a special day in a woman’s life, and even a man’s life. Why should you get ready to marry someone that you cherish deeply, only to find that you just can’t do everything that needs to be done at the last minute? The purpose of the wedding party (best man, maid of honor) is to help you through these things. However, if you have other people are offering their help, you shouldn’t turn it down. You want to make sure that everything is in place in order to really get you the life that you want in the long run.


You just have to make sure that you find the right balance. If you don’t have a wedding planner, then you really do need to enlist everyone’s help. But even if you do have a wedding planner, you need to get help anyway. The planner can’t do everything herself, and she will need to enlist help somewhere else. If you have a contract with her, the agreement should spell out how she is going to find that help. Don’t feel pressured to make any last minute decisions just because the planner can’t really get things together. That would just be downright awful if you did that, anyway. What’s better than stressing yourself out? Being able to rest knowing that your planner has things together.

Before the wedding even comes up, you need to start talking to people about helping. If they aren’t sure what to give you, or they can’t afford a gift, there’s nothing like volunteering to help out at the wedding. That could mean anything and everything from serving food and drinks to cleaning up all of the trash later. It just depends on what you need and what friends are willing to help you get what you need. If you aren’t concerned and careful, you could end up keeping yourself from a great wedding. Why should you stress and strain when there are plenty of people that can help you?

If you’ve already helped in one of your friends’ weddings, that’s something to bring up. It’s time for you to shine. It’s time for you to have a magic moment. Why wouldn’t you want to get these things done? Good luck!

Getting Your Mind Right on Your Special Day

Last minute jitters? First time nerves? Don’t worry, we understand completely. Getting married is something that means a lot of things to a lot of people. However, one of the top things that it really means is that you get to walk through life with someone. You’re going to have someone that loves you no matter what you do. You’re going to have someone that wants to help you become a better person, and have you help them do the very same. If you want children, then you have someone that’s going to raise them with you. It’s going to be something that tends to make your life light up, and you will not regret it at all. Even people who have gotten married and then had to get a divorce say that they really don’t regret the experience; they just hate the way things turned out.

Don’t look at statistics when it’s time to get married. You aren’t a statistic. There’s nothing that says that you can’t have a long and happy marriage. You just need to make sure that you really do think about all of your concerns before you get to the final moment.

Keeping a journal can be good to relieve stress. It’s hectic, planning a wedding. Trying not to stress about it is one thing, but there are just some conflicts that you can’t help but avoid. The more that you focus on the road ahead, the happier you will ultimately be. On the other hand, it’s not enough to just hope that you’re going to have a great wedding.


A lot of last minute nerves stem from not getting your head in the game. Think about it — you’ve gotten all this way, why not get married? Why not spend your life with someone that’s going to be there for you through all seasons? If you’re worried about tradition — throw it out the window. There’s nothing that says that you have to get a long white dress. If you feel more comfortable in another color, then that’s what you should do. A lot of people run around trying to please everyone, and it ends up just making them feel resentful. Take time to be selfish — it’s better for you in the long run, anyway.

If you’re worried about not being a good spouse to your partner, don’t worry about that. You can talk things over with your spouse to be. They will tell you that if they didn’t want to be married to you, they wouldn’t. As long as the two of you communicate openly and love deeply, what else is there to really worry about? Keep that in mind as you get close to your special day — good luck!