Do You Want To Have a Traditional Wedding Party

One of the biggest decisions that you’ll make in your life is who you marry, and one of the other decisions that are naturally connected to that decision is how you marry that person. When you meet someone that you want to spend the rest of your life with, you have to figure out how you want to celebrate. The marriage ceremony and reception is all about celebration and acknowledging that your relationship with this person has deepened. That doesn’t mean that you have to be bogged down in tradition. However, you can always choose to not have a traditional wedding party.

One of the typical things that make people think differently about marriage and the act of getting married is their budget. This is a tough economy, and everyone is looking for ways to save money. Trying to have a big wedding with all of the members of the wedding party might not be what you want to do. If you have a laid back family, you might even go as far as just letting people show up as anything they want to be. Forget the expensive bridesmaid dresses and gifts for all of the members. If you want to just have a good time and let your hair down, then you can definitely do that.


You just need to figure out what you wish to do and how you want to go about it. There’s nothing wrong with having a good time or celebrating, but you want to try to keep your budget as a priority.

The biggest thing that you want to avoid is trying to bring debt into a marriage. While there are some that say that it doesn’t matter, we think it does. Couples that have financial problems tend to lash out at each other, weakening the marriage before it’s really begun.

If you want to have a traditional wedding and you can afford to do so, then by all means you should get what you want. But there are plenty of signs that point to the fact that not everyone is going to be able to do that at all. You will still want to make sure that you are definitely focusing as much as you can on saving money. Even if you don’t need to necessarily watch each and every penny, there’s nothing wrong with starting out this new life with a bit of savings.

A laid back wedding means that your guests will also be more comfortable. Deep down, it’s all about the memories that you create rather than what’s served at your wedding, or what’s done with your wedding. You just need to reach out and find what works for you! Good luck!

The Dress, Part Three – Alterations

There are plenty of different alterations that you can get for a wedding dress. The issues that are on the table depend on where you got the dress and how many changes actually need to be done. If you’re going to make a lot of changes, it’s important to give time for the seamstress or tailor to handle them properly. If you try to rush them, you might not get the fit you’re looking for.

You also need to take into consideration whether or not you are going to keep your weight consistent. If you lose weight and then end up not fitting into the dress, major modifications would have to be done in order to keep the dress on the menu, so to speak.

A lot of brides think that they’re going to be able to get away with just one fitting, but that’s not the case. You’ll most likely need three or four different fittings before you get a gown that really does fit properly.

These fittings can take a little while, depending on what you want to get done. Try to have respect for the seamstress or tailor enough to not rush them in any way. They are providing a quality service; you need to let them take care of you. It’s hard to wait when there are so many exciting changes for you around the corner, so make sure that you focus on the bigger picture as much as possible.

Are you not sure where to go for your alterations? Generally speaking, the place where you bought your shop should offer alterations on new gowns as well. If they don’t offer them, then you need to go to someone that really does do bridal gowns. A local dry cleaner may not cut it. A wedding dress, after all, isn’t a simple dress — the construction is much more complicated.

Make sure that you bring your undergarments, shoes, and accessories. Seeing the look as a whole helps the alteration process and gets you in the right frame of mind. This gown is marking part of the celebration of the new chapter in your life — how can you not get excited about that?

Staying the course matters when it’s time to honestly get your dress altered. The shoes you bring are also important, as they should match the height of the shoe you’re going to wear. You don’t want your dress to drag on the floor awkwardly or end up getting torn on your special day.

One of the top questions that brides ask is that they really wonder who to actually bring with them. You want to ensure that you bring a friend or two to the fitting — but it doesn’t have to be a whole family experience.

If you’re really worried about not having enough material to work with, you should always get your bridal dress one or even a half size larger than what you would normally wear.

Calculate in extra money to make your alterations come to life. This is something that first time brides struggle with. The alterations you want don’t come free with the dress that you ordered. You’re going to need to fork over a little cash. Discuss this with your seamstress/tailor before they begin work –= that takes a lot of frustration off the table!

Budgeting For Your Wedding Is a Good Thing – Promise!

When you’re trying to get ready for a wedding, one of the top things that you probably dread is actually trying to get your budget in order. Not only will you have to think about how to pay for all of the current bills and obligations that you can your partner have, but you will probably already be thinking about trying to get the best wedding possible on whatever budget that you have. When you have a small budget, it can feel like you’re not going to really get the wedding that you ultimately want. However, those with large budgets seem to feel a certain pressure as well. If they don’t spend enough or they don’t buy the right things, they worry that the memories of the wedding aren’t going to come out quite right. People will always assume that you can do better than what you did — even if you and your new spouse enjoy the entire experience. You don’t want to feel like it’s impossible to pull off the perfect event, but you still need to figure out how to put everything in motion.

No matter how big your budget is going to be, you definitely want to make sure that you are tracking all of your expenses related to the wedding. Later on, when you’re trying to handle the accounting side of the business, you will be much better off. It’s also a good idea to remember who your suppliers were for when your friends are getting married. Not only can you help your friends save money, but you will also be able to qualify for referral cash sometimes. Some suppliers do pay a finder’s fee if you’re willing to send some customers their way after you get married.


Don’t think that you have to have a small budget by default. Everyone’s comfort level is going to be different. Perhaps both sets of parents and grandparents want to contribute to the wedding fund. Don’t be surprised if friends want to chip in. You should always have a “core” of money that you aren’t afraid to tap into, just to make sure that everything runs smoothly. It would not be a good idea to just base your wedding budget on the assumption that others are going to contribute to it.

Be sure that you’re really talking everything through before committing to anything. You don’t want to pay the deposit on a wedding venue that is hard to get to, or one that your future spouse isn’t interested in. You have to make all decisions as a team now, because that’s what you’re really becoming — a team, strengthened by taking things to the next level.

A wedding doesn’t have to be overly expensive. You can opt to let guests know that instead of a fancy affair, you want to have a small reception in the park or at another low cost venue.

There are plenty of online guides now for weddings, and this site is glad to be part of the new revolution. You don’t have to spend more money than sense just to celebrate entering a new chapter of your life. If you really want to make sure that you have everything covered, this site is definitely a great place to be!

As always, if you have any questions about anything, or you just want to chime in with your own wedding budget experiences, feel free to sound off in the comments!

Managing Stress Levels While Planning Your Wedding

If there’s one issue that we have to cover here on this site, it would have to be wedding stress. It’s very tempting to say that you can avoid all stress but that’s not the case at all. You will feel a lot of apprehension and nervousness. It’s a day that’s marked on the calendar just for you and your spouse to be. You want to show everyone that you’re marrying the person that you want to be with for the rest of your life. So there’s nothing wrong with trying to figure out where you want to go with the wedding itself.

Here are a few tips in order to keep things even.

First and foremost, make sure that you delegate! It’s tempting to just assume that you don’t have to delegate and that you can do all of the work yourself, but this isn’t a good idea at all. You will find that if you keep running at top speed through life, eventually you’re going to get hurt. Eventually, you’re going to feel like you should just quit everything. You’ll resent the entire process, which isn’t what you want at all. This is your wedding, and it’s supposed to be special. Do you have any friends that would be willing to help you? What about your parents?  You can always hire people to help out as well. Life is too short to carry around extra stress, especially when you can avoid doing so. Try to focus on all of the things that await you if you were to just think about getting things back on track with solid wedding planning. The clearest, smoothest road is always the one where we forgive ourselves and move on.

Now, you also need to give yourself plenty of time. If you have plans for a huge wedding but you think you’re going to pull it off in a month that might be cutting it way too close. It would be unrealistic if you thought that you could add in a custom wedding dress. These are things that really do need to be scheduled far, far in advance.

Another point that you want to consider here when it comes to lowering stress is to be realistic. Do you really want to make so much fuss over one day that it ends up making you sick and ready to give up? We just covered this point but it definitely bears repeating. Keeping perspective is going to be the best way to lower your stress levels.

Think about why you’re getting married in the first place. Deep down, you’re not getting married just to say you’re married. You’re building a life with someone who means the world to you. Don’t ever forget that, and you’ll be just fine!

Your Guest List Matters When You Get Married

Now it’s time to tackle something that you’ve probably been dreading for a while: the guest list. Far too often, it’s easy to upset some people when it comes to the guest list. They feel like you’re leaving them out of something important, even when they don’t even have plans of showing up to the wedding itself. Thankfully, there are ways to not alienate so many people that make up the world of your family and friends.

First and foremost, you need to look at your budget. In a perfect world, your wedding party could be as large as you pleased. However, in a realistic world, we have to put a cap on how many people are invited to attend. Remember that people usually don’t show up on their own — they usually bring their spouses or even their children to the affair. So you want to make sure that you have plenty of food to go around. Otherwise, there will be shortages, which can be embarrassing.

Staying the course with smart planning also means wedding out troublemakers. Even though you don’t want to get pegged as “Bridezilla” or anything like that, you do want to make sure that you stand your ground. Don’t get sucked into bringing in troublemakers just because they tell you that they really want to see you get married. They can always get a free CD in the mail — which will be far cheaper than what you would have paid for them to eat and drink at your wedding reception.

The guest list matters a lot more than you think, because everything hinges on it. The caterers will need to know how many people will be eating, as well as what sensitivities everyone has. Trying to cater to someone that’s nut-free at the same time while catering to someone else who is dairy-free can be quite the challenge. There’s no reason to think that you automatically have to serve food, but most people want to at least serve some type of food for the occasion.

Trying to focus on the road ahead can be tough — especially when people get offended that you didn’t invite them. If you can set it up, streaming the event over a private link could be a good compromise. It would allow people that aren’t geographically close to you to not spend themselves into the ground just to get to your wedding. Even though you don’t have to worry about someone else’s finances, it’s still a good idea to always double check to make sure that everything really is in order as much as you possibly can. That’s just the honest way to go, in our humble opinion.

Remember that it’s your special day, and you should only be surrounded by love and happiness. If someone has a problem with your upcoming marriage, you should not feel obligated to have them come to the event! Good luck with everything you have planned!

The Dress, part Two – Fit

Everyone thinks about fit when it comes to a wedding dress. The fit of the dress is obviously important, because you don’t want to find yourself without the power to actually wear it on your wedding day. Can something that we order nearly a year in advance still fit like a dream when you get into it? Absolutely it can. It’s just a matter of making sure that we cover a few basic points here.

First and foremost, measurement is everything. Don’t try to do it yourself. If you’re going the whole DIY route, at least get someone else to double check your measurements. If you can sew a wedding dress by hand, then we have to pay your the proper respect that you deserve. That’s pretty incredible. However, most women will not plan on sewing their own wedding dress. This means that they need to go to an honest bridal shop and look into getting measured up. If there are any alternations that need to be made — and there usually will be — the measurements will become important.

When it comes to fit, no group of women is more concerned about this than the full figured, plus sized crowd. Being a heavier woman in today’s culture tends to be almost something that’s punishable by death. If you have a curvier frame, you will need to be on the lookout for styles that accommodate your body type. This also means that you’re going to need to try on just about everything you see. Of course, that’s good general advice for everyone else as well. Don’t try to just eyeball and order — you’ll end up making a mistake that you can’t really take back.

Speaking of that, this is a good time to note that every bridal shop has different return policies when it comes to dresses. Some have a shorter return policy than others. They might say that all sales are final — especially if you’re getting a dress that’s been marked down or thrown into deep clearance. You have to choose which is more important — saving money or getting an amazing, out of this world fit that you can always make alterations with later?

There’s a fine balance between your budget, your selection, where you go and what type of dress you like. Think on all of these factors before you really get your wedding dress search into high gear, and you’ll be just fine!

The Dress, Part One – Selection

Many young girls dream about their wedding dress. It’s a symbol that goes back hundreds of years. Having a ceremonial dress for a very important event isn’t new, but it is special. We like dresses. While it’s impossible to make sweeping generalizations and still have your dignity in the morning, it is safe to assume that there are plenty of women that truly adore having the perfect dress that fits them on their wedding day.

But who really knows how to get that perfect dress? After all, it’s the premise of a lot of TV shows, radio shows, magazines, and plenty of articles and even videos online. Everyone is looking for the perfect dress that’s going to make them look healthy, fit, beautiful and even a little bit sexy on their wedding day. If you are looking at all of your options right now, this guide is for you.

So, where do you really begin first? Well, you want to make sure that you are definitely looking into your budget first. We tend to stress the need for a budget, but it really is that important. If you don’t get a budget, you’re just going to end up treading water. Who really wants to keep going through life never able to really enjoy the things that you buy? When you spend money that’s well outside of your means, bad things start to happen. Resentment sets in. Since it’s about the joining of two people, it can be tempting to take it out on your spouse. However, this is something that’s only going to make life difficult for you in the long run. Why start your new marriage with a lot of conflict that doesn’t need to be there? That’s the main point that we’re trying to drive home here.

Another point that needs to be put out there: ladies, you don’t have to get the most expensive dress. Just because you read about Melania Trump getting a massively expensive wedding dress doesn’t mean that you’re going to feel less than amazing because your budget doesn’t stretch that way. You will look great no matter how much your dress costs. Deep down, nobody really cares how much your dress is anyway. Can we just stop with the class warfare and the price comparisons? If you didn’t get an expensive dress, you’re not a bad person. However, by the same token, you’re not a horrible person either if you got a more expensive dress.

The bottom line is that every woman has to do what’s right for her on her special day. You don’t want to wake up and realize that you’re settling for the wrong dress in order to please other people. Your family has to see you in the dress, but they don’t have to hold those memories as close to the vest as you do. It’s personal, and the personal matters this time around.

So get out there and look into those magazines, into those online stylebooks, and even stop by some wedding boutiques. Trying to find what you really want to get for a wedding can be difficult, but it can indeed be done. You just need to go for it!

International Wedding Photographer

Increasing numbers of couples from the UK are choosing to get married abroad rather than the more ‘traditional’ route of a civil or church wedding in the UK. Despite the abundance of great wedding venues in the UK ranging from hotels to country houses to castles and marquees, the one thing we can’t depend upon is the weather. That isn’t to say that the sun always shines overseas or that all destination weddings are ‘sunshine’ weddings as many countries can be as equally changeable as the UK with regard to the weather. Caribbean wedding photography and New Zealand wedding photography are just two classic examples of where the weather can change in an instant!

Getting married abroad for many couples, is not just about getting ‘better’ weather, but can also be for a number of other reasons including cost and ‘atmosphere’. Prague is a classic example of a city with atmosphere, stunning architecture and a fantastic location for a wedding.

Cost first of all, – getting married in the UK is expensive…or at least, can be expensive. Getting married abroad does not necessarily mean expensive (or cheap), but generally costs are lower overall. Perhaps not for the guests, but with regards to the total cost (to the couple and family) compared with an equivalent wedding to a wedding in the UK. For this reason alone, many choose to marry in far flung destinations, but for many, it’s something else.

Atmosphere. There’s something that extra bit ‘special’ getting married abroad and that something ‘special’ is a holiday feel on top of the normal wedding ‘atmosphere’. Couple and guests tend to be a little more relaxed as that holiday feeling compensates for some of the stresses and strains of organising and orchestrating a wedding. The Amalfi Coast in Italy is a classic example of a relaxed atmosphere in a stunning location for a wedding.

So international wedding photography , – is it any less important…or even more important? We would say the latter as the opportunity for documenting the day is even further enhanced by the extra opportunities and this is something that should never be left to a friend, amateur or non-specialist…and that is exactly what Firehorse International Photography are, – specialist destination wedding photographers with experience of photographing weddings on 4 continents.

As an international wedding photographer, Simon Mark Whitten has photographed and been commissioned to cover weddings ranging from hotels in Ireland and Greece, to the grandeur of The Waldorf Astoria in New York, to French chateaux weddings, Italian Lake weddings, to an exclusive golf resort in China, to a converted mill in New Zealand and beach weddings in Mexico and Australia. We love unique wedding destinations, especially the stunning areas of France including Champagne Ardenne, Corsica and Pitou Charentes to add that little extra spice and inspiration to our photography.

Anywhere particular that we’d still like to go? Many places, but particularly weddings in Paris (France full stop), weddings in Venice, weddings in Morocco and Marrakech and we’d love to receive a commission for a wedding in Rajasthan, India. We’re fired up about overseas wedding photography, – how about you?!!

If you would like more information on destination wedding photography and international wedding photography in France including Paris and Chateaux, the Loire Valley, Normandy, the Dordogne, the French Riviera, Picardy and Languedoc-Roussillon, Italy including Rome, Ireland and Dublin, Spain, Australia and New Zealand and anywhere in the Carribean including Jamaica, Antigua, Mexico, the Bahamas and Bermuda or the USA.

Hire a Cleaning Crew After Your Wedding!

We write a lot about the moments that lead up to your wedding, but what about the moments where you’re actually done with the ceremony and the reception? Is it time to go home yet? Well, if you haven’t hired anyone to clean up the venue, you have a lot of cleaning to do. If you’ve served both drinks and food, you probably have quite a few cups, plates, and even silverware to clean.

That’s not to say that it’s impossible to clean up, merely that you have to ensure that you are doing anything and everything you can in order to tidy up well. You want to ensure that you have looked into a cleaning crew or at least some volunteers. Think about it from the right perspective — after an evening of entertainment, do you really want to stop and clean up after everyone? This is even more the case if you decide to go with a large crowd that will come out and watch the show. That’s something that can be difficult to plan for — but that’s where the cleaning crew comes in.

They don’t cost as much as you think, and a cleaning crew helps leave the venue as spotless as it was when you moved in. You don’t want to leave behind a lot of mess, because the venue will just bill the cleaning fees to you against your deposit — leaving you to pay anything that’s left over. You would probably prefer to get your deposit back. That’s the real way to go.

You also get the peace of mind that comes from the fact that once you are done entertaining everyone, you can just go back to your hotel suite or wherever you decide to go for your honeymoon.

If you’re going to hire cleaning crews, make sure that you send away for at least three or four different bids. You want to see who is actually going to compete for your business and who isn’t. If the method of cleaning matters to you, you will want to look for cleaning teams that handle the job in a way that is most satisfactory to you. Remember that you’re the customer, and you’re paying for it.

Now realize that some high end venues may have their own cleaning team, and the charge for that is already included in your booking. But make sure that you ask upfront what their policies are — if they don’t provide one, you will want to get permission to bring in your own.

The efficiency of a professional cleaning team is a must — if they weren’t efficient, they wouldn’t be able to stay in business very long at all. Why not look into hiring a cleaning crew for your next wedding today?

Do You Really need a Wedding Planner

In just about every wedding movie ever, there’s a wedding planner. You can see them hurrying form place to place, yelling, getting everyone in line and making glib comments at the bride as she too is in a panic rushing around from place to place. The real life version of a wedding planner may have a few truths from the movies, but not very many. In all honesty, wedding planners work very hard to earn your business. Their job is to take away all of the pressure and stress of planning a wedding, and put that on themselves. They know that their client wants a magical experience that will leave behind memories for a lifetime. However, the process to getting to that is a bit trickier. If you’re going to go through getting a wedding planner, don’t you think you should consider whether or not you actually need one?

A wedding planner can help, but if you don’t have a huge wedding it’s possible to handle all of the logistics yourself. there are even do it yourself wedding planning forums and groups where brides share experience freely with those getting married both for the first time and any time after that.

A wedding planner can be expensive — roughly 20-30% of what you are budgeting for the wedding. You also want to keep in mind that not every wedding planner will even accept you as a client. If you have a very small wedding, a high end wedding planner won’t take your business when they could work with a client who has a platinum wedding ceremony and reception coming up. That wouldn’t make sense at all!

You can indeed plan your own wedding and get all of the vendors on your team. Some vendors prefer to work with the brides directly, while others prefer that you go through a planner they’ve worked with. It just depends on what you’re trying to make your wedding look like.

Now, if you already have a busy life and career and you know that your wedding will not be a small affair, you will need a wedding planner. They will make your life a lot easier in so many ways, and that’s a good thing. You want your wedding planner to be part of your team and really deliver an exquisite experience that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

Are they up to that challenge, though? You will want to make sure that you are reading reviews of wedding planners if they have them online, or at least calling some references to make sure that they really can deliver the type of experience that you want. You should also ask for photos of past weddings they’ve performed.

Now, as the wedding planning industry has grown, it feels like everyone is jumping in. Make sure that you go with someone that has true experience. Doing your own wedding and maybe a few friends is okay, but if you want an elaborate affair this type of wedding planner just won’t do. Also, if someone just needs the money and agrees to help, you have to wonder if they really will be able to handle the logistics in play of a major wedding product. Don’t let anyone play guinea pig with your special day!

Overall, a wedding planner is what you make of it. Keep it in mind as you begin making your journey towards walking down the aisle!