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Sunday, 31 July 2011

Visitor Questions

Can A Veil Be Removed Without Ruining The Bride’s Hairstyle?

My immediate answer to this question is: yes!

However, on second thought it depends on how IMG_8984the hair stylist has placed the veil into your hair.

I was at a friend’s wedding and helped her to remove her veil from her hair. She had worn her hair mostly down (as you can see in this picture) so that meant it was a fairly simple job of slipping the veil out of her hair. The comb wasn’t tangled and her hair looked fantastic for the entire night!

However, if you have a more complicated up-do and the comb for the veil is more intricately linked in with your hair it may be more difficult to remove it.

I would definitely suggest asking a friend to help you, but choose a friend who will be careful and take it out slowly. Even with a down-do, if the veil is yanked out your hair it will make a mess.

For more information about Veils.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

The Seating Plan

Aka A Nightmare

Your seating plan will be a difficult, challenging, IMG_6059complicated and a real trial. There will always be the wrong number of people at a table, it’ll never fit and will give you the biggest headache of your wedding.

Clare wants to sit with John but she’s not friends with Lucy but Lucy is friends with John’s wife Jenny. But if Lucy sits with John there’ll be 11 people at the table and Jenny is bringing her baby!

Or you might find the challenge quite fun!

Friday, 29 July 2011

Duties

Who Does What?

Being asked to be a bridesmaid or best man is IMG_7155fantastic! It means you’ll get a posh dress or a swish suit and will feature in your friend’s wedding! You’ll be able to share all their happiness and help them celebrate their special day!

But what do you actually have to do?

Wedding Etiquette

This is How It’s Going to Happen..

Weddings have lots of traditions, and some things have to be done the right way (if you’re into that kind of thing). Some of the traditions are listed below.

Flowers Flowers Everywhere

4 Florists, 1 Decision
And it’s a tough one!

After being let down by my mean florist, I have begun the search for a different florist, and I went to four florists today.

I can tell you now, it’s not going to be an easy choice.

I’ve changed tack and instead of making appointments and having very serious chats, I’ve put together a bit of an idea of what we want for our day and just popped into some local florists.

Mimi’s Flowers

Mimi wasn’t actually in when we popped in so we couldn’t have a chat.

Cupcakes

Wedding Cakes Cup Cakes

I don’t often post about food but a reader has asked for a blog post about cupcakes, so here it is!

Wedding cakes are costing anything from £150 – £450 and more! It all depends on the complexity of the design you want.

This post is full of photos of different wedding cakes for you to have a look to see a possible design you may like. If you see a design you like but in the wrong colours, still copy the picture and simply ask your cake maker to change the colours.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Exciting Photographer Updates!

Our Wedding Photographer is Famous!

When we booked our wedding photographer, Clive Blair, we thought he was amazing! The photos we saw in his sample albums were simply amazing, images I’d love to buy and put on my wall!image

I don’t mean to sound like I'm gasconading, I’m honestly not!

I just think it’s amazing! Clive is featured on the BBC website explaining how he’s one of the Olympic photographers for Birmingham.

I very much recommend a look at Clive’s website, especially his blog, which is packed full of testimonials and sample pictures.

I can’t recommend Clive enough, and it seems I’m not the only one!

Surprise Your Bride

One for the Grooms

(Brides! Link to this post for your grooms to see!!)

On the morning of your wedding, your bride will be stressed. She will be running around, getting ready, being very giddy and excited and some brides will wonder a little bit what is going on in h2b’s head.

To put her mind a rest, and to make your wife-to-be smile, send her a little gift in the morning.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

The Most Important List of Your Wedding

Your Wedding Photos

In a You and Your Wedding photo special, they kindly listed a lot of the photos you will need for your wedding.

The day will fly by, and the last thing you want on your special day is to be fussing about photos. Compiling a list will make things easier for you and your photographer. The list in You and Your Wedding is invaluable! Copy this list into word and print it out asap!

At Home

  • Your dress on the hanger
  • You getting ready
  • You in your dress
  • Your shoes

Invitations

Coming Soon!

I’m going to collect our wedding invitations on Monday! Once we have wiggled about with our guest list we will be able to start sending out invitations!

Many magazines will suggest sending out invitations around 3 months ahead of the wedding, and 6 months for international guests. I’m sending mine out roughly 7 months ahead for international guests to allow guests to see dates and maps, and have access to our wedding website.

I’m looking forward to receiving the invitations because it will make The Wedding (capitalised) seem a lot more real! Every step is bringing the whole wedding day closer: paying for my dress, paying for the honeymoon, the invitations, it’s all becoming more and more real.

Yay! Double yay!

Photos coming soon!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Tackling Your Budget

The Right Budget for Your Photographer
Setting Your Budget
The main factor in setting your budget for your photographer is the importance you place on your wedding photography.
If you only want something simple for your wedding, have a simple budget.
If you are like me and want a long coverage at two locations then your budget will need to be slightly larger. A photographer’s work begins before your wedding day and continues long after, so try not to look at the price as a day rate but rather an investment in beautiful photos that will last a life time.

I am Disgruntled

Trying to be Reasonable

I believe that every bride should be treated as if she is the kate-bride-william-royal-wedding-alexander-mcqueen-gown-23most important bride there is by her suppliers. Every bride will feel her day is important and will hope that those around her feel the same way too!

So, what to do when one of your suppliers doesn’t respond after a year?

Upon speaking to the florist, he sent me a quote which I looked over and suggested modifying. We agreed on some changes, paid the £50 deposit and asked for the amended quote to be typed up and send to me so that all my paperwork was up to date.

This was agreed in August 2010.

It is now almost August 2011 and I still haven’t received a quote.

Consequently, I’m feeling a bit disgruntled.

I have called the florist 6 timesthe-bored-bride now asking for a quote and have been fobbed off each time.

The first time I called I was told it was almost Valentine’s day so there was little chance of receiving an updated quote. So I left it a little while and called again. This time it was Mother’s Day so I wouldn’t receive a quote.

The third time I called I was promised a quote sent out at the weekend! He was sending out some other quotes this weekend so mine was bound to be there.

The fourth time I rang up my quote hadn’t been sent that weekend butBridezilla_main might be the following one.

The fifth time I called he’s had a lot of staff off not feeling well so he’s been very busy and not been able to send it out. He’s only dealing with high priority issues at the moment so I would have to wait.

The sixth time I called, and this is the last time I will call, I was told that he’s too busy working flat out, how would I feel if I was a bride and he didn’t do my flowers because of writing a quote and that it was only a few changes so does it really matter?

Yes it does matter!

Am I being unreasonable?

I know it is only a quote, it’s not that sadbrideimportant, and I do appreciate that it is currently wedding season so he will be very busy right now… but I do feel that in a year he could have found half an hour just to make the tiny changes and send it out.

I do think that if I hadn’t asked for the second, updated quote, then there wouldn’t be a problem, everything would have gone to plan.

All my other suppliers reply within a reasonable amount of time, and I’m not sure that I made an unreasonable request. I’d say a reasonable amount of time to reply is about a week.

It’s not just that the quote hasn’t been sent out, it’s also that he didn’t contact me to say that he hadn’t done it, I was just left waiting.

I am worried about being a bridezilla. I know that people get very busy but if I had told my boss that I would do something and a year later it hadn’t been done, he wouldn’t be very happy!

If I am being unreasonable, please someone leave a comment and tell me! Help me to keep my inner bridezilla at bay!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Bride Style

What’s Your Photography Style?

There are lots of different ways to have youredited wedding photos taken: informal, formal, reportage, documentary, traditional, modern, artistic. Before choosing your photographer, you need to decide which style you want.

How to Tell the Difference

You will be able to see in a lot of wedding albums what the styles are. Many photographers take informal posed shots, or take artistic, formal pictures. Your photographer will be able to tell you what style s/he uses which will help you get a better idea of what you want.

Documentary Photography

They tend not to have the traditional documentoryposed shots and instead opt for capturing the day using action shots and interesting little moments. You may be completely unaware of your photographer taking any photos until you see how fantastic they look in your album!

Reportage Photography

A lot of photographers use this phrase to mean 'unobtrusive’. It actually means being a bit of a fly on the wall. Your photographer may blend into the crowd of guests but you will find the shots stunning.

Traditional Posed Shots

To ensure you capture all the important people in your wedding photos (parents, siblings, bridesmaids, best friends), you could mix a few posed shots in with your reportage photography. Posed shots don’t have to be a chore, your photographer can make them fun and informal.

Vintage

It’s becoming more and more popularsepia copy for wedding photos to have a vintage yellow tinge to photos. Is this your style? Speak to your photographer!

Retouching

Some photographers touch up photos as standard, some will charge extra for it. Think carefully if you want to naturally capture your day without the touch ups or if you want to remember your wedding as perfect as it is in your memory.

Essential Questions

A Quick List of Essential Questions

This list is from You and Your Wedding. Print it out to save and keep as a quick check list of essential questions. DSCF9635

Your Venue

  • Are they available on your date?
  • How many guests do they accommodate?
  • Is it close to your ceremony venue?

Quick Update

A Dress and A Honeymoon

We have paid for our honeymoon! We have only completely paid for two things, my wedding dress and our honeymoon!

It’s really nice to think that we have some things paid off, and we have paid for them ourselves! My dad is helping us to pay for the reception and mum’s helping to pay for the church, but we paid for our honeymoon and my wedding dress all by ourselves!

I should be paying off the stationer soon, as what I’ve ordered is coming through soon. Many of the other parts of the wedding need to be paid off three months or 12 weeks before the wedding date so we won’t pay much more until January time so we are saving all our pennies!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Photographers

Choosing Your Photographer

Regular blog visitors will know how important my wedding photography is to me. H2b and I are amateur photographers and we try to capture our friends’ weddings as much as we can to help add to the professional photographers photos.

When we chose our wedding photographer we thought very long and hard about what we wanted.

Where to Start

With brides having such high expectationsIMG_7164 for their wedding photos, the best place to look for a photographer is in the blogs and on their websites. Try to picture your wedding in their photographs, and if you can see it then you know this is the photographer to go with.

Look for passion and style in their photographs. Some wedding photographers take photos for a job, others have a passion for their photos and challenge themselves to take better photos each time. Spend time talking to the photographer to find out about their passion.

Make sure that you like the photographer. You’re going to have to trust them to take photos of your wedding.

When to Book

Book early! Once you’ve booked your venueIMG_9086 and your ceremony, book the photographer! Good photographers can be booked up 18 months in advance! If you really have your heart set on a good photographer, book them as early as you can!

Visit the Venue

Most photographers will visit your venue if it’s somewhere they haven’t been before. An engagement shoot is a great way to not only get to know the bride and groom but it will also give the photographer the chance to look around your venue.

An engagement shoot is also a fantastic opportunity for the bride and groom to have a nice day being photographed. It’s not often that we get to be the centre of attention, and it’ll be good preparation for the Big Day.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Bridezilla: How to Cope

It’s Just One Day

You’ve spent anything upwards of £15,000. Your friends and family are expecting a good time, music, dancing, booze. And, of course, bridezilla2you want a perfect day because you’re only getting married once. You will have a lot of pressure on yourself for everything to go as planed. 

But that is no excuse to act like a bridezilla!

Everyone has their own way of winding down and relaxing, but when you’re feeling stressed and under pressure it’s difficult to think of ways to relax.

If you’re feeling under pressure and can’t think of what to do, then read on!

How to Cope

I’m not going to suggest lying in a warm bath or a gentle walk because if you’re anything like me, you’ll sit and think about all the things that need to be done. I’m going to suggest distraction techniques.

Shoot Zombies

Either on a console at home (h2b is bound to have one)House_of_the_Dead-Nintendo_WiiScreenshots11773hod3 (16) or at an arcade (h2b will know of a good one), shooting zombies is not only relaxing, but is also satisfying as the all your problems personified in the zombies fall by the way side.

And h2b can join you as you play a co-op shoot ‘em up. Uncommunicative florist – bang! Difficult bridesmaids – granade! Expensive dress adjustments – rocket launcher! Letting out a bit of frustration, and relaxing with h2b may be really good for you.

Go Out with Your Friends

While your friends are supportive, they manchester-friends-pub-quizwon’t want to talk about your wedding all the time so going out with your friends will force you to think and talk about something other than your wedding.

Go to a pub quiz, you’ll be too busy trying to think of the answers to be able to think of your wedding, and there will be a prize at the end if you win! You’ll be surprised how relaxed you feel after a night out with your friends.

Play a Competitive Sport

Even if it’s in your back garden, play a DSCN1840competitive sport with your h2b or whoever’s available. It might be badminton over the washing line or football between two shirts, but play something you want to win.

Not only will exercising release endorphins in your blood stream to make you feel more relaxed, but it’s good for you! You’ll look ever better in your wedding dress after an afternoon of badminton (or your chosen sport)!

Have a Day Trip

Take your mum, your MIL, your little nieceDSCF5945 or your friends and have a day out. The National Trust offer lots of interesting places to visit, as does English Heritage. There’s Alton Towers, or Safari Parks, castles are good for international guests and also Royal attractions such as Buckingham Palace or Winsor Castle.

You’ll be so astonished looking at all the sights and drinking in the historic atmosphere that you’ll be too busy to think about your wedding. (Or, if you’re like me when I went to Winsor Castle, be busy thinking about how great your wedding would be if it was booked there!)

Relax and Be Calm

And remember, if you find yourself snapping at people, make sure you take the time after your wedding to thank everyone for their patience.

I think your friends and family will appreciate it’s a stressful time for you, but remember that everyone is aware it’s only one day.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Nice Day for a White Wedding

A Traditional English Wedding

There are a lot of blog posts and websites telling you how to have a different and unique wedding, but what if you want a traditional English wedding?

Unique weddings with the couple’s personality stamped all over it arePD*28603964 fantastic! There is nothing better than being at a wedding that is fantastically exclusive to that couple: an Alice-in-Wonderland wedding, a Star Wars wedding, they are all good fun and make marriage not just a solemn vow, but also a way of expressing the couple’s personality with all their friends and family.

But what if you’d like a traditional English wedding. You may not be aware of what is traditional for an English wedding, you may not know what happens. This blog post is about the up-to-date version of a traditional English wedding.

The Proposal

If you want a traditional proposal, themeet-the-parents-cover-1278599155 man should ask the woman. Traditionally, the prospective groom ask is future father-in-law for permission to marry his daughter.

While this is a terrifying prospect for any groom, it does show the father-in-law-to-be that you’re an upstanding young man and that you’re making a connection with the family.

However, if the bride doesn’t speak to her dad, it is still traditional if you ask her mum for permission.

My h2b asked my dad for permission to propose to me, which my dad didn’t expect at all! I thought it was a nice touch.

The Clothesbridesmaid and usher

Traditionally,  the bridal party pay for their own clothes for the wedding. I don’t think that’s very fair because wedding clothes can be very expensive but, this is the tradition.

Something Borrowedsomething-blue

While preparing for your wedding, remember for luck you will have to wear

Something old, something new
Something borrowed, something blue
And a silver sixpence in your shoe

for luck!

The Night Before

Traditionally, the bride and groom don’t see each other the night before the wedding, it is considered bad luck. It makes a lot of sense, really. With nerves running high it’s easy to snap at your h2b and start an argument, that’s the last thing you need the night before your wedding.

Your Wedding Day

The Morning

The groom and his party will be preparing for the wedding somewhere away from the bride and her side. He will then arrive at the venue roughly half an hour early to greet guests and mingle.

The bridesmaids and the bride’s family get ready or collate at9810F89AB58DF32FE040BB0A462B5282-c1 the bride’s location. The bridesmaids and usually the bride’s mother leave the house together to travel to the ceremony venue.

The bride and her father, or the person who is walking her down the isle, will then leave the house in a second mode to transport to arrive slightly after the bridesmaids.

The Ceremony

Regardless of the type of ceremonyarticle-page-main_ehow-uk_images_a04_ng_bc_decorate-church-winter-wedding-800x800 (1) you have, the bridesmaids, bride and the father-of-the-bride will take photos outside the venue before they go in. Then the bride enters and she and the groom marry!! (The exciting bit!!)

After the ceremony, there’s usually photos with the bride and groom, the guests, the bride’s and groom’s families and friends, before moving on to the reception venue.

Remember to throw your confetti (if allowed) for the photos!

The Receptioncouple-coco-palms-restaurant-wedding-photography

Upon arriving at the reception venue, be expected to take yet more pictures! The bride and groom often sneak off for some quiet time and some photos alone before taking photos with their guests.

Tossing the Bouquet

This makes a fantastic picture, and it’stossing the bouquet best to be done when everyone is gathered outside having their photos taken. All the single women gather into a group and the bride tosses the bouquet to them. The single lady who catches the bouquet is the next one to get married!

If your something blue is a garter, you could even toss that for the single men! The one who catches it is next to get laid.

The Wedding Breakfast

Whether or not you choose to have a receiving line, the wedding breakfast (so called because it’s the first meal the bride and groom will eat together as a married couple) starts at around 4pm.

There are usually three or four courses and you could have a ‘choice menu’ which means guests send in their orders for the meal from a small selection with their RSVP’s.

The Speeches

Usually said after the meal, sometimes before the cake course is served.images (1)

First up is the father of the bride. He presents the new couple to the guests and embarrasses the bride a bit.

Next up is the groom. He thanks the father of the bride for his kind words then he does the thanks. Thank you for coming, thank you to the bridesmaids for being so beautiful, thank you to the groomsmen for doing a fantastic job, thank you to the parents for being supportive, thank you to his new wife for being so kind to marry him and turning up looking beautiful. He gives out the thank you gifts here too.

And finally, it’s the best man. He thanks the groom for his kind words on behalf of the groomsmen and the bridesmaids, then proceeds to embarrass the groom.

The Cutting of the CakeIMG_7576

This usually happens after the meal has been cleared away, the speeches have been finished. The bride and groom cut their cake together.

The First Dance

Before the evening party can begin, it’s the first dance! Whether it be lumbering around the dance floor to a popular slow dance, or something you’ve practiced, the first dance is a key couple moment in any British wedding.

The Evening Reception

Once the evening reception has begun, that’s the last part of your usual British wedding. You may release fire lanterns or have some fireworks. You could have some karaoke or break dancing, but whatever you do, it will be all encompassed in your evening reception.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

UK Wedding Facts

What You Need to Know

Religious Ceremonies

Church of England

It was law that you could only marry in your parish church_1175495cchurch, now the rules have been changed so that you can marry in the church of your choosing, as long as you, or your parents, or grandparents have a connection to that church. (The church I’m getting married in, for example, my parents married there, I was christened and confirmed there, and I went to the school connected to the church.

Roman Catholic

You or your h2b must have been baptised in a dr_c56b6af35339de003fe09f9f134a7e13Catholic church and be free to marry. You also have to give notice of your intention to marry at the local superintendent registrar at your local town hall or council office and obtain your licence.

Jewish Ceremonies

You will need to make two applications to have a Jewish wedding, one to the local registrar and one to the religious authority your church falls under. Ceremonies can take place in a church or a civil venue, but remember that Jewish weddings do not take place on a Saturday.

Civil Ceremonies

Registrar Weddings 

Civil weddings can be booked no later than 17missymo-shirenerichard2P_B3 days before the wedding and no earlier than 12 months before. When you book your wedding, you and your fiancé must both give notice to marry to the superintendent registrar at the town hall or council office and they will then issue you with a common notice to marry.

Civil Ceremony Buildings

At the moment, outside venues are unlikely to be approved for weddings unless they have a permanent structure in which the wedding could be held. A wedding licence can be issued to any building which is open to the public, so private homes are unlikely to be approved. As with a registrar wedding, you will need to give notice of your intention to marry.

Weddings Abroad

Overseas!

As long as you are of the UK legal age to marry, and mauritius_tab_wedding_01are free to marry then weddings abroad are legal in the UK. Some countries require you to reside in their country for a certain amount of time before you can get married there, sometimes between one and seven days, and you will need all the relevant documents but you can ring the embassy of the country in which you wish to wed to find out what you need.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Videographer

Top Tips: Videographer

If you’re anything like me, you may be thinking that a videographer is a bitvideographer cheesy or you might not want a camera following you all day, but check out some wedding videos and see if you change your mind.

I have!

Photos are amazing, but videos show what’s happening between the poses. You may see something you didn’t notice on the day or catch a cheeky smile or a glance between you and your new husband. You may even catch a video of your MIL dancing on the dance floor! Or the tables!

Choosing a Videographer

See their work!
If I could offer you only one tip for choosing a videographer, it would be see examples of their work. Even if the video only lasts a few minutes, if it is cleverly edited it will still give you an excellent impression of their work.

If you don’t like the style of their work, don’t go with them. Be honest about what you want, and talk to them about their style.

Ask a Guest

With very simple video editing software available as standard on a PC and an Apple Macintosh, it is very easy to create your own, high quality wedding video.

The Camera

One of the best and easiest to use cameras available at the moment is the Flip Video Camera. It really is point and click with a clear video screen so you can see where you’re pointing. It has a USB connector built into it to allow for easy transfer of videos. The Flip costs on average £120.

There are lots of different video cameras available, and there are a lot of photo cameras that also take good TV standard videos. You should choose the camera that suits you the best.

The Software

As I’ve said, both Microsoft and Apple have their own standard video editing software, but there are also other free editing software that’s very easy to use but also offers a fantastic effect.

Avid DVD is a lovely online service which is free, and allows you to edit your videos quite easily.

Wax is a free to download program that again is easy to use and lets you edit photos and videos together.

But Windows Movie Maker and iMovie especially are far superior and free editing programs. Or if you’re feeling a bit professional, there is always Adobe Premier.

Little Brother Videographer

I have asked my little brother to be our unofficial videographer for the day using my Flip camera.  When I get back from my honeymoon I’d be keen to edit the videos myself to make a snappy, and hopefully interesting wedding video that people won’t groan to watch.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Little Quiz

How Well Do You Know Your Hubby-to-Be?

You’re going to be spending your life with him, you’ve bride_and_groom_in_parkknown him for years but how well do you know this man you’re going to marry?

This quiz was in Wedding Magazine, and I really liked it! I thought it would be nice to share it with you!

Keep track of your score and find out what it means at the end of the quiz!

  1. Where was your h2b born?

  2. Where did he go to school?

  3. What is his biggest fear?

  4. He finds you most attractive when your’re
    a) all dolled up with your best frock on
    b) slinky in sexy underwear
    c) bleary eyed, no makeup and wearing his pyjamas
    d) naked

  5. When was the last time he went to church?

  6. What is his favourite way to spend a Saturday night?

  7. What is his dream job?

  8. How did he vote in the last election?

  9. Where does he see himself in 10 yrs time?

  10. How many children does he want?

Total up all your correct answers to find out what it means about your relationship!

Full marks: 10/10
For you and your h2b, communication is no problem at all! You’re probably feeling quite smug that you know your h2b so well, and quite rightly so! It goes to show you’re on the right track with someone who will open up his thoughts and his heart to you.
However, be careful not to lose yourself in your relationship. Remember to have a bit of time apart to pursue your own interests and spend time with your own friends.

7 – 9
You know your h2b fairly well! A little mystery in a relationship is healthy, but which questions did you get wrong? Was it trivial information about his past or was it something more important, such as his plans for the future? Make sure you and your h2b are on the same page about things such as where he sees you in 10 years, or how many children you’re going to have.

4 – 6
Could do better! Make sure you’re clued up on his plans for the future and ask him about the parts of his past you don’t know about. It’s romantic and caring to share information about your school or your childhood. You could plan an evening of wine and relaxation so you can share some of your memories with each other.

0 - 3
While you may be blissfully in love, and passion, and affection, and lust but it’s important to communicate with your future husband to find out who he is deep down, to find out what his ambitions and his dreams are. Ensure you’re both on the same page and want the same for your lives because you will be spending them together!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Honeymoon Destinations: Hong Kong

Hong Kong

In Wedding Magazine, there was an article about honeymooning in HongP1010180 Kong. It’s definitely a city break, if that’s your thing.

I’m not sure if it’s an advert for the Mandarin Oriental, as that’s the only hotel the magazine recommends, or if it’s an actual article on a honeymoon in Hong Kong, but I didn’t agree with it, so I’m going to write my own.

I lived in Hong Kong from 2005 – 2008, so I know the area fairly well. The article suggests staying at the Mandarin Oriental for £357 a night! Mega bucks! That’s fine if you have a huge budget for your honeymoon, but if you want to spend a bit less, I’d recommend any of the Causeway Bay/Wanchai hotels.

The main areas in Hong Kong is connected by an underground train system. If you stay at any of the places on the MTR, you will be able to get around Hong Kong quite easily.

Where to Stay

I would recommend staying at Cosmo Hotel which is in Causeway Bay in image_hotel_featuredimage_1a very convenient location. Hong Kong island is the best place to stay, and Cosmo is in a key position. It’s very close to the MTR station and it’s only £91 per night, depending on the night and which website you book through.

There are lots of hotels in Hong Kong. It’s a business city and frequently has a lot of international guests needing somewhere to stay. The hotel standards are very high, however be aware that Oriental mattresses can tend to be very thin as standard.

What to Do

There are a few fantastic locations in Hong Kong to visit! I’ve been to all of them so I’m in the best position to recommend them!

  • The Giant Buddha
    Located on LantauIMAG0043 Island, the giant Buddha is a beautiful and peaceful tourist attraction. Buddha is at the top of a mountain, accessible by cable car or mini bus, and offers fantastic views of the beautiful Hong Kong countryside! The Giant Buddha stands 60ft high and is an impressive monument. In the surrounding area is a beautiful temple complex. [NB. Best not to take photos inside the temples as it is considered disrespectful.]

  • Avenue of Stars
    Best viewed at night, Avenue of2004-10-12-anniversary Stars is found in Tsim Shar Tsui (also known as TST) and is a bit like Hollywood Boulevard, but with Hong Kong and Chinese actors.
    Avenue of Stars offers an impressive view of Hong Kong island, perfect for photo opportunities, and there are a few tourist shops along the way. It’s the most romantic place and on the night this photo was taken, I decided to move to Hong Kong to live with h2b. It’s a very moving place!

  • Ladies’ Market (Loy yan guy)
    If you’d like to try your hand at a bit of haggling, the Ladies’ Market is the place to do it! Very very crowded and extremely hot during the summer, it’s loud and polluted and a fantastic place for picking up a bargain!

    Key phrases to use at the Ladies’ Market:
    Cheaper, ok? – Peng dee, duk mm duk ah?
    Too expensive!! – Tie gwai!!
    I can speak Chinese, I think you should give it to me cheaper! – Or sik gong jung men,  peng dee mm goy.

    The Ladies’ Market can be found in Mong Kok. The easiest way to get there is to take the MTR.

  • The Peak
    The Peak is the top oP1010180f the mountain in the centre of Hong Kong island. Again, best seen at night, the Peak offers spectacular views of the Central, Causeway Bay and Wanchai areas. You may be able to spot your hotel from there, I could spot my apartment building! The best views are about 3/4 of the way round. It takes a few hours to walk the entire mountain.

    Also at the top of the Peak is the world famous Madame Tussaud’s. This is one of the places in Hong Kong that I never actually went, despite visiting the Peak on many occasions!

    The best way to access the Peak is via the Peak Tram. It’s at a very steep angle most of the way up but it’s got fantastic views and it’s a brilliant experience, as long as you get a seat!

  • Stanley Market
    This is a fantastic little market for picking up amazing littleDSC07284 things. I got my favourite sunglasses from there, they look like Channel glasses, but they actually cost me less than £1!

    Locals to Hong Kong often host shore side BBQ’s at Stanley, with the supermarket at Stanley selling everything you will need for a BBQ you could join them!

    There is nothing like watching the sun set as you tuck into your freshly cooked, oven smoked burger!

  • Disney Land!
    Hong Kong Disney Land is a lot smaller than P1010086the Paris and American counterparts but it is well worth a visit, even on your honeymoon! The friendly atmosphere and exciting rides combine to give every couple a fantastic experience.

    If Disney isn’t your thing, give this trip a wide birth, but if you embrace your childish side, one day Disney Land is quite fun!

  • Shopping
    There are a number of places to go shopping, depending on your budget. If you have a fuller figure, I would advise not buying trousers in Hong Kong. Also, be aware that shop assistants are very honest and will inform you that they do not have an item in your size even with out asking!
    WaichaiComputerCenter_IMG_2533_w600For buying electrical goods, I recommend visiting the Wanchai Computer Centre for a bargain on anything from digital cameras to laptops. However, the chaps in there aren’t daft, they will clock you’re a tourist and charge you a higher rate so remember to haggle prices as best you can.

    For bargains on clothes and gift items, try to avoid the big swishy shopping malls in Central or anywhere on the Island and head to Tsim Shar Tsui or Mong Kok to pick up some bargains. Remember to check your goods at all times because you won’t be able to return any damaged goods.

    Hong Kong is best for electrical goods, so if you want to buy your family a new mobile phone or DVD player while on your honeymoon, this is the place to get them.

Who is Hong Kong For?

Hong Kong is a fantastic location for any city honeymoon.

Hong Kong is not for the newly weds looking for a beach or countryside break away.

Hong Kong is for the couple interested in photography, a couple who love shopping, a couple who are adventurous and want to experience different cultures. It is essential for couples who want a city break!

If you choose Hong Kong for your honeymoon, I am sure you would have a fantastic time!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

The Ex Factor!

Invite or Not?

Most of us have had past relationships, which means that most of us have the dreaded ex.

story.not.invited.tf

Wills invited four of his ex’s to his wedding when he married Kate. Prince Charles invited Camilla Parker Bowels when he married Dianna. Bruce Willis invited Demi Moore to his 2009 wedding, but is it the right thing to do?

You may have had a few long term relationships, and maybe even been engaged before. Or you could have had a string of one night stands, but would any of your ex-flames ever make it on to your guest list?

Not on Your Nelly

Attending a wedding, when you’re still in love with the bride or groom is not only going to ruin their day, but is unhealthy for the guest! No one needs to see the love of their life saying vows to someone else! AngryBride2_LR

You also risk making your h2b or w2b uncomfortable! They’ll say it’s fine, invite the ex, but do they really want someone who’s seen you naked attending your wedding? Will there be a Ross and Rachel moment at the alter? Do you want them to feel uncomfortable at their own wedding?

What if your ex meets someone at your wedding and starts ‘making out’ with them? Would you feel comfortable with your ex moving on right before your eyes?

Also, consider the question: ‘And how do you know the bride?’

Of Course They Can Come!

However, if your ex is your friend, surely everything will be fine! A lot of ex’s are happy to see their ex happily married. I wasn’t invited to my ex’s wedding, but I’m happy for him now he’s married. happy-bride-and-groom

If your ex got along well with your family and friends, s/he may be missed at your wedding!

If you have mutual friends who are attending your wadding, it could be quite awkward for them if your ex doesn’t attend. Would they feel torn? Would it create long term problems if you didn’t have your ex there just for the one day?

Lucky for Some

Luckily for h2b and I, it’s not an issue. My big ex wouldn’t attend even if we were on speaking terms, and h2b doesn’t have any big exes. 

If it were an issue, I would suggest that inviting an ex isn’t the best of ideas, but each to their own. Just make sure that everyone, including your h2b is happy with the final decision.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Bride Style

Styling Your Reception Venue

Twinkle Lights

Tea lights look fantastic andIMG_7608 create a soft, romantic atmosphere. 

The only problem is, the average tea light candle only lasts an hour.

Battery operated tea lights are a lot nicer than they used to be and create a long lasting romantic effect.

Chair Size

Nothing is worse than ordering 100 chair covers only to find out that on the day, they're the wrong size. Nightmare! Check the size of the chairs, or use the venue's regular chair cover people to ensure that everything is perfect.

Swish Sash

Try something different, tie your sash to thebuxted.jpg.w300h452 side or use two sashes to change the look. Put flowers in the knot or tie a bow.

You could wrap the sash around the whole chair, tie it at the top or bottom of the chair rest.

Ask your chair cover people to arrange your sashes in a way that they don't usually to allow for an interesting style.

Bring in the Light

If your venue is quite dark, as many historic venues can be, dress your venue all in white! This will help brighten the room by gently reflecting some of the light  and will lighten the space. If you want to add some colour, use mood lighting around the room.

Budget Impact 99009_Candelabra

If you're on a tight budget but want centre pieces that create an impact, try candelabras.

If you don't include flowers, they can be a lot cheaper than using the traditional table centres.

You can rent candelabras or buy from a lot of different places including Amazon.

Glittering Glass

Glass placemats reflect the ceiling lights, look great on the table and they make a fantastic statement! If you buy or hire large glass placemats, accessorise with large candles and scatter crystals, you'll have a fantastic and inexpensive table centre.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

A Wonderful Day

Maximise Your Impact (Part Three)

Making your wedding special while saving costs is never easy. But with the tips below, and in part one and part two, you will be able to create a huge impact while saving money.

Happy Snappy

Ask friends and family to snap 18_038extra photos for your album, especially in the evening to cut down on the time the official photographer will need to stay.

Regular visitors will know how important I feel photographs are to the successful running of a wedding, After the wedding is over, the only way to remember it clearly in all it's glory, is through the pictures. They are something to share with your children, your grand children, and something to bore all the people at work with!

Keeping Guests Informed

Wedding websites are often free and are a very inexpensive way of giving your guests information about your wedding. Local hotels, times and places, maps and address, wedding websites provide all the information that would otherwise be in the invitations. Some stationers charge quite a bit of money for inserts, this could be an excellent money saving idea!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Hen Do Excitement!

Things Are Getting Organised!

My chief bridesmaid (CB) has been emailing me about my hen do and I’m getting really excited about it!!!!

I think hen do’s are really personal to the bride. Before CB got married, I imaged all hen do’s as mad, wild excuses to get drunk and be incredibly silly for 48 hours. drunk-bride

However, the hen do should fit the bride. If you’re not into getting drunk and being silly, you shouldn’t have to waste your money and your time doing that.

Personally, I would love to let my hair down. I have a job where I can act silly, but I still need to be professional and fairly straight laced. It would be fantastic to let my hair down and go wild for a weekend.

But what is out there for the bride who doesn’t want to get paralytic?

The Spa Break

Relaxing, pampering, calm, a really good gspa-pamperingirlie weekend, a spa weekend is perfect for the bride who doesn’t want to go wild.

Spa hotels offer a wonderful place to stay while at the same time a pampering holiday!

It will also help you to look relaxed and beautiful for your wedding.

The Great Outdoors

A camping holiday is full of bonding, tent building and chats over the camp fire. If you’re the outdoors type and don’t want a mad hen do, a camping holiday will be a different and memorable trip for your friends.

There are fantastic locations around the whole of the UK, close to home or further afield. Most camp sites have access to bathroom facilities and some have on site entertainment.

Casino Girlscasino

You have been lucky in love, maybe you’ll be lucky at the casino! A night of gambling for you and your girl friends may be just the thing.

A glass of wine, the atmosphere in the casino, feeling lucky and dressed up, you may even win big which will help contribute to wedding costs!

The Orient Express

Take a ride in style on the Orient Express! There are a number of different destinations on the Orient Express, it tours lots of different countries. There are a variety of prices for the trip as well, matching any hen do budget.

The tours of Europe and further afield are amazing, and all meals and accommodation are taken care of on the train.

Farmers Wife Hen Party

Spend an afternoon baking bread, vintage_farm_wedding_02feeding the pigs and collecting eggs! Milk a cow and dance a jig to really lift the spirits of the party. And for the hen - paint her life story on the barn wall - high art meets low gossip! Find your inner rhythm at the bodhrán (Irish drum) class. Take the tractor and trailer through the forest and enjoy an ancient Irish pedicure - walk barefoot in the bog! And after all that activity relax in the best local hotel for a gourmet dinner, nightclub and luxurious night's sleep. Follow this link to find out more.

Women Are the Best Drivers

Be it a tank or a formula one car, or even a go kart, a driving hen do is a lot of fun! It does mean that there won’t be much drinking going on, but donning the safety suits and heading out for a dangerous drive can be a real buzz for any hen party.

A definite consideration for whomever is planning your hen do!

Not a Drinker?

There are a lot of unusual and brides-maid-updifferent hen do choices out there for the bride who isn’t into the drinking and being wild.

I noticed that some hen do arrangements are called ‘sophisticated’. I think it’s important to remember that a bride who doesn’t want to get paralytic isn’t any more sophisticated than one who does (me!), it’s just that everyone has their own way of celebrating and no one way is better than another.

What ever you decide for your hen do, if any of the ideas on this page have help, have a fantastic time!