Tips On Planning The Perfect Wedding

So you’re engaged to be wed and your heart still flutters with the remembrance of that romantic proposal, you get lost in hindsight with daydreaming about planning the coming months, and you can’t stop staring at that new item on your hand that states your love from every angle. New words like “fiancé” are a new addition to your vocabulary and you’ll find pretty much any excuse to inform others and address each other at any given moment. Dialogue opens up with streams of “Congratulations” and “Best Wishes”, pouring in from every direction and everyone you bump into wants to treat you to a glass of wine or a celebratory bottle of champagne. It goes without saying that you couldn’t be more excited to move into a new stage of your life with the one you love, so here are a few ways you can plan that perfect and special day.

bridal shows and flowers

The average couple is engaged for a total of 13 months. This is considered a great timeframe that works for most couples to achieve their dream wedding. After the initial engagement, it is advised to wait about three weeks before jumping into planning the wedding. Not only does this give the bride and groom to be plenty of time to revel in the engagement, but it’s not too long so that the start of planning doesn’t lose its momentum. Once you’re ready to start the planning, start by coming up with a realistic budget and an estimated guest count, then begin researching your favourite venues. Do this at your own pace, this could take a fair few months, to get it right. A lot of factors in choosing the perfect venue may depend on where you’re marrying, it’s unlikely that all venues will be booked up at the same time as your proposed wedding date but checking way in advance is the best way to minimise problems with booking at the best prices.

The only big responsibility for the Bride and Groom is to get married, of course, but there is a multitude of planning decisions to make first. Ideally, both the bride and groom should work together on these decisions to share the workload and to make sure both parties are happy with the ideas. Here are a few common things to consider:

  • Set A Realistic, Safe Budget
  • Choose The Date, Venue, Style and Any Other After Party Locations
  • Meet With The Ceremony Officiant To Discuss Ceremonial or Registration Details
  • Coordinate All Of The Invitations and Photographer, Flowers etc.
  • Shop For Each Others Wedding Bands
  • By Choice: Plan The Wedding Vows
  • Thank-You Notes For Any Wedding Gifts.

In most cases, the bride and groom each handle certain details on their own, including each parties making sure that their side of the family are included within the guest list.

Again from a traditional sense, the bride chooses the bridesmaids and maid of honour. She would also make plans to host a meal and give her attendants thank-you gifts. Bridesmaid gifts are also another common item that is considered along with choosing a gift for the groom.

The groom would need to choose his groomsmen and the best man, including picking their ceremonial attire. He would, along with the bride, buy thank-you gifts for his groomsmen and for his bride. He would also have to arrange and pay for the registration of the marriage license and the practising officiant’s fee. Sometimes the responsibility will also fall to the groom if there are reservations needed at a local hotel for out-of-town guests, who are attending the wedding.

Picking The Maid Of Honour

So what is included with the status of a maid of honour? The maid of honour’s’ duties’ include helping plan the bachelorette party, making sure the bridesmaids dresses are ordered correctly and in a timely fashion, serving as the first point person on the wedding day, giving a speech at the reception, being a model wedding guest ensuring invitees are on time, including, reserving travel and hotel with the room block early and if needed, so much more.

Who Is Responsible For Putting Together The Bridal Shower?

For the majority of times, this duty will be split amongst a few people in the bridal party. I can be the mother of the bride and the groom, any sisters of the bride and the groom, or even extended family member such as the aunts of the bride and groom. All family members, if capable, should have the first opportunity to take the responsibility of planning this. If no one can take responsibility in the planning then the maid of honour will do it. When this happens It’s important that the maid-of-honour keeps in contact with the bride and the bride’s family members about this early on in the wedding planning process. This way, everyone knows who is doing what and when the shower is to reduce any confusion or double booking any other events.

Here are some final ideas on what other ‘Traditional’ Roles & Responsibilities might need thinking about when planning a dream wedding:

  • Bride’s Parents
  • Groom’s Parents
  • Flower Girl
  • Ring Bearer
  • Photographer

There is plenty of information that you can obtain online which can elaborate on the number of responsibilities that is needed to successfully fill these roles. Depending on your religious views and other family factors, these roles may be limited or extended down to the wishes of the parties that are to be wed.

After months of planning, and the big day is finally here, Both you, your partner and the families have worked hard to help achieve all the steps to planning your perfect wedding. Staying calm and enjoying your special day, last but not least is the ceremony.

Here are standard steps that are taken in the ceremonial reception of a marriage:

  • The Procession
  • The Officiant’s Opening Remarks
  • The Officiant Addresses the Couple
  • The Exchange of Vows
  • The Ring Exchange
  • The Pronouncement of Marriage
  • The Kiss
  • The Closing Remarks
  • The Recessional

Once the ceremony is over, many choose to host a celebration party for the families to further create lifelong memories from the joining of the two families, shortly followed by the honeymoon.

What ideas did you come up with that helped a smooth perfect day for you and your partner to wed? Give everyone a little inspiration and comment about your plans or experiences in the comments below!

Garden ready for Summer fun

If it feels like winter’s never going to end, then it might be time to start thinking and dreaming about the summer that’s right around the corner.

Cold, chilly nights will soon be replaced by long, warm evenings. But how ready is your garden for hosting BBQs and keeping guests entertained? It’s time to talk summer transformation.

bbq food cooking

Hard area

If you’ve got a patio or decking you’re going to need to start by weeding and cleaning your wood or stones. A few months left exposed to the elements will have taken their toll and led to some discolouration so consider turning the jet hose on it to blast through dirt and grime and lift off those stuck on leaves.

Tackle The Lawn

If the seasons haven’t been kind to your grass, then there are several options you can consider. Start by sowing grass seed to adequately fill in any gaps. Make sure that your lawn is properly draining by going over it with an aerator and backfilling with seed. Cut back shorter in the summer to allow more water to penetrate below the surface and keep your lawn in tip top condition.

If it all looks like too much, then you could go down the artificial route. With plenty of shades and tones to choose from, you’ll be able to pick a colour that you love and all with practically no upkeep, bar the need to sweep away debris and hose away dirt. You may be able to install the grass yourself if you area is small enough, otherwise call in the professionals to do it for you.

On the other hand, you may decide that a country meadow look is going to be this spring and summer style. While the plan might be to let your grass grow a little longer, you can still control what’s growing by weeding and introducing some beautiful wild plants.

Do your bit for the ecosystem by introducing plants that attract honey and bumble bees, butterflies and insects to turn your outside space into something of a haven for nature. Complete the look with plenty of hanging food for birds to find in any surrounding trees you have.

If you have a pond in your garden, now is the time to give it a thorough clear out. If you can, drain it and give the casing a good scrub with specially formulated cleaner that won’t upset any fish you have in there. Check that any water pumps are still functioning properly and refill, ready to reintroduce your wildlife and pond plants.

Update Your Furniture

Metal garden furniture can also show the effects of a cold winter and unless you have space to store them in a shed or garage, chances are they might be showing signs of rust and general wear and tear. You might consider changing up to rattan or a manmade substitute that will prove a little hardier and has the benefit of being able to drain water easily. Upgrade your garden furniture with a whole new look, including a new dining table, chaise longues and so on.

You’ll be able to buy all manner of accessories to make your summer go with a bang, from an outside pizza oven that can also act as a source of heat to a thoroughly modern, fully functional BBQ set complete with hotplates and so on. If you’re going to do BBQ season, you might as well do it with the best piece of kit on the market.

Plants

Don’t forget your planting scheme. Fill those borders with bright, low maintenance flowers and shrubs that fill your garden with colour and scent. You don’t have to be a gardening expert to produce something impressive, but just ask for recommendations for low hassle flowers at your local gardening centre and you’ll be able to impress everyone with your style. Choose plants that attract wildlife and you’ll soon have a garden complete with a cacophony of buzzing sounds.

Light Up The Party

garden fairy lights

From fairy lights to security lights, you need something to keep the party going. If you prefer a more natural look then go for the option of candles aplenty to create an atmospheric, chilled outside experience. Or opt for low key lightings, like the hanging fairy light options that can be dimmed right down and placed to illuminate more subtly. Why not bring a little extra heat to the garden with a gas heater that combines impressive warmth with a subtle downlight.

You also have the option of solar lights that can be placed at strategic points around the garden and that will glow as the sun sets, using up the energy they’ve stored during the day. A cost effective method of bringing attention to the parts of the garden you’re proud of.

Summer is right around the corner, so whether you’re planning on giving the garden a complete makeover or just a spring clean, start now and get your green spaces in perfect shape for a summer of entertainment and fun.

Why not treat your younger guests and members of the family with some outside toys. A trampoline always goes down well, as does a swing set. If you have the space, then bring out those garden cricket and tennis sets and throw up a badminton net between a couple of trees, or better still a hammock.

Start with a general tidy up, getting your grass cut to the right length. Give your hard surfaces a once over so they’re shining clean and ready to take new furniture. Treat yourself to a new set and get rid of anything rusty and old that doesn’t go with your overall look. Then you’re ready to road test that new BBQ. Give the chef in in your life a new set of BBQ utensils and they’ll be raring to get it fired up.

Then all that’s left to do is lay back on your new recliner, cocktail in hand and listen to the sound of the birds and bees taking advantage of your newly planted borders and enjoying the garden almost as much as you.

Great Tips for Jewellery Shopping

What girl doesn’t like buying jewellery? You’ll see plenty of unique pieces in their collection. Fine vintage and antique pieces that are exquisitely hand crafted are also treasured possessions in any woman’s jewellery box. If you like shopping for fine jewellery, here are a few tips to help you make the right choices.

lady shopping with lots of bags
Image:- Pexels

Know your Budget

We would all love to spend our time acquiring fine jewellery, but one must be realistic. Work out how much you can afford, and do not go over that figure, as you can easily find yourself short, and jewellery is definitely not considered a necessity. Knowing your budget will make your search a lot easier, and the frequency of a purchase should reflect your lifestyle. If you would like an update, there are some of the popular jewellery styles, which might give you some inspiration.

Buy Online

If you are interested in acquiring antique or vintage jewellery, search online for a reputable antique dealer, who would have an impressive catalogue of items, and that allows you to browse literally hundreds of fine items of jewellery, and from the comfort of your living room too! Check out the pieces of art deco jewellery worn by celebrities and you are sure to find something that hits the spot. Online shopping is convenient, and you are not paying extra for plush showrooms, and with the dealer’s expertise, whatever your preferences, he can source the right pieces to add to your growing collection. Once you have found the perfect item, a secure online payment will see the piece packaged and delivered to your door, and you can’t get much better than that.

Think Investment 

When buying jewellery, it is always best to look at vintage or antique items, as they appreciate in value, providing they are looked after. Your jewellery collection will grow as time passes, and with some astute purchases, the collection will become a valuable asset. When you purchase a modern jewellery item, you lose at least 30%, should you wish to sell, yet with a fine antique piece, the value will only increase. Whatever your preferred style, the online antique dealer has a great selection of vintage and antique jewellery items, and all at affordable prices.

Do Some Online Searching 

Google images is your best friend when wanting ideas for jewellery, and once you see something you like, you can start looking for it through a reputable online antique dealer. If, for example, you sent the dealer an image of a necklace you like, he would be able to source something similar, and with his help, you will always find what you want. Forging an alliance with such a dealer will pay long-term dividends, and whenever you want to source a particular jewellery item, give him a call or send an email.

It is always best to have a firm idea of what you want prior to shopping, and with a budget in mind, you can search the online antique dealers for suitable items. Rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings of all shapes and sizes can be found through an online antique dealer, and whether you prefer art deco or the glitzy forties, the online dealer has an extensive catalogue of fine items, and what he hasn’t got, he can easily source.