Wedding ceremony or service?

Wedding guests outside church

There are several options when it comes to considering what type of wedding you’d like and there are often misunderstandings about them. So we’re going to try and guide you through the differences and similarities.

First off, you’ll need to decide whether you want a civil or religious wedding ceremony. It needs to be right for both of you. If you can’t agree, perhaps consider a civil ceremony followed by a religious blessing as a compromise.

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Planning a child-free wedding

Weddings bring families, friends and colleagues together – and many of them will have kids. Many couples will love having children with them for their special day, but sometimes the idea of a perfect wedding doesn’t involve kids running amok at the reception! So some couples opt for an adult only wedding. It’s not an unreasonable request – it’s your day and you can invite who you want.

It may appear offensive if you’re not careful with how you deliver the news, so don’t rush into scrawling “NO CHILDREN” on your invitations! Consider how many angry and upset guests you would have! You might find yourself discussing your decision with your guests, so think about how you want to explain it. This will help them understand your reasoning without feeling like a personal attack on their little ones.

One of the biggest factors for you might be cost. Venues require you to have a seat for every child, which will carry a “per head” cost and you may need to pay a little more for extra distractions to keep their attention. You may also need employ the services of a babysitter to help keep the children occupied during certain parts of the day, which again comes at a cost.

Another consideration could be the amount of time children will be sitting around through the ceremony or other elements of the day. We’ve all been at weddings where kids have been running up and down the aisle, crying and being a distraction to other guests. It may also not sound great on the wedding video when you watch it back!

Once your ceremony is over the parents will need their children with them throughout the reception for at least a few hours and this often means that those guests may not be able to let their hair down and enjoy the atmosphere of the day. There’s also the added factor of when other guests have had a few drinks, things may get a little too much for them!

You may have now decided you would like to have an adult only wedding, but how do you tell your guests without seeming like the worst person in the world? We’re glad you asked…

Think about the wedding you want to have. If your guests are local and you’re having an evening wedding it will be easier for your guests to find a babysitter for the night. If on the other hand you’re planning a destination wedding, excluding kids may be more difficult.

Make a list of guests you are inviting who have kids and give them a call before you send out invitations. We promise it’s much easier to have a phone conversation and you can ensure they won’t show up with the entire family and tell you they didn’t know!

You may get some guests questioning your reasoning, so keep this handy and no backing down. If you don’t want children at your wedding – your guests need to respect that. Don’t feel intimidated and keep a firm but fair stance whilst you’re chatting about it.

Whatever you decide, its important you both have who you want at your wedding and many guests will quickly understand your reasons. It also gives them the perfect excuse to enjoy themselves without the kids being around – hopefully they’ll think of it as a night off, which many parents would love!


Wedding professionals – who does what?

When you start planning your wedding a whole new world opens up before your eyes and with it comes a brand new vocabulary. Words you’ve neither uttered nor heard are will start getting thrown around. There are wedding professionals that can help, but before you think about hiring one, you need to understand exactly what each can do for you.

Wedding planner

A wedding planner does exactly what their name suggests: they plan your wedding!

A planner should listen to your ideas and vision and turn that into reality – within reason, of course. You shouldn’t feel you’re being told how your wedding should go ahead, so don’t be afraid to have an honest conversation about your expectations.

They’ll get involved in all aspects of your day – importantly they’ll recommend suppliers and negotiate contracts. A planner will have worked with many suppliers before and will be able to negotiate a better cost for you. Don’t get your hands dirty – leave the negotiating to the professionals!

A planner will not only help you set your budget but make sure you stick to it. They’ll continually track how much is spent throughout the planning process and make sure everything comes in on budget. Couples often overspend very quickly due to poor planning. This leads to sacrifices having to be made later on. By taking ownership of your budget, a planner will make your money go further. You might even be able to afford an extra treat on your honeymoon.

Some planners offer design or styling as part of their service, whilst some will leave that to a wedding designer. This means you’ll need to hire two professionals, so be sure you know what your planner can offer.

Wedding designer

A wedding designer won’t get involved with contracts or attending appointments along with their brides and grooms. What they specialise in is everything from floor plans and lighting designs to flowers, linens and bridal wear. They’ll use their artistic eye to transform a venue into exactly what you had envisaged.

The designer will assist you with decisions that will give your wedding the right atmosphere and making the most effective and efficient use of the space available. Designers, just like other wedding professionals will have a vast network of wedding suppliers they’ve worked with before so will have the contacts to create the vision you dreamed of.

Imagine a designer to be like an artist, in that they will create a beautiful piece of art on your blank canvas.

Wedding co-ordinator

A co-ordinator will usually start work for the last month before your wedding and will be focused on logistics, but on a shorter timeline than a planner. They’ll confirm supplier contracts and your wedding timeline, as well as ensuring payments are made too. Some will also confirm guest numbers. A co-ordinator won’t become involved in the earlier planning phases or keeping track of that all-important budget.

Their main role is to co-ordinate everything involved throughout your day, ensuring everything and everyone is on schedule and aware of what’s happening when. Co-ordinators make sure everything you’ve done up until they take the reins is in good shape.

Hiring a co-ordinator to take over the month before your wedding gives them time to tweak details and follow up where they need to. That way you are free to enjoy the build up to your wedding day stress free!

They’re there to tell you when things will be occurring throughout your day such as cake cutting, the bouquet toss, toasts etc. Some will stay until the end of your day, whereas others will stay until a pre-arranged time as part of their contract with you. Do check this beforehand as it can differ from one co-ordinator to the next.

With all planners, designers, and coordinators there is one common misconception we hear time and time again… they cost to earth to hire. Absolutely not! You’ll be very surprised at how competitively priced they can be and if it means leaving your day in the hands of a professional who’s done it all before – it’s money well spent!


Wedding insurance – worth the risk of going without?

Insurance calculator

tl;dr: no!

Weddings are an expensive business. Everything comes at a cost: from buying the perfect ring to paying for your wedding venue – and that’s before you invite your guests and then feed them too.

Once you’ve set your budget and before you’ve started to pay anything – get yourself some wedding insurance. Many won’t know it exists until they come to plan their wedding, but without it you risk paying large sums of money with no protection in the event of things not going to plan. Continue reading

Real life wedding inspiration

Wedding cake

We’ve all done it – seen something at a wedding and thought “I’d absolutely love to have that at our wedding”. We recently asked our lovely readers about what had inspired them on their wedding-related travels and we had many ideas sent in, so we wanted to share these. If you missed our first blog about wedding ideas, please take a look! Of course you’re more than welcome to use any of the ideas and we’d love it if you could share any ideas with us too.

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Wedding planner timeline

Wedding guests

To start planning your wedding you need to have an idea of the budget you intend to spend. Think about including a saving plan if you need to start putting money aside too. You can then begin to look to set an approximate date for your wedding, be mindful that this will be depend on the availability of your chosen venue. Once your date is confirmed by your venue – the fun begins!

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Real weddings… part 1

Wine glasses on top table

After six months of married bliss and having gone through the photos and video of our big day countless times, we started thinking… Would we have done anything differently?

When planning our wedding we were meticulous in planning every detail. Now we’ve looked back on everything, we’re pretty sure we wouldn’t have changed a thing. Everything told our guests about us and revealed our love for the finer details. Our wedding guests loved the unique touches and were very surprised with what we’d planned! One thing that we perhaps should have considered was having somebody on hand to cue music and timings of those walking down the aisle. Whilst our venue staff were fantastic, they weren’t quite as ‘on the ball’ as we would have liked!

We recently asked family, friends and our followers on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram whether, looking back, they’d have changed about their weddings.

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