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Wedding balloons can add so much colour and texture to a room, and will enhance even the most neutral wedding venue. There are plenty of options for decorating your venue with balloons, from table decorations to balloon arches.
Use small balloons as table decorations, ensuring that they are on a long enough ribbon that they do not get in peoples way of seeing each other across the table. With larger balloons being used for decorating around the outside of the room or even giant wedding balloons as a feature. Balloon arches can be a fun way of welcoming your guests and will brighten up any entrance area.
A contemporary wedding videographer will produce a DVD that is not so much a home movie, more a television special or feature film. Professional videographers will keep in the background quietly filming and recording all that takes place, then carefully editing it in their studio to incorporate all the best bits into a wonderful memorable wedding video.
Most professional video production companies offer a wedding package to include attendance on the day and editing production of a high quality DVD and perhaps a shortened edit. Whether they bring a second cameraman, and how much time they spend editing your wedding video will depend on your budget. The more time spent the more expensive the package, but the better the result will be.
A good camera man (or woman) should be unobtrusive, yet capture all that went on, including a lot that the bride and groom didn’t see or hear. Compared to still photographs, you will have a record of not only the entire day, but also a more intense experience: the pure entertainment of all the voices, music, laughter, atmosphere, movement and pace from your special day.Read More
Choosing the perfect honeymoon is increasingly something that couples do together. The need for visas, vaccinations and a suitable holiday wardrobe means that the days are long gone when the destination was a closely-guarded secret! At Guides for Brides we understand how important it is that your honeymoon and honeymoon destination is perfect so as much as possible we personally review the most popular options for you. We are not tour operators and do not receive financial incentives from the places that we visit, so you can be assured that every review based on our own experience is honest and unbiased.Read More
Choosing your wedding venue is one of the biggest decisions you will make when planning your wedding. It can also be one of the most challenging. Your venue is going to have a huge impact over the look and feel of your special day, so it makes sense to spend as long as you need to find the perfect place.
Many people look for venues that are unusual, different, or unique. You might also want an exclusive venue, private to you and your guests. Move away from the big chain hotels and you will find a wide array of local wedding venues brimming with character and history.
A good place to start your search is here online.Read More
Choose your wedding photographer as soon as you have confirmed a date with your venue. The best photographers book up over a year in advance for popular dates and only ever photograph one wedding a day. There are lots of professional photographers available but finding one which you both feel comfortable with and who takes photos in the style and manner you want can be a challenge. It can be tempting to just accept an offer of free photography from an amateur photographer – perhaps a friend or family member, but this is something you should think carefully about. Professional photographers, particularly those specialising in wedding photography, have spent years perfecting the art of getting great natural shots of you and your guests, and most importantly have the editing and presentation skills to produce a wedding album you will treasure.
Do you have a certain ‘look’ that you want to achieve – not just for you – but for the whole event? Whether you have a colour scheme in mind or a theme it’s important to get it just right, so if you’re nervous about bringing your vision to life it could be well worth employing an event designer who can advise on everything from table design to firework displays.
Themed weddings are more popular than ever, with the ‘vintage’ look still right there at the top. Some couples strive to be a little more different though, with favourite films being recreated such as Star Wars and Harry Potter.Read More
Shopping for the wedding dress is a highlight of the planning process and our suppliers are ready to help! Before you contact them, it is useful to gage an idea of your perfect dress. Use our dress finder to gather inspiration and refine your search by style, designer and budget. You can also search for shoes, accessories and wedding jewellery to complete your bridal look. The trickiest part is knowing where to start when choosing your wedding dress. It is very important to work out your personal bridal style and then it will be easy from there.
Bridal boutiques choose the next season’s gowns at a trade exhibition in Harrogate every September. Bridal magazines report on the new styles being shown on the catwalks which will be available in the shops from January, so if you are wanting the latest styles, wait until late January to shop, and January is also a great time to pick up a cheap bridal gown sample as last season’s stock is put into a Sale to clear space for the new styles.
Use the links below to find bridal wear boutiques in your county and local areas.Read More
Your wedding cake is one of the main features of your wedding reception and plays many roles. Not only does it add a centrepiece to your wedding venue, it can also act as a pudding or late evening snack, and is a very important part of your wedding traditions. According to superstition, eating wedding cakes ensures good fortune and fertility for the married couple, and if a bridesmaid sleeps with a slice of cake under her pillow she will dream of her future husband.
The moment that you cut the cake is a favourite photo opportunity for guests and is usually straight after the speeches. The wedding cake is then taken away to be sliced before being served on platters.
Wedding transport is a very important aspect of the wedding. There is nothing worse than waiting for hours for your wedding car while all your guests are waiting at the church. You want to be able to turn up when you want in a calm and composed manner. Your wedding day is going to be stressful and unreliable transport is not a good way to start. However, have no fear there are many reliable wedding cars and carriages companies out there to help you travel to and from your wedding in style. At the moment it is fashionable to use a wedding car hire company but there are many different types of wedding transports- so find something that you like and and makes you feel special! From horse drawn carriages to wedding limos, the possibilities are endless!Read More
Wedding catering can be one of the largest costs in your wedding budget, and is one of the only costs that will increase with every extra guest you invite. There are many different types of wedding caterers so you need to do your research to find which company is best for you. If the catering company is based at a venue it is termed ‘In-house catering’, where as mobile caterers are ‘outside catering’ – the term doesn’t mean that they only do marquee catering! However, some outside wedding catering companies specialise in marquee weddings and are fully set up with a proper mobile field kitchen, essential for effective marquee wedding catering.
Whether it is a sit down 3 course meal with waitresses or a wedding buffet, talk to at least three caterers to find the one that matches your budget but most importantly that you feel most comfortable with.Read More
Young girls dream of getting married in a pretty village church, walking up the aisle to the altar to say their wedding vows, the guests joining them to sing their choice of wedding hymns, and walking back out of church to a shower of confetti with the church bells ringing to celebrate their marriage. The reality is that nearly two thirds of couples now marry in a licensed wedding venue rather than choosing a church for their legal ceremony.
Those that do marry in church comment that saying their wedding vows in front of the Vicar, Minister, Priest and God adds an extra importance to the words of the vows, and that they want religious hymns and a full choice of religious readings and prayers at their wedding, none of which can be included in a civil wedding.
Fees for church weddings now include everything for the average wedding, at less than £500 which is the typical fee for hire of a room in a civil venue for the wedding ceremony, so you could consider it the budget option, second only to register offices. You may need to pay extra if you want an organist to play organ music during the wedding hymns and signing of the register, and contribute towards the bell ringers’ expenses, and it is correct to leave at least some of the flowers in the church after the wedding ceremony for the regular church congregation to enjoy the next day.Read More
A good wedding planner or coordinator can become a bride’s best friend from the start of putting together a wedding file or mood board of ideas, throughout the entire planning process until the day of the wedding when they can be there to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as they had planned. Full time professional wedding coordinators have increasingly been calling themselves wedding planners – the American term for the role – in order to differentiate themselves from venue based wedding coordinators whose role it is to ensure everything runs smoothly on the day. As so many popular wedding venues have their own in house wedding coordinator there is not a market in the UK for the third type of wedding planner or coordinator available in America; known as a “Day of” coordinator they are employed by the couple to look after the arrangements on the day of the wedding, rather than assisting in the planning stages. Read More
Choosing a wedding disco can be a challenge as it is rarely possible for you to see them at work at another wedding reception and you are largely relying on reviews and recommendations to establish whether you have found a good professional wedding DJ with a range of appropriate music for all ages, or an amateur who would like to call himself a wedding DJ on the basis that he has a disco mirror ball, has been to a wedding reception so knows what happens, and has bought an impressive looking sound system.
If you have any money left in your budget after planning the essentials, money spent on an entertainer, or a group of entertainers, will be money well spent. It can make the difference between an ordinary wedding that your guests enjoy, and one that they rave about with memories of fantastic magicians doing close up magic tricks at the tables during the meal, a casino for guests to play roulette and blackjack during the evening receptions, or perhaps even dodgems if your venue has the space outside to accommodate them. The cost of entertainment may not be as high as you expect, with professional magicians ranging from £200 upwards and simple fairground rides at a similar price, up to dodgems at £500 – £800. The price will include all the rides that your guests can enjoy so represents quite good value for money when compared to other aspects of the wedding.Read More
In a tradition originally rooted in Europe, favours were given to guests as a token of thanks for taking part in the celebration of the Wedding. The five sugared almonds in the traditional tulle-wrapped favour are said to represent health, wealth, happiness, fertility and longevity. In a modern wedding the giving of wedding favours to each of your guests is a lovely way to let each and every guest know they are special to you.
Put a little thought into each gift, perhaps tying a hand written message onto each favour, or giving every guest a different unique favour; little sweets for younger guests, liquor miniatures, chocolates or even table fireworks for adult guests Package them beautifully in little tulle bags, organza bags or nets, decorative boxes or simply brightly coloured tissue paper to match your colour scheme and help dress the table.
Anything is acceptable, from traditional sugared almonds, candles, sweets, bubbles and confetti, to little toys, photographs or CDs; the modern choice for favours is extensive, but be careful in your choice of favours that you are not being too self indulgent – do your guests really want a commemorative egg cup with the bride and groom’s names painted on?Read More
A good wedding florist will look at your choice of wedding dress and discuss the style of wedding and the look you want to achieve before suggesting a suitable style of bridal bouquet for you as well as smaller bouquets for the bridesmaids, and buttonholes or corsages for the rest of the bridal party. If you are having a traditional tear-shaped bouquet the florist will wire the flowers before putting them into the bouquet, a skill that requires time and patience. For a modern bridal posy the flowers can simply be tied with a thick band of coordinating ribbon.
Most brides choose fresh flowers, but there are some excellent, if expensive, artificial flowers which could be used for key items that you might want to keep after the wedding such as the bride’s bouquet and the bride’s mother’s corsage. Alternatively arrange to have your bouquet preserved after the wedding; specialist companies will collect your bouquet straight after the wedding, photograph it, dismantle it and dry out each bloom to preserve its colour and shape, before using the photos to put it carefully back together in a 3D frame.Read More
The traditional gift list gives your friends and family an insight as to what you and your groom would like for your wedding gifts. Department stores were traditionally the most popular provider of wedding gift lists, however most couples now opt for online gift lists, allowing you to include all the toasters and dinner plates you want, in addition to more unusual gifts that might not be available in a high street department store. Online gift lists allow an easy way for your guest to browse through your wedding list and choose the wedding gifts that they want to give you, however you may find that older guests would prefer a more traditional way to shop, either with a department store gift list or by simply choosing wedding gifts for you themselves. For second marriages, and online list also opens up the options for the more unusual wedding gifts – the ones that you really want, whether it is a golfing weekend for two, a row of vines in a French vineyard or a new bed. Read More
It is those great ideas, however small and inexpensive, that makes your wedding unique and special to you. Whether it is a hand made sugar figure of the bride on ice skates on the wedding cake, or personalised chocolate bars for every guest, these are the things that make your wedding day so special. Many great ideas revolve around making something really personal that will last well after the wedding. Pottery companies will supply a special plate for guests to sign before it is fired to set the names into the glaze forever. Innovative companies now offer beautiful pieces of recycled oak for guests to inscribe with their initials. The wood can then be crafted into a useful piece of furniture for the couple. There is no end to the great ideas that will make your wedding special without breaking the budget, all you need is a bit of imagination and time to see what is available.Read More
If guests are travelling a large distance to your wedding, it is quite probable that they will need somewhere to stay, at least for one night. It is quite understandable that the bride and groom may not be able to host them themselves. It is a good idea to put together a list of accommodation which you can send out with invitations to help guests find somewhere suitable to stay.
Some reception venues will stipulate a minimum number of bedrooms to be booked for the wedding, so do make sure these are filled before suggesting other accommodation to guests.Read More
You want to look amazing when you walk up the aisle, and to glow with health and inner radiance in your wedding photos, but that takes lots of preparation well before the wedding day to ensure healthy hair, skin and nails from the inside, and most brides will also want the help of a great beautician and hairdresser on the wedding day itself.
Your usual hair stylist maybe reluctant to leave their salon on a busy Saturday and you may prefer that your hair and make-up are done in the comfort and privacy of your home so that you don’t have to walk down the High Street wearing a tiara like someone from a bridal beauty pageant. Choose a hairdresser and beautician who specialise in wedding beauty and offer home appointments. Arrange a “girl’s day in” and have a trial run with your hairstyle, make-up and nails so that your beautician and stylist will know exactly how they can help you to look your very best on your wedding day.Read More
Stag and Hen parties are traditionally meant to be the last get together with life long friends before you get married. Once a one night event, Stag and Hen “do’s” have now evolved into weekends away and some even longer!
There seems to be a lot of pressure on brides and grooms to be, that your hen or stag party is action packed and involves lots of alcohol. But what if thats not your thing? To make sure that you enjoy yourself, have a say in where you are going and what you are doing, and don’t just leave it to your bridesmaids or best man.
The world of hen parties is split between those hens who want to go out and have a great time dressing up, visiting nightclubs and enjoying a party night to end all party nights, and those who prefer to spend a day or weekend with a select group of friends taking part in a structured activity such as chocolate making or driving a rally car. Hen Parties are traditionally organised by the Maid of Honour or Chief Bridesmaid so you need to chat to her about what you want and ensure that you have agreed a suitable guest list. Read More
Whether you are wanting to buy a traditional diamond solitaire engagement ring, his and hers wedding bands, and even thank you gifts for your attendants such as engraved silver picture frames, tankards or watches, your local jeweller is likely to have a great choice and it is one of the few industries that still has a great High Street, rather than online, presence.
Most brides, and an increasing majority of grooms, wear a wedding band or ring permanently as an outward sign of their marriage, so it is key to choose one that is both comfortable and flattering. Wedding rings made from yellow gold are most conventional, but bands made from white gold, Welsh gold or rose gold, platinum, titanium or even the cheaper option of stainless steel are steadily increasing in popularity.Read More
The laws are not complex, but they must be carefully followed for your marriage to be legal. It is a good idea just to check through the relevant marriage laws to make sure everything is correct, whether you are getting married in church, in a registry office or in a venue licensed for civil ceremonies. To get married in the UK you must both be single and at least 16 years old, or 18 years without parental consent. The marriage must be legally solemnised in a designated place between 8am and 6pm and at least two witnesses must be present at the wedding.
Finance is the most common factor which causes stress during the journey of planning your wedding. While balancing so many different demands, it is easy to lose control of what money is going is where! It is an important day and you want to have the very best, so having everything in its correct place, as well as to budget, is quite a challenge and careful budget planning is crucial. Read More
If the last time you went in a large tent was for communal meals at Brownie camp, then you’ll be amazed – and delighted – at just how luxurious today’s range of marquees can be made to look. A marquee wedding reception provides an excellent alternative to a large venue. If you are unsure as to where you should hire a marquee for your wedding from, there are now many suppliers available in your area, just search our supplier listings.
The possibilities for your marquee decoration are endless from drapes of coloured fabrics, fresh flowers, ribbons and fairy lights, a marquee can be the dream setting for an English summer wedding. Marquee weddings give that a cosy, at home, feel to your wedding and you have the flexibility to make it just the way you want it.Read More
While brides spend days finding their perfect dress, choosing a suit for the groom, the best man, the usher and any page boys can be a bit of an afterthought. The choice of suits is huge, from Highland dress to a casual lounge suit, with morning coats remaining the most popular for traditional weddings. Hiring a suit is quick and easy, and while most good menswear hire shops will insist that they measure you themselves for the best fit, some will allow your best man and ushers to order online if they live a distance from the shop you choose, and will give you guidance on getting the right measurements. Don’t forget the other essentials, which may need to coordinate with the bridesmaids dresses or the wedding colour scheme; waistcoat, cravat or tie, shirt, shoes and socks. Unless your bridal party already have suitable suits it is usual for the groom to pay for the suit hire, and certainly to cover the costs of any coordinating waistcoats and cravats.Read More
Becoming the Mother of the Bride is at first a very happy moment, but as the wedding planning progresses it can be daunting, with sleepless nights over selecting a suitably “Mother of the Bride” outfit and a fabulous hat, as well as feeling that you are fulfilling the duties expected of you. As Mother of the Bride, the most important role is to love and support your daughter in the most cheery and optimistic manner possible as she goes through one of the most stressful times of her life. Every bride’s mother has a different role as each daughter is different and different mothers have different relationships with their daughters. So don’t compare your role as the Mother of the Bride to others, and in particular to the mother of the groom; as long as you are supporting your daughter and doing everything possible for her you are doing an excellent job. Read More
With the choice of wedding music CD’s now available, not to mention easily accessible music available on the internet, there is no excuse for lacking inspiration for your choice of wedding music.
Consider the atmosphere you are aiming to create with each piece of music; stately and regal for the entrance of the bridal party, meaningful and romantic during the signing of the register, triumphant and joyful for the recessional.
There are a number of pieces associated with weddings, which instantly evoke the right atmosphere, but don’t be afraid to choose something different that really means something to you as a couple. Remember that if you are getting married in a venue licensed for weddings, the music for your civil ceremony must not have any religious connection.Read More
Your wedding stationery is the guests’ first glimpse of your style of wedding; modern or traditional, colourful or simple chic, handmade or printed – the choice is immense. When you are choosing your wedding stationery it is important to coordinate it, from your wedding invitations to your place cards, with a similar theme. Wedding stationery should express your personality and reflect the theme of your wedding, as well as informing your guests. There are literally thousands to choose from, so take time to form an idea of what you want, whether it is about colour (matching flowers, bridesmaid’s dresses), motif (hearts, flowers, cupids, etc), invite shape (tall, square, conventional), presentation (embossed, arty, 3D, printed), or style (romantic, traditional, chic or thoroughly modern). Don’t forget to consider wedding calligraphy to give your wedding stationery that professional touch. As all wedding stationery needs to be personalised, whether using DIY wedding stationery or a wedding stationery service make sure that you order it well in advance.Read More
If your venue is fairly remote then it may be a good idea to hire a taxi company for the evening to take the guests back to their accommodation at the end of the night, or at the very least let the local cab firms know that there is a wedding going on so that they know where to pick up slightly inebriated and disoriented out-of-town guests when they phone for a taxi! This is an especially good idea if you have a lot of out of town guests as they will not be aware of the best companies to hire, or where exactly the wedding venue is. You may also be able to reduce the cost of the taxi hire if you hire them out in bulk. Beware though, it may add considerably to your wedding costs as taxis are quite expensive. If you are using a large venue then they may have a taxi company that they usually use and are able to recommend. The taxi price usually goes up at midnight so bear this in mind when scheduling the end of your wedding reception as you may find guests are keen to leave at 11.45pm if they are relying on a taxi cab to get them home.
For London weddings it is so much easier as black cabs are readily available late at night, some of the larger wedding venues have their own taxi rank and otherwise can order taxis for your guests when they know the wedding reception is due to finish.
Toastmasters act as the master of ceremonies at weddings. The role of the toastmaster is to ensure the smooth and efficient running of the reception and, wearing his wearing his traditional ceremonial clothes a professional toastmaster adds to the pomp and splendour of the occasion. They discreetly go about their duties coordinating, directing and announcing the ceremonial proceedings, whilst providing confidence and a calming influence on the bridal party. A professional toastmaster will organise and run your day exactly how you wish it to be so that the you and your families can really relax and enjoy the day with full confidence in its success. Your toastmaster will also help the bride’s father, the best man and the groom when it is time for them to make their wedding speeches, introducing them, telling them when to stand up, and even giving them the correct wording for the toasts they should be proposing.Read More
If you’re searching for the perfect wedding entertainment for your guests, then look no further. Photo and video booths have become a top trend in weddings, and brides everywhere want to hire photo booths for their wedding days.
Your guests are guaranteed to have a great time taking photos in your booths, and they also make wonderful alternative to guest-books.
There are quite a few options out there now from the normal photo or video booth that is located within the venue, to ones that are outside in converted caravans and horse boxes. Also check with the supplier exactly what’s included, as you and your guests want to have as many silly memories as they can!
To find an amazing, reliable photo or video booth supplier for your wedding, check out our suppliers that are available to hire.Read More
You will often have a wide variation of ages that you will need to buy gifts for in your wedding party, so finding the perfect gift is very important. Finding the right gift is a difficult task to get right, and couples are often confused about what to get their bridesmaids and best man that says “thank you for being in my wedding”.
Popular ideas for bridesmaids and flower girls include jewellery and personalised trinket boxes, whilst Grooms usually opt for tankards or shot glasses for their groomsmen, best man and ushers.
Personalizing the gift by adding their name, the role that they played in the wedding date or a simple ‘thank you’ is a nice gesture.Read More
When it comes to your wedding drinks, there are so many options for you to choose from. Whether you want to hire a mobile bar, or are in need or a wine merchant, here are all the suppliers you need for your big day. Mobile bars are very popular choices for brides who want a unique and affordable way to serve their reception drinks to their wedding guests. Take a browse through our favourite portable bars and drink suppliers!
Mobile bars come in many different forms, from a plank resting on beer kegs, to purpose built portable units and fully equipped trailers. Mobile cocktail bars are now very popular and certainly add a bit more sophistication to the event. Why not ask your supplier to design a wedding signature cocktail for guests to enjoy?
All mobile bars serve the purpose of being able to provide your Wedding guests with alcohol in venues where there is no licensed bar, such as a marquee or village hall.Read More
Why not escape table plans and speeches with a trip to the spa? Just one day at a good spa is enough to revive you from the stress of wedding planning!
A couple of weeks before the wedding, escape to a spa with some friends, or whisk your fiancé away for a romantic pre-wedding weekend getaway. A spa is the perfect place to catch up with each other without the pressure of wedding plans. There are plenty of different spa options from luxury to budget, all offering different facilities and treatments. The best package deals are usually on week days, so factor in a couple of days off work.
You could also make a spa trip part of your hen day, or simply a chance to relax and reflect. Some spa locations provide package spa deals for brides or discounted evenings for hen nights.
We have visited numerous Spas over the last few years, so please have a look at the reviews we have written.
If you don’t want to rely on “magic knickers” to give you the perfect figure for the big day, embark on a fitness regime well in advance. If you struggle with the self-discipline needed to turn up three times a week, or are intimidated by the more experienced clientele at workouts, investigate a private trainer to come to you. No longer the preserve of the rich and famous, personal trainers are more affordable than you may think and most gyms will be able to put you in touch with one. Wedding beauty is not just how you look on the outside but how you feel on the inside. But if you look stunning on the outside it will give you buckets of confidence and you will enjoy your day so much more.
If you are planning to lose weight to get into that dream dress then plan ahead. Don’t leave it to the last minute and go on a crash diet, take it steady and try and give yourself as long as possible with achievable goals. If you struggle to get motivated why not join a slimming club and get some valuable support.Read More
The National Wedding Shows, held in London, Manchester and Birmingham, are the UK’s largest wedding shows with hundreds of exhibitors, fashion shows and workshops. We are delighted to bring you a special ticket offer.
WedAway, the UK’s only dedicated destination wedding event, is the must-attend event for couples planning a wedding overseas. 10-11 March 2017, London.
Highly exclusive events aimed at the providing luxury to the very top end of the wedding market. Held annually in London and Dubai.
Guides for Brides run a series of popular wedding fairs in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Admission is free and brides can pre-register for an exclusive VIP goody bag.
Chair covers are a great way to change a venue chair into something really special. Whether it be in a civil ceremony room or at the wedding breakfast, plain chairs can be completely transformed!
Most are white and are available as lose chair covers or stretch chair covers, and with the addition of a colourful bow or sash can be fully coordinated with your colour scheme.
Wedding chair covers are usually hired in, and your venue should have a recommended supplier that they work with who knows the shape of the chairs that they have. Businesses that hire chair covers usually offer other venue dressing services, so ask your supplier what else they can provide on the day to reduce the number of different people that you work with.
Always beware of budget online deals, as you never know the quality you will be getting, and do you really want the hassle of sending them all back afterwards!
Kick start your wedding planning with creative and interactive inspiration at The Wedding Fair. Make sure you grab your GFB discount code!
Find everything you need for your big day at the Liverpool and North West Wedding Show, taking place at Exhibition Centre Liverpool (9-10th September 2017)
These spectacular shows will take place at ExCel London and Cedar Court Hotel in Bradford.
After the success of their last show, see them on the 1st and 2nd April 2017 in the luxurious newly refurbished DoubleTree by Hilton, Cambridge Street, Glasgow – with over 120 exhibitors.
Weekend Wedding Venues
Sarah and Toby’s Oxford College Wedding
Catch up on the latest trends and gossip