These are some of my favourite readings:
Oh, the Places You’ll Go
Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away! You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guys who’ll decide where to go. You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care. About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.” With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street. And you may not find any you’ll want to go down. In that case, of course, you’ll head
straight out of town. It’s opener there in the wide open air. Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you. And when things start to happen don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.
May this be the start of a happy new life
that's full of special moments to share
may this be the first of your dreams come true
and of hope that will always be there....
May this be the start of a lifetime of trust
and of caring that's just now began....
May today be a day that you'll always remember
the day when your hearts become one...
These I can promise
I cannot promise you a life of sunshine;
I cannot promise riches, wealth or gold;
I cannot promise you an easy pathway
That leads away from change or growing old.
But I can promise all my heart's devotion
A smile to chase away your tears of sorrow;
A love that's ever true and ever growing;
A hand to hold in yours through each tomorrow.
On your wedding Day
Today is a day you will always remember
The greatest in anyone’s life
You’ll start off the day just two people in love
And end it as Husband and Wife
It’s a brand new beginning, the start of a journey
With moments to cherish and treasure
And although there’ll be time when you both disagree
These will surely be outweighed by pleasure
You’ll have heard many words of advice in the past
When the secrets of marriage were spoken
But you know that the answers lie hidden inside
Where the bond of true love lies unbroken
So live happy forever as lovers and friends
It’s the dawn of a new life for you
As you stand there together with love in your eyes
From the moment you whisper ‘I do’
And with luck, all your hopes, and your dreams can be real
May success find its way to your hearts
Tomorrow can bring you the greatest of joys
But today is the day it all starts.
D is for Date
Depending on how short your lead time is (engagements can be anywhere between 2 to 24 months) to the actual wedding, I would suggest that you come up with a couple of dates and agree the order of preference. Consider the time of year you would like to get married and think about other celebrations you have around that time of year. It can
also be worth considering sporting events around your chosen dates - do you want all of the football fans stepping out to the bar to see the second half of the FA cup during your reception?
If you have no real preference on dates, try and agree on a couple of months that you would be happy with. If you are
this flexible, this may give you some bargaining power with the venue and other suppliers if you are happy to have your wedding mid-week, for example.
Photo supplied by Katie Drouet Photography www.kdrouetphotography.co.uk
E is for Emergency Kit
As a wedding planner, I have an extensive emergency kit that comes with me when I am hired for on the day wedding coordination.
I wouldn’t expect any bride to make up such an extensive kit for her wedding day but there is a few items I suggest that you put into a bag and have at the venue just in case. Also, make sure the boys know you have this too – just in case they run into a challenge on the day.
Mints and chocolate
Bite and sting cream
Self-adhesive hem tape
If you would like to add something to this list, please put a comment below or share your item on my Facebook page.
So you have got the amazing engagement ring firmly on that hand, and you might have even set the special date! Now it’s time to start looking for THE most important dress of any woman’s life the WEDDING DRESS!
Does this fill you with fear or anxiety? Are you nervous and excited at the same time? Well that’s all normal! Every Bride I have ever known has gone through the same feelings!
So let me give you a few tips from my book of stylist tricks! First figure out what body shape you are....
Once you know what Body Shape you’re well on your way to finding that perfect dress!
If you are an Hourglass:
Your shoulders and hips measure the same and you have a narrow well defined waist. So you are in total proportion! So you want to show this amazing figure off!
Wedding dress dos:
Go for dresses that have a V neck or sweetheart, scoop or box neckline. Show off your balanced figure by going for an A-line style with a slightly longer torso for the slimmer hourglass and emphasize your well defined waist if you’re a curvier hourglass.
Wedding dress don'ts:
Because you’re already lucky enough to be in proportion avoid big bows or fussy frills or any other sort of prominent details as this will deter the eye and make you look out of proportion!
If you really want a statement detail then go for a bow at the waist to emphasize that fabulous waist. Or go for some gorgeous embellishment and detail at the bottom of the skirt.
If you're a Pear:
Then you have a curvier and fuller hips and bottom and a small chest. But you have a well-defined waist and fabulous
Wedding dress dos:
Go for a strapless style with a nipped in waist or an A-line style. Use spaghetti straps or a halter neck to draw attention to your smaller top half. This will give the impression that you are smaller all over and that the skirt that is fuller not your
Wedding dress don'ts:
Stay clear of the clingy styles such as fish tail. Also stay clear of the tiered and sheath styles as they will all draw attention to your rounder hips and make you look bigger than you are.
If you're an Apple:
Then typically you will have very little if any waist at all. You will carry your weight around your tummy area. But you will
have amazing legs and a great bust!
Wedding dress dos:
Go for an Empire line with a high rushed waist but only if you have a smaller bust! This will make you look longer taller and slimmer.
Go for dresses with an inner structured corset that will clinch you in at the waist thus giving you a balanced effect. A deep V –neck will help create a flattering vertical line and lace detailing around the neck or the side will deter from your fuller tummy.
Wedding dress don'ts:
Avoid the fishtail and trumpet style as they cling at your fullest and flare at your slimmest and so work against your body shape.
If you're a Strawberry:
Then you have wider shoulders in comparison to the width of your hips. You’re like an inverted triangle, you might also have a fuller bust.
Wedding dress dos:
To make your shoulders appear smaller and more in proportion try a thick strap or a deep V-Neck or even try a lose sleeve. All work amazingly to make your shoulders look smaller.
If you are blessed with a fuller bust then the Scoop and V-Neck style will help balance you out and keep your bust looking neat and in proportion.
Go for an A-line or a Ball gown skirt to balance out your wider shoulders and smaller hips. If you do want your arms covered then look for slim fitting dresses that are in a delicate lace material.
Wedding dress don'ts:
Avoid halter necks, off the shoulder and puffed sleeves as all of them will only make your shoulders appear broader.
If you're a Banana:
Then you’ve a toned angular athletic frame that needs a style that will soften your boyish figure and show off your amazing toned body.
Wedding dress dos:
Go for a column or sheath style to show off your slim silhouette. You can use a bias-cut fabric to help create subtle curves or go for draping, ruffled or gathered detail to add curves and extra shape.
Wedding dress don'ts:
if you have a very small bust avoid the ball gown skirt as it will make you look very out of balance.
If you have a smallish bust you can pull off high neck lines but remember not to go for harsh straight lines if you want to soften your shape and add curves as this will do the opposite.
So you have the perfect man, you have found the perfect venue. Now you need to find that perfect dress! If you want an expert to guide you through this extra special shopping trip, help you put together your whole look from your perfect Dress, to your perfect shoes and the perfect accessories. So you will walk down the aisle looking and feeling amazing,
turning heads for all the right reasons.
Give Chelle Shohet a call and get your own Personal Stylist to help you create the look of your dreams!
Call now and have your free no obligation 15 minute phone consultation!
Quoting “Weddings for you by Marie”
Personal Stylist & Personal Shopper
Mobile: +44 (0)787 2000836
I love performing music for weddings - each one is unique and we always feel really excited to be able to contribute to a couple’s big day. Through my work as a freelance musician over the years I’ve organised and performed in hundreds of weddings. Music is an extremely important part of any wedding and can really contribute to creating that special mood and atmosphere on the day. The right selection of music can really add greatly to your day and is worth spending some time carefully considering and researching some couples choose music that is of special significance to them, others like to stick to well tried favourites whilst some select music that ties in with their wedding theme. There are lots of websites dedicated to wedding music as well as loads of CDs; I would recommend You Tube as your best friend at the beginning of your search as there is an astonishing range of music samples available to listen to by practically every type of music group imaginable.
The main parts of the day you may like to consider live music for are:
Whilst guests assemble before the ceremony itself, brides entrance, signing of the registers and the exit of the bridal
The key thing to remember about arranging music for you ceremony is that in civil ceremonies music with religious significance is not allowed. In some religious ceremonies secular music isn't allowed. Your musical group and registrar/minister will be able to advise you in appropriate musical choices.
2. Drinks reception in-between the ceremony and wedding breakfast
3. Line-up and wedding breakfast
4. The evening party - first dance!
The string quartet I run most often performs for wedding ceremonies the following drinks and the wedding breakfasts. Generally couples opt for a live band or a disco for the evening part of the day, which works really well.
7 tips to help arrange your wedding music
1. Book Early
The musical ensemble I run (Akina Strings) is taking bookings for 2014 now. Popular dates tend to go quickly particularly those over the summer, so once you have decided on the type of music group you would like contact some groups and book as soon as possible. Each group will have different ways of running so please check before you commit to booking the group what their payment and cancellation policies are. Also, ask to see a copy of their terms and conditions. Any professionally run group should be able to access and provide you with a copy of these.
2. Do your research
If you are paying money for a musical group to perform at your wedding please make sure you hear them play beforehand. Most groups have either mp3 demo tracks on their website, publicity videos or will be appearing at wedding fayres (most professional groups should offer a combination of the three). At Akina Strings we have professionally recorded sound samples on our website, so you can listen to these. We also occasionally appear at wedding showcases, which we publicise via our Facebook page and have recently filmed a series of video for You Tube.
Again do your research as a general rule of thumb you get what you pay for. Although you do occasionally encounter an exception to the rule. Ask several groups for quotes to get a feel for what the average amount is. If a group is well established and has performed with well known ‘names’ you should expect to pay a bit more, equally student and amateur groups that provide music ‘on the side’ will generally be a bit cheaper. Again it’s very important to listen to any sound samples you can so you can make an informed decision.
4. Appropriate music
Think carefully about the type of music you would like to hear at your event – groups should be more than happy to advise on this! At Akina Strings we love to hear about any specific requests. Most groups will often also offer an
arrangement service for a special piece of music for a small fee.
5. Create an ambience
When selecting music, think carefully about the type of mood you would like to create - upbeat and lively? Calming? Stately?! It’s up to you.
6. Registrar or minister approval
When you have selected the music for your wedding, please remember to get your music approved by the registrar or minister, and remember no religious music is allowed in civil marriage ceremonies.
7. On the day itself:
Position of the group
Will your guests be able to see and hear your group? There’s nothing worse than setting up only to find that the guests are scheduled to have photos so the group then has to shift all of their gear
Often instrumental groups will have a clause in their contracts and terms and conditions about performing outside. Please check carefully and if you are anticipating that you will want live music outdoors on your big day then always
state this in your enquiry.
Again, check with your group(s) to see what their policy on breaks is. For every hour of playing we require a 10-minute break. If we are provided with a schedule then we try wherever possible, to take these breaks at a convenient time so that the mood and flow of the event isn't disrupted.
Don’t forget to check how and when your need to pay your musicians.
Rebekah has been performing music at weddings and other events for over fifteen years she lived and worked in Cardiff for several years first as a student at the Royal Welsh College of Drama then as a freelance musician performing with many ensembles and quartets in addition to working as violist for the Mavron Quartet.
Now living in Berkshire Rebekah manages Akina Strings one of the leading providers of string music for weddings and events in the southeast. Further information about the group can be found at www.akinastrings.com.
A – Attire
So the search is on for the perfect wedding dress, you may have a
vision of what your wedding dress will be like or you may have a favourite
designer. Although for some, you won’t know where to start, so it’s a quick trip to the newsagents to spend a small fortune on all of the magazines.
If you haven’t got to the purchasing the whole stock of wedding magazines yet, hold fire. Pinterest will become your best friend throughout your
wedding research and images of wedding dresses are just one of the many items you can collect to help you decide what style of dresses you like. You can even invite your bridesmaids to pin dresses onto your boards to help with this quest.
It’s worth considering the time of year and where you are getting married and the style of venue. If you are getting married in a church with a very traditional wedding reception then your dress will be different to what you
would choose if you are getting married abroad on a beach.
The other big consideration is colour; wedding dresses come in many different colours and different tones. Make sure the colour of your dress compliments your own skin tone. You don’t want to look washed out on your wedding day.
If there is some designers that you are really interested in, research bridal shops that stock these designers and make an appointment. If you are unsure, then ask friends for recommendations of local bridal shops. You can also check online to see if their dresses fall within your budget, there is no point booking an appointment with a bridal shop that only stocks dresses that are completely out of your budget. You may visit a number of different shops before you find your perfect
dress. Once you start trying dresses on you may be amazed that your vision of your dream dress doesn’t suit you. So go with an open mind and try different styles on and have fun! Don’t get overwhelmed; you will find the perfect dress.
If you are just about to start wedding dress shopping, keep an eye out for a guest blog I have coming up later this month by Chelle Shohet who is an amazing personal stylist. Her company is called Chelles Style and she will be talking about body shapes and what styles of wedding dresses will suit.
B – Budget
You need to both decide if you want to pay for the whole wedding yourselves or whether you want to ask your families to contribute to the budget. Maybe you are lucky to know that your parents will be paying for all or part of the wedding costs already. If your parents will be covering the cost, find out whether they have friends and neighbours that they want at the wedding, even though you might not know them well. Have these conversations early on, it takes the stress out of this situation and means there are no surprises later on….
Once you know who is contributing and how much, you should consider how much you can realistically save for your big day. From this information, you will be able to put together a budget. This may need to be adjusted once you have a few costings in, but it gives you a good starting point.
You need to have a discussion around the type of ceremony that you both want. Do you want a religious ceremony? Do you want a civil ceremony and a blessing, or just a civil ceremony?
The current UK law means you have to get married in a licensed building. In other words you are not allowed to get married outside unless there is a permanent structure that has been licensed. There are a number of rulings that need to be passed for a building to get licensed. Your local registry office will be able to provide you with a list of all of the places that you can have a civil ceremony in the county they cover.
Maybe you want a ceremony that is not recognised in law, which would mean that you would need to have a civil ceremony first at the registry office, which could be on a separate day with your two witnesses. A lot of people who do this see this part of getting married as a formality or task and even arrive in jeans, deciding not to exchange rings until their ceremony. You can hire an independent celebrant to help you personalise your wedding ceremony; with this, there is no limitation at all.
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Weddings for you by Marie blog
Marie owner of Weddings for you by Marie. Based in Suffolk covering Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Norfolk. She has worked within the wedding, hotel and events industry for over 20 years.