How To Get A Guaranteed YES This Valentines Day!

How To Get A Guaranteed YES This Valentines Day! 7 Ways To Pop The Question.

With almost a third of women saying Valentine’s Day is there preferred day for being proposed to, Events planner and founder of Your planning Angel[1], gives us her favourite proposal ideas to set you apart from the crowd!

Valentines day proposal

The drone proposal

If you love your tech, attach (securely!) the engagement ring to your quadcopter and have it flown down to you while out walking with your partner. Appear to be as surprised by the drone as your partner is until it gets within reaching distance. Then, pull the ring off and pop the question.

The treasure hunt

If you love the outdoors, create a treasure hunt around one of your favourite locations. You could openly plan this with your partner as a fun activity with a load of friends. But, at the end of the trail, surprise them all with your proposal.

The pet proposal

If you already live together and have a pet cat or dog, get home early, pop some Champagne in the fridge and prepare a beautiful meal (or have the number of your favourite take away on speed dial). Put the ring on your pet’s collar and have them greet your partner as they walk in the door. As soon as they spot the ring, propose and celebrate your engagement with a chilled glass of bubbly and a great meal.

The puzzle proposal

This is one of my favourites. Embrace your inner geek by planning a relaxing afternoon at home, then casually suggest playing a puzzle. Bring out a personalised puzzle that, when completed, reads ‘Will you Marry me?’ Works really well with Scrabble, too.

Say it with cake

If your partner has a sweet tooth, how about ordering a batch of cupcakes spelling out ‘Will You Marry Me?’ in frosting and have them waiting on their arrival home from work?

The fake photoshoot

Tell your partner you’ve won a romantic couple’s photo shoot. What you’ve really done is hired a photographer to take photos of you in one of your favourite locations to capture your proposal. Get dressed up and then propose mid-shoot. You could then have a romantic engagement photo shoot to celebrate.

The Valentine’s proposal

On the days leading up to February 14th , plant Post-it notes or Valentine’s cards with sweet messages written on them around the house. Then on Valentine’s Day itself, present them with a box of chocolates containing… you guessed it… the ring.




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How Much Does a Wedding Photographer Really Cost?

Wedding photography is one aspect of your big day we’d advise you not to scrimp on, but don’t worry if your wedding budget is tight – there’s still a variety of affordable wedding photography packages out there, many of which include an engagement shoot, wedding album and up to 10 hours of photography on the big day.

How Much Does a Wedding Photographer Really Cost?

How Much Does a Wedding Photographer Cost?

You may have a friend who’s a keen amateur photographer and who has offered to capture your big day, but we’d still say it’s best to invest in a professional. You need someone who’ll stay focused on the job at hand and won’t be itching to go off and join the party, have a few drinks and miss some once-in-a-lifetime moments.

When you’re putting together your wedding budget, allocate some money for your photographs first and then look out for a wedding photographer whose style you like.

But how much money exactly should you realistically put aside for this? We asked some of our favourite wedding photographers what you should expect to pay for somebody who’s going to do the job well.

Expect to spend at least £1,000 on wedding photography

Mark Dolby[1] is based in Leeds, and has been a best man twice and as well as a groom, so he knows what it feels like to be on the other side of the camera! He advises that you budget at least a thousand pounds for your photography.

“The simple answer is £1,200, including your album and disc of images,” says Mark. “How much you spend on a photographer really depends on how important the photos are to you. If photos aren’t a priority, don’t be afraid to go for a less expensive photographer or perhaps only get coverage for part of the day. Just make sure you understand the risks!

“It’s hard to compare photographers based on price, because so much of what you’re paying for is about the quality of service and personality of your photographer. It’s worth investing in someone who’ll not only take great pictures but help you have a fantastic day, and so I think it’s important to meet them before you book.”

How much does a destination wedding photographer cost?

If you’re having an overseas wedding, make sure you can communicate with your photographer properly – whether this means getting a translator to be the go-between for you and the photographer, flying a UK-based photographer out to your chosen destination, or choosing an expat who’s based locally.

The last thing you need to be worrying about is whether your photographer knows exactly what you want from the day because there’s a communication issue.

Gypsy Westwood[2], who’s been photographing weddings in Ibiza since 2001, says that on the island you should expect to pay 2,000 Euros and upwards for a whole day.

You get what you pay for

Mark Tattersall[3] is based in the North West of England but travels all over the country to capture weddings for couples.

“When it comes to costs, it’s a simple equation,” he says. “Wedding photographers can only fit in so many weddings per year while maintaining good customer service, professional development and a smoothly-run business. It’s impossible to pay the bills unless you charge in the region of £1500 a time.”

How Much Does a Wedding Photographer Really Cost?“Some will charge slightly less and some a lot more, but a photographer charging under £1,000 must be either an up-and-coming talent or one of the many wedding photographers of whom I hear horror stories from couples who contact me for help after being disappointed with their budget photographer.”

“There are many talented ‘weekend warrior’ photographers who work a regular nine-to-five job during the week, but who still do a high-quality job at weekend weddings,” says Home Counties specialist David Bostock[4]. “However, you need to ask if they have invested in the back-up facilities for your images, professional gear and lenses that can shoot in very low light, and public liability and professional indemnity insurance should the worst happen.

“Certainly anything less the £1,000 a day is often a recipe for disaster. A full-time wedding photographer with upwards of 200 weddings under their belt should probably be around £1,500 for a full day’s coverage.”

“Many of the top wedding photographers will be charging more than £2,000 and sometimes over £3,000 for their services, and in my experience, the £2,000 cut-off is quite a telling price point. The most important thing is to check out their portfolio and their coverage of at least three full weddings.”

So according to our experts, £1,000 a day seems to be a ballpark amount to set aside for high-quality photography that you’ll cherish forever.

Here at Wedding Ideas, we’ve seen lots of real-life brides have beautiful and touching photographs taken by talented people for all sorts of prices, so it doesn’t necessarily mean that if you pay less than £1,000 that your photos will turn out horribly, But it’s definitely a figure to bear in mind while you’re putting together the budget.


Want more wedding information and inspiration? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page, and ‘Follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account. To join in the conversation, share your stories here.[5][6][7]


  1. ^ Visit the Mark Dolby website here (
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  3. ^ Visit the Mark Tattersall website here (
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Thoughtful Wedding Readings for Your big day

From lighthearted to romantic and maybe even serious, choose from our favourite wedding readings that reflect your type of ceremony and who you are as a couple.

bride and groom exchanging vows Thoughtful Wedding Readings For Your Big Day

Thoughtful Wedding Readings for Your big day

Depending on if you’re having a religious or civil ceremony, your choice of readings can differ slightly. If you’re having a civil ceremony then any readings you choose will need to be non-religious. But don’t worry, that leaves you plenty of scope for finding something different and unique.

‘My True Love’ was written by Elizabethan poet Sir Phillip Sydney over 400 years ago. It may be old, but the words still ring true today, and it’s a lovely piece if you want to have something traditional and classical.

‘My True Love’ by Sir Phillip Sydney

My true love hath my heart and I have his,
By just exchange one for another given,
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss,
There never was a better bargain driven,
My true love hath my heart and I have his. 

His heart in me keeps him and me in one,
My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides,
He loves my heart, for once it was his own,
I cherish his because in me it bides,
My true love hath my heart and I have his.

We like this next poem because it explains just how a marriage should work. It’s more modern than ‘My True Love’, but it says it all perfectly.

Why Marriage? by Mari Nichols-Haining

Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person,
With all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body…

Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me,
Who won’t hold them against me,
Who loves me when I’m unlikable,
Who sees the small child in me, and
Who looks for the divine potential of me…

Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night,
With someone I feel blessed to hold…

Because marriage means opportunity,
To grow in love in friendship…

Because marriage is a discipline,
To be added to a list of achievements…

Because marriages do not fail, people fail,
When they enter into marriage,
Expecting another to make them whole…

Because, knowing this,
I promise myself to take full responsibility,
For my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness,
I create me,
I take half of the responsibility for my marriage,
Together we create our marriage…

Because with this understanding,
The possibilities are limitless.

The author of ‘Dove Poem’ is unknown, but these words create a wonderful image of two birds joined together for the rest of their lives in peace and harmony. If you’re planning on releasing doves during your ceremony then this reading will be very appropriate.

‘Dove Poem’ by unknown author

Two doves meeting in the sky,
Two loves hand in hand eye to eye,
Two parts of a loving whole,
Two hearts and a single soul.

Two stars shining big and bright,
Two fires bringing warmth and light,
Two songs played in perfect tune,
Two flowers growing into bloom.

Two Doves gliding in the air,
Two loves free without a care,
Two parts of a loving whole,
Two hearts and a single soul.

Wedding guest performing reading Thoughtful Wedding Readings for Your big DayCredit: Ian Whitington

The words below are supposed to have been part of a blessing at a North American Apache tribe marriage ceremony. We love the idea that the two of you are a shelter for one another during life’s storms.

An Apache marriage reading

Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be the shelter for each other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be the warmth for the other. Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before. Go now to your dwelling place to enter into the days of your life together. And may your days be good and long upon the earth.

Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together. Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves. When frustration, difficulty and fear assail your relationship – as they threaten all relationships at one time or another – remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part which seems wrong. In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives – remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there. And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.

Wedding guest gives reading in church Thoughtful Wedding Readings for Your big DayCredit: Emma Lucy Photography

These wise words from writer and poet Kahlil Gibran cover why you should retain your own personalities through marriage. After all, isn’t that what first attracted you to one another in the first place?

‘On Marriage’ by Kahlil Gibran

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

1 Corinthians 13 reading Thoughtful Wedding Readings for Your big Day

If you’re having a religious ceremony then The Gift of Love from 1 Corinthians 13 is the perfect reading for your big day. This reading talks about the patience and kindness of love, it also speaks volumes about the sanctity of marriage. It’s no wonder it’s one of the most popular wedding readings that couples pick for their church weddings.

The Gift of Love – 1 Corinthians 13

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end.

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

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The Nearly-Weds Quiz: Naughty Hen Night Game!

Want to find out what your husband-to-be really thinks is your best feature? Take our naughty nearly-weds quiz after you’ve had a few drinks at your hen party and spill some saucy secrets!

Girls on night out - The Nearly-Weds Quiz – A Naughty Hen Night Game!Credit:

The Nearly-Weds Quiz: A Naughty Hen Night Game! 

Party experts[1] have put together this naughty quiz for your last night of freedom. All you have to do is get your hens to ask your groom these questions beforehand, and then see if your answers match up on the night. If your answers match his, then you’ll win a point – the more points you have at the end of the quiz[2], the easier your forfeit will be! Get them all right, and you can get away without doing any forfeit at all. So fingers on engagement rings and let’s begin…

(Don’t forget to alter one answer on each question to reflect what the groom really said!)

1. We Asked [Groom] What Part of you he Fancies Most. Did he say…?

A) Your bum
B) Your boobs
C) Your smile

2. What did he say was Your Worst Habit?

A) Your singing – he loves you to bits, but secretly thinks you’re terrible!
B) Biting your nails and leaving the bits beside the bed
C) Eating food off his plate because you’re being healthy

3. How Long After you First met did Your Hubby-to-be say you First had “Intimate Relations”?

A) You wickedly seduced him on the first night you met him, while he was drunk and defenceless
B) A respectable four weeks
C) You’re saving yourselves until your wedding night

4. What is his Favourite Song?

A) Wonderwall – Oasis
B) The Best Song Ever – One Direction
C) My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion

5. Where is the Weirdest Place you and he Have got ‘Jiggy With it’?

A) At your place of work when everyone had gone home
B) You’re now both proud members of the mile high club
C) Round the back of (name a local pub)

6. How did he Describe Your Kissing Technique?

A) Full-bodied, with a pleasant bouquet and subtle aftertaste of wine and chocolate Hobnobs
B) Kind of like a vacuum cleaner on the blink
C) She’s the Andrex of kissers – soft, strong and incredibly long!

7. What Outfit Would he Most Like you to Dress up in?

A) Nurse
B) Policewoman
C) Lorraine Kelly (complete with a full impression of her accent)

8. According to [Groom] What is Your Best Quality?

A) Your kind nature and big heart
B) Your smile – it had him hooked from the first time he saw it
C) You’re the only one that could put up with him!

9. What did he say his Favourite Movie was?

A) La Dolce Vita
B) Die Hard II
C) The Muppets Take Manhattan

10. Did he say you had any sex toys you like to use Together?

A) We did, but the last time we plugged it in it made so much noise the neighbours thought we’d bought a cement mixer!
B) Does Scrabble in bed count as a toy?
C) Let’s just say there’s an electric toothbrush we never mention anymore…

Girls on beach - The Nearly-Weds Quiz – A Naughty Hen Night Game!Credit:

Scores and Forfeits!

0 – 3 Points

Well, either one of you was fibbing, or clearly you to need to stop kissing and do some talking for once! As a forfeit for your terrible score, you must entertain the girls by breakdancing on the dancefloor.

4 – 6 Points

It could have been worse, but you should really know better. You must now serenade a friendly-looking stranger with a song of the hens’ choosing.

7 – 9 Points

Not a bad effort – well done! As you’ve done so well, the hens will only make you wear a novelty item of their choosing.

10 Points

Congratulations! Either you are his one true love, or you’re both equally as weird and deserve each other! Either way, we’re all very happy for you. Enjoy your hen night!


Want more wedding information and inspiration? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page, and ‘Follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account. To join in the conversation, share your stories here.[3][4][5]


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Honeymoon Hotel Rooms With a View

OZEN by Atmosphere, Maldives

Ozen Maldives - 25 World-Beating Honeymoon Rooms With A View!OZEN by Atmosphere has a unique Indulgence Plan that covers dining, drinks, accommodation and non-motorised watersports. With five restaurants and a semi-submersible submarine, alongside beach and lagoon villas, OZEN creates a thoroughly unique guest experience.

M6M, the hotel’s underwater seafood speciality restaurant is a stand-out feature. The resort is spread over two islands and offers spectacular views of the lagoon and ocean. A truly unforgettable experience, perfect for your honeymoon.[1]

The Anam Resort, Vietnam

Vietnam Beach Club Pool - 25 World-Beating Honeymoon Rooms With A View!

As the first true five-star beach resort in Vietnam, The Anam is a sanctuary of serenity and luxury service. No shoes, no news, no stress – experience a view of Vietnam like no other and discover it’s architectural authenticity from a bygone era. A wonderful way to relax after the stress of planning your wedding.

Aqua Mekong, Cambodia

Floating Village Cambodia - 25 World-Beating Honeymoon Rooms With A View!

Ever wanted to travel around Asia but don’t fancy backpacking? Embark on the trip of a lifetime onboard the Aqua Mekong and enjoy a luxury river cruise of Vietnam and Cambodia.

With 20 design suites featuring floor-to-ceiling glass windows, guests can travel in style, waking up every day to enjoy views of captivating scenery (much better than staying in hostels!). You’ll be immersed in rich with tropical greenery, local villages -including a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve ‘ floating village’-, bird reserves, markets and temples. The Aqua Mekong offers travellers the sophistication of five-star, boutique hotel accommodation, a perfect destination for you and your travel companion.

Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort, ThailandPhi Phi Islands 25 World-Beating Honeymoon Rooms With A View!

Imagine waking up every morning in the tropical paradise of the Phi Phi Islands. The Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort offers a secluded haven built into the slopes of Thailand’s lush tropical rainforest.

Each of the villas opens up to a terrace with a private pool, boasting panoramic, sweeping views over Loh-Ba-Gao Bay and the neighbouring islands. The most luxurious resort on the idyllic Koh Phi Phi Island, Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort boasts 12 breathtaking Hillside Pool Villas. An ultra romantic place for you to unwind and spend some quality time together.

Shakti Leti 360° Himalayas

Shaki Leti Himalayas - 25 World-Beating Honeymoon Rooms With A View!Shakti 360° Leti is located in the little-known Kumaon region in the Himalayas. It offers some of the most stunning mountain scenery, from the snow-capped peaks of the Great Himalaya range in the north to the pretty hill stations of the foothills. You can enjoy the stunning scenery of one of the most revered mountain ranges from the comfort of your bedroom.

It is a place where you can take time to reflect, and allow the peace and beautiful landscape to work their magic around you. Indoors, there is gourmet cooking, beverages and a cosy replace, as well as beds adorned with pashmina blankets and fluffy duvets.

Water Gardens, Sigiriya

Water Garden, Sri Lanka - 25 World-Beating Honeymoon Rooms With A View!

Immerse yourselves in the tranquil setting of Sigiriya. This premium resort has everything you need to unwind and relax. It’s a truly unique getaway, which lets you experience nature blended with lavish design and serene surroundings. Switch off your phones and spend some quality time with your partner.

Tea Trails, Sri Lanka

Tea Trails Sri Lanka - 25 World-Beating Honeymoon Rooms With A View!


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Last-Minute Destinations for Valentine’s Day 2019

Even if Valentine’s Day isn’t your cup of tea, what could be more romantic than whisking a loved one away for a last minute Valentine’s Day break? Here’s our pick of the best last-minute destinations for Valentine’s Day 2019.

couple silhouette on tip toes Last Minute Most Desirable Destinations for Valentine's Day!

Last Minute Destinations for Valentine’s Day 2019

Dine on pasta and gelato, dance to street music, explore ancient cities and enjoy long, lazy lie-ins in luxurious hotels – what could be a more perfect way of celebrating your love for someone?

14th February doesn’t have to be Hallmark cards and petrol station flowers[1]. So for some inspiration, we speak to travel expert Nikki Cox from Holiday Gems[2] to see what the most romantic places for last minute Valentine’s Day breaks are

Rome City Break 

Last Minute Most Desirable Destinations for Valentine's Day! Rome

There is nothing the Italians do better than passion. From the gutsiness of the food[3] to the dramatic architecture, Rome is one of the best places in Italy to visit with a Valentine’s date.

Visit the Trevi fountain, share a bottle of wine on the Spanish Steps, enjoy a long dinner al fresco in a little square – Rome can sometimes knock you out with the amount of romance that’s in the air.

You could even visit the skull of St Valentine which is encased in a gold and glass case in the Piazza del Bocca della Veritas – if the idea of seeing that kind of thing appeals!

Prague City Break

Last Minute Most Desirable Destinations for Valentine's Day! Prague

Historical, Gothic and bohemian – Prague is the romantic hotspot of Eastern Europe. There’s an endless array of exquisite, design-led hotels for you to rest in – but there’s so much to do in the city that opportunities for rest may be kept at a minimum.

Days can be whiled away exploring, while evenings can be spent in smoky jazz bars or at a night at the opera. The twisty, cobbled lanes, intimate bistros serving late into the night and the centuries-old architecture make this a perfect last minute Valentine’s Day break.

Barcelona City Break 

Last Minute Most Desirable Destinations for Valentine's Day! Barcelona

The vibrant city of Barcelona is perfect for a Valentine’s Day break. The captivating atmosphere is perfect for lovers wandering down Las Ramblas and in and out of the many Xampanyerias (cava bars) dotted about the city. There’s the beach to enjoy, hills to take in stunning panoramas and the weird and wonderful architecture of Gaudi around every twist and turn.

The punchiness of Catalan cuisine, the passion of the region’s music[4] and the laidback charm of the city make this a Valentine’s Day break to remember.

Venice City Break 

Last Minute Most Desirable Destinations for Valentine's Day! Venice

Taking the Vaporetto from the airport to Venice is enough to know that you’ve chosen the right destination for Valentine’s Day. Spread out across the water is the ancient city that been the centre point of European history for over a thousand years.

With no cars, over 400 bridges and endless canals, this city is designed for walking hand in hand with the person you love. The winding streets and charming bridges never tire and there is always somewhere to stop for a restorative espresso or Aperol Spritz.

Rich in culture and history, a good few days in Venice is needed to appreciate the magnificence of the city. But for looks alone, it is definitely one of our favourite European romantic breaks.

Paris City Break

Last Minute Most Desirable Destinations for Valentine's Day! Paris

With romantic walks by the Seine, across the bridges weighed with lovelocks and ending in a kiss on top of the Eiffel Tower – is it any wonder why this place is called the City of Love?

Despite it’s relatively small size, Paris has so many different facets. While the touristy bits need to be done for first timers, there is also the many hidden parts of the city – the hills of Montmartre, the secret gardens, the restaurants around the back of shops that only the locals know about – that are all there waiting to be discovered.


Want more wedding information and inspiration? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page, and ‘Follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account. To join in the conversation, share your stories here.[5][6][7]


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  4. ^ music (
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Bridesmaid Planning Made Easy With These Four Easy Steps

So, the exciting journey has begun. Your first steps of planning may feel like a whirlwind of information – an array of never-ending choices. It is important in equal measures to be savvy and enjoy yourself whilst being clever with your time and money.

bridesmaids-really-thinking-UKGirlThing Pamper

Bridesmaid Planning Made Easy With These Four Easy Steps

Assembling the dream team

It can be tricky enough rallying the team together to find your dream dress, so how do you start shopping for them? We suggest a dedicated girls night in to begin the planning.

We love an excuse to get together so what better way to shop than online at home with your faves and a few bottles of fizz?

Start with the flip of a laptop

Options online are now so vast; yes, even for bridesmaid dresses, even our favourite high street brands are releasing bridesmaid dresses. Make sure you shop them all, including TH&TH, Maids of Honour, Monsoon, ASOS and so many more.

Bridesmaid Planning Made Easy: 4 Steps To Your Tailor-MAID Night In!

Gathering the bridal party

Make this night a hen-initiation night. An evening of friendship, laughter and of course decisions. This is also an opportunity to discuss with your bridesmaids what it is you expect from them and what they can offer you in the build-up to the big day. And if you have ordered your bridal gown already, don’t forget to request a swatch of fabric for your dress to compare to the bridesmaids.

Make your other half scarce for the evening, get the team over, whack Bridesmaids the movie on and let the games/ dress trials begin.

Making the final selection

The day is, of course, yours so the theme and feel to the attire is ultimately your vision. However, don’t forget to listen to your bridesmaids too. The photos from the day are going to last a lifetime and you want your bridesmaids to feel fabulous with you.

Each person is an individual and combining style, cut and colour is all the trend at the moment so don’t be afraid to mix things up a bit. Trust that you can work together as a team to create that beautiful look you’ve envisaged.

Bridesmaid Planning Made Easy: 4 Steps To Your Tailor-MAID Night In!


Want more wedding information and inspiration? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page, and ‘Follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account.To join in the conversation, share your stories here.[2][3][4]


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Real Brides Reveal the Worst Part of Wedding Planning

Wedding planning throws up all kinds of emotions. You’re about to experience the highs and the lows. Each journey has some. So, to make sure you’re ready for this amazing journey, we asked our real brides to share the worst part of wedding planning. We share how to avoid them all, to ensure you can make quick and concise decisions for the big day.

Real Brides Reveal the Worst Part of Wedding Planning

“The worst has been the guest list! It’s so difficult trying to come up with a final list, trying to make sure you don’t go over your numbers.”

Make deciding your guest list simple with our GUEST LIST QUIZ[1]!

“The worst and most stressful was one of the first things…both agreeing on a venue! The best part has been spending time with family and friends while planning.”

“The worst part was the guest list. We’re having a ‘no children rule‘ and it has offended a few people already but it’s what we wanted.”

“Definitely other people making demands and acting like it was their day!”

“Sorting out the bridesmaids has been the most stressful thing for me. Glad it’s sorted now though – the wedding’s only five months away!”

“The table plan is the hardest part. Trying to keep people away from each other is not easy. The best thing was my shoes – I got them before we set the date.”

“People getting funny about who they sit with and people inputting on who should and who shouldn’t be invited.”

“The worst bit has been getting everyone’s outfits together. I’m trying to stick to a budget, so deciding what to buy has been crazy.”

“The stressful part has been family politics, and mediating with my mum when she wanted to change our invites!”

“I’m still waiting for the RSVPs to arrive and to pick a song for my entrance music.”

“The most stressful thing is that I’m doing a lot of the planning by myself. The best bit is the endless play days with my friends. I’ve dreamt of this day since I was little!”

“The worst part was asking a family friend to create my wedding bouquet and the result being nothing like what I had asked for.”

And now for the best bits! This is still your wedding day we’re talking about, after all, and there are going to be some amazing, emotional moments along the way…

“The best part by far was finding my wedding dress – I saw it long ago and hoped I’d get to wear it.”

“The best bits have been finding a venue we love, a dress I feel good in and a florist who got me excited about flowers!”

“The highlight so far has to be finding my beautiful Charlotte Balbier gown the first time I went shopping.”

“The best thing about planning is spending time with my bridesmaids, shopping for the accessories and going for hair and make-up trials.”

“The best has been reading Wedding Ideas and picking out all my little details!”

The earlier you start your wedding planning, the more in control you will feel you have over the whole process. The first things to source are your wedding dress[15], your venue and your registrar or officiant, and your photographer[16]. Remember your venue will most likely have a list of preferred suppliers that they can share with you, who have worked at the venue before.

Begin by downloading our free wedding planning tools[17] – the budget spreadsheet, the photography shot list, the guest list tracker and more. And don’t forget the month-by-month planning guide, too.[18] This will get you off to a flying start, and show you what you should be doing and when.


Want more wedding information and inspiration? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page, and ‘Follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account.To join in the conversation, share your stories here.[20][21][22]


  2. ^ venue (
  3. ^ no children rule (
  4. ^ people (
  5. ^ bridesmaids (
  6. ^ table plan (
  7. ^ who should (
  8. ^ stick to a budget (
  9. ^ my mum (
  10. ^ song for my entrance (
  11. ^ planning by myself (
  12. ^ time with my bridesmaids (
  13. ^ hair (
  14. ^ make-up trials (
  15. ^ wedding dress (
  16. ^ photographer (
  17. ^ Just engaged? Download our free wedding planning tools today! (
  18. ^ Your year in wedding planning: what to consider 12 – 10 months before the big day… (
  19. ^
  20. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (
  21. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account. (
  22. ^ here (

Wedding Planning: What to do now You’re Engaged

Your wedding is probably the biggest event you will organise in your life, so it takes some careful planning. This is a hugely exciting time and to help keep you on track, we’ve got a list of what to do now you’re engaged.

wedding checklist Wedding Planning: What to do now You're Engaged

5 Essential Stages Of Wedding Planning

  1. Bridal Party

As soon as you get engaged it’s time to get your bridal party together. The sooner you do this the easier planning will be. Choose your maid of honour, bridesmaids, best man and ushers. You can then start to delegate small tasks so that you aren’t doing everything yourself.

  1. Venue

    It’s important to think about the theme/style of your wedding simultaneously with the type of venue you’d like. Make sure you explore all of your local venues or your chosen area. If you wish to go abroad, get in touch with wedding planners in that country. If you already have a date in mind, make sure you check that date is available before going to view it, to avoid disappointment.

  2. Photographer

    Booking your photographer should be on your priority list right after your venue. Once your wedding date is secured with your venue, make sure your desired photographer is available on this date as soon as possible. A good wedding photographer will usually be booked up a year in advance.

  3. Planning

Planning your wedding effectively is the most crucial part of a bride-to-be’s to do list. We The Organised Tubes offers a complete wedding checklist from start to finish with tick boxes to tick off as you go (So satisfying!) Keeping track of what to do and when is so important and can help in avoiding any forgetful moments. Organised Tubes also include a budget planner so you can keep track of how much you have allocated for everything and what you have already spent.

mr and mrs mugs Wedding Planning: What to do now You're Engaged

  1. Dress

This is the biggy. This is the best part of planning a wedding, choosing your dress or dresses (if you plan on having two or three). Make sure your dress reflects your personality and your wedding theme in small ways. Make several appointments in one day, so you can compare on the same day. Ensure you have the most trusted members of your bridal party with you to help with this big decision. Read more on our wedding dress shopping advice here[1].


Want more wedding information and inspiration? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page, and ‘Follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account.To join in the conversation, share your stories here.[3][4][5]


  1. ^ here (
  2. ^
  3. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (
  4. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account. (
  5. ^ here (

5 Top Tips When Planning A Wedding Budget

They say that failing to prepare is preparing to fail, so by planning a wedding budget from the get-go, you’ll save you plenty of heartache further down the line.

5 Top Tips When Planning A Wedding Budget

Taking out wedding insurance will help cover your big day preparation should disaster happen, but there are also some other, less-known strategies that you should be aware of. Julia Kukiewicz, consumer choice expert from[1] gives five essential pieces of advice you need to know about protecting your purchases, meaning you aren’t left out in the cold.

Max out on consumer protection…

The way you spend makes a difference to the amount of consumer protection you’ll be entitled to. Use a credit card to pay, for example, and your credit card provider must protect any purchase between £100 and £30,000.

This is due to section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. If a retailer goes bust, if your goods are faulty or they’re not delivered, your credit card provider must refund you in full.

Debit card users or credit card purchases under £100 are also protected in a similar way. This comes under the chargeback schemes[2] from Visa, Mastercard and American Express. Chargeback is not a part of UK law like Section 75, but it can still offer a full refund if goods are not delivered. Claims can be made via your card provider (not Visa or Mastercard directly) after the problem arises subject to each scheme’s rules. It’s also worth noting that some credit card providers offer protection on purchases over and above Section 75.

These insurance policies usually cover loss, theft and accidental damage for around 90 days after purchase. Each card provider is different though so make sure you check the small print.

Weddings are expensive. Fact. Get savvy when planning a wedding budget with our 5 essential tips to help make the most of your big day!

Don’t max out your credit card

Section 75[3] was designed to prevent consumers from getting into debt over something they never even received. Credit cards are covered under the scheme because they are a way of borrowing money. As with all forms of borrowing though, they come with a potential downside if you’re not careful. If you’re sensible about using them when planning a wedding budget, you should be fine though. Interestingly, research by[4] shows that two thirds of Brits who take out wedding loans don’t own a house.

It’s worth noting too, that you don’t have to pay any interest on a credit card to gain the forms of purchase protection listed above. Simply make sure you pay back the full amount within the standard interest-free period. You could also carefully use a 0% purchase credit card to spread the cost of a period of high spending. Don’t forget the promotion end date though, or you could get a nasty surprise.

As an added bonus, Section 75 covers a whole purchase even if it’s only partly paid for on a credit card. If you buy a £500 dress and pay £50 on a credit card and remaining £450 on a debit card you’ll be covered. If the shop goes bust and you’re left dress-less, the credit card provider must give you the whole £500 back. Definitely, something to consider for expensive purchases that may involve a risk when planning a wedding budget.[5]

counting coins wedding budget

Exceptions to the rule

All these forms of consumer protection are great options when planning a wedding budget. Be aware though, that just like an insurance policy they come small print that you should be aware of. Section 75, for example, is an extremely complex piece of legislation.
To demonstrate, let’s look at one big loophole in Section 75 protection – Third party suppliers. If you pay on your credit card, but through a third party supplier such as PayPal, Google Checkout or Amazon Marketplace your purchases won’t be protected. That’s because the law states, in order for the credit card provider to be equally liable for supplying your goods or services, they and the retailer must have a direct relationship. Third parties disrupt that relationship and the result is that the purchaser (you) isn’t protected!

Similarly, chargeback schemes come with their own specific rules that govern when consumers can make a claim. Visa, for example requires consumers to submit a claim within 120 days of them having become aware of a problem with a purchase. This increases to 180 days if the purchase was made abroad. have written a full guide to chargeback and how it works[6] if you need further info.

The small print becomes even more important if you’re taking advantage of any extra protection your credit card provider is offering. Common exceptions include second-hand goods and jewellery, but every provider is different so check that small print!

Know your statutory rights

Don’t forget all this extra protection comes on top of the standard Sale of Goods Act 1979. This says goods must be:

  • Of satisfactory quality
  • Be as they were described
  • Be fit for purpose and
  • Last a reasonable length of time

There’s a lot of confusing words in there – What’s satisfactory? What’s reasonable?. Use them as guidelines when making a complaint to a retailer about a fault. Hopefully, most retailers will be able to resolve a dispute without you even having to resort to making a claim.

Don’t forget the honeymoon

5-essential-things-planning-a-wedding-budget-atol-logoFinally, remember when planning a wedding budget[7] that there’s now extra consumer protection for holidays/honeymoons under the ATOL[8] scheme. If any company you’re dealing with – from an airline, to a hotel or car hire goes bust you should be covered for any loss. On top of that, ATOL also entitles you to a refund of any additional costs you incur as a result of the problem.

In early 2012 the ATOL scheme rules changed so more holidays than ever are protected. It used to be the case that only very specific kinds of package holidays were covered.
Now booking a flight and any additional part of the holiday such as accommodation or car hire will be covered through an ATOL protected provider, but only if the two parts are booked within a day of each other.

This new rule also covers holidays where you might pay in two transactions. Using sites like[9] and Expedia[10] are two such examples.

Even though the definition of a package deal has been expanded, however, it’s still vital to check that small print before relying on extra protection.

Credit: iStock


Want more wedding information and inspiration? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page, and ‘Follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account. To join in the conversation, share your stories here.[11][12][13]