How to Make Sweet Tree Centrepieces for Your big day

If you and your partner are a crafty couple, why not have a go at making your own sweet tree centrepieces for your wedding day? If you want to make your guests feel like children in a sweetshop then follow this step by step guide.

Guests with a sweet tooth will love you for creating a sweets table at your reception! Here's how to embrace all things sweet and DIY in style...samieleephotography.com

How to Make Sweet Tree Centrepieces for Your big day

We got in touch with wedding planner and candy tree maker extraordinaire Steph Allison. The Bristol-based Sweet & Pretty Weddings[1] expert has given us a fab step-by-step tutorial so you can make your own sweet tree for your wedding day.

Homemade sweet tree - How to Make Sweet Tree Centrepieces for Your big day

What You’ll Need to Make Your Sweet Tree:

  • Foam florists ball
  • A wooden spoon or thick dowelling
  • A bucket or flower pot
  • Plaster of Paris (500g per tree)
  • Water (250ml)
  • Scales and a measuring jug
  • A metal spoon
  • Candy melts or chocolate
  • A pan and bowl or microwave
  • Marshmallows
  • Faux moss
  • Ribbon and decorations
  • Scissors

What you need - Homemade sweet tree - How to Make Sweet Tree Centrepieces for Your big day

Before You Start, Read This First

Remember that good hygiene is important, as your guests will be eating these sweetie trees. Wash your hands thoroughly before starting and no licking all that delicious, chocolate off the spoon before putting it back in the bowl.

If you are using wrapped sweets to make your sweet[2] tree, you can just use a glue gun to attach the wrappers to the ball. However, using chocolate makes un-wrapped sweets safe to eat and this is the method we’re using today.

Step One

Sweet Tree Step one - What you need - Homemade sweet tree - How to Make Sweet Tree Centrepieces for Your big day

Gently push the thin end of your spoon into the foam ball and leave the plastic on or cover it in cling film. Be careful not to push it right through.

Step Two

Sweet Tree step two - How to Make Sweet Tree Centrepieces for Your big day

Measure out around 500g of plaster of Paris and 250 ml of water. Put the powder into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Gradually add the water stirring with a metal spoon.

Step Three

Sweet Tree step three - How to Make Sweet Tree Centrepieces for Your big day

Pour the plaster of Paris into your bucket or pot. Make sure you wash your bowl and spoon quickly and make sure that there’s none left on your hands. We say this because it heats up as it sets and can burn your skin. Be careful.

Step Four Sweet Tree step four - How to Make Sweet Tree Centrepieces for Your big day

After a few minutes insert the large end of the spoon and see if it stands up. You may need to hold it for a few minutes. When it stands by itself make sure it’s in the centre and standing up straight, then leave it to set for 30 minutes.

Step Five

Sweet Tree step five - How to Make Sweet Tree Centrepieces for Your big day

Whilst the spoon or dowelling is setting, you can begin melting your candy melts or chocolate. If using a microwave, use a low heat and short intervals to prevent burning the chocolate. The best method is a bowl over a pan of boiling water, however, be careful when handling the bowl, as it will be very hot.

Step Six

Sweet Tree step six - How to Make Sweet Tree Centrepieces for Your big day

Get a pastry brush and spread the melted chocolate on to a small area and begin applying your sweets. Workaround the ball and then add more layers. Keep applying the chocolate and re-melt if it hardens too fast.

Step Seven

Sweet Tree step seven - How to Make Sweet Tree Centrepieces for Your big day

When you reach the underneath you may need to hold the sweets on for a while to stop them dropping off. If you find it easier you can remove the ball and replace it after you’ve put all of the sweets on.

Step Eight

Sweet Tree step Eight - How to Make Sweet Tree Centrepieces for Your big day

Once you’re happy with the sweets[3], choose a length of thin ribbon and secure it to the bottom of the spoon with tape. Wrap it around the spoon tightly and secure at the top with more tape.

Step Nine

Sweet Tree step Nine - How to Make Sweet Tree Centrepieces for Your big day

Use a wider piece of ribbon to make a bow and pin a pretty brooch to the centre, to keep it in place.

Step Ten

Sweet Tree step Ten - How to Make Sweet Tree Centrepieces for Your big day

Now is the time to add the fake moss or, alternatively, more sweeties to cover up the plaster of Paris and you’re all done.

Final Step

Final Step How to Make Sweet Tree Centrepieces for Your big day

Finally, if you want to use them as centrepieces, you could accessorise them further. Why not add a mirror plate underneath, or if you’re having a vintage-styled wedding, why not accessorise with it with strings of pearls or flowers?

Remember, you can use lots of different sweets, containers or ribbon colours to match your wedding theme. So have a go and see what delicious trees you can come up with!

Top Tip

Plaster of Paris is a dangerous material and has been known to reach up to temperatures of 60 degrees Celsius when setting. Furthermore, it can easily burn your skin, so please be sensible. Read the packaging and wear protection when you’re handling it. Still, we don’t want you to have to visit the hospital in the last few weeks before your big day. Wedding Ideas and Sweet & Pretty have no responsibility with any potential injuries this could cause!

READ MORE:


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.[4][5][6]

References

  1. ^ Sweet and Pretty (www.sweetandpretty.co.uk)
  2. ^ sweet (www.weddingideasmag.com)
  3. ^ sweets (www.weddingideasmag.com)
  4. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (www.facebook.com)
  5. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account. (twitter.com)
  6. ^ here (www.facebook.com)

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 Choose.net[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!da-photo.co.uk

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 MoneySupermarket.com[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. Choose.net 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 Lastminute.com[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

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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]


Winter Wedding DIY Decor Ideas With Poinsettia

A fiery, foraged woodland wreath

This wild and textured wreath design is easy to recreate and really suits that other-worldly, woodland feel that’s been all over Instagram this year.

You will need:

A selection of festive foliages – either forage for yourself or ask your florist to source some for you. Think blue pine, spruce, Nordmann fir, juniper twigs, eucalyptus, twigs. You will also need a selection of poinsettias in varied sizes and colours, pillar candles, twine or green florist string. And finally a round tray.

Simply arrange your plants and foliages on your tray in a wreath shape. Placing sprigs on top of one another in a circular motion will create an effective, rounded shape.

Loosely tie sprigs together to hold the shape. Then add your four Christmas candles to finish off the arrangement.

wreath table setting for Christmas wedding DIY decor ideas with Poinsettia

Fairytale festive hanging details

Christmas decorations for Christmas wedding DIY decor ideas

Simple and effective, these festive hangings play along the lines of a Christmas take on boho bunting. They are made all the more special by personal touches and special details like teeny tiny jars holding cut poinsettia bracts.

You will need:

Some red string, wooden clothes pegs, sprigs of festive foliage (spruce, fir, pine etc.), personal additions like photos, postcards or hand-made paper snowflakes too. You’ll also need some miniature glass bottles, gold leaf or stickers and mini poinsettia plants.

You will need to attach your red string so it hangs across the room, or the area you’d like decorated. Use wooden clothes pegs, or more string, to attach your decorative bits like photos and foliage.

Decorate your glass bottles with gold leaf or stickers. Cut bracts from your mini poinsettia plants and seal the ends of the stem by dipping in boiling water for 20 seconds. Finally, tie the glass bottles firmly to your line, carefully pour in water and insert a poinsettia bract in each.

Poinsettia & Cactus Arrangements

It’s told that a little girl named Pepita was too poor to buy a real present for baby Jesus on Christmas Eve. Alternatively, she picked green twigs from a shrub on her way to church and tied them into a bouquet. When she placed her gift at the foot of the altar, suddenly the twigs bloomed in a magnificent red. From this day forward it became the country’s official Christmas flower.

potted plants for Christmas wedding DIY decor ideas

Wild Winter Poinsettia 

This is an alternative bridal bouquet idea if you’re looking for something seasonal and a little less cliche. This one was created by award-winning wedding florist based in Hampshire using winter foliage. These included spirea, roses, viburnum, convolvulus, delphinium, reindeer moss, feathers and cream Poinsettia too.

wild flower bouquet for Christmas wedding DIY decor ideas

Sparkling Christmas Decor Cones

You will need:

Stiff craft paper, gold pipe cleaners, mini-poinsettias, decorative tape, a stapler.

Firstly, roll your craft paper into cones and stick together with tape. Staple the gold pipe cleaners to create little handles for your cones.

Without removing your mini-poinsettias from the plastic pots you bought them in, insert them into the cones. It’s best to keep them in their planters so that they can be removed and watered without soaking the paper.

Finally, hang your poinsettia cones on a tree, from the ceiling of your venue or to dress each place at your wedding tables.

Poinsettia hanging cones for Xhristmas wedding DIY decor ideas

Poinsettia plant care fast facts

From November, poinsettias are available in stores everywhere. Dense foliage and yellow-green budding flowers in-between the coloured bracts are a sure sign of quality. Protect your poinsettia from the wind and transport it quickly to its warm new home. Keep it in a bright, warm spot (around 20° C). It can be close to a radiator, but not in direct sunlight or near draughts – so keep away from open doors, windows and fireplaces. Only water it when the soil is almost completely dry.

To use poinsettia leaves as fresh flowers in a vase, cut the bracts, dip the cut end in boiling water for 20 seconds, then immediately in cold water. You are then ready to arrange.

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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.[1][2][3]

References

  1. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (www.facebook.com)
  2. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account. (twitter.com)
  3. ^ here (www.facebook.com)

The dos and Don’ts of DIY Wedding Flowers

If you’re a creative, hands-on kind of a bride, you’re probably considering putting together a lot of your wedding day yourself. Whilst being creative means you can be more thrifty, you may not have the right experience when it comes to flower arrangements. Follow our guide on DIY wedding flowers and all will be fine.

The dos and Don'ts of DIY Wedding Flowers

The dos and Don’ts of DIY Wedding Flowers

Firstly, you need to consider the time of year that you’re getting married. Look around you and think about what’s going to be in bloom. Not only will you be able to source your flowers more easily and inexpensively, you’ll also be keeping your green credentials if you don’t require exotic blooms to be shipped in from overseas out of season. Remember, if you’re getting married around Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day then you’ll pay a premium for your flowers.

So if you’re getting married in the spring, it’s going to be flowers like narcissi, hyacinths and tulips. In the autumn, you’re going to be opting for colourful brights like dahlias, hydrangeas and maybe branches of fruits and berries to decorate your venue too.

DIY Wedding Flower dos

Think about your theme

Give yourself plenty of time to think about your flowers and decide what you want. Have a theme. This could be seasonal, colour-led or a style such as vintage or country garden. Maybe take an evening class in flower arranging, which will also show you how to keep flowers looking their best.

Rustic charm

Country-style wedding lends itself best to a handmade wedding with DIY flowers. You can have simple jam jars crammed with wildflowers, cornflowers and roses as centrepieces on your reception tables. These will look charming and rustic and moreover, they will look handmade, which is a nice touch.

Do know your limits

Don’t decide you’re going to create elaborate formal flower arrangements if you have little to no experience. Use the time in the lead up to your wedding to practice, watch tutorials and understand what flowers go aesthetically but also what smell good together.

Easy pew ends

If you’re getting married in a church, decorate the ends of the pews with a hand-tied garland of blossoms or even just different coloured greenery. If you’re planning a winter wedding, holly and trailing ivy will be very festive too.

Scattering petals

There’s nothing to say your flower girls have to hold a bouquet of flowers. You could give them a simple basket filled with rose petals, which they can scatter as they walk down the aisle behind you. However, if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, you could make flower pomanders for them to carry, just make sure you practise first.

DIY wedding flowers kerriemitchell

DIY wedding flower don’ts

A professional job

If you’re not overly confident, don’t create your wedding bouquet yourself. It’s a whole lot of pressure for you and your bouquet is going to take centre stage on your big day too. Creating a dazzling posy or bunch of flowers for the bride to carry is a real art form. Give yourself a break and hand that job over to somebody who’s really experienced. We’re sure you won’t regret it.

Last-minute rush

Don’t forget to give yourself plenty of time to source your flowers. If your dad has a beautiful garden of roses, and he’s happy for you to pick them, then, by all means, use them. However, you’ll also need to source some blooms from a flower market. Make sure you visit a few times so you can make friends with the stall holders and find what they’re going to have when. Don’t be afraid to ask that about what they’d recommend for the time of year, after all they’re experts that you can also rely on.

Keep practising

Finally, don’t forget to practise, practise and practise. When it comes to DIY wedding flowers, practice is precious. Time yourself on how long it takes to make a table centrepiece and decorations for the ceremony or venue. Enlist the help of your favourite girls if they’re reasonably artistic! Just don’t leave everything until the last week and then panic because you’ve run out of time. A stressed bride is not a happy one!

From pansies to roses, if you’re looking for more handy floral hints, our Wedding Flowers section[1] has got it covered.

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

References

  1. ^ Wedding Flowers (www.weddingideasmag.com)
  2. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (www.facebook.com)
  3. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account (twitter.com)

How to Make Your own Wedding Invitations in 10 Easy Steps

Deciding to make your own wedding invitations can be a little daunting at first. However, with some bit of careful planning, you can end up with beautiful, bespoke invites at a fraction of the cost. The Wedding Crafter[1] shows us how to do it with their easy 10-step guide.

Homemade botanical invites - How to Make Your own Wedding Invitations in 10 Easy Steps

How to Make Your own Wedding Invitations in 10 Easy Steps

If you’re looking to save some money and create beautiful personalised designs, follow these 10 simple steps to create the perfect invitations for your wedding.

Choose Your Design

Your invitations give your guests the first impression of your wedding, so take time to get it right. Also, consider your colour scheme, lettering and message. Do you want something minimal or detailed? Try a few different ideas before making a decision. Putting the effort into planning the invitations will save you time in the long run.

Set a Budget

You must set a budget from the start and stick to it. There’s nothing worse than designing your perfect invitation[2] only to find you can’t afford it. Think about how many guests you’re inviting. Remember you only need one invite per couple or family, not one per person – it may sound obvious but it’s a common mistake.

Lace invitations - How to Make Your own Wedding Invitations in 10 Easy Steps Start With the Basic Invitation

There are loads of different styles and types of cards. Flat unfolded cards and traditional card blanks are great if you’re on a budget or don’t have much information to include. Wallets are great for including lots of extra information, inserts and RSVP cards as well. There are also in-between options that give you the freedom of a wallet on the budget of a traditional card.

Use a neutral colour for the cards, then add colour through printing, embellishments or ribbons. Alternatively, you can use coloured card and make a statement. Card textures can make a big difference to the overall feel of an invitation, from rustic matte textures to contemporary pearlescent effects to vintage tapestry styles. Consider printing or foil stamping the front of the cards, or use peel-off stickers.

Time to Decorate

This is where you get really creative. Keep things really simple and elegant with ribbon down the spine of the card. Alternatively, you can use ribbon to act as a belt or divider.

Decorative papers can be used for panels, strips and wraps to bring an accent of colour or add a bit of sparkle. Layer decorative panels with the same card as your base invite printed with your names, initials, dates and so on. You can also use 3D sticky pads to build up depth.

Embellishments come in a huge range of colours and styles, and can bring a dash of colour to the invitation[3]. Mount these on to contrasting cards and papers.

DIY Wedding invite - How to Make Your own Wedding Invitations in 10 Easy Steps

Print Your Inserts

Choose your insert from a huge range of colours and textures. Some styles of inserts can be mounted on decorative papers or contrasting card. Take your time to get your insert wording just right.

Try to keep the style of your font in keeping with the rest of the invitation. Also, remember to keep the font clear and easy to read. Accent colours can be introduced by printing in coloured ink, or metallic foil printed inserts can look stunning. However, if you aren’t 100% sure of what you’re doing consider using an insert printing service.

Don’t Forget the Sticky Stuff

Inserts can be stuck into cards really quickly and easily using adhesive tape pens. Attach inserts to the left-hand side of the card near the spine, so the insert will fall open when the card is opened.

For sticking embellishments onto cards, PVA craft glue dries quickly and easily and more importantly, is clear when dry. For creating raised layering of card and papers then 3D sticky pads give that slight 3D effect. In addition, ribbons can be left loose or secured with a line of adhesive tape pen.

Envelope - How to Make Your own Wedding Invitations in 10 Easy Steps

Add the Envelopes

Postage envelopes come in standard sizes, so make sure your invitation will fit in one before you get too far down the line. Also, bear in mind the cost of postage as a letter thicker than 5mm will cost more to send.

The envelope is the first thing people see when receiving your invitation[4], so consider making it special with pearlescent or textured paper.

Start Creating

Set aside some time for a marathon card making session. Gather all your craftiest friends and family together and open a bottle of wine before you get started. Make this a fun and enjoyable event. If you have lots to get through then a mini production line will be the most efficient way to get everything done in a night.

DIY Wedding invite - How to Make Your own Wedding Invitations in 10 Easy StepsThe Tools of the Trade

You can create really professional-looking invitations by buying cards ready folded and inserts ready cut. However, if you have a large number of invitations to go out on a tight budget then it could save money to buy a few card-making tools. This way you can create everything yourself from scratch – if you’ve got the time of course.

A paper trimmer will let you cut your card and paper from larger sheets. Card folding boards help you to put a crease into a flat piece of card and then fold it neatly. Finally, to fold the cards a bone folder is pretty essential.

If all Else Fails

If you’ve followed the steps here and still aren’t sure of what to design, or aren’t confident striking out on your own, then why not buy a DIY invitation kit? You will still save loads of money, without the hard work of coming up with the design yourself.

READ MORE:[5]


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.[6][7][8]

References

  1. ^ See The Wedding Crafter's website now (www.weddingcrafter.co.uk)
  2. ^ invitation (www.weddingideasmag.com)
  3. ^ invitation (www.weddingideasmag.com)
  4. ^ invitation (www.weddingideasmag.com)
  5. ^ READ MORE: (www.weddingideasmag.com)
  6. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (www.facebook.com)
  7. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account. (twitter.com)
  8. ^ here (www.facebook.com)

How to plan a personalised wedding ceremony

Couple getting marriedalipaul.com

Whether it’s the music, the venue, or the vows, curate a perfectly personalised wedding ceremony with these handy tips and ideas

Location, location, location

Before you even start to think about the finer details of your personalised wedding ceremony, it’s a good idea to decide where exactly you will be tying the knot. Ceremonies held in churches will be very different from beachside blessings, for example, and each bring their own opportunities and restrictions. Wherever you choose, one way to make your ceremony feel your own is to choose a venue with sentimental value. Some of our featured couples have said ‘I do’ in the same church as their parents or in the parish in which they grew up. Others have followed their hearts to their favourite destinations, both in the UK and further afield, to find the perfect setting.

Personalised promises

Your vows; this is the moment that all those months of planning have built up to and it’s the reason you’re here today. Both civil and religious ceremonies come with their own established wording, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add your own touch.

From writing your own vows to changing the script, there’s a spot on the spectrum for every couple. Your vows can be as simple as promising to make your spouse a cup of tea every morning (one groom we know really did promise this and, several months later, he’s kept to his word).

If you don’t fancy starting from scratch, remember that you can choose, to an extent, which of the traditional vows you make. When Meghan Markle and Prince Harry married, the bride followed in both Diana and Kate’s footsteps by choosing not to vow to ‘obey’ her husband. You can also incorporate symbolic traditions, from a blended sand ceremony, which signifies the joining of two families, to a hand-fasting.

If you want to write your own vows or make changes to what you say, it’s always worth running this past your officiant well ahead of the wedding. They can then advise you as to whether your vows will be suitable and ensure your promises are binding on the big day.

Ceremony soundtracks

Whether you’d prefer to walk down the aisle to the romantic strings of a live quartet or to the tunes of a carefully curated playlist, music can make all the difference to the atmosphere at your ceremony.

Make it your own by choosing songs that have played a part in your relationship so far. Perhaps there was a song that was always on the radio when you first started dating? Did your partner propose with music playing in the background? How about the track that became ‘your song’ during your time together? Opting for music that make you both smile and brings back good memories is guaranteed to inject a punch of personality.

Your music choices needn’t be conventional, either. If you’re a couple whose skin crawls every time you hear something cheesy, it’s probably not the way to go. We’ve known couples to walk down the aisle to everything from the Star Wars theme tune to rock songs – proof that you really can celebrate your day, your way.

Spoken from the heart

Choosing readings can be an element of ceremony planning that couples struggle with – they’re probably not something you’ve ever had to think about before. And while traditional options are favourites for a reason, choosing less conventional readings can be a great way to personalise your day.

How Falling In Love Is Like Owning A Dog is a great option for couples who wouldn’t be without their four-legged friends. Alternatively, how about asking someone close to you to write their own reading? From a sentimental poem to a collection of your funniest quotes, there are so many ways they can bring your personalities to the fore.

For couples who aren’t fans of the spotlight, why not ditch the readings altogether? Don’t be afraid to keep your ceremony short and sweet, if that’s what suits you best.

One for the team

A popular way to personalise your ceremony is to invite those closest to you to play parts in it, too. This could be as simple as your bridesmaids throwing tradition to the wind by taking the lead, if not having the pressure of stepping down the aisle first will ease your nerves.

It could also be through your choice of ring bearer. You could entrust your well-trained pooch with delivering your rings (strap on a GoPro for a comical ceremony view), or channel your inner Harry Potter and have owls glide silently down the aisle with the ring box in their talons. When it comes to making your ceremony unique, you really can go wild!


Want more wedding information and inspiration? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page[1], and ‘Follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account[2] to join in the conversation.

References

  1. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (www.facebook.com)
  2. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account (twitter.com)

These are the most overdone wedding trends of 2018

Bride and groomCredit: iStock

Every bride wants their special day to be unique, but often the best ideas have already been done before. To ensure your celebrations are truly one-of-a-kind, these are the wedding trends to avoid…

1. TOO MANY BRIDESMAIDS

Gone are the days of having one or two bridesmaids; now, “bridesmaid armies” are the hot new trend, with some opting for as many as 10 close chums to accompany them to the alter.

“The ‘bridesmaid army’ trend swiftly came over from the US and has taken hold of wedding parties everywhere in the UK,” says Hamish Shephard, founder of bridebook.co.uk[1]. This can be great for photo-ops, he says, “but it can sometimes take away from the ceremony, as they get crammed up by the altar.”

This trend, however, is slowly being faded out thanks to the new Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle. “We’re already seeing [her] decision to have no adult bridesmaids and to opt for flower girls instead shifting this perspective towards a more low-key bridal party.”

2. OVER-THE-TOP WEDDING CAKES

Wedding cake trends also have seen a huge transformation in recent years. “The humble iced fruitcake wedding cake is long gone, due to ‘Instagram wars’ for that perfect cake shot,” says Shephard.

“From drip cakes and naked cakes, then onto doughnut walls and eight-foot macaroon towers, and recently even Meghan Markle’s 154lb deconstructed lemon and elderflower wedding cake! This is a trend that’s becoming increasingly competitive.”

3. DECORATED WALLS

“Doughnut walls and flower walls seem to be everywhere!” says Robin Weil from weddingplanner.co.uk[2].

4. LIGHT-UP LETTERS

It may prove a hit with most, but this popular gimmick was also included in Weil’s list of the most overdone trends. While some couples choose to spell out their initials, others opt for their own wedding hashtag or go for a simple “congratulations”.

5. DRAMATIC BRIDAL ENTRANCES

When it comes to dramatic bridal entrances, “we’ve seen it all,” says Hamish Shephard. “From the bride literally being ballooned into the ceremony, to being walked in by a dressed-up dinosaur, the bride’s entrance has become yet another aspect of the wedding that can be blown up to unimaginable heights.”

“We’re are all for breaking tradition, like the growing trend of brides walking themselves down the aisle – as eight per cent of UK brides did in 2017, but maybe save the dinosaurs for the amusement park!”


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

References

  1. ^ bridebook.co.uk (bridebook.co.uk)
  2. ^ weddingplanner.co.uk (weddingplanner.co.uk)
  3. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (www.facebook.com)
  4. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account (twitter.com)

17 Bridesmaid Proposal Ideas

It’s the most important question you’re going to ask once you’re engaged and you have to think about the delivery. No doubt you’ll have had the contenders shortlisted forever but we’re here to help you think of the perfect bridesmaid proposal ideas.

The fact you are thinking of a sweet way to pop the big question shows how much you care for your bridesmaids. No matter what you pick, they are sure to love it. So, here are our suggestions.

Traditional

Looking for a simple and pointed way of asking your leading ladies to be part of your wedding party? Why not stick with the power of words? A card is a fail-safe option that allows you plenty of room for creativity.

personalised card pink bridesmaid proposal ideas

card and pencil bridesmaid proposal ideasBuy this card here[1]

Customised 

Your bridesmaids-to-be are more likely to treasure something personal and customised. A box filled with treats and memories will make a lovely gift to open.

Buy this gift box here[2] Buy this necklace here[3]

Edible

Why not sweeten up your bride tribe with some of these tasty treats? Who can resist such a decadent snack?

Buy these biscuits here[4] Buy these biscuits here[5]

A Keepsake

Why not gift your bridesmaids something they can keep forever? It’s something that will keep you and your bridesmaid tied together forever.

Buy this necklace here[6]

Another option is something practical and fun. We spend our lives wondering where our hair ties end up, maybe your bridesmaid will take better care of this one.

Buy this hair tie proposal here[7]

Add an Element of Surprise

Set things off with a bang. These confetti poppers are great if you’re asking a few people at once.

Buy these confetti poppers here[8]

The balloon reveal is fun and easy enough to DIY.

Buy this balloon surprise here[9]

READ MORE


Want more wedding information and inspiration? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page[13], and ‘Follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account[14] to join in the conversation.

References

  1. ^ Buy this card here (www.amazon.co.uk)
  2. ^ Buy this gift box here (www.notonthehighstreet.com)
  3. ^ Buy this necklace here (www.notonthehighstreet.com)
  4. ^ Buy these biscuits here (www.notonthehighstreet.com)
  5. ^ Buy these biscuits here (www.notonthehighstreet.com)
  6. ^ Buy this necklace here (www.notonthehighstreet.com)
  7. ^ Buy this hair tie proposal here (www.notonthehighstreet.com)
  8. ^ Buy these confetti poppers here (www.notonthehighstreet.com)
  9. ^ Buy this balloon surprise here (www.amazon.co.uk)
  10. ^ The best Black Friday 2018 deals  (www.weddingideasmag.com)
  11. ^ 10 groom gifts for your wedding day  (www.weddingideasmag.com)
  12. ^ What no one told you about picking bridesmaid dresses  (www.weddingideasmag.com)
  13. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (www.facebook.com)
  14. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account (twitter.com)

How to make your own Order Of Service stationery

Add some wedding pretty to your stationery with this DIY hack by wedding stylist and designer Nina Marika[1]! We love the idea of a wallpaper inspired Order of Service!

Order of Services

What you’ll need

  • Garden twine
  • A4 paper for inserts
  • A4 adhesive label sheets
  • Tea bags
  • Small pot
  • Decorative craft stamp

Instructions

  1. Using a ruler, fold your chosen A4 piece of wallpaper in half.
  2. Insert your order of service, an easy way to do this is using a word document printed at home.
  3. Tie the sheets together with the twine, adding some rustic charm.
  4. To get that vintage look, soak teabags in a bow for one hour then, using a brush, tea stain the A4 adhesive label sheets.
  5. Hand write or stamp your chosen words onto the label – chosen words onto the label – save time by printing them out in your favourite front. A craft stamp adds a pretty final touch.
  6. Using a ruler, tear the self-adhesive sheet into your chosen size, peel the adhesive and stick to the front of your order of service.

For more fabulous DIY hacks visit Nina Marika’s website[2]! We also have tons of great DIY ideas[3] to help save you £££s.

References

  1. ^ Nina Marika (ninamarika.co.uk)
  2. ^ Nina Marika’s website (ninamarika.co.uk)
  3. ^ great DIY ideas (www.weddingideasmag.com)

30 summer wedding ideas that are way too good to miss

Make the most of longer days, warmer temperatures and the season of outdoor fun! You can do all of this (and much, much more) with a summer wedding

Here are 30 summer wedding ideas to make yours a sizzling show-stopper, whatever the weather.

1. Flower crowns

Designs featuring eucalyptus, pastel petals and whimsical gypsophila will add romance to your summer bridal style.

So many couples get married in summer, it can be hard to make yours stand out. That's where these summer wedding ideas come in, to make yours a show-stopperImage credit: annamorganphotography.co.uk

2. Gin bars

One of the trendiest tipples around this year, gather several types of gin to serve in a variety of cocktails… the quirkier, the better! Gin goes really well with fruit. If you like the sound of this, you’ll love these 14 super stylish drinks bar ideas[1], too.

3. Colour co-ordinated

Why not ask your male or female guests to each wear something co-ordinated? Perhaps you’d like everyone to include a splash of blue, for the gentlemen to go jacketless, or for the ladies to choose a sweet floral accessory…

4. Garden games

From croquet and giant jenga to space hoppers and sack races, how wild will your garden games be? Here are six quirky garden game ideas[2] to get you started.

5. Hay bale heyday

Perfect for a rustic wedding venue that has gardens or grounds, create a simple seating area to chill out in – some hay bales with blankets and Pimm’s on offer is sure to attract guests. If you like this style, then you’ll love Laura & Fraser’s field wedding[3].

So many couples get married in summer, it can be hard to make yours stand out. That's where these summer wedding ideas come in, to make yours a show-stopperImage credit: dominicwhiten.co.uk

6. Couple’s cocktails

Not limited to just Kilner dispensers, we think it’s time to make his-and-hers cocktails the star of the show. Add a selection of fresh fruit garnishes, edible flower petal ice cubes and colourfully striped straws to turn these drinks into a centrepiece.

7. Ceiling style

Channel the style of a country fair by stringing up pompoms, paper honeycombs[4] and handmade bunting (a triangle per guest, perhaps?) to give your décor height.

8. Pick and mix

This style of feasting isn’t only for sweets! Hire food and drink stalls instead of traditional caterers so guests can mingle while they munch, avoiding a heavy sit-down meal.

So many couples get married in summer, it can be hard to make yours stand out. That's where these summer wedding ideas come in, to make yours a show-stopperImage credit: katherineashdown.co.uk

9. Beer by the bucket

Team it with a vintage bathtub of ice and your guests will have a self-service bar to get stuck into! Make sure your photographer snaps some photos before they disappear.

10. Ice cream

Make ice creams both delicious and decorative at your summer wedding by hiring a vintage ice cream bicycle cart.

11. Time for tea

Whichever side of the cream and jam debate you sit, there’s no denying that sweet strawberry conserve, indulgent clotted cream and freshly made scones epitomise the taste of summer…

12. Live music

Create a festival vibe by choosing a live band in place of a DJ for the evening entertainment. You could also swap a string quartet for an acoustic guitarist to create a laid-back ambiance for the ceremony. You’ll find more ideas in this A-Z of wedding entertainment[5].

13. Festoon lighting

Form an illuminated trail between different parts of your venue by hanging up festoon lighting.

14. Barbecues

Hailed as a crowd-pleasing option that’s full of flavour, swap the traditional wedding breakfast for a hog roast or barbecue. Complete the culinary line-up with salads, cheeses and chutneys, and you’re guaranteed full stomachs and very happy guests.

15. Summer saviours

Prepare a basket of flip flops, sunglasses and sun cream and leave them in the wash rooms for guests to grab. You don’t want the risk of lobster skin in your group photos and they will love you for it!

So many couples get married in summer, it can be hard to make yours stand out. That's where these summer wedding ideas come in, to make yours a show-stopperImage credit: June Joubert Photography

16. Picture perfect

Your guests’ snaps will be ultra beautiful if you make a photobooth backdrop to frame them. As simple as a suspended picture frame or as elaborate as a vintage doorframe decorated in cascades of flowers, the choice is yours! Here’s how to DIY your photobooth[6] on a budget.

17. English garden

A favourite when it comes to wedding themes, summer is the perfect season for an English garden style wedding. Choose a venue with pretty gardens of its own and you’ll have built-in décor to match!

18. Marquee magic

Inspired by Pippa Middleton[7]’s impressive glass variety, channel the same style with transparent sided marquees or, on a smaller scale, by hiring in acrylic seating.

So many couples get married in summer, it can be hard to make yours stand out. That's where these summer wedding ideas come in, to make yours a show-stopperImage credit: da-photo.co.uk

19. Outdoor ceremonies

Why not make the most of the good weather and say your vows in a woodland glade, beneath a floral arch, or in a romantically decorated lakeside gazebo[8]

20. Jam jar florals

Enlist everyone you can to collect jars, then pretty them up with ribbons and sprigs of garden blooms. Pair them with milk churns or enamel jugs if you want to display taller sprays of flowers like delphiniums and stocks.

So many couples get married in summer, it can be hard to make yours stand out. That's where these summer wedding ideas come in, to make yours a show-stopperImage credit: annamorganphotography.co.uk

21. Beach weddings

Why wait for your honeymoon to enjoy the beach when the UK boasts a fantastic coast of its own? Marry right on the sand, or hire a village hall or even an old maritime museum for some more weatherproof options. Planning a beach wedding? Here are six stunning seaside photos[9] you simply have to get!

22. Summer fete

Give your wedding all the fun of the fair with fete-inspired games – everything from hook a duck to carousel rides! For a quirky twist, we’ve seen couples swap coconuts for pineapples for a more unique take on the classic coconut shy.

So many couples get married in summer, it can be hard to make yours stand out. That's where these summer wedding ideas come in, to make yours a show-stopperImage credit: annamorganphotography.co.uk

23. Seaside seating

Create a super-comfortable lounge area for your guests to kick back and relax in after the wedding breakfast. Fill it with a collection of colour co-ordinated striped deck chairs, perfectly placed to watch all the action.

24. Wedding signs

Seeing as you’ll be making the most of your chance to enjoy al fresco elements, why not put up some rustic signs to direct your guests so they know where’s best for dancing, drinking or dining? Here’s how to give your tipi venue bohemian style[10].

So many couples get married in summer, it can be hard to make yours stand out. That's where these summer wedding ideas come in, to make yours a show-stopperImage credit: da-photo.co.uk

25. Tipi venues

With sides that can be opened up to reveal the outside, tipi venues offer the best of both when it comes to indoor and outdoor wedding venues, making them perfect for the British summer!

26. Space for shade

You’ll be crossing everything in the run-up for streaming sunshine on your wedding day – but have you planned for that actually happening? Make sure your venue has parasols ready to provide shade.

So many couples get married in summer, it can be hard to make yours stand out. That's where these summer wedding ideas come in, to make yours a show-stopperImage credit: cecelinaphotography.com

27. Naked cakes

Overflowing with juicy berries and filled with light, fluffy buttercream, the naked cake is the ideal laid-back cake for the summer season. Just make sure you position it out of the sun to stop the buttercream from melting!

So many couples get married in summer, it can be hard to make yours stand out. That's where these summer wedding ideas come in, to make yours a show-stopperImage credit: jessicareeve-photography.com

28. Sweet peas

These small, beautifully scented, summer-flowering blooms come in a range of hues, from pastels to brights. Work them into your bouquet for a whimsical style that smells divine.

So many couples get married in summer, it can be hard to make yours stand out. That's where these summer wedding ideas come in, to make yours a show-stopperImage credit: cecelinaphotography.com

29. Shepherd’s hooks

No country wedding should be without these! Peg the charming shepherd’s hooks into the ground to mark out pathways, then hang dainty jars containing mismatched candles or flowers from them for a pretty effect.

30. Easy breezy

Embrace the relaxed, al fresco atmosphere of the best summer weddings in your set up. Look for opportunities to introduce tulle drapes, creating an airy feel for your venue, or tie lace bows to chair backs. Or perhaps you could add streaming silk ribbons to your bouquet…


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

References

  1. ^ 14 super stylish drinks bar ideas (www.weddingideasmag.com)
  2. ^ six quirky garden game ideas (www.weddingideasmag.com)
  3. ^ field wedding (www.weddingideasmag.com)
  4. ^ pompoms, paper honeycombs (weddingideasmag.com)
  5. ^ A-Z of wedding entertainment (www.weddingideasmag.com)
  6. ^ DIY your photobooth (www.weddingideasmag.com)
  7. ^ Pippa Middleton (www.weddingideasmag.com)
  8. ^ lakeside gazebo (www.weddingideasmag.com)
  9. ^ six stunning seaside photos (www.weddingideasmag.com)
  10. ^ bohemian style (www.weddingideasmag.com)
  11. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (www.facebook.com)
  12. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account (twitter.com)