How to Choose the Right Dresses for Your Bridesmaids

It’s unlikely that all of your bridesmaids are going to have the same style, shape, build and height. They’ll all have good points that they’ll want to accentuate and some that they’ll want to hide. Let’s take a look at how to choose the right dresses for your bridesmaids so they feel happy and confident on your wedding day.

Bridesmaids in different dresses - How to Choose the Right Dresses for Your BridesmaidsCredit:

How to Choose the Right Dresses for Your Bridesmaids

You’ve chosen your bridesmaids because they’re your closest friends, they’re girls that you can rely on and, in turn, they’re trusting you to make them look amazing on your wedding day.

Thankfully, times have moved on from days when you had to dress your bridesmaids in identical gowns. It’s far more flattering and on trend to dress your girls in individual dresses that really suit them.

The colours don’t have to be the same shade, either. You could go for an ombre effect and dress your maids in different shades of pink[1] that go from the lightest blush to the deepest fuchsia. It’s very flattering and bang on trend!

Let’s Talk Length

You’ll probably be able to find dresses for your bridesmaids[2] in cocktail length, tea-length or floor-length.

You’ll want a length that’s going to flatter your girls. If one of your maids has a fabulous pair of pins that she’s happy to show off, then let her wear a dazzling cocktail-length number. If somebody else likes their ankles but isn’t too keen on the rest of their legs, then opt for tea-length. Of course, if they’d rather keep their legs hidden altogether, then go for a full-length gown. They’ll feel happier and more relaxed which will make them look more comfortable in your wedding photographs[3].

Ombre dressesHow to Choose the Right Dresses for Your BridesmaidsCredit:

What About Busts?

Everyone is different. One dress that flatters one of your bridesmaid’s hourglass shape may not flatter one who is very slim. There are plenty of different styles to flatter all your girls’ figures.

For Small Busts

Halter necklines are great for bridesmaids’ with small busts who want to accentuate their pretty arms and shoulders. Anybody with a large bust should avoid this style though, especially girls with broad shoulders, as it will make them look bigger.

Spaghetti-strap dresses are also great for girls who have less on top. They’re light, feminine and look gorgeous.

Another option is a cowl neckline. This gives the effect of more ‘volume’ to a bust and is good for pear shaped girls. Another good neckline for small busts is the boat neckline that goes straight across at the top.

Bridesmaids green dresses - How to Choose the Right Dresses for Your BridesmaidsCredit: Claire Mark

For Big Busts

If you have girls that are more generously proportioned up top then opt to dress them in a gown with a scoop neckline. This will flatter their ample bosoms and give them a shapely look in your pictures. Make sure everyone has the right supportive underwear, too, so that your chosen dresses hang in the way they are supposed to!

The All-rounder

Sweetheart necklines are always a popular choice for bridesmaid dresses[4] and suit all figures, shapes and busts. It gives support and creates the illusion of more up top if that’s what you want.

Strapless dresses are best for girls who have average-sized busts. Too small and they’ll just look flat chested, too big and they’ll be spilling out everywhere, which is pretty unflattering. Look for dresses with a built-in bra if possible. Get your girls to don their frocks and forget about them – hitching up a strapless dress every two minutes is not a good look and isn’t comfortable to wear all day.

Off-the-shoulder is another style that is good for all bridesmaids unless they have particularly heavy arms. Consider a wrap or shrug if this is the case.

Bridesmaid and bride in field - How to Choose the Right Dresses for Your Bridesmaids

Necklines Explained by Dessy

Matching necklines are out – dressing your girls in the best styles for them is in! So here’s how to choose the right necklines for your girls, with a little help from bridesmaid experts Dessy and their glamorous After Six collection.

Sweetheart Bridesmaid Dresses

Sweetheart neckline - How to Choose the Right Dresses for Your Bridesmaids

Sweetheart necklines are always a popular choice for bridesmaid dresses[5] and suit all figures, shapes and busts. This style is something that’s flattering for girls of all different shapes and sizes. If they’re concerned about having their shoulders completely exposed, you could give them a wrap or shrug to wear to make them feel more comfortable. A fitted dress cinches the waist and gives the illusion of an hourglass figure, which many ladies love.

One-Shoulder Bridesmaid Dresses

One shoulder dress - How to Choose the Right Dresses for Your Bridesmaids

This is a good option for broader bridesmaids because this design will make the shoulders appear smaller and closer together. Avoid a one-shoulder neckline if your bridesmaids have particularly heavy arms, as this can accentuate them. One-shoulder gowns work on most body shapes so this is a great unifying choice if you have a lot of bridesmaids. Make sure they all have supportive bras that are comfortable enough to wear all day.

V-neck Bridesmaid Dresses

V neck - How to Choose the Right Dresses for Your Bridesmaids

A V-neckline on a dress helps to minimise the width of your bridesmaid’s bust and elongate her neck. Great for girls with larger boobs, this cut is a good choice if your bridesmaids have larger upper arms. This shape is universally flattering but do watch the cut. A very high V-neckline can make a large bust look saggy, while a plunging V-neckline can be too revealing, especially at a wedding ceremony. Bear in mind also that a wide V-neckline helps to balance out pear shapes.

High Neckline Bridesmaid Dresses

Sheer high neckline - How to Choose the Right Dresses for Your Bridesmaids

The high, sheer or illusion neckline is a huge trend in bridal and the trend is now making its way over to bridesmaids too. This gives your girls more of a formal look while still looking sexy despite being covered up. High necklines achieve an elegant look without being too over the top. This cut works particularly well on girls with strong collarbones.

Choosing the Correct Underwear

You must remember that for a dress to look really good, your bridesmaids will need to wear the right sort of underwear[6].

First things first – choose the correct bra. Strapless or adjustable for a halter neck and make sure that the straps don’t show, that’s a real no-no in wedding photographs. Also, nude coloured underwear won’t show up in flash photography under a sheer dress, whereas white underwear will.

Avoid VPLs by wearing thongs or boy shorts. Shapewear is also useful for giving a smooth line all the way down the body, particularly in a tight-fitting dress.

Treat your bridesmaids right by dressing them in frocks that flatter them and they’ll reward you by looking happy and smiling on your wedding day. You want everybody to have a great time and making sure your girls look their very best is a big part of a successful wedding day.


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.[7][8][9]


  1. ^ The hottest bridesmaid dress trends for 2013 (
  2. ^ bridesmaids (
  3. ^ How to stand like a supermodel in your wedding photographs: Top Tips (
  4. ^ How to Choose Bridesmaids’ Dresses (
  5. ^ bridesmaid dresses (
  6. ^ Find the ideal bridal lingerie for your body shape with Ultimo (
  7. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (
  8. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account. (
  9. ^ here (

What Your Bride Wants to Hear in Your Groom’s Speech

There’s a lot of pressure on the groom to write the perfect wedding speech. But what does your new wife really want to hear you say on your big day? We asked the experts at Great Speech Writing[1] to hand over their top tips.

Groom's speech - What Your Bride Wants to Hear in Your Groom's Speech

What Your Bride Wants to Hear in Your Groom’s Speech

You popped the question, the date’s set, the venue’s booked, invitations have been sent and the stag weekend is in hand. It’s just that minor detail of a groom’s speech still to be written. Keep your new wife happy on the big day with these tips.

Big up the Bride

Although it’s good practice to mention the best man and your ushers while poking fun at them at their expense, always remember that your wedding day is about your bond with your bride, not your best mates. Whatever you do, don’t spend the majority of your speech[2] reminiscing about your lads holiday – or you’ll have one unhappy bride.

Bride laughing - What Your Bride Wants to Hear in Your Groom's Speech

Thank Your new in-laws

If your bride chooses not to speak at the wedding, she probably won’t get the chance to thank her parents publicly for all they’ve done in helping to organise the big day, and for all the help, love and support provided over the years. So it’s down to you to do it for her – and she’ll love you for it.

She’s Your Wife – Don’t be shy Mentioning it!

Nothing gets more of heart-warming cheer than the line “my wife and I…”. It’s predictable and a little bit cheesy, but the novelty of hearing it for the first time never fails to make a new bride smile, or indeed every one of your guests.

Bride - What Your Bride Wants to Hear in Your Groom's SpeechKeep it Original

Using the occasional predictable phrase, as above, is fine, but don’t get too reliant on these one-liners, or your speech could easily sound like an internet cut and paste job. Your new bride wants you to talk about her, so be creative and keep it personal.

Mention her Looks

Dazzling, stunning, beautiful – however you wish to say it, make sure you comment on her appearance, and in a positive way. The expensive dress, designer jewellery[3], trips to the hairdressers, manicures and facials count for something!

Remember This is a Celebration of Love

It isn’t your chance to deliver a 10-minute comedy stand-up routine. So try to combine your witty one-liners with a good dose of sincerity. Why did you ask her to marry you? What is it about her that you adore? How has your life changed (for the better!) since you met her? Which of your bad habits does she have to live with?

Groom giving speech - What Your Bride Wants to Hear in Your Groom's SpeechCredit:

Delete all Stories of ex-girlfriends

Your new wife isn’t about your past, there’s a time and a place for mentioning the exes, and the groom’s speech[4] isn’t one of them.

Direct Your Speech to her

Although you’re giving a speech to, what is often, a large number of people, you don’t always have to talk to the room. It can be far more meaningful and personal if, when you’re talking about your wife, you actually speak to and make eye contact with her. But remember to keep projecting your voice. Your wife will want the guests to hear what you have to say about her, even if you’re not addressing them.

If you’re still concerned about how to keep your bride happy during the speech, then get in touch with Lawrence Bernstein from[5]. He and his team are always happy to give free advice, act as a sounding board, or edit the speech for you.


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]

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]


  1. ^ Visit GoHen online! (
  2. ^ quiz (
  3. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (
  4. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account. (
  5. ^ here (

20 Amazing Table Plans to Suit Your Wedding Theme

If there’s one thing that everyone’s guaranteed to look at during your wedding reception, it’s the table plan! It’s also the biggest piece of your wedding stationery, so your design is a great way to make the most of your theme! Here are some of our favourite picks to match the hottest wedding themes right now.

Key table theme - 20 Amazing Table Plans to Suit Your Wedding ThemeCredit:

20 Amazing Table Plans to Suit Your Wedding Theme

Whether you’re having a pretty English country garden affair or a bright retro theme, your table plan[1] can act as a reception decoration in itself. Make the most of your wedding theme and choose a design that reflects the feel of your big day, rather than opting for a boring, impersonal list. Touches like this will pull your reception decor together and make your whole day feel more co-ordinated.

Blackboard table plan - 20 Amazing Table Plans to Suit Your Wedding ThemeCredit:

If you’re not a craft expert, then buying your table plan direct from your stationer is definitely your best bet. The UK is full of brilliant wedding stationery[2] companies who can create table plans for every time of wedding theme imaginable – we’ve given you some gorgeous options from some of our favourite suppliers here.

Brides are getting more and more creative with their table plans these days – we’ve seen some fantastic ideas in our real weddings. Using ornate frames is one of our favourite ideas, and suits traditional, vintage and quirky wedding themes alike. As well as using larger gold or silver pieces to frame an A2 or A1 chart, you could also use smaller frames for each individual table. This doesn’t need to cost the earth, either – old photo frames are available at many charity shops and car boot sales.

We also love 3D elements as part of table plans[3]. Keys are a quirky, cute option for country garden weddings or rustic vintage themes. Just collect one for each table, or even one for each guest, and attach the names with a tag. Another popular option is birdcages – just buy a large vintage-style birdcage, decorate with real or artificial flowers and attach your guests’ names with a pretty bird or butterfly-shaped peg (you can find these in the Wedding Ideas Shop!).

P.S. Having trouble working out who to seat where? We recommend TopTablePlanner[4] – it’s an excellent piece of software that can save you a lot of time and frustration!

Table Plans to Suit Your Theme


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. ^ table plan (
  2. ^ stationery (
  3. ^ table plans (
  4. ^ Visit TopTablePlanner online (
  5. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (
  6. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account. (
  7. ^ here (

10 Hen Party Games That all Your Girls Will Love

Whether you’re the maid of honour, a guest or the bride-to-be herself, there’s one pre-wedding event you all can’t wait for – the hen party! Hen party organisers Chillisauce have rounded up the ten hen party games that all your girls will love…10 Hen Party Games all Your Girls Will Love

10 Hen Party Games That all Your Girls Will Love

Banned Words

Fun, easy and as naughty as you like! Choose a list of words that cannot be spoken throughout the night. Make sure you choose words that are hard to avoid! You get to decide how severe the penalty is for breaking the rules, such as doing a shot, paying a fine or doing a dare.

Hen Night Bingo Cards

This one takes some organising, but it works a treat over daytime cocktails or afternoon tea. Have guests write down what gifts they think the bride-to-be will receive, and as she opens them, mark off any of the presents written down. Once a guest gets five in a row, they shout out Bingo! The prize can be as silly as an extra slice of cake or a second glass of Prosecco!

Hen party games - 10 Hen Party Games all Your Girls Will Love

Balloon Question Time

This one is a lot of fun, and manages to take care of the decorations too! Write down 20 embarrassing questions and place them in 20 separate balloons. Throughout the party[1], have guests pop the balloons and make the bride either answer the question or take a shot! Perfect for a giggle over a few drinks – just check that your party venue is happy with all the balloon popping!


This one calls for the following headings:

  • Her name
  • His name
  • Where they had sex
  • What position
  • Who caught them doing it

Fold over each piece of paper after each heading and pass it to the person on the left. At the end, unfold each piece and read out your story! True or not, it’ll have everyone roaring with laughter.

Shots - 10 Hen Party Games all Your Girls Will Love

Male Model

This one calls for some crafts and creativity, so come prepared! Split the hen party guests into teams and have them create male body parts out of play dough in a time limit. Double points for realism (or optimism as the case may be!). We can all guess which body part most will opt to craft…

When time’s up, award prizes how you see fit – with drinks, treats, or a dance with the best-looking guy in the bar!

Pass the Balloon

Another great game for using decorations creatively! Divide the party[2] up into two teams, and using long balloons, each team member must grip the balloon between their knees and pass it up the line to the rest of their team without using their hands. You have to start again if a balloon is dropped or popped! The first team to get their balloon to the end wins.

You could combine this game with the ‘balloon question time’ game above, by placing an embarrassing question in each balloon. The winning team can then force the members of the other team to answer the question.

Hen party - 10 Hen Party Games That all Your Girls Will Love

DIY Bride

This one can be messy, but is plenty of fun, especially after a few drinks! Split the party into two teams and have them create a wedding dress and a maid of honour dress using only toilet roll! You could also try this with safety pins and a sheet. Best dress wins a prize of your choosing, but we think shots will be appreciated!

Post-it Note Game

Each party guest must write a short sentence about the bride, or even a memory they have of her. When everyone is finished, place them all in a bowl and have the bride pick them out one by one. She then has to read them aloud and guess who wrote which one. This can be a great game to start the evening and get nostalgic with your girls.

The Question Game

If you only play one game[3] at your hen party, this has to be it! Light-hearted but hilarious, you’ll need to rope in the groom-to-be to pull this one off. The aim of the game is to ‘test’ the bride to see just how well she knows her future husband. With the cooperation of the groom, devise a set of questions to ask her about him. You can step this up a notch by having guests wager bets on how many the bride will get right. Take turns asking the questions and keep the drinks flowing!

Bridal party - 10 Hen Party Games all Your Girls Will Love

Story Time

Last but certainly not least, this great game can be as naughty or as nice as you want it to be. Get every guest to anonymously write down an embarrassing or unusual experience they have had (make it an embarrassing date story if you want to spice things up). Then put them all in a bowl and have guests take it in turns to draw one and read it aloud. Everyone has to guess who wrote the story, and you can fish for more embarrassing details once you find out who it is! This is a great game to get everyone talking and laughing. Mix in a few drinks and your hen is off to a great start!

For fantastic hen party packages and weekends, visit Chillisauce[4] – and don’t forget to check out our Hen Party Ideas[5] for more great tips!


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


  1. ^ party (
  2. ^ party (
  3. ^ game (
  4. ^ Visit Chillisauce online (
  5. ^ Hen Night Ideas at Wedding Ideas (
  6. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (
  7. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account (

Aphrodisiac Foods that’ll Get You in the Mood For Valentine’s Day 2019

On Valentine’s Day it’s nice to go out to eat somewhere special. Indulge a little and forget the diet and no-carbs approach. Now’s the time to give in to a few cravings. Some foods are said to be more romantic than others, so we’ve asked some culinary experts to reveal their perfect aphrodisiac foods for Valentine’s Day 2019.

Aphrodisiac Foods that’ll Get You in the Mood For Love this Valentines Day

Top 5 Aphrodisiac Foods for Valentine’s Day

We asked Julian Saipe from Zafferano to give us his top foods for Valentine’s[1] Day. Some of these foods might surprise you!


10 foods that'll Get You in the Mood For Love this Valentines Day - Avocado

With their sensuous shape and succulent green flash, avocados have been considered a sexual stimulant since 200bc. Whether it’s their high levels of vitamin E that help your skin look youthful, or even something as simple as their rich flavor, this pear shaped fruit is a must have on Valentines Day.


A pinch if chile pepper can raise body temperature and get you in the mood to tear off your clothes - chilli

Eating chilli this Valentines will stimulating your nerve endings and release endorphins which promote sexual[2] flushes throughout the body. Even the great Aztec Emperor Montezuma drank chocolate and chillies daily in preparation for his visits to his concubines. Raising both your the body temperature and heartbeat, a mere pinch of chile pepper could get you in the mood on the 14th.


10 foods that'll Get You in the Mood For Love this Valentines Day - Oysters

Rich in zinc, oysters help to boost testosterone levels and stimulate sexual desire in both sexes. In Casanova’s well known biography ‘The Story of My Life’, he claimed he ate 50 oysters a day to maintain his high libido and energy. However, cooking them drastically reduces their aphrodisiac properties, so for the more effective romantic result, they must be eaten raw.


10 foods that'll Get You in the Mood For Love this Valentines Day - almonds

With an aroma said to arose the female passion, almonds are rich in vitamin E that will promote your sexual health. By toasting almonds, the smell let off can make both sexes,  especially women, feel in the mood for love. They’re also rich in omega-3 fats, a fatty acid known for its ability to increase healthy libido and fertility.


10 foods that'll Get You in the Mood For Love this Valentines Day - figs

Being Cleopatra’s favourite food, figs were more precious than gold to the ancient Greeks for their romantic results. This soft plump fruit is packed full of fibre and iron, minerals said to improve your skin and health. So maybe eating figs as your dessert this Valentines Day could make your day even better.

Valentine’s Day faux pas

Of course, you don’t want to kill any romance stone dead by eating the wrong foods. Here’s the foods you may need to avoid when getting in the mood for love on the 14th.


10 foods that'll Get You in the Mood For Love this Valentines Day - garlic

Heavy on the breath, garlic may be small, but it can have a big effect on your romantic evening. This cloved vegetable can cause bad breath, which can make you less desirable to kiss. However, if your love for garlic cannot be quashed, this potent smell can easily be removed by a mouthwash or a mint.


10 foods that'll Get You in the Mood For Love this Valentines Day - spinach

Yes, this green leaf can get stuck in your teeth and yes, you will want to run off to the loo to be checking you look okay. So if you want an exercise free evening, we suggest keeping away from spinach on Valentines Day.


10 foods that'll Get You in the Mood For Love this Valentines Day - spaghetti

Despite being a delicious staple food, when slurped, spaghetti can get everywhere. We’ve all been there. To avoid getting passata residue on your chin, be careful how you eat this well loved slippery friend. We suggest you cut up the pasta or twirl it around your fork for a mess free evening.

Sharing Foods

Foods that'll Get You in the Mood For Love this Valentines Day - sharing

Chef Peter Mundy who works at the private country house The Manor in Somerset likes the idea of ‘sharing plates’ with plenty of delicious tastes of different things. He has the following suggestions for couples…

Tasting of citrus fruits – Lemon posset, orange and passion fruit tart, grapefruit bavarois and iced lemon parfait.

A chocolate sharing platter – Belgium chocolate and white chocolate fondue, with a platter of marshmallows, exotic fruits, meringue, chocolate brownie and heart shaped sable biscuits.

Homemade Food for Romance

Foods that'll Get You in the Mood For Love this Valentines Day - breaking eggs

“When it comes to Valentine’s Day, a little thought goes a long way,” says John Hearn from food experts Tapenade. “Think about your partner and what he or she likes. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, but making it more personal is sure to earn you lots of brownie points!”

“Why not take to the kitchen yourself and cook up a feast? It will offer a more relaxed atmosphere and is likely to work out more cost effective than going out to a restaurant. You could recreate the very first meal you cooked for your partner. It will bring back memories for the both of you and hopefully take you back to the first flush of romance.”

So really, there are no set rules. To get in the mood for love, take note of the foods[3] suggested by our experts but remember to relax – and if you end up cooking your boyfriend’s favourite dish in your own kitchen then that’s fine.

The important thing is that you enjoy your evening together. And who knows – you could end up using one of these super-romantic foods in your wedding breakfast!


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]


  1. ^ Valentine’s (
  2. ^ sexual (
  3. ^ foods (
  4. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (
  5. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account. (
  6. ^ here (

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 (

10 Tips for Keeping fit Over the Festive Season

With all the mince pies, boxes of chocolate and pigs-in-blankets about, Christmas isn’t always so kind on our waistlines. So we’ve pulled together our 10 top tips for keeping fit over the festive season.

woman stretching in park 10 Tips for Keeping fit Over the Festive Season

Keeping fit Over the Festive Season

Keep Yourself in Check

It’s easy to indulge in a few extra mince pies during the festive season, so keeping yourself in check is essential if you don’t want any extra pounds making their way onto your waistline. An easy way of doing this is to buddy up with someone and make sure you are both on the same page. It’s really easy to feel like you are ‘missing out’ if you’re doing it alone, but you are more likely to stay focused if you are given the task of motivating someone else. Food diaries are the perfect way to keep track of calorie consumption as well.

keeping-fit-festive-Measureing waistline

Set Yourself Goals

If you set yourself a goal, for example, still being able to fit into your favourite LBD by the end of the festive season (without the aid of a whalebone corset) you will be more likely to reign yourself in. Try it on once a week to see how you’re going. This is far better than weighing yourself as your actual mass has very little to do with what shape you’re in. Also, signing up for a half marathon or 5 mile Race for Life taking place in the New Year is another way to keep on your toes.

Don’t Treat Yourself to Food

Make sure a piece of crackling or an extra mince pie isn’t something that you allow yourself as a reward for ‘good eating’. The most important thing is that you don’t associate the reward with food. If you manage to stick to your goals, treat yourself to a blow dry or new lipstick instead.

roasted colourful root vegetables wedding dress plan

Walk it off

This time of year is notorious for lovely long meals with many courses and a glass or two of wine or bubbles. If after every one of these you take yourself off for a brisk 30-40 minute walk, you’ll aid the digestive process and stop yourself from wanting a snooze. Also, after a big meal, your blood will concentrate on your digestive area which can make you feel sleepy. By keeping it pumping around your body, you will speed up the metabolic process.

Short and Sharp

While there is probably a long list of things that you would rather be doing, make sure you set aside 15 minutes twice a day to do short, sharp bursts of exercise. Studies show that the intensity of your workout is far more important than the time spent doing it. There are also numerous apps that will give you a workout in 15 minutes or less.

keeping-fit-festive-SP colour trainers

Get it Over With

The lack of sunlight at this time of the year can be very demotivating, but don’t wait until the afternoon to get your workout in. If you have a house full of extended family, try to get up a little earlier and pop to the gym before they rise. Not allowing your routine to be knocked off kilter is something you need to be disciplined about.

Cook it Yourself

One easy way to keep your nutritional intake in line is to make everything for yourself.[1] While this might be a very labour intensive thing to do, the reward is far greater.

Festive Family Exercise

Pop your ice skates on and get moving. You’ll get an excellent workout without feeling like you’re over-exerting yourself. Your legs and core will thank you later.

keeping-fit-festive-Stretching SP

Eat What You Want

If you are not willing to give up on all the treats that come at this time of year, there are two things you need to know to keep on top of your wedding-ready body. Firstly, don’t go overboard. Keep your portions small and discipline yourself to only allow the bare minimum in order to get your kicks. There’s no need to have four roast potatoes when just one will do the trick of satisfying you.

Secondly, you will need to work harder in the gym to counterbalance the massive increase of calories you are taking in. It’s simple maths; if you eat more than you burn, it will be stored as fat.

Try a Winter Sport

Finally, this is a great one for those that like to keep active no matter what the season. Winter sports are often very sociable and are great for your core. A six-hour day of skiing can burn up to 3,000 calories.

7 Signs he’s About to Propose

Chances are if you’re looking at this website you’re hoping your partner is about to propose. If you’ve got a hunch he may pop the question, here are a few of the subtle signs to look out for.

just married couple signs he's about to propose

7 Signs He’s About To Propose To You

Talking point

Firstly, when you usually bring up the subject of marriage, he either changes the subject or his eyes glaze over. However, you may have noticed he’s more engaged recently. In fact, nowadays he actually turns off the PlayStation to talk in more depth about it and what you’re interested in.

Saving £££s

Has he suddenly got all enthusiastic about saving money and tightening his belt? This is particularly sketchy if he’s never really taken an interest in budgets and spreadsheets before.

Missing jewellery

So your favourite rings seem to have gone missing for a few days, but then mysteriously reappears in the same place. Suspicious? We think so.

BFFs with your dad

All of a sudden he has become best friends with your dad. Have you noticed a sudden increase of golf weekends and pints at the local? Manicure time.

Acting out of character

Does your partner seem quite nervous or shifty lately? Is he more stressed than usual? We recommend you book in for that manicure. He could be getting nervous about dropping down on one knee.

Newfound jewellery expert

Has he become more interested in your jewellery collection? Has he asked about your favourite ring? Flippantly asked what size it is? We don’t need to spell this out for you.

7 Signs He's About To Propose To You…

Exciting phone calls

Finally, are your family paying a closer interest in you? More frequent phone calls from your over-excited mum? Maybe she knows something you don’t…

Whilst the signs may be there, we wouldn’t recommend you get your hopes set on it. If he’s booked dinner somewhere nice, manage your expectations, he will no doubt want to surprise you. Plus, the surprise is the best bit, you don’t want to ruin it for yourself.


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]


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

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.


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.


  1. ^ Wedding Flowers (
  2. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (
  3. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account (