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What To Say On Your Wedding Invitations

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What To Say On Your Wedding Invitations

So you’ve done the bulk of the organising, and you’re feeling pretty pleased with yourself…until it comes to writing the wedding invitations. Where on earth do you start? What wording do you need and what information needs to be included with the invitation?

Luckily, we’ve got you covered. In this post, we run through what you should write on your invitations, particularly if your parents are separated, and how to write formal and informal invitations.

What to write on a wedding invitation

What you will be writing on your wedding invitations depends on the kind of wedding you’re having and whether your parents are still together.

Below, we’ve written out the most traditional way you can write your invitations if you’re getting married in a church or having a formal ceremony:

“Dear…

Mr & Mrs [Surname of Brides parents] request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their Daughter, [Bride’s full name] to [Groom’s full name] on [Date] at [Venue]”

This is when it gets a little more complicated. Some people like to include the name of the parents that are putting money into the wedding. Therefore, there’s no reason that you can’t write it as:

“Dear…

Mr & Mrs [Surname of Brides parents] and Mr & Mrs [Surname of Groom’s parents] request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their Son and Daughter, [Bride’s full name] to [Groom’s full name] on [Date] at [Venue]”

For gay weddings, it’s relatively easy to change the wording.

For separated parents, it can be trickier to word the invitation. I’d recommend going with:

“Dear…

[Father of the Bride’s name] and [Mother of the Bride’s name]  request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their Daughter…

If you’re hosting a more relaxed wording, you can play about with the wording until you’re happy. You could choose any of the below for your invites:

  • invite you to witness the love of…
  • would love you to join them for the marriage of…
  • invite you to celebrate with them the marriage of…

If you’d rather not mention your parents, and it’s you and your partner that wish to invite your guests, you can swap the parents’ names.

If you’re being traditional, then there is some set ideals to follow. However if you’re after a more informal invitation, don’t limit yourself! Just remember to put the date and the venue on there.

What to include on evening wedding invitations

For guests that are invited to the evening, you may need to word your invitations slightly differently.

On traditional invitations, instead of your parents asking guests to join them for the ‘marriage of their daughter’, this should read ‘evening reception’, specifying the time they should arrive to avoid any confusion. Otherwise, your guests may turn up to the daytime when they don’t have a seat or any food.

What information do you put in a wedding invitation?

There’s a lot of information that your guests might need about the day. Most couples choose to include extra details, such as where your guests can stay, a map pinpointing the venue, some local taxi companies and their telephone numbers, etc.

It’s a good idea to include an RSVP card that your guests can fill out and post back to you. You should include tick boxes in the design of the RSVP card for guests to tick Yes or No, and include a section where they can put any allergies or song requests. This is also a good place to mention a dress code, if you have one.

A map should be included along with directions showing your guests how to get from the church to the venue. If you aren’t getting married in a church, you should provide directions to the reception venue from multiple routes, as people may be approaching from various destinations.

Finally, you could put a list of hotels in the local area in with your invitation. This makes it easier for guests, as they won’t have to research local places themselves and they will likely trust your recommendations. It can be nice if some of your guests are staying together, too.

If you’d like some more ideas on what to include in your wedding invitations or would like to look at our designs, you can meet some stationary designers at any of our wedding shows. Alternatively, take a look at our recommended suppliers page!

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What To Take To a Wedding Dress Appointment

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What To Take To a Wedding Dress Appointment

You might not have thought about what to take to a wedding dress appointment. The only thing you need for your wedding dress appointment is you, right?

Wrong. There are actually lots of things you may need to bring to your wedding dress appointment, whether you’ve bought the dress and it’s your first fitting, or you’re just starting out to find ‘the one’.

We’ve used our experience and expertise to bring you this post all about what to take to a wedding dress appointment.

Underwear

This is one of the most important items you need to bring to your appointment. If you wear the wrong underwear, it could result in the dress not fitting properly or looking all wrong.

If you haven’t yet picked a dress, you should take a selection of bras along to your appointment. Something padded, something non-padded and something strapless might be a good start.

If you’ve bought your dress and the appointment is a fitting, then think about the shape and style of the dress and which bra would look best with it. If your dress is strapless, avoid a standard bra. Instead, try a bandeau style one, or even take your bra off completely for the appointment. Most dresses have built-in padding and wires so you may find that you don’t need extra support at all. This would be extremely beneficial for any backless dresses.

We’d suggest avoiding padded bras. Choose a more natural looking T-shirt bra instead, with minimal padding and wires.

If you can, you should wear the underwear you’re donning on the day. This will result in the ultimate perfect fit, particularly if your dress requires alterations.

Whatever you do, don’t wear black knickers!

Shoes

If you haven’t found your bridal shoes yet, don’t panic. Take any pair of shoes to your appointment, as long as they’re similar in height to the ones you’re wearing on the day. You don’t want to be barefoot in your appointment and then have the dress too short in length when you put high heels on.

Hair Accessories

If you’re trying your veil on as well as your dress, it might be a good idea to take some hair accessories, such as clips or bobbles. You’ll be able to quickly put your hair up during the appointment to see what the veil and dress would look like with an up do.

If you’re undecided on a hair style, this is a good opportunity to try putting it up and wearing it down to see which look you prefer.

Your Entourage

You cannot go to your wedding dress fitting alone. Be sure to take your bridal entourage. This could be your mum, your mother-in-law, your friends, a grandparent, a sister, whoever you want.

In this scenario, less is more. You should choose people who will be honest without being brutal, particularly if you’re trying to decide on alterations and various dress styles. If everyone disagrees, you’ll begin to get confused and frustrated.

You should also try to remember to bring the same people to every appointment. They’ll be able to see the whole progression from when you first got the dress to the finished look with completed alterations.

An Open Mind

If you haven’t yet found the dress, your first appointment can be daunting. The best advice we can give is to try on lots of very different styles but no more than 5 or 6 dresses in the first session.

Try on a number of styles in various colours and materials to narrow down your choices. You may have thought you wanted satin but you actually love lace. You might have considered a fishtail gown but now you want to go for a princess dress. Your ideas will change during your trying on sessions, so have an open mind and be prepared to come away with a style you might never have considered.

Trying on too many dresses can leave you feeling confused. We’d recommend trying on no more than 6 dresses in your first appointment. Take photos of each one so you can go home and review them all.

If you haven’t found your dress yet, and you’re after some inspiration, we always have bridal wear suppliers at our wedding fayres. See our current lineup here.

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How To Book a Church Wedding

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How To Book a Church Wedding

It can be baffling when it comes to finding venues for your wedding. You need to make sure that both the church and your chosen venue are available on your selected date and they need to be relatively near to each other so it’s easy for your guests to drive between them.

This is why I’m here to advise you on how to book a church wedding, including finding the church and how much it might cost.

How to find a church for your wedding

Unfortunately, you can’t just pick any church and get married there. There are certain rules and regulations that have to be followed.

Firstly, the church has to somehow be connected to you and your family. You qualify to automatically get married at a church if:

  • one of you has lived in the parish for at least six months
  • one of you was baptised at that church
  • either of you has attended regular church services for at least six months

OR

  • one of your parents has lived in the parish for at least six months
  • one of your parents has regularly attended church services
  • your parents or grandparents were married in the parish

This does give you quite a few options. If you’ve moved home to a different parish, you’re automatically eligible to get married at your new local church.

It also means that even if your parents got married 100 miles away in another church, you are also eligible to get married there.

And if there was a church you really wanted to get married at, but you don’t have any other connection to it, you could attend services once a month for at least six months to make you eligible.

What do you need to get married in a church?

Once you’ve found a church, there are some more regulations you need to follow. You’ll need to meet with the vicar and show them your passport as proof of nationality.

The vicar will also need to see your connection to the church. This could be a letter that has your address on it (if you live in the parish) or your parents’ marriage certificate as proof that they got married there. If you’re attending services for six months, you should sign a guest book every time you go so the vicar has proof that you attended.

Finally, the vicar will need you and your partner to partially fill in your wedding certificate. You’ll need to note your full name, address, date of birth, etc. The form will also ask for your father’s name and his profession. The part where you sign is left blank until the wedding day.

Remember! If you live in one parish and are getting married at a church in another parish, you need to meet both vicars.

As the wedding day gets nearer, you need to have your banns read out. These should be read out at least two or three months before your wedding day, and should be announced over three consecutive weeks. You should make sure that the church does this, as it’s your responsibility. If your banns aren’t read in time before the wedding, you may need to pay £200 for a Common licence in order to get married.

Your banns will need to be read out by both churches (if your parish one is different to where you’re getting married).

If you’re confused at any point, you should get in touch with your vicar as they’ll be able to help you through the whole process.

How much does a church wedding cost?

Church weddings can cost more than you might think.

The 2019 legal fee that you need to pay in order to get married at a church is £540. This is the basic fee and can go up if you want additional extras, including heating, a verger (who ensures the church is kept clean and tidy and can hand out Order of Services), an organist, bell ringers or the choir. If you want extra copies of your marriage certificate, then this will also cost more.

The bells usually cost around £100.

The choir usually costs around £100.

This means that your church wedding could cost over £1000 if you want all of the additional extras.

Things to think about before you book a church wedding

Double check with your vicar that you can take your church flowers to the reception venue after you’ve got married.

You should also check that there’s enough seating for all your guests, and that it’s accessible. You don’t want the bridesmaids to have their view blocked by a large column. Ask about disabled access.

You should ask to speak to the organist about the hymns you want. Some hymns have the same words but different tunes so liaise and make sure you both know which version you want.

Finally, you’ll need to speak to your vicar about the photographer and videographer to make sure they’re happy for them to take pictures – it’s respectful. The vicar will likely want to speak to both the photo- and videographer on the day of the wedding.

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5 Ways to Reduce Paper Waste at your Wedding

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5 Ways to Reduce Paper Waste at your Wedding

Even the smallest wedding can produce masses of waste. If you’re planning your big day or have one coming up, it’s easy to forget that a little extra care can dramatically cut down on the paper waste that masses of cards, collages, and decorations can create.

40% of the world’s industrial logging goes into making paper, and this is expected to reach 50% in the near future, so any efforts to reduce your paper waste will be helpful.

So, here are our five favourite tips on how to reduce your paper waste and stay green when you tie the knot.

Modernising Your Confetti

While rice is no longer recommended for your wedding celebrations, switching to confetti, streamers or bunting can quickly add up to produce a large amount of excess waste. If you’re looking to save a little money and avoid the damage that masses of mulch can cause, these can be easily substituted with biodegradable flower petals. You can easily source bags of flower petals online from a number of reliable suppliers at affordable rates.

These are biodegradable, don’t damage animals if they eat them, and look truly fantastic at all events – rain or shine. If you want to add an extra touch, sprinkling dried heather or rosewater through the petals will let your friends scatter you with petals that smell as good as they look.

Avoid using paper cones and set out a decorated box for guests to take a handful of confetti out of as they walk outside.

Make it a Theme

Being environmentally conscious and building it into your theme is a fantastic way to stand out and help ensure that your big day is as carbon neutral as possible. Now a massively growing trend, this can involve simple tricks like keeping a minimalist theme and asking for donations to charities instead of grandiose wedding gifts or arranging group travel for your guests.

Choosing a host that makes recycling a central part of their business is also a massive help and asking them to process old invites, menus, or table plans can help you stay green even after your big day is over.

Recycle and Freecycle

It may be shocking to find that the wedding industry is worth over £10bn per annum. Looking on websites like Gumtree or Freecycle can help you quickly pick up elements like decorations, paper lanterns, streamers or more.

This can also include more specialist items like unused table settings, template prints, or even reams of photo-paper that were simply never used. Just be sure to pay it forward when your big day is over and pass on what you have left to the next lucky couple.

Use Modern Technology

Of course, the best goal for any green wedding is to avoid using any paper at all. Wedding invitations, thank you cards, or gift lists can quickly result in a great deal of printing that could easily be avoided. Luckily, a number of online companies have sprung up to fill the gap – allowing guests to RSVP online and avoid having to print out or collate a single invite or save-the-date card.

If this is not an option for your budget, free sites like WordPress allow you to quickly set up a wedding website with minimal fuss and link it to your social media accounts, letting you share communications quickly and efficiently – streamlining communications and cutting down on paper use.

Use a Provider That is Environmentally Conscious

While it can be tempting to go ‘purely paperless’ the reality is often far from the truth. Some older relatives may struggle with using the internet and there is often no substitute for hand-designed service pamphlets, brochures, and printed photos, letting you keep mementos from your big day.

If you do choose to use a professional printing service, it’s often best to find a provider that puts sustainability at the core. This should involve you looking for companies that source their paper from environmentally responsible foresters, have a commitment to greenhouse gas reduction, and uses paper that can be easily recycled or uses a mix of re-purposed pulp with their product.

There are tons of ways you can do you bit for the environment for your big day, particularly ways to reduce paper waste. We hope we’ve given you a few ideas!

*Collaborative post

Header photo credit: Rachel Clarke Photography

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What questions should I ask a wedding venue?

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What questions should I ask a wedding venue?

Choosing the perfect wedding venue can be a complete minefield.

You want something that reflects your personality, can hold your number of guests, is in a suitable location AND has plenty of stunning locations for your wedding shots.

But before you decide on one, there are a number of questions to ask your wedding venue. We’ve used our knowledge and expertise in all things wedding to create this comprehensive list of questions you should be asking a wedding venue before booking.

Is it available on the date we want?

It’s best if you can be open with your choice of date. Some brides want to get married on a special date like Valentine’s Day or their anniversary. If this is the case, you may need to book your chosen venue in plenty of time to ensure you get the date you want.

Remember, if you’re getting married in a church, you need to check your chosen church can do the same date as your venue.

Don’t let the date be a big deciding factor. If you’ve fallen in love with a venue, it would be silly to not get married there because they don’t have the Saturday in June that you want. Some compromise may be needed.

Is it exclusive access to the wedding party?

Some venues that have multiple function rooms may allow other functions on the same day as your wedding. For some couples, this isn’t a big problem. However, others don’t want to share their venue and have strangers walking around amongst wedding guests.

If you want exclusive access, double check the venue can do this. It may come at an additional cost.

What is the minimum and maximum number of guests it can hold?

If you have a large family, you need to double check that your venue can fit all of your guests in. Some large venues also have a minimum number of guests, so make sure you can fill those seats, otherwise you may have to pay more.

Does the venue have an in-house wedding coordinator?

What are the parking facilities?

Can the guests leave their cars overnight?

What's the disabled access like?

If you have any elderly or disabled wedding guests, it would be worth checking:

  • that the venue has disabled parking
  • there are bedrooms available on a ground floor/if there’s a lift
  • that the toilets are located on a ground floor
  • that there isn’t lots of steps up to the venue

What time do we need to leave the next day?

How many bedrooms are there?

What packages are available?

Some venues only offer venue hire, some have their own packages that include anything from food to venue dressing to a cake, and more. If you’re a bride on a budget, this kind of all-inclusive package might be better for you. 

What's included with the venue?

Some venues will include table linen and crockery for you, however with other venues, you may need to hire these through the caterer. Just double check if they’re included. If not, you need to factor in the additional cost.

Does the venue have a wedding fayre so we can see it dressed up?

Some venues have their own wedding fayres. If you can, you should go along even if you haven’t booked the venue yet. Wedding fayres are the perfect time to see the venue full of people and dressed with table clothes, chair covers, and stunning flower displays. You can also meet potential suppliers.

Are we allowed fireworks in the evening?

Can taxis get to the venue to pick guests up?

Can our pet be involved in the ceremony?

Pets at weddings are a recent craze, but couples love to get their animals involved. We’ve seen dog ring bearers, owls flying down the aisle, and even llamas to entertain wedding guests.

If this is something that you desperately want, make sure your venue allows it. You may also want to check what the cost of damages could be for a dog weeing on a 200-year-old chair. Just in case.

What size are the tables? And how many chairs will fit around them?

Is there a sound limit or music cut off time?

How does the bar work?

Some venues will allow you to choose what alcohol you want to be available. If you’re gin lovers, you might want a selection of gins to be available to your guests. You could even create your own cocktails for the day.

You can also pay the bar in advance up to a certain amount. For example, you put £1,000 on the bar so that most drinks are automatically paid for. When this runs out, the guests will need to start paying for drinks themselves.

Can we supply our own alcohol. If yes, how much is corkage?

Where are the toilets and how many are there?

Can we get ready at the venue in the morning?

The morning of the wedding is such an exciting time. There’s lots of hustle and bustle with photographers popping in and out, hair and makeup artists set up and bridesmaids wandering round with glasses of champagne. You can make it even more special by staying at your chosen venue the night before. Some venues will offer a discount if you stay with them the night before the wedding and the night of.

A bonus is that the venue will do the cleaning up once you’re ready.

Where do gifts and cards go?

Do you have any recommended suppliers we can look at?

Is a deposit required and when is the final payment due?

Discussing money and budget is so important. A wedding venue will probably be one of the biggest costs and you need to make sure you can afford it. Discuss what the down payment is to secure the venue, and how the rest can be paid.

What's the cancellation policy?

Do we need to buy special wedding insurance (usually applicable to really old venues)?

Discussing money and budget is so important. A wedding venue will probably be one of the biggest costs and you need to make sure you can afford it. Discuss what the down payment is to secure the venue, and how the rest can be paid.

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Getting the Right Suit Fit for your Wedding

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Getting the Right Suit Fit for your Wedding

The bride will look her best on her wedding day. But what about the groom? Getting the right suit fit for the groom and his groomsmen is so important!

Your wedding photos will last a lifetime and so it’s likely that you’ll want everyone to look perfect in them. This doesn’t just mean the bride, but the groom as well.

You’ve got all the major things sorted like the perfect venue and the food choices. You’ve even got your dress sorted, but the men’s suits can be just as difficult.

Getting the right suit fit is so important, and there’ll be a few decisions that need to be made when it comes to the men’s outfits. Do they want tails or morning suit? Do they want cravats or a normal tie? The options are almost mind boggling.

Fashion brand Chums have created a fun video where they’ve given Jeremy Clarkson a makeover, taking an ill-fitting suit and making it fit perfectly! This gave us some inspiration for this post where we wanted to discuss the types of suits you can go for and how you know it fits correctly.

Getting the Right Fit

According to Chums, a large triangle of shirt that’s visible beneath the button when done up means your jacket is too big. A button with wrinkles around it means it’s too small. Your tie shouldn’t be too wide or too skinny, and your trousers shouldn’t be too long or they’ll wrinkle around the ankles. Let’s break some of these points down a little bit.

Jacket

Your jacket should end in line with your knuckles when your hands are by your side. This is how you’ll know it isn’t too long or too short. Your shoulder pads should end with your shoulders (this is pretty common sense) and the top button shouldn’t fall below your navel.

The perfect sleeve length can be hard to judge. The sleeve should end where your thumb meets your wrist. A tiny bit of your shirt (just a quarter of an inch or so) should be visible below the cuff line.

Trousers

Your suit trousers should sit on your hipbone, if not slightly higher. They should never be worn as low as jeans as your trousers will just look saggy.

To ensure they fit properly on your legs, you should be able to pinch an inch of fabric either side of your thigh. Any more than this and your trousers are too big.

The ‘break’ in the leg determines the length of your trousers. A slight break is ideal for most men.

Waistcoat and Other Accessories

A good-fitting waistcoat is imperative but you can’t go far wrong with it. Just make sure the buttons aren’t too tight at the front (this can usually be adjusted at the back) and that the arms don’t dig into your armpits, as this will be uncomfortable.

Cravats are still very popular for those looking at traditional wedding suits, but ties are equally popular. It’s up to you which one you choose, just make sure a tie isn’t too wide or too skinny.

Tailored Fit vs. Slim Fit vs. Regular

Moss Bros have got a really good guide on how to get the right suit fit. They explain the difference between tailored fit, skinny fit, regular fit, and slim fit, but we thought we’d break down some of those here too.

A tailored-fit suit has well-defined shoulders with a tapered waist. The arms and legs are also slightly tapered, but aren’t as narrow as you’d find in a slim-fit suit.

Slim-fit is more close fitting around the shoulders and waist, with narrower arms and legs than a tailored fit. The trouser hem will graze the top of your shoe, resulting in a slight break and the jacket may be slightly shorter in length too.

Regular suits tend to have more give in the waist and a longer length jacket which makes them better for men over 6ft 2″. They’re also slightly wider on the shoulders.

Finding the perfect suit can be tough, especially when there’s multiple groomsmen to shop for. We hope this guide to getting the right suit fit can help you leading up to your big day!

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