• WEDDING PLANNING: Choosing and finding the best value wine for your wedding

    Choosing wines for your wedding can be a daunting experience, but it need not be. Today we have a specialist advice from a professional wine specialist Janina Doyle.

    Image by Eva Photography

    WHAT TO CHOOSE

    Firstly the wine world doesn’t want to tell you this, but most wines can and do actually pair well with most foods! Yes, there are the perfect pairings out there but when it comes to pleasing Grandma who still loves her Liebfraumilch, a family of sweet, German wines that were VERY popular in the 1980s, and again, your pal, Jack, who goes on about his cellar collection of 1982 Bordeaux, the rules for picking your wedding wines are: Keep things simple.

    TOP TIP NO1

    Do not pick your red or white wines with much oak – Oak flavors in wine can be very polarizing for people’s palates, as well as being generally a richer, more intense wine which can overpower some foods.

    TOP TIP NO2

    :Pick soft, juicy red wines and vibrant, fresh white wines. These are generally inoffensive and easy sippers for all. 

    Image by Eva Photography
  • 5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD GET MARRIED IN ICELAND

    Did you know Iceland is one of the hottest wedding spots? With its wild landscapes it makes a beautiful backdrop to saying “I do”. Here we have a list of reasons why you should consider it for your wedding coming from an Icelandic celebrant Sigurdur Runarsson.

    1. Countless beautiful nature spots

    Whether you want to get married in an event hall, by a waterfall, or even in an ice cave, Iceland has what you are looking for. Iceland is the home to hundreds and thousands of nature spots, dramatic landscapes and beautiful scenery, many of them that are very private and secluded, perfect for a destination wedding.

    2. It’s the perfect place to escape the stress

    With all the beautiful landscapes and breath-taking scenery, Iceland is the perfect location to escape your routine and get away from all that stress. In Iceland you can celebrate your love, just the two of you, in a secluded place somewhere and just focus on yourselves for a bit.

  • WEDDING PLANNING: HOW MUCH SHOULD YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY COST?

    Budgeting and choosing your suppliers can be very daunting, so if you have no idea how much money to plan for your photographer here’s Rowan to the rescue! She sheds some light on why photography costs what it costs and gives you her tips.

    You’re engaged! Firstly congratulations, you are about to embark on a great journey towards becoming married, and I bet I know where you are right now – PLANNING. One of the best things you can do in this early stage is to research how much a wedding costs. Which is why I’ve written this blog post! I want you to fully understand how much wedding photography costs, so you can get fully prepared to seek out the best wedding photographer for you and your budget.

    I’m going to start with some bad news – but don’t worry – good news follows! The real answer is – there’s no answer to how much should your wedding photography cost. It’s all about what you want from your wedding photos. So how do you figure this out?

    How to budget for wedding photography

    When budgeting for your wedding photography the first thing to think about is what you need from your photographer. Below is a list of the minimum things you should look for when researching:

    • A portfolio of consistent work that you really, really love
    • Insurance for public liability and professional indemnity (at least)
    • Professional standard equipment, with spares in case of failure
    • A clear process to understand your wedding and what you want from your wedding photos
    • Clear and understandable pricing that shows you exactly what you get for your money and if there are any extras to pay. You should instantly understand the number of hours the photographer will be at your wedding and what you get in terms of high resolution jpg pictures from the wedding.
    • Also think about the after-wedding goodies. You will need to know if you can download the digital files (preferably as high resolution jpgs), if you get a memory stick or disc with the images on, and if there are any prints or albums included in the price.
  • WEDDING PLANNING: WHAT WEDDING STATIONERY DO I NEED?

    Oh do I have a treat for you today?!?!?! Lovely Carly of With Bells On! wrote this amazing and comprehensive wedding stationery guide. You will find out everything – what do you need, what should it say and how to budget for it! Enjoy!

    Wedding stationery guide - picture of a wedding invitation

    Congratulations if you’re engaged! Nothing makes me happy the way a couple-all-jittery-about-getting-married does. It’s an exciting time, but as many fiancées will tell you, it feels like a lot to plan and you can easily get overwhelmed. Not only does it seem like there’s a million things to think about and organise, but of course you’re not going to be expert at getting married, so let me lend you a hand.

    First up, you don’t NEED anything. Your wedding day should reflect your relationship and what you love. Try not to feel pressured into tradition or what other people say. With that aside, I’ll tell you the basis of what each part of stationery in a suite is for. Then you can decide what you need!

    Save the Dates

    What are they?

    The name is on the tin with this one, but it still might be complex to navigate in terms of what to say and when to send it. Save the Dates are usually very simple. They say your names, the date of the wedding and usually the city (and country if it’s not where you live). They encourage your guests to clear their diaries and ensure they can come to your wedding. Here’s an example:

    SAVE THE DATE
    Karina & Antonia are getting married!
    11th April 2020
    in Seville, Spain
    Invitation to follow

    You can of course add simple details and use whichever formatting of numbers and wording you prefer.

    When should we send Save the Dates?

    My recommendation would be as soon as you’ve chosen the date, and potentially booked the venue. This will mean the foundations are in place. If there’s another element to your day you can’t live without, like a specific band you just need there, for example, then make sure you have that sorted too. The basic rule of thumb is, as soon as you can!

    What format should the Save the Dates be?

    Any format you like! The most basic is a text message or email, but my advice is that people see it as a more formal and important occasion when they receive post. A simple one-sided postcard would do the trick!

    When might we not need Save the Dates?

    If you’re newly engaged but you’re getting married very soon, say the next 6 months, you could probably skip straight to the invitations. Equally, if you plan only to invite someone to the evening, you may decide not to send them a Save the Date card.

    What budget should we have for Save the Dates?

    This depends on the quantities, time frame, complexity of design and finishes. The more you have and the more intricate the design – we’re talking bespoke watercolour illustrations, coloured foils, that sort of thing – the higher the price. However I would say that Save the Dates should take up 10 – 15% of your wedding stationery budget.

  • VENUES: GET MARRIED AT THE HISTORIC TOWER OF LONDON!

    Today we have a very special announcement for London couples about the Tower of London!

    Historic Royal Palaces has announced that the world-famous Tower of London – one of six venues cared for by the independent charity – is now licensed to host weddings and civil partnerships following sustained demand from both UK and international couples to get married at the popular World Heritage Site. 

    For the first time in history, couples can say their ‘I dos’ against the timeless backdrop of one of the UK’s most revered landmarks. With 3 different spaces licensed to host ceremonies, weddings of all sizes are welcomed, whether it’s an intimate ceremony for 12 guests in Martin Tower or an all-out showstopper for 150 in the versatile New Armouries. The Tower’s Medieval Palace, a beautiful ancient space offering unbeatable views of London’s riverside cityscape, is perfect for mid-size ceremonies of up to 40 guests. 

  • WEDDING TRENDS 2020/2021

    It’s been a while since we wrote about wedding trends and I think it’s a great moment to take a look at what is in right now. The wonderful wedding planner and stylist Valentina of The Stars Inside who’s got an impeccable taste and gorgeous style dives deep into wedding trends that emerge in the industry this season. Pictures are form a shoot that was styled by Valentina and beautifully photographed by Maja Tsolo.

    Bride holding tan shoes - Wedding Trends analysis by The Stars Inside
    Dried wedding flowers on a chair - Wedding Trends analysis by The Stars Inside

    Hello friends! Thank you for taking the time to join me for this blog post – today I want to talk about wedding trends, including what I’m seeing for this new decade and advice on how to embrace (or let go of) trends in a mindful way.

    I always encourage my couples to start from a blank canvas – and to use their own personal passions, quirks, and experiences as the palette to bring their own design concept to life. I send them a questionnaire that helps me to get to know their style and their vibe, and which also encourages them to think about ways to make their celebrations luxurious in a way that is meaningful and unique to them. I’m all for surrounding ourselves with beauty, all day, every day – but I also believe in doing it with intention, and bringing together spaces and people with thoughtfulness. 

    Bride in a veil - Wedding Trends analysis by The Stars Inside
    Bride holding fried flowers - Wedding Trends analysis by The Stars Inside

    So where do trends fit within that framework? For me, trends can be helpful inasmuch as they give couples a vocabulary for describing the things they love, and inspire them to think of new, creative ways to express themselves. I love the way ideas from fashion, interior decor, and art echo through wedding design, and it’s awesome to see those movements get reinvented by couples with big imaginations and an epic vision.

    On the other hand, wedding trends can sometimes feel a bit restrictive for couples that feel like their own visual identity isn’t “in” or “trendy”. I never want brides or grooms to think they need to fit within the boxes of what’s currently on Pinterest or on social media, or that the ideas they are so lovingly excited about might be wrong or outdated. That’s why I never like to talk about wedding trends that are “in” or “out” – it doesn’t feel right, to me, to pass judgement on what couples do or don’t want for their celebration.

    Ultimately, it’s all about telling their story in the way that feels most personal, unique, and meaningful to them, and I will always champion their right to do that whether their aesthetic is in fashion or not. I am here to help them elevate, modernise, and embrace whatever it is that they resonate with, and make it authentic to them – I want them to feel like their wedding venue was made for them, and I want the styling to make their guests walk away at the end of the night feeling like they know and love the couple even more deeply than they already did. 

    OK! So with those caveats in place, let’s talk about what I’m excited to see more couples exploring in this new decade. Here is a pick of my favourite things that have been lighting up the wedding world in a thoroughly modern way.

    Bride and a wedding cake - Wedding Trends analysis by The Stars Inside
  • COVID-19 WEDDING ADVICE FOR COUPLES

    weddings and covid-19 advice blog post banner

    Hello dear friends!
    We all might be totally sick of this topic, but I couldn’t just go on and post weddings and shoots without mentioning it. This pandemic changed our lives, and weddings might be just one part of it, but so important especially for couples that are in the process of planning their big day. And that is most of you visiting this blog.

    It also caused a total chaos in the industry, however also showed how amazing and united it is, and how much love and compassion is there. Wedding suppliers are all actively working to help couples and each other to make sure weddings go ahead when are allowed to again, and to minimise stress for their couples in the time of transition.

  • WEDDING PLANNING: HOW TO WRITE THE PERFECT SPEECH

    Today I have wise words for you from people who are specialists in words – Great Speech Writing, a website that helps people write amazing things for their loved ones’ wedding days.

    Picture of two brides listening to a speech at a wedding - Gay Wedding Blog
    Photo by Eva Photography

    So there is a downside to a marriage.  Someone has to stand-up and give a wedding speech!  And it’s no secret that public speaking brings on a whole raft of anxieties even when there isn’t a wedding to arrange.

    We receive so many calls from couples asking where to start.  Is there a template for a gay wedding speech?  Who speaks and what do they say.

    Fortunately, the answer could not be simpler. There are no rules.  No obligations.  No century-old traditions.  We have crafted hundreds of wedding speeches and all that matters is that they are warm, relevant and sprinkled with love.

    That’s isn’t quite as easy as it sounds, and it requires time, patience, and skill. While no two speeches are the same, and each begins with a blank page, every single one will follow these fundamental principles.

    Black and white picture of two brides giving a speech at a wedding - Gay Wedding Blog
    Photo by The Dignums
  • Wedding planning: How to make a wedding website

    Hello, hope you’re enjoying your long weekend! Today we are talking about wedding websites. Even if it might seem like unnecessary work, wedding website can be a great resource for your guests and wonderful place to celebrate your big day. Today our friends at Hatton & Co share tips on the wedding website content.

    What should you put on your wedding website?

    Wedding websites are one of those trends that have been around for a while and most likely not going anywhere! A wedding website gives brides and grooms an easy way to communicate with the entirety of their guest list without having to call each one and talk to them individually. It saves time and the best part is it looks fantastic, so it’s bound to impress your guests. You’ll be able to keep each and every guest up-to-date and even feature a blog on there. But the big question is; what should you be putting on your website? There’s plenty of things you can include and here’s what we think you should know.

    Gay wedding blog - wedding website

    The location

    Having the location of the big day on your website is a great idea. You can even embed a map on there to show your guest what the surrounding areas look like. They’ll be able to let you know whether or not they’ll be able to get there on the day. Doing this means that they can attach the location to the calendar, so they don’t have to worry about finding the venue and panic in the morning.

    Where to stay

    Using a section telling people where they can book a room overnight is a nice little addition to the website. It’s a little convenience that shows your guest that you do actually care about them. If you haven’t booked everyone into a hotel or the venue already then this is a great idea. Doing the research for it won’t take long at all and if you call ahead and ask the surrounding hotels about possible discounts for the wedding party, they may have something for you. Letting the hotels know that with a discount, they’re guaranteed to have your guest list stay at the hotel, they’re more likely to offer the discount. It’s rare that a hotel will turn down a guaranteed guest list.

    The wedding day schedule

    Having the wedding schedule available on your wedding website will mean that you won’t have to pay the cost of printing it and sending it off to every single guest. What’s more, the fact that more or less everyone has a phone in their pocket, they’ll be able to simply go to your site and find the document instead of having to keep track of a piece of paper because let’s face it, someone will lose it.

    Contact info

    Putting your contact information on your wedding website will mean that even those that don’t have all your details. You’ll be able to direct your guests to your preferred method of contact if they have any questions. Creating an email address for your wedding will also mean that you can give these details to your vendors and organisers so that you don’t have to search through your personal emails to find them. You’re less likely to miss updates and emails from everyone.

  • Wedding planning: How to plan a dog friendly wedding

    Would you like your fur baby to be in your wedding? It’s absolutely doable! And Nina from Occasion Queens has some great advice how to do it!

    More and more, we’re seeing modern couples incorporating elements of their personalities, loves, and quirks into their wedding – and thankfully, their pets are no exception! Which is good, because we absolutely LOVE dogs at weddings.

    In particular, dogs are now welcome at an increasing number of venues’ ceremony and reception spaces (especially if you’re looking at marquees and barns), and doggy care businesses are starting to offer wedding-specific services to allow your four-legged VIPs to join the rest of the family at the wedding, but also be safe and looked after (have a look at the lovely wedding package offered by Barking Mad for example). This kind of chaperone service means the dog won’t be left unattended, and will get the right amount of rest, attention, and exercise, all the while giving you the peace of mind that a qualified professional is dedicating full attention to their wellbeing during the celebrations.

    There are definitely a few things to consider when planning a canine-friendly wedding. Firstly, think about what you know about your little pup: how does he behave and feel in crowds of people and children, for example? If your dog is still a little fearful or not used to these types of situations, make sure you create some safe, familiar, quiet spaces for him to relax in, like a crate he knows with some toys, treats, or scents he’ll recognise. Also, how much does temperature and weather affect him? If your wedding is during a warm summer month, make sure you plan for some rest in the shade and away from hot pavements; similarly, in winter, think about options for keeping him dry and away from drafts.