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Thursday, 29 October 2015

10 tips to choosing your dream wedding dress



GETTING the right wedding dress is essential!

If you get your look right you will forever be remembered as a princess on your big day. However, if you get it wrong then you could end up being likened to a toilet dolly.

Buying my wedding dress was the easiest part of planning my wedding. I knew exactly what I wanted- it had to be simple, elegant but it had to have some serious bling on it, and that's exactly what I got.

I believe when you try on the dress that you will walk down the aisle in you just know it's meant to be. I tried on eight different gowns and each one was very pretty, but I didn't just want a 'very pretty' dress, I wanted one that was stunning.

I took my mum shopping with me and when I walked out of the dressing room wearing it she got very emotional and said: "You look like a princess." That was the exact reaction I was looking for.

My wedding dress was the very first item I bought as our wedding planning got into gear. I think if you get your dress ASAP then the rest of the wedding planning will slot into place. 

When buying a wedding dress there are 10 things you need to think about:

Set a budget:

As I mentioned before, when planning a wedding you really do have to set a budget and that includes working out how much you are willing to spend on a wedding dress. On the high street prices can range between £300-£3000. If you have loads of money and you are willing to spend £3000 then by all means go for it. I personally don't think you should spend any more than £2000 on a dress- I even think that is too much.

My gorgeous wedding dress was by the designer Mori Lee and it cost £650. It was simply beautiful and I couldn't believe it when the bridal shop owner told me the dress cost under £1000. When I set out shopping that day I knew I couldn't afford anything more than £1500, and I was over the moon when my gorgeous gown came under budget.

Research different designs:

There are so many different wedding dress designers out there that when I went online to have a look it all felt a bit overwhelming.

At one point I actually felt like crying because I was swamped with websites and designers I'd never heard of before because I'm not a fashionista.

So to save you the trouble here are a few of my favourite wedding dress designers you can Google to get an idea of the style of gown you want to wear on your big day.

Their prices range from £650- £4500:

Mori Lee
Victoria Jane
Ronald Joyce
Lou Lou
Donna Salado
Hayley Paige
Pronovias
Rosa Clara
Nicole Spose
Lusan Mandongus


Make several appointments

Different bridal salons specialise in different wedding dress designers so it's important to make appointments at several different shops to give you a taste of what is out there.

Go to a bridal store that is run on an appointment basis rather than you being allowed to just drop by. The reason being is that if you go to a shop that has you down as an appointment then they are more likely to take better care of your needs, and they won't rush you in order to see the next customer.

Usually appointment slots last 2 hours as it takes time to try on dresses and discuss with your wedding entourage what you all think.

Decide who will go with you:

When you are going to look at wedding dresses then it's important to take someone with you who will tell you the truth. Because let's face it, you don't want to look ridiculous on your big day so you need someone who has your best interests at heart.

That means if your sister or best friend can sometimes have a green-eyed monster consume them, then don't let them go with you.

You have to be able to trust someone's judgement, that's why I took my mum with me.

My mum says what she sees and is not backward in coming forward with her opinions. Sometimes what she says can sting a bit, so I knew she was the right person to come dress shopping with me as she always tells me the truth, whether I like it or not.

There is no way she would kiss my arse and tell me I look beautiful in every single dress I tried on, because I didn't.

Try different styles:

You may have it in your head that your body shape suits a particular style of dress. You may be completely right but please just allow yourself to go with the flow and try different cuts of dress on.

The bridal salon owner or the assistant are the experts, so take their advice on board and try on different looks as you may be in for a very pleasant surprise.

I originally wanted a halter neck dress- instead I opted for a beautiful Grecian style dress.

It wasn't the style I thought would be best for me, but I went with the expert's advice and in the end it was the best style for me.

Not is all it seems:

The wedding dress I wore on my big day was not the one I had picked out online. In fact, I had seen the dress I wore several times on various bridal websites but I ruled it out as it looked a bit plain in the pictures. However, when I saw it for real I was blown away by it.

When looking for a wedding dress it is really important to keep an open mind as many girls fantasise about a dress they have seen in a brochure or online but when they have come face-to-face with it they are left disappointed as it is not what it seemed in the pictures.

After speaking to a few bridal shop owners it seems this happens a lot. So when you are on the look out for a wedding dress please choose a few.

It's best to have at least a couple of ideas as to what you like, just in case one doesn't look right, or the style of dress doesn't suit your figure.

Buy a dress size that you are just now:

NEVER buy yourself a wedding dress in a size that is smaller than you are at that moment in the shop. In fact, some bridal shop owners will just refuse to sell you a dress a size less than your current frame.

All brides say they will lose weight for their big day. They will have a perfect size in mind, but sometimes it doesn't work out like that. I lost weight for my wedding but it wasn't as much as I had hoped. My dress still fit me perfectly as I got it in the size I was when I handed the money over.

You can always alter a dress and make it smaller, but you are screwed if you are bigger than your dress will allow.

Tiara or veil?

For many brides a veil symbolises a wedding and that is why they choose one. In picking out a wedding veil make sure that it will suit your wedding gown and the theme of your wedding. Traditional veils are very formal and usually measure around three and a half yards long. Veils nowadays come in various lengths. There is even a shoulder length flyaway type that is preferred by many modern brides.

For me though, I wanted to look like a princess and I love anything that sparkles so I just had to have a tiara. I got mine from a bridal store and it cost me £80, but you can get them online cheaper. Or you can ask one of your friends if you can use theirs- that could be your 'something borrowed'.

There are lots of different tiaras to choose from though, please make sure you get one which suits your dress, head size and the kind of hairstyle you are thinking about.

Get a good seamstress:

Once you have bought your dream wedding dress now it is time to find yourself a good seamstress to make your gown fit your body perfectly.

More often than not, the bridal salon where you get your dress will recommend someone, if not then get on Facebook and ask your friends for suggestions.

As soon as you have your dress then call the seamstress and book in your dress fitting appointments. It all depends on how much work is required on the dress as to how many times you will have to visit your seamstress.

My dress was fairly simple so I only had to see her twice before I picked up my completed dress.

However, be warned that the alteration of your dress will cost you a few hundred pounds. My dress cost £300 to alter which I was quite shocked about as I hadn't budgeted for that cost.

Be patient!

At one point I got really disheartened when I left the seamstress as my gown was all pinned and it just didn't look right on me.

You just have to be patient as they are the experts in wedding dress fitting. However, when I went back for the final fitting appointment I was over the moon as my dress fitted me perfectly and it was just what I had imagined.

It is just the same when you go to view a house you are wanting to buy and the d├ęcor is awful- you just have to imagine how it will look once you decorate it the way you want, and what it will look like when you have your furniture in it.

You really have to trust your seamstress as it will all come together and your dress will look amazing.





Tuesday, 27 October 2015

My Wedding Planning Book is Finally Here!



Get your wedding budget right and face a debt free married life
How to choose your perfect wedding dress
Should you get married home or abroad?
Time to choose your wedding theme and colour scheme
How to choose your wedding venue
10 Ways to save money on your wedding food and drink
Have your cake and eat it
Flowers to make your wedding blooming marvellous!
How to choose your wedding transport
How to choose your wedding photographer
DJ or Wedding band?
Beauty and the Bride
Essential wedding day accessories
Top 10 ideas for wedding favours
My wedding diet
My top 5 best wedding readings
How to write your wedding vows
Top 20 songs for your wedding ceremony
Top 50 songs for your wedding reception playlist
Top 20 first dance song suggestions for your wedding
Top 20 Father and Daughter first dance song suggestions
Top 20 party songs to end your wedding with
Top 20 table name suggestions for your wedding
How to write your wedding speeches
10 tips to avoid becoming a Bridezilla
Make sure there is no CHEATING on your hen night 
Should you get a prenup?
What to do the week of your wedding
Ten ways to make sure you are relaxed on your wedding day
Sex on your wedding night
How to Get Rid of Post Wedding Blues
10 things to do after your wedding
Husband and wife- Take each married day as it comes
Check out my entire ceremony!
Top 15 websites and apps to help your wedding planning

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Top 15 websites and apps for wedding planning



We now live in a digital age and thankfully there are lots of great websites and apps that can help with the wedding planning.

Here are a few of my favourites that helped reduce my stress levels:

Wedding Planning App

When we were keeping tabs on all the things we had booked and how much we had already paid we just used an Excel spreadsheet to keep things simple. However, there are lots of cool app you can download on your phone to keep you right. Just type in 'wedding planning' into your App store and choose one, I liked one called 'iWedPlanner' as it was really good to use as it had everything you needed to think about for your big day.

Weddingquotes2u.co.uk

As I've mentioned a few times in this book, planning a wedding can cost a fortune. To help save some pennies we used www.weddingquotes2u.co.uk to get some prices from various vendors. The site allows you to compare prices with wedding professionals up and down the country- they offer everything from car hire, photography, flowers, music to hair and beauty. It's a one stop shop.

photographers4me.co.uk

This website is how we found our amazing photographer for our wedding for just £350. You log on and pop in when your big day will take place and where it will be held then you put in a total cost of what you are willing to pay. However, it's then up to photographers to bid for your business and you will receive emails with quotes as they all try to outbid each other. 

Facebook

We used Facebook from the moment we started planning our big day. It was just brilliant for keeping in touch with most of our guests.
We set up a page for the wedding countdown then we set up a further two pages to help organise the stag and hen nights.
We then updated them regularly with our journey to becoming man and wife as well as informed our guests with all the vital arrangements.

Wedding Websites

To keep your guests all up to date with your journey many couples set up their own wedding websites. There are lots of sites online which you can just join and choose a template which will allow you to post what you want and for your guests to check out. Most will offer a basic free service (which is all you need) but many will offer you an upgraded package for a one off fee. Popular ones include www.gettingmarried.co.uk and www.appycouple.com where you not only customise your own website but you also create your very own app. Prices start from $35.

Amazon

We use Amazon all the time and it really came in handy for some of our wedding planning. We hopped on and bought all our candy buffet equipment as well as things like table diamonds and other accessories.

Amazon is also great if you want to set up a wedding gift wish list. You can pop all the things you would like to receive from your guests and then you can post the link on your wedding Facebook page for them to have a look at.

Hobbycraft

We used hobbycraft.co.uk to buy little things for the wedding such as our party poppers and bubbles. However, the store has quite an extensive range of wedding accessories to help you plan your big day. If you don't want to just order online you can also visit one of their many stores dotted across the country.

Evernote

During the last month in the run up to the wedding we used the Evernote app on our phones virtually every day. My husband and I shared documents and our to-do list and each time one of us completed a wedding task then we ticked it off the list.
I think this app is really handy when you are constantly on the go and you want to keep track of things.

Skype

My husband's family live in America so communicating with them via Skype is essential and when we were in the midst of planning our big day it was great to keep them included via video link.

It's also a great tool for on your wedding day and you have guests who can't make it. You can hook up to them via Skype and let them join in part of the festivities, especially if they live on the other side of the world.

Pinterest

This is a great website for gathering ideas for your wedding. You can collect anything from wedding dress designs, colour schemes, stationery templates and hair and beauty ideas. It's a great way to collect all your creative ideas all in the once place for you and your other half to consider for your big day.

Myfitnesspal

Booth my husband and myself wanted to lose a bit of weight for our wedding as we wanted to look and feel great on our big day. The myfitnesspal app came in really handy as we could keep track of our calories as well as how much we were exercising by using the app. You can also put all your measurements and weight into the app and when you tell it how much weight you want to lose it will then tell you how many calories a day you should be eating.

Wedding Accessories

I found a great website for glitzy wedding accessories called www.crystalbridalaccessories.co.uk It's where I got my necklace and earring set which cost me less than £60 and the jewellery was just beautiful. The online store has designs to suit all tastes and budgets. They also do other accessories such as tiaras, shoes and bridal handbags. Well worth the visit. 

Stationery

We initially got our wedding invitations made by a woman we met at a wedding fayre. However, at a very late stage we discovered we hadn't invited certain people so we decided just to order more invitations online from a store called www.brideandgroomdirect.co.uk They have a huge selection of beautiful wedding stationary in all different shapes, sizes and colours that will meet any budget. We also bought our thank you cards from that website as well as our wedding guest book we passed around our reception.

Booking.com

When it came to organising accommodation for all our guests this website was invaluable. All you do it pop the location where you want to stay and the date you want to go and it will search all the available hotels and Bed and Breakfasts for you. We popped the link on our wedding Facebook page and we let guests book where they wanted to stay the night.

Wedding countdown app


There are lots of wedding countdown apps you can download for your phone. They are a great wee accessory as all you do it pop in the date when you are getting married and they it automatically starts counting down to your big day. When I reached various milestones I used to post a screen grab and post it on my social media accounts. Now that I am married my counter is counting down to our first wedding anniversary.

Coming Soon...


Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Forget sex, the secret to a great relationship is COMMUNICATION


A new relationship survey that has just been released has some surprising findings.


 Read the FULL story here.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

COMING SOON- My Debut book


Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Kate Moss doesn't have a pre-nup- Should you??



The supermodel's marriage is apparently on the rocks and she hasn't got a pre-nup, despite her huge fortune.

Prenuptial agreements were once only something the rich and famous would have but now that's all changed.

Should you have one? 

Check out my article to find out by clicking HERE

Friday, 24 July 2015

One in five Scots have given up on finding love

One in five Scots have given up on finding love – a greater percentage than any other UK region.

New research from relationship site eHarmony.co.uk reveals that one million Scottish adults don’t think they’ll ever fall in love with somebody.

Of the 1.6 million Scottish adults that are currently single, more than a third think they won’t find love. While nearly a tenth of these have been single for less than a year and nearly half have been single for more than a decade.

For singles in particular, bad dates are a serious issue.

Close to one third of Scots have had some kind of negative dating experience – among the most common factors are not liking the same things as their dates, their dates only talking about themselves or even having inappropriate images sent to them.

Psychologist Dr. Linda Papadopoulos said: "To some extent saying that you've 'given up on love' is a self defense mechanism, lowering your own expectations so you won't be disappointed if it never happens.

"It doesn't mean you aren't hopeful or even actively looking for a partner. However people need to be aware of self-fulfilling prophecies where our negative expectations stop us even looking for love, because the reality is that you're much more likely to make a meaningful connection if you believe in the possibility of it happening."

Most Scots have given up on love because they don’t feel they are attractive, people don’t seem interested in them or they find it hard to trust people.

Jemima Wade, spokesperson for eHarmony.co.uk, added: "People get in touch with us every day to tell us about about their newly found love stories. 

"They’re all different ages and from up and down the UK, and many confess that they’d given up on finding someone who really gets them.

That's how we know compatibility matching works, which is why eHarmony partners people on their beliefs, values and characteristics – the stuff that counts! It means better matches that you instantly click with, and will stand the test of time."

However, despite thinking they would never find anyone, one in eight who had previously given up on love actually went on to meet someone, predominately through friends, at work, or via online dating.