Wedding bells and hearts and flowers
There probably isn’t a more romantic day of the year than 14 February for a wedding – which is one reason it gets booked up not just a year in advance, but many years in advance for the most popular venues. Here’s quick rundown of some of the best (and worst) ways to get married on Valentine’s Day
• Don’t go public unless you’re sure. In 2010 a New York ice hockey fan decided to propose to his girlfriend in the break between plays as his team left the ice at Madison Square Gardens. The in-ground cameras panned to Nick and his loved one, Melissa, who read the screen, stood up and walked out!
• Do allow yourself to be romantic. If you chose this day so your loving side could shine, don’t stint yourself. Whether it’s Cupid on your wedding cake or pink boas for your bridesmaids, let your own romantic nature shine through. Just remember not everybody wears their heart on their sleeve (or their tiara, or wherever) and your husband or wife to be might prefer to be more restrained. It’s their day too, so don’t force them to be as pink and fluffy as you are.
• Don’t overdo the red. It’s a great colour for a Valentine’s Day wedding, but too much can make your wedding look like a pillar box convention! Dashes and accents are the way to go – red shoes look fab, red ribbon on your cake will be wonderful and red wedding favours will cause everybody to sigh and smile, but too much of the romantic hue can leave everybody feeling overheated and overwhelmed.
• Do get modern. It can feel as if the pressure to have an old-fashioned lace and roses, top hat and tails wedding is unavoidable, but romance is ageless and modern wedding with short dresses, grooms in Paul Smith shirts etc are just as romantic so feel free to bring the old themes up to date and rock a really ‘today’ look.
• Don’t be surprised if somebody steals your thunder. There’s a pretty good chance that if you marry on Valentine’s Day, somebody will decide that it’s the perfect day for them to pop the question and announce their engagement at your reception. Be prepared to share the limelight!
It’s not just about putting your hand in your apparently bottomless pocket, especially as a growing number of brides choose to pay for their own big day. But the role of Father of the Bride, whether you’re her actual father or a person chosen to represent seniority and authority in the wedding process, still has real relevance and importance.
It’s not women’s work – your input is invaluable to every question from ‘is this the right place to hold the reception’ through to ‘what music shall we have for the formal dance’? And if you don’t participate in the decisions, you’ll have no right to complain if you’re not happy with how the day goes.
Don’t be driven to distraction – you will be a chauffeur, so you might as well enjoy it. At least one way (on most journeys) you’ll have some peace and quiet!
Be a boy scout – think about what people might want, whether it’s directions to a local DIY for batteries, the nearest chemist for painkillers or blister plasters or just the best local walks and cafes and put together a little map and directions. Your daughter will think you’re the wisest man on earth when you can answer all those questions in relation to her wedding locations!
If asked, walk your daughter down the aisle. Stand beside her in the receiving line if she has one, and make a short speech when the reception starts, thanking guests for coming and toasting the happy couple. Enjoy it!
Kanye and Kim … again
Is this romantic or creepy? A source close to Kanye West has told Hollywood Life that that he started to write his wedding vows the very day that he met his bride-to-be Kim Kardashian! He’s going to tell her that she’s single-handedly changed his life, which is pretty cool, but we’re not really sure about the vows thing.
Hiroyuki Yoshida and Sandra Smith got married in Thailand. It’s a popular destination wedding choice, but this couple chose to marry 130 metres below sea level, in an underwater cave.
The couple are both diving instructors but even so, had to train for six months to prepare for their deep water wedding. Their officiant, best man and bridesmaid were also cave divers and the rings were carried down by the best man on a safety cable, because if either was dropped, they would have been lost forever. Sandra wore a white dress and yes, the couple did manage a kiss – briefly removing their breathing apparatus to celebrate their wedding in the traditional fashion.
We’ve never heard of a bride asking how well her dress would stand up to total immersion, but for those who are watching the current wet weather in the UK and wondering what dress works best for such appallingly rainy circumstances, there are a couple of tips that can be taken from Hiroyuki and Sandra’s experience:
Keep the lines simple. A wedding dress that is reasonably form-fitting won’t get knocked out of shape by wind or pulled out of shape by heavy rain.
Line it or wear a petticoat. Most wedding dresses are designed to be opaque but there’s always a risk that moisture, whether humidity, a spilled drink or sudden rainstorms, could leave a bride showing more than she wanted to. Be utterly safe with a lined dress or a white or nude petticoat under your beautiful designer wedding gown.
How to be the best mother of the bride …
Renowned for being difficult to deal with, the mother of the bride is the victim of many jokes, but the solution is in your hands – don’t become the woman that everybody hates!
From the day it’s announced, start saving for your daughter’s wedding. Of course there’s a budget, but something, somewhere, will cost more than planned. If you’ve managed to put away a little extra you can be fairy godmother as well as mother of the bride and if that little pot of gold isn’t needed for the wedding itself, buy something super-special for the new couple’s new life together and give it to them when all the fuss has died down – you’ll remind them (and yourself) of what a great wedding they had.
Accept what your daughter wants. You might think her boho wedding is going to be something she looks back on and wishes she’d done differently, but the best thing that you can say is ‘I want you to be happy and I’m just glad to be involved’. Even if she does regret some choices, she’ll never admit it to the one person who told her she would!
Be there for her. So many brides and their mothers live very separately these days, but technology can allow you to be right there, looking at dresses with her over skype or commenting on reception venues through your mobile phone. If you haven’t mastered these gadgets yet, this is the time to do so!
Don’t get into the guest list. It’s up to her and her husband-to-be. Have no opinions, express no views and you’ll be the best mother of the bride ever. Even if they want to invite crazy aunt Beth or light-fingered cousin Prad, it won’t help if you’re the one who dishes the dirt. If you really think somebody is inappropriate, try and suggest a neutral party they can talk to who can tell them more about Beth and her voices or Prad’s uncanny ability to leave with more wallets than he arrived with.
This weekend we’re all about winter vintage. It’s a fact that many vintage weddings are scheduled for spring and summer because those are seasons that seem to lend themselves to vintage and rustic approaches. But what about winter vintage weddings? They might take a little more organisation but they are just as charming, relaxed and individual as their spring and summer cousins and so we’ve been compiling a list of what we love most about winter vintage…
Winter Vintage Wedding Themes
Venue. A village church and a village hall for the reception, or a village based hotel for both, or perhaps a register office service followed by a barn dance at a local barn. City farms have been used to great effect as reception venues for village weddings too.
Personal touches. One of the easiest themes to work with, if you can arrange to get married in a village! Aim to have a tour of the High Street, with some informal photos outside quaint buildings or rustic features for your album, hire a local bus to take to guests to the reception, or on a little sightseeing tour (great for giving bride and groom half an hour to themselves before they’re back into the throng of well-wishers) and see if you can get the bells rung at the church – if not, what about handbell ringers or morris dancers to see you on your way?
Décor. Jam jars, preserves, wildflowers and bunting. Consider typical village pursuits such a skittles, shove ha’penny and darts for your reception, and local beer, cheese and food specialities etc for your catering.
Wedding dress. Polka dots work well for village style vintage weddings as does lace. Mid-length dresses seem to work particularly well for village vintage brides, perhaps because they allow for that saunter through the streets that makes this kind of wedding such fun. It’s also a wedding theme that lends itself to bright colours, so if that’s your thing, maybe village vintage is for you?
Venue. Whatever works for your budget.
Personal touches. Okay, it’s not the most appealing initial idea – who wants a thrifty wedding? But with good planning, a vintage thrift wedding can easily be one of the most inclusive and fun celebrations of a new partnership. There are a couple of ways to play it: coupon weddings are where guests get a book of coupons that they can redeem (a free drink, a dance with the bride or groom, their reception food, a photograph dressed in WWII costume for the wedding album) and then they can ‘buy on the black market’ for anything outside their ration book (extra drinks etc) which works well for couples on a tight budget as well as being fun for the guests. Old, new, borrowed, blue are vintage thrift weddings where the couple aim to borrow, make or repurpose as much of their wedding as possible and invite their guests to contribute by lending or making wedding contributions. These weddings often end up being much more luxurious than expected, because of the hidden talents, resourcefulness and generosity of the people involved.
Décor. DIY so find out who is good at art, cooking, hairdressing, who’s a musician, a secret comedian or magician and get them to contribute their skills to your big day, whether it’s making table decorations, calligraphy for the invitations or a stand-up set at the reception.
Wedding dress. Try to borrow or make your own dress. If not, ensure it’s a style that you can repurpose, perhaps by dying it, to be something you wear at least a couple of times a year. Many brides find there’s a vintage dress in the attic of a relative or friend that will fit them, and that’s the starting point for defining the vintage era in which they will set their wedding.
Let it snow …
Venue. The venue needs to be chosen with care, as it has to look suitably wintry inside, even if it’s mild and sunny outside.
Personal touches. Mulled wine, carol singers, snow globes on the reception tables and a snowman piñata filled with white sugar mice and snowflake keyrings for each guest as wedding favours.
Décor. Branches sprayed white, hung with glass or plastic icicles. Christmas trees in pots. A roaring fire. Carry a lantern as well as your bouquet and ensure the venue of your wedding is filled with candles.
Wedding dress. For a wintry theme, consider that a bright wedding dress with a snowflake pattern is a stunning variation on a winter white wedding gown. Opt for a tiara to give yourself an icy gleam and choose fake fur trim for opulence as well as warmth.
Well, we were surprised too. So far, in all the agonising we’ve seen over wedding guest lists, we’ve never heard of anybody fretting that whether they should or shouldn’t invite their robot. But we’re learning differently. People apparently do invite robots to their weddings, they have robots as ushers, as guests and even as officiants!
We’re not sure where in the world you can be legally married by a robot but if you’re having a wedding celebration rather than a legal union, why not have a robot officiate? They certainly wouldn’t forget the names of the lucky couple or have a head-cold so they sounded like the Impressive Clergyman in The Princess Bride. They might fall over though, as in several videos we’ve seen rather wobbly robot performances.
Perhaps the best reason for a robot wedding attendance is that you can hire a robot and programme it to be activated remotely by guests who can’t attend the wedding in person, so they can dance with the bride, joke with the groom and even ‘drink’ a toast to the happy couple.
Disposable wedding gown?
It was suggested back in 2010, and so far, it hasn’t caught on. We can imagine a wedding of the future where resources will have run so low that wedding dress manufacture will be an absolute extravagance, but we think history gives a better idea of how brides will handle this, than melting wedding gowns.
Just as the brides of WWII got together to raise enough coupons to buy the fabric for a wedding dress that they wore in turn, we think future brides are more likely to form a bride consortium to invest in one amazing wedding dress they can adapt to their own weddings and bodies, rather than choosing a dress that’s ephemeral.
Glass wedding dresses
This amazing video, created in 1939, is well worth a watch – first for the great couture, second for the things they got right (‘yet another designer goes so far as to believe skirts will disappear entirely’ and he or she wasn’t far wrong! and those Madonna-esque boob cones) and finally for the wedding dress made of glass!
That idea really didn’t become a hit, although for those of you who have the time, Torcher Tailor’s hour long performance art/wedding dress creation out of hand-made glass is an absorbing and fascinating video – but we’re really not sure that we’d want to wear something so fragile (and dangerous) down the aisle.
Other futuristic wedding ideas that might be easier to incorporate are:
• A Back to the Future DeLorean as your wedding vehicle
• Inviting your guests to dress in one of two epochs, the year you (or your partner) were born or how they imagine people will be dressing when your silver wedding anniversary rolls round
• Future-themed reception with your servers wearing Tron and Star Wars costumes
• Robot cake topper if you’re not prepared to go all the way and have a robot officiant
• Space games on consoles on your reception tables for your guests to play
• Having a Darth Vader lookalike turn up to do the Best Man’s speech!
So, if you’re struggling for an original approach, and our futuristic ideas have given you some scintillating ideas, why not curl up with your favourite drink and enjoy seeing a wedding dress emerge from the fire!
Bouquet catching and groom backing
They do things differently in the USA. 33 couples got married simultaneously at the Grammy Awards. Queen Latifah was the officiant and Madonna was the wedding singer. And guess who caught one of the bouquets? Katy Perry! Currently dating John Meyer, she exhibited typical bride indecision at the event, managing to cram four different dresses into one evening, and two completely opposed hairstyles, a tousled hair-down look and an extremely sophisticated up-do. A sign of things to come?
Meanwhile, McFly’s Danny Jones, who is marrying Georgia Horsley this year, has chosen his three bandmates to be his ushers. Tom Fletcher, Harry Judd and Dougie Poynter will be escorting Danny down the aisle but he’s still being coy about whether one of the three, or all three, or somebody else together will be his best man. Those wedding plans will be fun to watch.
How to be the best … best man
The British are notoriously good at being amateurs; ‘duffers’ as Wooster and Jeeves so charmingly put it. But the one time to be a true pro is when you’re the best man. Here are our tips for carrying the day like a true Jeeves.
The planning starts a year ahead. Don’t think your job starts with organising the stag night, ensure you have holiday booked for the week of the wedding and find out what the key dates are in the run up (suit fittings, stag night, pre-wedding shoot etc) and get them in your diary.
Be clear about your role with the key players:
• Your job is to support the groom (your mate) so he can support the bride.
• The mother of the bride probably thinks she’s the power behind the wedding – at least act like you think she is!
• The father of the bride probably needs a bit of moral support and a chap to talk to, he’s often overlooked but much of the time he’s paying for the whole thing, literally and emotionally, because he’s got a daughter and a wife who are focused on the wedding.
• The chief bridesmaid or matron of honour is your female opposite number, coordinate planning with her, flirt by all means, but remember you are two chief executives of two rival companies planning a successful merger – your job is to make light work of the planning before the wedding – if you want to get romantic with any of the opposing team, save it until the big day is over.
• The photographer – has got such a hard job that anything you can do to make things easier will have a lasting effect on the memories of the day. Find out if there’s any way you can contribute to his or her work, and you’ll be doing the bride and groom a huge favour.
One of our readers asked us this question and it’s one that comes up in all the wedding magazines. The simple answer is, whatever you like!
Of course it’s a little more complicated than that. Some brides like white as marking a new life with a new partner. Other encore brides aren’t so keen – oyster, blush, ecru and café au lait are popular colours for the ‘white palette’ while older brides can look stunning in grey, a colour that works well for the sophisticated second-time-around bride. For many second time brides, a white dress with a coloured sash and shoes is a wonderful compromise, whilst for some the only way to go is full on colour with scarlet, gold and burgundy being the most popular shades. But we say again, wear whatever you like, you’ve earned the right to do as you please at your wedding – just remember to send us some photos, we love to see what our brides wear!
Who’s getting married this year?
Possibly the most talked about wedding this year will be that of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. The column inches, tweets and pings relating to every detail of their potential nuptials are already staggering and now they’ve announced that they are planning to marry in Paris, the internet has gone crazy. There was an original rumour was that they were considering getting married in the Palace of Versailles but the logistical problems, plus perhaps its unfortunate history, seems to have given them a change of heart. Paris yes, Versailles no. Kim says Kanye is deeply involved in the planning, handling the musical aspects of the day, while she’s working out the seating arrangements. That, and sending immense floral arrangements to everybody from her dog walker to her manicurist, of course!
A growing trend is to have coloured shoes for brides as well as bridesmaids, and we love it! Top tips for choosing the right colour for you:
• Don’t stick with blue. While blue wedding shoes have been very popular recently and it allows you to get the ‘blue’ into the old saying, it’s not the only colour possible!
• Harmonise. Some of the nicest schemes we have seen are where the bride has the lightest (or deepest) coloured shoes and each bridesmaid has a pair of shoes that are slightly lighter so when they stand in a row they make a complete colour range.
• Patterns. Floral and polka dot shoes can look amazing under a classic white wedding dress and may also be a real investment: something that you can continue to wear for years and remember your special day.
• Share the fun. Think about tying your floral scheme into your shoe plan – pink shoes and carnations, purple orchids and purple bows on your wedding shoes, brocade waistcoats and brocade pumps … there’s endless opportunity to make your shoes into a statement of togetherness.
How to be the perfect … bridesmaid
Remember whose day it is. Either you’ve already had your big day, and you can relax and look back on it rather than trying to relive it through this wedding, or your happiest day is yet to come, in which case you can watch carefully, listen and learn, knowing that everything you experience will be useful when you come to be in the bride’s place.
Be a rock. Every bride needs somebody totally reliable to lean on. Let it be you. Be supportive without offering an opinion that could cause further friction. Useful phrases are ‘let’s look at this in the big picture – how does it fit with all the things that are going well?’ and ‘how about taking five minutes away from wedding planning to talk about something else?’. Help the bride retain her perspective and you’ll be doing
Miss Motivator – that’s you! However lazy you are personally, you can help the bride get herself in shape for her special day whether it’s swapping crisps for fresh fruit or taking Zumba classes together, you can both be on top form physically and mentally by making health and fitness part of the wedding planning. Who knows, it might lead to lifelong fitness habits for either or both of you!
Cement relationships. The bride and groom are about to make a permanent commitment. The bridesmaids are making a much more temporary one, but still important. Be a team-player, not a divider, and try to bond the bridesmaids as a group so that everybody feels included and happy. That’s the best way to feel included and happy yourself.
Save and win. From the day you’re asked to be a bridesmaid, start putting a bit of money away every week or every month so that you’re expenses are covered. It’s so much nicer not to have to scramble for money just before the wedding, and if you’ve oversaved, you’ll have a nice little bonus to pay yourself for being the perfect bridesmaid!
A lot of couples don’t talk about wedding insurance when planning their big day – it’s seems to be a superstitious idea that if you mention it you’re either ‘asking for trouble’ to happen or doubting the reliability of your future spouse – a whole bunch of Hollywood films from Runaway Bride onwards appear to have added to this belief that if you talk about things that might go wrong, they inevitably will!
In fact, wedding insurance is a sensible precaution for many couples who are planning a ‘big’ day. Despite that fact that spending on weddings has dropped (the average UK wedding cost £20,000 in 2010 and £14.700 in 2013) it’s still a huge chunk of money to gamble with.
Deciding what insurance you need is important – many home contents policies, for example, are easily extended to cover a period either side of the wedding to allow for wedding presents, bridal gowns, rental tuxedos etc being stored in the home. For a simple wedding, that temporary premium payment may be enough to put minds at rest. Of course it doesn’t cover the weather, nor the risk of suppliers letting you down.
For bigger weddings, those where the ceremony takes place abroad, and those where one of the partners is on active service (whether military or any other call-out role) insurance might be vital. Remember that some expenses may already be covered by Section 75 of the consumer credit act which protects you for expenditure over £100 by credit card.
Be very careful to read any insurance policy carefully, as they all have different exclusions, such as the transport of wedding gifts, damage to third party property etc. Not many will ensure against a spouse-to-be failing to turn up, after a rash of claims in the USA when this service was introduced, mainly because the insurance was brought by worried parents who considered a relationship volatile and then, protected by the insurance, went all out to break it up before it was legalised!
Wedding dress trends 2014
Several magazines have been listed their wedding dress predictions for the year. Lace sleeves featured on almost every catwalk after the royal wedding of Kate and William, so we think that’s a safe prediction! Shorter length dresses are getting a high probability rating too … particularly when worn with capes or unstructured jackets for city weddings. We also think the trend towards beading, which we featured recently, is going to continue and that pink wedding dresses are definitely high profile, although British brides don’t seem as keen as Americans on this shade.
We’re not convinced by the claim in Cosmopolitan magazine that Big Fat Gypsy Wedding shows have influenced the choice of the average bride, ‘meringue’ dresses haven’t shown up on most of the bridal wish-lists we’ve seen. Our own prediction? Coloured shoes … they’ve been something that the brides we know have been pondering long and hard and with that trend to shorter dresses, red, pink, peach and even blue shoes seem to be raising their profile.
Fairytale wedding from nightmare beginnings
You may not know the names of Rebekah Gregory and Pete DiMartino, but their wedding story will definitely make you smile. Rebekah and Pete had been dating for a while when they attended the Boston Marathon in April 2013, to cheer Pete’s mum over the finish line. The bombs that exploded injured them both. Rebeckah was thrown on top of her little boy, saving his life but shattering every bone in her foot, ankle and leg, while Pete had his right Achilles tendon torn away, his ankle broken and ruptured an eardrum as a result of the blast effect.
Both are still recovering – Rebekah is still in a wheelchair after 15 operations on her leg, but in the autumn Pete proposed, and then an American bridal magazine, TheKnot.com offered them the chance to have The Knot Dream, a wedding that the Knot readers vote for and the magazine funds. They had planned a small family wedding but now the excitement is building and they’re looking forward to finding out what the readers think is the perfect cake, dress, flowers and even honeymoon, and the wedding will be streamed live, online.
Rebekah’s six-year-old son Noah will be a part of the process but as yet, the readers haven’t voted on which city the couple will marry in, as theirs has been a long-distance relationship, so it’s all up for debate, except one thing, the couple’s view of the wedding. As Rebekah said, ‘This really is the coolest thing ever. …We’re just so humbled by the opportunity. And at the end of the day, the best part is that we’re marrying each other.’
Sometimes we’ve lived the dream so long, we’re unable to move it into reality – many little girls (and some little boys) have a vision of how their wedding day will be, and when they’re finally ready to start planning, every detail already exists in their heads and JUST HAS to be translated into real life. There are a number of times it might be worth compromising on your dream though:
Family – in the most recent example of family feeling, swimmer Rebecca Adlington has admitted that she won’t be having her ‘dream wedding’. When she marries fellow swimmer Harry Needs, she’d have wanted it to be an intimate ceremony on a shining white beach in the Maldives, but as her sister Laura has a flight phobia, she has decided that the wedding will take place in the UK as she wants her sister to be there.
Finance – life changes, incomes change, situations change so shouldn’t dreams change too? Many couples, looking at the choice between owning a home and having a grand wedding, are opting to put their disposable income into a deposit and to plan for a vow renewal ceremony at some point in the future when they’re established as a couple and have some money to spare.
Culture – we can’t predict who we’re going to love, and it can be a surprise to discover that our life partner has very different ideas about weddings, or maybe has a completely different cultural perspective to bring to the planning. We’re going to look at multicultural weddings in depth later this week, because they really can be the best of both worlds, but for a bride, this can be a challenge, giving up their own traditional beliefs or preferences in some areas to accommodate those of others, but in the end the way a wedding is planned may be a precursor of the marriage as a whole, so harmony, not ‘winning’ might be the wisest course to take.
One of the oldest dynasties in the world, the Mewar dynasty in Udaipur, India, is about to celebrate the wedding of the custodian apparent. The head of the Mewar dynasty considers his role to be that of a custodian, and for 76 generations the custodianship has continued. Now the potential 77th custodian, Lakshyaraj Singh Mewar will marry Nivritti Kumari Singh Deo, starting today 20th January and ending on 28 January! That’s quite a wedding party! There are a number of major ceremonies, in the first of which the bridegroom and his guests depart from one town, while the bride’s and the ladies of the groom’s side stay behind, then a wedding ceremony on a royal scale will be held in Odisha town, following which the married couple return to their original departure point for a ceremony that welcomes the bride on 23rd followed by an international wedding reception on 24th, then it’s general partying until 28th with the official Bidai or formal farewell to the priests who celebrate the wedding. Any bride who feels her wedding day is going to be long and tiring should think of Nivritti with awe!
The jury’s out for us, mainly because it feels like it could increase the pressure, but we do love some of the marryoke we’ve seen recently. What’s marryoke? Think wedding video, lipsynched to a popsong, with all the key features of the wedding album cut into the video, from the preparations for the ceremony through to the reception.
Building on the flash mob proposals that have been all the rage, the great advantage of a marryoke is its length – compared to the average video, it lasts only around four minutes and features as many of the wedding guests as possible.
The disadvantage? It’s one more thing to build into an already busy day, and might make shy bridesmaids, singing-phobic groomsmen and nervous relatives less likely to enjoy the day, while the show-offs will want to soak up all the limelight. A good video editor will keep the balance right, so watch lots of examples if you’re interested in marryoke for your wedding.
Wedding flowers the celebrity way
Kim Kardashian has found a great way to test wedding florists – she’s been browsing the best firms in Los Angeles and using them to send massive floral arrangements as thank-you gifts to everybody from her manicurist upwards. It’s part of her quest to organise the top celebrity wedding and her current favourite seems to be Eric Buterbaugh who also has Demi Moore in his fan club.
Kim has some way to go if she wants to be the bride with the most expensive bouquet; when Liza Minnelli married David Gust in 2002, they spent $40,00 on cake and $700,000 on flowers – adjusting for inflation, that’s going to be around $1.2 million for floristry!
American wedding site The Knot just made its predictions for this year’s wedding trends and top of the list for bridal looks is the crop top wedding dress.
Hmm … we can think of a few parishes in the UK where that wouldn’t go down well with the parishioners, let alone be likely to cope with the ravages of unpredictable British weather, but we’re always willing to be open-minded about wedding gowns. The main problem for us in this breaking news story is that it’s old hat – the Daily Mail covered this in 2012 with Oscar de la Renta’s wedding crop top and trousers with a, beautiful unstructured net-finished jacket over the top. It looks like a really good choice for brides who prefer an unfussy look and/or want investment bridalwear that they can appear in again and again, but as a mainstream trend we just don’t see it taking off, even if 90s themed weddings are going to be the biggest thing in 2014.
Wedding fitness tips for brides-to-be
Of course, if you do choose a crop top, you’ll want to be looking your absolute best. We scouted around for fitness tips for this year’s brides and pulled together some of the best:
• Give yourself time. Effective weight loss isn’t swift and crash diets can leave a bride looking pale and exhausted while the pounds just reappear over the honeymoon because the body hasn’t adjusted to its new metabolic condition.
• Don’t get hung up on numbers. No given size or weight is a grail. Choosing a dress that you look great it, rather than choosing a great dress that you want to fit into will be less stressful for you, and everybody else involved in planning your wedding.
• Be adjustable – diet plus exercise works best so some days you might find it easy to diet and on other days, to exercise. As long as you try to do one or the other, you will achieve a better shape and overall improved health.
• Workout together. Happy couples are healthy couples and vice versa so consider finding an exercise you both enjoy from bowls to jogging or bouldering to jiving and building it into your weekly routines – that way you’ll both look great as you walk up the aisle and your wedding will be just the beginning of a heart and body healthy marriage.
How much publicity do you want for your wedding? This winter we’ve already seen pay-per-view celebrity weddings and celebrities being encouraged to crash weddings (and it’s only the second week of January). But would you allow a TV show to stage a major high-risk stunt at your wedding? And if you did, would you be happy to play second fiddle to the star of the stunt?
One Japanese couple apparently were. As the video shows, their wedding cake wasn’t cut with a knife, or even a sword, instead professional footballer and heartthrob Shunsuke Nakamura kicked the cake topper off the top tier with a fantastic curling shot. Perhaps this is one not to share with your football mad fiancé who will probably want his considerably less talented best mate to attempt the trick!
We loved the lace gloves this bride was wearing – it’s a much more common tradition in Japan than here for a bride to wear gloves, and we thought hers were especially feminine and a super sensible idea for a winter wedding!
Costs and cultures – who pays for what when planning a wedding?
It’s a complicated subject – the two biggest areas of conflict in life are often said to be romance and finance! Combining the two to plan a wedding can be stressful. So rather than sticking to the traditional formula which doesn’t work for many modern couples, here are some alternatives to explore
1. Cost calculated wedding – this is where the bride and groom draw up a budget for their wedding and then invite both sets of parents to look at the budget and state where they feel able to contribute. This allows parents to select certain items to cover the cost of, or to offer a fixed sum the couple can allocate as they see best. It also allows parents to consider if they have ‘in kind’ contributions to make – one father of the bride did the accounts for a local stables for free, in return for the ‘loan’ of a carriage and pair to deliver his daughter to the church! Within the Unique Bride team, one of us was lucky enough to have a talented mother who hand-embroidered a shop-bought wedding dress to make it truly ‘unique’. This approach also allows the couple to review their plans in light of what their families can help with, and can reduce the tendency to slip into overspending.
2. Triple split-cost wedding – this innovative idea means the two families and the couple each pay an equal third of the costs. It can also mean they get to invite one third of the guests, which is a fabulous way to deal with the list: bride and groom invite their friends, while the parents of bride and groom get to wrestle with which relatives should come along!
3. Couple funded wedding – becoming almost the norm, especially in second time around and same sex marriages, this system means the happy couple get to say exactly what happens at their wedding: after all, they’re paying for it.
In all these examples a budget is vital because it makes clear who has slipped into overspending (bride doubles cost of bridesmaids’ dresses or groom’s mother hires bagpipes for reception etc) and ensures they must find the cash for their extravagance, not pass it on to somebody else!