The moment that your guests receive their invitations is really the first moment of your wedding- so make it count. There are some common mistakes that plenty of even the most careful couples make when sending out their invitations- avoid them to get your wedding off to the best possible start.
Watch For Typos
It’s easier than you may think to send out invitations with a simple spelling or grammatical error glaring out- when you look at something so many times, it’s possible to miss obvious mistakes. Have a friend with fresh eyes and a flair for editing check over your invitations before they go to print to make sure everything looks perfect.
Order The Right Amount
Order too many invitations and you could end up wasting money and paper, don’t order enough and you’ll be stuck having to order more while your guests wait. Get an accurate calculation of how many guests you’re inviting and then order about 25% more- this will give you room to replace lost invitations, keep some to treasure forever and invite forgotten guests.
Set A Realistic RSVP
Many couples end up giving their guests months to RSVP because the wedding feels like a long way off. You’ll make your life a lot easier by setting a shorter deadline for guests to respond by- it will give you a clear sense of how many people to expect, and make planning the other aspects of the day less confusing.
Have The Company Do The Addresses
Addressing every single invitation yourself could take you an entire day, especially if you’ve got a big wedding planned. You’re also more likely to make mistakes. Ask the stationer if they offer an addressing service, and they could cover the job for you, saving you time and energy.
Photo: © Depositphotos.com / lenanet
Ever since we saw “Mamma Mia”, we’ve been lusting over Greece as a vacation spot. The beautiful islands of Greece are all about clear blue water, bright sunshine and, of course, romance. What better place to spend your honeymoon?
This group of stunning small islands is ideal for scouting out the most secluded, romantic beaches. There are ancient ruins to explore, a ferry service to help you island-hop and some of the most beautiful sights in Europe to see. Many of Greece’s most famous islands are part of this group, including Mykonos and Rhodes.
Visit Rhodes to take in the fascinating architecture, amazing food and killer sunbathing spots, then head over to Sifnos to hike the rocky heights and visit one of the small island’s many tiny, historic churches.
If you want to see the teetering, charming and colourful houses on cliff tops that Greece is famous for, visit Santorini. The highlight of this island is definitely its sunset views- get as high up as you can and take in the beautiful views.
The Ionian Islands
There’s plenty of action in this cluster of islands, along with ample opportunity for relaxation and romance. Visit Cephalonia to see incredible caves and taste the island’s delicious wines. If you’re feeling up for something a little more cosmopolitan, hop on the ferry to Corfu where you’ll find tons of great restaurants, buzzing nightclubs and the biggest old town in Greece, where history buffs can get their fill of medieval architecture and museums.
Many honeymooners seek out quiet, private places to bask in the bliss of newlywed life, and this cluster of small, relatively unspoilt islands is ideal for that purpose. Go diving in the clear waters of Skyros, explore authentic Greek culture in the port town of Skopelos and swim and relax on the many glowing beaches of Skiathos.
Not every bride wants to get married under the hot sun- winter weddings are more chic than ever, offering a fun alternative to the traditional spring wedding day. Complement your day with a classic winter wedding theme and you’ll be able to create a day that’s truly unforgettable.
Embrace the festive season by bringing Christmas Day to life for your wedding. If you feel like the whole green and red scheme is a little overdone, go for a more subtle sophisticated look with gold, silver and soft blues. Adorn your venue with plenty of holly, twinkling fairly lights and, of course, mistletoe. Christmas tree baubles and ornaments can also make gorgeous table decorations, and add plenty of sparkle for good cheer. For food- think Christmas dinner with a gourmet edge.
A classic white wedding can be romantic and beautiful. Don’t feel that you have to stick to stark white shades- you can use ivory and cream to create a timeless, stylish tone. This is a simple and striking theme that can be used on any budget. Pick pale, pretty flowers and dress your bridesmaids and flower girls in cream shades- but perhaps draw the line at a white suit for your groom, he can stand out in black.
A winter wedding can be a cosy and comfortable affair. Use wooden furniture, deep reds and woodland shades for that log cabin feel. Serve your guests warming winter drinks like eggnogs, hot apple cider and hot chocolate (with an alcoholic twist, if you like), and find a venue with fireplaces to get roaring fires burning. The aim is to create the look of a luxury ski lodge, complete with blankets on the chairs and comfortable seating for everyone to sit back and soak up the great atmosphere.
Beauty trends are as prevalent in the world of weddings as they are in the rest of fashion. Everyone wants to look stunning on their big day, and each year brings us new great ideas for creating the most beautiful bridal look. This year, it’s all about bold statements with a vintage vibe.
Retro Red Lips
Think classic Hollywood glamour for brides this year, with women all over opting for a bright red lip to complement their dark, striking winged eyeliner. This look can suit any bride, as long as you get the shading right for your lipstick and get your skin looking immaculate.
Start a good skincare routine several months in advance to make sure that your skin is looking as bright and clear as possible, and find a foundation that flatters your skin tone perfectly. A vintage eye and lip needs a matte, even base so that the red of the lipstick and brightness of your eyes really pop out.
It’s all about the plait on the bridal runways of 2014, and brides everywhere are adopting this feminine, pretty style for their big day. For an elegant updo, wrap small, intricate braids around the head, or go feminine and bohemian with long, thick braids with loose strands to create a less polished look.
Over-tweezed, barely-there brows are a thing of the past, with more and more women following Cara Delevigne’s lead and opting for a natural, bold brow. Bridal brows should be tidy and defined- not entirely natural, but certainly visible enough to enhance your features and work together with your style.
Got naturally thin eyebrows? Fill them in with a defining pencil and gel to fake the bold look. This beauty trend works especially well with a modern, fashion-forward gown and a statement updo hairstyle.
We all do our best to budget carefully for our wedding, but there are some expenses you may not have considered when planning your big day. Watch out for these hidden costs that can trip you up and push you out of your budget limitations.
Although you’ve most likely calculated in the costs of your hair and makeup on the day, remember that many brides go for facials, tanning treatments, manicures, waxes and every other beauty treatment you can think of in the lead up to the day itself. Calculate these costs in and book ahead of time so you know how much wiggle room you have in your budget.
The design and printing of your invitations, save the dates and thank you notes may have been taken into consideration, but have you added in the costs of postage? If you’re having a fairly big wedding, you could be looking at some pretty substantial postage fees, so make sure you know what you’re facing and plan accordingly.
One of the biggest stresses a bride can face is finding that her dress doesn’t fit a week before her wedding day. When you budget for your wedding dress, the suits and all of the clothes for the members of your wedding party, add a little extra room for alteration costs so you don’t get a nasty shock.
Hen Night and Stag Do
The big parties with your friends in the lead up to your wedding can end up being a major expense, especially if things get a little out of hand. If you’re planning some big nights out with your nearest and dearest, make sure you’re clear on who’s paying for what. Your maid of honour might be happy to cover the majority of the expenses, but don’t just assume it’ll all be taken care of.
Although most people envision spending their honeymoon on a tropical beach somewhere sipping pina coladas, there’s something to be said for the romantic winter getaway. There’s nothing more romantic than snuggling up together in front of a cosy fire, and winter can be the perfect time to score great deals on your travels if you’re planning your wedding on a budget. These are some of our top picks for romantic honeymoon destinations with a frosty edge.
Hotel Ranga, Iceland
This stunning spot just 60 miles southeast of Reykjavik is one of the most romantic places on earth. Couples visiting Hotel Ranga will spend most of their time in the dark- there are only three hours of daylight in winter, so it’s perfect for some quiet time alone. The hotel’s suites are styled out in themes for every region of the world, and you’ll have a perfect view of the Northern Lights. This is a great spot to take long walks together, see the stunning sights of Iceland and enjoy delicious gourmet food in the hotel’s restaurant.
Trappers Hotel, Norway
Adventurous couples will love this cosy hotel in Norway- there are snowmobile rides, glaciers to see, husky-sledding and the occasional polar bear sighting to make this a honeymoon to remember. Despite the Trapper’s wilderness location, this is a luxurious, comfortable hotel with beautiful rooms, amazing food and even a “Cognac Loft” to enjoy a drink from while you watch the Northern Lights.
Hotel de Charme Les Airelles, France
If you and your husband-to-be are ski bunnies, why not spend your honeymoon hitting the slopes and enjoying the very peak of luxury at this famous hotel. It has a restaurant with two Michelin stars, an incredible spa, plenty of high class shopping and outdoor jacuzzis to lounge in while you toast to your future together. You’ll even get your very own matching couples ski jackets upon arrival, for the ultimate winter honeymoon look.
A rustic, rural theme for your wedding is ideal for outdoorsy couples who are looking for a twist on the vintage theme. It’s also easy to pull off on a budget, with décor ideas that can be homemade or pieced together without spending a fortune. This theme is classic, tasteful and chic.
A rustic theme gives you a beautiful colour pallet to work with. Think autumnal, woody browns, greens and cream for a sophisticated aesthetic. Pale bridesmaids dresses and quirky suits for the groom and his groomsmen will add to the ethereal, rural look.
The key feature of any rustic wedding is the floral arrangements. Cover your wedding venue in flowers, arranged in interesting vintage vases and wild, lush bouquets. Don’t be afraid to incorporate greens and unique plants- even if your wedding is indoors, a rustic theme allows you to bring the great outdoors inside.
The vintage, shabby chic look works perfectly with this theme. Use old, furniture with a lick of cream paint and interesting antiques to give your wedding the look of an old country home. Add quirky chandeliers, candlesticks and vases for an old-fashioned, tasteful aesthetic.
Although you don’t need to find the perfect location if you’re on a budget- this theme is easily recreated in any venue, it works best if you can find a place set amongst plenty of natural beauty. A farmhouse, lakeside location or mountain lodge will create the perfect ambience for your day, with beautiful views and surroundings that match your theme.
If you can have your wedding in the summer then you’ll have the advantage of enjoying an outdoor ceremony, but an autumn wedding also works well with this theme, with the gold and brown colours of the leaves creating stunning scenery.
Your wedding dress and the hairstyle you choose for your wedding day should work together to create the perfect bridal look. You may have a particular style in mind that you’d always envisioned for your wedding day, but find that when paired with the dress you’ve chosen, it just doesn’t quite fit. We’ve got a quick guide to help you match your hair with your dress for a stunning, cohesive bridal style.
The Simple, Classic Dress
If you’ve opted for a simple gown with clean lines and a classic cut, you’ll have tons of freedom when it comes to your hairstyle. Brides with classic gowns can go as wild as they like with their hair- think plenty of volume and hair accessories to play off the simplicity of the dress. Don’t be afraid to call attention to yourself with a dramatic statement hairstyle- it’s your day after all!
If you want to keep the whole look simple and classic, go with a glamorous updo that pulls the hair away from your face, while looking polished and timeless. A chignon knot or beautiful bun with a simple, sparkling hair accessory would be ideal.
The Bohemian Beach Dress
If your wedding dress has a boho feel, a pretty, relaxed hairstyle will match perfectly. Think loose, long waves, flower accessories, braids and tons of texture. A tight, formal updo will look a little off when paired with a boho dress, so keep the look laid back and feminine.
The Romantic Dress
If your dress is all about lace, flowing fabrics and beautiful layers, keep the focus on the dress and avoid dramatic statement hairstyles. Flowing waves or curls will complete the feminine, romantic look with a pretty and sweet feel, just don’t go for any overcomplicated styles that will draw attention away from your dress.
Keeping your guests happy and having a great time at your wedding doesn’t have to blow a huge hole in your budget. There are many ways to entertain your guests on a tight budget, as long as you think a little bit outside of the box.
Get Them Singing
Once everyone has had a couple drinks and is feeling in a festive mood, break out a karaoke machine. These don’t cost much at all, and you probably know someone who has their own karaoke equipment, or you could hire some from a local bar. Everyone loves a good karaoke session, and it’s sure to bring about some hilarious, happy memories.
Bring Your Friends
If you have friends who are talented musicians, have a band or simply sing well, why not ask them to perform instead of hiring an expensive band full of strangers? You could find that your friends would be happy to offer their talents as a wedding gift, but if not, try bartering for the performance with services or particularly desirable wedding presents that you don’t need. Better yet, perform a duet with your partner for a truly personal touch!
Make A Scavenger Hunt
Got kids attending your wedding? Make sure they’re enjoying themselves and keeping out of trouble by setting up a scavenger hunt that leads to treasure. The questions can all be wedding themed, and the prize can be a sweet treat or wedding-themed toy!
Hold A Quiz
If you and your fiancé are real brain-boxes, or just big fans of pub quizzes, get the guests in on the fun by hosting your own wedding quiz. This won’t cost you a penny and is a fun way to get everyone talking at their tables. Set up each table with some pencils and quiz sheets and get an enthusiastic uncle to be quizmaster. The questions can be about your and your fiancé, the wedding itself or just general trivia. Everyone’s sure to have a great time and your budget will be kept under control.
Finding a beautiful honeymoon location doesn’t have to involve venturing out of the United States. There are some stunning spots that will give you all the romance you need without having to stamp your passport once. New York State is one of the country’s most diverse, beautiful locations, with plenty to offer newlyweds.
New York’s upstate mountain range is a stunning location for honeymooners, with amazing views, hiking trails and all the rustic pleasures you the adventurous couple could hope for. Our favorite spot in this area is Lake George- a large and beautiful lake surrounded by natural wonders.
It’s not all walks and camping in upstate New York- you can find sophisticated luxury within the natural beauty. Highlands Castle is a real life castle straight out of a fairy tale where you and your husband could spend your first nights together. Located on a mountainside over Lake George, this castle comes complete with 4-poster beds and absolute luxury.
If you’re looking for a honeymoon spot that’s a little less extravagant, The Fern Lodge is an intimate, romantic guesthouse at the heart of the Adirondacks. Complete with cozy fireplaces, jacuzzis, massages and plenty of fun outdoor activities, you’re sure to feel completely relaxed and at home.
This amazing waterfall is the spot in the United States (and Canada!) most associated with honeymoons, and for good reason. It’s seriously romantic, and thousands of couples from all over the world make the pilgrimage to America’s biggest waterfall each year to celebrate their love.
For the ultimate Niagara Falls honeymoon experience, stay at the Embassy Suites on the Canada side of the falls. You’ll get the most spectacular view, strawberries dipped in chocolate to share, rose petals on your bed and champagne delivered right to your bed. What honeymooner could ask for more?