Winter Wedding Tips


The winter months can be the ideal time to host a wedding, and a growing number of people are choosing to embrace the winter months for their wedding day, in an attempt to make the most of the savings to be had during this off-peak season. When it comes to planning a winter wedding, there are a number of key things to bear in mind, so here we take a quick look at some top winter wedding tips, to help ensure your wedding is as stress-free as possible.

Be Prepared

When planning a winter wedding there’s no getting away from the fact that the weather is likely to be a little unpredictable, and sunshine is far from guaranteed, so it’s best to prepare for all weathers. For example make sure you bring some umbrellas with you, just in case. You could also consider adding some great accessories to your outfit such as a shawl to help stave off the winter chill.

Whilst outdoor weddings can be just the thing during the warmer summer months, these aren’t always practical when it comes to winter weddings. However there are a number of great indoor venues, such as stately homes, that can provide the perfect backdrop for your wedding. Choosing a venue that can host both your ceremony and reception can also be a good idea, saving you plenty of time and hassle when it comes to organising transport. As a handy tip make sure to check out the heating arrangements for your chosen venue too, as large rooms and older buildings can get a little draughty during the winter if not adequately heated. For more advice on picking the right wedding venue take a look at this handy guide.


It’s important to bear in mind that the shorter winter days can make getting those all-important wedding photos a little trickier. It’s often a good idea to make sure you hold your ceremony earlier in the day so you can make the most of the natural light. Make sure you hire a professional and highly recommended photographer too, who specialises in weddings, such as Adele Bates Photography to ensure those precious wedding day moments are captured beautifully.


When it comes to choosing the right flowers for your winter wedding it’s often best to stay away from more exotic varieties, as these can be expensive to source, particularly during the winter months. There are a number of great seasonal varieties such as roses, irises and lilies available from expert florists such as Interflora.


The winter months offer the perfect excuse to get a little creative with your catering choices. For example why not treat your guests to a fabulous winter treat, such as a warming hot chocolate, winter-inspired cocktail or even some festive mulled wine.

Hopefully this will have given you some great inspiration for your winter wedding, and taken some of the stress out of planning your big day, so you can get on with what’s most important – enjoying it.

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Finding Your Dream Wedding Venue

When it comes to planning a wedding, one of the hardest decisions to make can be choosing the right venue – after all, this is probably one of the most important too. There are a number of things to think about before saying “I do” to a potential venue, so here are some top tips to make sure you make the right choice for your big day.


Deciding on a theme for your wedding early on can make finding the venue of your dreams a whole lot easier. For example, if it’s a country style theme you’re going for, then venues such as the Crouchers Hotel located in the breathtaking West Sussex countryside, can be the ideal option. Alternatively, if it’s a more contemporary feel you’re after then you might want to avoid more traditional venues, in favour of something more modern and minimalist, such as a hotel venue. You could also consider something a little more unique too. For example, for the ultimate fairytale wedding you could even host you wedding in one of the UK’s many amazing castle venues, such as the grand Allerton Castle in North Yorkshire.


One or Two?

These days more and more venues are able to offer you the option of having both your wedding and reception in the same place, which can make things a bit simpler for both you and your guests from a logistical point of view.


Whether you’re planning on holding your wedding and reception in the same place, or having separate venues, finding the right location is key. For example, when looking at potential venues make sure you take note of how long it’ll take to get there, as this could have a big impact on the structure of your wedding day.


Getting married in an idyllic rural countryside location might be many people’s idea of an ideal wedding setting, however if your venue is a little off the beaten track, bear in mind your guests might have a bit of trouble finding the place.


Try making a list of questions to bring along with you when visiting potential venues, to make sure you get all the information you need. Besides the obvious, such as what their costs, availability, and options for catering are, there are a few others questions you might want to ask too. Consider how many weddings the venue usually holds in one day, and if there are likely to be any changes made to the venue before your wedding day. For a guide to some more essential questions to ask your wedding venue, take a look at this website.


Hopefully this quick guide will help make choosing you wedding venue that little bit easier, taking some of the stress out of planning your big day. Once you’ve made the decision about your venue, you’ll be surprised at how quickly the other details of your wedding day start to fall into place. For some more general wedding planning tips take a look at this great wedding planning checklist.

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The Ultimate Wedding Transport Guide: Nottingham

Your wedding day is one of the only days in your life where you get to arrive in style and be the sole focus of attention (well, your groom might get a little attention too, but we all know it’s really about the bride!) this means that you have to arrive in style!

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There are so many options that are available to your when you are choosing your transportation method. Your decision should be based on your chosen theme for example if you’ve picked a vintage wedding theme, it doesn’t make sense to arrive in a brand new Ferrari – no matter how much your husband-to-be begs for it! So let’s take a look at the best options for you…

Modern Suave Wedding Cars

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Ok, so the first option that comes to mind when you think about wedding transport is the trusty wedding car. If there’s one thing that your wedding car must be, it’s classy! This is exactly what you get from Chauffeur VIP, suppliers of wedding cars in Nottingham; they have a fleet of suave, sophisticated and utterly Mercedes E-class cars. They will ensure that you feel like a celebrity. The modern wedding car is for the woman (and man) who loves a little bit of glamour!

Beautiful Vintage Wedding Cars

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On the other hand we have the vintage wedding car; of course, this option is perfect if you’ve chosen a vintage theme for your wedding. It’s for the bride and groom who want to channel the glamour of the past into their wedding day. Wedding Classics, specialist suppliers of vintage wedding cars in Nottingham have a tremendous selection of cars including the beautifully fabulous Austin 16; perfect if you want to feel like a daring damsel from an old film.

Beautiful Horse & Carriage

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If you want to feel like a princess on your wedding day, then travel to your wedding day via a horse and carriage. For beautiful horse and carriages you really can’t go wrong with The Ostler who have farms in Nottinghamshire and right across the UK; they have utterly stunning wedding carriages – and have even been featured on BBC Three’s Don’t Tell the Bride! Having a horse and cart on your wedding day is truly magical – you’ll certainly feel like Cinderella.

Alternative Travel

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If you really want to stand out from the crowd try an alternative method of travel, such as a fire engine or a hummer limousine; it really will be a bold entrance that no one will ever forget, especially not you! Go to Bookerlimo for fire engine hire in Nottingham…this is perfect if you’re marrying a fire fighter (or you wish you were…ssh!). The fire engine is definitely for those couples who like to make an unforgettable entrance!

So make sure that you feel amazing on your wedding day by arriving in style! Choose the best option for you and look like a superstar, it will certainly be the day that you remember for the rest of your life!

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Luxury Hens


Hen parties are a traditional feature of getting married, known for the mad unforgettable weekends away in large cities a few weeks before your wedding. Well I’ve found something a little different, luxurious and you will be well rested, well pampered and well prepared for your big day.

Derbyshire is known for its stunning countryside, relaxed atmosphere and outdoors activities. I can’t think of a better combination for the perfect hen party. It’s packed with activities to do and stunning accommodation for large groups of people. Convinced yet? Well let me give you some of the details.

Cottage Accommodation

Cottages are as beautiful now as they were back in the day and designed for comfort and luxury holidays, they truly are the best place to stay. Hillside Croft has multiple cottages in remote areas that can sleep from 12-16 people which are more than enough for your hen party. They come at an affordable price per person, and for a week’s stay, they are much cheaper than your average hotel. You can kick back in the gorgeous traditional rooms, and sit around the large dining tables together to enjoy your breakfast. Self-catered or bed and breakfast is optional depending on how bad your hens hangovers are going to be. Click here for more information and a full gallery of the stunning cottages.

Alton Towers

If this doesn’t fill your adrenaline needs then I don’t know what will! Alton Towers is close by and the theme park is renowned for its huge rollercoaster’s and water rides. It is the perfect day out for a small or large group and everyone is sure to enjoy it, even those who aren’t so much a fan of heights as there is a range of smaller rides to choose from too. Restaurants and cafes are available on site and discounts are available for large groups if you book online. Why not email Alton Towers and inform them it’s a hen party that is coming and you may be able to get some free fast track passes that allow you to queue jump! Click here for full information and details from the official Alton Towers website.

Water Sports

If you fancy something more adventurous…and wet, Carsington Water Sports is perfect! They have a range of different water sports to choose from such as sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing and motor boating. This is perfect if you ladies are the outdoors type, and it’s a lot different to the typical bar crawl hen doo. Get your wet suits on, take silly pictures and get into the water! Choose a theme to spice things up a bit, like wearing silly hats or wigs to give you all a laugh and I am certainly sure it will provide entertainment for the staff! It is a different experience and something that each and every hen can take away and say they have done, possibly even a first for some of you lovely ladies. Click here for full details and more activities that are available from Carsington Water Sports.

Spa Day

A hen party would not be complete without a spa day. Get you and the ladies off for a full day of wine, treats and serious pampering at the local spa and indulge yourself in the relaxing atmosphere. This is great preparation for the wedding in getting your body and skin in tip top condition for the big day. This is a great one to keep for the day before you leave so you are fully refreshed returning to your stag. Decide on your treatments before hand and make sure you are booked in to avoid disappointment of not being able to get the treatment you want. Click here for Losehill House and Spa that is as luxurious as the rest of your hen party! A brochure is available online including all prices and treatments available.

Perfect Night In

You’re probably pretty tired out by this stage with all the fantastic activities you have been taking part in so have a chilled out night in, in your stunning cottage and book a cookery class.  Seasoned Cookery will come to your home for a full cookery lesson with you and your hens making little dishes that you can all enjoy after. A few bottles of wine and cosy pyjamas is a great relaxed evening in the comfort of your cottage. These nights are fantastic also to catch up with the ladies and discuss the wedding and the excitement that is brewing in the next few weeks over great food. Click here for more information and all the details you need to know to organise your cookery lessons.

This is a hen party with a difference and one that you and all your lovely ladies will remember forever. It is a great way to spend some quality time with your friends and the girls of your family so make the most of it before the last few weeks running up to your wedding as it gets all very busy then!

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The Wedding Guest

Portrait of business colleagues holding each other and laughing

There comes a point when everyone must attend a wedding as a guest. Weddings are a formal occasion and require formal attire therefore this will nine times out of ten always mean – a brand new outfit. Some may find this somewhat a chore were some of us love the prospect of getting dressed up and getting something lovely and new to wear. Luckily for those who aren’t quite the enthusiastic shoppers, you can buy just about anything online these days, suits and dresses included!



For Men:

suitBoys, whether you like it or not you must wear a suit to a wedding. It’s essential to look smart and very much cleaned up as everyone knows weddings mean lots and lots of photographs. There is literally every kind of suit in every kind of colour available out there these days so choose something you will be comfortable and confident in wearing. Burton is renowned for supplying good quality suits, and after all once you buy one, you have it for life! It will last you more than just one occasion so bare this in mind also when choosing the style and colour. If you choose to play it safe choose a deep grey colour, or black and you will not go wrong! When choosing shoes, it’s also a good idea to opt for a pair that will have more durability and quality to them that a standard cheap pair. Check out Samuel Windsor for good quality, and reasonably priced men’s shoes in a range of colours and style. Remember the must match your suit!! You can’t go wrong with investing in a decent suit and shoes as you will without a doubt get the wear out of them in the future.


For Women:SBEXRF-00025210-001

Things get a little more complicated and to a much larger scale with women. Ladies we all want to look good as a wedding guest and that you shall! There are hundreds of online shops with dresses, blouses, trousers and more for you to choose from! Asos is one of the largest online retailers in the world and it has now got a stunning wedding guest dress section that you can browse and choose from! Like men, it is good to invest in something that you can wear again, so it is not just a one of pricy buy. If you get something you can wear over again you will get your money’s worth which always makes it that bit easier to spend a little extra cash. Similarly with your shoes it is important to get a high quality pair, as after all you will be wearing them on your feet all day. Check out Sabarini who have a wide range of occasion shoes and luckily for you they have bags to match also. Two jobs done one, off the list! Accessories are entirely up to you, and you can go as plain or as wild as you wish. Choose key pieces that match your outfit and most importantly flatter the overall style you have chosen. If you fancy a fake tan, treat yourself and get booked into a salon for a sun-kissed look. If you opt out of fake tan why not treat yourself to having your hair done instead? You don’t need to be the bride to look stunning at a wedding too!


There are hundreds of online shops to choose from out there so you can shop from the comfort of your home, which suits some of us better than others. If you are unsure of your size order multiple dress or suit sizes, as you can always return them if they do not fit. Be sure to check the exchange time you have to return any items so you don’t waste money on a dress you can’t wear! And most importantly… enjoy the wedding!! It’s a day off and a celebration of two people close to you who are getting married!

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Outdo the Bride!

Forget the teal colour scheme, banish from your mind the idea of a Liverpool FC or Great British Bake Off theme, the best idea for a wedding I’ve ever heard is Outdo the Bride! It’s a fabulous idea that throws on its’ head the very idea that the bride’s outfit is the most significant part of what is supposed to be a celebration of love not personal style. With this in mind, my friends got married at the weekend and designed the event around the idea of ostentation – the ostentation of the guests not the bride.



Some people opted to play it straight and simply chose the most beautiful dress they could find, generally in white or a similar colour. Those with a penchance for dress-up took the theme to heart with some wonderfully extravagant attire. We had Alice’s White Rabbit, a rambunctious pirate and Elizabeth I even made an appearance. Having a love for saris stretching back to my gap year, I decided to dress in traditional Indian wedding dress. The saris I found on Sonas Couture are simply sublime. To go further with the brides around the world theme, check out the great dresses at Ram Thai, Touch of Tradition for Native American designs and Chinese Dresses.



When it came to taking care of their face and hair, people took the brief in wildly different directions. You can let your imagination run wild with a theme like this, you can be Cinderella with Cruella de Ville make-up or a vicious pirate with the most lusciously painted lips. To dazzle as much as possible, I had my teeth professionally whitened and I was delighted with the results. From clown faces to botoxed brows,  there are endless ways to make sure that everyone at the wedding looks their best. Even taking tips from wedding magazines proved helpful in working out how to upstage the bride.



To add yet another touch of the surreal to the wedding, my wonderful friends decided to play some really fun wedding party games. These are a great way to prevent there from being any boring spells while the main wedding party have their photos taken or the tables are cleared after the meal. To stick with the exuberant theme, the best game we played involved a huge accessories box and a separate list of riddles to solve. We picked accessories at random and the answer to each riddle was the name of a guest – the next step of course was to have the two meet!  Another fun idea is the ‘Bride or Groom’ quiz, where teams have to decide answers to questions such as, “who will hog the bed?”, “who takes the longest to replace their toothbrush?’ and other questions designed to embarrass but not humiliate the happy couple. There are other great fun ideas on the Toronto Brides website.


Weddings are big business. I’ve already confirmed my attendance at four this year. My usual party dress and dangly earrings are lying in wait for the next one, but for now, I’d choose fun over formality any day. With an ‘Outdo the Bride’ wedding, the one thing you can guarantee is that your once-in-a-lifetime day won’t be forgotten in a wash of wedding package parties by your guests either. Go on, leave your ego at the door and celebrate everyone’s style, the memories couldn’t be more beautiful.

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Planning a Wedding Abroad

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I finally popped the question to my partner a couple of weeks ago, and since then all we have been able to talk about is where we want to have the wedding. It would be easy to have the wedding in England, in an old little church, but we both have our own ideas about what we want. For instance we both love travelling abroad, and our perfect wedding would probably have to take place on a beautiful beach somewhere. For us the perfect place would be Thailand, as according to TimeOut there are plenty of idyllic and picturesque beach escapes. It would be a long trip for everyone, and a lot of organising on our part, but I’m planning on only getting married once, so it should at least be memorable.

Thailand has picturesque locations all over the place, so finding somewhere to get married would be easy. We have settled on Khao Lak as it has miles of unspoiled beaches in a secluded area, so we won’t be overrun by tourists who could spoil our big day. It also means that once we are done with the wedding day we can stay in the area for our honeymoon.

Before we get married we will have a few things to sort out if we want to get married abroad. First of all we will need to get in contact with the Embassy in Thailand in London, to see what documents we will need and what the local marriage laws are. The most important document that we will need is an affirmation of freedom to marry, which proves that we are both allowed to marry. We will have to have two copies one certified in Britain and one certified in Thailand. The British certified copy can be created for you by a public notary. If you need to find a notary in your local area have a look at the Notaries Society website for some ideas on who to go to.

Hopefully everything will go to plan and seeing as we are not getting married for a few years, we will have plenty of time to get everything sorted for our perfect day.

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Planning Worship into My Travel

When I moved house from Worcestershire to the Lake District three years ago, one of the most important considerations was finding a Church that would be my new place of weekly worship. Whilst visiting the Lake District on weekends to scout for a new home, I visited a number of churches for Sunday worship. I really enjoyed this experience, during which I met some wonderful people, many of whom I now count as good friends.

I gained something very special from the experience of the different styles of worship. To me the different styles of worship were like different dialects of the English language – each capably conveying the same powerful message, but with different inflections and intonation. Whilst I have settled on a regular church, King’s Church, Kendal; I still visit some of the other churches for worship and fellowship meetings. I’ve also started to plan a place to visit for Worship when my travel takes me away from home on Sunday.

This is a whole new way of experiencing the richness and splendour of His word and one that I am so glad that I have adopted. I’m not away from home often on a weekend. Mostly, this happens on the annual family holiday, and just a few occasions throughout the year for work. I have found that the internet is a good tool for finding somewhere to worship. Many churches have their own websites or are listed on church directories like the Find a Church web directory.

My next trip away will be for work to a conference in Islington, London. Whilst searching for a Church to visit I found the picture featured in this blog – it’s of a statue ‘Angel Wings’ which is in Islington. I hope to have time to find this beautiful statue whilst I am there. My online search for a Christian church in Islington led me to the website of Jesus House, a church affiliated to the Evangelical Alliance, as is King’s Church in Kendal.

If you haven’t tried finding somewhere new to worship when away from home, I thoroughly recommend it. Hearing His word in a new way has been a great way of shining light on some of the scriptures that had previously been beyond my understanding. I look forward being welcomed into many more churches for worship in the future.

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Step Out In Style on Your Wedding Day


Looking sensational on your big day doesn’t just mean choosing the perfect dress. Yes, although the bridal gown would probably be considered the centre piece to a woman’s wedding attire, no matrimonial celebration would be complete without those other important finishing touches – accessories.

So for example, if we’re talking about shoes, every blushing bride-to-be needs to be able to step out in style. According to a recent article I read in Fashionista, you can tell a lot about a woman according to her shoes… would you agree? For an event as huge as a wedding, it’s important to choose a pair to reflect your personality type whilst keeping in line with wedding tradition and dress code.

There are many different styles of shoes from flats and wedge heels to fancier editions like platforms and stilettos. We are lucky being women as there is a plethora of decadent choices on the retail market these days so you may well be spoilt for choice. Try and go for wedding-friendly colour schemes and trimmings for which you can find lots of inspiration here if you need some ideas. Pinterest is ideal for collecting ideas as you can then view these on one big picture gallery. It’s important to feel confident and ready for your wedding day so do make sure the footwear you choose is comfortable or at the very least, ensure you can walk down the aisle without any embarrassing stumbles!

One wedding retailer I would definitely recommend is Amelia Classics as my sister is getting married next year and she told me about this particular specialist retailer. I just love her selection of bridal dresses as well as wedding-appropriate shoes. Luxurious satin fabrics, embellishments and pearly colours are just right for special occasions like a woman’s wedding day.

Once you’ve got your shoes sorted you can then focus on jewellery and any customization you want to do to your outfit as a whole. Look to avant-garde couture designers to see what designs make their wedding dresses truly unique. This article sourced from Elle illustrates wedding embellishment perfectly so you can customize your outfit without being stuck for ideas. If you’re looking for different styles of wedding gowns to suit your individual taste it’s definitely worth having a browse through Formal Elegance’s designs as these are all unique and designer-led.

All you have to do now is remember your vows and look forward to living happily ever after!

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