Online Dating: Is Meeting Your Partner Online Still Taboo?

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I love a good proposal story. From viral videos of guys doing the most romantic and over the top gestures, right down to hearing that they just decided to get hitched over breakfast in bed one morning. However, sometimes even more than that, I love listening to a couple tell the story of how they first met, especially when they don’t agree! “No, you pursued me!”, “Whatever, it was you that eventually asked me out!”

Although I don’t always include it in the real weddings that I feature, I always ask everyone I interview for this blog those two questions. Firstly because it really helps to set up the story of their love, and usually helps to explain why they wanted to do certain things for their wedding. Most of all though I ask it because I’m just a bit nosy.

Gareth and I met young. I was only 16 and he was just 21. I remember as a teenager thinking I’d NEVER get a boyfriend and hating the fact that it was always my friends that guys seemed to like. In retrospect, I found my soulmate pretty darn early actually, although we didn’t start officially dating until I was 18 – it took him a while to persuade me, see!

We met over a crowded bar (shh, underage drinking is obviously not something I recommend!). One stolen cocktail later (me stealing his of course, although goodness knows why he was drinking something quite so girly) and the rest, as they say, is history.

So clearly, I’ve never ventured into the world of online dating. But I recently read that over a third of couples that were married between 2005 and 2012 met online. The report continues by saying that those who do meet online are not only more satisfied than their real-life meeting counterparts, but they are less likely to split up. REALLY!?

With claims like that, I couldn’t help but want to investigate further. So I took to my Facebook page to ask for some real life stories.

Carmen Goodwin

Carmen Goodwin: “David added me on Facebook because he apparently “thought I was hot”. We had lots of mutual friends, though we’d never met. I didn’t know who he was but accepted his request thinking that we must’ve met previously but didn’t remember it!! At first I only responded to his messages as I didn’t want to be rude, but after messaging for a few months, I realised he was actually really funny and seemed like a lovely person. It took over 6 months and a bottle of wine before I finally agreed to go on a date with him mind you!

But it didn’t take long before I realised that he was ‘the one’. We’ve been together for over 2 years now and we are getting married in 14 weeks… I can’t wait! I honestly never would have tried ‘online dating’ but this just sort of happened that way, it was obviously meant to be! I still have a good laugh when people ask how we met and I tell them that David ‘Facebook stalked’ me for 6 months!”

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Kerry Dunn: “I believe myself to be a unicorn because my husband was the first person I met through online dating and I married him. I’d had many friends who went through years of frogs to find their prince, but I got lucky instantly. I think the stigma of online dating has been declining. So many people meet this way now! I’d recommend it to everyone. Just be honest about what you want and don’t be afraid!”

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Thursday Treats: Camber Sands & Making Plans

I spent a glorious three days in Camber Sands with my friends last week. We laughed, we cried, we took about a squillion photographs, we threw confetti at each other, we ate too much food and we drank waaay too much wine… it really was the most awesome weekend ever.

The sun shone, the beach was a two minute walk from our house and I even did some arts and crafts with Ronnie and Craig’s kids! I’ll be sharing more on Monday because the house we stayed in was so damn cute, y’all definitely need to know about it.

In other news this week, over at The Blogcademy we shared our new About Us film which we made while we were in Palm Springs. If you’re so inclined, you can watch it below. Isn’t it the awesome? We’re so thrilled with how it turned out. It was made by the fabulous FX Media!

Talking of The Blogcademy, our 2014 World Tour has been selling like hot cakes over the past few weeks. If you’re thinking that you might like to come along to one of our classes, think fast! Have a look over our course overview, read through our FAQ and nosy at some past Blogcadette testimonials.

There are actually less than 10 spots left for our San Francisco, Melbourne and Sydney classes, and many of the other cities are over 50% sold out. If you have any questions or you’d like to speak to us about paying in smaller instalments, simply get in touch!

Other than that I’ve really just been plugging away, freaking out about how much I have to get done before I go to The US again in May and making plans for my 30th birthday in a few weeks time! ARGH!

Weddings & Weddingy Things

Wedding inspiration from The Little Prince
Handmade tropical paradise wedding in Idaho!
Multicoloured wedding as Islington Metalworks
Beautiful Byron Bay wedding
Handmade and handfast wedding

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Cooper Photography

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Modern Bohemian Wedding at The Flaming Lips Art Gallery: Bryan & Brittany

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Bryan and Brittany live in New York but were married in Oklahoma where most of their friends and family still live. They’d planned a very different wedding originally, wanting an all outdoor affair, but, just five weeks before the big day they realised it just wasn’t going to work and they had to find another venue. Panic stations! Luckily, they came across The Womb art gallery, owned by Wayne Coyne, lead singer of The Flaming Lips. They asked him if he’d consider letting them have their wedding there, which he not only agreed to but he came along and partied with them too! Now that, my friends, is pure Rock n Roll.

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“Our wedding was a bohemian modern, inspired by Oklahoma and south west wild flowers and all things 1960s”, began the bride. “We didn’t follow a lot of rules. I really don’t like the uniform look that comes with most weddings. I hate when bridesmaids and the rest of the bridal party are forced into outfits that don’t make them feel great and or confident so that’s why our bridal party all look different. We gave them a theme to shoot for so it still came up fun and cohesive! We really just had ‘throwing a party’ in mind for the whole wedding! We wanted to celebrate our love the best we could and the best we knew how! We just wanted something very laid back and uplifting and so very us!!”

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Emotional and Casual Brighton Elopement: Ash & Pat

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Don’t you just love looking at weddings when the emotion completely pours out of the photographs? This is totally applicable for Ash and Pat’s Brighton elopement! They wanted a low key and budget-friendly wedding and so were married at Brighton registry office. It was just the two of them, two witnesses and their photographer Sassy of Assassynation in attendance. After the ceremony, they all went to JB’s American Diner for burgers and milkshakes.

“Pat and I had originally planned to do the traditional wedding with a large venue and a ceremony with lots of people, we even had the photographer and venue booked for August 2012″, explained Ash. “But life got a little complicated and we decided that it would be best to postpone for a while whilst we got back on track financially and as a couple.”

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“I’d always said, as I’d been married before, that if I were to do it again I’d rather elope than go through the stress of organising something so big again, let alone the added stress of the financial implications of it all. But most of all I had come to realise that the only thing that I felt was really important about marriage and a wedding is what it means to us, as a couple. We so rarely made or got time to reflect on our relationship, the things we had gone through and the achievements we had made by being a grounding force for each other. And to me there was no better way to cement those feelings and our love for each other than to say it, with no fuss, no stress… just peaceful quiet contemplation, hearing every word that is said without distraction so that we can fully appreciate just how much the moment meant.”

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Spanish Rock n Roll Themed Wedding in the Caribbean: Maricelis & Omar

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When someone says “destination wedding” I automatically think of a boho style affair, with the bride and groom all in white (her in a floaty gown and him in a white linen suit) walking down a sun-drenched sandy beach barefoot. So you can imagine what a welcome surprise it was to be presented with something that’s the complete antithesis to that. These guys are the epitome of mean, moody and cool!

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Maricelis and Omar, who met and still live in New York, were married at Atarazana Restaurant in La Zona Colonial, Dominican Republic. “Our wedding was different because we are different!” began the bride. “Many weddings that use a Rock n Roll concept or theme, base it on English or American rock and our celebration was strictly Spanish! Instead of walking into the celebration area with a typical wedding song, I walked to a Spanish folk metal poem by Txus di Fellatio named Si Yo, Tu.”

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How to Plan a Wedding: The Cheapest Ways to Get Hitched

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The cost of weddings is always increasing. While there are plenty of DIY darlings planning their big day on a shoestring, many others really struggle to see how they can shave the pounds.

The industry is undoubtedly to blame. Yes, wedding suppliers have overheads, and need to make a profit, but there are many things that are still perpetuated by the wedding media as ‘essentials’ when quite frankly that’s total bullshit. These ‘essentials’ are peddled to make people money. End of.

If you have limited funds you can still have an amazing wedding. I’m here today to show exactly you how.

The Ceremony

Undoubtedly the ceremony is the most important part of any wedding, and actually the only thing you HAVE to do in order to get married. The cheapest way to say “I do” would be to hop down to your local registry office and have a quickie ceremony with just the two of you and some witnesses (you’re required to have at least two) present.

For the purposes of this article I’m just focusing on the costs for a wedding in England and Wales so be sure to check your own country’s marriage laws if you live elsewhere.

In England and Wales a registry office wedding costs £119 (£35 each, paid when you give notice, £45 to register the marriage afterwards, and £4 to purchase the marriage certificate which you will need to prove your marital status in the future). Notice must be given at least 16 days in advance. The ceremony will be short, you must exchange some formal wording, you’ll sign some papers and voilà! You are wed!

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The Reception

The cheapest way to have a reception is to book a non-wedding venue. Wedding venues can charge a premium because they do weddings day in, day out and can offer their couples exactly what they need, all under one roof. However, if traditional isn’t your bag then there are a million ways you can have a party on the cheap.

If you’re blessed with a house or garden that can hold everyone you’d like to invite (or you have a friend or family member who’s willing let you use theirs), how about having the reception at home? Do the catering yourselves (pot luck buffet for the win!) and either have a dry wedding or buy the alcohol in bulk from a wholesaler. Moneysavingexpert.com have compiled an awesome wine discount finder which can help you find the biggest discounts and cheapest options available at Tesco Wine, M&S, Majestic and Slurp!

Another surprisingly affordable option is to hire a pub or restaurant. A little known fact is that a lot of them will actually let you hire them for a nominal amount or even FOR FREE (usually only on weekdays) as long as you (or your guests) spend a certain amount behind the bar and/ or you buy all your food from their kitchen. I know!! I couldn’t believe it when I heard that either!

Also don’t disregard church halls, village halls or local sports clubs which can also be suuuuper cheap to hire for an event (pro tip: avoid saying the W-word when you enquire, some places will slap on an extra fee if they think it’s for a wedding, the bloody cheek!)

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The Dress

There are so many places you can buy a low-cost wedding dress these days. Firstly you could buy one from a wholesaler in China. Ethical debates aside, it is still an attractive option for may brides. These gowns are often imitations of designer gowns and are made from cheaper fabrics and with less sophisticated techniques. While there is no question that a copy from China will never be even close to the quality of the expensive designer gown that it’s been based on, if your budget is really small they are something you might want to consider. Prices usually start from as little as £100.

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