Category Archives: Wedding Planning Advice

How Do We Tell People We Don’t Want Their Children at Our Wedding?

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Most of our friends now have children. If we invited them all to our wedding there would be nearly 35 kids, we were only planning a guest list of 75 and don’t know how to let people know without upsetting them. We know some people will struggle to get sitters but I’m worried it will turn into a screaming child frenzy if we invite them all. Do we do a blanket no children or invite some, the ones we are closest to and risk upsetting people on the day? Added complication is my two nephews will be there who will be 1 and 3 and my flower girl who is 6. Any help/advice appreciated! – Sarah-Jane

Sarah, I completely empathise, this was the exact situation we had with our wedding too! While we didn’t have a flowergirl or ring bearer, we did have a couple of nieces and nephews there, but chose not to invite our friend’s children.

I want to kick off my reply by saying I am not anti-children, or criticising people who choose to have them, but they’re not really for me. While some people can’t imagine their wedding without kids running around all day, I certainly fall into the camp of those who can.

Although proper wedding etiquette states that unless there is a +1 on the invitation, only people whose names are on the invite should actually rock up, there will always be some people who ignore, or don’t understand, this and will assume their whole brood is more than welcome. To avoid any potential confusion we phoned our friends with kids to explain the situation outright. Pretty much everyone was fine with this, and some were thrilled to have a night away from their sprogs! Babysitters for the win!

If you’re struggling to figure out how to explain why some children (like your flowergirl) are invited but others (like your work friend’s three little darlings) are not, then you can always cite ‘budget constraints’, or ‘space limitations’ as the issue, even if it’s not true.

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Rock n Roll Bride Live!!

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I get a lot of emails from readers asking for wedding planning advice and recommendations. My inbox bulges with them! Rather than replying to them all one by one, I’ve decided to try something new… and a little bit scary!

On Sunday 29nd June at 4pm GMT I’l be hosting a LIVE online Q&A session where I’ll try my darnedest to help you navigate the tricky world of wedding planning! Whether you need some supplier recommendations, ideas on where to find the most amazing sparkly shoes, help resolving a family drama or just some feedback on your fabulous theme idea, I’m your gal!

No question is too big or too small, and even if you don’t have any specific things you want to ask me, I hope it’ll be a fun way to break up an otherwise boring Sunday afternoon.

To RSVP to the event simply visit my page on Google+. You can also submit your questions ahead of time by hitting the Q&A button, or you can ask them live as we go along. I’ll be with you for about an hour, and I’ll try and fit in as many questions as physically possible in that time. Eeeek!

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Family Dramas and Your Wedding Day

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A few weeks ago I took to my Facebook page to ask if any of you had any wedding planning woes that I could help you with. To say I was inundated might be the understatement of the century! As I waded through the comments there was a common thread that kept popping up again and again: dealing with difficult family situations. This is just a very small sample of the hundreds I received.

“I lost my Dad four years ago and while my mum is with someone new, who’s really lovely, I don’t feel comfortable asking him to walk me down the aisle. I was going to walk myself down the aisle but the reactions I’ve got off friends and family haven’t been great about the situation. Advice?” Alexandra

“Divorced (and likely to argue) parents on either side! How the heck do do deal with those?” Vicky

“Any advice for having your pops refuse to walk you down the aisle because he doesn’t get along well with your fiancé?” Aja

“Dealing with his family is our biggest stress. We’re having the wedding where we live, a couple of hours drive from where our families live, mine are all coming down and arranging to share a hotel but half of his say they won’t travel that far? I don’t know if there’s some way of making the journey seem less or if he’ll just have to have half the guests I do.” Amy

“We are getting married next year. Our biggest problems are that one parent has said she won’t come if another parent is going…” Georgie

“Having step-parents involved is a big stress for us. I’ve asked my dad to share the responsibility of giving me away with my step-dad, who was there day in and day out for me as I grew up. Safe to say dad didn’t like that idea – what to do??!!?” Aimee Rose

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On Wedding Trends

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One of the questions I hate the most, but I’m inevitably always asked whenever I’m interviewed, is “What are the big wedding trends for this season?” It seems to be the thing everyone wants to know about, but for me, it’s the one aspect of wedding planning that I’m least concerned about. In fact the whole notion of it kinda bothers me.

The way I reply to this question is always the same: that I don’t believe in or care about wedding trends and that the reason the weddings on my site are so awesome is because my readers are awesome and unique.

There is nothing wrong with picking up trends as they come along, if you like them. It is totally worth having a browse around blogs and mags to see what takes your fancy. You never know, something completely surprising and unexpected might end up being amazingly perfect for your wedding. This is how we craft our own unique style after all, by trying out new things. But there is a vast difference between following every trend passed down from You and Your Wedding Magazine, and picking and choosing what you like the look of. Don’t be the wedding equivalent of a fashion victim!

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Wedding Day Survival for Introverts

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Dear Kat
I’m sure this isn’t something you struggle with but I was wondering if you might be able to use your infinite wedding wisdom to help me none-the-less. I am a painfully shy introvert. I suffer from crippling social anxiety and although I desperately want to marry my fiancé, the thought of being the centre of attention for the day fills me with dread. I’m worried about so many things especially what our guests will think about the wedding. We don’t have a huge budget and I’m worried it will be boring because we can’t afford more than an iPod playlist as entertainment…

I was just hoping you might have some tips or advice you could share?

The wedding industry is pretty much built around the idea that your wedding is supposed to be this big entertainment circus where you are the main attraction. It’s enough to make even the most extroverted of us hyperventilate with stage fright. Of course this couldn’t be further from the truth and if I try to do one thing more than anything else with this blog, its to demonstrate to you that you can – and should – do YOUR wedding YOUR way!

For the record, as you probably guessed, I am not an introvert. While I love spending time at home with my husband and my cats, I adore nothing more than being surrounded by people – laughing, chatting and catching up. I feel energised by talking to others and much prefer to be with someone else than spending time alone.  

You probably know this already but while extroverts draw their energy from others, introverts recharge their batteries by being on their own. Gareth is a classic introvert by the way (which actually works well for us, I can be out doing my thang while he’s perfectly content to hold the fort at home!) The fact the we are at opposite ends of the extrovert/introvert spectrum is not a problem for us, as long as we respect each other’s needs.

But I digress…

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Here are a few simple tips for those introverted babes amongst you who are feeling worrisome about being the centre of attention on your wedding day:

Realise that it’s not all about you

The notion that this is “your big day” can be terrifying for introverts but weddings are as much for the family and friends of the couple as they are for the couple themselves. Weddings bring people together. In fact your wedding day will probably be the first day in a long time that everyone you know and love is in the same room.

Your family and friends are not there to be vicious energy sucking vampires. They simply want to share in your joy and to show their love and support for you and your marriage. The bride and groom do not have to be constantly at the centre of everyone’s attention. You are but the reason for everyone to be there together.

Most of your guests will be perfectly happy catching up with each other, reminiscing, laughing, drinking, dancing… I promise, you do not have to put on a massive show for them! For many people forced entertainment is a lot more annoying than the old classics anyway – flowing wine, good tunes and a little bit of dancing!

Have a small wedding

If having all eyes on you is something that fills you with dread then why not have a small wedding? Or at least keep the ceremony (often the most nerve-racking part) intimate? Legally, you only need to have two witnesses at a wedding ceremony (in the UK) and there is no law saying you have to invite everyone you know along for the ride! If a full on elopement is out of the question for whatever reason, a low-key ceremony followed by a more casual reception might be the way forward.

Take the focus off the bride

There are definitely small adaptations you can make throughout your wedding so you are not the focus of everyone’s attention. Have a think about what parts of the day are making you the most anxious – is it walking down the aisle, saying your vows in front of everyone, the first dance? Then change them!

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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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