Be Sure To Enjoy Your Engagement

Wedding planning is fun, and most of the time it’s exciting, but in the midst of the pre-wedding rush it’s easy to forget that you are an engaged couple in love, and this should be the happiest time of your lives. But suddenly you realise that planning your big day has taken over your life.

So when you find the whole thing just a little overwhelming, take a couple of days out.  Forget all about pleasing the parents, negotiating with vendors and caterers, organising seating plans and menus, and all the other 101 things you have to do.

Just sneak away for a romantic weekend together – make an agreement not to think about wedding plans the whole weekend.

How about Paris?  Even just being there is romantic, but here are some things you might like to do while you are there:

Climb the Eiffel Tower – see the magnificent views of Paris from the top.

Scratch your initials on a padlock, secure it to the fence on the Pont des Arts bridge – then wear the key on a chain around your neck.

Picnic on the grass amid all the other young couples in the Jardin du Luxembourg.  If you’re a fan of Les Miserables, you will recognise that this is the place Marius and Cosette first met.

Stop at Angelinas on Rue de Rivoli for a Hot Chocolat a L’ancienne – reputed to be the thickest, creamiest, most delicious hot chocolate ever!

Head over to La Maison de Chocolat – buy a huge bag of truffles and chocolates – take them back to the hotel and eat them in bed.

Eat dinner at the romantic and quirky Coupe Chou Restaurant on Rue de Lanneau. Candlelit tables in small alcoves – absolutely perfect for a romantic dinner.

Explore the Latin Quarter – walk through the cobbled streets and alleyways – discover the quaint antique shops, tea shops, book shops, small theatres, museums and patisseries in the winding back streets.

Take a dinner cruise on the Seine, sail down the left bank and see why Paris is called the City Of Lights.

Compiling The Guest List

When it comes to compiling the guest list, it can seem like a really daunting task. How do you decide who gets an invite and who doesn’t? And unless you’ve got a bottomless pit of money, there is obviously going to be a limit to the number of guests you can have, so there may well be some disappointed friends and acquaintances.

 So needless to say, a lot of thought and consideration has to go into this part of your wedding planning. So I’ve put together a list of a few things you may find useful as you begin this mammoth task.

How Many Guests Should You Invite?

Well of course this depends on your budget. Once you know how many people your venue can accommodate, how much you have to spend on catering, and you have negotiated a price per head with the caterers, then you can come up with a number.

Who Compiles The Guest List?

You and your husband-to-be, plus both sets of parents should all work together to compile the guest list. It’s always a good idea to begin with all parties writing a list of people they would like to invite, with everyone bearing in mind there may have to be compromises. The lists can then be compiled and tweaked as necessary, in the hope that you can amicably arrive at the final guest list.

As the bridal couple, it would seem fair that you should have around 50% of the invitations, with the remainder split between parents and future in-laws.

Must We Invite Children?

This is a question that often crops up with couples during their wedding planning. For some couples a wedding just wouldn’t be complete without the fun and laughter of the children, while those who want a more formal affair may decide not to invite children.

You might find that some parents will decline your invitation if it doesn’t include their children, while others would prefer not to bring their children.

But whatever you decide, be sure to make it clear on the invitations.

Should We Invite Work Colleagues?

Once again, there is no clear cut answer. If there is a special co-worker that you spend time with outside of work, then you may want to invite them. But, imagine for instance, if you work in a large office with say 20 or 30 people, and perhaps your other half the same, you couldn’t invite them all.

Who gets left out? Very tricky. Use your spaces for the people that are really special in your life.

Should Singles Be Given a Plus 1?

This is always a difficult one, and once again there doesn’t seem to be any right or wrong answer. You might feel that a single guest, especially one who is elderly or shy would be uncomfortable if they couldn’t bring a guest.

But on the other hand, if you allow a guest to simply bring a friend, it probably means that someone you may have never met is taking a space, and someone you would like to invite has had to be overlooked.

But a wedding reception is all about fun, and you would want everyone to always remember what a great time they had. So it’s nice to make certain no guest spends the evening sitting alone, or even worse, sat on a table with other singles.

Remember, everyone you invite to your wedding should be there because you have chosen them to celebrate this very special day with you. And you know these people will always be a part of your future, and will always be there for you.

 

Fall Wedding Ideas

The fall is a wonderful time of the year for a wedding. It’s true the days may be a little shorter, and the evenings a little chillier, but this time between summer and winter can be one of the most romantic times of the year. And although there are no guarantees, the weather can still often be quite good as we go into fall, with plenty of golden sunshine.

 The fall offers you something no other season can – all those wonderful deep rich colours that you can work with. Take advantage of these amazing textures and shades – the reds and golds, greens, oranges and yellows – use these to set the tone of your wedding, and give it an almost rustic, even vintage feel.

Choosing a Venue.

When it comes to choosing a venue for a fall wedding, you need to bear in mind that the days are getting shorter, and there is always a chance it could be cold and rainy.

So although it may not be a good time for an outdoor wedding, you could always compromise by having your ceremony and reception indoors, perhaps in a barn, or a mansion house, and have your wedding pictures taken outside in the gardens or woodlands, or even a park.

Another alternative would be a marquee in a beautiful garden. Place Jack ‘o’ lanterns on the tables in the evening to give a romantic feel, and by opening up the sides you can bring a touch of the outside in.

Entertaining The Children

 

Having children at any wedding can make it feel like a real family affair and bring lots of joy and laughter to the proceedings. But for the younger ones it’s a long day, and it’s important to keep them entertained. That way you know the parents can enjoy the day and not have to worry about their children getting fed up. And although most adults enjoy listening to the speeches, this is the time when children can begin to get really bored.

So give them a corner of the room where they can safely play. If you’ve got the space you could hire a bouncy castle. If not, give them a table and some seats. You could consider organising a children’s entertainer such as a magician, which always goes down well with the young ones.

Make up a box for each child, appropriate to each child’s age, fill it with games, puzzles, crayons, a comic book, stickers, bubbles, snacks and other little trinkets. Decorate each box and label it with the child’s name. What about popping a disposable camera in the bags of the older children? You might be surprised at some of the great pictures you could finish up with! Hopefully this will keep them occupied until the music and dancing starts.

Autumn Menu

The fall is a great time to be planning a wedding feast. The warm summer days when we all wanted to eat cold meats and salads are over. Now it’s a perfect time to serve up some good hearty food. Pumpkins are plentiful at this time of year, so make your own spicy pumpkin soup, and serve it up in hollowed out pumpkin shells, with hot crusty bread.

When it comes to the main course, it just has to be turkey, roasted golden brown, served up with roasted potatoes, minted peas and spiced red cabbage. For your vegetarian guests, serve nut roast and roasted seasonal vegetables, or a tasty pasta dish, baked with cheese and tomatoes.

The Dessert Table

Not so long ago, the only dessert served at most weddings was the wedding cake. But times have changed, and couples are now choosing to have a dessert table. A dessert table always goes down well, as it offers guests who are not fond of the traditional wedding cake a more varied choice of sweets.

Just cover your table with a crisp linen tablecloth, and flowers in the seasonal colours to match the wedding, and fill it with all kinds of wonderful, mouthwatering goodies. You could offer cupcakes, small apple pies, candy apples, all things chocolate – cookies, brownies, profiteroles as well as cheese and savory biscuits and plenty of fresh fruits.

And should you decide you still would like a traditional wedding cake, then give it pride of place in the centre of your dessert table.