Archives for August 2011

7 Frequently Asked Questions About Gift Lists

When I was planning my wedding with my husband-to-be, there were a lot of things I wasn’t sure about, especially when it came to the subject of a gift list.

Just in case you are struggling with a gift list too, here are 7 frequently asked questions to help you out.

1. Should We Prepare a Gift List?

Well this is a difficult one. It really is a case of personal choice. Although some would say it is bad etiquette, many people now find it perfectly acceptable.

Time was when invited guests would ask the advice of the bride’s parents as to what gift to buy. But of course times have changed and unless your wedding is extremely formal, a gift list is probably the way to go.

2. What Is The Best Way To Plan A Gift List?

Department stores are a good place to start. Most of the larger stores have a dedicated assistant who will help you plan your gift list, making sure you have gifts at all different price points.

They will also be able to answer any questions you may have about delivery of the gifts etc.

3. Will People Feel Obliged To Buy Us A Gift?

I think is the short answer here is no. Guests always enjoy buying a gift for the bride and groom.

But these days many couples have lived together before they marry and already have a home together, so a gift list ensures they can buy you a gift that you really will appreciate.

4. Should We Include Details Of A Gift List In With The Invitations?

This again depends on how you feel about it. It’s worth bearing in mind that some of your elderly guests may be a bit more traditional and not be able to access a gift list on line.

So in these cases you may like to use your discretion and include a short gift list put together just for these people.

5. Is It Rude To Ask For Money?

Once again, I don’t think so. Most friends and family members would be happy to donate a gift of money towards a large present that you cannot buy for yourselves.

This could be something like a new kitchen or a new sofa. Then you could invite the people that contributed towards it to a dinner party and show off the gift they bought you.

What we did was offer people the chance to give us a money gift. With the pooled money we bought some garden furniture and lights.

And since then we have had so many lovely nights with our friends enjoying the gift they contributed towards.

6. What If We Really Don’t Want Wedding Gifts?

If you really have everything you need in your home and don’t require any wedding gifts, you need to make this clear in your invitations.

You should include a short note explaining that as you have been living together for any length of time, the fact that they are sharing your special day with you is all you need.

But mention that perhaps people may like to make a contribution to your favourite charity, whichever one that may be.

7. What If I’m Still Uncomfortable About A Gift List?

If you are not happy about the whole gift list thing, then don’t let it spoil your planning fun. Why not create a web site containing all the information about your wedding?

You can use this to give directions to the church and the reception venue, timings, transport, and the gift list. This way the gift list is just casually mentioned.

Make sure the web site address is printed on your invitations, and if people should ask about gifts refer them to the web site.

7 Big Budget Weddings That Ended In Tears

It is estimated that the average wedding costs $30,000, but there’s nothing average about the 7 weddings I’m about to show you. As well as noticing how much each of these weddings costs, you might also notice that all these marriages have failed.

So it just goes to show that a huge budget doesn’t guarantee happy ever after.

1. Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer

Charles and Lady Di were married on 29th July 2001.

Their marriage was hailed as the wedding of the century, and was thought to have cost a whopping $4 million dollars. 600,000 people lined the streets of London, and 750 million watched TV coverage.

But sadly, the couple separated in 1993 and were divorced in 1996.

2.Paul McCartney and Heather Mills

The marriage of Sir Paul and Heather Mills took place in Ireland on 11th June 2002 at a cost of $3 million.

The wedding celebrations finished with a magnificent display of fireworks which cost $150,000. But there were plenty more fireworks to come during their marriage, and the couple separated in 2006 and were divorced in 2008.

It is said she received settlement of over $48 million dollars.

3. Liza Minnelli and David Gest

Liza Minnelli married her fourth husband, David Gest in March 2002 at the Marble Collegiate Church on New York’s 5th Avenue. The 500 strong guest list were almost all A-list celebrities .

This wedding cost a staggering $3.5 million dollars, and $700,000 of this went on flowers alone, ( 20 times as much as the cost of my own wedding) and an unbelievable $150,000 on staff!

But even $3.5 million doesn’t buy happiness – they separated the following year, and were divorced in 2007.

4. Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston

In July 2000 Brad Pitt married Jennifer Aniston. The wedding took place in Malibu, California and cost $1 million dollars.

It’s not surprising the bill was so high considering the lobsters and champagne alone cost $300.000. Although this was thought to be the a marriage made in heaven, unfortunately the couple were divorced in 2005.

5. Madonna and Guy Ritchie

Madonna and Guy Ritchie exchanged their wedding vows in a 19th century castle in the Scottish Highlands in December 2000 before 55 guests.

The ceremony began with Madonna’s daughter Lourdes preceding her mother up the aisle, scattering rose petals as she went. The bride wore an ivory silk gown by Stella McCartney, and the groom and the couple’s baby son wore traditional kilts.

But this marriage turned out to be very stormy, and in early 2009 they were divorced.

6. Eddie Murphy and Nicole Mitchell

Eddie Murphy and Nicole Mitchell met in 1998 and went on to marry in March 1993. The wedding was a $1.5 million extravaganza and was held in ballroom of The Plaza Hotel in New York.

500 guests watched as the couple danced to a song called Cuteness, which was written by Murphy himself.

The couple went on to have 5 children together, and divorced in 2006 after being married for 12 years.

7. Tiger Woods and Elin Nordergren

Tiger Woods married the gorgeous Swedish model Elin Nordergren on a Barbados beach in 2004. Following the sunset ceremony which cost $1.5 million, the couple, plus their 120 guests dined on caviar and Scottish salmon and drank champagne.

This was followed by the biggest fireworks display Barbados had ever seen. At the end of the night the bride and groom retired to spend their wedding night on their yacht ‘Privacy’.

But sadly, after Tiger’s extra-marital affairs came to light the couple failed to work things out, and this once seemingly perfect marriage ended in divorce in 2010.

So when you see these celebrity weddings that cost millions of dollars it’s sometimes easy to feel a bit envious.

But remember all these marriages failed, so this just shows that a huge budget doesn’t always guarantee a happy marriage.

So till next time
Take care.


Check Out These 7 Great Ideas For A Wedding Theme

When it comes to planning a wedding, every couple wants theirs to be unique, and they want it to be a day no-one will ever forget. So what could be better than a wedding with a special theme?

If you are trying to decide on a theme for your wedding, take a look at these 7 ideas

1. 60s Theme

The 1960s was a decade that brought many changes. There was a lot of serious stuff going on during this time. Things like men landing on the moon, Martin Luther King and his famous speech and the assassination of JFK.

But the ‘swinging sixties’ as they were called, were also a time when things became more relaxed. There were new and exciting trends in fashion and music.

Just look at some of the things from this era, some of which are still part of our lives today:

  • Rock n’ roll
  • Elvis Presley
  • The Beatles
  • Espresso Bars
  • Mary Quant and the mini-skirt

So if you would like to find out more about a wedding with a 60’s theme, here is a website you should check out:

2. Scottish Theme

If you or your husband-to-be have Scottish heritage, then why not take advantage of this and have a really unique wedding with a Scottish theme?

Even if you are not actually marrying in Scotland just look at how simple this is to do.

You need to find a countryside location with a large ballroom. Then use your family tartan to add a personal touch to your invitations, menus and place cards.

Of course your groom and his groomsmen will be wearing kilts and you can add tartan ribbons to your dress.

And for an extra special touch why not hire a pipe band and have a piper lead you down the aisle. Then when the ceremony is over begin your ceilidh with a traditional reel.

So if this idea appeals to you check out this website

3. Outdoor Wedding

This is a great theme if you are planning to marry during the spring or summer season. If you are lucky enough to have a garden that is large enough to hold a wedding party, then why not use it as your location.

This way you can turn your wedding reception into a wonderful garden party. Of course, no matter how carefully you plan every detail, you can’t plan the weather, so you need to have a plan B.

Your guests may need to shelter from wind or rain and of course they will need bathroom facilities so unless you hire a marquee, you may need to move everyone inside the house.

But if the weather is on your side, this is a great way to have a day to remember.

4. Vineyard and Wine Wedding

Many vineyards and wineries now rent out space where couples can hold their weddings. What more beautiful backdrop could you ask for than the rows and rows of lush vines and the surrounding countryside?

Most wineries offer you the choice of a casual candle-lit dinner in a decorated barn, or a more formal sit-down dinner in a larger room.

And there is also usually the option to supply your own food if you prefer, and they would be glad to supply the wine, and wine themed favors and table decorations.

You also have the opportunity to purchase bottles of wine with personalised labels on for your guests to take home.

A great romantic setting and fine wine – what could be better?

5. Christmas Wedding

Christmas is such a happy time of year to get married, and with churches and halls already decorated for the festive season, this will save you a lot of money.

If your wedding is going to be a small intimate affair you could look for a hotel or an inn with log fires. If you are planning a larger wedding reception you could use a venue like a country house that would still have the Christmas atmosphere.

Your guests will love the opportunity to dress up in gorgeous coats and wraps and stoles instead of the usual wedding attire.

And you can serve lovely warm drinks like mulled wine, eggnog or hot chocolate topped with marshmallows. And instead of the usual wedding menu, why not serve your guests hearty winter soups and roasts followed by real puddings.

Just be sure to send out save-the-date cards early as people tend to arrange parties and other functions at this time of year. You can find lots of useful information on winter weddings on this website:

6. Wedding With a Green Theme

These days more than ever, people are aware that we all need to do our bit to preserve the planet. So having a green wedding is a great way to do your bit.

You can start by making sure all your invitations, save the date cards and thank-you cards are made from tree-free or recycled paper.

There are lots of other things you can do to help, such as buying a dress that is made from natural materials, buying rings from an ethical jeweller, and making certain your menu consists of foods that are organic and where possible, locally grown.

The same goes for your wedding cake. Many cake suppliers now sell cakes which are made using free range eggs and local ingredients.

So as you can see, you can still have the wedding you always dreamed of, while doing your bit for the environment.

7. A Fairytale Wedding

A fairytale wedding is the dream of every young girl. So it’s not surprising that many brides still want to be a princess on their wedding day. After all, what could be more romantic than walking down the aisle in a gorgeous full length gown, long white gloves, a sparkling tiara and necklace and of course Cinderella slippers?

Carry on the whole fairytale theme by sending invitations designed with Disney characters, giving crystal Cinderella glass slippers as favors to your guests and having the music from your favourite Disney film playing for your first dance.

Find out more by checking out this website:

These are just a few suggestions for a wedding theme, but there really are no rules. Just decide what your favourite things are and build your theme around them.

So till next time
Take care