Archives for November 2011

How To Have Your Own Royal Wedding In 7 Simple Steps

All celebrity weddings start trends, but they all pale in comparison to the mother of all celebrity weddings: the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The wedding was so spectacular, so mesmerizing, that brides-to-be all around the world have been trying to recreate the royal wedding ever since it was broadcast on TV in April 2011.

If you’re one of these brides-to-be who would love to have your very own royal wedding, I’ve put together a 7 step guide to help you to achieve one.

1. The Bride’s Dress

Well the highlight of the day was certainly Kate’s beautiful, almost vintage style wedding gown, with a 3 metre train.

This stunning ivory dress, with it’s hand made lace bodice, sleeves and skirt was the creation of Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen and is estimated to have cost £40,000.

But the good news is, for around £595 it is now possible for you to own a replica of this gorgeous dress. The more famous high end bridal boutiques now stock a limited edition of this dress.

2. Pippa’s Dress

This absolutely stunning dress, again a creation of Sarah Burton, almost stole the day. And of course, Pippa Middleton was the perfect person to wear this dress.

This ivory, satin based crepe dress is said to have cost £20,000, but your chief bridesmaid could be wearing a copy of this dress at your wedding. A replica is now available on the high street for a more modest £170.

3. Bridesmaid’s Dresses

The beautiful dresses which the bridesmaids and flower girls wore were designed and made by Wiltshire designer Nicki Macfarlane.

These dresses were painstakingly hand-made from ivory organza and wild silk and finished with delicate English lace.

A replica of these little dresses is available in some wedding boutiques for around £48.

4. Getting To The Reception

When Kate and Wills left Westminster Abbey as man and wife, they travelled through the streets of London in the famous 20 foot long royal horse drawn coach to their reception venue.

But if you and your new husband don’t have access to a horse drawn coach, do the next best thing and travel through London to your reception venue aboard an open-top London bus!

5. The Bouquet

Kate’s simple, elegant bouquet of delicate flowers and shrubbery, was made up of Lily of the Valley, Hyacinth, and Sweet William. She also followed tradition of previous royals by including stems from the Myrtle which was planted by Queen Victoria in 1845, and a sprig from the Myrtle used in the Queen’s bouquet back in 1947.

Depending on the time of year you get married, specialist wedding florists will be able to replicate Kate’s bouquet. Lily of the Valley is normally only available in April and May, Sweet William from April to June, and Hyacinths from November to May.

6. The Wedding Cake

Wills and Kate’s wedding cake was a magnificent 8 tier masterpiece, dressed with cream and white icing. 900 sugar-paste flowers were used to decorate this wonderful creation. It took cake-maker Fiona Cairns and her team 5 weeks to complete the task. It is thought to have cost over £50,000.


Emulating this cake could prove a bit tricky. Some of the very best experienced bakers, including Jean-Michel Raynaud have produced copies, but these can still cost a whopping £5,000.

So a bit of compromising is called for here. You can still have a stunning multi-tiered wedding cake by asking your baker to use Styrofoam for the bottom tiers. Once decorated, these fake tiers are impossible to distinguish from the real thing.

7. Prince William’s Cake

Prince William broke with tradition when he decided to have a groom’s cake at his wedding. He chose his childhood favourite chocolate cake. McVities made the cake using 40lbs chocolate and 1700 of their famous rich tea biscuits, and decorated with white chocolate and left to set in a fridge.

It’s easy to make a simplified version of this delicious, rich chocolate cake. A quick google search will bring up several versions of the recipe. It’s quick and simple to make and require no cooking.

7 Frequently Asked Questions About The Bride’s Wedding Speech

Are you thinking of giving a speech on your wedding day? If you are, and you’d like to know more, check out these 7 frequently asked questions about bride’s wedding speeches:

1.  Do Brides Give A Speech?

I’ve been to a lot of weddings in the past, and until quite recently had never seen a bride make a speech. And I often wondered why we don’t.

After all, we women have our own careers, earn our own money, drive our own cars, why shouldn’t we stand up and give a speech on our wedding day?

Then by sheer chance, I happened to be watching a film in which the bride did in fact make a speech at the wedding breakfast.

2.  Should I Give A Speech?

Yes – you definitely should make a speech on your wedding day. You’ll have people you’ll personally want to thank, personal stories you’ll want to tell, and you’ll almost certainly want to say something special to your groom.

A speech during your wedding reception is the best place and time for this – so be bold, go against restrictive traditions, and give a bridal speech that your guests will enjoy and remember.

3. What Should I Include In My Speech?

This is your day, and it’s your chance to say what is really in your heart to the people that are most dear to you. So don’t forget to thank

  • everyone for taking time out of their busy lives to be a part of your special day
  • your parents for the love and support they have always shown you
  • your new in-laws for welcoming you into their family
  • all your friends and relations that helped with your wedding preparations

4.  When Should I Speak?

Well this is really up to you. And since it’s not traditional there really are no set rules as to when you should speak. But if you want to say a few words then you should speak directly after your husband, and before the best man.

5. Who Needs To Know I Am Making A Speech?

There are a handful of people you need to tell in advance that you are going to make a speech. These might include:

  • your M.C – he will need to introduce you to your guests
  • your photographer
  • your bridesmaids
  • and of course, your groom

6. How Can I Make Sure I Give A Great Speech?

If you’ve never spoken in public before, it can be a bit scary. But good preparation will ensure it won’t spoil your day. Remember all your guests are there because they want to be a part of your special day, so they will be delighted to hear you speak.

The secret is to plan your speech in advance –  being well prepared even for the shortest of speeches means you won’t feel nervous. So these few tips may help:

  • write down what you want to say
  • read it through –  read it again – and again
  • stand in front of the mirror and read it again – this time imagine looking at your guests
  • decide where you should pause and smile

So remember, keep your speech short, speak clearly and slowly and don’t forget to look around at your guests and smile.

7. How Shall I Wind Up My Speech?

Finish up by thanking your bridesmaids, especially your maid of honour.

But be sure to save the last words for that very important person – your new husband. Be sure to tell him how happy he has made you, how you look forward to spending the rest of your lives together.

So finish with a toast to your brand new husband.

7 Places To Eat Breakfast On Your Honeymoon In New York

New York is probably one of the most exciting cities in the world, and there are some great places to eat. So if you are spending your honeymoon in New York, don’t eat in your hotel – get out and sample some of the wonderful foods on offer.

Here are 7 of my favourite places to eat breakfast:

1. Balthazar Restaurant

Whenever I’m lucky enough to spend a couple of days in New York, this is one of the first places I head for.

This wonderful French bistro in Spring Street was, until 1997 a leather warehouse, but is now one of SoHo’s most famous eating places.

Breakfast here can be as simple as boiled eggs and soldiers, or cappuccino and croissants, or you can go the whole hog with a “ full English ”.

With it’s Parisian decor, and it’s great buzzy atmosphere it’s well worth a visit. But just a word of warning – get there early for breakfast – this place fills up fast!

2. Clinton Street Bakery and Restaurant

If pancakes are your thing, then head for the Clinton Street Bakery and restaurant on the Lower East Side. Their blueberry, banana and walnut pancakes and maple butter have won numerous awards since they opened in 1991.

They should really rename this place Pancake Heaven. With just 32 seats, it can get a bit hectic at times, but if you don’t mind the wait, which can sometimes be up to an hour, it’s definitely worth a visit.

3. Sarabeth’s Central Park South

After your first visit to Sarabeths you just know it won’t be your last. This lovely little restaurant is right across from Central Park, so after a hearty breakfast it’s perfect for a brisk walk around the park.

It’s not cheap – but the food is good and the portions are generous and the menu offers plenty of choice. It’s always busy and the queues for tables are often out the door, so it’s a good idea to make a reservation.

4. Good Enough To Eat

This lovely little restaurant has been serving up breakfasts since 1981, and can be found at 483  Amsterdam Avenue at 83rd Street on the Upper West Side. Once again, if you don’t make a reservation you will probably have to stand in line for a table.

Inside it does tend to feel a little cramped, but the decor is charming, and there is a real old-fashioned atmosphere. The food is delicious – and all freshly made, like the wonderful waffles, omelette’s and pancakes.

And if you want a really great dessert, try the carrot cake – it’s delicious!

5. Norma’s at Le Parker Meridien

Norma’s restaurant is up the stairs in Le Parker Meridien Hotel at 119W 56th Street.

Eating breakfast at Norma’s feels like a real treat where every minute should be savoured, which is exactly what you want on your honeymoon.

The extensive menu has something to suit every taste, from blueberry muffins to the fabulous lobster and asparagus omelette.

But be warned – it’s certainly not cheap. But hey, portions are large and you certainly won’t be hungry when you leave.

6. Pastis

Pastis is a lovely French style restaurant located in the very trendy Meatpacking District on 9th Ave and Little West 12th Street. Pastis is part of Balthazar, so has the same comfy feeling, and the same great noisy buzz of people enjoying themselves.

On nice days it’s great to sit at one of the outside tables and drink a delicious cafe-au- lait. The breakfast menu is totally mouthwatering – but I have to say the brioche french toast with fresh fruit and maple syrup is my absolute favourite.

7. Patisserie Claude

187 W 4th St New York is where you will find Patisserie Claude. It’s a lovely little pastry shop/cafe serving what could well be the most delicious croissants you are ever likely to eat.

Get there early in the morning when the fluffy and buttery croissants are fresh from the oven. The decor isn’t pretentious – this is just a small bakery baking the most incredible french pastries.