Archives for February 2012

Complete Wedding Budget Guide – Part 7: The Flowers

This is the 7th and final part in my series to help you save money on your wedding, and this last part is going to be all about flowers and the savings you can make on them when you know a few little tricks of the trade.

I’ve got 3 money-saving ideas in particular that I’d like to share with you today, and if you make use of these ideas you’ll be able to save as much as 50% on your wedding flowers. Not bad, eh?

Okay, here’s the first money-saver for you.

Use Fake Flowers

There are certain times of the year, such as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, when fresh flowers are really expensive. So if your wedding falls around these times, consider using artificial flowers.

Modern silk flowers can be very realistic, and are scented to smell like a real flower. In fact, these days it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between a silk flower and the real thing.

The best thing about fake flowers? They’re cheap! So if you choose to go with fake flowers you’ll have the great look and smell of real, fresh flowers, but with none of the expense. In fact, the potential to save money this way is so great that you might want to consider fake flowers even if your wedding doesn’t fall at a time when real flowers are at their most expensive.

You’ll still make a great saving.

Use In Season Flowers

The second way you can make a great saving on your wedding flowers is to choose flowers that are currently in season. If you insist on specific flowers, and you want to use them even if they’re out of season, you’ll pay a premium. Out-of-season flowers will be in limited supply and will often need to be imported to order, and the result will be a hefty price tag.

So even if you have a personal favourite when it comes to flowers, consider being flexible if those flowers you love are out-of-season. You’ll save a fortune, and no one will ever know you made any sacrifice at all.

Make Your Own Bouquet

Many of today’s brides are are choosing to make their own bridal bouquet. Smaller, more contemporary arrangements are taking the place of the large traditional bouquets of previous seasons.

These posies are very simple and elegant and are made by gathering a few blooms together and wrapping the stems in wide satin ribbon. Roses continue to be very popular, as are lilies, peonies and orchids.

Bridesmaids and flower girls are also carrying small hand-tied posies. So if you or any of your family or friends has a flower garden, set to work and make your own bouquet. This is just one more way to save money on your wedding flowers.

Changing Your Name After Marriage – Right Or Wrong?

Usually my blog has a 7 theme running through it, but today I thought I would break away from this and share something different with you.

At the weekend I met up with some of my girl friends for lunch. During lunch, my friend Amanda, who is getting married later this year, casually remarked that she has decided to break from tradition, and will not be taking her husband’s name after they are married. She will continue to use the name she inherited at birth.

So Why On Earth Has She Decided To Keep Her Own Name?

Of course, the rest of us were curious to know why she had made this decision. She assured us it’s not anything to do with feminism or sexism, but as she teaches young children, keeping her own name will be easier.

Here’s Why My Friend Is Keeping Her Birth Name After She Gets Married

And she will avoid the hassle of changing her name on her passport, driving license, and her bank account. She also feels that carrying on the family name is important, not only to her parents, but to her ancestors and that taking your husband’s name is almost like losing your identity (try telling that to your mother-in-law).

So, all you brides-to-be out there, how do you feel about this? Are you going to take your new husband’s name, or are you planning to stick with your own name? And what about any children you may have together in the future – whose name will they take?

I suppose there are other options – such as using both names and having a double-barrelled hyphenated surname. Bit much for the kids to cope with though.

I must admit I didn’t even give this name thing a thought when I got married last year, but if I was to be completely honest,  I think I would have to say I do miss my name – after all I’d had it for a long time.

7 Romantic Ways To Spend Valentine’s Day

Your engagement is such a special time. Do you remember the high you were on as he slipped that ring onto your finger? But unfortunately, your engagement can get lost in the midst of all the wedding planning.

So make a point of detaching yourselves from all this stressful stuff from time to time, and spend some quality time together, just being a young couple in love. You’ll never get this time back again, and although planning the perfect wedding is important, don’t let it rob you of your special engagement time.

Remember, you will be be married for a lifetime, but you’ll only be engaged for a short while – so whether it’s 1 month, 3 months, or even a year until your wedding day, enjoy every second of the time you are engaged.

So start right now – plan something really special for Valentine’s day.
Take a look at these 7 ways that you could be spending Valentine’s day:

1. Go On A Date

Just cast your minds back to the early days when you were first dating. Do you remember the butterflies, the excitement of getting ready to go on a date? Remember how you used to spend hours doing your make-up and your hair?

Well, recreate those feelings, and do just that. Go on a date. Go to the cinema. Sit in the back row with your arms around each other, sharing a bucket of popcorn and maybe the odd kiss.

2. Have A Picnic

Pack a hamper with some gorgeous food and a bottle of wine and head off for a picnic. Spread your blanket on the ground (weather permitting of course) and simply enjoy the pure luxury of each other’s company. No-one else around – just you and the birds – absolute heaven!

3. A Cosy Night In

Snuggle up together on the sofa and enjoy a romantic night in, with a bottle of wine, a big box of chocolates and a romantic DVD.
Take a look at some of the best romantic films ever made – any one of them is just perfect for a Valentine’s night in:

  • The Notebook
  • Pretty Woman
  • One Fine Day
  • Dirty Dancing
  • An Officer And A Gentleman
  • Titanic
  • Sleepless In Seattle
  • Up Close And Personal

4. A Romantic Meal For Two

If you are looking for something romantic to do on Valentine’s day then what could be better than a meal for two at the most romantic restaurant or pub that you know?

Think log fires, candles, wandering violinists and red roses.
But be sure to book your table well in advance – this will be a busy night.

5. Valentine’s Night Party Cruise

This is one way of celebrating Valentine’s day that I can thoroughly recommend. Last year my lovely husband booked a dinner cruise for us down the river Thames (we were spending the night in London) as a surprise for me.

We enjoyed a romantic meal and drank champagne on the lower deck, and then joined other couples on the upper deck to enjoy the disco. Definitely a night to remember!

6. A Weekend Break

There’s surely no better to spend Valentine’s day than a romantic hotel break. In fact, make it just a little bit more special by staying a couple of nights. This means you can wrap up warm and spend the day exploring the city.

Why not take in a show and then end your day with a romantic meal for two?

7. Don’t Forget Your Friends

Just because you are officially one half of a couple, don’t abandon your friends. In a way you are moving on to a new life, but don’t leave them behind.

OK, so things will be different – you probably won’t all meet up every Friday night and stagger home in the early hours of Saturday morning, but you can still enjoy an occasional girl’s night out. So make some time to spend with your friends, especially the single ones,