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A Destination Wedding at the Very Heart of Africa

Fans of destination weddings normally consider typical venues such as tropical islands, France, London or even Australia, among others. However, very few couples would think about getting married in the wild exotic wildlife. In fact, while African destination weddings are extremely popular, they normally happen in hotels or resorts.

Destination wedding in African wildness

But, if you’re an avid fan of nature, what better place to tie the knot than the rugged beauty that made the wild African plains popular all across the world? In spite of what you may believe, it’s relatively easy to plan an African wedding as long as you’re flexible and don’t mind the heat. Of course, it goes without saying that you may fly to Africa during the winter to beat the heat, but then again, winter is an extremely unpredictable season in this continent and temperatures can drop drastically, especially at night.

African wedding on private reserve

Several companies actually offer the couples the chance to say ‘I Do’ on a private reserve. These companies normally offer a few luxurious touches such as air conditioning in the reception hall, lush grounds and wide seating areas. The good news is that these wedding agencies normally take care of everything, from the catering to the decoration or even the seating arrangement and wedding favors. The one important thing to remember is that you should constantly stay in touch with the wedding planner to make sure that everything is up to your expectations when you show up in Africa with the bridal party.

Wedding in wildlife reserve

A destination wedding in the great African wilderness doesn’t necessarily need to be in a luxury private reserve. If you don’t mind roughing it up, the African forest is actually a pretty romantic place to tie the knot. Of course, don’t just venture into any other forest with your groom and bridal party in tow unless you want to come nose to nose with some wild predators: always contact a tour guide or a wedding agency that will locate the safest and most beautiful forests for your wedding. This is a wonderful option for nature lovers as well since you’ll be able to go all the way with a flowered aisle and leafy canopy.

Wedding in African forest

Alternatively, if you’re fond of animals, why don’t you hold your African destination wedding in a wildlife reserve? In fact, couples may even hold the actual ceremony as well as the reception in the savannah? It goes without saying that space won’t certainly be an issue and you’ll be able to arrange your tables and dance floor in just about any way you want!

Reception table setting in the savanah

 

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Top Reasons to Hire a Wedding Planner

Bride and wedding planner

Very often, hiring a wedding planner might seem like an over-indulgence that’s only portrayed in romantic comedies. The truth, however, is that hiring a wedding planner might be much more advantageous than you realize. Technically, a wedding planner is supposed to do exactly what his or her title suggests: help the happy couple plan the most perfect, most inspiring and romantic wedding. In reality, though, a wedding planner does so much more than this. A bride and her wedding planner usually share a special bond, which makes yields for a perfectly decorated wedding.

Perfectly decorated wedding

Indeed, what many people ignore is that the role of a wedding planner is not merely to orient you towards the perfect wedding. In fact, this is a trained and often highly experienced professional who will allow you to enjoy every single hour leading to the wedding, with none of the stress, frenzy and hair-pulling that accompanies couples who chose to do everything by themselves. There are various items to plan for a wedding and in the end, it’s rather unrealistic to imagine that you can do it all yourself.

Various items to plan for wedding

Bear in mind that in the years- or decades- to come, you want to look back on your wedding planning days with a fond smile, which is not exactly a feasible task if you’re constantly stressing about the flowers, dress, seating arrangements and other such trivial items. Most importantly, stressing and fussing over the wedding arrangements have been shown to lead to arguments between the couple, which can be the worst thing to happen in the weeks before the big day.

Wedding planner to advise on the best flowers

Another top reason why you should hire a wedding planner is because of the amazing deals this service can offer. We all know that looking for the right wedding dress is not an easy, and often expensive task. The good thing about wedding planners is that they have an extensive list of contact and can therefore get you some fabulous discounts and deals on dresses. In fact, some highly experienced trainers can very often get their clients a discount of around 25% or maybe more on the wedding frock of their choice. The same goes for flowers and the wedding cake: not only will you benefit from great deals to save up for other expenses, but the wedding planner will also help you make the perfect choice in accordance with your overall outfit.

Wedding planner to find best deals on dresses

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Posted in Top Weddings on Jan 27th,2015
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Famous and Notorious Vegas weddings

Vegas wedding in the Always and Forever chapel

Las Vegas is undoubtedly well-known for the famous and sometimes, notorious, knots that were tied in its dazzling chapels or hotels. Indeed, long before us lesser-known folks decided to get hitched in Vegas, a string of celebrities paved the way for romantic albeit spur-of the moment weddings. The Always and Forever and the White Wedding chapels are actually reputed as two of the most favoured marriage venues among the rich and famous.

White wedding chapel

So, here’s a list of some of the most popular Vegas celebrity weddings.

Vegas wedding

Elvis Presley and Priscilla Beaulieu

One of the most popular- if not the most popular- Vegas wedding of all time, Elvis Presley and Priscilla Beaulieu’s union enchanted fans from all across the globe. Their wedding was quite a lavish affair for 1967, but the invitation was only limited to close friends and relatives. A makeshift altar was quickly set up in the posh Aladdin Hotel and the intimate ceremony was followed by a more laid-back reception that included no less than 100 guests. Unfortunately, though, in spite of the deeply romantic ceremony, their union couldn’t make it past six years.

Elvis wedding

Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton

This couple has notoriously been acclaimed for their wildly unconventional union at Vegas’ Little Church of the West. Indeed, in May 2000, Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton turned up in Vegas wearing blue jeans and shoddy-looking shirts for their wedding. In a typically gory and somewhat creepy gesture, the newly married couple decided to wear vials of each other’s blood strung in necklaces around their necks. However, in spite of their vampire-simulated love, neither one of them was able to make the marriage work and called it quits after a mere three years. So long, Vegas!

Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob

Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow

In spite of the thirty year gap between their ages, the deep-voiced crooner wedded Mia Farrow in a surprisingly elegant Vegas affair. However, in stark contrast to other celebrity weddings, Frank Sinatra wanted to keep things classy and ditched the drive-through chapels in favour of Jack Entratter’s Vegas home. Several well-known guests were in attendance and this union looked like it was actually going to last. Sadly, though, Frank and Mia separated after bitter fights about her unavailability to star in his movies. Mia was actually served with divorced papers during the shooting of one of her most-acclaimed movies, ‘Rosemary’s Baby.’

Frank  Sinatra and Mia Farrow

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Posted in Celebrity Weddings on Jan 26th,2015
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The best shoes and accessories to wear with your Cheongsam

Elegant, refined and exquisitely sophisticated, it’s no wonder that the Cheongsam is always growing in popularity. While this used to be the traditional Chinese wedding outfit, this figure-hugging gown is quickly soaring in Western countries as well. Indeed, who wouldn’t want to slip into a fabulously flattering and eye-catching dress on the most special day of their lives?

Cheongsam

Pearl or diamante jewelry to wear with cheongsam

Most importantly, Cheongsams- unlike traditional wedding dress- are very easy to pair with a plethora of jewellery and accessories. Of course, the accessories, shoes and jewellery that you decide to go for will ultimately depend on the type of Cheongsam which you will wear. For example, classic long Cheongsams with a high neck rarely require much jewellery. In fact, these are so beautifully detailed and elegant by themselves that they rarely need to be accessorized, unless you really want to go all the way and lay on the accents for your wedding day. Brides who want to keep a toned down look and minimal accessories can only wear a long pair of teardrop earrings and select a gold or bright red Cheongsam with intricate patterns. The traditional Cheongsam colour is red so if you decide to go for this hue, don’t hesitate to go for accessories in contrasting shades such as orange, gold, silver or brown.

Bride in long cheongsam  with minimal accesories

Contemporary Cheongsams are normally on the short side and lack the traditional high neckline. Longer versions may even include a lit up the thigh. Since these tend to look a tad less elegant than longer ones, it’s important to take the proper time and care to accessorize your Cheongsam. This is your wedding, after all, and you do want to look more dressed-up than on any regular day! Brides should remember that diamonds go extremely well with modern Cheongsams so don’t hesitate to invest in a diamond chocker, bracelet and matching tiara. Of course, not everyone can afford a full set of diamond jewellery. In that case, you can very easily substitute real diamonds for diamante accessories. Semi-precious white or clear stones are other great options to beautify your wedding Cheongsam.

Bride in contemporary Cheongsam

And then of course, there’s the shoes. Cheongsams look doubly sophisticated when paired with strappy heels, preferably in sparkly gold or red. However, brides should try to avoid wedges with this type of garment because they won’t balance out the figure-hugging aspects of the Cheongsam and make you look bulky instead. If you’re tall enough, you can even slip into some sequined flats.

Strappy heels to wear with cheongsam

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Posted in BridesCheongsam on Jan 10th,2015
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Disney’s ‘Frozen’ Theme for your Winter Wedding

Charming and magical, with stunning scenery and colors, Disney’s ‘Frozen’ movie is considered as one of the best animated films of the year. The costumes and hues are so absolutely wonderful that more and more brides are choosing to integrate this theme in their special day. In fact, a ‘Frozen’ theme is absolutely perfect for colder weathers, given the winter backdrop that lingers through the entire movie. Best of all, this theme is quite a versatile one and can be tweaked to your liking.

Married couple in the snow

To begin with, it’s important to decide whether you want to go for a traditional white dress or adopt Princess Elsa’s iconic frock from the movie: an ice blue shimmery mermaid gown with a fishtail, this ‘Frozen’ inspired costume has captured the hearts of brides from all over the world, which means that it’s quite easy to find it in bridal stores these days. Alternatively, you can also find this dress online. Of course, let’s not forget that unlike Disney’s animated Princess Elsa, we do happen to be non-animated which means that you’ll certainly need something to cover up and keep warm if you chose to don this dress during winter. A blue glittery shawl or a snowflake-printed coat will work wonders with your Disney ‘Frozen’ wedding dress.

Frozen Inspired Costumes

Winter themed snowflake cupcake as wedding favor

Another dominant theme in the movie is the color blue to represent the ever-lasting winter. So, be sure to really lay this color on thick for your wedding day but don’t go for any shade of blue: toss aside cherry turquoises and dark blues in favor of grayish and pale blues. You can very easily include this color in your blue wedding cake. Also, remember that snowflakes are present in nearly every scene of the ‘Frozen’ movie, so, be sure to include this as well. For examples, a blue-iced cupcake with a sugared snowflake would make a wonderful wedding favor without distracting from the overall theme of the day.

Frozen inspired wedding cake

Don’t hesitate to play with a few ideas until you find the best décor for your ‘Frozen’ themed winter wedding. For instance, to keep in line with the natural palette that winter often brings, you may even add some blue food coloring to your cocktails and garnish the glass with a plastic or iced chocolate snowflake. Of course, brides and grooms should also make the most out of the natural winter setting as well: the snow, for example, provides a stunning backdrop for pictures and will certainly enhance your ‘Frozen’ theme. Another easy way to achieve this purpose is to go for ice sculptures or maybe even some ‘Frozen’ inspired Pyramid-shaped vases for your flowers and centerpieces.

Ice blue drinks

Frozen inspired glass pyramid vases as centerpiece

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The best fabrics for a bridal veil

The most iconic and flattering accessory that any bride can wear, the wedding veil is one of the most- if not the most- popular item on your wedding attire. Indeed, even the most contemporary brides chooses to go for a veil on her special day, just to complete that ultra-glamorous and sophisticated look that only a veil can bring.

Veiled bride

The best things about veils is that not only do they flatter your face and bring a mysterious demeanour to your look, but they also come in a plethora of fabrics. So, there’s no doubt about the fact that your bridal veil will very easily match with whichever wedding dress you decide to go for. Of course, while you can go for just about any fabric, provided that it’s see-through, there are some materials that are more flattering when paired with wedding gowns.

Gauze veil

Gauze veils, for example, are the most popular choices and for a good reason. Indeed, these are so exquisitely light and airy that brides rarely feel that they’re actually wearing a veil. Most importantly, gauze veils are flattering to every complexion and usually show off your perfectly rouged cheeks and lips. Gauze veils look best in pure white or ivory but if you’re the sort of bride who loves to be trendy and push the boundaries, then, by all means, go for a brightly coloured one which will beautifully contrast with your dress.

Net Veil for shorter designs

Another popular fabric option for the wedding veil is net. Very often favoured for short or birdcage veils, nets will instantly bring an aristocratic look to you face. This fabric is also fantastic for 20’s or Victorian themed weddings because these were the most popular choices at the time. Net fabrics also go well with short or tea-length dresses made of silk, satin or taffeta. Of course, it goes without saying that lace is another extremely easy fabric to pair with whichever outfit you’ve chosen to get married in. Don’t hesitate to add some beads or sequins to your lace veil to embellish it.

Beaded lace veil

Some cultures require brides to be decked in a rather thick veils on their wedding day. In such cases, the veil is kept on the short side so that the bride can lower her head and look down to see where she’s walking because very often, these thick veils are not transparent. Orthodox Jewish brides, for example, usually don a short taffeta veil which they can decorate with a lace or silk trimming.

Thick taffeta veil for jewish brides

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Posted in BridesVeils on Jan 07th,2015
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Successfully wear a jacket over a wedding dress

Pulling off a winter wedding dress is never an easy task, particularly considering the thin, flimsy fabrics that are normally used for wedding gowns. This is when a dressy jacket comes in really handy. Indeed, a formal jacket will keep you warm on colder days, without distracting from the design of your wedding dress. Cold weather aside, jackets are universally flattering as they create a gorgeous, streamlined look while enhancing the nips and curves of your body. Most importantly, jackets are extremely handy in camouflaging any unruly bulge or lumps that tend to be visible with lighter fabrics.

Long white jacket

Contrary to what most people believe, it’s not that hard to wear a jacket over a wedding dress. If you’re wearing a standard Princess-cut or Ball gown, for example, any long white jacket would do. However, don’t hesitate to embellish it by going for flattering fabrics in the likes of satin, silk, gauze or even linen. A shimmery or pearled jacket would look absolutely wonderful when paired with your wedding dress. Just be sure to take the jacket in at the waist to enhance your silhouette. If it’s really cold, brides may even go for a faux fur coat to sheath their arms and shoulders. But, leave it unbutton to avoid distracting attention from your dress.

Thick faux fur coat over wedding dress

If you want to show off as much as you can of your gown, don’t hesitate to go for a bolero jacket instead. Wool is a fabulous material for fall or winter and it actually goes pretty well with wedding dress fabrics like gauze and taffeta. For spring or summer, you may even pair your wedding dress with a short satin bolero with trumpet sleeves and lace edging. Brides who don’t stand on tradition might even select a contrasting shade for their jacket or coats. In fact, this is a very easy way to add your ‘something blue’ touch to your overall attire.

Shawls and shrugs over wedding dress

Woollen bolero for fall

Also, don’t hesitate to take a leaf out of Kiera Knightley’s book and slip into a waist-length jacket over a shorter wedding dress. Throw in an oversized bridal bouquet, white glittery heels, a flower crown and you’ve got yourself the perfect wedding jacket attire! As a last resort, brides who aren’t too fond of jackets might even wrap a shrug or shawl around their shoulders to keep warm. Of course, there’s no reason why you can’t add some long sleeves to your wedding dress or go for a thicker material to keep warm.

Keira knightley jacket over short wedding dress

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Posted in BridesWedding Dresses on Jan 06th,2015
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How to throw an amazing reception on the beach

If you’re having a beach party, don’t hesitate to make the most out of the beach to throw one of the feistiest receptions ever! With the sloshing waves, powdery sand and amazing stretch of free space, you’ve certainly got quite a lot of potential to work with. So, here are a few tips that will help you throw an absolutely amazing beach wedding reception.

Beach wedding

Bonfires and Decorations

Festive decorations are the order of the day. If you’re hosting your beach wedding reception at night, by all means go ahead a build the hugest bonfire you can manage. Of course, don’t forget that in certain regions, you might need a special permit to build a fire so act accordingly and seek proper permission first. After all, the last need you need is for the cops to swoop down on what could have been an absolutely perfect wedding reception!

Wedding beach reception

So, once you’ve gotten your permit, don’t hesitate to go ahead and decorate your stretch of beach as much as you can. Evening receptions could certainly use accents like garden or Chinese lanterns or even some fairy lights strung around the makeshift aisle. The good thing about beach weddings is that you very rarely need to invest in a whole lot of decoration, since nature’s taking care of all the scenery. And then of course, you’re going to need some upbeat and rhythmic songs that will encourage your guests to throw off their heels, bury their toes in the sand and dance the night away.

Bonefire at wedding receptions

Beach wedding buffet

A beach wedding buffet has very little in common with a regular buffet. Unless you’re able to afford fancy furniture that will hold steady in the sand, no matter what, and a very polished catering service, odds are that you’re going to make some adjustments to the wedding buffet that you’ve always dreamt of. Let go of the caviar, the steaks, the beef wellington and other fancy dishes that you’ve always wanted to serve at your wedding reception. Instead, it’s recommended to favour more beach friendly foods to make things easier for everyone.

Beach themed buffet

Picnic fares such as sandwiches, potato salad, coleslaw, Buffalo wings, pasta salad and garlic bread are actually great options because they’re so easy to handle. For something fancier or for an evening meal by the beach, you can take it up a notch, but try to stick to easy-to-handle dishes. Some extremely practical example would include skewers, hamburgers, hotdogs and assorted salads.

Barbecued skewers for easy eating

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Posted in Beach Theme WeddingsTopic WeddingWedding Theme on Dec 29th,2014
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Romantic Celtic wedding traditions

One of the most romantic celebrations, Celtic weddings are always brimming with love, nature and a deep sense of calmness and serenity. So, if you’re planning on having this type of celebration, scroll down to familiarize yourself with some of the most romantic wedding traditions that you should absolutely adopt on your own special day.

Scenic scenery for celtic wedding

Outdoors wedding venue

It is extremely, extremely rare to find a Celtic wedding held in a stuffy indoors area. On the contrary, Celtic weddings are reputed for the sort of scenic sceneries that provide a deeply romantic backdrop for the ceremony. Couples should therefore take the extra time to look for the most striking outdoors venue that they can book.

However, if you want a church wedding, it’s not a bad idea to select a church or chapel in the countryside. This way, you’ll be able to have your church wedding while making the most out of nature’s gorgeous offerings.

Romantic celtic wedding dresses

Celtic Wedding Dress

Unlike contemporary ball gowns or Princess-like frocks, Celtic wedding dresses have a classic look to them. Indeed, brides will very rarely find a Celt-like frock that looks modern. Indeed, these dresses are often rooted in tradition, which may explain why they all look so ultra-glamorous. Admittedly, though, original Celtic dresses might be quite hard to find these days so don’t be afraid to customize. For example, when shopping for your wedding dress, be sure to look out for old-fashioned trumpet sleeves, floaty cuts and gathered bodices. Brides should also select soft and non-shimmery materials like lace, silk, organza and gauze.

Handfasting ceremony

Ceremonies and Rings

Celt couples usually indulge in two exquisitely sentimental traditions during their weddings. Some brides and grooms, for example, chose to go for the ancient Handfasting ceremony. This basically entails the couple holding hands while the priest binds their wrists together with a ribbon or chain. Symbolically, a handfasting ceremony concludes the wedding and joins two spirits as one.

Unity candle

Another very popular tradition in Celtic weddings is the Unity Candle ceremony. Not unlike the handfasting tradition, the lighting of the unity candle happens at the very end of the wedding, after the vows. In some families, the bride and the groom each takes a candles and lights another bigger one together to symbolize their union. In other families, however, the couple’s parents stand behind their children and hold their arms while they’re lighting the unity candle to represent the joining of two families.

Celtic knot ring

And then of course, there’s the typical Celtic knot ring. This is a highly romantic and sentimental piece of jewelry that has been especially crafted to represent an everlasting knot. While these rings are usually crafted for women, more and more jewelers are designing masculine-looking Celtic knot rings for men.

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Posted in Celtic Theme WeddingsTopic WeddingWedding Theme on Dec 23rd,2014
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Overnight wedding receptions: Taking care of the guests

If you’re having a destination wedding or if you’re getting married in a hotel, there’s a huge chance that your guests might stay over. Whilst this is certainly a case of ‘the more the merrier’, couples should make a few arrangements to ensure the well-being of their guests for overnight wedding receptions. In all fairness, they did make quite a trip to share this special day with you, so, it’s your duty as the newly-weds to ensure their comfort. Overnight wedding receptions can be draining, so before you retire, be sure that your guests have everything they need.

Destination wedding

For example, if you’re having a farmhouse wedding, the very first thing that you should do is make sure that every guest or couple has their own individual rooms. Everyone will be tired after all the drinking and partying and the last thing that they’ll want is share a cramped room with Great Uncle Alfie and his incessant snoring! If the farmhouse, inn or lodge of your choice doesn’t have enough rooms available, try to cut back on the guest list until you manage to get everyone a room. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to pre-book the rooms at least three months in advance to guarantee that your guests will each have a comfortable place to stay.

Farmhouse wedding

Comfortable inn or hotel room

Of course, comfort is the order of the day when it comes to catering to overnight wedding receptions. A few personal touches can go a long way, so, don’t hesitate to take some extra steps to make friends and relatives feel ultra-welcome. For example, if you’re throwing your reception in a hotel backyard, be sure to ask the management if they can decorate the place in fairy lights and Chinese Lanterns for a magical feel. A more considerate touch, however, would be to buy a good stock of individual chocolate squares and ask the inn concierge to place each one on your guests’ pillows as a special surprise.

Wedding reception in hotel backyard

Chocolate on pillow

Couples who are not on a limited budget can also invest in some personalized gifts, other than the wedding favors of course. Imagine your guests’ reactions as they walk into their room to find monogramed towels, throws or blankets which they can take home with them. To make the wedding even more memorable, why don’t you print your names and wedding date on the towel? To give the parents some alone time together, you may even ask the hotel to provide a suite just for the children and hire a babysitter to look after them.

Monogramed towel or throw

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Posted in Etiquette & GuestsWedding Planning on Dec 22nd,2014