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7 Things to Consider When Choosing a Wedding Venue

For some couples-to-be, choosing the perfect wedding venue is easy because they selected a favourite place even before they got engaged. For many others, the available options are overwhelming. From churches to hotels to restaurants to castles, finding the perfect venue can be quite a task. Here’s a guide on what you should consider before choosing a venue.

1. Number of guests

You’ll need to pick a place that’s the right size for your number of guests. If the place is too small, your guests will be cramped. If it’s too large, the atmosphere will be dull, and it’ll seem like a significant number of guests failed to turn up. Before you start listing potential venues, come up with a rough figure of expected wedding guests.

2. Locationwedding

Review the location of your venue keenly because it can easily put your guests off attending your wedding. If your wedding ceremony and reception are to be held at two different sites, make sure they are close to each other. If the two sites are more than two hours apart, that could make things hectic for your guests. Think about the accessibility of your venue. If a large number of your guests are coming from far, consider choosing a venue that’s near an airport and is easily accessible by road. There should also be accommodation at your venue or nearby.

3. Budget

When choosing a venue, think about your budget. Ask yourself “Can I really afford this venue?” Don’t include venues you know you can’t afford in your list as that will only lead to heartbreak and a waste of time.

4. How hands-on you’re willing to be

The work you’ll be required to put in will vary from venue to venue. Consider a unique location like a barn. You’ll need to make arrangements for lighting, clearing out the hay, hauling in the tables and preparing a backup plan, just to mention a few. If you’re not ready to become hands-on, such a venue or any private rental or marquee wedding isn’t suitable for you. Go for a hotel that may have a one-size-fits-all approach, but will take a huge weight off your shoulders.

5. Date

If you have a specific date for your wedding in mind, it could take some time to find venues that can accommodate you on that date. Some venues have online calendars where you can check for availability on your preferred date, month or time of the year. For others, you can email them for rough availability.

If you’re flexible with dates, you might find your venue much quicker. If you have a dream venue but it isn’t available on your date, or you can’t afford it, consider scheduling your wedding for an off-peak time like November, early December or February. There’ll be less competition for venues and prices will also be cheaper. You can also consider a midweek wedding though some guests may not be able to attend.

6. Style or themewedding

What type of event do you want? Is it going to be formal or informal? Do you want something traditional or modern? These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself in relation to your establishing your preferred style. By identifying the elements you’d like to incorporate into your wedding, you’ll narrow down your list of potential venues. For example, if you want something formal and ornate, large hotels, castles and stately homes are great options. If you prefer an informal ceremony, smaller hotels, country houses, barns and restaurants are more ideal.

7. Parking

In this day and age, parking is a critical factor when it comes to choosing your wedding venue. Ensure there’s plenty of parking space at the venue. Include a map in your invitations to show guests where cars should be parked. If your preferred venue does not have enough parking space, tell your guests about the entry points to parking lots that are close by. You may suggest carpooling or provide a shuttle service to ferry guests to the venue.


The perfect venue is waiting for you to find it. Take the above factors into consideration and keep searching. You’ll soon step inside a venue that you’ll fall in love with in an instant.

Top Wedding Transport Tips

You must have dreamt about how you’ll get your wedding. Getting there in style and on time takes a little more than just dreaming; it requires careful planning. Here are some essential tips for planning your wedding transport.

  1. Book Early

Car rental companies experience high demand for their services when many events like weddings, proms and graduations are all competing for transportation. If you leave booking to the last minute, you’ll have fewer options to choose from and higher prices to pay. Once you’ve settled on a date and venue for your wedding, start thinking about transportation. Book a car company at least six months to your big day.

  1. Know Your Budget

Budget affects all decisions about your wedding, including transportation. You should know your budget and the amount you’re willing to allocate to transport. When booking a car company, pay close attention to the mileage costs, hourly costs and the distance to be covered on your wedding day. Prices vary from one company to another. You’ll need to do some research to find one that suits your budget. If there’s a particular company that you like, try and ask them for a package that fits your budget. Most companies will be happy to work out an offer that’s favourable to you.transportation

  1. Make the Reservation in Person

Before you book any car service, do enough research. Search the internet for car rental companies in your area, check out pictures of their cars and compare prices. You can phone a few of them.

Before you make the final booking, go and meet the company representatives. Inspect the vehicles first hand to avoid getting any nasty surprises. Only pay the deposit after you’ve ensured the cars you had in mind meet your expectations.

  1. Think About Out-of-Towners

If a lot of out-of-towner friends and relatives will be attending your wedding, consider providing transport from their hotel to your wedding venue and back. You’ll save them from the stress of having to navigate an unfamiliar area or looking for designated drivers. You can hire a charter bus, which generally carries up to 60 guests.

  1. Get a Contract

After you’ve chosen a transportation company, don’t hire before putting down all the important details in writing. Include details such as model, size and colour of the car, pick-up time, arrival time (add an extra 20 minutes to cater for any traffic or last-minute interruptions), driver’s name, addresses of your destinations, gratuity and any other requests that you may have made. Before signing the contract, make sure you’re well aware of the total cost, overtime rates, deposit required and the company’s refund policy. You’ll be more relaxed knowing that you have a contract to ensure everything goes as planned.

Transportation should not be the last thing you think about when planning your wedding. Start planning well in advance by taking all your transport needs into consideration, doing thorough research of companies, making the reservation in person and including all the necessary details in a contract

 

Wedding Planning Tips

Weddings are joyous occasions but it is also one of the most stressful moment for the couple.  Many people have swapped stories about weddings. Stories about the bloopers, the tear jerker moments, the people and the clothes they are wearing and most of all the wine and the food.  It takes a lot of work to prepare for a wedding especially with all the details that needs to be considered.

Thus, planning is essential for a wedding.   To coordinate a bunch of people to work smoothly is essential.  To make available all the materials needed is crucial.   We do not only prepare for the practical and technical part of the wedding.  But we also have to prepare ourselves for the high drama that comes with it.  As the wedding day gets nearer, stress gets higher, emotions also goes haywire.  So preparing ourselves is as important.  We have to ask ourselves on how do we deal with each other when our views are conflicting.  It is easy if we agree on things.

But let’s face it, we see things differently because of our background, family culture and values.  When discussing the menu for the reception becomes a major fight.  When petty issues become major issues.  It is time to stop and reflect.  Where are these things coming from? The process of dealing with conflicts and differences becomes crucial too.  We need to use the conflict as a stepping stone to know and understand each other better and not to drive a wedge.  We need to know the things that makes the other happy, sad, irritate and angry.  We need to know when to take a break and affirm again the decision to marry each other and not another person.  This progression makes us more prepared for what is to come after the wedding – the Marriage.  It is but natural that differences occur but it is how we deal with the disagreements that makes the difference.  So amidst the many challenges that will come during the preparation for the wedding, it is important that the couple will stand united.

For a holistic perspective in preparing for a wedding, here are some questions that one can use as guides or tips:

Why you are marrying your partner?

It is good to be reminded that the wedding is about you and your partner especially in moments when things are not going the way you want.

What are attitudes that you each one of you should have while preparing and for the actual wedding?

Having the right disposition as you prepare for the wedding that both of you wanted is essential. This is the choice of being able to support one another and being happy about it. Things will not be smooth sailing as you do your arrangements but still you are doing things together.

What kind of wedding that you both envision? What are your expectations?

The need to clarify expectations with each other especially on the kind of wedding that you have dreamt about is essential. It would lessen frustrations, disappointments and most of all it will give you focus on the things that you have given priority. Imagine the fated day in your mind and describe it to each other. The positive feelings that rose from your imaginations will bring a lot of good will to your dream wedding.

What are the list of things that should be done? What are each other’s assignments/tasks?

The practical part of the wedding comes in here and we will be helped by the magic of the internet. As we surf through the net, we can find different sites who promotes the Do It Yourself (DIY) lifestyle. We can find checklists for the wedding, possible places to visit that gives discounts. We can watch and learn from people’s experience who has gone ahead of you. Then we arm ourselves with lots of information but we discern and choose ideas that simply addresses your need, preferences and realities.

What are the available resources (money, people, equipment, etc.)?

Check your list with the things that both of you have and do not have. Identify one or two non-negotiables that both of you want for the wedding. Check your budget if the things that you want you can afford or you can borrow or you need to buy. It is good that you can rely on people but in preparing for the wedding it is best to rely on each other more.

What is the timeframe or schedule for doing the tasks and updates?

Set the schedule when you can do the work together or when you do things individually. It is good to include in your schedule the time for updates. Also remember to give time for dates when things are getting toxic. Take time to recharge and then go back to the preparation.

May all weddings be a celebration of union of two people amidst the people who loves, supports, encourages and disciplines them that they may live together all the days of their lives. As the guests go home, may they remember your wedding for the right reason – they are a good couple who loves and inspires love.

Top Wedding Food Disasters and How to Plan for Them

Food can make or break a wedding reception. Many hours of thought and preparation have to go into what you’ll serve your guests on your wedding day. As they say, failing to plan is planning to fail. When it comes to wedding food, failing to plan is planning to welcome a food disaster. You don’t want your wedding to be remembered because of how bad the food was or how you ran out of food. Have a look at some of the top wedding food disasters and how you can avoid them.

1. Bad Food

The most common wedding disaster is bad, boring food. It usually results from food not being as fresh as it ought to be. Food can become unappetizing if it’s not originally cooked, reheated or maintained at the appropriate temperature. Other than having an unpleasant taste, such food can also cause food poisoning.
Try to be sensible with the choice of your menu. The summer heat, limited refrigeration and an outdoor reception should influence your choice of food. Serving ice cream at a venue that doesn’t have a permanent freezer is inviting trouble. Pick food that won’t go bad between the time it’s cooked and the time it’s delivered. Alternatively, serve your food directly after it’s cooked. A fresh or dairy-based cake will spoil if left to stand too long. Display it for not more than 30 minutes before cutting and serving it.

2. Allergic Reaction

There’s always the possibility of one or more guests having one of the many intolerances, allergies or hypersensitivities out there. If you’re insensitive, such guests will be left starving, having to fill up on crackers or even worse, needing urgent medical attention.
When sending out invitations, ask guests to fill out any special dietary needs in their RSVP. Check the requests carefully and discuss them with your caterer. A good caterer will always be willing to make provisions for the guests with individual needs.

3. Late Booking

Catering companies that offer quality services get booked even a year in advance. The more you wait before booking, the higher your chances of missing out on these companies and having to settle for less. By booking inexperienced caterers, you risk experiencing bad service, rude behaviour and even withdrawal from your wedding at the last minute because of double booking or lack of staff.
Booking a caterer should be one of your top priorities after you’ve chosen the date. This will give you enough time to check out different caterers before settling on the most suitable one.banquet

4. Poor Communication

Many couples have a clear picture of how they’d like their wedding to be in their head. Some don’t share this vision with their caterers. This can result in the served food being different from the couple’s expectations.
Throughout planning, you should be clear and precise about what you want. Share your vision with your caterer. Give clear instructions on what you want to be served, how you want it served, how you expect the caterer to behave and any other expectations. Failing to do so will make your caterer operate in their default mode. Don’t forget to schedule a food tasting to find out if your order is spot on or needs to be adjusted.

5. No Plan B

Power failure, vehicle breakdowns, ill staff member –these are just some of the unplanned-for events that can create a massive disaster. If your caterer has no plan B to respond to emergencies, they won’t complete the service as previously agreed.
Before hiring any caterer, find out whether they have a backup plan. What will they do in case a key staff member falls sick or if there is a power blackout? Do they have a generator? Don’t be afraid of asking such questions. The caterer you hire should be able to plan for all contingencies.Table served in a restaurant

6. Insufficient Food

Running out of food can be as a result of failing to double check the number of guests or craftily trying to reduce catering costs by giving the caterer a lower guest number. Consequently, some of your guests will remain hungry for the rest of the event.
During the planning process, keep monitoring the number of your guests. Give the caterer the exact number to allow them to plan appropriately. If there’s a change on your guest list, communicate it to your caterer. If your budget can’t accommodate all your guests, your caterer will be able to offer some cost-effective solutions.
Now that you are aware of the top food disasters, hire a quality caterer and take the necessary measures to keep nasty surprises at bay.

Bridal Party Duties

Do You or Don’t You? Duties Of The Wedding Crew

Bride and Groom, your roles are clear — get yourselves happily hitched, giving everyone a great day out while you do.

So what about the rest of the wedding party bunch?

The order of play is a lot more blurred these days, when brides may balk at being ‘given away’, couples often fund part of the wedding, and parents of the groom want a greater part of the action.

But whether it’s full-on tradition, or alternative modern-mode, there’s a part for everyone to play.

Far from an exhaustive list, we bring you the bare essentials for the wedding party pile.

Her Folks

• Parents of the bride, you are pivotal — no pressure, but it’s up to you to hold it all together
• To kick off, host a small (or large) engagement gathering to celebrate the announcement
• Once you have that behind you, work the guest list into shape along with the blissful couple
• Dad – walk her up the aisle if she wants you to, open with a short toast at the reception, dance with your daughter, and be there till the bitter end, whatever time it might wrap
• Mother of the bride — you are Chief Diplomat in Residence. As liaison point for wedding suppliers, you’ll be busy honing your organisational skills
• Unfortunately, limiting the number of guests could fall under your remit where required
• One of your key tasks is to choose the dress you want and make sure the groom’s mother wears something nowhere near as glamorous

His Folks

• For good or for bad, you are the Back Up Brigade
• Provide a list of your guests to the couple, and hopefully stick within your quota
• Although not a must, you might host post-engagement or pre-reception drinks, and get the two families together
• The rehearsal dinner on the evening before the wedding may be in your court, and you might choose to contribute to some wedding expenses

helping to wear  bride the shoes

Maid of Honour/Chief bridesmaid

• You’re the Champion Cheerlead cum Bottlewasher Extraordinaire — you’ll also need to bring your jollying skills to the fore
• Juggling the bridesmaids’ activities is your job, from dress fittings to movements on the day
• Orchestrate the hen night out in a way that keeps your bride healthy and sane
• Muck in to assist with all the logistics in the lead up to the wedding
• On the big day, you are Super Sidekick Girl, helping the bride get ready, keeping her calm before the ceremony and cool before the reception
• You’ll hold her bouquet during the vows, and sign the marriage license as witness of the bride
• Now you’re on the home run, backing up the bride and her mother as Hostess Supreme, and hitting the dance floor with the best man once the bride and groom have had their chance

Bridesmaids

• Girls, you are the Wondrous Wing Backs, assisting the maid of honour with her wedding-planning duties and her hen night escapades, and supporting the bride as and when you’re needed
• You’ll walk the walk in the processional, look after any flower girls and ring-bearing boys, and play professional minglers through the rest of the day

Cheers! girls celebrate a bachelorette party of bride.

Best Man

• Think of yourself as the Canny Centre Forward, driving the groom towards his destiny
• The stag night is yours to arrange (keep it clean!)
• Get the groomsmen fitted out like kings, and make sure to pick up the groom’s outfit for the day
• Get him to the church on time!
• You’ll guard the rings (or help the young ring-bearer), sign as witness to the groom, and keep the fee to pay the officiant
• Coordinate toasts at the reception before your big moment arrives — when it’s time for your speech, take a deep breath, you’ll play a blinder
• Just one more formal requirement before you relax — your dance with the maid of honour
• Don’t forget — it’s your job to get any rented formalwear back from whence it came

Groomsmen

• You are the Meeters and Greeters of the Court
• Without too much to do beforehand (though offering to take on any tasks from the best man and groom will score you points), your duties kick in on the day
• Seating guests and ushering the crowd during the ceremony and between reception points is your responsibility
• Remember, at traditional Christian ceremonies guests of the bride’s family sit on the left, and guests of the groom’s family on the right.

Choosing your wedding cake

Wedding Cake Corner

The confection conundrum — choosing your cake and eating it.

What could be more tempting than one lovingly baked, lavishly iced and lusciously filled creation? Well, three actually. Which is what Brangelina chose for their recent big day, feasting on no less than three wedding cakes in the opulent surrounds of their French country chateau. (http://www.rte.ie/ten/news/2014/0902/640895-first-photos-of-brangelina-wedding-emerge/)

But for most of us mere mortals, just one will do. We’ve a few pointers to kickstart your search for the perfect cake solution.

Sizing the issue

Should it be round or square? Tall or small? Or maybe it’s not a cake at all — brides and grooms of late have been swapping the traditional slab for all kinds of tasty alternatives. Cascading cup cakes and masses of mouth-watering macaroons have been trending on the cake stands of late.

How big should it be? Work out your guest list limit, and size what you need from there. Most experts agree the popular choice is a three tier job. As a rough guide, a 10″, 8″, 6”, arrangement will cater for up to 200 guests.two-layer cake for a wedding

Fill of your fancy

One of the most widely requested cakes these days is of the chocolate biscuit variety — it’s rich, decadent and downright delicious. But it’s not for everyone. The homemade Madeira is an age-old tradition, while a rich fruit cake with marzipan has also been a staple throughout the years (this is one you might want to ponder if you plan on keeping a tier for a later date).

Consider fudge cake, carrot cake, cheese cake, even the traditional French Croquembouche with it’s toppling tower of profiteroles. Whatever tickles your tastebuds.

It’s also not unusual to have different fillings on a combination of tiers, a great solution if the bride and groom are battling over choice!

Another idea to mull over, particularly where the budget is in the balance, is to make a small version of your dream cake for cutting and display, adding sheet cakes that can be plated up in the kitchen.Blue wedding cake

Look sharp

To frost or not to frost? You might like soft (usually buttercream) icing, or maybe you’ll opt for the harder royal variety. Some folk want lavish, edible adornments, while others prefer simple fresh ingredients on top.

It’s all up for grabs, so once you know roughly what’s on offer, throw out the rule book and agree what works for you.

Ask yourself:
• What’s your style in general? If you’re a sharp-sculpted-corners kind of couple, an intricately embellished, sophisticated piece is likely to appeal. If you’re a ‘keep it fresh and simple’ kind of pair, you’ll want something gentler on the eye.
• What type of wedding are you having and what type of venue is it in? Vintage vaudeville in a stately home will call for something delicate but grand. Rustic rural is a whole different kettle of fish.
• Consider the time of year. If it’s a winter wedding, rich fillings on the inside, gilded with steely glamour on the out, might just fit the bill. On the other hand, a mid-summer day celebration could call for lighter, zesty tastes with seasonal fresh fruit topping.

Ultimately, finding a baker you can work with is the key to your cake solution.

wedding cake

The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Dress Silhouettes

When shopping for a wedding dress, the wide variety of dress types available can overwhelm you. The situation could be much worse if you can’t identify a particular style or tell the difference between it and another. Knowledge is power when it comes to finding the most flattering wedding dress. We’ve decided to make things easier for you by giving you information on the different wedding dress silhouettes available.

Don’t start your hunt before reading this simple but comprehensive guide.

Empire –Line

The empire-line gown has a raised waistline that starts just under the bust line and flows all the way down to the hem. This style skims over the tummy area and hips to form a straight flow that is ideal for camouflaging trouble spots like short legs and a long torso. It is perfect for pear-shaped brides. The empire style gown is also suitable for pregnant brides because its fluidity nicely accommodates a large belly.

Photo credit: etsy.com
Photo credit: etsy.com

A-Line

The A-line silhouette features a fitted bodice and a skirt that gradually flows out to the ground from below the waist, resembling the outline of the letter ‘A’. It is highly popular because of how flattering it is for almost all shapes. It can make petite brides look taller, create curves for brides with straight figures, downplay a wide waistline and hide lower body flaws. You can modify the fabric, neckline or waistline to emphasize your best assets while hiding your less impressive features. The A-line gown suits any occasion, from a traditional church to a backyard ceremony.

Photo credit: marthastewartweddings.com
Photo credit: marthastewartweddings.com

Trumpet

The trumpet gown, sometimes called the fit-and-flare, fits tightly to your body and begins to flare gradually around your mid-thigh. The gradual flare of the skirt resembles the shape of a trumpet’s bell. It is usually confused with the mermaid gown. The two are similar, but the mermaid is more fitted than the trumpet. The trumpet silhouette adds a nice balance of chic and classic to your dress design. It is excellent for accentuating curves.

Photo credit: annacampbell.com.au
Photo credit: annacampbell.com.au

Mermaid

The mermaid gown tightly embraces the body’s contours from the chest to the knees, or lower, then dramatically flares out to the hem, resembling a fin. It flatters brides with slender figures. Those on the voluptuous side can also use it to accentuate their curves. However, regardless of how perfect your figure is, you should consider whether or not you’ll be comfortable wearing the mermaid style for your wedding. It has a bold design that highlights all curves, so you’ll need to be confident to pull it off.

Photo credit: bertabridal.com
Photo credit: bertabridal.com

The Ball Gown

The ball gown style adds a fairytale touch to your wedding. It features a fitted bodice with a dramatic full skirt. It is figure-flattering for most bodies. It is particularly excellent for brides with large busts as it emphasises the waistline, creating an hourglass figure. It is also ideal for pear-shaped and slender figures because it accentuates the waist and conceals any lower-body problem areas. The ball gown wedding dress often features layered tiers, delicate embroidery and elaborate beading embellishments. There are many variations and design opportunities that give you room to make the style suit your preferences.

Photo credit: marryalizee.com
Photo credit: marryalizee.com
Photo credit: suzhoudress.com
Photo credit: suzhoudress.com

The Sheath

The sheath dress is closely fitted and hugs the body from the head to toe. If you like simplicity, you can opt for this dress. It shows off your figure without any superfluous details. Its straight, slender lines make petite brides look taller. It is a good choice for brides looking to accentuate slim hips or long legs. It can also nicely frame an hourglass-shaped body. A point to note is that the sheath silhouette will draw the eye to every curve, even those you’d like to hide.

Photo credit: marthastewartweddings.com
Photo credit: marthastewartweddings.com
Photo credit: demetriosbride.tumblr.com
Photo credit: demetriosbride.tumblr.com

As you look for a silhouette that flatters your body, we’d advise you to try different dress styles. Whatever your final choice, just know you’ll look spectacular because of all the happiness attached to your big day. Don’t stress!

 

10 Sure-Fire Ways to Grow Your Hair for Your Wedding

Many brides-to-be envision walking down the aisle with long hair, and not wrongly so. Long hair is more flexible and gives you more hairstyle options to choose from. Many brides have found growing hair to the desired length to be long and agonising. It doesn’t have to be that way for you. We’ve got you covered with some sure-fire tips to help you get those beautiful, long locks you’ve always dreamed of.

  1. Don’t trim every month

On average, your hair’s growth rate is only half an inch per month. By trimming your hair every four weeks, you get rid of that precious new length. Completely ignoring it isn’t helpful either. If split ends are not removed, they travel up the hair shaft and make your hair break off. Get your hair trimmed once every 8 weeks to allow a full inch to grow and only lose a small part of it. However, if your tippy tips get some form of damage, schedule a mini-trim to get rid of them while leaving the rest of your hair intact.

  1. Use hair oil

Hair oil has many benefits. It moisturises your scalp, removes dandruff, makes your hair stronger and adds softness, shine and lustre to it. Some great oils you can use include argan, olive, coconut and jojoba.

Coconut-Oil
Photo credit: drakes.com.au
  1. Deep condition

Deep conditioning your hair can restore its health. You can get a deep conditioning treatment at a salon or do it on your own. If you prefer the latter option, buy an over the counter treatment and make sure you follow the instructions precisely as written. You could also apply your favourite conditioner once or twice each week in the shower or overnight.

  1. Avoid heat

You might think hair dryers, straighteners, curling tongs and flat irons greatly improve your hair health. In reality, they fry your strands, damage the cuticle and make you get the dreaded split ends quickly. To avoid compromising the growth of your hair, stay away from hot tools or use them less often. Air-dry your hair whenever possible.   However, never sleep with damp hair as this will make it prone to damage. Instead, use a wide-tooth comb to detangle the damp hair then gently squeeze it with a towel or old T-shirt to remove excess water. If you must use heat on your hair, make sure you use a good protective spray and a low heat setting if possible.

  1. Massage your scalp

Indulge in a 10-minute scalp massage at least twice a week.  Scalp massages increase blood flow which in turn promotes the production of natural oils and growth of hair.

  1. Eat and drink right

This tip may be an old cliché, but it is a highly important one. Loading up on certain nutrients helps promote hair growth. The essential component of hair is keratin, a protein. Anything with lots of protein like eggs, beans and lean meats will be of great value to your hair. Omega-3 fatty acids are also essential for healthy hair. They help your hair grow and look super silky. Good sources include oily fish and nuts. Other nutrients to add to your diet include iron, zinc, copper, selenium and vitamins A, C and D.fruity shake

  1. Consider supplements

Biotin and prenatal vitamin supplements can help in the renewal of cells that assist in hair growth. Don’t forget to consult your physician before incorporating any supplement to your diet.

  1. Don’t over wash

Over washing your hair strips it off the natural stuff required to make it grow, making it look dry and more susceptible to greasiness. If you have fine hair, it is okay for you to wash it daily. If your hair is thick or curly, wash it twice. In between the washes, use dry shampoo.

  1. Brush gentlyTangle_Teezer

Back-combing and rough brushing weakens strands and pulls hair shafts from the follicles. Therefore, you should brush gently and sparingly. Don’t brush your hair until it’s dry because wet hair follicles are delicate. If you have to brush wet hair, gently work your way from the bottom upwards.

  1. Get a silk pillowcase

As crazy as it may seem, using silk pillowcases assists in hair growth. Cotton and linen pillowcases can pull your hair as you toss and turn in your sleep, making it break. Silk is kind to your hair because it doesn’t bring about any friction that might damage your hair. Your hair remains smooth and free from knots throughout the night.

Getting Married Abroad

Thinking of getting married abroad? A few pointers for your planning.

Do you dream of taking vows under sweltering foreign skies? Or a snow-covered canopy with a wintry Alpine view? If the answer is yes, you’d be treading a well worn path, where plenty of Irish couples have gone before.

Some of the most popular spots include Cyprus, Spain, Italy, Malta and the Caribbean, but there’s a long list of even further-flung destinations that cater for couples tying the knot.

With no shortage of Irish travel companies to help you plan an overseas wedding, it’s not a mammoth task. Most work with local wedding planners on the ground. You can also find Irish wedding planners that specialise in overseas events.

Both can help you with the logistics, like choosing a venue to suit your budget and style, creating the menus, and finding suppliers for photography, flowers and music.

Legalese

But just as importantly, they’ll guide you through any legal hoops you need to jump in order to come home Mr. and Mrs.

Every country has different rules and requirements, some quirky and some common. In most you’ll need a Certificate of Freedom to Marry (which you get from the Department of Foreign Affairs). For nearly all religious ceremonies you’ll have to start the process locally. So if you plan to marry in a Catholic church in Barbados, you begin by contacting your local parish priest to obtain a pre-nuptial enquiry and his dispensation for you to marry abroad.

You get the gist — wherever you go you’ll need the low down on the process, whether it’s civil (normally in a registry office or the local town hall), or religious (lots of hotels in fashionable wedding destinations like Cyprus have their own chapels in the grounds).

Some Irish travel companies have posted really useful information on how the process works in popular places on their websites, so do some research online before you pick up the phone.

If you’re brave and bold enough to go it alone, you can of course plan it yourself. But if you choose this route make sure to find a venue that will lend a hand in the organisational department, and count on being able to travel there at least once in advance of the big day. For the legalities, you can contact the relevant embassy or the religious authorities in that country to root out the essentials.Romantic Wedding Table on Sandy Tropical Caribbean Beach at Sunset

Tips for travelling nuptials

• Weddingmoons are on the up! Combining your wedding with your honeymoon can save on costs. It also means you’re in situ to kick back and relax once the weeding deed is done
• Most couples plan at least a year in advance (you’ll need an absolute minimum of five months), and many travel companies will take bookings up to two years ahead of time
• If you organise everything through a travel company, check out whether they charge a set fee for the planning element, with the travel done separately, or whether you’re buying an all-in package. Discussing this upfront helps to make sure there are no hidden costs
• You’ll often get a group discount if family and friends make travel arrangements together
• Most marriages between Irish citizens that take place abroad don’t need to be registered at home, but the Department of Foreign Affairs does have some guidelines. https://www.dfa.ie/travel/our-services/marriage-and-civil-partnership-abroad
• Brides – a word of advice. Your dress usually goes in the overhead bin, which is an average measurement of 46 x 35 x 23 cm, so bear this in mind when designing that all-important gown!

Watch this space for upcoming posts on the best destinations for getting married abroad.

Planning a themed wedding

FROM VINTAGE VOGUE TO CELTIC CHIC

Vintage, Eco, celtic or classic — you want your day to be unique. To stand tall amongst wedding extravaganza, and reflect a little of yourselves in the mix!

So how difficult is it to dream up a themed wedding? And how far should you go in making it a special day?

Wedding theme factors

While you might crave a romantic vineyard reception or a salty beachcomber bash, it may not always be practical for an Irish wedding affair.

Yet a theme can be pretty much anything that allows you to set the pace. The basic factors you’ll need to consider first are budget, season, logistics and venue.

Themes can be based around place, like a village wedding, a pier-side party or the grandeur of an old country house. Or they can be planned to reflect an era — think 1950s Mad Men glamour, or 1920s Gatsby chic.

Maybe you want rustic and rural, offbeat and quirky, or classic celtic charm.

Once you have your theme in the offing, you’re ready to plan your day.White wedding Banquet Table With Milk & Doughnuts

Wedding theme prep

But first to the paperwork! Wedding invitations define the feel from the start. A theme may drive your choice of material; so an Eco wedding invite could be on recycled paper, or maybe you’ll avoid paper completely and post sachets of seeds with a time and place inscribed inside! Your imagery and content too — a Celtic wedding invite might use an image from the Children of Lir, or quote from a traditional Irish poem.

If you’re printing a wedding programme later on, make sure it’s in keeping with these.impressive wedding set up

Themes and your wedding venue

Hotel, marquee or barnyard, a venue is the canvas on which you’ll draw your design. Possibly the biggest challenge in any wedding plan is to find the venue that allows you to create the rest.

Whether you’ve gone for romantic period drama or quirky boho chic, your decor and flowers should both be à la mode. Find out to what degree you’ll be able to influence these, depending on your venue of choice. So if it’s a hotel room and your theme is Victorian vintage, can you drape the setting in lace, place candelabra on the tables and make roses and peonies your flowers of choice?

Themed wedding attire

Your wedding garb is crucial, as well as being the fun part of the plan! Brides and grooms — no matter what your theme of choice, Pinterest and Google are your best research buddies here. When you’ve got an idea of the look you’re trying to achieve, you can hit the shops or dressmakers armed with a rough design. Of course Ladies, if you’ve gone the non-traditional route and it’s a ‘hoolie in a hay barn’, a flowing summer dress over your glitziest pink wellies may be your kit-out for the day.

Photo credit: somethingturquoise.com
Photo credit: somethingturquoise.com

It’s all fair game

From music and transport, to the food and cake, it’s all fair game on the day.

Setting your theme to music is a must. Whether it’s a sophisticated string quartet streaming melodies from Mozart, or 1940s sultry swing-jazz — your tunes are vital.

When it comes to transport, the world is your themed oyster. Eco wedding? Opt for a horse and carriage, or sport your own electric car. If it’s barn-style, maybe a plain old horse will do (side saddle for the bride of course)!

While the entire meal doesn’t have to be designed with your theme in mind, a few small touches can add a ton of character. At a winter wedding you might start with a hearty shot of soup, or a summer solstice bash could put a focus on fresh seasonal salads.

Finally – your cake. Hand made decorations can convey anything at all. So play with your imagination and you’ll be amazed what you’ll create.