Wednesday, September 25, 2013
HONEY MOON DESTINATION
Choosing your honeymoon trip can
be quite confusing as nowadays there are so many destinations to choose from. You could go on a romantic cruise or choose one of the old favourites like Hawaii, the Caribbean or Mexico. You might consider a trip to Europe to see some of the capital cities or even head for Japan to visit some of its temples. The choices are endless and there are no hard and fast rules about where you should spend your honeymoon - it depends entirely on your taste and preference.
If you enjoy dining, the arts and shopping you can't go far wrong with a city break. This has the added advantage that there is something to be enjoyed in any season. Make sure you book early if you want tickets for the theatre or special art exhibitions. Popular restaurants also get booked up and it would be a good idea to book ahead in order to avoid disappointment. Buy a good guidebook or check out the information online.
Remember to pack some comfortable shoes for a city break, as you will do a lot of walking, but also take some smart clothes for restaurants and theatre visits. Remember that cities are quite often cheaper in the off-season and you'll also encounter fewer tourists and shorter queues.
If you want to spend your honeymoon in the great outdoors you need to consider the seasons carefully. You might want to visit one of the American National Parks, just remember that national park lodges get booked out months in advance, so you need to book early. If you have your heart set on a Grand Canyon mule ride, it is essential to book six to eight months in advance. If you are getting married in the winter you could stay in one of the quiet, romantic inns in the Canadian Rockies. If you love the great outdoors, but still want a bit of pampering, look for destinations near luxury hotels, where you can get spa treatments and candlelit dinners.
For those who enjoy a beach holiday, remember that many of the Caribbean islands are known for their all inclusive honeymoon resorts. Food, drinks and sports are all included in the price and this makes it easy to budget. The downside is that it keeps you tied to one particular beach resort. It depends entirely on your tastes as to what type of resort you choose. Key West, Florida has small hotels and B&Bs together with a lively nightlife while North Carolina's Outer Banks combine history, nature and sea activities. For something really memorable, try a beach on an exotic island like the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, where you will experience true luxury.
A cruise has always been popular for honeymoons and some of the new mega-vessels offer everything you would get on land. You could also try a Mediterranean cruise on one of the smaller vessels. You should check up what life on board might be like: will there be late night parties and are you required to dress for dinner? You also need to check on incidental expenses, such as land excursions and tips for staff.
Just remember that this is your honeymoon and the first few days you will be spending together as husband and wife. Choose something you both enjoy and don't be tied down by convention.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/908572
Saturday, September 14, 2013
Sitting down and planning and coordinating your wedding can be both stressful and fun for you and your partner, which is why hitched.com.au is here to help you through every step. Our step-by step guide has been designed in a way to make the planning part both fun and easy. We wish you all the best for your forth coming marriage.
Step 1: Plan Your BudgetIf your current budget doesn’t quite add up you may want to consider speaking to one of the high street banks or the parents? However small or large your budget, you can be sure that there are services available that can fit within you budget and suit your needs. Visit our wedding diary planneron the hitched.com.au website for budget planning tips plus advice on how to allocate your spending.
- Firstly we assume that you have a rough idea of the date you would like to get married. Choosing the perfect venue will almost dictate the actual date of the big day, unless you plan the date years in advance. Choosing the most suitable venue will take most of your time, but with our useful venue finder on the hitched.com.au website. There are hundreds of venues to browse through and we are sure you’ll find your perfect location for your wedding day. Once the venue and the ceremony have been arranged, the rest of the day planning will fall into place. One other important factor to consider when looking at venues is where you will spend your first night together as a married couple, as not all reception venues can act as a hotel, so it best to plan consider when viewing venues.
- An Insurance policy may not be the first thing on your mind when planning your wedding, however with the average wedding costing $30,000, it is important to consider the unfortunate mishaps that could cost you dearly? For instance, the venue could be cancelled at the last minute or poor health could mean you have to postpone. If you have purchased wedding insurance you can relax knowing full well for the sake of $200-$500 you do not have to worry about these situations. A complete list of insurance detailscan be reviewed on hitched.com.au.
Step 4: Select Your RingsOnce you have purchased insurance and have the date locked in you can really start to spend. We all marry because we are in love, but aren’t we just as excited about the beautiful piece of jewellery on our finger? The traditions of a wedding are reported to come from the fact that a vein runs directly from your wedding finger to your heart, connecting the two continually. When selecting your ringyou are taking a step towards bonding yourselves together forever.
Step 5: Your Guest ListHere comes the fun bit! Where do you begin with your guest list? The fact is that you have probably already had some thoughts about it. When you planned step 1 of our guide on your budget you presumably now have a budget decided and so it is safe to assume an idea of the size of your wedding party. To begin with our advice is always to keep it simple and start with the people closest to you, the family members, best man, bridesmaids, etc. Get the key players down on a large piece of paper and at the top write your names and in a sort of friends and family tree style work downwards in rows starting with the most important people and working until you have included everyone you can think of. This maybe a fairly long list, but don’t worry about the total number of guests you have written down, but think more about not overlooking anyone. Once you are sure you have everyone included, you can start discussing with you partner about grouping them into daytime, evening or crossing people off. Remember that it is after all your very special day so if there is somebody there will make it special for you, stand firm!
Step 6: Choosing The DressChoosing the dress is traditionally one of the most fun and exciting parts of the wedding preparation process. On hitched.com.au there is huge number of dresses to be found in the bridal wear section, and many accessories to complete the fairy princess look. The Grooms wear, ushers, bridesmaids, pageboys and every other member of the wedding party also needed to be thought through to make sure that all key roles of the wedding party are coordinated.
Step 7: Order The StationeryMany of your close friends and family will be aware of your up and coming special day; it is now time to make it official. The invitations must be sent out well in advance so, while it may still be a little early, it is important to at least begin investigating designs and colours. If you want to ensure your guests save the date in their diaries send out some card now just to say when the day is. The stationery order can be themed by the colours in the rest of the day and is customarily sent out by the bride’s parents. The complete stationery order can include everything from order of service cards, save the date cards, place cards and invitations. Placing your order with one single supplier may save you some money and get a common theme throughout. The hitched.com.au website contains many stationery suppliers to get the ideal set for your special day.
Step 8: The HoneymoonAfter dealing with months of planning and trying to make the most important day of your life just right, you will need a holiday. Your honeymoon is the first few weeks as a married couple so it will be an exciting time for both of you. Researching online or popping down to your local travel agent early will avoid stress and ensure you have a relaxing break after the Wedding day. Don’t forget to check that you have at least 6 months validity on your passport before you travel, if not order a new one well in advance. If you are planning a trip to an exotic island, be sure to check any medical requirements before you leave and to check the visa situation. A little planning will ensure the holiday goes without a hitch.
Step 9: Arrange The PhotographerThere will be many wonderful memories throughout your wedding day that you will want to never forget. By hiring a quality photographer/videographer you can be sure you will capture all of these moments and reminisce over and over again. At this stage we also recommend you book yourwedding car and decide on the right colour coordinated and meaningful flowers to complement your day. The important and essential cake to eat during the evening, along with entertainment and music need to be thought about now. Our directory at hitched.com.au contains loads of professional and reliable professional services to help you organise and add the finishing touches to your special day.
Step 10: Your Wedding Gift ListThe reason for getting married is for love, however one special benefit is all the wonderful presents you receive from friends and relatives and as a bonus, you and your partner are able to choose the gifts! It is a real treat to be able to go into a store or online and choose anything you want. Creating a gift list is a good idea for couples who are already living together and have many items for the home and also will avoid you receiving three of the same item.Wedding gift lists can be arranged at any leading department stores and even easier with a number of easy to use online guides. For more detailed information on creating your own gift list, use the Wedding List Ideas section on the hitched.com.au site.
Step 11: Send Out Your InvitiationsIf you have sent out ‘save the date’ cards to your guests then they should be aware of when the wedding is and will be standing by for the official invitation in their letter box. We recommend that you send out your invitations a minimum of 8 weeks before your wedding. If you are planning to invite overseas guests then it would be advisable to send the invitations earlier in order for the replies to come back. It could take a while before you have all your replies back to you so it is a good idea to have a reserve list of people that you would like to invite.
Step 12: The Buck's and Hen's NightsYour last night of freedom to really let yourself go wild is the stag or hen night. This night is all about you and should get you in the mood for your wedding. The responsibility of organising this lies with the bridesmaids and best man and they are usually big nights and a lot of fun. Stag and Henparties are now turning into weekend events.
Step 13: The Finishing TouchesEach and every wedding is unique to the individual so it is difficult to pin point exactly what the final touches are that you will need to think about. Some things you may want to consider are speeches, readings, rehearsals, seating plans, order of service, first night accommodation, returning hired suits, thank you cards, etc. If you still need more advice and help, please look through the rest of hitched.com.au wedding site and for specific guidance from other wedding planners, check out the wedding planning forum.
Monday, September 2, 2013
Are you Making the top 10 Rookie Mistakes brides make when planning a wedding?
We asked planning guru Jane Anderson of 'Calm Happy Bride' which mistakes to avoid ... AND she has an exclusive gift for Wedding Style Guide readers ...
"Some weddings are just different. They linger in your memory as especially beautiful and individual. You know the ones, they seem effortless and everything just feels 'right'.
Well, they are the weddings where the bride is fully 'there' on the day ... she's in the moment... all the details are handled ... ALL of them ... and she is free to enjoy the day.
We see a lot of brides get into the middle of their wedding planning and feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the task and all the decisions they have to make.
Getting a grip on the details, and keeping your cool, is so important to creating a special and individual event.
So, here are 10 'rookie mistakes' to avoid if you don't want to turn into one of those harpy creatures that no-one - including your husband to be - recognises!!
1) You aren't sequencing your purchasing decisions strategically... It sounds sensible, but many brides rush to buy all the small details, and then find that the larger factors, the venues for instance, don't really work. Getting the sequencing right is everything in putting together an amazing event. It means it all hangs together more coherently and you aren't spending twice!
2) You don't really know what you are spending …. We find that breaking costs down to totals per head is a real reality check. If you do this, you can see what the wedding, or the reception, is really costing. Then you can make an informed assessment of whether that's reasonable or whether you need to make some adjustments.
3) You haven't actually heard the band playing... Music can make or break a wedding. If you are having any form of live music, you MUST listen to them before hand, either on CD or via a download or go and visit them at a gig. For both the ceremony and the reception, music is key and it's too late on the night if you discover your band is more karaoke that ratpack.
4) You asked your bridesmaids before you talked about costs and expectations... Tricky one, especially if you aren't intending to meet all the costs of their participation in your wedding. Be clear with your attendants about your expectations of them, both in terms of what you expect them to pay for and what you would like them to do on the day. Often, people will be looking for gentle direction from you as they want you to be happy with the day.
5) You are 'telling' your suppliers what you want ... We see this alot. Talking relies on the picture in the other person's mind matching the one in yours and is not very reliable. For instance 'antique white' can be different things to different people... some think of the Dulux colour, others think more cream. So, where possible send photographs, send fabric swatches, email images of what you want and be precise IN WRITING. Don't assume your suppliers and attendants just know what you are talking about. Show them.
6) You think you need a wedding planner ... We have nothing against wedding planners. Some do a truly exceptional job. But, you can plan and deliver your wedding yourself as long as you have a good plan. There are some secrets, but it isn't a black art and especially if you are on a budget, effective delegation and prior organisation will get you through the day.
7) You haven't met your photographer... Sitting down with your chosen photographer or videographer - the person actually taking your photos on the day - is really important. What they deliver will be the record of the day forever. Firstly, you need to get along. They will be an important component on the day and if you don't click, it can be really awkward. Secondly, its a chance to give a list of 'must have' photos of people. And thirdly, it will give you a chance to understand how they work. For instance, will there be a big spotlight if you are having a video. If your photographer can't meet you, think about changing to one who can prioritise you.
8) You haven't spoken with your fiancé about what you expect from each other on the wedding day ... This is an interesting one which we hear quite a lot. The last thing you think you need to think about is your fiancé right? He's going to want to spend every minute by your side right? Ok, every couple is different, but a quick chat with the love of your life about how you would both like to the wedding to go is a good idea. Sounds unromantic, but sometimes assumptions and expectations are wildly different and can lead to disappointment.
9) You are copying your best friend's wedding... Taking inspiration from weddings you love is a great idea, but replicating has a sense of competition and will leave the day feeling empty. Plan your wedding, your way and ensure the day is a reflection of you and your fiance.
10) You don't have a step-by-step plan .... Please, please, please plan. You need two, one to guide you in the preparation and one for the wedding day. If you don't have both you will run over budget (more than 85% of brides say they did) and you are likely to get more frazzled than you need to be... that will effect you, your relationships and the day itself. So, plan the plan, then do the plan!"
Click here to receive your complimentary Calm Happy Bride wedding day running sheet ... exclusively available to Wedding Style Guide readers and only for this week!
To access more professional secrets and proven tools, click the link to check out Calm Happy Bride ... http://www.calmhappybride.com