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28/02/2015

4 Under-the-Radar Places to Make Your Wedding Album Online

As part of my budget-friendly, non-waitress-salary wedding, I choose to not use a photographer with a package that included an album. If I could go back, would I have made the same decision? Unsure. I've honestly struggled with finding a site to make my own wedding album online and have had some mixed experiences with the company I used (MyPublisher, FYI, and we can talk about that on another day).

There are a lot more sites than I'd expected—I'd only heard of the big guys like Shutterfly and Snapfish. I'm about as laid-back as they come, but I figure that my wedding album is likely to be the only one I really care about, both in terms of how it looks and how it holds up over time. If you're like me and searching for a spot that gets all the factors just right, consider these guys I've just discovered via searching and studying message board comments from that chattiest of group: brides.

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Milk. For minimalists who want something classic, crisp, and devoid of flowery details. The most inexpensive style I see is just $45, which makes this a definition option if you're tight for cash, and the site's beautifully laid out. Get more info here.

Blurb. Likewise, this site is fresh and simple to navigate, and all the books look really clean (a.k.a. there's not a whole bunch of wedding clip art cluttering pages). The most unique feature I've spotted is that you can play with media; the below example is from a baby book, not a wedding, but gives you an idea of how you could incorporate notes, cards, or anything other scrapbook-type of items you saved.

Adoramapix. I read a few enthusiastic reviews for this one, and it's worth checking out, especially if you want a premade layout that's specifically for weddings. If the clean and simple look I referenced above isn't your things, consider this site to get your fill of bright colors and space for quotes or captions. Get more infohere.

BrideBox. If too many options sends you into a tailspin, check out this one. There are three main options and each has an accompanying video to see what the pages look like, how they turn, etc. (um, this is genius). The prices are on the high end of what I've seen, but I like that there's a satisfaction-guaranteed promise, a huge plus if you're shelling out a fair amount of money. Get more info here.

Have any of you guys made your own albums online and found a site or company you loved?

Like I said, I'm easygoing (example: I didn't freak out when my photographer missed our ceremony). Still, I'm just not quite happy with what I have right now. Part of me thinks I'm crazy for wanting to try another site, but part of me also thinks, Hey, you only get one wedding album.

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04:32 Publié dans wedding | Tags : wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

26/02/2015

10 Things Every Guest Wants At Your Wedding

When planning a wedding, it is so easy to get caught up in all the glamour, fashion and photos that sometimes you forget you are actually hosting an event for 100+ people! These people have given up their Saturday, dressed to impress, arranged a babysitter and want to have a great time... so lets make sure they do!

Here are 10 things that every guest hopes you'll think about when planning your wedding:

1. Convenient, reasonably priced accommodation

As we get older, start a family and generally get caught up in everyday life, weddings are sometimes our only excuse to book a night off and get away. Weddings in remote locations or at luxury venues are truly breathtaking, but you have to think about where your guests are going to stay. Most of your guests will want to have a drink or two, or could live miles away, and don't want to drive home at 2 a.m. So when booking your reception venue, also consider if it has or is near convenient, reasonably priced accommodation -- your guests will thank you.

2. Good food

The reception meal is at the center of the wedding festivities. It can both impress your guests and make them feel satisfied for the rest of the night or it can become something everyone is moaning about for the rest of the evening. Serve your guests quality food, make sure you have a tasting prior to the event and create the best menu your budget will allow. (For 20 tips on how to make your budget go further, download this guide: "20 Top Tips To Save £2000 on your wedding")

Wedding planning top tip: If you are having an early ceremony don't forget to serve an abundance of canapés as part of the arrival drinks reception. Don't let your guest's tummies growl! Oh, the horror!

3. Free booze

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Picture: wedding dresses

Yup its true, everyone wants free booze! Whether it's an all night open bar or a few bottles of wine on the table and a champagne toast, every drink you provide is one your guests don't have to pay for. Treat your guests, thank them for giving up their time to spend the day with you, and buy them a drink!

4. A short journey from ceremony to reception

If you are having a civil ceremony in the same venue as your reception, you are offering your guests the ultimate convenience -- a short walk from one event to another. However, if you are having your events at multiple venues, say a church followed by a hotel reception, make sure your guests don't have to go too far and know where they are going. Avoid making your guests hike across a city or drive 30 miles in wet rainy weather -- choose venues close to each other.

Wedding planning top tip: Create a map with directions to the reception venue and have your ushers hand them out with the order of service at your wedding ceremony.

5. A peaceful atmosphere

You can create a warm atmosphere with candles and fresh flowers, but that is not what I am getting at here. With most families there is some tension -- perhaps it's a rowdy relative who can't hold his liquor or the ex-wife who just can't let it go. If you think someone will get out of hand, don't invite them. If your Dad is re-married, don't make the new wife sit next to your Mum. Cleverly planned seating arrangements or a quiet word before the event will go a long way. You have 100 other guests to think about, make sure one misbehaving guest doesn't spoil the night.

6. A short ceremony

Of course all your guests are there to celebrate the unity of your marriage, to share your joy when being joined as husband and wife, but keep it short! No one wants to sit through readings from all of your five sisters or an entire set of your choir's favorite hymns. In my opinion, 30-40 minutes is a good length for a ceremony, after that you might see a few yawns and glazed over faces.

7. Interesting conversation at dinner

Weddings are a great way to meet new people and catch up with friends you haven't seen for years. When you are creating your table plan, try and organize your tables so that there is a mix of personalities and relationships at each table. You want your guests to feel comfortable (i.e. they know someone at the table) but you also want to encourage your loved ones to mingle and make new friends.

8. Knowing what to do next

There is nothing worse at a wedding than feeling lost and not knowing what to do next. You have gone to a lot of effort to organize your perfect day, make sure half your guests don't miss an activity because they didn't know it's happening.

Wedding planning top tip: Hire a toastmaster. Toastmasters are professionals, they are experts at knowing where your guests should be and how to make sure each one gets there on time. They are instantly recognisable so if your guests have a question about the schedule they know who to ask.

9. A little time with the bride and groom

Your wedding day is hectic! There is so much to fit in and everyone wants a piece of you. In the end, your guests have come to your wedding to see YOU! The more guests you have, the harder you will have to work to make sure you speak to every single one, but make sure you make the effort -- your guests will be truly grateful.

A top tip for making the rounds: try and visit each table just after the main course (you may have to skip dessert, but you can have some cake later) if you have more then 100 guests, and don't think you will get to all the tables before the entertainment starts. Visit the older guests first to make sure you see them before the evening party begins and you can see all the younger ones on the dance floor!

10. To be entertained

Weddings are made legendary by the entertainment. A string quartet during the drinks reception, a magician visiting tables during the meal, a caricature for each of your guests to take home, a totally rocking band or a DJ who keeps everyone on the dance floor all night. Guests live for the entertainment. Make sure there is something interesting at every turn and your guests will be talking about your wedding for years to come!

So what are you doing to make your guests happy? Comment below, I live for this stuff...

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07:54 Publié dans wedding | Tags : wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

14/02/2015

Echo win a wedding competition

Echo win a wedding competition: Now you can make their dreams come true

THE judges have spoken and the final nine couples for your Echo’s Win a Wedding competition, in association with Park Inn, Southend, have been chosen. Now it’s over to you to select the couple who will win a £12,000 wedding.

Call the number given with each case study if you want that couple to win.

Kayleigh Middleton and Bill Lawrence, both 23, had been saving up for their wedding when Kayleigh fell pregnant.

Their attentions quickly switched from saving for the wedding to providing for their baby but they are now hopeful of still having their dream day.

Bill proposed when the Wickford couple were on holiday in July 2013 but just a few months later, in December, Kayleigh fell pregnant with their son being born last August.

She said: “Getting married would make us a proper little family.”

Bill, a trainee surveyor, and Kayleigh, a carer for disabled children, first met outside a nightclub nearly four years ago and are now looking for a place to buy in Wickford.

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Kayleigh added: “We have been looking to move for around a year.

“If we won then the money have from not having to save for a wedding and a house, could all go into one thing and it would make us so happy.”

Kirstie Hayward and Codey Lime first met at the beach in Leigh when they were teenagers, and now just a few years later they are hoping to get married.

The couple live together in Leigh but, like many others, are struggling to scrape together enough cash for a deposit on a house.

Kirstie, 20, has been working as a relief manager at Havens Hospice for eight months while Codey works for a car company.

They have been saving for a wedding since they got engaged two years ago but their target still seems a long way off.

Kirstie said: “Trying to save for both a house deposit and a wedding just isn’t possible at the minute, it doesn’t work.

“We have looked at a few places that we would be interested in having the wedding but it would take another couple of years to save up for them – even just with the basic packages.”

Dan Lovegrove feels getting married to his fiancée Ashleigh Monksfield would complete his life.

The couple already live together in their own home in Rayleigh with their 18-month-old son Kellan and another they have another baby on the way.

Dan, 28, now wants to complete their family by getting married to Ashleigh, 25.

He said: “I entered the competition initially and didn’t think we’d get anywhere near winning it – but I guess someone has to.

“We have been together for nearly five years now, have one boy and have another on the way, so the wedding would be the perfect way to our lives and our family.

“We’ve looked at other places to hold the wedding and were thinking about maybe doing it in 2017, but winning this would be amazing and mean that money could go on providing for our children.”

Graeme Gibney and Rebecca Moran moved into their first home together, in Wickford, last April, and are looking to cap off the year by getting married.

The couple have been together for more than four years Rebecca said: “It means the world for us to be getting married.

“We are quite young so it would be a massive benefit for us, to not have to worry about the financial burden of a wedding.

“We have both come from very secure families, both our parents are still together, and it has always been a life-long dream for me to get married.

“The location would be great as well, we have very big families so to have somewhere with accommodation would really help us out.

“Getting to see the place made it all more real as well, I’d never been to the hotel before but it was so beautiful, I’d love to get married there.”

Sam Harding, 22, would like nothing more than for her two-year-old son Toby-Jay to walk her down the aisle at her dream wedding.

Toby-Jay suffers from the rare genetic condition tuberous sclerosis, a condition that means he suffers around 50 fits a day and rarely sleeps.

His development is also slowed and while he cannot quite walk yet, his mum Sam cannot wait for Toby-Jay to walk her down the aisle to meet his step dad Graeme Segrave, 27.

Sam said: “We have so much going on with our day to day life that it would be nice to have a happy day.

“I don’t have any parents so to have my son walk me down the aisle would be amazing.

“Graeme is his step-dad, but he calls him daddy.

“Toby-Jay is in and out of hospital every other week and I always have to be there to give consent, so it would be great for Graeme to be officially his dad and be able to be a part of things.”

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07:01 Publié dans beaute | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)