Thursday, February 27, 2014

Honeymoon Hot Spot: Ireland

This fantastic honeymoon destination is a seaside paradise of a different kind. We are taking a look at some amazing things to do on the island of Ireland!
  1. Check out the cuisine: Ireland is filled with gastronomic delights! By day, check the calendar to see if there’s a local food festival going on, or take a tour of an Irish brewery. By night, select a romantic restaurant with scenic coastal views that serves a contemporary take on classic Irish dishes, such as Irish Oatmeal fish cakes with Dublin bay prawn (pictured below).
  2. Explore the outdoors: A great way to see Ireland’s interior is to take an inland cruise! Take in the serene scenery as you gently navigate the extensive inland waterways. Ireland is also a great place to enjoy a round of golf– almost a quarter of a million golfers hit the Irish links each year! The outdoor adventure options are nearly endless; take in the greenery and the scenery by cycling, horseback riding, hiking, or fishing (pictured below).
  3. Get culturally curious: Ireland boasts some beautiful landmarks (such as Kylemore Abbey, pictured below), including ancient castles, sprawling estates with elaborate manicured gardens, and monuments, both historic and religious. For a more in-depth encounter with rich Irish culture, plan a visit to one of Ireland’s many heritage centers.

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Thank You Note Etiquette

After your wedding you and your partner will be caught up in feverish excitement, leaving for your honeymoon and celebrating life as a married couple.
However, just because the party's over doesn't mean there aren't still a few things to think about.
Many newlyweds aren't quite sure of the post-wedding timeline when it comes to gift thank you notes or if they should they be sent straight away, or even before your honeymoon? What messages should the cards contain? Is it acceptable to have pre-printed messages?

Here are some tips that will help you navigate your thank you notes.

Time Frame

Obviously the sooner the better. Don't worry about delaying your honeymoon by a few days to get this sorted, though, because a response within four to six weeks is acceptable.

If you are sent gifts before the wedding, it's good etiquette to respond to these straight away (or at least within 2 weeks). This is not only good etiquette you will be thankful when you return from your honeymoon knowing that a few thank you's are done and dusted.

To save time, make sure you have gift cards prepared well in advance of your big day. You can order them along with your wedding invitations and have them handy to fill in with notes as soon as you receive gifts and after your honeymoon.

What to write

It's good manners to write a hand-written note to everyone who gave you a gift - emails are a no-no! While pre-printed messages can seem like a good time-saver, many guests will have spent significant time and money choosing your gift and travelling to your wedding, so the personalized thanks will be appreciated.

It doesn't have to be long, simply greet your guest by name, express your thanks and refer specifically to their gift and how you may use it.

Even if someone did not give you a wedding gift, be sure to send them a card thanking them for their attendance itself.

If a guest has traveled far or made a significant effort to attend your wedding be sure to thank them for this too.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Guest Post: Engagement Party: Making It Personal By Sofia Angeli

Engagement Party: Making It Personal

Planning an engagement can be costly these days. This is especially true since you still have that wedding to think about. Needless to say, you’d want your event costs to fit in your budget, no matter how big or small it may be. But of course, you still want it to be special – unforgettable, in fact, not just to you and your soon-to-be spouse, but also to your guests.

You can make your party unique and truly memorable for everyone present without breaking

the bank. How? Choose your theme wisely, and start focusing on three basic elements of the party. Then you’ll be surprised with the result.

Think About the Theme

Engagement parties don’t always have to be glamorous evening affairs with a big band
playing standards so you can have your much-awaited dance as an engaged couple. 
Here are some ideas to inspire you:
  • Where did you meet? If you got together watching or playing sports with your friends,     then let the party be a morning or an afternoon picnic in the park, where you’ll play some ball games.
  •  Want to give the fiancée a tribute? Center the theme on something about the              bride-to-be or something that she loves. If she’s into music, hold the party in a cozy restaurant or bar and have her favorite tunes played all night – live or not.                         This is definitely more affordable than having it in a hotel function room.
  • Got a favorite meeting place? If you want to share with your family and friends your favorite hangout, then go ahead and book the place for your engagement party.             Let the location itself set the theme. If that pizza place where you go to every               Friday night has an ample space for your family and friends, why look any further?

Three Important Elements

After carefully planning your theme, you should now give your attention to three particular 
things in your party that you should give importance to if you want it to make it as unique as
your relationship with your future spouse – the invite, the toast, and the ending.

1. The Invite

This is one element you should give attention to if you want to have an event that’s one of a kind. Often, couples overlook this and just pick designs that are almost generic. You have to keep in mind that the invite sets the mood for your guests. If you want them to dress properly and think of your party as special, let the invite convey that message.

Don’t forget to focus on your theme. If you’re not going to have a formal event, then why
bother with that invitation printed on thick, off-white cards? If you’re going to have a fun
picnic party, then by all means, send invites with designs and words that will make them anticipate such an event.

2. The Toast

This is the highlight of the event, so don’t take it for granted, and please prepare. This part of the event doesn’t cost any money, just some effort to convince loved ones to speak in public. Usually, it’s the father of the bride-to-be who’ll do the first one, followed by the father of the fiancé. The mothers could also speak, if they wish. Close friends who really know some interesting bits about the couple often give the funniest toasts, so it would be great to
choose two from this circle.

The toasts don’t have to be perfect. But they should never be long and merely a collection of clichés. They should be interesting and centered on the reason for the celebration – you and your would-be spouse. It would also be best to remind those who’ll speak to observe that line between funny and embarrassing.

3. The End

Just like the toast, don’t the end of the party for granted. While it’s best to save the idea of
party favors for the wedding, you can plan simple things that will make your guests really

For instance, giving away instant photos of you with your guests is always a great idea. It makes them remember the fun you just had and look forward to your wedding.
They’re easy and inexpensive to do these days, too; you can hire a pro or ask a friend to do them for you.

Of course, you do have to think a lot about the food, the décor, and so on. But set the theme and these three elements first, and the rest will be much easier than you think.

About the author
Sofia Angeli is a PR & communications consultant for companies in various industries.
 In particular, she brings her writing skills and passion for travel, culture, arts and lifestyle, including wedding planning and engagement rings
 [], to the online world.
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Friday, February 14, 2014

Elegance On Valentines Day 2014

Often, when we think of Valentine’s Day, we envision red roses and candy hearts. However, for most brides, this isn't quite what they had in mind for their big day.  But don’t worry, you can still have a stylish Valentines Day wedding, without being stuck with a red color scheme.
For a more sophisticated atmosphere, think outside the box and try shades of pink and gold. These elegant hues will add a romantic flare to your big day.  

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Hiring a wedding consultant/planner

Planning a wedding is no small task. This is why many couples go with a wedding consultant to help them plan the big day. There are many things to consider before choosing a wedding consultant, however, and whether or not you need one depends on how involved you want to be in your special day. 
Some couples find that the wedding planner is an invaluable tool for their big day. For couples that have busy schedules, a wedding consultant can take care of many of the smaller details. Family can be both a help and a hindrance, depending on how well everyone gets along and if you can agree on the details. if you are still on the fence about certain items, a wedding planner can help you decide.

The Wedding Consultant’s Responsibilities

If you have not nailed down the details of your wedding, your wedding consultant can help with everything from choosing the type of wedding, the color scheme, venue, and more. He or she can also assist you with coming up with, and sticking to, a budget that works with your financial situation. A wedding planner can help you stay on task with the details, ensuring that everything is ordered in time for the big day. In addition, saving you headache and hassle, the wedding planner takes care of any last minute emergencies. Sometimes you can also get discounts on wedding services like catering or wedding bands through the wedding consultant’s contacts.

Choosing the Perfect Planner

Since your wedding planner is responsible for your wedding, you want to make sure that you find someone that you are totally comfortable with. Ask other brides who they have used, or visit a wedding fair to get names. Make sure that your wedding planner has completed a course in wedding planning and received a diploma. In addition, you should ensure that they are organized and seem to have a solid grasp of the whole process. Asking for references is also a good decision so that you can see what other couples liked and disliked about the planner. Lastly, make sure that the coordinator is available to help with your wedding date, and that he or she fits into your budget.

Saving with Packages

Depending on your personal needs, wedding consultants offer a variety of packages. For instance, you may go in for a consultation only which works like a crash course in wedding planning. After that, you will be on your own. Other wedding planners will offer planning and preparation packages that will cover searching out vendors that will work in your budget and time frames, and they take care of the administration of setting up appointments. Some wedding consultants are also available for hire the day of the wedding, where they will direct events and make sure that everything runs smoothly and according to plan.

Budgeting in the Wedding Planner’s Pricing

The cost of a wedding planner can vary, and you may want to shop around to find the coordinator that will do what you need on your budget. Some wedding planners will charge a percentage of the wedding cost, others by the hour of work done, and others will have a flat fee. Find out ahead of time what the costs cover, and what, if any, additional fees might come up during your wedding planning.

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Preparing your groomsmen

Considering the little things for your wedding really can make all of the difference when it comes to a smooth and stress-free day. Those friends and family who have taken on special roles and responsibilities (bridesmaids and groomsmen, especially) want to be prepared to perform their very best. While it’s fun to fuss over the girls, make sure that you take time to prepare the best man and groomsmen for their part in your wedding.
Chances are, your bridesmaids could get dressed, accessorized, and attend to their hair and makeup needs in the dark with one hand tied behind their backs. You know, since us ladies do practically the same getting-ready-routine everyday. However, you should be mindful that the groom or groomsmen may not be accustomed to getting dressed to the nines on a regular basis, and may require a little extra instruction when it comes to the putting on the finishing touches. Here are some more groomsmen-related preparations to consider:
  • Ensure that someone knows how to tie the neckwear that the groomsmen will be wearing: a bow tie, neck tie, ascot or cravat. In this day and age, with the popularity of casual dress even in the workplace, it is not unheard of for a man not to know how to tie a bow tie. A good idea would be to have them practice ahead of time, using an online tutorial, such as the ones found at websites like ( Other accessories to consider are pocket square folds and how to put on a boutonniere.
  • Rings, rings– who’s got the rings? If you are not having a ring bearer, or your ring bearer is perhaps alittle bit too young and unpredictable to trust with the actual rings, make sure that your best man is prepared for this role. Your maid of honor will typically be cued by the officiant as to when to take the bride’s bouquet during the ceremony, as will your best man be instructed when to hand over the rings.
  • Raise your glass! When it comes time to toast, make sure that if you are expecting a few special words from your best man, he knows it. Not everyone can perform under pressure when they’re put on the spot, so having the chance to prepare something ahead of time can turn a potentially awkward wedding moment into the touching tribute they intended.

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Inspiration Board #9: Candy Pop

Candy stripes have been popping up all over the place recently, not just as cakes and other sweet treats, but also on stationery and decor! Candy reminds me of a children’s party - fun! Of course, being a girly-girl, sweet things should always be pink! Balanced out with lots of white and a pop of red, you can create a fun and playful wedding color palette, that has a bright and modern feel.

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