There are few things more exciting than seeing your partner get down on one knee, declare their everlasting love for you, and then ask for your hand in marriage. It’ll be one of the most memorable days of your life, so soak it up and enjoy the moment. Once the occasion has passed, you’ll be able to relive the moment all over again when it comes to telling your friends and family the good news. But how does one exactly go about sharing the news? Below, we take a look at the people that need to know, and how to tell them.

Stay Cool

OK, first thing’s first: you need to stay calm. We know it’s hard, because, after all, one of the most momentous moments of your life has just occurred. However, if you’re overexcited, then you run the risk of spoiling your chance to control the narrative of your engagement. And if the news gets out to everyone straight away, you won’t just be compromising the experience for yourself – you also might hurt the people you care about most.

Family First

If you’re close to your family, then there’s no getting around it: you need to hold off breaking the news to other people until they’re informed. And don’t just send them a text, or even call them on the telephone. Go round in person, and break the news in a special way. We’re sure they’ll be thrilled for you, so it’ll be handy to bring around a bottle of champagne. Pop the top and raise a toast to your future with your loved ones!

Tell Your Close Friends

In the hierarchy of the most important people in your life, your friends will likely be a close second behind your family. You can break the news to them in a more casual way, such as by putting it into a group message for all to see. They’ll all come back with words (and emojis) of congratulation! Make plans to all get together in the coming weeks to celebrate the good news properly.

To the Web

Once you’ve let your inner circle know, you’ll be able to share your joy with the whole world! Sharing pictures of diamond engagement rings has become the norm on social media, so take a snap of yours (with your other half, of course), and upload it to your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. Once the word is out, you can just sit back and watch those likes and comments roll in!

Throwing a Party

The fun doesn’t have to stop just because everyone knows! You won’t have been able to give the news to everybody individually, so why not throw an engagement party and invite everyone around for a good old get together? Most people don’t need any encouragement to party, and especially when it’s a party that’s celebrating the love between two people.

Finally, remember not to gloat about your engagement. You want people to be happy for you, not bitter and envious! Follow our advice above, and the whole world will approve of the union. And now the next fun part: planning!  

We all know that on the day, bridesmaids are expected to support the bride as much as possible getting her into her gown, calming her nerves and cold feet, and generally being on hand for any duties that crop up. However, when you are a bridesmaid, you may also be asked to help out with some things that you don’t expect, both on and before the day. Keep reading to discover what they might be.

Bachelorette Party

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Being a modern bridesmaid kind of means you need to be ready for anything, including organizing a killer bachelorette party. OK, some brides want to arrange these themselves, but for many, it can be a pleasure to let someone else step into the driving seat for a bit and just sit back and relax while the fun happens.


So if you do find yourself in this position as a bridesmaid, then make sure you get as organized as possible. It’s vital to give everyone attending enough time to save for the event because as discussed at http://www.cosmopolitan.com/lifestyle/a45507/, the cost can be a major issue. Also,  it can help to let the other attendees have a vote in what you do. As not everyone will want to do every activity, and that’s fine. Just make sure there is a good variety to keep everyone as pleased as possible. As this will help you live up to your role as a successful bridesmaid. I also think it’s possible to ‘overthink’ the hen party, and often something simple that appeals to everyone is the way to go, and this can avoid it being too pricy for everyone involved too.

Wedding Ring Advice


Another unexpected role that you may find yourself fulfilling when you are involved in the bridal party is offering honest advice to the bride. Remember there are so many choices the bride and groom have to make when they get married, it can really be overwhelming, leaving both parties doubting their own opinions. Particularly, on the important long-term things like picking the right wedding rings.

However, that is just where the help of a good bridesmaid can be useful. As an honest, objective, and informed opinion can make the choices that they happy couple do have to make that bit easier.

To get a jump on this why not use sites like http://yourdiamondguru.com/reviews/kay-jewelers-review/ to get some advice on where to buy the rings. Then you can be the voice of reason in the mire of indecision.

Although of course, it does always help to wait until you are asked, or until things really get to a  crisis point before offering some advice in a gentle manner like the ways suggested at https://zenhabits.net/how-to-give-kind-criticism-and-avoid-being-critical/. As no bride wants to feel bossed around concerning anything to do with her special day!

Running Guest Interference

Lastly, you may not expect it, but it’s quite likely that you will be asked to run some guest interference on the day as a bridesmaid. This includes keeping an eye on some of the more frail attendees like the ones described at https://www.caring.com/questions/alzheimers-and-wedding, and even the more rowdy ones!

After all, no one wants Uncle Bob breakdancing on the floor because he has one too many whiskeys! So it’s up to you to ensure that he paces himself and has the occasional soft drink in between shots!

My girls were such a special part of my wedding day. Above all; support the bride and be a great friend! She will be so grateful.

**Please note this post is a brand collaboration**

Weddings are such an exciting event! As a previous bride I absolutely adore other people's weddings. It’s one big celebration of love and devotion and if you’re an invited guest and get to be a part of that, well, you better get your hankies ready for the sobfest that awaits. Attending a wedding as a guest is a privilege and you get the chance to spoil the lucky couple with a gift of your choice. Most couples say that they don’t need a gift on their wedding day, as your presence is enough, but everyone knows that turning up to a celebration empty handed is a big no-no.

The thing is, this is the modern world! Roll the times back fifty years or so and a wedding was the bridge between living with parents and living with a new spouse. This meant that most gifts were housewares and pretty trinkets to display for the couple in their very first home. That is a rarity these days, with most couples living together long before engagement rings are given and wedding vows are exchanged, which means that a couple generally has it all before getting hitched. I know I'm our case we already had everything for our house, so we found compiling a gift list tricky!
 
So, the dilemma left to you as the wedding guest is what on earth you could buy for a couple that seems to already have it all? Here are five unique gifts that you won’t necessarily find on a registry, nor would anyone else have thought of it!
 

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Kitchen Gift
Okay, so the happy couple may be living in pre-marital bliss, but that doesn’t mean they have everything they need for their kitchen. Everyone loves a gadget! Check out the wedding gifts on Cuckooland.com and see the genius that is this Smart Bacon Express The Bacon Toaster. No more frying pans or grills, but the perfect toaster for those lazy Sunday morning bacon sandwiches. Fun kitchen gadgets are always a loved gift!
 

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Travel Gift
Forget the honeymoon, if your wedding couple are ones who love to trek and travel across the world, why not go for one of these travel gifts? Add in a ‘where have you been’ scratch map and you have the perfect, personal gift for the couple who love to conquer the world together. I personally would adore this gift.


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Land Gift
This is an totally unique idea! We’re not talking a patch on the local allotment for the newlyweds, but why not give them the amusing gift of a small piece of unclaimed land? They can therefore be claimed Lord and Lady of the land you give them, which should raise a smile or two!


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Honeymoon Gift
Wedding gifts that are personalised are those that go down well with newlyweds, as they get a keepsake from their day. These personalised Mr & Mrs passport covers are an exceptional gift that they will love to use on their honeymoon together. Pair it with a polaroid camera for snaps of a vintage feel. Honeymoons are almost as exciting the wedding day itself so any gift for the honeymoon will go down very well.


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Romantic Gift
I love this idea! Notebooks like this that encourage a newlywed couple to write a line about their life together each day for the first year of marriage is a wonderful keepsake, and a way to look back at how their first year of marriage went in the years to come.

With this gift ideas you will never run dry for inspiration for the wedding season – no last minute panic! Enjoy all the weddings!

**Please note: this post is a brand collaboration**
 

I'm a firm believer that a beautiful wedding can be achieved even with a tight budget. And no, you don’t have to sacrifice important features to make it work. Shopping around and taking more calculated approaches to everything could help to keep you out of debt and still have a gorgeous day. Here are a few tips and tricks for keeping your wedding spectacular when strapped for cash.

The Venue

Church weddings are expensive, but other venues aren’t far behind. You can save costs in all cases by timing your wedding right – particularly the ceremony. The summer is when prices for venues are highest. An off-season wedding could save you a lot of money. September and May are usually classed as off-season and you could still get amazing weather. Mid-week weddings, especially a morning wedding, meanwhile can save you thousands compared to weekend weddings.

Another solution could be to get married outdoors like we did! In most cases, a beach wedding or a forest wedding may only need permission from a local landowner. Some may charge a fee, but it’s unlikely to be a lot. You’ll be able to get married in the height of summer to up the chance of good weather. That said, it’s still worth hiring a marquee or two just in case the heavens do decide to open. Getting married abroad can tends to be cheaper too, so if you're happy to have a smaller guest list, it may be worth consideration.

Food and drink

A big chunk of your catering cost will go towards paying for staff. However, you may be able to cut out a lot of this.  Have drinks already put on the tables in ice buckets (you could have a spare table in case drinks run low). Meanwhile, consider hiring chefs to cook at the table. This could add extra entertainment whilst cutting out the need for waiting staff. Of course, there’s also the option of a buffet which saves on staff and also tends to have lower costs per head. It also gives the wedding a more casual, 'family feel' which we loved.

Photography

It’s worth having a professional photographer to take those memorable snaps that will stay with you for the rest of your life. That said you may know a friend or family member that’s into photography that could shoot your wedding for a cheaper rate. There’s also the option to hire photographers for a set period instead of the entire day. A wedding shoot just after the ceremony could be all you need – you may then be able to get guest to take snaps throughout the rest of the evening, which was fine for us.

Wedding Invites

Invites and other wedding stationary can be surprisingly pricey. There are companies out there that do budget wedding invitations ,many of which still look professional and stylish. Consider whether you need to send an invite to everyone or just the close guests going to your ceremony. A free digital invite could be all you need to invite those reception guests, of which there may be hundreds in some cases. It's also super tempting to go overboard with other stationary; menus, thank you card, order of service, the choice is endless! Think about whether it's all really necessary for your big day before shelling out.

Decorations

It’s easy to go overboard on the décor and blow your budget. Getting creative and knowing a few of the tricks of the trade might allow you to save costs. Lots of electric lights outdoors could be expensive. We made a lot of our decorations ourselves. Candles, or indeed Chinese lanterns, could give a more ambient and warm feel whilst costing less.

Florists meanwhile will often try to persuade you to buy the most expensive flowers. Don’t be pressured into doing this. Also consider how many flowers you realistically need. A big fancy flower feature may cost less than having flowers all over the place and is likely to stand out more.

Your cake can also be used decoratively. Consider having only a top layer of cake and lots of fake tiers beneath. It will still make a visual impact whilst costing less.

Wedding vehicle

Hiring a chauffeur and a vintage car won’t be cheap (a carriage will be even more expensive). Consider whether this needs to be a big spectacle – often dressing up your own car and getting someone else to drive it can have a cute and charming factor. You may even know a friend with an antique car who may be willing to let you borrow theirs for the day.

The dress

Every bride should be able to have a beautiful dress for their special day. If your dream dress is too much to purchase, consider hiring options. This will allow you to have a more extravagant dress for a fraction of the cost. Yes, owning the dress can sometimes feel better, but consider the fact that most people who buy dresses simply let them gather dust for years to come.

Of course, an alternative could be to buy a dress and then sell it after. There are lots of sites where you can sell your wedding dress. Photographs will provide all the memories you need.

 

A beautiful wedding doesn't need to cost the earth and, from someone who has been married just over a year, the main thing is that you are getting married to the one you love. Of course, it will be a wonderful and memorable day, but remember it's only one day out of the rest of your lives!

**This post is a brand collaboration**

My beautiful wedding dress was off the rack and I am by no means ashamed to admit it. I bought my wedding dress on my first day of looking and it was about the 8th I tried on and second shop I has been to. I didn’t really plan to buy off the rack, the first shop I went to was a boutique for example, but the second was a sample store and that’s where I ended up finding the dress I loved.

I have had mixed reactions. Most people thought it was great or didn’t really have an opinion either day, but a few friends wrinkled their noses a bit. They seemed fixated on the fact that other women would have tried it on before me… What like every other piece of clothing you have bought from a shop you mean?! These pre conceptions are plain silly. So, for any off the rack brides like me, here are some benefits of buying a sample dress as well as some tips for getting it right.

Saving money is obviously a big one. My dress was an Alfred Angelo last season which was reduced to half its original price. The full price of most wedding dresses makes me wince (you’ll only wear it once) but I do understand the price tags with all the material and detailing. So, to buy a sample and save some pennies seems like a great idea to me.

It might be one of a kind! When I found my dress before buying it I went home to think about it and searched the web high and low for the same Alfred Angelo design elsewhere. I would not find it for sale for love nor money anywhere in the world, it must have been a discontinued line. This meant that next to no brides would be wearing it for the 2016 wedding season! For someone who likes to be unique like me this is a big plus and I was keen on being a DIY friendly bride so buying a sample kind of fitted into that theme.

Flexible fittings. When you order your dress in you have the big decision of choosing a size. Yes, you can have it altered but it’s more difficult to take things out than in. I have heard of brides ordering a dress in a smaller size and then panic dieting to try and get into it when they haven’t lost the weight they wanted to. My dress was a size 14 so that was what I got. When I bought it, I was a 12 and by the time I went for my first fitting I was a 10 so I could have it taken in a fair bit. But equally could have had it taken in only a little. Flexibility makes for a calmer bride!

Tips for buying off the rack:

  1. Check the dress thoroughly, a few gems missing here or there is no biggie (my seamstress fixed some of those for me) but stains, foundation marks or major damage could prove difficult and cause you unnecessary stress.
  2. Get a good seamstress who you trust and can fit it properly and repair any small problems. Mine was amazing and transformed the dress. It fitted like a glove.
  3. Do not be ashamed! It does not mean your dress is used, second hand or in any way less ‘yours’. On the other hand you don’t have to tell people if you don’t want to. They’ll never know! And it’s none of their business anyway.
  4. Pick a dress you love and don’t be put off it’s off the rack. If, like me, you didn’t necessarily plan on buying a sample dress but you fall for one then get it! It might be your only chance! And if it’s the one, it’s the one.

Off the rack is fabulous. It doesn’t mean the dress is any less beautiful, stylish or special. I’m so glad I found mine and  wouldn’t change it for the world.

Happy shopping!