The big day is fast approaching – there are just 6 – 4 months left to go before you tie the knot, but if you’ve been following our tips so far, you’ll be well on track with your plans.
You’ve made decisions about the big things – the venue, your dress, the groom’s attire. Now it’s time to focus on the smaller – but still important! – details.
Do me a favour
So what exactly are wedding favours? You’ll almost certainly have come across sugared almonds in bags given to guests – traditionally, this favour represents fertility, longevity, health, wealth and happiness. Many brides still choose this option today but if you’d like to say thank you in a different way, then there are literally hundreds of alternatives to offer as wedding favours.
Right now we’d say that miniature bottles of alcohol, seeds, plants, and personalised cookies and biscuits are popular with our real life brides and grooms. Depending on your talents, the time you have available and your inclination, these can either be bought or made. Making your own favours shouldn’t be a last-minute decision – far too stressful! If you’re going to DIY any part of your wedding, you need to plan it well in advance to give you time to practise and perfect your design. And DIY isn’t always the cheapest option – you’re going to have to budget for a few test items.
If you’re not confident about your DIY skills, don’t worry; you can still give your guests unique wedding favours.
We always like the idea of favours doubling up as place cards by being personalised with each guest’s name. Use some coloured card and a heart-shaped hole punch to create your own tags. Alternatively old-fashioned luggage tags tied with brown string look authentic if you’re planning a vintage-inspired day.
Our three top tips for favours
- Give yourself time – if you want to create something unique and personal, build in the necessary time to get it right.
- Use your wedding cake – Buy some little boxes to match your colour scheme and ask your caterer to divide the cake into these so guests have a take-home treat. (Of course, if you put your favour budget into your cake, you could afford to spend more on it.)
- Hand around your favours yourself which gives you the chance to thank each guest individually. A great time to do this is with your new husband whilst your guests are eating dessert.
A gift for your wedding day
Your guests are almost certainly going to want to buy you a special wedding present to start you off on married life together – but what do you ask for? You may have all the domestic kit you need but would love some financial input towards your honeymoon, your mortgage or just for a rainy day.
The way around asking for cash – short of having money pinned directly to your wedding attire! – is to get your friends to put the word around before your big day. It’s becoming increasingly the normal to ask guests to contribute towards something relevant to your wedding – like a dream honeymoon for example.
Sites like Buy our honeymoon enable guests to buy certain experiences for the couple while they’re away, from a private candlelit dinner on the beach to swimming with dolphins. Writing a thank-you letter about such a fabulous experience won’t be difficult!
Or what about a new kitchen or bathroom? Some gift list websites enable guests to buy vouchers for popular high street stores. If you are given a lot of vouchers, though, do remember to keep an eye on the ‘use by’ date.
Asking guests to donate money to a chosen charity is also a nice idea, especially if you have a personal link with a particular cause.
Walk this way
What girl doesn’t love a fabulous pair of shoes? Your wedding day is the perfect time to really indulge your love of footwear – in fact getting your bridal shoes right is a key part of your wedding day look. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that they won’t be on show much so they don’t matter. These aren’t just any old shoes – they have to be multi-tasking.
First of all, they have to be the right height. You need to feel confident when you’re walking down that aisle, so if you never wear super high heels, don’t start now – just buy a pair for your honeymoon instead. If you want height minus that wobbly feeling, go for wedged or thicker heels. Thin stiletto heels are the hardest to walk in and can get easily caught in uneven ground – be sure you’re buying the right type of shoe for you, as a wobbly walk down the aisle isn’t a great look!
Secondly, you need to decide whether you’re going to complement or contrast. Complementary shoes will be a similar colour to your gown and probably be made of satin. They will also feature similar details to those in your dress, like lace, pearls or diamante. Contrasting shoes, on the other hand, make for fabulously fun photos and give your guests – and your groom – a big surprise! Bright, bold shoes look fabulous peeking out from beneath your dress or making a statement with a shorter vintage-style number. Aruna Seth are the experts at creating coloured bridal shoes – their Faralla design is a favourite of real brides and celebrities alike. For a more budget-friendly option try Rainbow Club’s dyeing service – their Colour Studio can match any shade you care to think of.
Finally, you need to think about your venue and the time of year. You don’t want to wear strappy sandals in winter and in summer you may find that your feet swell up uncomfortably in restrictive courts. Winter brides may look for more security, so we recommend shoes with straps, or even a pair of back-up shoes – ivory wellington boots, for example, are pretty and practical to wear during outdoor photos.
Are you getting married abroad? Then sparkly flip-flops should be top of your list. Struggling across sand in high heels is not the way to go. Plus, it goes without saying that for a beach wedding, a pedicure is an absolute must!
A symbol of your love
An unbroken circle, your wedding ring represents the unity you have together. Now is a good time to choose your wedding rings – think about budget, durability, colour and style.
You’re going to be wearing your rings for many years to come, so it’s worth allocating a good slice of your budget towards them. Platinum is one of the most popular choices for wedding rings because of its hardness, rarity and beautiful appearance. For those who want the characteristics of platinum without the price tag, palladium is a great choice. Granted its own hallmark in 2010, Palladium is more hard-wearing than white gold but softer than platinum, pushing it into a less expensive price bracket.
Grooms now have more choice than ever before when it comes to wedding rings and don’t have to opt for a coloured gold band. If your man is looking for something a little bit different, why not choose the lightweight titanium or striking black zirconium? You can even have wood laid into precious metals nowadays.
Whichever type of ring you choose, consider having a special message or your wedding date inscribed inside, to make them even more personal to you.
You’ll find more tips about choosing the perfect wedding ring here.
Start planning your honeymoon
The honeymoon may seem like a long way off – particularly when you’re busy wedding planning – but you need to start thinking about honeymoon destinations, and potentially, vaccinations. Ask your doctor if your chosen country requires you to have any injections and if so, get these arranged as soon as possible – you don’t want to have a reaction that leaves you feeling lousy just before the wedding. You may also need to take anti-malaria tablets if you’re going somewhere tropical.
Once you know where you’re off to, consider what clothes you’re going to need and ask a member of the family to take your luggage to the reception venue if you’re leaving for honeymoon straight after the party.