Three Tips for Getting Your Money Back When You Cancel Your Wedding

For today’s blog, I have invited a special guest to give us an insight into this rather ‘taboo’ and awkward subject. It’s hard to imagine but it’s reality – sometimes weddings get cancelled. By way of inviting someone who has the inside track on dealing with this harsh topic, I hope this information will be received in a positive way and ease the process for you.

Cancelling a wedding is an emotional event, whether you’re cancelling due to relational problems or just postponing because someone is ill or there is a death in the family. When cancelling a wedding, considerations of etiquette are definitely important. For instance, you’ll need to send notice to your guests about the cancelled wedding, and you’ll need to send all of the gifts that you haven’t already used back.

But no matter why you’re cancelling your wedding, one of your top priorities will probably be getting your money back. In the United States, the average cost of a wedding ceremony and reception is about $28,000, and in the UK, it’s about £18,500. Clearly, you don’t want to just toss all that cash out the window if you need to cancel your wedding. While it may not be possible to get back every penny you’ve already spent on the wedding, here are some tips for getting your money back:

Contact Vendors as Soon as Possible

The first thing you need to do as soon as it’s decided to cancel the wedding is to contact vendors. The sooner you contact your vendors, the more of your money you’re likely to be able to get back. You may want to look over your contracts with vendors before contacting them, just to see what, exactly, you signed up for.

Vendors like your DJ, caterer, and even your venue that probably wouldn’t have gotten full payment until they rendered services on your wedding day will normally just keep whatever deposit you’ve given them. You most likely won’t be able to get that money back, but you probably won’t have to pay them anything above and beyond the deposit, either, unless you cancel absolutely at the last minute.

Cancelling your wedding dress order can be a little trickier, especially if you’re getting a custom-made wedding dress. If the dress hasn’t been cut yet, you may be able to negotiate a small cancellation fee that will simply give the dressmaker some money for her time. If your dress is already made, or if you’ve had an off-the-rack dress altered, you may not be able to get your money back at all. One option, though, is to see if the bridal shop will sell it for you at a sample sale. You won’t get all your money back with this option, but it can be helpful.

Check with Your Credit Card Companies

Depending on the terms of service on your credit card, you may be able to get some money back for cancelled wedding items. If you don’t receive services or goods that you’ve paid for because of cancelling your wedding, your credit card company may actually give you back some of the fees. This is particularly true if you’re having a destination wedding, since many credit card companies offer travel insurance when you use a card to pay for major items.

If you’ve done your homework checking credit card reviews to find the best credit cards with no foreign transaction fee and the best travel cards, then you may already know the cancellation policies of your credit card. In some cases, though, these policies are similar to travel and wedding insurance. This means that if you’re cancelling because of disastrous events or even a death in the family, you may be able to get your money back. If one party just got cold feet, you might be stuck with the payments you’ve already charged to your card.

At any rate, it’s definitely worth checking with your credit card company. If you’ve been a great customer, you may be able to work with them to get at least some of your money back.

Sell What You Can’t Return

While you may not be able to return everything to get your money back dollar for dollar, you can probably sell a lot of the physical items you’ve already bought for your wedding. For instance, centerpieces, decorative items, flower girl and bridal dresses, shoes, accessories, and more, all sell very well on sites like eBay.

You can even sell an engagement ring on eBay or Craigslist, where you may get an even better price for it than you would get through a jeweler. Etiquette surrounding the rings is tricky, though. In a typical situation, according to popular site TheKnot.com, the person who calls off the wedding does not have the right to keep the ring or ask for it back. In most cases, the engagement ring is offered to the bride-to-be by her fiancé. If he calls off the wedding, she can keep or sell the ring, but if she calls it off, she has to offer it back to him. This is the case unless the ring is a family heirloom on one side or the other, in which case the ring must return to the family to whom it originally belonged.

Cancelling a wedding can be an emotional train wreck as well as a difficult process – both financially and according to etiquette. Remember, lots of people have cancelled weddings before you. This is good because it means that there are already certain rules and regulations in place for cancelling your wedding, but it’s frustrating because it means wedding vendors are very good at protecting themselves from having to pay you back. But by taking these three steps, you stand the most chance of getting at least some of your wedding funds back so that you can move on with your life.

Thank you to our Guest Blogger: Ashyia Hill is a social media advocate at CreditDonkey, where she helps people find the best credit card deals.

Posted in Bride & Groom, Creative Wedding Solutions, Pain-free Weddings, Stress-free Weddings, Top Tips, Wedding Agreements & Contracts, Wedding Process | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How can a harpist be part of your special day?

Dear Brides,

Have you considered engaging a professional harpist to play at your wedding?

In my youth I would have liked to have learned to play the harp. In my twenties, I considered hiring myself a tutor to teach me but when it came to it, the general consensus of opinion was that my fingers were a bit too small. I was able to reach an octave on the piano successfully enough but maybe I was just too petite for a harp.

I’ve worked with a few harpists over the years, at various events and weddings – I just love the pureness of the sound – it’s so romantic – I love the delicate air of sophistication it adds to any special occasion, especially weddings.

Last year I had the pleasure of working with Patrick Bartlett. He’s a professional harpist based in London. I managed to catch up with Patrick last week and invited him to share his thoughts on how a harpist can be part of your special day. Here’s what Patrick said:-

“The harpist can physically be a part of the wedding ceremony, the drinks reception and the wedding breakfast. However a harpist will always put a lot more thought into the tiny details. They will cater for particular musical preferences, take into account new room acoustics and place themselves in the most appropriate place. “

Patrick, what music works best for the bride walking down the aisle?

“ The most popular choice for the bridal procession is Pachabel’s ‘Canon in D’. This is because it provides a slow enough pace for the processional party to walk to. The ‘Bridal Chorus’ is more than suitable but it needs to be played at a much slower pace. The bride and groom may think long and hard about their choice of music when they process out of the ceremony. However keep this in mind, it usually needs to be quite a triumphant and royal piece of music, as opposed to the slow delicate bridal procession at the start. I usually find the ‘Arrival of the Queen of Sheba’ by Handel best suits this. The other famous piece of music for this part of the ceremony would be Mendelssohn’s ‘The Wedding March’. However I find that it’s a good idea to shift from tradition sometimes.”

Patrick, what do you mean ‘shift from tradition’?

The bride and groom needs to include a variety of different kinds of music for the day, otherwise it will become all the same style. The harp can provide many different genres of music including romantic, folk, blues, jazz, sacred, and even rock music. A good example of music which is not traditional harp music and works well during the drinks reception is Eric Clapton’s ‘Wonderful Tonight’ or ‘When you taught me how to dance’ by Katy Melua.”

Any last words of advice Patrick?

“It is important for the bride and groom to have a clear idea of what music they would like for their wedding ceremony, and allow the harpist to suggest some music for the reception”.

To request a CD demo in the post from Patrick, visit: http://www.patrickbartlett.com

Kim Rix

Your London Wedding Planner

“Giving You The Attention You Deserve”

Posted in Wedding Music, Wedding Professionals | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How can a London Wedding-Day Coordinator help you?

Dear Brides, I’d like to address the role of the Wedding Day Coordinator with you. I’m receiving enquiries from so many of you from around the UK, the midst of planning your wedding, looking for someone to manage your key suppliers on the day. I’m delighted to hear from you, and I’m really happy to answer all your questions.

As you are probably aware if you are planning your own wedding, there are a huge number of details to execute and it takes a meticulous and organised approach to make sure nothing gets missed. So let me explain how working with a professional, and the role of a wedding-day coordinator, works.

Firstly, I’ll meet with you (and your fiancé) in central London 3-4 weeks before your wedding, for a pre-wedding consultation.

During your consultation we will discuss in detail your entire wedding day, including which suppliers you’ll be using and we’ll run through your proposed schedule for the day. I will record all the information and, if I feel it’s needed, I’ll make some suggestions to tie up any loose ends.

Then typically about two weeks before the wedding, I will start to liaise with all your key suppliers. I’ll pick up the telephone and introduce myself to them. I will brief them with the on-the-day plan and I’ll become their go-to person should they have any queries or concerns leading up to the day itself. From that moment, if you tell me your guest numbers have changed, I’ll let your caterers know. If you have a change of heart about flowers on the tables, I’ll negotiate with the florist. If your supplier of high-chairs phones to say that she can only provide 2 chairs instead of 4, I’ll contact one of my trusted suppliers and make sure that there are still 4 high-chairs on the day, as planned. This is your time to start relaxing and to enjoy some bridal pampering. I’ll make sure that everything is in place prior to your wedding day.

On the wedding day itself, there are all manner of tasks I could be performing. That depends on you and your needs – I’m happy to give you suggestions, but typically I will greet all suppliers, I’ll manage and coordinate all the waiting staff, bar staff, hostesses etc. I will be the on-site contact, handling any supplier issues or questions. If you do not have an MC, I will handle the coordination of your bride-and-groom entrance, the cake-cutting, your first dance and the toast. Without exception, I will ensure completion of the evening and oversee the supplier clean-up before I go home. Suffice to say, I will ensure that all your vendors are performing on the day itself, leaving you, your family and friends to enjoy the wedding day without being bothered by the small details.

The role of the wedding day coordinator is not an easy one but it is one that I enjoy nevertheless. Most of the time, everything goes reasonably smoothly but, sometimes, it can be a bit of a nightmare – any manner of things could go awry, and it’s never just one thing! If I’m doing my job properly, unobtrusively, you won’t even know it’s happening! Sounds good?

Please understand, in the case of wedding coordination where you, the bride, have done your own planning and hired your own vendors – whether you’ve hired them because they’ve come highly recommended by a friend or you’ve simply found them on the internet, it can be quite challenging because I’ve not met or worked with them before. They could be completely rubbish – arriving late, coming unprepared, acting unprofessionally, or whatever. If this happens, it is my reputation and credibility as an experienced wedding professional that is on the line. That’s why many other professional wedding planners in London simply don’t offer wedding coordination services: it’s too high risk! They only offer full wedding planning services, to ensure that they work with wedding vendors who they know and trust.

In many ways, the success of your wedding day relies on the ability of your wedding coordinator to ensure that the whole supplier / vendor team pulls together to work together as a team, which requires mutual respect and trust on everyone’s part.

If there is a glitch on the day, you need someone on the spot who is good at solving problems, with experience in managing events and someone who has a cool head in a crisis, who will pull out all the stops and make it right no matter what – no fuss, job done!

Ultimately,  by having a Wedding-Day Coordinator, you will benefit from peace of mind –and having your dream wedding.

Kim Rix

Your London Wedding Planner

“Delivering the Personal Service”

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Wedding Venues with Royal Connections

Dear Brides,

Last week, I was out and about researching unique wedding venues around London and the UK. I came across some amazing retreats in spectacular locations and I have to admit, I wish I could get married all over again, and if I did, I’d be spoilt for choice.

I have a cupboard full of wedding venue brochures, and I’m always happy to share them with you and make recommendations. I appreciate that choosing a wedding venue is hard! I know from personal experience that it’s one of the toughest decisions a bride has to make throughout her whole wedding planning process!

The venue that really captured my heart is owned by Clarenco. It’s a Scottish Castle in the middle of the Solent. Imagine having your own private island for your wedding – in the UK of all places! It’s called the Spitbank Fort. Built to protect Portsmouth Harbour from invations by Napoleon III, it’s just had a multi-million pound refurbishment and has been transformed into a luxurious destination – with luxury bedrooms and a penthouse, a hot pool and sauna, a wine tasting room, a gym and complete exclusivity, it’s perfect for extraordinary weddings! The VIP launch is located at Royal Clarence Marina.  I asked permission to use an image from their web site:

Another venue that caught my eye for an exceptional wedding is Weston Park. It’s a historic stately home with beautiful grounds (perfect for events outside) which can be hired for exclusive use. Apart from the helipad and the Chef being Ex-Royal Yacht Britannia I thought the activities sounded appealing… to keep your wedding guests entertained – which include feret racing and duck hearding!

Last but by no means least, what with all the talk of Royal Weddings and Anniversaries this week, I was taken by the idea of getting married at Central Hall – Westminster. A Methodist Church – right opposite Westminster Abbey – a Grade II listed building. The main space reminded me a bit of The Royal Albert Hall with the centre stage in the middle and the organ behind. So imagine a mini-Royal Albert Hall – it was intimate yet spacious. That and the Grand Staircase – I could just picture the bride and groom having their portrait taken on the sweeping staircase which came from the Opera House in Paris. There’s an amazing amount of history behind the building.

Next week, I’m going to have a look at Fulham Palace. It’s a great venue for a Marquee wedding and most endearing of all, you can let your wedding band play until 2am! There aren’t many wedding venues in London that allow music beyond midnight!

I can whole-heartedly recommend the wedding venues above, especially, if you’re looking to give your wedding a touch of Royal status.

Kim Rix
Your London Wedding Planner
“Giving your wedding the personal attention it deserves”

Wedding Venue web sites: Spitbank Fort, Weston Park, , Central Hall Westminster

Posted in London Wedding Locations, London Wedding Venues, Luxury Weddings, Marriage & Relationships, Wedding Research, Wedding Venues | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Styling Tips for Bridesmaid Dresses

Dear Brides,
Once you have chosen your own dress, it is time to select your bridesmaids’ dresses. Choosing bridesmaids’ dresses can be difficult, but remembering a few simple tips will make the task much easier.

Body Shapes and Dress Styles
When choosing bridesmaids’ dresses, it is essential to sit down with your bridesmaids to think about their body shapes and the styles that suit them the best. Bridal magazines are a valuable source of bridesmaid dress inspiration, as are bridal websites and online stores. Use these sources of inspiration to brainstorm a range of different ideas before you all take to the shops. Ensure that you keep your colour scheme in mind when searching for dresses.

It is no longer a necessity for all of your bridesmaids to wear the same types of dresses. This is advantageous if your bridesmaids are blessed with different body shapes. As long as the dresses are complementary in their styles, it is easy for bridesmaids to get away with wearing dresses that do not perfectly match. Seek out dresses in similar colours and fabrics to ensure that your bridesmaids look harmonious together.

The Maid of Honour
Your guests should be able to distinguish your maid of honour from the rest of your bridesmaids. You may wish for your maid of honour to adorn a darker or lighter colour dress than the rest of your bridesmaids. Alternatively, you could tie a sash around the waistband of the maid of honour’s dress for distinction.

Budget
If you lack the budget for bridesmaid dresses, you will have to ask your bridesmaids to either contribute to the budget or to pay for their dresses in their entirety. If you are expecting your bridesmaids to contribute to the cost of their dresses, it is important for you to be considerate of their budgets and you may wish to help your bridesmaids to select dresses that they are able to wear again.

Renting bridesmaid dresses from traditional bridal shops remains an option for the budget conscious bride. However, if you are working with a budget and your bridesmaids wish to keep their dresses, you may wish to consider purchasing bridesmaid dresses from the high street. High street bridesmaid dresses will cost less than those from traditional bridal shops and are more likely to be on-trend. Here are some of the trendiest bridesmaid’s dresses from House of Fraser.

Molina maxi

This maxi gown with classic black-tie appeal features a soft neckline with ruched detail on the bust.

One shoulder diamante dress

This sleeveless one shoulder maxi dress is very elegant and would make a great bridesmaid dress.

One shoulder ruffle dress

This knee-high dress is great for summer or spring bridesmaids and can also be worn for a cocktail event.

Accessories
Lastly, contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to provide your bridesmaids with matching accessories. The shoes, bags and jewellery adorned by your bridesmaids can all be different, although it will take some work on your behalf to pull the look together.

With thanks to The House of Fraserfor their guest post contribution.

Kim Rix
Your London Wedding Planner

Posted in Bridal Attire, Wedding Attire | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Planning Your Mother of the Bride Outfit

Your daughter’s wedding will be one of the most important and happiest days of her life. Finding perfect mother of the bride outfits for her ‘big day’ is just one part of a long list of things that can be stressful, but don’t necessarily have to be! Keeping a couple of guidelines in mind as you plan your purchases will save both you and your daughter quite a few headaches and arguments.

Dress Codes

You might want to start by asking the bride what sort of dress code she wants to establish for her wedding. As a member of the wedding party itself, she may want you to wear a certain colour, or she may even want to suggest wearing a certain style of outfit for the wedding. However, as the mother of the bride you have a bit more room to negotiate than your daughter’s bridesmaids do in terms of outfits. For example, if you feel that you will look inappropriate in bright red, but it’s the colour scheme of the wedding, ask the bride if you can wear scarlet, crimson, or cranberry tones, which are less harsh and look better on older women.

Whose Day is it, Anyway?

As the mother of the bride, you will want to present yourself in an age-appropriate and fashionable manner. If your daughter has not asked you to stick with a particular colour scheme or outfit, then choose something that is tasteful and does not ‘show up’ the bride’s dress. You should probably avoid floor-length dresses or gowns for that reason. A good choice is a well-cut suit dress with a matching jacket, which would be perfect for a daytime wedding in the spring or summer. Shop around for accessories that don’t age you, but instead complement you and your sense of style. Above all, you should aim to look tasteful and refined. Big statement pieces, such as loud prints of fabric, or oversized or oddly-shaped hats, should probably be avoided.

Above all, remember that the day is not about you. It is a celebration of your daughter and her love for her partner, and it is her day to shine. By carefully selecting appropriate mother of the bride outfits, you will have gone a long way towards ensuring that no matter what happens, you will both be dressed to impress.

Guest Blog: http://www.jacques-vert.co.uk/

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Destination Weddings: Favours around the Globe

It’s a new year, wedding season is in full swing in some parts of the world and at ExtraOrdinary Destination Weddings.com, we’ve been discussing the topic of wedding favours.

Today, gifts to guests are shared in cultures worldwide and have become an integral part of wedding reception planning. Around the world wedding favours are known as Bomboniere, Bridal Favours or simply favours.

Here in the UK, it is evident that the days of the traditional favour of giving five sugar-coated almonds representing fertility, longevity, wealth, health and happiness is somewhat passé. Today’s twentieth century bride is looking to make her wedding favours much more original and personal.

As a UK wedding planner I am constantly being asked for suggestions which I’m happy to share with my brides, but believe me, coming up with original ideas is becoming increasingly difficult – it has to be different from or, better than the next door neighbour’s wedding favour who got married last year! So I thought it might be helpful to share some cultural ideas via the blog, with some input from my esteemed colleagues at Extraordinarydestinationweddings.com.

Personally, I was very curious to find out how wedding favours in other countries differ from UK wedding favours. Follows, wedding favours in Aruba, India and sunny Dubronik.

Aruba – Bethsarim van Koetsveld
Party favours on Aruba used to be very unique. Sadly, over the last decade I have observed people utilising foreign trends and making use of imported ideas. Brides are using ready-made favours and gluing on the personalisation.

In Aruba, we still see the basic elements:
- A gift like a porcelain vase or candle holder (see attached picture)
- Almonds in sheer colourful fabric with a bow
- Fruit and rum black cake, we call Bolo Preto in a foil or wax paper, presented in a matching container like a cake box, shell shaped plastic box or in the gift/favour.

Brides used to have their favours hand-painted with the names and wedding date of the couple. I have not seen those in the last 7 years of weddings. At the last wedding I attended, the favour was the centrepiece – at a table of 12 guests, only one person could take it home. Everyone else was given a white cake-box with the “bolo preto”.

India – ‘Lakshmi Rammohan’
Indian favours vary from region to region, religion to religion, state to state, so on & so forth.  As there are multiple ceremonies in an Indian wedding, each ceremony is accompanied by a suitable favour. Some of these favours are traditional practices, now given contemporary form. For example, during a “Mehend” ceremony (application of henna on the hands & feet of the bride & on the hands of guests) the favour would be a little cloth pouch with bangles, bindis (colourful stick ons worn on the forehead), anklets, kajal (eyeliner), silver back hand mirrors, little brass containers for kumkum (vermillion) and so on. While this is quite the traditional list of favours in the goody bag, the contemporary version would be to put in spa products (this is an all ladies affair normally).

Sweets, dry fruits, savoury edibles & chocolates are all popular & conventional favours. Here it is the packaging that counts – elaborate boxes, bags, etc are crafted to hold the above mentioned.

Other favours are:
- Incense sticks & holders with little diyas (small lamps that u can light with wicks & oil or that might have wax)
- Religious figurines (little statuettes of Lord Ganesha are very popular favours among the Hindus)
- Indian handicrafts like jewellery boxes with miniature paintings / enamel / marble / metal / wood work
- Sandalwood items (elephant statues, pens, paper cutters)
- Brass / Silver lamps
- A typical South Indian favour would be a bag (paper or fabric) containing a coconut, kumkum (vermillion), chandan (sandalwood) or haldi (turmeric) powder, a piece of silk fabric (usually used to make a sari blouse by the receiver), betel leaves with betel nuts and a non-perishable sweet

The list goes on! India is one of those countries where one manages to find a balance between what was & what is…so that throws up some interesting wedding favours.

Croatia – Ines Nanic
In Croatia the most common favour from the newlyweds for their guests is a photo thank you card with a small memento of appreciation such as a small personalized homemade grappa bottle, or, more traditional in continental Croatia would be a box with homemade cakes that is given out as guests leave the reception and say goodbye to the couple.

Would you like to know more about wedding favours across the world? If you’re a New England bride, be sure to visit the Wedding Spectacular Bridal Show on February 19th in Boston. At ExtraOrdinarydestinationweddings.com, we’re planning on having a display table of favours from across the globe – so you might just pick up some inspiration.

Here’s the link for all the information: http://www.weddingnewengland.com/the-wedding-spectacular/

Until next time, may all your wedding dreams come true!

Kim Rix
Your London Wedding Planner
“Keeping your Wedding Original”

Posted in Destination Weddings, Wedding Favours, Wedding Gifts, Wedding Shows | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wedding Gifts: What is a Tanac?

When it comes to giving weddings gifts, the big question is, do you buy the bride & groom something they actually WANT and have asked for, or do you surprise them with something completely different – hoping that they will be touched by the time and effort you have put in thinking about it?

I’ve heard so many stories over the years from friends who have struggled with this dilemma when it comes to giving wedding gifts. For some people, they seem to think it will be a friendship-breaker if they don’t get it right. Others have asked ‘must I buy something from the wedding gift list or can I express my congratulations my own way?’

But the dilemma that seems to trouble most people, is what to give the couple who either already ‘have it all’, or say they don’t need anything because they’ve already been living together. For the bride & groom’s perspective, is asking for cash as a wedding gift rude or sensible?

Giving (or not, as the case may be)Wedding gifts is such a tricky one to advise so I decided to ask my esteemed wedding planners at Extraordinary Destination Weddings what is the cultural etiquette for giving wedding gifts in their country? I received some very interesting answers – and all surprisingly different. Here’s what they said:

In Chicago: Cash. Although at least in America good etiquette states that asking for any gift is in bad taste. Registry should never be mentioned in an invitation. The information can be passed along in a wedding shower invite because it is not coming from the couple but rather the host of the shower. It should only be passed on verbally, if someone asks directly, or in this modern age most wedding websites can include a link.

In China: Don’t bother looking for the registry to pick out the perfect the china dish to give to the happy couple. Don’t even ask them what they want or need as gifts. They will always reply with “we don’t need anything”. At a Chinese wedding, cash in a red envelop is typically the only choice of wedding gift. Any household items are traditionally purchased by the bride’s family as dowry.

In Aruba: we usually give an envelope with money, but it is rarely applicable that the couple has an actual wedding gift registry.

In Italy: the tradition of giving wedding gifts is very strong. It used to be typical to give to the Bride all the necessary items to set up the new home, from blankets to cutlery. These days however, it is more popular to have a “wedding list” at one of the superstores, so guests can choose something the couple has put in a list. However, due to the fact that many couples already live together before the wedding, even this custom is not as popular as it used to be. The latest trend is that the bride & groom choose a very expensive honeymoon, and the guests contribute towards the cost. The romance has gone, but the gifts have become more of a treat rather than a need.

In Croatia: it has become a tradition to give money as a wedding present, giving the bride and groom the option to buy whatever they need. The wedding registry lists have never been our thing in Croatia. However, up until only maybe 5-10 years ago, most couples would receive presents from their wedding guests, and that would be whatever the guests thought the couple may need entering their new life together as a husband and wife. A Bride would then, at midnight, have to dance a so called “Tanac”, which is a dance with every one of her guests (yes you read right!) should they wish to dance with her, for about half a minute. The same song plays for the duration of the dancing – usually an English waltz to make it easy on everyone but the Bride, of course. Once they have danced, their present is given to the Best man (who is accepting presents on behalf of the couple) or, if they have a money envelope, they give it to the Maid of Honour who holds an empty and big champagne bucket or soup bowl for the envelopes – whilst kicking rhythm on it with a silver spoon.

Nowadays, some brides opt not to dance the Tanac, as it can take a long time, preferring to spend time with their guests differently.

In California: Southern California has the reputation for over-indulgence and self-absorption, so it’s very rare that we come across a couple that say “We don’t need anything”. Having said that, we have had a few couples do just that. In both cases, they included a note with their invitation that explained something along the lines….”Your presence with us on this special day is truly a gift and we don’t need anything beyond that. But if you feel that you must give us a gift, then please honour us by giving a donation to one of the charitable organizations that we support or one of your own choosing.”

Nowadays in the UK, with the impact of the recession, the tide has definitely turned -the trend definitely seems to be moving towards giving cash gifts rather than traditional wedding presents from a gift registry list. Speaking with other London wedding planners, it is felt that the number of brides & grooms setting up a gift registry these days has gone down considerably. Contrary to what everyone thought would happen, very few bride & grooms followed Kate & William’s example – asking for money to be donated to charity. And a survey by First Direct earlier this year, says that 20% of bride & grooms are not asking for anything (hmmm, could they just avoiding the awkward question of etiquette: how do you ask your nearest and dearest for money on your wedding day?).

So there you go. If you are planning a destination wedding in the UK or abroad and have a question concerning cultural etiquette, call me on 0208 989 4886 or visit www.extraordinarydestinationweddings.com

Kim Rix
Your London Wedding Planner
“Beautiful, Seamless Weddings”

Posted in Bride & Groom, Destination Weddings, Wedding Etiquette, Wedding Gifts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Get Married In Tuscany – The ExtraOrdinary Way!

ExtraOrdinary Destination Weddings Invites You To Get Married in Tuscany, Italy! Interested? We will be selecting three couples to join us in Tuscany during the week of May 14th, 2012 to say “I Do” in one of three fabulous locations.

1. Castel-Pietraio in Monterrigioni

2. Fattoria-Poggio-Alloro in San-Gimignano

3. Petriolo Spa and Resort just outside of Siena

What we will provide at no charge to you….

• Wedding Planning Services both locally and in Tuscany
• Professional Photography by internationally renowned Photographer Robert Nunez of Artistic Expressions Photography and all photos on a high resolution disc
• Accommodations for the couple at the wedding location for two nights
• Symbolic ceremony and an Officiant to oversee the nuptials
• Decoration of the ceremony site
• Bouquet and boutonniere for the couple
• Hair and Makeup for the bride
• Wedding Cake and champagne or wine toast for up to 15 people

What you need to provide or pay for….

• A signed photo release allowing us to use your photos in our media campaigns
• Airfare to Florence, Italy
• The cost of meals and accommodations (other than the two complimentary nights offered by the property hosting your wedding)
• The reception (if you want one) and any entertainment that may interest you
• The cost of ground transportation to and from the airport and properties
• The ability to travel to Italy the week of May 14th, 2012
• A willingness to be flexible about the appearance of your ceremony. In other words, you will allow us to do the decorating for you.
• Possess a passport and be of legal age to get married
• Have a minimum of 15 guests willing to join you for a 6 night stay in Tuscany*
• Photos of you as a couple and the completed application received by us prior to November 1st, 2011.

Approximate costs involved

There are many factors outside of our control such as the cost of airfare and exchange rates, but as of September 25th, 2011, we estimate that the cost to the couple including airfare from Boston or New York, accommodations, ground transportation, and meals including the cost of a reception dinner for 15 guests, will be no more than $10,000 U.S. The cost for your guests to join you including airfare from Boston or New York, accommodations, ground transportation, and meals will be approximately $2585 U.S. per person. Pricing is not guaranteed however until the time reservations are made.

Each wedding group will stay at all three properties listed above for two nights each so that you can fully experience all that Tuscany has to offer. Additional sightseeing tours will be available at an additional cost. You and your guests can also extend your stay in Italy if you so choose. We can arrange for you to visit other areas of this beautiful country such as Lake Como and Venice to the North, Rome and the Amalfi Coast to the south, and all points in between. Either standard tours or an itinerary tailored exclusively to your interests can be arranged.

How to apply

Email back to EDWNewEngland@aol.com or via U.S. mail to: Something Borrowed, Something New Events, 9 Hollis St. Uxbridge, MA 01569. For more information, please contact Terri at the email address above. Alternatively, call Kim Rix for more information on +44 (0) 208 989 4886.

*You and your guests must agree to stay at all three locations that have agreed to host these weddings with us for a period of at least two nights at each property. We are required to guarantee that at least 8 rooms will be reserved each night for all six nights while you are in Italy. If the eight room minimum is not reached, the cost to the couple will increase to offset that loss of income to each property. A 30% non-refundable deposit is required at the time of booking for each property. Once a reservation has been made, any cancellation may involve an additional penalty determined by each property. Travel insurance is strongly recommended and highly encouraged.

Posted in Destination Weddings, Luxury Weddings, Marriage & Relationships, Wedding Professionals | Tagged , | 5 Comments

7 Hen Party Activities For Mature Hens

I was recently asked by a friend to suggest some Hen Party activities for a small group of mature Hens. Today I’m going to share some of those Hen Party suggestions that I came up with and perhaps inspire some of your own ideas. Here are my Top 7 suggestions for a Heavenly Hen Party:

ONE: Visit a top private spa and get a fabulous makeover. Enjoy a relaxing massage, facial, manicure and pedicure. Indulge! Eat whatever you want and drink lots of champagnes all weekend!

TWO: Are you a chocoholic? Have a private chocolate tasting session lead by a leading chocolate expert, a chocolatier. Champagne is the best drink to quench and refresh your palette between each piece of chocolate – as if you needed an excuse!

THREE: Want to do something unusual at home? Throw a Champagne and oyster party. If you don’t fancy Champagne, a good Chardonnay goes brilliantly with fresh Whitstable Oysters.

FOUR: Enjoy a top day out in London. Go to Harrods and enjoy afternoon tea and indulge in a little shopping. Dine at one of London’s foremost restaurants and then go on to one of the leading London nightclubs for cocktails and dancing.

FIVE: Another way to really enjoy a Hen Party at home is to get a private chef in to cook you dinner whilst you and your private party guests sit back, drink champagne and celebrate the Bride’s last nights of freedom!

SIX: See the Sights and Sip Champagne at the same time! Hire a limo and get a guided tour of London by night whilst you let the bubbles go to your head. Finish the evening off by dancing the night away at an exclusive London nightclub.

SEVEN: Fancy something a bit more sedate? Afternoon Tea at Claridges in Mayfair is a simple way to have a special time in style. From there, you can go on to eat at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant for a superb evening of cuisine. End the day with a trip to a West End musical. Sedate doesn’t need to be dull!

Look after the Bride, have fun and be sure to let me know how it goes!

Kim Rix
Your London Wedding Planner
“Delivering the Personal Service”

Posted in East London Wedding Planner, Hen Party, London Wedding Planner, Luxury Weddings, Top Tips | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment