Child free wedding, I do or I don’t?

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“Children should be seen and not heard.” That’s how the saying goes anyway. A very common discussion couples have when they’re planning their wedding is whether they want children to attend, or stay well away. If the thought of a child crying or being disruptive when you’re trying to say your vows fills you with dread then you aren’t alone. If you come to the decision that you want your day to be an adults only affair you might be left wondering, how on earth do I tell friends or family that their little darlings aren’t welcome?

If children are an absolute no-no my advice would be to be clear and polite with your wishes, simply leaving the children’s name off the invitation might be too subtle and you could end up with a few unexpected guests on the day. Saying “no children” or “don’t bring kids” on the invitation is just plain rude, there are much better ways of approaching this taboo subject and coming out of it with relationships still intact.

A couple of examples of how to word this request politely on your invitation are;
* while we love your little ones, our day will be an adults only affair
* please join us for an adults only reception after the ceremony

Most people will understand that it’s your choice whether you want children there or not and be respectful of that decision. Yep, there’s always a BUT… be prepared for a few people to take offence. Your friend with the very energetic toddler and a grizzly baby might be quite upset that her brood can’t attend. Please remember that she is very much blinded by love and just won’t see the potential for disaster like you do. Give any parents plenty of notice about your decision so they can find adequate childcare and you never know they might just enjoy the break from being Mum and Dad for the day! If you’re super organised then you could let people know via the save-the-date, it might lessen the surprise when the invitation arrives and give anyone who has an issue with it time to talk to you. A rather regrettable side to saying no to the kids is that their parents might decline your invitation on principle. Ask yourself, is it really worth not having close friends or even family members there to celebrate with you just because you want a quiet ceremony?

If you’re ok with kids being there but you are working within a tight budget then I would be honest with your guests. I know it’s terribly British not to talk about money but let’s face it, children cost nearly as much as adults when it comes down to catering and that soon adds up. A simple, “we’re really sorry but only we can only accommodate the children of close family on our wedding day” might be the solution for you.

If you really really can’t stand the guilt of the no children policy coming directly from you then blame the venue. You could say, “we apologise but unfortunately (the venue) doesn’t allow under 12’s.” While this leaves you out of the firing line you have to remember that churches and registry offices are mostly family friendly places. Guests might innocently bring their little ones along for the ceremony blissfully unaware they aren’t welcome. You might want to consider the first few points of this article before using a scapegoat!

Whatever you and your fiancé decide about having children at your wedding it really is  your day and your friends and family will love and support you.

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Are you a parent who has been invited to a child free do, how did you feel about it? Are you planning on having a kids free wedding, how did you tell your guests?  I’d love to hear from you!

Lights, camera, action!

So you’ve found the love of your life, set the date and booked the perfect venue, now what? Setting the right mood for your reception can be tricky, but choose the right lighting and you can transform a plain space in seconds. When the wedding breakfast is finished and the speeches are over it’s time to let your hair down and have some fun! This is usually signified by the main overhead lights being turned off and everyone in the room making “whoo” sounds and giggling (you know you’ve done it too). Why not follow the cheeky “whoo” with a few astonished “oohs”.

Choose dreamy satin wall coverings with colourful uplighters, or combine uplighting with beautiful string lights on the ceiling for an added wow factor.

photo credit: http://www.hireforparties.co.uk

Giant illuminated initials or words are very popular right now and it’s easy to see why, they can make a huge impact in the room and provide a great photo prop. Why not see if you can move them outside in the evening for a romantic photo shoot.

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This gorgeous couple made their own letters for their big day, the link to their blog is below their photo if you feel inspired to do the same!

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http://evanandkatelyn.com/2013/08/makin-loooooove-complete-diy-marquee-letters/

String lights are simple and chic but still make a statement. Hang them vertically or delicately bowed for a romantic effect. If you are decorating your own venue this is a great way to dress up a room without breaking the bank. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family if you can borrow their Christmas lights I’m sure they would love to help make your day magical.

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Photography: http://www.kristenweaver.com
www.heatherjowett.com
Photography: http://www.heatherjowett.com

If you wanted to leave the walls alone how about making use of high ceilings and add some drama from above? Colourful paper lanterns bring a real sense of fun to the occasion and can be customised to your colour scheme. I love the simplicity of these hanging bulbs, so romantic.

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photography: http://www.im-art.co.uk/
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photography: http://www.hofferphotography.com
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Photography: http://www.studioimpressions.com.au

Let’s not forget about the humble candle. Use dramatic mismatched candle holders grouped together, or lanterns teamed with small flower displays to make gorgeous table centres.

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Inspirational wedding table centerpieces that feature candles and tea lights.
Photography: http://www.hamiltonphotography.dreamhosters.com

 

Halloween Weddings

There is something quite exciting about the prospect of a Halloween wedding. Please don’t discount this time of year for your big day as a tacky holiday wrapped in fake blood and polyester, this theme is full of possibilities. The fact that 31st October is slap-bang in the middle of autumn gives prospective brides and grooms so many sumptuous colours and ideas to play with. Colour palettes ranging from deep oranges and reds, purples and the classic black and white open up the day to be made into anything you want it to be. So whether you and your fiancé go for a full on gothic extravaganza or just add a few little touches here and there you and your guests will have an unforgettable day.

I personally think that the wedding dress can set the tone for the day, so whether you’re going for traditional with a twist, Gothic glamour or a statement red gown there are lots of ways to show your individual style and still look the blushing bride.

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Vera Wang
Vera Wang
http://www.devilnight.co.uk/131-260-thickbox/red-one-shoulder-gothic-wedding-dress.jpg
http://www.devilnight.co.uk

Don’t forget to let the other members of the wedding party have some fun too! Think orange and black stripy socks or skull print ties for the guys, colourful shoes and some glitter for the girls. If orange and red really aren’t your style take inspiration from the recent harvest and consider deep plums paired with soft peaches.

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Pumpkins are everywhere at this time of year so don’t be afraid to use them, fill them with bright autumnal flowers, paint them to fit with your colour scheme or glam them up with glitter or pearls.

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Tall and elegant candelabras, black table linens, and lace covered tea lights can give a grown up and more elegant feel to the day. Skull place name holders, skeleton cake toppers and vampire fang napkin rings can add a deliciously macabre touch.

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Halloween is all about mischief and fun and if you have some little monsters at your wedding make sure there’s plenty of sweet treats on offer along with family friendly activities to keep them entertained. A “tattoo” bar filled with transfers and glitter tattoos or pumpkin carving would sit nicely with a spooky activity box.

Whether you choose to go all out and ask guests to wear scary fancy dress for your big day or have a more laid back autumnal affair, a Halloween wedding would be truly magical.

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