Christmas is a very popular time for engagements.

Some couples have the engagement ring ready, however, many couples choose the rings together, before or after the question is asked.

One thing to think about: Will your wedding ring fit with your engagement ring?

Many couples design their own rings, this enables them to have the perfect design that suits their personality.

Mobeus understands the importance of purchasing your wedding rings. They specialise in creating bespoke wedding rings that last a lifetime

However, there isn’t just the rings to think about … Oh where to start! To help you, we’ve included an extract from Victoria J.Brown’s, The Wedding Planning Book for the Deviant Bride, to help you understand what you need to do over the next year or so! Good Luck.

***** EXTRACT *****

Your planner

As soon as possible

There are certain things you need to think about before you start booking and planning your wedding. Here are a few points to consider:

* Put together your guest list:

Some venues are restricted on numbers; some may have a minimum or maximum number of people.

* Take note of your budget:

Weddings can easily run away with themselves. Think about what is most important to you on your day and allocate sufficient funds to each part of your wedding.

* What type of wedding do you want?

Do you want a theme? Do you want a small or large wedding? Brainstorm: write down all the things that are important to you and work from this.

Once you have established the above points, book your venue as soon as possible. Remember, if you’re having a church wedding, check the church dates too. If you’re having a civil ceremony you can inform your local registrar twelve months before. Many venues are booked two years in advance, so book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Once you have booked your venue, it’s best to book the following suppliers as many are in demand.

  • Think about sending out ‘save this date’ cards to your guests, they can then work their holidays around your wedding, if needed
  • Order wedding cake
  • Book photographer and videographer
  • Book florist
  • Book music; including what is needed for ceremony, reception and evening
  • Book transport
  • Buy wedding insurance
  • Book any other entertainment i.e. fireworks, magician etc.
  • Choose bridal party
  • Start thinking about your honeymoon
  • Start thinking about your dress and accessories

12-6 months

  • Order your wedding dress / outfit
  • Order bridesmaid dresses / outfits
  • Order stationery
  • Reserve accommodation for guests who are travelling
  • Book your honeymoon

4-5 months

  • Buy accessories, shoes, jewellery, tiara etc.
  • Purchase wedding rings
  • Choose favours
  • Choose gifts for wedding party
  • Purchase or hire groom and male attendant outfits

2-3 months

  • Send out invitations
  • Choose menus
  • Have make-up and hair trial
  • Buy throw-away cameras, guest book and any other bits you need i.e. balloons, candles, ribbon etc.
  • Choose readings, hymns etc.
  • Check with your doctor what injections are needed (if any) for your honeymoon

1 month

  • Final dress / outfit fitting
  • Think about your table plan
  • Start writing table names
  • Assign duties to bridal party
  • It’s a good idea to try and wear your shoes; you don’t want to be uncomfortable on the day. Remember, if you will be wearing your shoes with tights or stockings you need to wear them when trialling your shoes.
  • A quick phone call to your suppliers ensuring they are prepared

1 week – 1 day before

  • Have manicure, fake tan and any other beauty treatments. You may need a massage by this stage!
  • Pick-up your dress/outfit, bridesmaid dresses/outfits, groom and usher attire
  • Rehearse the ceremony
  • Pack for your honeymoon

Your wedding day

  • Relax and enjoy
  • Take in every moment, stop for a while and look around you
  • Breathe in your special day

Day after

It’s a good idea to get together with family and close friends for a small party, this will give you a chance to catch-up and discuss all the things you missed on the day. Believe it or not there will be plenty!



By Calm Weddings

Photo Credit: Elliot McCarthy Dental Care

tooth-whitening couple

A few months back we talked about having the perfect smile for your wedding day. With Christmas coming up, and vouchers available at certain dentists we wondered if you have thought any more about this. We decided to revisit this topic again, as we think so many brides concentrate on so many other ‘wedding things’.

Most brides worry about the way they will look, and concentrate on their make-up, hair and of course, the dress. Some brides even spend a fortune on their shoes. Jimmy Choo being on the top of their list. But how many people are going to see those Jimmy Choos? And how many of your guests will see your beaming smile?

We understand what weddings cost, and it’s important that every bride and groom has the day of their dreams. However, there are so many couples who don’t really appreciate the damage that their teeth has had over the years. Click on this link to find out about the things that can stain your teeth. Have a quick look, you’ll be surprised:


So, if you’ve never had any kind of teeth whitening you are bound to be susceptible to some kind of staining. Think of all the money being spent on your wedding … hopefully, you haven’t collapsed thinking about it too hard! But doesn’t it make sense to look after an area of your body that will be on show the whole of your wedding day, and thereafter. Many things disappear after your wedding, but not your smile.

Elliott McCarthy Dental Care and Indentity Individual Dental Care offer amazing services to bridal couples. They understand the importance of your special day and will help you achieve the best smile possible.

At Calm Weddings and NJAW, we understand this is one of the most important days of your life. We understand you want to look at your photos/video and love the way you look. How nice would it be too get some close-up shots with your sparkling smile? The perfect smile. If you really haven’t put this into your budget, why not ask a family member for a Christmas voucher or ask a close relative/friend for an early wedding present. People generally buy presents before the wedding anyway, this could be added to your list.

Some couples have been known to look back on their wedding day and wonder why they spent so much money in certain areas … treating your smile will not be one of those regrets.

By Calm Weddings

first dance - vowtodance

Your first dance can be quite a daunting task, especially if you have ‘two left feet’ as the saying goes. If you’re not really into dancing, let alone in front of all your family and friends, this supposedly romantic moment could actually fill you with dread. Questions such as, do you shuffle your feet in time with each other? Or do you whisk each other around the room like the next ‘Fred and Ginger’.

The best advice we can give you is to practice. Get used to dancing with each other. Just grab one another randomly and have a smooch. You’ll soon find the more you practice, the less daunting the whole experience will feel.

Many couples take dancing lessons. This is becoming very popular in ensuring your first dance is perfect. It’s also a nice way to connect before and after your wedding. Just make sure this is something you both want. You’ll be investing so much money into your wedding for many things you’ll never see, hold or able to use again. Investing in your first dance is something you can take into your married life together.

There are couples who have ‘jazzed-up’ their first dance by choosing a rap, rock or dance song, rather than a romantic embrace, and they’ve really moved around the dance floor. This type of performance can really get your guests in the mood for the evening reception. If this is the case make sure you let your photographer/videographer know your plans, as this could affect where they put their lighting, or where they position themselves. Obviously the DJ needs to know exactly what you are planning to ensure they are following your timings.

It is important that you plan the music. The song you choose should mean something to you both. The lyrics should, at least, have some resemblance to how you feel.

Once you’ve chosen your song, you’ve decided how you would like your first dance to go (professionally or not) and you are both comfortable with your decision, then it’s all about practising. Dance when and wherever you can together; around the kitchen, in the lounge, in the garden and down the street. Embrace your moves, have fun and enjoy connecting with each other.

If you’re struggling to find a song that you both like or means something to you, we’ve researched some websites that have some great lists of wedding songs. Have a browse and see what you think. We wish you lots of luck.

Marie Claire


Top 100 Dance Wedding Songs

photo credit: www.vowtodance.com

By Calm Weddings

If you’re like the majority of brides you will be wanting to lose weight for your wedding. Whether you would like to lose a few pounds or a few stone, battling with the bulge can become frustrating. If like many people you find yourself turning to food when you are stressed, planning a wedding can be the ultimate reason to comfort eat.

How nice would it be to have someone who will support you? Someone who will help you fit into the dress of your dreams? A little helping hand: knowing that you are not alone? Someone who will help you put a plan in place? And let’s face it, how nice would it be if this plan was fast, fun and very effective? Well, look no further …

B2A-logo1Believe2Achieve is unique to the UK. They are the only clinic in the UK offering personal training alongside non-surgical Laser Liposuction. With more than 30 years combined experience in fitness, massage, nutrition and non-invasive treatments, Katy Foggin and Amanda Grieveson, will support you to achieve your desired results. And yes, this treatment is fast, fun and extremely effective!

buffbrides1 - luvthebride

Believe2Achieve combine non-invasive Laser Liposuction – the latest technology in non-surgical fat reduction – with personal training, nutritional advice and the revolutionary G5 massage machine. This laser therapy can also be used to drastically reduce or even eliminate the appearance of stretch marks. Results show visual reductions of up to 80% with massive improvements to the ‘feel’ of the marks.

Renowned in her field, expert masseuse Katy Foggin has helped many elite sports performers, to many fitness-phobics!

Katy and Amanda from Believe2Achieve are passionate about helping you look and feel your best whatever your age, shape or level of fitness. They will ensure your programme is tailored to suit your needs.

The results from this programme will not only help you feel more confident before your wedding, but thereafter. These life-changing results will lead you into your married life feeling fantastic about yourself.

‘OMG, once you’ve been trained by Amanda and massaged by Katy, there is simply nowhere else that shapes up. I’m a new woman!’ Jane, Northumberland

PHOTO CREDIT: www.luvthebride.com

By Calm Weddings

Photos by Jen Hart

bride face


Planning your wedding can be one of the most exciting times of your life, but try not to become obsessed. You’re probably living, sleeping and dreaming weddings. Look at ways to relax or try a new hobby; don’t let your wedding take over your life.

Best Man

The best man should be the main support for the groom. It’s usually the best man’s responsibility to organise the stag night/weekend, plus deliver a speech after the meal. It should be the groom’s choice who he would like with him throughout the day.


Something you may feel you need lots of throughout the planning of your wedding. However, be very careful as caffeine can give you a ‘temporary high’ but the low can sometimes not be worth it. Caffeine is a stimulant; do you really need any more help in the ‘non-sleeping’ department? Choose a healthier option. Check out Victoria Brown’s blog post on alternatives to caffeine.


Decorations can make your venue look spectacular; decorative flowers, vases, fairy lights, candles or sprinkle the tables with metallic confetti. Make sure you stick with your theme; you could make the venue look like an amazing fairy tale.

walking down aisleEntrance

Everyone will be waiting for the bride’s entrance. Hopefully the following won’t make you nervous but … make sure you make a good entrance, smile politely and don’t chat as you walk down the aisle! Remember, any mutters to your father (or whoever is walking you down the aisle) will be noticed by all. Make sure you tell this to your bridesmaids, as eyes will be scanning dresses, hair and make-up so you don’t need mutters between each other overriding the whole effect. Even if it’s mutters to exchange how nervous you feel, remember everyone will be watching!


Follow your heart rather than following what’s in fashion. Choosing a dress that is in season or a cake that is very popular could mean you don’t have the things that you would truly want or even match with your plans. Go with what suits your personality rather than following a trend.


When it comes to organising weddings, people seem to focus so much on the bride they forget about the person she is marrying. Grooms are usually the first to arrive at the wedding; they will greet guests and wait at the front of the aisle for their bride. It’s a nerve-wracking experience for them too. Give each other as much support as possible. Some grooms may want to get more involved in the planning, so allow them.

dad and groom


Integrate your hobbies into your wedding day; a football theme, a golf day or your own band playing. Whatever your hobby see how you can make it part of your special day as this will make it unique to you; differentiating your wedding from the other weddings your guests have attended this year.

Ice Breaker

How are you seating your guests? With people they already know or are you using your wedding as an opportunity for people to mix? Sometimes, this can be awkward, so why not devise some ice-breakers? Some ideas; a quiz that involves the whole table, or design a murder mystery per table that can be integrated into the mealtime, or devise a game where each person has to tell the rest of the table something about themselves. Be creative; breaking the ice will help your guests relax. Some guests might not know anyone, therefore ice-breakers are a great way of making those guests feel included. 


Make sure any jewellery you wear matches your outfit. Don’t buy your jewellery until you have sorted out your dress (or wedding attire).


Wedding keys are a fab way of celebrating your love: symbolising that you have the key to each other’s heart. These are great as favours, or used within your theme as name places etc.


Being a good listener is a very good skill to have, not just ‘hearing’ but actually listening. Good listeners will take good advice from others who have planned a wedding. Good listeners increase the success of their marriage, as listening and communicating can be a huge downfall in many marriages!


Waterproof please!

Next Day

Try not to fly off on your honeymoon the day after your wedding. Have a barbecue or a house party with family and close friends and reminisce your wedding day. You may find you don’t get to speak to half of them on the actual day itself, so use the next day wisely.


Don’t become obsessed with your wedding as you will turn into a nervous, boring wreck! Plus, think about life after your wedding, what will you talk about when it’s all over?


Many brides wonder whether they should change their passport name so they are travelling in their married name. It’s easier to travel in your maiden name if you’re honeymooning days or a few weeks after your wedding; proof of marriage is needed and trying to get this beforehand will only add to your other hundred stresses!

Quiet time

Have quiet time with each other that doesn’t relate around wedding talk. You will find as your planning comes together your wedding is the constant topic of conversation. Purposly plan some quiet time in with each other that doesn’t relate to wedding talk.


If you decide to have a civil ceremony and it’s not in your local area, you will still have to register your wedding at your local registry office. Some registry offices will pass your details to the appropriate office, but if not they will explain their procedure. Most counties don’t allow you to register until twelve months before your wedding date.


Many couples don’t have savings these days as mortgages, credit cards and loans take up a lot of money. So don’t worry if you start with nothing, but be very careful with your budget and know where you’re getting the money from. If you can save before your wedding date this would be a great start.

kissing little boyTeeth

Remember your smiles on your photographs. There are many different ways to have a teeth whitening treatment. Check out NJAW list of people who can help you have the perfect smile.


It may rain; unfortunately the weather is not usually a guaranteed service. However, with black and white umbrellas (some companies specialise in wedding umbrellas) you could still be outside and you could get some fantastic photographs.


Having a video of your wedding can be more exciting than the photos, as you can relive the day over and over again. Instead of still pictures you will see the movements, hear the laughter and sense the ambience of the day. Plus, you can experience it again and again whenever you like.


It was once traditional to wear white, today many brides opt for either an ivory or champagne coloured dress. However, don’t be afraid to choose any colour; show off your personality, it’s your day so do as you please.


Hiring a professional yodeller is a great way to entertain your guests. They will have your guests laughing and clapping, this a fun and unique way of getting your guests in the party mood after their meal.


Having a different theme for your wedding is definitely a great way to ensure your guests will remember your special day. A zebra theme is not only a fashionable way forward but definitely fun. You could turn your wedding into a safari adventure, or just integrate black and white into the mix.

By Calm Weddings

Photo by Jen Hart


The speeches: This part of the day can be the most nerve-wracking, especially for those who are not used to talking in front of groups of people, let alone, a crowded room. If you think any of your family or friends who are involved in giving a speech could do with a bit of TLC, Amethyst Holistics offer some great relaxing therapies. They also offer a wide range of treatments for anyone suffering with general wedding nerves and stress.

We’ve put together a little guide that should help you establish who should speak and a general idea of what they should say. But we think anyone speaking from the heart will always win the crowd over. Don’t worry about being amusing, witty or telling the funniest story, showing your love and appreciation for the bridal couple is definitely the best way forward.

Who speaks? Who says what?

Usually the bride’s father, groom and best man make a speech. However, it has become popular for the bride to make a speech. Bridesmaids can make a speech, having a best-lady rather than a best man, or mothers can speak instead of fathers (bride or groom). However, if you would like to stay with tradition, this mini guide will help you.

Father of the Bride

  • It’s the father’s job to welcome the wedding guests and thank them for coming.
  • He may tell a little story about the two of you and then toasts you both. He can pack it out with stories about his little girl and also how much they welcome their new son-in-law into the family.


  • Again, thanks everyone for coming.
  • Thanks the bride’s father for making his speech.
  • Thanks everyone for their wedding gifts.
  • Generally tells everyone about how pleased he is to be finally married to his new beautiful wife. Usually this speech is light-hearted, and a good opportunity to make a good impression with all guests; especially ‘the bride’s family’.
  • Thanks both sets of parents. If you’re giving thank you gifts to the bridal party, call out individual names with a little sentence about each of them. Also thank anyone else who helped with organising the wedding.

Best man

  • The best man’s speech can be one of the most difficult to put together, it’s usually entertaining, amusing but shouldn’t offend anyone (except the groom, but that’s allowed!). We said don’t worry about making it funny, however many who are in this position feel they should make it funny. This doesn’t have to be the case. Don’t worry about making the funniest speech, make a speech that means something to you and your friends (the bridal couple).
  • Usually the best man would tell everyone how he met the groom, talk about the groom’s life and different experiences. He may add information on how the bride and groom met. Typically, at the end of the speech the groom reads through some cards, emails and messages from people who are unable to attend.

However, as mentioned earlier, if the bride decides to make a speech, it’s allowed. The bride could tell stories about each of the bridesmaids. Maybe the bride wants to make a speech to let everyone know about the wonderful husband she has married.

Speeches are a way of letting everyone know how much you appreciate them sharing this important day with you, how much love your family and friends have and how much love you have for each other. They allow everyone to know how special this day is for both of you and it also allows others to show their appreciation.

Have you seen our fab newsletter this month? 

All you need to know about wedding fayres …

photo credit: darrenmarshphotography.com

wedding fayre

Wedding fayres can be great fun, really informative and a great buzz – full of all of great ideas and helpful tips. In fact, other than the NJAW website ,we think they’re the best way to meet large numbers of wedding suppliers in your area that can meet your every need. Unfortunately though, they can leave you feeling a little overwhelmed – so many people selling so many things!

Here at NJAW we’ve done our fair share of wedding fayres so here are our 5 top-tips for getting the most out of them:

* Set your budget BEFORE you do anything! If you don’t know how much things cost, think about how much you can afford and then stick to that. It’s easy to get carried away but being in debt for years because of one day isn’t worth it. Your wedding should fit your budget, not the other way around. For help with setting your budget why not try our NJAW budget planner

* Research which suppliers will be at the fayre – bigger fayres often publish who will be exhibiting in advance on thier websites. Planning a list of who you want to see will mean that you don’t miss anyone

* Ask the right questions! Make a list of what you want to know before you go e.g. how much do you charge? what exactly do you get (and not get)?, how long do you need to set up etc

* Pick up all of the offers and the goodie bags. Suppliers spend a lot of time and money trying to attract you to their stalls so take advantage! Even if you’re already sorted, sadly you never know what might happen.

* Create a wedding e-mail! There’s nothing worse than your work inbox being bombarded with e-mails or you missing that all important about your dress fitting. Creating a unique e-mail address keeps everything in one place, making your life that little bit easier.

What not to forget!

1) Printed directions to the venue
2) A note pad and pen!
3) To wear comfortable clothing and SHOES!
4) A large, strong bag – one with long handles is ideal
5) Your diary
6) Colour swatch if you’ve already decided on colours
7) Cheque book and/or cash – you may need to take advantage of ‘on-the-spot’ deals
8) Pre-printed address labels
9) Your list of questions to ask and your budget

And at number 10…most importantly, it’s a trusted companion. Someone who will give you honest opinions and who’s opinion you actually trust and listen to.

For a list of wedding fayres in the North East click here