Archives for posts with tag: Jen Hart

Photo credit: Jen Hart Photography


Don’t let mediocre speeches ruin the day!!

So many of our brides and grooms tell us that one of the things they worry about most when they think about their big day is how the wedding speeches will go. Will the Best Man mention all of those stories you wish he wouldn’t? Will the Groom remember to thank everyone he needs to? How will the Father of the Bride get over his nerves? All legitimate worries about things that regularly go wrong!!  No-one wants people to think:

‘nice wedding, shame about the speeches!’.

As a result, Not Just Any Wedding has teamed up with professional public-speaking coach Chris Edmondson to offer the men in your life an exciting opportunity to perfect their wedding speeches ahead of the big day.  Our Wedding Speech Masterclasses will cover a range of topics and issues that will leave participants feeling confident, relaxed and prepared – allowing everyone to get on and enjoy the big day!

Whether it’s your Father, your Fiance or your Best Man, we’ll make sure that after this 2 and 1/2 hour masterclass they know:

*   How to pitch their speech correctly at their audience
*   How and where to source content for their speeches
*   How to construct their speech; How long it should be. How to add that personal touch. How to use humour. Whether to use props and visual aids. How to use prompt cards.
*   Dealing with the dreaded ‘body language’ and those inevitable surprises on the day
*   How to handle nerves and anxiety on the big day
*   Top tips on preparing and practising
Places are limited so please don’t miss out  – click the link below:

Book Wedding Speech Masterclass



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 Victoria J.Brown

Photos by Jen Hart


Now, we all know that weddings are really all about the bride. Many brides have been planning their wedding since they were a little girl. Being a princess for the day is what most brides dream of. If you’ve read NJAW latest newsletter, you’ll see we have some fab tips for brides. Jo Scott from YAP Bridal Boutique in Newcastle gives advice on the dress that will suit your vision and personality & Jo Leversuch from Make-up by Jo shares her Do’s and Don’ts.

But NJAW haven’t forgot all grooms out there, and know there are some grooms who want to have a huge input into the wedding day. Whereas many others are happy to let their lady organise everything! Here’s a bit of advice on working together to make sure you both have the day of your dreams.

Extract from: The Bride and Groom’s Fun Guide to Planning a Wedding

by Victoria J. Brown


We’ve Got Engaged

 What Do I Need To Do?

She Says

‘Most of it.’

She Means



He Says

‘Whatever I’m told to do.’

He Means

‘Haven’t got a clue what’s involved or what’s expected of me. It would be a lot easier if she leads I’ll follow, although I know where to start when organising my stag-do.’


Planning a wedding can be one of the most exciting things many brides will ever experience, but don’t assume your hubby-to-be doesn’t want to be involved. He may have his own ideas. Many brides take over the wedding planning and many grooms will admit they prefer it this way. However, there are many men who do want a big input into their wedding plans.

Pete was happy for me to plan most things as long as he chose his suit, his wedding ring & our first dance song. I have taken over apart from the things Pete wanted to do, he has done & helped to design the wedding invitations,’ says Janine.

There are many grooms who want the big wedding as much as the bride, or more than the bride. Don’t assume that the man will think the whole day is fluffy and he just wants to turn up.

I was happy to go away and get married and throw a party when we got back, but Steven really wanted the big day,’ says Violet.

Yes, there are many grooms who are happy to just turn up:

Mel just told me what I needed to do, where I needed to be and I was happy with this,’ says Neil.

So make sure before you go ahead planning your dream wedding that you’ve included your man’s views. Sit down with each other and discuss your ideas. Listen to each other. What’s important to one of you, isn’t necessarily a priority for the other, however these wants should still be considered. The best way forward is to brainstorm and write down a plan. Once your plan is in place, then assign tasks to each other.

This is a great way to start your married life. Weddings can cause so many arguments that it’s not unknown for couples to wonder why they didn’t just run off and get married. Starting as you mean to go on will definitely benefit your married life.

Most importantly – have fun!

By Victoria Brown of Calm Weddings

Photos by Jen Hart


We all come in different shapes and sizes. We all have a part of us that we hate, whether it’s our legs, stomach, chest, thighs or hips. The following advice is here to help you think about the type of dress that would flatter your figure.

Most brides have some idea of the type of dress they would like, however, trying this on in the shop can often lead to disappointment. One of our brides told us: “I really wanted a basque and skirt, but when I tried on several in the shop they just didn’t seem to suit me. I ended up having a dress that was fuller than I’d originally hoped for, but it was perfect. Better than my dreams.”

So, unsure where to start? Well, here’s a few guidelines in order to look fabulous:

Do you have a ‘larger thigh’ figure?

Stay with: You need a dress that will draw attention to your top half, an off-the-shoulder neckline, such as a basque or strapless gown will accentuate your figure.

Stay away: V-neck or a high-neck line could serve to be unflattering, as it will bring your figure into an unruly shape, showing off the parts you want to avoid.

Do you have a ‘fuller’ figure?

Stay with: Basques with a slimming skirt (ball-gown style) can have a flattering effect.

Stay away: A strappy, clingy, slinky type of dress may only hug you tightly which may show off those parts that you’re not to keen on.

Gabrielle_5Kayleigh_3 Cheryl_5

Do you have wider shoulders?

Stay with: A narrow bodice could flatter your shoulders, or you could accentuate them with a dramatic gown with long sleeves.

Stay away: However, be careful as trying to hide your shoulders too much may have the reverse outcome. Try different styles to find the perfect fit. It’s best to avoid halter necks as they may make your shoulders look larger than you anticipated.

Do you have a larger chest?

Stay with: Ensure you buy sufficient underwear; you will need underwear that can minimise and support. For those with larger chests an off-the-shoulder bodice, thick straps or cap sleeves would look fantastic.

Stay away: Try not to show off too much. Strapless may feel uncomfortable and small straps can make them look bigger. There are many stunning dresses that will flatter your chest rather than emphasise it. You want your guests to be more interested in your dress rather than what is under it.


However whatever your shape, talk to the professionals. Let them know your concerns: the bits you want to cover and the bits you want to show off. You will be surprised with the range of dresses out there. The best way to choose your outfit is to try on as many as possible, and you will know yourself whether it’s the one you really want.

You may fancy something a little bit different or you may know what you want but can’t find it. Think about getting your dress made. Check out local recommended dress-makers and designers. Generally, a hand-made dress is more expensive, however, totally worth it if it’s exactly what you want.


Just remember, whichever dress you decide on, make sure you are comfortable. This is the one day out of your life you get to look and feel like a princess, so enjoy and have fun.Kayleigh_3


By Victoria J. Brown of Calm Weddings

Photos by Jen Hart Photography 


The average wedding costs £20,000. This is why it’s important to work out your budget from the outset: before anything is booked, anyone is invited and before any plans are made.

Whether your budget is under £10,000 or over £30,000, you still need to decide where you want the majority of your funds to go. You must both identify what’s important to you on your wedding day, for example: the bride may think having a pair of Jimmy Choo is essential, and the groom may desperately want to arrive in a helicopter, it’s important to understand what you both want from your wedding. Setting aside pennies for the things you really want and saving in other areas is the best way to keep your costs down.

Here are 10 top wedding saving tips: 

1/ Do you have any family or friends who can help out? Anyone with special talents: cake-making, stationery, flowers etc. Ask anyone who can contribute to your wedding to help.

2/ Don’t get married in the peak season. Hold your wedding mid-week and not in the summer months. Compare the cost of the different seasons and days of the week: you’ll be surprised at the saving you can make.

3/ Only have one meal. Most couples have a wedding breakfast and an evening buffet. Getting married late afternoon will allow you to have an early evening meal, which cuts out the need for two meals.

4/ Hire a small hall: a village or church hall. This is great for vintage weddings. You will need to hire outside caterers, but this can still be much cheaper than hiring a venue.

5/ Look carefully when choosing your wedding dress. Ex-display dresses, out-of-season dresses and smaller designers can be picked up at a fraction of the price. Most of your guests won’t know who designed your dress (and probably won’t be non-the-wiser if you told them) or whether it’s in season or not.Kayleigh

6/ Keep it small. Invite only family and very close friends. If you really want the big celebration then hire a hall after your honeymoon and throw an informal party.

7/ When it comes to decorations there is so much out there to choose from. Search the internet for cheap and discount deals. You’ll be amazed at what you can find.

8/ Research local music schools/dance schools: could students perform for you? Or ask the universities for any talented individuals who can help. It not only keeps the entertainment cost down and gives your wedding the wow-factor but looks great on their portfolio.

9/ Ask guests to contribute money as their wedding gift. This is becoming very popular, but still some people feel rude asking for cash! The best way around this is to set-up a fund so your guests can see the money is contributing to something in particular i.e. honeymoon fund, new bathroom fund or a new extension fund.

10/ Most importantly – Research! Compare costs.

Important: Keeping a note of the costs will enable you to keep an eye on what is being spent. You may underspend in one area, therefore, letting you overspend in another, but this will also help you if overspending becomes a big problem.