Archives for posts with tag: Wedding Advice
plat - tulip bouquet

Platinum Flowers – Tulip Wedding Bouquet

By Calm Weddings

Choosing the right flowers for your wedding day can be trickier than you think!

That’s why we believe speaking with the professionals is the best way forward.

‘Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life. Chances are, you’ve already been imagining your dress, the guest list, and even the location for years. In all of the rush to pick out dresses and colour schemes, don’t forget one of the most important parts; your wedding flower bouquet’

says Angela Bell from Platinum Flowers

If you’re unsure of what to look for when choosing a florist, we’ve put a list together for you:

  • Look for a florist who is passionate about their work; look for creativity, enthusiasm and inspiration.
  • Check out their portfolio of work; most should have a collection of their work and should be eager to talk to you about your needs.
  • Look for feedback from other customers, many good florists can be booked up for months, so try to book well in advance.

What should think about before meeting your florist?

  • Your budget. How much do you want to spend on flowers? Talk this through with your florists as they should be able to put a plan together. They should advise you on the flowers you could include and which would be best to leave out.
  • Will the company deliver your flowers on the day or will someone need to pick them up?
  • Your flowers should complement your wedding attire, accentuate your style and the bouquet should be steered by your wedding outfit.
plat - orchid wedding bouquet

Platinum Flowers – Orchid Wedding Bouquet

How can you help your florist?

  •  Ask if they have arranged flowers at your church or venue before. If not, ask if they can view the venue. If you’re getting married in a large place, small flowers will be washed out, unnoticeable and a waste of money. If the florist doesn’t have time to view the venue, then give the florist photos and information. If possible, a website address would really help them.
  • Give them a picture and a sample of the material of your dress. As mentioned, your bouquet should be guided by your wedding outfit. So, the shape, colour and style of the dress are extremely important; the more they see the better the bouquet.

What flowers would I need?

plat - white wedding bout

Platinum Flowers – White Wedding Bouquet

This list is only a guide, feel free to delete and add where you feel it would be appropriate:

Wedding Party

Bridal bouquet
Flowers for bride’s hair
Bridesmaids bouquets
Bridesmaids headpieces

Flower girl petals to toss / or petals arranged along the aisle

Groom’s buttonholes
Best man / Ushers buttonholes
Mother of the bride / Mother of groom corsage

Father of the bride / Father of the groom buttonholes
Grandparents corsages / buttonholes
Others for aunts / uncles / close friends

plat - vintage bouquet

Platinum Flowers – Vintage Bouquet

Altar and other front central pieces
Pew or chair decorations
Entrance to the church, venue or reception rooms

Centrepieces for each table
Buffet table decorations
Bar decorations
Flowers for other areas that you feel may need decorating; top table, an area within your venue you feel needs attention or extra flowers to brighten up a certain room.

You may also want to give flowers as a ‘thank you’ present to your parents.

plat - choc wedding bouquet

Platinum Flowers – Chocolate Wedding Bouquet

All in all ensure you tell your florist what you want, encourage them to use their design skills to produce a gorgeous bouquet just for you.






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 'I do' picture Extract from ‘The Wedding Planning Book for the Deviant Bride’ by Victoria J.Brown Here are a few wedding myths. However, we suggest if you would like to know more about wedding traditions, there are plenty of books available that can help you with this information. General Superstitions

  • Favours – This tradition has been around for hundreds of years. Historically jewels were given to the bride to represent health, wealth, fertility, happiness and long-life. As time has moved on, it’s the guests that receive a small token gift, the tradition evolved to giving each guest five sugar coated almonds, with the same symbolic significance.

How many times have you been to a wedding, where you have received a bag of sugar coated almonds? You should be grateful for whatever gift you receive, plus the belief behind the almonds is thoughtful, emblematic and generous. However, let’s admit it, it’s boring! And most people hate them, they get passed around until the one person who does like them ends up with more than they can devour. The deviant bride should see the giving of favours as an opportunity to give your guests something that will ensure they remember your wedding. Something they won’t throw away after the ceremony, something they may use in the future. However, other deviant brides may not want to give favours. There are no rules, no law or wedding guidelines insisting that favours are given, so if you don’t want to, you don’t have to!

  • Gifts – Historically, guests would bring fruit to the newly wed couple, this would encourage fertility.

Let’s be extremely grateful this tradition has changed; today, you can near enough ask for anything! veil

  • Wearing a wedding veil – The wedding veil hides the bride’s beauty and wards off evil spirits. Another explanation is that during the times of arranged marriages the bride would cover her face until the groom had committed to the marriage. Some religions still have arranged marriages, in some Eastern ceremonies, both the bride and groom are ‘protected’ by a veil.

However, for those deviant brides having a veil isn’t necessary. You may decide to have a veil but keep it attached to the back of your hair rather than covering your face. Today, many brides concentrate on their hairstyle, sometimes they don’t want a veil as it doesn’t fit in with their dress or hair ideas.

  • The wedding bouquet – The throwing of the wedding bouquet was introduced from America and it is said that whoever catches the bouquet will be the next to get married. In the 14th century, it was customary for the bride to toss her garter to a male guest, but the men regularly became too drunk and would become impatient and try to remove the garter ahead of time.

This is still a fun tradition; watching a group of your female friends fight to catch a bunch of flowers. You can guarantee if you decide to have a bouquet you will be asked by your family and friends to toss your beautiful arrangement into a mass of a frenzied mob. However, don’t feel pressured, if you don’t want to lose your bouquet and have planned on keeping it, freezing it, framing it etc. It’s advisable to keep tight hold or at least let your wedding party know they must be gentle. Let them know, you would prefer the flowers in one piece, not ripped to shreds as ‘Aunt Ethel’ has a petal, ‘Cousin Jane’ has a stem and your ‘7-year-old niece’ has a few flower heads. You could arrange for a separate bouquet to be made, one that you don’t mind being man-handled (or woman-handled).

  • Confetti has replaced rice or grain in modern times. Rice was thrown at the bride and groom to encourage fertility.

Isn’t it a relief that this tradition has changed to pieces of paper. Can you imagine having rice thrown at you? What if it landed in your eye? Dramatic but true! However, if you decide to have either confetti or rice (some churches only allow rice) be careful to which you choose as some confetti’s can leave stains (especially when wet). Some venues may ask that you only use metallic confetti and remember a handful of rice could feel like ‘hailstone’. Deviant brides may avoid confetti, rice or anything else that could be thrown!

  • Where to stand – The bride stands on the left of the groom during the marriage ceremony to allow his sword arm to be free ready to fight off other men who may want her as their bride.

This usually is the case; bride to left and groom to the right. This helps when exchanging rings, as for fighting off other men, well, that should be interesting!

  • Carrying the bride over the threshold – protects her from any evil spirits that may be lurking in the new home.

This is another fun tradition, even if you already live together. Forget the evil spirits, it’s an excuse to have a cuddle and a giggle. Advice; mind your head and make sure he minds the step. You don’t need a visit to the hospital with black eyes and broken bones!

  • Dominance – The first to buy something after the wedding will be the dominating influence in the marriage.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean ‘the first to buy a drink’, but you could buy something from your chief bridesmaid; ‘can’t you buy a brand new lip gloss from your friend to give to your bridemaid?’ There’s always a way ladies … but remember, it’s only a bit of fun.

  • Secrets of the wedding dress – It is good luck for the groom not to see the dress before the wedding day. It will bring more luck if he does not glance at the dress as the bride walks down the aisle.

Many couples stick with this tradition. Most brides stress that their other-half won’t like their dress, however, it’s you he is marrying, not the dress. You will find he will be blown away, as when has he ever seen you in such glamorous attire? Unless, you have some strange fetishes! But let’s move on. If you do believe this tradition is bad luck, what about all the other traditions? Let’s face it no marriage would have a chance! You can discuss options with your new-hubby-to-be but ultimately the decision should be yours. The real deviant bride would let him look through magazines and express his opinion. Those deviant brides who exceed this ‘rule book’ would take him shopping!

  • Trying on the full attire – It is bad luck for the bride to try on her full attire and look in the mirror before the day of the wedding. Sometimes last minute stitching would be kept until the day of the wedding.

WHAT??? Don’t be leaving any stitching until the day of your wedding; you will have so much to worry about with your hair, make-up and getting there the last thing you want to think about is stitching your dress! Plus, you will probably want to see if everything you have chosen matches. If you do decide to have pearls but have a champagne coloured dress, how will you know if your pearls match? What about your shoes? You may want to see if your shoes match your dress, you will definitely need your shoes on for your final dress fitting as it could end up too long or too short. This will be the most important and memorable day of your life, for the sake of your own sanity, don’t follow this tradition – a deviant bride or not!

By Calm Weddings

Grease1smallHen parties are about celebrating the bride’s last night of freedom. This night has turned into weekends, and weeks in some cases. However, it did get us wondering at NJAW how the whole hen night tradition actually started. We came across a BBC News article – Where did the hen party explosion come from? A very interesting read. However, we had to agree with the end quote in this article that states: “When it all boils down to it, it’s a very intimate gathering and a sign that you’re one of the chosen and that’s why it’s so special.”

It has become a very popular tradition to visit a city and enjoy the pubs and clubs. However, at NJAW we believe that holding a unique memorable hen party is definitely the way forward.

Below are some amazing companies who can help you have the best hen party ever. These companies will give you and your friends a celebration you’ll never forget.

New-web-banner2The Picture Book Studio hires for events, such as hen parties, the hilarious Picture Book Photo Booth. The lovely attendants ‘Tranny’ and ‘Rosanna’ will give you a make-over18small you’ll remember for ever. This is a great idea for a hen-night. Laughter, fun and captured memories you can keep for ever. However, if you would prefer a more sophisticated celebration, the picture book studio caters especially for hen parties. Their package includes: make-over by a professional hair and make-up artist, bottles of bubbly, plus airbrushing and skin smoothing private online viewing gallery 10 High resolution images on DVD (1 DVD for every person) This is definitely the shoot of a lifetime!!

colour_214House of Colour is a fantastic service that allows women (and men) to understand which colours and styles suit them. This is a great idea for a hen celebration. Not only will all the party be involved in a fun, entertaining day/evening, everyone will learn how they can accentuate their own personal style and look their best on a day-to-day basis. Jill Green was intrigued about the difference colour could make to an individual’s appearance and their confidence, with her 20 years’ experience she loves to show brides and their friends how to look their best for the wedding and thereafter.

lifeLife Fitness is another unique hen party idea, but once again, this is more than a one-off event. You will learn tips and advice that you will be able to carry forward in your everyday life. Sue McKenna is the only mobile Female Weight Loss Coach in the Tees Valley. She will give you a fun, fitness hen party that will have brides and their friends feeling refreshed, revitalised and ready to glow at your wedding.

These are a few ideas that we love at NJAW. We believe the hen party should be a celebration to remember. If you can take something more than a hang-over away with you, then it’s definitely got to be worth thinking about.

Most importantly – have fun! So make sure you do something you will thoroughly enjoy.




A is for Accessories

Your accessories should complete your outfit, so think very carefully about your tiara, shoes, jewellery and any other embellishments you decide to add.

Calm Weddings offers a wide range of accessoriescalm weddings logo

B is for Beauty Regime

If you don’t have a beauty regime, you should really look at this at least 6 months before your wedding. Drink plenty of water and try to get plenty of sleep. Fresh, revitalised skin should be one of your wedding aims. Book an appointment with a beauty therapist/consultant to help establish what you need to do before your big day.

Calm Weddings also works with Temple Spa. Temple Spa allows you to take care of your skin in the comfort of your own home.

C is for Cake

Wedding cakes come in a variety of forms, shapes and sizes. Talk to a professional about what you would really like. Have a cake that represents both of you.

Cakes by Melia will work with you to create a bespoke design that will suit your personal style.cakes by Melia

D is for Dentist

Bride, grooms and their families spend some much time looking for the perfect dress or outfit and accessories, even hairstyles can be discussed for hours. However, what about that perfect smile? The smile that is going to be displayed on your photos for ever.

Identity Individual Dental Care, who were nominated for Best Preventative Practice, offer a wide range of treatments that will have your smile gleaming.Identity Individual Dental Care

E is for Eat

Eating is very important to keep up your energy levels, so even if you’re dieting, make sure you eat healthily and regularly. Plus, don’t forget to eat on the morning of your wedding, no matter how nauseous you may feel, you will feel worse as the day progresses with an empty stomach. Visit Victoria J. Brown’s blog, she has found a healthy diet: an alternative to caffeine, which is perfect for any bride, groom and their families.

F is for Fireworks

An excellent way to end the night but make sure your venue will allow them.

G is for Games

Games are a great way of keeping your guests and children entertained. There are games that can be placed outside such as, giant jenga, giant connect 4 or giant chess. Alternatively look at indoor games such as ping pong, cards or twister; these are bound to get your party into full swing!

H is for Hair

Book your hairdresser well in advance. Think about timings; how long will it take to travel to and from the hairdresser’s? How many people in the bridal party are having their hair styled? Show your hairdresser pictures of your dress as this will help them advise on the best style to suit your overall image for the day.


I is for Ice Sculptures

Hire a professional company to make some fantastic ice figures and carvings; there are some fantastic sculptures that will have your guests amazed.

J is for Jewellery

Your jewellery is meant to enhance your dress, not outshine it. Have you thought about getting your jewellery designed to suit your dress?

Mobius Jewellery won bespoke Business of the Year for Hartlepool and will work with you to create the most stunning jewellery.mobeus

K is for Kiss

Your first kiss as husband and wife is usually in front of all your guests. It may sound silly but talk about that kiss; one of you doesn’t want to go in for a huge slobbering kiss, whilst the other expects a peck on the cheek. Could be embarrassing! Tell the vicar or registrar if you want them to say ‘you may kiss the …’ to appear in your vows as it doesn’t automatically happen.

L is for Laughter

Laughter can keep you young. Finding someone to laugh with is very important as life can have many stresses. Laughing together will keep you stronge, especially through any ups and downs. And make sure you laugh all the way through your day. If anything goes wrong, try not to worry, this is one day out of your life, so don’t dwell if you can’t change something, just enjoy it as it will soon be over.


M is for Make-up

Scared you may look like Aunt Sally once you’ve done your own make-up? Hire a professional or at least talk to a make-up specialist about the type of make-up that would suit you.

Kate Pymm is an award winning professional make-up artist and hair stylist based in the North East of England. With over 8 Year’s experience within the Industry she and her team will happily travel to your preferred venue for your bridal preparation.kate pymm

N is for New

Traditionally it is said ‘…something new…’ signifies good luck and success in the bride’s new life. Many brides count their dress as their something new.

O is for Opinions

Many people will have an opinion when it comes to planning a wedding; mostly about how they did it or how they think you should do it. Listen carefully to what everyone says and pick out the bits that are useful to you

P is for Pageboy

Usually page boys are younger members of the family. Choose carefully; if they are too young they might become disinterested. Give them a task, perhaps carrying the rings on a cushion as this will not only keep them entertained, but will make them feel important.


Q is for Quartet

Live music is very romantic at weddings. Quartets are perfect for weddings as they have a range of different instruments that could really set your wedding apart from other weddings.

R is for Rings

Your rings will be an item of jewellery that will remind you daily of your marriage. They are the one materialistic item that will still be there long after your wedding and honeymoon are finished. Do you want to look at your wedding ring in five years time and wish you had thought more about it? Your rings are something special to both of you, so choose carefully; they need to last a long time.

Mobius Jewellery specialise in creating bespoke wedding rings that last a lifetime.

S is for Stationery

Your invitations and other stationery requirements (name cards, order of services, menus, etc.) can come in all shapes and sizes. Look for something that follows your theme; if you feel creative then design and make your own stationery.

 T is for Toastmaster

Toastmaster is the person who calls for the bride and groom to enter the reception. They let everyone know when the speeches are happening, when the cake is to be cut and when the meal is finished. Usually your venue will provide a member of staff to be your toastmaster; typically the manager or a higher member of staff takes this role. However, it is possible to hire your own toastmaster.

U is for Ushers

Ushers are usually the bride and groom’s family and close friends. Choose wisely as ushers have certain responsibilities such as seating your guests, handing out order of services, helping where necessary etc.


 V is for Veil

It used to be tradition for the bride to wear a veil over her face, however, usually brides today wear the veil attached to the back of their hair or don’t wear one at all. Make sure you choose a veil that suits your dress and hairstyle.

Calm Weddings have a wide range of veils.

W is for Walk

Anyone who is walking down the aisle should practice, over and over again. Especially if there are several of you walking down the aisle. You need to be in time with each other, as it could cause some of you to walk too fast or too slow. You don’t want your bridal party tripping over each other.

X is for Xylophone 

Xylophone could be an unusual alternative to a violinist, a harpist or a pianist; definitely different!

Y is for Yoga

A fantastic way of not only toning your body but yoga is a proven way of helping stress levels. Why not start? Not only will you be chilled out for your honeymoon, but you could be using your new-found flexibility wisely!

Z is for Zest

Keep your enthusiasm burning when organising your wedding. Having the zest to take it forward will make sure your day is full of fun and excitement, not only for the both of you but for your guests too. This means eating well, keeping fit and getting the average 8 hours sleep needed to function properly.



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.