Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Shop till you drop or budget!

With a global recession still threatening a lot of jobs - despite being told we are coming out of it finally - who can we believe? Thank goodness the sterling rate is improving against the euro which isn't great for me if I want to send money back to the UK but for you guys getting married here in Cyprus it really does help!

Zucchini always has held it's head above water because quality seems to get us through tough times. Having said that we have experienced more cancellations than in previous years, purely because one or both partners have lost their jobs.

For those of you lucky enough to still be going ahead with your weddings I'm sure most of you are still going to have to work to a tighter budget. It's not impossible - we help couples with their budgets all the time and help them get the best for their money. I think when you start to plan you tick every box available which is natural you want your day to be fantastic and you have a picture in your minds of what you want on the day - it's easy to get carried away until you realise everything costs money!

At Zucchini we are so lucky to have such amazing views that if you decide not to go overboard with decoration it doesn't matter - the views speak for themselves the guests are always gobsmacked at where you've brought them too for your reception.

Where can you budget? Flowers, reception decoration, drinks being careful on these few things will help! Lets take bridal flowers obviously it's important for the bride to have what she wants on her special day but do you have to have posies for all the bridesmaids - think about it for a moment! Sometimes adult bridesmaids look great with just a wristlet what about a wand for smaller bridesmaids. Buttonholes - just stick to immediate family honestly all these things will save money whether you are marring at Zucchini or anywhere else in the world.

Keep reception decoration to simple vases of flowers or incorporate more candles than flowers. No need to have lavish floral decoration that takes time and costs money. Think about flower types we have the same seasons with flowers as you do back in the UK because we generally all use flowers from Holland. Very delicate flowers such as lily of the valley, delphiniums, hydrangeas, typical country garden flowers are expensive and don't work well in the heat. Orchids have always been expensive - try and stick to roses, lilies, gerbera these flowers are value for money!

The bar at Zucchini certainly doesn't have your expensive hotel priced tarif, we are reasonable and we do include a sample tarif in your price list. Do you have to cover all the costs of the bar? Not many couples do they may put a certain amount behind the bar then when this runs out guests pay for their own drinks. We are always willing to remove certain expensive bottled beers from the bar on the day if you the couple are paying - just have local beers. Shots are where the bar bill jumps up (again if you are paying take out shots) we do see quite a lot of abuse with the shots especially if they are free!!!!

I know I'm running Zucchini as a business and I'm not a charity but in such hard times it would be so wrong of me to tell you that you must have this and you must have that - and that it would ruin your day if you didn't have these things - I wouldn't be doing my job properly now would I?

Let us help!

Monday, 25 January 2010

He's proposed - now what?

Finally he has proposed what next decisions, decisions? Where, when, what do I do next so many things to decide but without the ceremony there is no wedding. This really must be your first thought and then get something booked.

We advise many couples on the type of ceremony to have which in Cyprus is an Anglican blessing a Catholic ceremony or a Civil wedding. Civil ceremonies are notoriously short but an awful lot of couples opt for this type of ceremony because of the non religious aspect. Most couples book one year to eighteen months in advance and I guess it's pretty much the same in the UK.

Once your ceremony is booked you can then go into planning overmode, which most brides do it's only natural you're excited. The biggest and most useful advice I can give any newbie bride to be is STRUCTURE your planning! I come across the problem of all over the place planning and it's a nightmare, I promise you will be constantly chasing your tails if you don't have a structure. How can you race ahead and buy the dress when you don't have a ceremony booked. Believe me when I say the amount of emails I get with lists of 'can I have this, can I have that' the answer is plain and simple NO not until we have a ceremony and date booked for you - this has to be the number one priority - then all the nice bits will follow!

Another important issue, especially when marrying abroad is legalities and paperwork and it will be the same in the UK. Here we require a full, valid passport with at least six months date on it, we need a full birth certificate (not the short version) and the original paperwork should you have been divorced, adopted or had a legal name change. You will also have to have an affidavit which is very simply a declaration sworn under oath in a lawyers office saying that you are free, single and able to marry one another. This paperwork needs to be completed within 3 months of your wedding date and you will need one each. I cannot stress enough the importance of the checklist you should have on the go about this paperwork before you leave the UK.

Having all the above in order we can now start on the nice bit's of our planning and the easiest way of sorting this is start a scrapbook. When I first started organising weddings seven years ago all brides had to bring their scrapbooks to the pre-wedding meeting and I used to give a prize for the best one, sincerely it was the easiest way for me to build a picture of what each couple expected on the day. The scrapbook was invaluable with flowers and room decoration and it made a beautiful keepsake on all that planning.

With so much to choose from in every aspect of getting married it's difficult to loose the way with it all. Once you have chosen where to get married and what time of the year it's going to be you must start to think about wedding stationery. Having my own stationery company I have researched this subject thoroughly. Your save the date or invitation is the first thing your guests will see and this really does set the standard for the rest of your wedding, my advice is choose very, very carefully.

By the time you get to the invitation stage you will have given some thought to colours and themes if any. Many of our brides tie the invites in with the colour they are wearing or the colour of the bridesmaids dresses and then follow that colour theme through to the flowers and reception decoration. There is no hard and fast rule here as some of the colours may not work with an invitation as I have recently discovered. I have a bride for this year who's colour scheme is a very deep amethyst and she wanted a contrasting ribbon on the invitation with diamantes and pearls. Nice colour, but could I find a contrasting ribbon colour to go with it - no, impossible whatever I tried didn't work. So I asked her what colour jewellery was she wearing and what colour the groom was wearing? Simple, it was silver so that's where we are to date I shall be mocking up a sample invite in silver with diamantes and pearls.

Happy planning!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Here we go again 2010

Its going to be a fantastic year and to start 2010 with a bang I am giving this blog a facelift! We need to talk weddings, we need to talk Zucchini, we just need to talk!

My problem is time to write my blog on a regular basis - but as my New Years resolution I'm going to find the time - I promise! So encourage me pop in on a regular basis and see what I have got to say about weddings and Zucchini.

For the best part of seven years I have been organising weddings for hundreds of couples and one day when I come back to the UK - don't fret Zucchini brides I did say one day not for a long time yet - I want to use my experience and organise weddings back there. I had dinner with friends of mine the other evening, we actually married them four years ago at Zucchini and have remained great friends ever since - they have a villa in Peyia and visit on a regular basis. Well we got talking about weddings and Lesley told me that her daughter was marrying back in the UK in a very typical English counry wedding. Although they were all chipping in to help her daughter had hired a wedding organiser/wedding co-ordinator this young girl was booked up for two years in advance organising weddings - wow! This got me thinking, and it's a subject that I will cover at a later date is a wedding organiser a must and are they worth what they charge?

We organise many weddings at Zucchini and understand fully that you are trusting us 2.500 thousand miles away to organise your wedding. For those of you who don't know us we are a very organised team dedicating the entire wedding season to delivering your wedding on the day and making you feel as special as we possibly can.

Zucchini is a dream venue and we are the dream team to help you organise what is to be one of the most important days of your life. The office is open Monday to Friday and Alex and are on hand to help if you have problems or you need some advice over the weekends. We have a fabulous forum which has all the information that you need about your ceremony and Zucchini - so do pop onto the website and have a look

Welcome to our world of weddings!!!