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!

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