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Morning everyone! We’re about to hit what I’m calling ‘proper Christmas’, and most of you will be thinking about non-wedding stuff for a while – so with that in mind I’m sharing some wonderfully bookmarkable posts from now on. Read now if you’re feeling weddingy, or save for later if you’re rushed off your feet with Christmas prep!

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Scott and Daniella’s luxury Saddleworth Hotel wedding, with Pixies in the Cellar Photography

Today the English Wedding Blog is all about wedding hair. I’m no expert (think of me as an expert on anything carefree and windswept!) but I know someone who is! We all know winter can trash our hair on a daily basis so here are some brilliant tips to help you avoid the wild, snowy look on your wedding day.

Getting your hair right for a winter wedding isn’t as easy as it sounds. As well as having to deal with the wintry weather and central heating, you also need to think about the thicker, more luxurious fabrics you’re likely to wear and the design of your dress.

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Hey everyone, happy Saturday! I hope you’ve had a nice week. Just before you dash out to the shops – because I think we’re all going this morning* – here are a few of the very best wedding blogs you mustn’t miss this week. Real weddings, creative ideas and advice I’ve read, bookmarked and saved for sharing with you today! Enjoy 🙂

*Congratulations to anyone who’s all finished and spending the day under the duvet! You lucky thing!
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Clare and Ian are just incredible. Their wedding is breathtaking! The rustic styling is beautiful and colourful, with gorgeous DIY touches throughout. Via Pixies in the Cellar http://www.pixiesinthecellar.co.uk/

Real weddings

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If anyone actually has booked a dancing swan, I’d love to know… this was actually mentioned in a real wedding blog post featured a few months ago! It’s not something I’ve seen, and while I’m not about to tell you it’s something you NEED for your wedding I’d quite like to have one for my boyfriend’s birthday. I think he’d like the surprise…

Dancing swans aside, what can you learn from all of the brides and grooms who’ve had their weddings featured on the English Wedding Blog in the last year?

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Image credit Tierney Photography

Quite a lot.

I hope you find this blog post useful – and do feel free to add your own advice in the comments box at the end!

Make it personal

Do your own thing and don’t be swayed by anyone… Lois and Gary

Try to speak to every guest, espe­cially older/close rel­a­tives who love to have you all to them­selves for a while. And don’t sweat the small stuff; the things that go a bit off-plan add to your wed­ding day story! Ryan and Andrea

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Have you found yourself shocked by the prices quoted for wedding flowers? You won’t be alone – seemingly expensive quotes from florists can come as a big surprise and often mean couples have to change their plans for wedding flowers to come in under budget. I wonder if the wedding magazines are misleading us by featuring shoots full of flowers and giving average cost breakdowns which simply don’t match… what do you think?

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Flowers by Jades Flower Design Photo credit Mark Bothwell

Today I’m sharing a very honest and detailed breakdown and explanation of the price you can expect to pay for your wedding flowers. Bernadette Chapman from Dream Occasions is here to tell you more. Read, digest, comment if you’d like to, even ask us a question. I hope you’ll find this advice feature useful! Over to Bernadette…

Part of my role as a wedding planner is to allocate clients’ budgets to the relevant areas of their wedding, i.e from our initial consultation I will have an idea of how much the flowers, entertainment, stationery should cost. I’m normally pretty accurate with my estimations but then I have been doing this for 10 years!

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Have you used Pinterest for your wedding planning? I’m wondering whether I should include some of my favourite boards on this weekly* best wedding blogs feature. I’ve been pinning a lot this week and added a lovely new Pinterest button to the blog too! The old one was a piddly little thing which sat in the corner doing nothing, hehe. Anyway – let me know if you’d like more Pinterest boards in here!

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Photo credit Shaun Taylor Photography – a beautiful wedding with rustic and quirky elements

*you know the drill with this one… my definition of weekly is fluid. 😉

On we go – the best wedding blogs of the week. Enjoy! Claire xxx

Real wedding blogs

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Hello there! As I type, it’s looking nice outside and I’m tempted to dash out to the beach for a stroll and some sea air. I’m sure it’s good for me – the exercise and the smell of the sea certainly make me feel alive and happy! I’m only guessing they’re also great for my complexion… the natural, healthy approach to skin care is definitely my style!

While I’m out, I have a guest blogger here to share some great tips for organic skin care in the run up to your wedding. This is a great article, with advice starting 6 months before your wedding – so if you’re not sure where to start to get your skin feeling and looking great, Karen’s tips will help. Enjoy!

skin care for brides UK Perdita's (2)

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Have you ever heard a wedding supplier talk about educating brides and grooms? I have, many times. As a bride or groom, do you think you really need educating about weddings?

wedding photography credit Simon Biffen

Wedding photography credit Simon Biffen (click to Simon’s website)

Or does the notion of being educated about weddings instantly make you put your guard up? Educating brides and grooms could be all about telling you to buy more essential products and services for your big day…

Depends who’s offering you the education, I guess!

Why do we talk about educating brides and grooms?

Wedding planners often talk about educating brides: some of the wedding planners I love most in the UK are passionate about this. For most it’s simply about helping you plan your wedding. Most couples haven’t been married before: planning a wedding is a once in a lifetime experience, and it’s tricky knowing where to begin! So wedding planners will help you get started with tips about what to book first, how much to pay for key suppliers, how to manage your wedding budget etc.

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wedding photography by CG Weddings in Cheshire

Wedding planning: can you be too organised? Photo credit: CG Weddings, Cheshire www.cgweddings.co.uk

I have admiration and astonishment in equal measure for couples – and let’s face it, mainly brides-to-be – who plan their weddings. Co-ordinating everything from guest lists to menu choices, sending invitations and remembering to order everything from top hats to garters… I can’t even begin to imagine how you do it.

It takes 18 months to plan your perfect day… or does it?

The average time to plan a wedding in the UK is 18 months, I believe. Wedding magazines, websites and books offer wedding planning checklists and guides telling you what needs to be done when: have you taken out wedding insurance? ordered buttonholes for the ushers? Do you know when to order your wedding invitations?

Can you plan your wedding too far in advance?

I read a thread on the Hitched wedding forum this week, asking how early was too early to book a wedding photographer. My experience tells me that the very best get booked up anywhere from two years in advance.

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… said the wedding blogger as she tipped the worms out of her tin. But no, I’m not trying to rattle any cages or have a big discussion today. A little while ago I read a really thought-provoking comment on my wedding industry blog post and it really got me thinking. This is a question I was asking myself – and with the help of some great friends I like to think we’ve answered it for you.

Photo credit: Fiona Campbell London www.fionacampbelllondon.com

Understanding wedding photography prices

Let me start at the beginning. I was intrigued by a blog comment about wedding photography pricing from the lovely Fiona Campbell. Fiona Campbell is a respected London wedding photographer whose work has featured in Vogue and across top wedding blogs. Fiona shoots weddings in the UK and Europe, and her 2012 prices start from £1750 for wedding photography. Fiona commented that many brides and grooms expect to find a top wedding photographer for £1000 – but that often they’re surprised by prices closer to £2000.

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Wedding photography credit: www.petebarnesphotography.co.uk (click photo for wedding)

This is a guest post from a groom-to-be – Alex shares his personal advice about choosing your wedding party – and the pitfalls to avoid!

For most people, their wedding is one of the (if not the) most important day of their lives, and in most instances, even if you try to keep it a small affair there will be a number of different people involved, with their own roles to play and their own opinions to contribute (often regardless of whether you want them to).

Part of the job of organizing a wedding is selecting the wedding party – bridesmaids, best man, page boys etc… But anyone who has done it will well know that family politics at weddings can be a nightmare.

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Wedding photo credit: www.yvettecraigphotography.co.uk (click photo to see the wedding)

Budget / Attendants

Before we get started with choosing the wedding party, it is worth considering what the budget is and how big the wedding will be. Having 7 bridesmaids might be fine if you have 150 guests, but if your wedding is going to be a small affair you should probably limit yourself more.

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Ladies, (gents, hopefully!) we have a moral dilemma on our hands. There’s more to this question than you might think: and the answer isn’t “what you can afford”. It goes a bit deeper.

Let’s get the stock answers out of the way first.

How much should you spend on your wedding?

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Credit: Ali Lovegrove

Stock answer 1. It’s your day, do it your way, spend as much as you can afford.

OK – bit of a cop out answer. You’re about to spend a LOT of money (whichever way you see it, weddings aren’t cheap!) and you can’t sum the whole thing up in a sentence.

Stock answer 2. Average wedding budgets – “here’s what everyone else spends, use it as a guide”. I have problems with this approach. Mainly, where do these average figures come from? I’m not aware of any survey on wedding budgets which has targeted a fair cross section of the population to ask about wedding spending. So the average figures are interesting, but you definitely shouldn’t use them as a guide to what YOU should spend on your wedding. Everyone’s different after all.