Monthly Archives: Aug 2018

Santorini Honeymoon Destination / Photo: Weddings By Mary
What is your perfect honeymoon destination?

After all the planning, preparation and then the big day itself it’s time to relax. Time for you as newlyweds to spend quality time together.

You may not have the opportunity to take your honeymoon immediately after your wedding, so how about a “minimoon?” With the world now a much smaller place and travel so much easier, a romantic city break to Paris, picturesque Venice or beautiful Barcelona may be the perfect choice.

In the very first Blog I wrote back in January www.weddingsbymary.co.uk/which-season-should-you-hold-your-wedding one of the tips to choosing the right season for your wedding was to consider where you wanted head off on your honeymoon. It’s an good idea to check that you don’t choose somewhere usually known to be hot and sunny to then discover the time of year you have picked for your wedding coincides with your proposed honeymoon destination’s rainy season!

Many years ago, it was my turn to think about this very subject and for weeks my husband and I considered various ideas. We had a very short engagement, well I had waited 8 years for the proposal, so the wedding date was set very soon after we were engaged, and we married 5 months later in the autumnal month of September. We knew we wanted somewhere hot, quiet and relaxing but most of all special. Sri Lanka was top of our list for ages, but we finally opted for the beautiful island of Antigua. However, as we were limited to the month of travel, this meant we chose the middle of the Caribbean’s rainy & hurricane season. We were extremely lucky though. No hurricanes and it would rain for 10 minutes most days then the sun would come out and all was beautiful and sunny again. So, I didn’t take my own advice (at this stage I must point out that I wasn’t a full-time wedding planner!) This was also an age before everyone had internet and cheap mobile phones, so a trip to the travel agent was in order.

These days the worldwide web gives you the opportunity to relax at home, browse & discover wonderful destinations, with the answers to any questions about climate, places to explore and learn about all at your fingertips.

Take time to chat through together the type of honeymoon you would like to have. Do you like to explore, or do you want to just completely relax and do nothing? How about combining a passion for wine with a tantalising tour of a vineyard in South Africa, then a safari followed by a relaxing week in a secluded lodge? Or maybe the beautiful Greek island of Santorini beckons with the combination of relaxing pool or beach hotels and the colourful and striking views from Oia; a picture-perfect bustling town of whitewashed buildings with deep blue rooftops. You also can savour the most spectacular sunsets whilst sipping cocktails, all very romantic.

Remember to check if you need a visa or any immunisations and make sure your passport in valid. If you want to travel in your new married name you can get a new passport before the wedding. You can apply for a passport in your new name up to 3 months before your marriage, but your old passport will be cancelled, so no quick weekend breaks abroad before the big day. Do consider this carefully and check out HM Passport Office for full legal advice.

Wherever you choose, this will be a wonderful way to start your married life and create the first of a lifetime of wonderful memories together.

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Time to Celebrate & Party
What’s the key to a fun party or celebration?

At Weddings By Mary I love to plan private parties & celebrations for all kinds of milestone celebrations too, such as 21st, 40th & 50th birthdays or a milestone wedding anniversary, so don’t be fooled by the name!

Now most of us will think the key to a good party celebration is the type of food we serve and the drink we offer, but it is also about keeping your guests, from the little ones to the big ones, entertained and amused.

When you think of a party what do you think the key word would be to describe the celebration? Fun?


This is what most people want out of life in general, the opportunity to have fun with family and friends. So, when I plan a party, the key factor I need to know is the sort of entertainment and feel you are wanting to create.

Of course, everyone’s version of fun is different but whether you want a wow factor floor-filling band with slick choreography or a fabulous feast with flowing bubbles, whatever you are looking for I can organise and plan this for you.

Depending on the type of party celebration itself there are plenty of ways to add a little fun but if you theme your party it helps create further entertainment and helps to bring in ideas to be creative with. Why not perhaps consider one of the following themes?

• James Bond – My name’s Bond, James Bond
• Movie Stars or Pop Idols – The opportunity to become your favourite stars for the night
• Historical Characters – There are certainly quite a few to choose from
• Masquerade Ball – Adding an element of surprise and glamour to your celebration

Its a family affair – Party time at one of Essex’s premier wedding and party venues, Hylands House / Photo By HN Photography.UK

You may prefer to choose a particular dress code;

• Black Tie
• Casual
• Cocktail Party

There are so many themes & ideas to choose from, but you may purely want a party celebration with family and friends that’s simple with good food, good wine & awesome floor-filling music. Sometimes simplicity is best.

If you are thinking of hosting your celebration in a marquee in your own garden, this will certainly give a vast blank canvas to work with. For a summer party we can add garden seating, ice cream carts, jugglers & acrobats or perhaps you are looking to organise something for the festive Christmas season which we can theme to a Winter Wonderland with a Santa’s Grotto. But only if you have been good!

The party options are endless, therefore why not contact me, Weddings By Mary your Celebrations Planner to get your party well and truly started.

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Wedding transport, daughter & father special moment, Milsoms Hotel, Dedham, Essex / Photo: Martin Beard Photography
What mode of wedding transport will you choose?

Every bride wants to make a grand entrance on her big day, as well as some grooms. So what mode of wedding transport will you choose?

Many couples these days now opt to marry at an approved premise wedding venue such as an historic building, stately home, rustic barn or hotel. In fact, the Office for National Statistics* records show that during 2015 around 74% of weddings took place at a licensed wedding venue compared to 26% of those opting for a church wedding ceremony.

Those that do marry in church or prepare for their big day at a separate location to the wedding reception, therefore may opt to arrive in grand style.Here Comes the Bride/ Photo By: Simply Photographic

There are of course a few factors to consider when choosing your particular mode of transport. It is important to calculate the rough length of time it will take to get to the wedding reception. A beautiful sleek Jaguar for example will be more than capable of keeping up with the average speed of traffic, however a horse & carriage can only trot along at an approximate speed of 4 miles per hour.

One positive factor is that if your wedding service is in a separate location to your wedding reception venue then enjoy every single second of the time you spend travelling together. This may be the only period for the rest of the day that you have a moment or two without someone requiring your attention for one thing or another. So, sit back, relax and enjoy that special time.

Any mode of transport can not only add an additional experience to your big day but can also provide some amazing photo opportunities.

Over the years I have seen couples, and guests, being transported on horses, tractors, black taxis, classic cars and London buses to name but a few.

I once had tAll Aboard the Wedding Bus / Photo by Weddings By Maryhe task of opening a bottle of bubbly on a classic London double decker bus to offer to the guests whilst travelling from the wedding ceremony to the wedding reception venue in central London, whilst trying to hold on for dear life. I am delighted to say that I didn’t spill a single drop!


*Religious ceremonies accounted for 26% of marriages between opposite-sex couples and 0.7% of marriages between same-sex couples in 2015. Only 44 same-sex couples married through religious ceremonies in 2015; not all religious organisations conduct marriages of same-sex couples. The percentage of opposite-sex couples marrying through religious ceremonies has decreased steadily over time. In 1900, religious ceremonies accounted for 85% of all marriages, by 1980 this had fallen to 50%. Since 1992, civil marriages have increasingly outnumbered religious marriages every year.

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