Monthly Archives: Oct 2018

Wedding Tradition, Something Blue / Photo: Sophie Oldhamstead Photography
Top Six Wedding Traditions

Who doesn’t love a tradition?

It doesn’t have to be a wedding tradition. We all have family traditions that go back years. In fact, the Oxford dictionary states that a tradition is:

‘The transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way.’

I love all types of traditions and find it quite fascinating researching the history behind wedding traditions and not just from this country either.

Here are six wedding traditions and a little about their origins:

1. Wedding & Engagement Rings
Head back to ancient Egyptians, who believed circles were symbols of eternity and when couples exchanged rings Wedding Rings / Photo: Rebecca Farries Photographymade from braided reeds. The Ancient Romans are believed to have started the tradition of betrothal rings in lieu of giving the bride money or a valuable object. Unfortunately, though, the symbolism was more about ownership than love!!! The groom first gave the bride a gold ring to wear during the betrothal ceremony and then at special events, however whilst at other times an iron ring was worn to signify her binding legal agreement to him.

Well I don’t like the sound of that, but of course it is now a sign of love for each other and often these days the groom will also wear a wedding ring.

2. Something Old Something New…..
Everyone knows this saying, but did you know that the final line is ‘and a silver sixpence in your shoe’? The sixpence, given by the bride’s father, stood for good luck, and to show that he wished his daughter prosperity in her marriage.

Wedding Bridal Shoes / Photo By Jeff TurnballIn Brazil many brides wear gold shoes and during the evening place them in the middle of the dancefloor, for guests to drop money into to show support for the couple’s financial future.

3. Who wants cake?
Me!!! A wedding wouldn’t be complete without a cake would it? The wedding cake is supposed to symbolise good fortune and fertility as well as bringing good luck to everyone who eats it. The wedding cake should also be made with an abundance of good quality ingredients to signify a long-lasting, rich, and happy marriage.

Couples traditionally cut the cake together to represent the first activity done as a couple.

4. Who is walking you down the aisle?
Giving away the bride is a very old tradition from the days when women were their father’s property until they got married. Then they became their husband’s property. The bride was literally given away in exchange for a bride price or dowry. Not so these days. I love seeing the look of such great pride on every father’s face as he walks his daughter down the aisle, many of which I know are also trying to not cry!Here Comes The Bride – that special moment between father and daughter at The Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London / Photo: Gomes Photography

5. Why do you have Bridesmaids?
During Ancient Roman times, a wedding required 10 witnesses for a marriage to be considered legally binding. Furthermore, the bridesmaids all had to dress just like the bride in order to confuse vengeful spirit presences who might try to harm or sabotage the newlyweds. Another slightly less out-there aspect of the history of bridesmaids actually stems from the Bible: When Jacob married both Leah and Rachel, each woman brought her own “maid” (as in, “bridesmaid”), though they functioned literally as “maids”.

It wasn’t until the Victorian times that things started to get a little closer to the role of modern bridesmaids. During that time, bridesmaids made party favours, organised flowers, and accompanied the bride in her walk down the aisle. There’s still a connection to the older traditions, too, though. During the Victorian period, bridesmaids apparently walked down the aisle carrying herbs, grains, and garlic to scare away evil spirits. This is purely speculation, but this might be why bridesmaids still carry flower bouquets today, which is much more preferable to garlic don’t you think?

6. Confetti
The tradition of throwing confetti over the bride and groom comes from Italy. Before paper confetti, there were flowers, petals, grain or rice thrown at the happy couple, to bestow prosperity and fertility.

However, these days not everyone wants to be traditional and some like to break away from the norm.

Wedding cakes are often made of several layers of soft, light and deliciously flavoured sponges or some are even cheese and served with crackers and preserves.Naked Wedding Cake, made by Pinkface Cakes, Essex. Flowers by Poppies Floral Design / Photo: Rebecca Farries Photography

Sons or brothers sometimes now take up the reins and proudly walk the bride down the aisle. And most brides will wear Something old, Something new, Something borrowed, Something blue but not necessarily have the silver sixpence in her shoe!

So why not add your own twist to a tradition or even better start your own. It’s your special day, so why not?

If you like traditions and their meaning then do follow Weddings By Mary on Instagram too as I do add a few on from time to time …..

Signature of experienced and professional wedding planner Mary Briscoe

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Final Wedding Planning Preparations

The week of your big day has arrived. You are both so excited, so emotional and probably a little stressed too, yes?

As an experienced and professional wedding planner it is part of my role to ensure that all of the final and finer details of your wedding are taken care of and this is something I meticulously undertake for my clients.

There are however some tasks that I cannot complete for them but we work together to ensure a fun but most importantly stress-free wedding is organised.

These few handy tips will hopefully help you to also enjoy the final few days before walking up the aisle.

Grab a coffee, pen and paper. Find a quiet spot, if possible outside in the fresh air, then write yourself a list of all the things that need to be complete. Next, break it down into the days that they can be taken care of. In other words, plan your week, day by day, and for some days this may even be hour by hour. It is essential to plan this week out to know exactly what you have to get done and it is so satisfying being able to see those tasks being ticked off. If any of these jobs can be delegated then do, family and friends are always so willing to assist.

Email, or if you can, call every one of your suppliers to confirm everything is in place. Be sure to also confirm when they are collecting any left items. For example, is your cake designer also providing your cake stand and knife? If so who is to return these and by when? Double check that you have made all the necessary payments. If any suppliers need payment on the day, have these ready in separate, clearly labelled envelopes. Ask a trusted member of the bridal party to take care of these for you, you certainly do not want to be dealing with any of these on the big day!

Like every wedding there are always small tasks that need to be undertaken on the day. If you don’t have a professional and experienced wedding planner, then ensure that you have a clear duty list typed up and jobs assigned to certain family members or friends. One tip – do not overload one person with too many, as they will want to enjoy the wedding as much as you do. There is also les chance jobs will be forgotten.

Gift wrap any thank you presents and write the cardThank you / Photo: HJ Photographys for your bridal party. Decide between you both when you are handing these gifts out. Will it be during the speeches or will you want to give them out beforehand or privately?

If you are having a church service, there will no doubt be a wedding rehearsal. Ensure that you have confirmed the time of this and who needs to be in attendance. Perhaps afterwards you can all have a celebratory drink or supper together. Such an exciting week, now becoming very real!

You may actually have three different bags to pack!

  1. Honeymoon – If you are heading off on your honeymoon straight after the wedding then you most certainly need to get your suitcase packed and ready.
  2. Overnight Bags – You may be staying at your wedding venue the night prior to the big day as well as the night of the wedding, so be sure you have also included the grooms bits & pieces too!
  3. Clutch Bag – Every bride will want to touch up her make up so have a small bridal bag containing your lipstick, a nail file, some tissues & a small mirror. Keep this handy for during the ceremony and photographs. Throughout the wedding reception it can be left for you on the head table.

Whichever of the above you require, make sure that you know who will be taking responsibility of these for you and where they will be.

Make sure you have booked yourself, and your bridesmaids, a manicure and pedicure. You will want your hands and nails to look perfect when you show off your gorgeous sparkly new wedding ring. Why not book your groom in for a little pamper too?


Wedding arrangements can certainly take over and stress usually rears its ugly head! It’s therefore really important to remember why you’re getting married in the first place, so book a lunch or dinner date to spend quality time with your other half before the wedding day.

The last thing you need to be just before your special day is to be stressed out so also make sure you get plenty of sleep, keep hydrated and stay calm.

Your wedding day will be perfect.

Signature of experienced and professional wedding planner Mary Briscoe

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Love is all you need, Wedding venue Essex, High House / Photo: Rebecca Farries Photography The Prop Boutique
Six Tips on how to select the best date for your wedding

Why do I, a professional and experienced wedding planner, need to write a blog advising you on choosing the best date for your wedding? Surely choosing a date is the easiest part? Just pick a date that suits you as couple.

Well yes, that is often true, but there will always be factors that you should consider to make the right choice.

If you are having a marquee wedding at your home, then you are fortunate enough to have more flexibility with a date than those choosing a wedding venue. However, whether a marquee or venue it would be wise to consider some of the following tips that may make deciding on the best date for your special day a little easier and less stressful.

1. Budget
Your budget will have an impact on your ideal date. As an experienced and professional wedding planner it would be advisable for you to set aside approximately 45% of your total budget for the reception (which includes venue hire, food & drink) with the remaining 55% towards everything else. Some venue hire fees are discounted if you opt for say a midweek winter wedding rather than a Saturday in the peak wedding season, which is usually May to September. It is certainly something to bear in mind if your heart is not set on weekend nuptials.

2. Consider Work Schedules
If you, or indeed your friends and family, have shift patterns and you are able to check far enough in advance, you can hopefully establish what will work best for everyone. If you for example decide to opt for a Thursday wedding, then consider guests will more than likely choose to take two days off work to attend your special day rather than if you opt for a Friday when they will more than likely then just need to take one day.

3. Overseas Guests
If you have family or friends that you hope will be able to attend from overseas, then speak to them about dates too. Airfares obviously fluctuate and certainly cannot be predicted but your guests will more than likely want to make the most of their trip so speak to them about their countries’ holidays and events that may make travel costs higher or even better lower.

4. Will School or University Holidays Clash?
If you plan to include children at your wedding, look at the school holiday dates, especially if you are hoping to have a summer peak season wedding. Consider those also travelling from overseas as their school dates may differ. The younger university generation may even be heading off on travelling experiences, so ensure you let your nearest and dearest know your preferred date as soon as possible so that they can hopefully plan their travels around your special day. But also check that they haven’t been super organised and already booked their break.

5. Significant Events
Now, I know that your wedding is a hugely significant event. However, if you or your partner are sporting fans then check up any forthcoming sporting events such as the World Cup, major golf tournaments or the Olympics. They will have an impact especially if England are playing!! This month sees another Royal Wedding with Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank tying the knot on Friday 12 October at Windsor Castle, so a big day for them and many others who will also be marrying on the same date. Remember it is also wise to check if there are any local events taking place as you do not want to be wondering where all you guests are if a local marathon is taking place and the everyone is being diverted.Wedding Planner and Brides Magazine

6. Unusual or Memorable Dates
This October we will have what is known as a palindrome date meaning that it reads the same either way 8 / 10 /18. A date like this would certainly be memorable. Similarly, if you are not the superstitious kind and one happens to fall around the time your wish to marry, Friday 13th may work for you as well. I chose to marry on my birthday and have known other couples to choose dates that were important to them like their parents wedding anniversary.

You are however, never, ever going to please each and every single guest. Nevertheless, just by taking on board some or all of these pointers it may make the whole process a little easier and a little less stressful.

Why not also read my previous blog on https://www.weddingsbymary.co.uk/which-season-should-you-hold-your-wedding/ therefore by combining the two you will be in much stronger and better position to set that all important perfect date.


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