Planning Your Own Wedding – Opulence on a Dime

According to the Bridal Association of America, the average cost of a wedding runs most couples a whopping $30,375 (1)!

Yes, now may be the time for many of us to cut a few corners by purchasing affordable wedding favors, food, and decorations, but this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice beauty and elegance when planning your own wedding. In order to save a few bucks and even reduce overall spending, many brides-to-be are postponing their long-awaited wedding days for more prosperous times. Instead of waiting, however, you could simply scale back your wedding. Fortunately, there are many ways to make your wedding just as special if you hunt around for deals on tasteful yet affordable wedding favors, refreshments, and flowers – in fact, taking advantage of bargains and discounts while planning your own wedding day and doing many things yourself could be the very highlight of your special day.

Simple, Affordable Wedding Favors are Key: For the bride planning her own wedding with little time as it is, envisioning and making 150 affordable wedding favors sounds a little ridiculous (read time consuming), and while many sites recommend you make these yourself, the cost of construction and materials would probably be higher than just biting the bullet and buying pre-made (though affordable) wedding favors. A lot of times you can find favors for well under $1.00 each. A recent check on quality, affordable wedding favors showed charming silver mint tins for $0.52, bride and groom swizzle sticks for $0.75, and place card holders for $0.94.

In addition to purchasing affordable wedding favors, remember always to buy enough the first time around. If in doubt, buy slightly over your estimated head count. And try to order with plenty of time to spare to avoid exorbitant shipping costs, meaning you should start planning your own wedding far in advance to ensure this as shipping on a rush order alone can add well over $50.00 extra. Above all, take full advantage of volume pricing on your order of affordable wedding favors, which helps you avoid paying the lowest (and most expensive) tier price.

The Lovely but Reduced-Priced Dress Route: Finding the perfect wedding dress is considered an epic quest by many brides who are planning their own wedding, but still want to look their loveliest on that special day. Whether the bride chooses hundreds of flounces and tulle or a simple A-line design, the whole ensemble – dress, veil, undergarments, and shoes – can add up rather quickly. To save money while planning your own wedding, you have a few options, most of which present themselves online. Search for dresses on auction sites, such as eBay, or classified ad sites, such as Craigslist, to find previously worn wedding gowns at cheap, bargain basement prices. You can often find name brand or even designer dresses in great condition, along with all the accessories. If you want to take your search offline, contact thrift stores and consignment shops in your town to see what their inventories are like before hitting the pavement.

If you’d rather have something more personalized, you can have your dress made, although this will be a little more expensive. Occasionally, art and design students offer their services for a cheaper dressmaking fee than established places and can create a dress for you at well below market value. You can also have a trusted friend who has time and sewing prowess make your dream dress from scratch.

You can get a visual of your desired dream dress using this helpful online tool while planning your own wedding – the Wedding Dress Creator ( http://www.weddingdresscreator.com ), which allows you to select from a variety of options, such as dress length, shape, and color.

The Date Matters More than You Think: Oftentimes, the date you choose can be significantly more expensive than another. High-priced seasons, such as the spring and summer, drive up your budget noticeably – caterers charge more for a filet of fish, and florists for miles around only seem to have the most expensive lilies. During the crisper, colder fall and winter months, when most couples are reluctant to schedule or even attempt planning their own wedding, prices come down noticeably. Photographers lower their prices, and holiday decorations (especially ideal for a Christmas or Easter-themed wedding) are already up and in place, meaning you get away with not purchasing pricey flower arrangements, fragrant wreaths, garland, and candles. The venue of your choosing, most likely a church or some other community place, will have all these decorations available to you free of charge (save, of course, for the cost of renting the space). All you need are the discount dress, a budget meal, affordable wedding favors, the groom, and presto, instant wedding!

If you’re dead-set on a spring or summer fete when planning your own wedding, have it outside in a friend’s or family member’s backyard. Or, choose a quiet park and set up a garden arbor and trellises adorned with flowers to complete the look. To get your flowers at a reduced cost, check with your local florist, who might be able to give you a discount on leftover bouquets or arrangements.

You can also purchase from a flower wholesaler to get flowers at deep discounts; however, keep in mind that you will be responsible for creating, arranging, watering, and transporting the bouquets for the wedding day. Above all, ensure that your chosen flowers are in season.

Food and Refreshments that Don’t Break the Bank: Feeding 75, 100, or even 250 guests can get pretty expensive, even if you scaled back with an inexpensive wedding dress and affordable wedding favors. Even estimating $10 at the very least for each dinner can send your budget skyrocketing. And you obviously do not want to forego delicious food to help cut costs. Fortunately, you have a few options when planning your own wedding: the modern bride has realized that feeding her guests an elaborate, three-course dinner is not necessary and certainly not required. After all, guests are there to celebrate the happy couple’s special day and should not be coming for ‘hand-outs.’ So, why not consider serving satisfying, but light hors d’oeuvres? From fruit and cookies to mini tea sandwiches and crudités, you can keep your guests’ stomachs full on just a few dollars. By making a number of refreshments in large quantities, you can drive down the price. A few brides have even been known to serve fondue – of either the chocolate or cheese kind – both of which can be accompanied by a tasty selection of ‘dippable’ foodstuffs.

Instead of spending thousands of dollars on catering, you can also re-introduce a concept that used to be popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when planning your own wedding: a pot-luck reception. Sure, it may sound a little folksy, but it’s what the brides of yesteryear used to do to avoid spending a lot of money when wallets were essentially empty. Etiquette dictates, however, that the couple consider these offerings of food comparable to a wedding gift or at least a significant part of it. Even if you choose this option, decorating the tables is still a necessity – set the mood with freshly ironed tablecloths, polished candelabras, and those affordable wedding favors you purchased earlier.

And finally, we come to the cake. Remember that research conducted by the Bridal Association of America? The survey found that the cake alone cost $543. You could feasibly cut that number in half or even by two-thirds if you make the cake yourself. Have your mother, sisters, female relatives, or bridesmaids help you with this task; purchase a book on the topic or research tips on the Internet. If this sounds like it could be a huge disaster and take time away from planning your own wedding, try something easier instead: wedding cake cupcakes. Simple, easier to decorate, and just the right portion, cupcakes bake fast and are a break away from the usual.

From Discount Decorations to Affordable Wedding Favors and Beyond

Cutting corners when planning your own wedding doesn’t mean your big day has to look cheap. Far from it! Focusing on little details, like simple yet affordable wedding favors, pretty, discount decorations, and delicious but homemade food, incorporates your own personal spin and infuses your wedding with character. Think planning your own wedding and showing your guests a great time on a limited budget is still impossible? Just remember that they’re there, first and foremost, to celebrate the love and commitment of the happy couple.

Planning Your Wedding In Australia – Ideas For Choosing The Right Location For You And Your Guests!

Weddings in Perth, Western Australia and Beyond!

Australia’s North West from Exmouth to Broome and beyond! The Northern winter or dry season is April to September and boasts long days of blue skies and beautiful sunshine, some would say this is the perfect WA weather! However many European visitors will wait for the summer wet season where the temperatures are in the mid 30s and you can experience a balmy combination of heat, humidity and sunshine!

Below the Tropic of Capricorn in the south the weather is far less dramatic, with Perth enjoying more sunny days in a year than any other capital city in the country! Because of this beautiful weather Western Australia has built up a reputation for fine food and world-famous wine regions, and overall needs no explanation as to why it would be the perfect place for you to organise your destination wedding. Whether you are from Western Australia, interstate or abroad there are so many advantages to getting married in Perth, the internet is a wonderful place and you can do a little research to find out about Perth and WA to choose the perfect wedding venue and location for your big day!

The Coral Coast; Experience the whitest sand and the bluest ocean that plays host to some of the most breathtaking and exotic marine life in the world! You can find Ningaloo Reef, the world heritage listed site that is awesome for fishing and diving, one of the few places that you can swim with a whale shark, be sure to extend your wedding into a honeymoon – what an amazing thing to do after your big day! With a wide selection of fabulous wedding venues and accommodation to suit your personalities and number of guests you will be sure to have plenty of choice.

Australia’s North West; home to the world-famous Kimberley, a true desert wilderness that offers an outback adventure for those four-wheel drive junkies! Be sure to stop off at the Bungle-Bungle Ranges, the Karijiini National Park and Lake Argyle on your tour of this region. Maybe you will choose The Billi Resort or Cable Beach Club in the North West near the town of Broome. These beautiful venues offer outstanding ceremony and reception settings.

South West; when you hear the name Margaret River the first thing that springs to mind is top-class wineries and scrumptious local produce. The perfect location for a wedding boasting spectacular views and idyllic settings for your ceremony and reception venue.

Perth; the gateway to the west. Direct flights to Perth airport make it easy to arrive both from international destinations and around Australia, you can arrive in the western capital via rail, taking the Indian-Pacific service that spans the entire country from sea to sea, you can hop on in Sydney, Melbourne or Adelaide and the whole journey would take 3 days. Might be the way to travel back after your wedding, a short honeymoon journey for the newly-weds. Alternatively, in the summer months you can get on board a coastal cruise as part of your honeymoon, much of WA including Perth, Broome and Esperance will feature on a world cruise itinerary.

Once you arrive in Perth this relaxed city spends most of its time with sunny blue skies and has so much to offer, with an exciting and young vibe you will be able to find something to suit you and all of your guests and create a truly unique experience for your wedding in Perth, WA. You can choose a beach or garden wedding and from an extensive list of venues like the Northbridge Hotel or Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club. You can also take the trip over to Rottnest Island, an increasingly popular destination for weddings as there is a Chapel or Catholic Church as well as a selection of beautiful outdoor locations for your ceremony. The Rottnest Island Lodge and Aristos Waterfront venues can cater for all your reception needs.

Maybe you will venture inland to the Swan Valley where you will encounter the oldest wine region in Western Australia, also a fabulous location for a wedding in WA.

Say “I do” in Sydney, or Regional New South Wales.

There are so many locations available to you in this beautiful state from remote outback to Sydney and all along the coast of New South Wales!

Outback New South Wales; some of the most remote towns including Lightening Ridge, Tibooburra and Broken Hill can be found in outback NSW. The rugged landscape provides some stunning scenery for any event, with outstanding Aboriginal rock art and national parks covering most of the land.

The Broken Hill region would provide a unique and romantic setting for your outback wedding, you could choose from the Broken Hill sculpture park or if you are the adventurous type say ‘I do’ from the top of a historic mountain range.

Country NSW; if you are looking for a country themed wedding or fancy getting married next to the highest waterfall in Australia then you have come to the right place. The Wollomombi Falls in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park would be a spectacular location for your ceremony. Country New South Wales has so many gorgeous locations for you to choose from, make sure you add your own little country twist to your bridesmaid outfits with the addition of cute cow-girl boots!

Be sure to check out Corowa, Deneiquin and Moama, you can hire a houseboat for your honeymoon on the Murray River, an amazing and romantic experience, or for something really different why not hire a boat big enough for all of your guests and get married on board.

Hunter Valley; if you and your guests enjoy good food, good wine and stunning views then the Hunter Valley would be the perfect place for your destination wedding! With vineyards in abundance and garden weddings becoming ever more popular you will be spoilt for venues in these wonderful surroundings.

With famous wineries such as Lindemans and Wyndham Estate offering wedding packages to suit all, you can get married on the banks of the Hunter River or amongst the vines in this picture perfect location, the ideal setting to create fantastic memories.

North Coast; the Northern Coast of New South Wales is home to some of the most popular beaches in Australia, stretching from Byron Bay to Newcastle, you can follow the Pacific Coast route and be astounded by the delights of Lennox Head, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie and Port Stephens! All of these beautiful coastal towns are fabulous holiday destinations and would make the ideal location for a beach wedding in Australia.

Check out the Aanuka Beach Resort perfect for an elopement package or a small wedding, they also have several ceremony locations to choose from so that you can have things just the way you wish for, they have a stunning resort chapel or you could get married on the lawn by the beach!

Snowy Mountains; this is the perfect location for the adventurous bride and groom looking for some winter wedding inspiration and a celebration that is flourishing with snowflakes, blue skies and après-ski! You could even arrive at your ceremony or reception on a husky led sleigh or even on your skis depending on how skilled you are so that you don’t get your outfit covered in snow!

The aptly named Snowy Mountains home to the well-known snow fields of Thredbo, Perisher and Charlotte Pass have so many hotels and resorts that would be the ideal, check out The Station at Jindabyne or Lake Crackenback Resort for two fabulous options for a winter wedding!

Lord Howe Island; located about 600km off the North coast of NSW this World Heritage listed haven is home to some of the most amazing species of flower, crystal clear water that is great for exploring the underwater marine life and the rare coral that makes up the island’s marine park!

This island would make an exclusive location for your wedding as there can only be 400 visitors at any one time. Consider the Capella Lodge as a place of serenity for your big day, whether you go for an intimate elopement or book the entire resort this place of beauty will be sure to provide the perfect backdrop.

Sydney; this amazing city would be a spectacular location for your wedding no matter what style or size you choose. Maybe you will have the Opera House or Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background of your ceremony or perhaps these will be the scene for your fabulous wedding photographs. This bustling metropolis has wedding planners, wedding accessories and Sydney wedding photographers in their hundreds; you will be spoilt for choice and will need to do some specific research to create the perfect occasion.

Sydney harbour and the romance that surrounds it is simply remarkable, combine that with a unique wedding venue and you will have yourself the perfect day! Sydney harbour wedding cruises are a fantastic idea for a wedding that you and your guests will never forget! You can choose from a small boat up to the Harbour Ballroom or the Sydney Showboat, both able to accommodate up to 350 guests – obviously your choice will be dependent on your budget and the number of people you will have with you on your big day!

Celebrate in Adelaide and South Australia.

The entire state of South Australia boasts long, warm summers from December to February and mild temperatures throughout autumn and winter. The state’s capital Adelaide is the gateway to the Flinders Ranges and Kangaroo Island, and is easily accessible by air. It is also home to a small population of just over a million people Adelaide is classed as one of the most liveable cities in Australia.

Adelaide City; with its cafe culture lifestyle and diverse mix of people the city has a modern feel and an amazing variety of cuisine. With the choice of the Hills and Beach within half an hour drive of the city and state heritage listed parklands surrounding it this wonderful place can make a fabulous destination for your wedding.

The city prides itself on the many ‘green’ initiatives and set up as Australia’s most sustainable city; this is therefore the ideal place to hold an eco-friendly wedding. Bring in some natural elements to your big day, make sure that you pick native flowers that are in season, beeswax or soy candles for your decorations and choose bonbonniere gift ideas that your guests can take home and use time and time again to minimise their negative impact on the environment.

Adelaide Hills, Barossa & Clare Valley; boasting stunning views across the Valleys the Adelaide Hills has so much to offer, known as one of the finest areas for cool-climate grapes there are charming boutique wineries in abundance. The Lane Vineyard, Bridgewater Mill and the Stirling Hotel are amongst the many places that make the Adelaide hills the perfect spot for your wedding or reception venue.

The fresh produce is just one of the things that might pull you towards the Barossa Valley for your wedding venue! You can also follow the butcher, baker & winemaker trails to check out some of the culinary delights on offer in this special place – a great excuse for a trip to SA before the big day!

Looking for a more intimate setting for your wedding ceremony, then head to the Care Valley, there are many cute bed & breakfasts in this area and some stunning locations to get those perfect shots of you in your wedding dress in the South Australia scenery.

Flinders Ranges & The Outback; perhaps for the more adventurous this will be on the list of possible destinations for your adventure honeymoon. Pack up the camper-trailer and head off into the dusty red desert. Keep your eyes open for wedge-tailed eagles and lazy lizards along your journey into the wilderness and you will be sure to get some fantastic photographs of the bush backdrop.

Maybe you are a couple that just love the country, if an outback setting for your wedding is more up your street then why not seek somewhere like the Arkaba Station, a wild bush luxury resort on the southern edge of the Finders Range National Park. Choose for your wedding in the ranges from a ridge top dinner to a woolshed venue, or boutique heritage homestead to a deluxe swag for two and camping under the stars! With 4WD trips, hot air balloon rides, viewing the local wildlife, mountain biking and many other adventurous activities to keep your guests amused this is the perfect location for your outback destination wedding.

Kangaroo Island; just a Kangaroo’s jump away from Adelaide this island is a true sanctuary of wildlife and tranquillity with untouched bushland and immaculate beaches. You can choose from a waterfront location or head to the West of the island to the Wilderness Retreat for an intimate ceremony. Rest assured that your guests will be well fed and watered on this amazing island, due to its location in South Australia a state that is renowned for its produce and preparation, Kangaroo Island is one of the must-do food and wine experiences in Australia that you and your guests will remember for years to come.

The Murray River; there are two river regions on the Murray in South Australia, known as the Riverland and the Murray lands both great locations to begin your adventure. Why not experience the romance of this mysterious river aboard a houseboat, you can hire your own for an intimate celebration or take all of your guests on board a serviced boat like the Proud Mary, get married and hold your reception on the Murray River!

This is such an amazing place for all of the family, consider it one big waterpark with boat ramps along the way for you to launch your own or hire a boat, jet-ski, water skis or wakeboard. For the more relaxed approach grab your kayak or canoe and drift down stream in the wonderful outdoors.

Getting Married in Melbourne.

The city of Melbourne is made up of the city centre and a number of precincts and inner-city suburbs, each with their own character and charm. Renowned for its art and culture, live music, dining variety and shopping, Melbourne has a wealth of opportunity for you and your guests when you choose this wonderful city for your wedding.

The city ‘Laneways’ are famous for their back street corridors covered in graffiti making an awesome backdrop for your wedding photography, and there is nothing stopping you from saying your vows in front of your favourite piece of art.

With parks and gardens in abundance this city welcomes the garden wedding trend, and offers a huge selection of intimate settings for your nuptials. From the rotunda in Alexandra Gardens to the Old Cheese Factory in Berwick, there are hundreds of beautiful spots in Melbourne for your garden ceremony, and hotels and venues of all different styles to carry on into the evening for your reception.

Docklands; in the early 90s this disused port and rail area was transformed into a modern urban waterfront. In the Docklands, where the city of Melbourne meets the water you will find the perfect location for your inner-city wedding. You can choose from a heap of function venues to suit your wedding, cocktail packages to formal sit down receptions, you will find all that you could wish for with the city as your backdrop.

Yarra Valley; this picturesque area surrounding the Yarra River is one of Australia’s leading wine-producing regions, with wineries in abundance you can discover a whole world of beauty from art galleries to restaurants, markets and more. If you are looking for a winery for your wedding then you have certainly come to the right place, the Yarra Valley has some amazing venues to choose from including the Yering Station Winery and Rochford Winery.

If you’re looking for an intimate venue for your closest family and friends then you could try Stones of the Yarra Valley, they offer a stunning Chapel, Dairy and Barn combination all intertwined with paths and luscious green gardens making a perfect setting for your wedding photographs.

Mornington Peninsula; to the east of Melbourne and below the eastern suburbs you will find the beautiful Mornington Peninsula, this picture perfect piece of land is covered in rolling hills, vineyards, olive groves all within a stone’s throw of the ocean.

With the pretty seaside villages from Mornington and Dromana along Port Phillip Bay and down to Sorrento if you are planning a beach wedding then these beautiful locations will certainly fit the bill, in the summer months you can expect gorgeous weather, creating some stunning backdrops for your wedding. Perhaps you would prefer to take in the views from higher ground; Arthur’s Seat is one of the most popular locations on the peninsula for hilltop weddings.

Phillip Island; connected to the mainland by bridge from the town of San Remo to the Island town of Newhaven, Phillip Island is located less than 2 hours away from the city and is easily accessible from across the whole of Victoria. Tempered by the ocean breeze the island tends to experience milder weather all year-round, making it a wonderful place for a summer wedding that is not too hot!

Great Ocean Road; travelling this famous stretch of road is one of Victoria’s greatest highlights, from Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula all the way along to Warrnambool you will see some spectacular sights and take in some breathtaking scenery.

Planning your wedding in this part of the country leaves everything to the imagination; you could consider Apollo Bay as a central point, or beautiful Lorne where you could marry in the gorgeous settings of the Lorne Beach Pavilion, this is in the perfect position to allow a beach ceremony followed by a sit down reception or cocktail event in the cafe or restaurant right on the beach front.

If you are looking for somewhere completely different then why no rent the famous Pole House, in Fairhaven, it could be a place to retreat to as your bridal suite or perhaps as a location for your actual wedding, ideal if you are only having your close friends and family.

Your Wedding in the Northern Territory

From the coast to the red centre the Northern Territory has so much to offer. With a landscape like no other stretching from Australia’s famous monolith Uluru, to the Barkly Tablelands and the Tropical North where wetlands and waterfalls cut through the national parks to create a stunning backdrop for any wedding photograph. Make sure that you take some time out to meet the locals and soak in the rich aboriginal culture and history, be mindful to watch out for some other locals like the crocodile!

Darwin & Surrounds; with its tropical outdoor lifestyle, beautiful harbour scenery, surrounded with World War II history and its cuisine heavily influenced by their nearby Asian neighbours, Darwin is a true adventure paradise for you and your guests.

Renowned for its sunset markets, if you need to pick up a last minute gift for the bride and groom, or grab some final wedding decorations then you’ve come to the right place as you can expect to see arts and crafts in abundance here! For a truly unique wedding experience you could take in a Darwin Harbour Cruise or discover the Melville and Bathurst Islands, (Tiwi Islands) on tropical sailing journey. Say “I do” on-board a private catamaran!

If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground then Darwin also has some amazing hotels and resorts that can cater for all of your needs to create the perfect wedding in Darwin! The amazing Sky City has some fantastic wedding packages on offer to help you plan your big day!

Kakadu & Arnhem Land; in this stunning location you can witness world heritage-listed scenery and outstanding rock art, Australia’s largest national park features cascading waterfalls, giant crocodiles and exotic birds! Check out the Wilderness Safari Retreat for some exclusive bush luxury, you can speak to the lodge team about arranging your wedding in Bamurru Plains, an amazing marriage amongst the wildlife.

Perhaps for the more adventurous this is somewhere to consider for your honeymoon, you could hire a campervan and takes the Nature’s Way Tourism Drive for a romantic adventure! Experience the Mamukala Wetlands, Nourlangie Rock, Jim Jim and Twin Falls along the way, what an amazing way to start your married lives together.

Katherine & Surrounds; the Katherine region extends from the Queensland border in the east to the Kimberly region in the west and is a wonderful gateway to nature and adventure. Perhaps the more remote areas like Elsley National Park would not be ideal for your ceremony but certainly your honeymoon of adventure might start with a bushwalk over the spectacular Katherine Gorge! You could hire a car and go on the drive of your life, crossing the Daley river and onto the Douglas Daley area, off into Butterfly Gorge and explore the many waterholes and hot springs that natures beauty has to offer.

There are heaps of wedding venues in the area including Knotts Crossing, secluded amongst tropical gardens near Katherine River is the perfect location for your wedding in the Northern territory.

Alice Springs & Uluru; famous for the personality of its locals, their love for contemporary art and traditional aboriginal influence along with all the natural wonders around it, Alice Springs is the gateway to your outback adventure and a true Australian wedding location.

You could consider a romantic hot air balloon ride over the West McDonnell Ranges for a unique red centre experience. Maybe you could convince your Alice Springs celebrant to go up with you and say your vows in the sky. Venture out to the spiritual heart of Australia and experience the one true gemstone that is Uluru, also known by the name Ayers rock this awesome sight is a must see. With its extraordinary display of ever-changing colours, you simply cannot miss the natural show at both sunset and sunrise, just amazing!

Voyages and Ayers Rock resort offer a choice of apartments, a luxury wilderness camp, hotel, backpacker rooms or campground accommodation! You can choose whichever style suits your needs, and your guests, however the Longitude 131° offers a truly wonderful experience for your nuptials. In 5-star luxury you and your guests will have private views of the sunset and sunrise over Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, what an amazing way to start your married lives together in awe of Australia’s most amazing rock.

Getting Married in Tropical Queensland.

With sunny days in abundance and a year round temperate climate, Queensland really does have so much to offer and countless places to visit! No matter what type of adventure or Queensland wedding you are seeking you will be sure to find something to suit your style. With a variety of terrain from rainforest to ocean, outback to reef you can be sure to tailor a fantastic package to suit you and your guests anywhere in QLD!

Cairns & Great Barrier Reef; this is Queensland’s Tropical North where you will find thousands of locations for a wedding and discover a place that is full of natural wonders and beauty! Cairns City, gateway to some spectacular scenery from rainforest to the Great Barrier Reef with the village of Port Douglas offering a more sophisticated, low-key escape. This is an extremely popular place for couples looking for a more intimate wedding to elope to and there are so many amazing deals available in this part of Australia.

Perhaps you are looking for a unique spin on your wedding, and well this is one of the most renowned places in the world for scuba-diving. You could even go completely different and say ‘I do’ amongst the coral, you would have to hold up cards of acceptance to your vows at an underwater wedding but what a magical and unusual way to get married!

The Daintree Forest is also a must see, the oldest surviving tropical rainforest on earth is home to an astounding amount of plants and species of animals. You can get an indigenous guide to give you a tour to find out more about the culture and history of the surrounding area and its people.

Townsville; this beautiful coastal region has such a diverse terrain, with the ocean reefs in the east and the outback in the west the opportunities for exploring are simply endless. The town of Townsville is at the centre of all that is on offer, you should take a trip up Castle Hill to take in the views of the city and the nearby Magnetic Island. This tropical island offers some outstanding resorts and is a wonderful destination for a beach wedding with the perfect setting for a unique escape. Getting to the island is only a short 25 minute cruise across the bay, a beautiful way to begin our journey.

Be sure to think about your honeymoon in this area too, perhaps the more adventurous might take the Great Tropical Drive, a self-driving route that will take you from Cairns and Townsville to some amazing places in Tropical Australia. Take in Charters Towers and sample outback life at a cattle station farm stay or see the historic gold milling site at Venus Battery. Ravenswood is another old gold mining town well worth a look.

The Whitsundays; the 74 island wonders that make up the Whitsundays are mostly uninhabited and provide the perfect setting for a day of exploring or simply relaxing on the secluded beaches and coves.

Airlie Beach is the gateway to these stunning islands and the epitome of a beach town, with a carefree vibe and packed full of palm-fringed beaches, waterfront parks, restaurants and bars. The after dark backpacker and travelling vibe is full of energy and most will party to the early hours before embarking on a party boat or organised cruise.

Be sure to take in Whitehaven Beach, this 4 mile stretch of pure white silica sand has been voted one of the best beaches in the world. If you have a little more budget to play with then why not take a romantic flight over heart reef, a stunning collection of coral that has naturally formed into the shape of a heart and looks amazing from the sky above.

The resort islands include the Hayman Island, one of the top luxury destinations for weddings and honeymoons. Hamilton Island, this is the largest inhabited island and has an airport making it easily accessible for both families and couples. Daydream, Lindeman, Brampton, Long, Hook and South Molle Island are scattered across this beautiful ocean, all offering an array of resort accommodation to suit your personal preference.

Fraser Coast; this wonderful region is filled with some of the word’s greatest attractions and beautiful scenery. If you can plan your wedding between June and November then the perfect treat for you and your guests would be to venture to Hervey bay and take a trip on the water to see the humpback whales that frequent this water during this time.

Just a short ferry ride from Hervey Bay is the outstanding Fraser Island, you can arrange your own way across or join a tour to take you along the highway of sand and the tracks that lead you to some spectacular lakes and waterholes including Lake McKenzie with its crystal clear freshwater.

You will also find the eco-friendly resort of Kingfisher Bay, if you are planning a wedding with them then they offer discounts on guest accommodation, advice about hens and bucks nights on the island along with a special wedding package and honeymoon visit all in one.

Brisbane; this cosmopolitan city has some top-notch restaurants, cafes and bars. From the river to the coast this green city has the perfect climate, with an average of 300 days of sunshine a year you would be unlucky not to have the sun shining on your wedding day. From the Brisbane River to views of the Storey Bridge there are so many places to visit in the locally known ‘Brissy’.

If you are looking for something alternative, then why not hop on board The Kookaburra Queen from Eagle Street Pier, this beautiful paddle wheeler boat is an icon of the Brisbane River and will offer you an experience you will never forget! You can also check out the Brisbane Powerhouse, with their rooftop terrace offering a unique space for a memorable event. Or the XXXX Brewery has a wedding package to suit any beer lover and their guests.

The Sunshine Coast; just north of Brisbane, this beautiful stretch of beach from Caloundra to Noosa has so much on offer with sparkling water and breathtaking scenery what more could you wish for to create your perfect wedding. Noosa Heads is one of the most popular destinations for a wedding in Australia. With pristine beaches and stylish settings, it is the perfect spot for a beach ceremony or your wedding reception.

Often weddings held in the region will bring family and friends from all over Australia and the globe to help you celebrate in style. After the wedding celebrations are over, your guests may wish to extend their stay and take advantage of this holiday haven. With resorts like Oceans Mooloolaba and Out-rigger Noosa you will be spoilt for choice!

Now that you have picked the perfect location and venue for your wedding you can start to organise the fun stuff! Whether you are based in Australia or overseas there are so many resources available to you locally for your wedding dress choices, decoration ideas and of course your bonbonniere personalised gifts – be sure to check out ideas that offer a direct postage service so that if you are travelling you can arrange for your wedding gifts to be there when you arrive.

Happy planning!

Alternative Children’s Roles in Weddings – All About the “Awww” Factor

Traditionally, weddings usually consist of one flower girl and one ring bearer. These children are most often from the bride’s side of the family and are children between about three to ten years of age.

But what if you have a large family and lots of friends with young children? What if you wish to include your fiancée’s side of the family as well? Or perhaps you don’t want to cut out including your friends and family that are more in their “tweens”, simply because they’re older than the traditional flower girl and ring bearer age.

Everything about wedding traditions is changing, and the roles of the wedding party are no exception. This opens up new opportunity to include everyone, decreasing the chances of hurt feelings in the family.

Alternative roles for your tiny tots are abundant. You just need to be creative! Think outside the basket or pillow and go for some of these fun and equally adorable ideas. This way, everyone has something to contribute.

Give small bouquets or individual flowers to one or two of the girls to be carried down the aisle and given to the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom.

Make older children junior bridesmaids or groomsmen instead of flower girls and ring bearers.

Ask a couple of girls to carry your train behind you instead of flowers in front of you.

Girls can carry baskets of flowers to be handed out to guests as they come up the aisle. This is usually best done with older girls who won’t be as easily distracted or as likely to “chicken out”.

Ask children to pass out programs, bird seeds, scroll, bubbles, or other hand-outs either before or after the ceremony.

Don’t forget the pets! You can certainly include the family dog as a ring bearer or “best dog.” Just make sure if you’re actually going to tie rings to him/her that someone is responsible for handling the dog so there are no runaway rings! Also, it’s best to be sure the dog is friendly and can handle being in a large crowd.

If you can’t help but include teeny tiny little tots that won’t be able to stand up or walk long enough to make it down the aisle themselves, why not ask older children to pull them down the aisle in a decorated wagon? This is sure to get plenty of “awwww… “

One hot new trend is for children to carry a sign as they walk down the aisle ahead of you. “Here Comes the Bride” is a popular one. After the ceremony, they can follow you with “Just Married”!

If you do wish to incorporate more than one ring bearer but still like the traditional ring on a pillow idea, why not have one little guy carry the bride’s rings and another little guy carry the groom’s ring?

Another popular new trend, usually best for outdoor weddings, is for little ones to blow bubbles to announce the entrance of the bride. For indoor weddings, the ringing of bells is also popular.

If you think your little ones are best walking down the aisle and just looking cute, rather than performing a task, there are some great alternatives so that they’re at least not empty-handed:

  • Flower Balls
  • Pinwheels
  • Wands
  • Bibles or books
  • Balloons
  • Parasols
  • Artificial bird’s nests with birds

You don’t even need to have the same amount of boys and girls, or the same amount of children from each side of the family. Some wedding parties don’t even ask them all to wear the same dress or suit. The more children you’re including, the more difficult it can be to coordinate the parents of those children and the little tykes themselves for shopping for their wedding day wares as well as fittings, etc. And kids grow so fast, you may find yourself with a bunch of outgrown dresses and tuxes by the time the wedding comes around!

Perhaps set a color such as all ivory or all white and play around with accessories like bow ties and headpieces. Allowing some individuality may make it more comfortable for the little ones and affordable for the parents. The parents will appreciate this gesture.

Most of the time flower girls and ring bearers are just for show. Grown-up wedding attendants can carry the rings themselves. But you’d be missing out on some serious adorability by cutting out the roles of your beloved tots.

Alternatives are good to incorporate everyone. And if someone does “chicken out” or just tire out before their big moment arrives, no sweat! You’ll still get your rings and there will still be plenty of photo opportunities with either the pouty little one refusing to perform (always good to show them later after they’ve grown), or the sweetie pie that fell asleep at the alter or in Mommy’s arms before the “I Do’s”.

Unique Wedding Ideas to Keep Kids Entertained at Your Wedding

If you’re going to have kids at the wedding, the number one thing to remember is to just RELAX, and understand well, ummm there are going to be kids at the wedding. Most parents will be diligent about keeping their little tikes in line. You certainly don’t have to provide a daycare or anything for that matter, but I presume if you’re reading this article, you’re probably the kind of gal that wants to figure out some ideas to entertain your little guests.

Below is a list of unique wedding ideas to keep all your little kids entertained at your wedding, so you can enjoy the day with very little interruption.

1. Have a Kid attendant, or several for that matter. This is a perfect job for the teenagers, that would love to be part of your wedding. A lot of teenagers babysit anyway, so they will be used to keeping them occupied. Having a couple, rotating in shifts, will make sure they can also get involved in the more grown up activities.

2. Have a special play room monitored by the Kid attendant. Don’t have a play room area? Then create a special corner for kid activities. One idea, that I think makes this work even better, is to have a couple corners with separate age divisions, with age appropriate activities.

3. “Professional Kid Photographers” – Have groups of kids separated and with Group Leaders, that help them take pictures to capture the wedding day from their viewpoint. Later take these photos and make a special “Wedding from the Kid’s View” scrapbook.

4. Bubbles – Utilize your Kids attendants to have a special bubble line. This could be a special dance or entrance that the kids provide the bubbles. The Kids attendants will have their group of kids to help stay organized.

5. Have a little larger budget for kid activities? Hire a clown or entertainer that keeps the little ones preoccupied in their activity room. Have movies playing, music, and crafts. This also lets mom and dad enjoy the wedding, while the entertainer and the Kids attendants enjoy their own day of fun.

6. I’ll throw this obvious one in here, but have a craft table. This seems to be one that a lot of people gravitate towards. Just keep in mind the activities should be non-mess as possible. Now back to the more unique ideas.

7. And my personal favorite. Have your wedding at a ZOO. The photo opportunities are amazing, and nothing says fun, for the kid in all of us, than a Zoo.

Kids can keep things interesting for sure, and there may be an outburst or two, but you can also count on them providing a tearful memory and plenty of smiles, as you celebrate your special day. So if you’re going to have kids at your wedding, expect the unexpected, do your best to have some options, and let your designated Kid attendants handle the rest.

Scottish Wedding Folklore & Traditions

Traditional Scottish Wedding

The origins of the traditional Scottish wedding:

Scotland always seems to do things in it’s own way and style – and a Scottish wedding is no exception to the rule. In the 21st century, the Scottish wedding is an intricate blend of ancient highland tradition mixed in with modern, streamlined rites. Present day Scottish wedding traditions have their origins as far back as the 13th century. Back then the medieval Celtic church would proclaim the ‘banns of marriage’ for three successive Sundays. This practice of announcing a forthcoming marriage lasted for 600 years – until in the latter years of the 20th century it became standard to ‘give notice of intent’ to a registry office several weeks before the intended event.

Medieval Scottish wedding traditions:

It was normal practice in olden times for an entire village to get involved in the preparations for the ‘big day’. People would line the streets to the church to cheer on the happy couple before they took their vows. In pre-reformation times, there is evidence that two Scottish wedding services would frequently take place. One in which the priest would address the party in Scots dialect and lead a ceremony outside the church. Whilst the more formal Latin mass and nuptial ceremony would take place inside.

The exchange of the rings has always been a main feature in Scottish wedding ceremonies from ancient times . A ring has no beginning and no end and as such symbolises the love within a marriage. The kissing of the bride follows on from this exchange of rings, and often leads to a cheer from the body of the kirk.

Following on from the formal church ceremony, a piper or group of pipers would frequently lead the entire group of guests down the streets, often to a relative’s house, for a non-stop night of celebration, feasting and enjoyment. Local musicians led by pipers would get the dancing started and tradition has it that the first dance, normally a reel, would involve the newly wed couple. Following on from their efforts, the rest of the guests would then dance all the way into the sma’ hours. In this respect, little has changed over 800 years – maybe apart from the dress code and the type of beer on tap.

When the wedding celebrations were over, the married couple would then leave to spend the night in their new home. The ancient tradition of carrying the bride over the doorstep was linked to the superstition that evil spirits inhabit the thresholds of doors. Hence the bride is lifted over the thresholds – and into the wedding bed. In medieval times, a priest would often bless the house and bless the wedding bed at this time. Then for the first time, as man and wife, the newly weds would have some quality time on their own.

Other wedding rituals such as the Highland custom of ‘creeling the bridegroom’, involved the groom carrying a large creel or basket filled with stones from one end of a village to the other. He continued with this arduous task until such times as his bride to be would come out of her house and kiss him. Only if she did, would his friends allow him to escape from the ‘creeling’ otherwise he had to continue until he had completed the circuit of the town.

Modern Scottish Wedding Traditions:

In more modern times, a lot of the superstition and rituals have been replaced by more showpiece proceedings. However, many of today’s traditions still hark back to the past.

The bagpipes can be used to add atmosphere and grandeur to a wedding. The piper, in full Highland dress, stands at the church door and plays as the guests arrive. Later he leads the couple from the church to the car. The piping traditions continue, the married couple are frequently piped to the top table of honour along with the bridal party. With the cutting of the cake, again a piper is often asked to perform and a dirk, ‘sharp highland dagger’, is traditionally handed over by the piper to start the ‘cutting of the cake’. As the bride slices the first piece of cake, custom dictates that her hand is guided by that of her new husband.

The bride’s ‘show of presents’ originates from the tradition of the ‘bridal shower’, where local female villagers would gift items that would help a young couple get started successfully in their own home. Nowadays, this often takes place in the home of the mother of the bride and the gifts have a touch more luxury than those in older times.

A bridegroom’s stag night, likewise has ancient roots. The young man accompanied by his friends takes to the town and downs a fountain of beverages. One tradition has it that in smaller towns the groom to be would be stripped of his clothes and left in the street outside his home – or worse still tied to a lamp post! The good news is that he wouldn’t realise what had happened till the next morning.

The wedding ring, until the late 20th century tended to be for the bride and not the groom. In later decades both bride and groom now wear rings for the most part. The traditional Scottish gold wedding band dates back to the 1500’s. This style of ring is still popular as a wedding ring today – as also are Celtic knot work designed engagement and wedding rings.

Traditions in Scotland Before the Wedding Ceremony:

Often before a Scottish bride is married, her mother holds an open house for a traditional “show of presents.” Invitations are sent to those who gave wedding gifts to the couple and the wedding gifts are unwrapped and set out for viewing. After the show of presents the bride-to-be is often dressed up and her friends escort her through her town, singing and banging pots and pans, heralding the bride’s wedding day. This tradition has evolved into the legendary ‘hen night’.

The groom, meanwhile, is taken out for a stag night on one of the evenings preceding the wedding. The Stag Night is meant to be a celebration of the last night of freedom, and a way of reassuring friends that being married doesn’t mean that they are shut out of your life. The groom, like the bride, is dressed up and taken around town by his friends and work mates. There is often a great deal of harmless practical joking, of which the poor groom is the main target. When the night winds down, the groom is sometimes stripped of his clothes and covered in soot, treacle and feathers and left overnight tied to a tree or post. In some rural areas an open lorry is hired and the groom is paraded through his local area with much noise and celebration.

Traditional Scottish Wedding Dress:

There is little doubt that traditional Scottish outfits add a touch of class and splendour to the wedding day and its associated ceremonies. The use of highland dress and the kilt, jacket, dirk and sporran in Scottish weddings has continued over the centuries. Whilst the bride’s white gown and veil has its roots in more modern times. A Scottish bride will usually wear a traditional white or cream wedding gown. The groom’s party and her father may come to the wedding resplendent in full Highland dress in the traditional clan tartan of their clans. She might wear a horseshoe on her arm for good luck, or a pageboy might deliver one to her as she arrives at the ceremony. Bridesmaids may wear whatever the bride has chosen to match her dress and it may include a little tartan accessory. Bouquets may include tartan ribbons or bows.

A gent’s highland wedding outfit in its entirety consists of the following:

Bonnie Prince Charlie jacket and waistcoat, kilt, tartan flashes to match kilt, white hose, gillie brogues, kilt pin, sgian dubh, black belt with buckle, formal sporran with chain strap, wing collar shirt, black or coloured bow tie, and a piece of lucky heather on the lapel. He also has the option of wearing a fly plaid, which is anchored under the paulette on the shoulder of the jacket and secured by a large plaid brooch, (Cairngorm).

For the bride ‘something old …. something new’ –

For the bride a universal custom is the ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’ – of course the ‘something new’ can be the bride’s dress! The ‘something new’ at the wedding can become the ‘something old’ or ‘something borrowed’ at the next generation’ s weddings. The bride sometimes wears a blue garter (symbolizing love) which plays a part later at the wedding reception. It was also traditional in some areas for the bride to put a small silver coin in her shoe to bring her good luck.

Something old –

A gift from mother to daughter to start her off for married life, and symbolising the passing on a bit of mother’s wisdom.

Something new –

A gift symbolising the new start married life represents.

Something borrowed –

The idea here is that something is borrowed from a happily married couple in the hope that a little of their martial bliss will rub off on the newlyweds.

Something blue –

There are two likely sources for this. Roman women used to border their robes with blue as a sign of modesty, love, and fidelity. Also blue is the colour normally associated with Mary the mother of Jesus who is often used to symbolise steadfast love, purity, and sincerity.

After the wedding ceremony, it is traditional for flowers, petals, or pretty paper confetti to be thrown at the departing couple. In some rural areas the couple throw coins to the children who have gathered outside the church to watch. This is called a “scramble”. This is the reason children make a bee-line for local weddings. As the couple leave the ceremony the groom dips his hands into his pockets (or sporran), and throws all his loose change out on the ground for the children to scramble for.

Another tradition frequently seen during the evening wedding festivities involves the bride throwing her bridal bouquet, usually white roses, over her left shoulder. Her female non-attached bridesmaids and other single women in the bridal party stand in a line behind her. The girl who catches the thrown flower posy is by tradition going to be the next in the group to get married.

Traditional wedding reception festivities can easily last all night and the newly-wed couple lead off the dancing. Before the evening is finished the bride and groom leave as quietly and secretly as they can and go to a pre -arranged destination for their wedding night – often leaving for the honeymoon the next day.

More Scottish Wedding Ideas:

Give a Scottish brooch (called Luckenbooth) as a token of your love or as a betrothal gift. This is usually made of silver and is engraved with two hearts entwined. Some couples pin this on the blanket of their first-born for good luck.

Weddings and receptions are sometime held at a Scottish castle if there is a suitable one nearby. For something simpler and less expensive, the village hall, an outdoor venue or, for an even more traditional option, the ceremony can be in the house. If money is very tight, try arranging a “Penny Wedding,” in which guests are expected to bring their own food and drinks to the church to celebrate after the ceremony is over.

The difference between Scotland and the rest of the U.K. is that, in Scotland, it is the person who is licensed to conduct a marriage service and not the building that is licensed to hold a wedding.

Local Scottish Wedding Traditions:

Wedding customs have changed dramatically over the years. Some parts of weddings seem steeped in tradition whilst you will be glad to hear of some customs which have died out over the years!

In Aberdeenshire even now, the ‘blackening’ is a ritual performed with great relish. The engaged couple are captured one night by so-called ‘friends’ and covered with foul substances such as treacle, feathers, soot, etc. They are then paraded around the village and usually the pubs. It takes days to wash clean!

In the eighteenth century, the custom of hand-fasting was observed. A couple would live together for a year and a day, at which time they could decide whether to part or make a lifelong commitment. It was considered more important for the bride to be experienced and fertile than to be a virgin.

Tradition says sew a hair onto the hem of a wedding dress for luck, or let a drop of blood fall onto an inner seam. The bride must never try on a complicated dress in advance of her wedding day. To facilitate this tradition a small section of the hem is left unsewn by the dressmaker until the last moment.

Lastly, the bride, when she leaves home for the last time as a single girl, should step out of the house with her right foot for luck.

Penny Bridal or Silver Bridal:

These festivities, also known as Penny Weddings, were renowned for feasting, drinking, dancing and fighting and were enjoyed by all except the clergy – who disapproved of such raucous behaviour. Gifts were made to the newly-weds towards the cost of the wedding feast and the celebrations started on the eve of the wedding with singing, toasts and the ceremony of ‘feet washing’, which is described below.

Feet Washing

A tub of water was placed in the best room, in which the bride placed her feet, her female friends then gathered around to help wash them. A wedding ring from a happily married woman was previously placed in the tub and it was believed that whoever found the ring would be the next to get married.

The men folk were outside the door making jokes and attempting to watch through the doorway. The bridegroom was then seized by the women and made to sit at the tub. His legs were none too gently daubed with soot, ashes and cinders – quite a painful procedure as you might guess!

Wedding Procession

The following day, the bridal party made their way to the church with flower petals being thrown in front of the bride. If they encountered a funeral or a pig on the way, it was considered bad luck and they would return home and set out again. The first person they encountered was called the first- foot and would be given a coin and a drink of whisky by the bride. He would then have to accompany the bridal party for one mile before being allowed to continue on his way.

Adopted Scottish Wedding Traditions:

Tying shoes to a car bumper

This tradition represents the symbolism and power of shoes in ancient times. Egyptians would exchange sandals when they exchanged goods, so when the father of the bride gave his daughter to the groom, he would also give the bride’s sandals to show that she now belonged to the groom. In Anglo-Saxon times, the groom would tap the heel of the bride’s shoe to show his authority over her. In later times, people would throw shoes at the couple. Now folks just tie shoes to the couple’s car.

The taking of each other’s right hand

The open right hand is a symbol of strength, resource and purpose. The coming together of both right hands is a symbol that both the bride and the groom can depend on each other and the resources that each brings to the marriage.

Tying the knot

This wonderful expression originated from Roman times when the bride wore a girdle that was tied in knots which the groom had the fun of untying. As a side note, this phrase can also refer to the tying of the knot in hand-fasting ceremonies, which were often performed without the benefit of a clergyman.

Wearing of a veil

Originated with arranged marriages. In these, the groom’s family informed him that he was to marry, but they very rarely let him see the bride. After all, if the groom didn’t like the bride’s looks, he might not agree to the marriage. With this in mind, the father of the bride gave the bride away to the groom who then lifted the veil to see his wife of all eternity for the first time.

Wedding cake

Like most rituals handed down through the ages, a wedding wouldn’t be complete without fertility symbols, like the wedding cake. Ancient Romans would bake a cake made of wheat or barley and break it over the bride’s head as a symbol of her fertility. Over time, it became traditional to stack several cakes on top of one another. The bride and groom would then be charged to kiss over this tower without knocking it over. If they were successful, a lifetime of good fortune was certain for the new couple. Finally, during the reign of King Charles II of England, it became customary for such a cake to be iced with sugar.

Leap year proposals

The right of every woman to propose on 29th February each leap year, goes back many hundreds of years to when the leap year day had no recognition in English law (the day was ‘leapt over’ and ignored, hence the term ‘leap year’). It was considered, therefore, that as the day had no legal status, it was reasonable to assume that traditions also had no status. Consequently, women who were concerned about being ‘left on the shelf’ took advantage of this anomaly and proposed to the man they wished to marry.

It was also thought that since the leap year day corrected the discrepancy between the calendar year of 365 days and the time taken for the Earth to complete one orbit of the sun (365 days and 6 hours), it was an opportunity for women to correct a tradition that was one-sided and unjust.

For those wishing to take advantage of this ancient tradition, you will have to wait until February 29th 2008!

Throwing confetti

Throwing confetti over newly-weds originated from the ancient pagan rite of showering the happy couple with grain to wish upon them a ‘fruitful’ union. Pagans believed that the fertility of the seeds would be transferred to the couple on whom they fell. The throwing of rice has the same symbolic meaning.

The word confetti has the same root as the word confectionery in Italian and was used to describe ‘sweetmeats’ that is, grain and nuts coated in sugar that were thrown over newly-weds for the same pagan reason. In recent years, small pieces of coloured paper have replaced sweetmeats, grain and nuts as an inexpensive substitute, but the use of the word confetti has remained.

Carrying the bride over the threshold

Earlier we looked at the medieval Scottish tradition of carrying the bride over the threshold – to avoid contact with ‘evil spirits’. The Romans similarly believed that it was unlucky if the bride tripped on entering the house for the first time. So they arranged for several members of the bridal party to carry her over the threshold. Nowadays the groom is expected to do the job himself.

Grey Horses

All the best bridal carriages used to be pulled by grey horses and it is still considered good luck to see a grey horse on the way to the church.

Lucky horse shoe

Horseshoes have always been lucky. There is a nice story about the devil asking a blacksmith to shoe his single hoof. When the blacksmith recognised his customer he carried out the job as painfully as possible until the devil roared for mercy. He was released on condition that he would never enter a place where a horseshoe was displayed. A horse shoe carried by the bride is considered a symbol of fertility.

Wedding Bells

A peal of bells as the bridal couple leave the church is one of the oldest traditions. Before the days of widespread literacy and newspapers this was how the local people knew a wedding had taken place. The sound of bells was also said to drive away evil spirits.

Lucky Chimney Sweep

Brides still consider it fortunate if they pass a chimney-sweep on the way to the wedding as the old fashioned soot-covered sweep had magical associations with the family and hearth – the heart of the home.

Lastly, Don’t look in the mirror!

It is bad luck for the bride to look in the mirror wearing her complete outfit before her wedding day – old beliefs say that part of yourself goes into the reflection and therefore, the bride would not be giving all of herself to her new husband.

Scottish wedding traditions are memorable – and have influenced wedding day rites worldwide.