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Sunday, 24 March 2013

Avoiding the Stress of Engagement Announcement

I never thought that announcing an engagement could be such a burden to the engaged couple until my cousin told us she was soon marrying her long-time boyfriend.

To cut a long story short, confusion and hurt feelings were going around the family when some of us felt left out of the engagement announcement. An aunt later on was even asking why a neighbour got a formal wedding invite before she did.
After helping my cousin get through all the necessary explanations to pacify family members, I learned some things about traditions and other essentials about breaking the engagement news to the people around you.

And here are some ideas that will help you minimise the headaches that go with an engagement announcement.

Your Priority List

It doesn’t matter to whom you’re close to. It also doesn’t matter if it’s already the 21st century. It’s still best to follow the traditional hierarchy to whom you should break the news that you’re starting your own family soon. This isn’t just to avoid hurting the feelings of someone, but more importantly, putting a good foundation for your coming marriage.

·         Parents - A face-to-face conversation with the parents of the bride should come first. If you can’t make a personal visit (e. g., they’re across the globe from where you are), use the next best medium of communication – a video or a phone call. Next would be the groom’s parents. Even if you’re not close to your parents, make sure you put them first on your list before your friends.

·         Other members of the family – Your grandparents should come first, then your siblings. Relatives with whom you have a certain bond should come next.

·         Friends

If the bride-to-be or the groom-to-be already has a child, the child has to be told first before everyone else, including the couple’s parents.

Spreading the News
Personal announcements should always be the first option. Only when it’s impossible to do a face-to-face meeting should you resort to your mobile network and the Internet. Use modern technology in announcing your engagement, but do it wisely and with tact.

Mailed announcements and save-the-date cards – These are very formal announcements, which are very rarely done these days. Online announcements are preferred over these traditional media mainly to cut down on costs. Also, sending by post is much slower than e-mail and other online message services. But if you want to be consistent with the formality of your engagement and wedding, go ahead and send announcements through mail. If you do, however, remember that the recipient will expect that you’ll be sending a formal wedding invitation by mail, too.

Facebook posts and personalised wedding sites – If you’ll be posting on Facebook, your own website or other spots on the Internet, make sure all the details there are already known to your family, friends and others who are close to you.

You should announce your wedding details on pages that can be accessed only by people you’re inviting to your wedding. Otherwise, everyone might expect you’ll be inviting them.

Consideration given to family members is important regardless of the size of your clan. It also doesn’t matter if they’re just around the corner or living in different parts of the world. Keep in touch with everyone, at least until your wedding. It may take extra effort on your part, but it’s an effective way to minimise all the unwanted stress.  

About the author
Sofia Angeli is a PR & communications consultant for companies in various industries. In particular, she brings her writing skills and passion for travel, culture, arts and lifestyle, including wedding planning and engagement rings, to the online world. 

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Saturday, 23 March 2013

Symbolize your Wedding for Eternity

Black Pearl Weddings have noticed the increasing trend in marriage themed body-art. In particular, wedding ring tattoos. To explore this, we thought it a great time to interview one of the newest, most stylish tattoo parlours to have opened in North London.

 Ying & Yang Body Art owner Marty B, has told us a little about the trend and his studio.

Please tell us a bit about your business

We are the newest fully licensed and insured tattoo studio in Whetstone, Barnet, N20.

Run by myself Marty B and co-owner Dave W, we have almost 40 years of tattooing experience behind us, and we offer a wide range of tattoo styles, body piercing and jewellery.

Our studio is modern and comfortable, so our can clients feel relaxed, and as many people have never been tattooed before, we understand the important of a great atmosphere.

What type of services do you offer? 
A full range of tattoos and piercings
Initially we give every client a free consultation on where, how and what to expect through the whole tattoo experience and take great pride in our aftercare advice and support.

How does this translate into the Wedding Industry and which type of tattoos appeal to the modern bride and groom?

There has been a noticeable increase in couples choosing wedding tattoos to symbolize their devotion, and one classic example is the date of their wedding tattooed on their ring finger, perfect for the more forgetful of us, it stands as a lifelong reminder of their anniversary date so no more trips to the dog house for some of us men!

The most popular wedding tattoo area is by far the ring finger; choices vary from initials, dates, symbols or even a band. These appeal to skilled workers in manual work, such as builders, engineers etc. as the ring won’t be caught on anything or cause injury. Another bonus is that it can’t be removed and they are more cost-effective than an actual ring; and as we know, budgets are tighter at the moment. This style is also favoured by a number of high profile celebrities, one of whom is none other than BeyoncĂ©.

What would you advise a bride and groom on tattoos?

We’d advise the happy couple to consider very carefully the size and design of the tattoo, as if to big or funky others might simply observe it as a hand tattoo instead appreciating the significance and commitment to their partner.

Do you have and ideas on unique tattoos a bride and groom can have?

Every wedding tattoo we do is unique, and individual intertwined hearts, dates, initials and simple band designs, are never the same as they are etched on free hand, and no two hands are the same.

All images are courtesy of Marty B at Ying & Yang Body Art.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

If the world is your Oyster, then why not embrace Black Pearl Weddings of London

Last summer, London proved itself to the world. It played host to the greatest show on earth, and did so magnificently. World-wide cultures collaborated to create one of the most memorable events in recent history.

The recent Royal wedding of Prince William and Kate again highlighted the awe inspiring capability of this majestic city to host events so spectacular that the rest of the world are compelled to pay attention to how it’s done. With such a rich and splendid tapestry of sovereignty and Monarchy admired the world over, nowhere else can so easily offer that touch of class.

But these are only two reasons to select London as your destination for that special day. London has spectacular skylines, combining both cutting edge designs such as the illustrious Gherkin building, and traditional architecture to create an entirely unique and beautiful ambience. The river Thames has gorgeous cruises for all occasions, whether a raucous party or a romantic drink and bite to eat is what you want.

In terms of a range of venues, anyone planning a wedding away from home would struggle to find a location with a greater variety, both for the ceremony and the reception. There are classical country houses with extensive gardens, breathtaking churches and cathedrals, historic buildings and great halls, regal parks, and even castles close to the city. London boasts restaurants that serve only gourmet cuisine from world renowned chefs such as Jamie Oliver, Heston Blumenthal, Gordon Ramsey or Aldo Zilli; Ice Bars and nightlife to dance the night away in the inimitable Mayfair and Knightsbridge, trendy Covent Garden and Piccadilly Circus, or classic Richmond; and music venues that acts from around the world feel proud to have played in, leaving an unrivalled musical scene.

The photo opportunities are endless, with choices including Big Ben, the London Eye, The Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, the River Thames, and the Tower of London, with the distinguished royal guards; London has many award winning photographers to hand sought after by an elite clientele.

The history and culture of this city is unquestionable, as the Capital of the UK is home to around 9 million people from all backgrounds, and is still distinctly influenced by the foundations set by the Romans of ancient times. With so much choice, London is definitely somewhere to explore and plan your event very carefully.  Whether you want a traditional wedding, one to incorporate a theme, a regal feel to your occasion, or even an intimate day, London will not struggle to meet your needs.

As events of any style can be tailored in London, it is important to realize that there has never been a better time to get married in style, here in our spectacular city. London has welcomed every culture from around the globe into its warm glow, and is one of the most easily accessible place on earth now, with 9 airports and access from virtually any location.

While it may seem daunting to consider where to begin, it’s crucial to mention that London is home to Black Pearl Weddings of London, a superior boutique wedding planning and consultancy service, specializing in planning weddings in the UK, for clients the world over. For further information on this, take a look at

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Spa Hotels In London

Important Things To Ask Your Wedding Venue

Being one of the most important details of your wedding day, your wedding venue is what you will also probably spend quite a chunk of your wedding budget on. Knowing what you should ask and what to expect from your venue will ensure your wedding day is everything you have hoped for. While hotels are still the most popular choice as wedding venues, more wedding couples are looking for unusual venues. More planning and organising can sometimes be needed if decide not to choose the traditional hotel, but it will all be worth it when your big day turns out to be a major success!

Some things you should ask your wedding venue before making a final decision:

Do they have a wedding coordinator? Will she/he be there on the wedding day?
Many venues have their own wedding coordinator or events planner that will be your go to person in the planning process and run up to the wedding. You should ask for a list of his/her responsibilities and confirmation that they will be there on the day before you sign any contract. If your ideal venue doesn’t have their own coordinator, don’t panic! Perhaps consider hiring a wedding planner even just for the wedding day, you won’t have to worry about things running smoothly as the planner will take care of any loose ends.

Will there be a hosted bar, a cash bar, or a combo?

This is something that you and your groom should decide on depending on your wedding budget . For example maybe the first round will be free and then everyone pays for their own drinks. Make definite arrangements about this with your venue before the day to avoid any confusion.

What’s the corkage fee if I bring my own wine?
Bringing your own wine could save quite a bit on your budget! Wedding venues charge a fee usually between €10 - €20, but don’t be afraid to haggle and strike a deal depending on how many bottles you are planning to bring!

At what time will my guests have to leave the venue?
Have the time the reception will have to end written on the contract, this will allow you to plan the day more easily. Some venues will charge extra for a bar extension, while this will be included in others. Make sure this is clearly stated.

Are there any additional costs?
Are there any unexpected charges that you may have to pay for? Are you expected to pay for security, cleaning fees, insurance? Make sure everything is stated in writing so hidden charges cannot appear later on..

How early can I get into the site to set up?
If you are choosing an alternative wedding venue such as a museum, theater or stadium this is something you will need to find out. They might not be able to allow you to set up until after their public opening hours. Will this give you enough time to put the preparations and final touches into place?

How many weddings will be booked on the day?
While most wedding venues pride themselves on only booking one wedding per day to ensure you have their utmost attention, some larger venues have multiple function rooms and may book more than one wedding or event. This is something you must ensure to ask, you don’t want another bride stealing some of your limelight!

This guest blog post was written by Levi Moriarty, Online Editor at, the wedding venue website which allows you to search for wedding availability by date.

Why not check out some of the fabulous wedding venues in our mood board above? (starting top left clockwise)

Best Western Stoke On Trent
Best Western Scores Hotel

Friday, 15 March 2013

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