How to Survive Hay Fever on your Wedding Day
When saying you're, “I do’s” and walking down the aisle on your wedding day the last thing you want to worry about is runny noses or itchy eyes. If you suffer from allergies, not to fear! We asked wedding florist, Rebecca Gibson of Boutique Blooms her top tips and tricks for combating Hay Fever on your special day! Check out her advice below!
You are not alone – it’s estimated that some 14 million people around the world also suffer the same runny, watery, itchy, scratchy, pressurized existence that hay fever sufferers do in autumn and spring; the peak allergy seasons! If you’re one of those people and are planning your wedding, be it set for any time of the year, the following are some tips to minimize the possibility of your nose and eyes interfering with your “I do’s” and fabulous make up.
I’m sure your well aware that your biggest allergy trigger will come from your wedding flowers. It’s not the fragrance of a flower that makes you sneeze but rather the pollen. Large, brightly colored flowers such as roses, daffodils or daisies have large pollens that are too heavy to be airborne and therefore, less likely to cause allergies. Here are a few wedding flowers that you can use for your wedding that have very low pollen. Other low pollen flowers that would be suitable for bridal bouquets, buttonholes and other floral arrangements, include:
Spray Roses – Tiny roses with approximately 5 tiny heads on each stem. They grow in a huge variety of different colors and have a light fragrance.
Hydrangeas - The pom-pom-like blooms of the hydrangea will have any allergy sufferer cheering on Spring, comes in pink’s, white, red, blue, green and purples color.
Camellias – A pollen free flower that has a very light fragrance and grows naturally in shades of white, red, or pink.
Orchids – A beautifully radiant and durably versatile flower that grows in over 25,000 species; surprisingly all of which are edible.
Irises - The dramatic iris sticks out in a bouquet and won't leave allergy sufferers reaching for the tissues. These also come in a lovely white variety.
Tulips - Pretty tulips traditionally signify Spring has sprung, but they are available throughout the year - there is nothing ordinary about the wide range of color choices available.
Snapdragons - The barely fragrant snapdragon is a good choice for allergy-prone flower lovers.
Hyacinths - The bulbous hyacinth adds a punch of color, without the itchy, watery eyes
Roses - Even a baker's dozen of this allergy-friendly favorite will still have low levels of pollen. Roses come in an unimaginable array of colours and there is over 150 known verities!
Daffodils - A bouquet of yellow daffodils is the perfect way for an allergy sufferer to welcome Spring.
Yet, anticipate all potential allergy triggers, couples should think “beyond the bouquet”. If the wedding or reception is to be held outdoors, I’d suggest that the lawn be mowed two to three days ahead of time by a really good mower with an even better grass catcher. Other nasal symptoms can be caused by everyday non-allergic triggers in the environment — such as hairspray (speak to your hairdresser in advance), smoke, perfume, strong odors. This doesn’t mean that couples should avoid topping off their look with a good scent, but you may want to test it in advance, especially if it’s a new scent and you aren’t sure how you’ll react to it.
When it comes to allergies and weddings the best plans don’t always account for and stand up to mother nature, you’ll want to make sure that your wedding emergency kit includes moisturized tissues and a no-dose allergy medication just in case all precautionary measures fail. Drink plenty of water to keep the toxins, uh, “flowing.” Rinse and repeat.
Finding the Perfect DJ
You’ve found the perfect person, now it’s time to pick the perfect DJ. It’s no secret that the music at a wedding set the overall tone and vibe of the night so getting it right is vitally important.
A man who understands this better than anyone is none other than our resident alternative Disc Jockey Nicky Coghlan! He gives us his top tips for picking the right sound to make sure your guest will be on the dance floor all night long...
The first time I ever saw someone DJ was at my Aunt’s wedding. I was nine, obsessed with my dad’s old 7inch records and I was immediately transfixed. I know now in retrospect that he pulled every trick he could out of the bag. Rock the Boat, Limbo Dancing, a conga line, every hackneyed old chestnut you’ve ever seen done at a wedding, he did it. Had it been released, I’m sure he’d have played Maniac 2000!
The modern wedding
So, I know where my interest in Djing started. But I know that I’ve come a long way from that first experience, and I’d like to think others have too. For years I avoided Djing for Weddings, focusing instead on pubs and clubs where it’s accepted that you be esoteric and even a bit challenging in terms of what you play. Wedding’s seemed the antithesis of creative playing out. But then I did one wedding and everything clicked. I realised that the couples now getting married are people who met on dance floors, at festivals, in school. That the soundtrack to their teens and twenties was the music I love to play. The indie disco, mash up mentality was one they remember fondly and want to recapture for their big day. And I realised I enjoyed the opportunity to make them happy.
The pressure to be unique
Wedding’s take months if not years to plan, all to happen over the course of a single day. The focus on making that day right is immense for every couple. And one of the key things they want is for their day to feel unique and representative of who they are. And if you want your wedding to stand out and be memorable for you and your people, Music is an essential part. All the Wedding’s I’ve done have been DJ only, rather than a follow up to the band. I’m happy to follow but having a DJ all night gives me the time to really move the party through different stages. I meet every couple for a few hours months in advance of the Wedding so as they feel reassured that I get them and the kind of day they want. There’s no point getting a DJ if all you want is a set of 100 songs all played in order. You’re way better just having a playlist if that’s what you want.
Selecting a DJ for an Alternative Wedding
When you’re choosing a DJ, the first thing is to listen to their mixes online. This way you get a sense of how they mix and blend music. Mine are here. Ask yourself, do I want a DJ who is great at playing Hip Hop or Trap or Pop because I love it, or do I need someone who understands the wide swathe of ages that will be at the party? I never put up Wedding Mixes as these are all tailored to the couples.
Joining the dots
My approach is to ask for about 10 or 15 songs that give me an indication of the kinds of music you like. I see these as points on a map and it’s my job to fit them in to what I do, join the dots; marrying my style of mixing with these songs and those I think will work in a way that is sympathetic, but way more than that, as entertaining as possible! I want your wedding to feel like the best Party you’ve ever been to! I want people to talk about how they wanted to sit but couldn’t as the next song compelled them to keep dancing. One of my favourite Wedding moments was seeing the 72 year old, American father of the bride losing his nut to 'Hey Boy Hey Girl' by the Chemical Brothers. Afterwards, he came up to thank me for helping him way surpass his steps for the day!
Making your day musically yours
There is no one type of alternative wedding. After all, that would be a total contradiction. I think a wedding should be the couple putting their best feet forward in front of those they love. If they have parents and friends who love Disco, great, I’ll fit it in. But if the couple love Indie, Dance or Soul and want this at the fore I’ll make sure that the blend is perfect. I’ll imbue it with my style, but ensure that the familiar engages far more than the obvious wedding standards might annoy. So, I’m the alternative to the Obvious!
If you’re concerned a DJ won’t work, listen to their mixes and see if they work for you on a normal day. If they do, get in touch and ask for suggestions of mixes that might work for them. Then meet. I find the meeting is the best chance for you to get to know each other. It may seem like bad business but I have dissuaded several couples from using me for their wedding at the early stages (before meeting) because I didn’t think what I do would work. I can make any crowd
move and I want to feel challenged, but the last thing anyone wants is for their day to feel like a struggle. As a result, the weddings I’ve done have usually worked perfectly for all involved. I get the gear in early, I prepare thoroughly for every wedding and I ensure that, having met you, the music that ends your day will be the best combination of songs you could ever imagine. From Aphex Twin to Arcade Fire, from Donna Summer to LCD Soundsystem, the set should be as genre spanning and representative of your life and relationship as is possible. And so far, I’ve made it work!
The First Time Bridesmaids Guide to Hosting a Fabulous Hen Party
Planning a hen party can be a daunting task. Between deciding on staying local or traveling away, picking the perfect theme, making sure everyone is getting along and most importantly…. keeping the bride happy - a lot of first timers simply don’t know where to begin. Well, the lovely ladies from The Elbowroom Escape have got you covered and have listed their top tips that will bring you from baffled bridesmaid to hostess with the mostess!
We at Elbowroom Escapes have seen many hen party gatherings and worked with many wonderful bridesmaids. We know planning and budgeting for this special weekend can be time consuming and at times a little hot under the collar …. that's why we have many options and packages to help you plan the best alternative hen weekend. We always, always suggest to keep it simple and easy with these top tips. For the bridesmaid that has no clue and it’s your first time, we share with you some advice.
1. Be a Budget Qween
After you’ve agreed on an initial budget and pricing for the group, make sure to keep an eye on all the last minute costs leading up to the hen. It’s so easy to get excited and carried away. Try to avoid overspending when adding in the pretty details. Be a budget qween, know your costs!
2. Don’t Over Plan
While it’s important to have a plan in place, don’t forget that your guests are adults and don’t have to be entertained every minute of the day with back to back activities. Remember to leave a little room in the day plan for some chill time.
3. The wheels on the bus
Transport! Make sure you think about your feet. It’s a long day in heels. We suggest organising transport from destination to destination in advance. Include this in the original costs to avoid last minute changes. “ I only have card, ” headaches can be avoided with good planning!
4. We are Family
Most brides have at least 2-3 bridesmaids, so divide and conquer. Work as a team on the day or weekend so that everyone has a role to play.
5. Pre Hen Nerves
We don’t know if it just us, but sometimes hens can be daunting. To get everyone comfortable, we suggest an ice breaker. Greet guests with a funny name badge, or theme the party so everyone has to dress up or bring along a funny prop. It’s all just pure giddy fun, but you will be surprised how quickly this will bond your group together.
6. Last but no least - HAVE FUN!!!
Yes, we know you will be in the midst of planning and ensuring all is going swimmingly well. Which it will. So, don't forget to have fun! Your bride wants to laugh with you. Remember, don’t sweat the details. With good planning and a solid team around you, you should all be relaxing and having fun. Making memories is the best part of any hen!
Destination Weddings FAQ'S
Destination Weddings are a sure fire way of ensuring you have the day YOU want. However, a wedding abroad can be an overwhelming amount of hard work and it takes some serious planning to pull off the perfect day in another country. Destination wedding guru Planned By Tara, takes her experience of planning weddings in Malta and tackles the most frequently asked questions she receives about destination weddings. In the process she explains how it can actually be easier than you might expect!
How much will a destination wedding cost me?
This is the number one query that I receive in my inbox. I suggest that couples take the same approach for destination weddings as they would if planning a wedding at home. Couples should identify the maximum amount they are prepared to spend on their big day and align their budget with their expectations.
Thankfully, the wedding industry in Malta is booming at the moment, with a huge range of suppliers available to meet every budget. This flexibility in the market ensures that I have plenty of options at various price points to offer my clients. It is my job as a wedding planner to ensure that I source the best quality venues and suppliers and to deliver every wedding on budget. Budget management is one of the tools that I offer to all my full planning clients, so there are never any surprises.
How to communicate the benefits of a destination wedding to family and friends?
From time to time, clients come to me feeling stressed and guilty regarding the potential additional costs that they may be imposing on their wedding guests. Speaking from experience, as a former Malta destination bride and as a wedding planner, it is not very often that any of us can say that we spent a week on holidays with our closest family and friends. The overall wedding process changes from a stressful one-day event to a relaxed, enjoyable, and stress free experience for your guests. Realistically, not everyone on your guest list will be in a position to attend your big day; this is an unfortunate consequence of planning a wedding abroad, but trust me when I say that your focus on the day will be the enjoying the atmosphere with those in attendance.
Benefits of working with an Irish wedding planner for your overseas wedding
One of the things that my clients say gives them a more personalised, honest, and trusting experience is the option to have regular phone calls and face-to-face meetings. If my clients are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, then we will chat. I am only a phone call or a coffee break away. I am a former Malta bride, so I bring my first hand experience to the planning process. Most of my clients have a clear vision of their wedding day, however, as their lives become busier, they have little time remaining to plan the wedding of their dreams.
With approximately 200 hours spent on planning a wedding, I save my clients time and unnecessary stress. I have expert and in-depth knowledge of the various suppliers in Malta. Most importantly, I know which ones are reputable and dependable and which ones to avoid. I don't work on commission schemes. All suppliers are only selected to meet my clients needs.
How to decide on the perfect venue and some things to consider!
When looking into venue options it is essential to ask yourself—does the venue align with your vision for the day? Does the scale of the venue align with guest numbers? I always stress the importance of performing a venue viewing visit; this is so important as the venue pictures that we see online are perfectly designed for the purpose of selling to potential customers.
I honestly believe that you have to be present in a venue to understand if it really captures your hearts desires. The right venue should give you an unexplainable and unshakeable feeling that guarantees that it is the one. Other things to consider when planning your big day are noise and venue restrictions. Many Maltese venues are built up in residential areas and require outdoor music to be lowered or turned off by 11pm. Many venues also offer zero flexibility on your choice of caterers. So ensure that you are happy with the services of these other vendors prior to committing to your venue. Additionally, there may be 3000 hours of sunshine per year in Malta, but there is still the chance of rain. You should make sure that your outdoor wedding venue has an indoor back-up.
Top tips for couples planning a destination wedding
When deciding whether or not a wedding abroad is the right choice for your wedding party ask yourself: “Who do you really want to attend my wedding?” and “Are there critical guests that may not be able to attend?” Also, it is important to set a realistic wedding budget so there are no surprises later in the planning process which can contribute to stress. When budgeting, consider all of the extra items which you will need such as flights, accommodations, and guest transport.
Most importantly, don’t forget to consider your guests’ experience! They are making a big effort to attend your wedding abroad. Think about what events or activities you can include to make them feel extra special. Once you consider these factors you should be able to determine whether or not planning a destination wedding with a wedding planner is a good fit for you!
Our Top 5 Song Picks for First Dances
Picking the perfect song for your first dance is no easy task. While many couples want their first dance to be memorable, it can be a real struggle to find a unique song that sets them apart from the masses. The guys from The Hitmen Trio have come up with some brilliant suggestions for quirky song selections to help you glide onto the dance floor to a tune that represents who you are as a couple and that hasn’t been played a million times before….
1. You got it - Roy Orbsion
'Anything you want, You got it...' when one couple have found love, they have ‘got it' in abundance. We played this in June in mount Druid outside, and it was beautiful. The guests just love to along sing the refrain!
2. Fleetwood Mac - Everywhere
What a great band and a great song! We have noticed this song is definitely having a resurgence at weddings—having it as a first dance is a nice touch. Everywhere is a sure favourite during the DJ set too!
3. Queens of the stone age - I wanna make it wit chu
For a fairly raunchy groovy choice of first dance, this ticks all the boxes and gets the crowd into the party atmosphere straight away. The chorus is infectious and it’s a definite statement song, and real departure from the traditional waltz!
4. Talking heads - This must be place
A wonderful tune and groove from a fantastic band, whose Arthouse music really stands the test of time. This song is gentle and groovy enough for a first dance. We recall playing it for a boutique wedding couple in Fallon & Byrne, Dublin and we are itching to play it again!
5. Thinking out Loud In Irish (as Gaeilge)
Here's a recent one! We were delighted to perform this song for a couple in Kippure Estate who love 'a cúpla focal' and speak 'as Gaeilge' as much as they can and wanted to reflect that in their first dance. What a great idea!
You can find out more from The Hitmen Trio on www.thehitmentrio.com
Looking for a photographer for your big day and not sure where to start or who to go with? Or have you booked your photographer but don't know what to ask him/her to make sure you get the kind of photos you'll always treasure? We asked experienced wedding photographer Tanya Cullen of Bronte Photography to give us an insight into the kind of things couples should look out for and important questions to ask your photographer before your wedding day. Check out her advice below!
The importance of style
Every photographer has a flair, and style of photography they use. So how do you decide which photographer to go with?
The most important thing is to always go with a wedding photographer whose style you love. To make sure that you're happy with your decision, ask to see their albums and look at their previous work. It is also a good idea to look at the kind of layouts, paper and cover they'll use and their overall presentation. This means there'll be no misunderstandings or surprises when you receive your wedding photographs in the posts after your big day.
How to choose the style that suits you
There are many different styles of photography from traditional photography, documentary style and candid photography. So what do these titles actually mean and which one is for you?
Traditional photography is portrait oriented and involves the photographer approaching the wedding party and guests before taking pictures to ask them to "look here" and "smile please". The main focus of traditional photography is on posed portraits and not on candid shots. If you hire a traditional photographer you can expect them to take great group portrait shots but don't expect them to take off the cuff ones also.
Documentary photography, or wedding photojournalism, is a less formal type of photography where the photographer aims to capture the story of your day in more candid, natural style shots. Most documentary photographers will take the bride and groom for some shots on their own and may direct a little to get the best shots, but they will go back to shooting more naturally after this. If you have an extensive list of line up shots you want your photographer to take, this is probably not the style of photography for you, as a documentary photographer's main aim is to capture your day naturally as it unfolds.
Candid photography is very similar to documentary photography in that it aims to capture natural photographs, unposed and in the moment. Like documentary photography, the candid photographer will aim to minimize people's awareness of his/her presence in order to capture genuine expressions, feelings and moments. The only real difference between this and documentary photography is that documentary style aims to tell a story with each picture taken rather than just capturing the moment as in candid photography.
If hiring either a candid or documentary photography, try not to look at the camera at all. While it's a natural response to do so, try to ignore the photographers presence and trust them to capture the special moments of your day as they happen.
Choosing a videographer
Try to hire a videographer with a similar style to your photographer so that they can work together in harmony. If you hire a natural photographer who wants the day to keep flowing, and a traditional videographer who wants to stop the flow to stage shots, they will have to work with you and the bridal party separately all day which will eat into your precious time. Your photographer may be able to recommend a videographer that they work well with but if not, once the two have the same focus for your big day, it will all flow together nicely.
The importance of planning
Whether you go with a traditional or more candid style photographer, it's important to give them a timeline plan of what will happen and the order of events on your big day. Make sure in this plan to include any surprise moments you have for your guests, or for each other! Your photographer will need to know in advance to be on hand and ready to capture these moments as they happen. It is also a good idea to give your photographer a list of your family and their names and how they are related and what line up family shots you would like them to capture.
Important questions to ask your photographer
Bronté is a boutique wedding and lifestyle photography studio located in the heart of Ireland. With a reputation for true custom service and passionate creativity at Bronté Wedding Photography, Tanya Cullen believes that the most important story ever told is yours and she likes to capture each individual couple's personal story through artistic and natural photography. We are delighted to welcome Tanya back as an exhibitor at WedFest 2018. And if you found her advice useful or would learn to learn more from Tanya and her years of experience in wedding photography, why not check out her website at http://brontephotography.blogspot.ie/ , or pop by her stand at WedFest 2018!