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    Planning Your Perfect Wedding without the Sky High Prices

    Sometimes the thought of all the expense associated with a wedding can be overwhelming. The engagement party, the new outfits and the cake can be extortionately expensive? Tying the knot has become an expensive business, but there are ways to cut the costs of your big day. Today we are showing you our guide on planning your perfect wedding without the sky high prices. Our guide will help you to save money and ensure you have the best day of your life.

    Planning your perfect wedding without the sky high price

    Say Yes to the (High St) Dress

    Can’t afford to blow the whole budget on a dress? Why not look at the high street for outfit options? Thanks to fashionable (and expensive looking labels) Self-Portrait, Free People, Asos and Needle & Thread, designers are being given a run for their money. If you are still determined to go designer – look out for once-worn Vera Wang and Amanda Wakeley gowns on  preloved.co.uk.

    Planning your perfect wedding without the sky high price vera wang gown

    Boys club

    Why should the girls have all the fun? Gents can also treat themselves to a whole new look without having to break the bank. Gant offer everything grooms could possible need on their big day – from classic suits to shirts in every colour.

    Planning your perfect wedding without the sky high price gant shirt Read more

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    Wedding Jewellery A Brief History of Wedding Bands

    So we have just had a post about choosing an engagement ring but what about wedding rings? Where did the tradition to exchange rings come from? What does it mean? How does it differ in different times and cultures? Today we are sharing a brief history of wedding bands, so some of these questions can be answered.

    Wedding rings are one of the most important and most universal parts of a marriage ceremony. This has been true across history as well. Marriage has changed a lot over the years, but wedding rings have been prominent for a long, long time.

    Wedding Jewellery A Brief History of Wedding Bands

    Ancient Times

    Some of the earliest known evidence for wedding rings comes from as long as 3,000 years ago. At this time, historians believe that the Ancient Egyptians were making wedding rings from materials such as reeds, help, and papyrus. These soon gave way to more durable materials such as bone and ivory. Later precious metals became common. At the same time, other ancient civilisations such as the Romans also started to adopt wedding rings.

    Wedding Jewellery A Brief History of Wedding Bands gold matching wedding rings Preview Changes

    Even as long ago as this, much of the symbolism associated with wedding rings would be recognisable to us today. The shape of the ring represented a love with no beginning and end, symbolising eternity. The hole was also seen as a symbol; a gateway into the couple’s new life of marriage.

    Through History

    Wedding rings have endured pretty consistently down the ages. In all the centuries between the Ancient Egyptians and the modern age, there have been relatively few major changes. Some times and places have given birth to their own little twists on the tradition. For example, in many parts of sixteenth century Europe, husbands-to-be would give their fiancees a “Gimmel” ring – two gold rings that interlocked. This would be both engagement and wedding rings; the couple would wear one ring each until they were married, after which the wife would wear both together.

    Wedding Jewellery A Brief History of Wedding Bands gimmel ring

    Another reasonably major change happened during the renaissance. This was when it became particularly fashionable to wear rings with an inscription, either a line of poetry or some declaration of love. Such rings had existed before, but the renaissance was when they caught on in a way that sees them remain popular to this day.

    The Modern Age

    For a long time, wedding rings had been traditionally a plain band, or else a band with nothing more than an inscription. It was in the Victorian era that more ornate wedding rings with jewels and more elaborate shapes started to become popular. This trend continued into the twentieth century during the Art Deco period. This is an approach that has now come into fashion again, and wedding rings that are actually from these periods or simply made in the same style are becoming sought-after.

    Wedding Jewellery A Brief History of Wedding Bands diamond wedding band

    Another big change came in the 1940s. Traditionally, it had usually been only the woman who had worn a wedding ring. In the ’40s, however, the male wedding ring started to become popular and rapidly went from a novel idea to something that was (and still is) more or less the norm. Considering that one interpretation of the wedding ring had been a symbol of ownership, the change to both halves of the relationship wearing a ring instead of just the bride was perhaps a reflection of more enlightened times!

    Wedding Jewellery A Brief History of Wedding Bands rings on a tray

    Author Bio
    Jollys Jewellers are a family run jewellery business, established since the 1830s.

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    Wedding Fashion Bridesmaid Dresses for a Winter Wedding

    If you are planning a winter wedding and are looking for ideas for bridesmaid dresses, you are in the right place. This year, there is plenty of choice of bridesmaid dresses for a winter wedding, which makes it far easier to find exactly what you are looking for. The trend for people to get married all year round, rather than just in the summer months, means that designers are focusing more on producing autumn and winter bridesmaid dresses, than they did in the past.

    Bridesmaid Dresses for a Winter Wedding

    Full-length dresses

    Maxi dresses look good on practically any figure, so they are a great option. The fact that they are full length helps too. If you get married in the winter, it can be cold, so longer dresses make a lot of sense, with the added benefit that they are also very glamorous.

    Bridesmaid Dresses for a Winter Wedding long bridesmaid dresses

    Image by McAvoy Photography

    Right now, there are plenty available in the shops. With the party season coming up the shops are filling up with long party dresses, some of which can be adapted slightly and used for your bridesmaids. If you are on a tight budget, they are an especially good option because you can easily pick out a nice one for under £100, sometimes under £50.

    Mid length

    However, not everyone likes a full-length dress. Some women feel self-conscious wearing something like that. In that situation, it is best to opt for a mid length dress instead. There are some lovely full-skirted examples available, which are special enough for a bridesmaid to wear.

    Bridesmaid Dresses for a Winter Wedding full skirt mid length

    Lightweight dresses

    The only issue is that many of the dresses that are available now are made from lightweight materials, which is not ideal in the cold weather. As a result, you are going to have to find a way to keep your bridesmaids warm enough. The last thing you want is for them to look blue with cold, in the wedding photos.

    Fortunately, there are some beautiful shawls and pashminas available, in the shops, this year. They come in a huge range of tones and colours, so it is easy to find one that works. Read more

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    Wedding Jewellery – 4 Reasons to Shop at Auction

    If you’re a novice to the auction scene, you’re probably wondering why you should make the detour from the high-street and log-in to a reputable online jewellery auction house. After all, surely you have everything you need right in front of you already on the retail market? The answer to this may surprise you. Here are four reasons to forgo the retail market and find your treasures at a Jewellery Auction.

    Wedding Jewellery - 4 Reasons to Shop at Auction

    Wedding Jewellery – 4 Reasons to Shop at Auction

    1. You can get more for your money

    Auctions are a great place to treat yourself or a loved one to a beautiful, timeless, genuine treasure without having to foot a hefty designer price tag. The jewellery sold at auction is usually fares much better than the jewellery sold on the high-street and like-for-like price comparisons, primarily due to the fact that auctions don’t have the same overheads as high-street jewellers. As such, the stones captured in pieces sold at auction tend to be considerably larger than those offered in similar priced pieces in retail shops.

    Wedding Jewellery - 5 Reasons to Shop at Auction vintage ruby engagement ring

    To increase your chances of grabbing a bargain at auction, read up on your stuff before you start to bid. Know what you’re looking for and what prices you ought to expect. It’s a good idea to inspect the pieces you’re interested in prior to bidding, but this isn’t possible with online auction houses; instead, look at the photographs available and request clearer pictures if necessary.

    1. What could be more romantic?

    Auction houses are becoming the ideal place to find beautiful engagement rings. Part of the allure of the auction is the fact that each piece on sale has a deep and real history ingrained within it. Antique jewellery pieces are more than 100 years old, and have accrued more than their fair share of character, romance, and history.

    Wedding Jewellery - 5 Reasons to Shop at Auction 1920s bride

    Image by McAvoy Photography

    1. You get more choice

    Although you can’t knock the average high-street jeweller for its style, sophistication and choice, everything on offer tends to be similar in taste in line with current fashions and trends. At auction, every piece is different, and has a different edge and flair depending on where and when it was made. Gems and designs featured may be rare and no longer readily available on the high-street, giving you the chance to own something truly unique and irresistible. These pieces have stood the test of time and are timeless and classic pieces of lovely, vintage jewellery.

    Wedding Jewellery - 5 Reasons to Shop at Auction christies

    1. There’s no pressure

    Many people find auctions intimidating, but there’s nothing quite as scary as a jewellery sales man in a high-end, high-street jewellery shop who’s hell-bent on making a sale. If you don’t want something at auction, the answer is simple – don’t bid on it. Should you change your mind on something or the price is going too high, you can pull out of the bidding once the price begins to surpass your allotted budget. However, if you do make a bid, there’s a chance that you may be expected to honour it, so make sure you only bid on pieces that you actually want!

    Wedding Jewellery - 5 Reasons to Shop at Auction diamond ring on hand

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    Wedding Planning Alternative Wedding Music Ideas

    Today we are tapping along to the beat with some alternative wedding music ideas. They come to us courtesy of Bands for Hire, who have a wealth of musical options and ideas to suit all tastes.

    alternative wedding music ideas

    Image by McAvoy Wedding Photography

    I’ll hand over to Adam who is is the know.

    Alternative Wedding Music Ideas

    You’ve pinned down your wedding venue and the date is set in stone, it’s now time to put on your wedding planner hat and get busy organising.

    When it comes to booking your daytime wedding music there are obvious choices that instantly come to mind. Whether that is a string quartet, harpist, jazz band or pianist, they all are fantastic options to go for and will certainly deliver the desired effect. However, perhaps you’re looking for something a little different on your wedding day. Something more memorable and unique that will get heads turning and guests talking.

    At Bands For Hire we work alongside some incredible instrumentalists that you may not have considered. Take a look at some of the ideas below and head over to our site to see what else we have on offer.


    A pannist is a great alternative to a solo harpist or classical guitarist. Ideal to create a warm and relaxing vibe during your wedding breakfast, or afternoon drinks reception.

    Not sure what a pannist is?

    Have a look and a listen below.

    Gypsy Jazz Band

    Rather than the usual piano based jazz band sound, a Gypsy Jazz band has a more laid back, informal jam vibe, ideal for rustic and festival style weddings.

    Sax quartet

    A string quartet is usually the go-to ensemble for the ceremony, but a sax quartet is equally as striking and will be sure to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.


    A solo sitarist is perfect for a relaxed, bohemian atmosphere, a real head turner at any wedding reception or breakfast.

    Country Band

    If country is your thing but you’re still looking to appeal to a wide audience, ‘Country Girls’ have put together the perfect repertoire of well known country songs, ideal for rustic barn weddings and more.

    So plenty of alternative music ideas there. Do you have a favourite? I definitely fancy a Gypsy Jazz band at the next party I have.

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