A bride has claimed she was brutally dumped by her fiancé just a week before their wedding day.
Emily Nicholson, 24, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2016 and was told by doctors that she had a year to live. Emily and her partner, Jamie Smith, decided to get married but had to wait until the following March while she underwent treatment.
But the bar manager and club promoter from York, who now lives in Perth, Australia, has alleged that her other half left her on the morning of his stag do, and gave her the heartbreaking news over social media.
As reported by metro.co.uk, Emily said: ‘Jamie messaged me and said he didn’t want to be with me and he hadn’t loved me for a long time.
‘It was horrendous. He made it very clear that he didn’t love me. I felt it was because of the way I looked and what had happened.’
As a result of her medication, Emily gained five stone in six weeks and believes that her relationship may have ended as a result of her weight.
Credit: verve231 / Getty
‘Now I don’t feel anything about him, he hurt me but there’s no point getting upset over it, I’ve just had to be strong about it all. For months he’d been going out with his friends but obviously I couldn’t do that.
‘We were looking to build our lives together in the time we had left.’
However, Jamie denied that this was the case, saying: ‘It was the other way around, she actually left me, I never left her. And, secondly, I never left her for anything to do with her weight gain.
‘If that was the case I would have left her months before we split up, because she started putting weight on before that. It had nothing to do with that at all.’
Emily’s mum and full-time carer Joanne Nicholson, 51, claims that Jamie still went on his stag do despite calling off the wedding.
She said: ‘I was angry at him, but as time has gone on I’m not anymore. He was lovely, he was a really nice lad and it got to the point where she couldn’t go out and she was getting bigger.
‘When you go through something like this, life is too short to hate anyone – he did his best but I don’t blame him, it got too much for him.’
Wedding poems – where do you start when you’re looking for the perfect words?
Roses are red, violets are blue, finding the perfect wedding poems is hard, so let us do it for you…
We’ve scouted out 10 of the best wedding poems that say it all – whether you’re looking for funny wedding poems to add a little humour to your service, or short, romantic wedding poems to bring your guests to tears (within your strict time limit).
Just a couple of things to consider before you start browsing our wedding poems collection – the readings you choose for your ceremony should be chosen together. Before you choose, think about what matters to you – do you want the reading to make people laugh? Cry? Ponder the meaning of true love (best leave some thinking time open for this one). Share a favourite band? Consider a reading from one of their songs. Love Disney? How about a Mickey-and-Minnie-themed love-fest? Does it matter to you that your favourite wedding poems have been wheeled out at the last 10 weddings you’ve attended (ask yourself why, if it really does say it perfectly?) or do you want something truly unique?
With this in mind, we’ve included some classics, and some more unusual picks for you to consider. So without further ado (or ‘I do’, if you will), let us present 10 of our favourite wedding poems.
A passage from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières
Credit: Archive Photos / Stringer / Getty
Love is a temporary madness,
it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides.
And when it subsides you have to make a decision.
You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together
that it is inconceivable that you should ever part.
Because this is what love is.
Love is not breathlessness,
it is not excitement,
it is not the promulgation of eternal passion.
That is just being “in love” which any fool can do.
Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away,
and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground,
and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches,
they find that they are one tree and not two.
I love you,
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.
I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.
I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;
I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can’t help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.
I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good,
And more than any fate
To make me happy.
Wherever I am, there’s always Pooh,
There’s always Pooh and Me.
Whatever I do, he wants to do,
“Where are you going today?” says Pooh:
“Well, that’s very odd ‘cos I was too.
Let’s go together,” says Pooh, says he.
“Let’s go together,” says Pooh.
… “I wasn’t afraid,” said Pooh, said he,
“I’m never afraid with you.”
So wherever I am, there’s always Pooh,
There’s always Pooh and Me.
“What would I do?” I said to Pooh,
“If it wasn’t for you,” and Pooh said: “True,
It isn’t much fun for One, but Two,
Can stick together, says Pooh, says he. “That’s how it is,” says Pooh
Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare
Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments.
Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds,
or bends with the remover to remove:
Oh, no! It is an ever-fixed mark.
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
it is the star to every wandering bark,
whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool,
though rosy lips and cheeks within his bending sickle’s compass come;
love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
but bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
The Passionate Shepherd to His Love by Christopher Marlowe
Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods or steepy mountain yields.
And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.
And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;
A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;
A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs:
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me and be my love.
The shepherds’ swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my love.
What’s Mickey without Minnie,
Or Piglet without Pooh,
What’s Donald without Daisy?
That’s me without you.
When Ariel Doesn’t sing,
and Pooh hates honey,
when Tigger stops bouncing,
and Goofy isn’t funny.
When Peter Pan can’t fly,
and Simba never roars,
when Alice no longer fits
through small doors.
When Dumbo’s ears are small,
and happily ever after isn’t true,
Even then, I won’t stop loving you.
Proud by Louise Wilson
As I approach the dark, wooden open doors,
As I hear the music start to play,
A rush of excitable nerves take my fear,
As I remember what it took to get to this day.
Hiding beneath a display of friendship,
Creating a web of lies,
Not knowing everyone was watching me fall in love,
The love in my heart shining through my eyes.
Defeating opinions and comments shared,
Telling everyone, I am in love!
My heart taken by a beautiful woman,
For once, love is enough.
So here I am today,
Walking towards you so very proud,
I am in awe as I only see your beauty,
Can’t hear the music nor see the crowd.
I take your hand in mine,
How we fit so perfect, so cleverly,
By far the most perfect day in my life,
Our proud civil ceremony.
Yes, I’ll marry you by Pam Ayres
Yes, I’ll marry you, my dear,
And here’s the reason why;
So I can push you out of bed
When the baby starts to cry,
And if we hear a knocking
And it’s creepy and it’s late,
I hand you the torch you see,
And you investigate.
Yes I’ll marry you, my dear,
You may not apprehend it,
But when the tumble-drier goes
It’s you that has to mend it,
You have to face the neighbour
Should our labrador attack him,
And if a drunkard fondles me
It’s you that has to whack him.
Yes, I’ll marry you,
You’re virile and you’re lean,
My house is like a pigsty
You can help to keep it clean.
That sexy little dinner
Which you served by candlelight,
As I do chipolatas,
You can cook it every night!
It’s you who has to work the drill
and put up curtain track,
And when I’ve got PMT it’s you who gets the flak,
I do see great advantages,
But none of them for you,
And so before you see the light,
I do, I do, I do!
I’ll Be There For You by Louise Cuddon
Credit: ragıp ufuk vural / Getty
I’ll be there my darling, through thick and through thin
When your mind’s in a mess and your head’s in a spin
When your plane’s been delayed, and you’ve missed the last train.
When life is just threatening to drive you insane
When your thrilling whodunit has lost its last page
When somebody tells you, you’re looking your age
When your coffee’s too cool, and your wine is too warm
When the forecast said “Fine”, but you’re out in a storm
When your quick break hotel, turns into a slum
And your holiday photos show only your thumb
When you park for five minutes in a resident’s bay
And return to discover you’ve been towed away
When the jeans that you bought in hope or in haste
Just stick on your hips and don’t reach round your waist
When the food you most like brings you out in red rashes
When as soon as you boot up the bloody thing crashes
So my darling, my sweetheart, my dear…
When you break a rule, when you act the fool
When you’ve got the flu, when you’re in a stew
When you’re last in the queue, don’t feel blue ’cause
I’m telling you, I’ll be there.
Oh The Places You’ll Go by Dr Seuss
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
…Oh! The Places You’ll Go!
You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.
You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.
You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)
Kid, you’ll move mountains!
So… be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So… get on your way!
Weddings are pretty emotional business – from the touching speeches to the first dance, there are many opportunities to cry (with happiness, hopefully).
But have you ever wondered when we’re most likely to grab the tissues?
Wedding insurance provider Protectivity surveyed 1,000 people in the UK to find out which moments cause us to well up during a wedding.
According to the research it’s not watching the happy couple saying ‘I do’, with 37.72% of participants admitting they get emotional when they see a long-lost friend or relative.
But the ceremony does get us tearing up, with 36.03% crying during the exchanging of vows and 35.73% getting emotional when the bride walks up the aisle.
There are moments that aren’t grabbing our attention, however, with 31.74% of those involved in the study admitting that they check their phones most due to boredom during the evening entertainment and 28.34% during the meal.
Sean Walsh, Marketing Manager from Protectivity Insurance said: ‘It’s clear to see that people in the UK love a wedding – from seeing long-lost friends and relatives to sharing the experience with others on social media, we love to get involved in our loved ones’ special day.
‘With a huge amount of time and money going into the big day it is interesting to see that the most emotional moment of the day has nothing to do with the bride or groom directly, but reuniting with that long-lost friend or relative. But, with all the love in the air, who can blame them!’
When it comes to finding sustainable wedding ideas, where do you even start? What does it mean to have a sustainable wedding? And is it all just even more faff?
Actually, it’s not as much hard work as you think. There are so many simple tweaks you can make to ensure that your big day is more conscious – and there are some sustainable wedding ideas that are so easy to make a reality.
David Rhode – the co-founder of London’s leading ethical fin jewellers Ingle & Rhode – said: ‘As climate change becomes an ever more urgent issue, it’s crucial that we look at every element of our lives and consider what we can do to ensure we are behaving in an ethical and sustainable way.
‘A wedding – one of the biggest events in most people’s lives – is no different. It’s a one-off occasion, so by its very nature can lead to lots of things being bought, booked and used that will never be used again.
‘From your engagement and wedding ring, to your choice of location, dress and decorations, it’s crucial that we start to look to sustainable alternatives in order to ensure the happiest days of our lives aren’t having a saddeningly detrimental impact on our environment.’
Let’s take a look at some of the best sustainable wedding ideas…
Sustainable wedding ideas
Here are some expert tips from Ingle & Rhode for anyone wanting to make their wedding as conscious and sustainable as possible.
Buy Fairtrade or recycled wedding rings
‘Did you know that producing a wedding ring from gold can create up to twenty tonnes of waste? With this in mind, it’s really important that you look to have your wedding ring made from either Fairtrade or recycled gold or platinum.
‘A recycled wedding ring lessens the need for newly mined metals, so reduces the environmentally damaging effects of mining practices. It’s a common misconception that opting for a recycled wedding ring will mean compromising on quality or style. In fact, recycled gold and platinum are of identical quality (and therefore completely indistinguishable from) newly mined metals.
‘Fairtrade is also invested in providing mining communities with better living and working conditions, as well as protecting the environment. Ask your jeweller whether their precious metals come from one of the world’s four certified mining organisations and if not, look for a jeweller who can guarantee this is as standard.’
‘Ditch the idea of a destination wedding that relies on flying and driving – resulting in soaring CO2 emissions – and host it closer to home. Take a look at your guest list and go for a destination that requires shorter travel times for all guests, as well as somewhere that is accessible via public transport, or even better, by foot.
‘If car travel is inevitable, encourage your guests to ride share if possible. Not only will this ensure your wedding is more sustainable, it’s also a great way for people to get to know each other better before the festivities officially begin. If the group is really big, hire a bus or coach.’
Credit: Mint Images/Shutterstock
Curate an eco-friendly menu
‘Whether the venue is catering the meal, or you’re hiring an independent catering company, make sure they’re sustainably minded and use organic, local and Fairtrade produce. You could also have a go at creating an entirely vegetarian or vegan menu. Or, at the very least, incorporate elements of these diets into the options. For example, you could only serve animal-based products in one of the courses, and go for plant-based starters and desserts.
‘Keep these criteria in mind for your wedding cake, too. Does it need to be shipped miles, or is there someone local who can make it for you? Sourcing your alcohol locally is another way to cut down your carbon emissions.’
‘We’re not necessarily suggesting you walk down the aisle in your mother’s wedding dress, but sourcing a vintage or second-hand dress is not only stylish and totally unique but also more sustainable.
‘The circular fashion economy reduces the need to manufacture new clothes, so saves energy, resources and waste; from the moment it goes into production, to the moment it’s shipped. If Carrie Bradshaw can do it, so can you! Whilst you’re at it, why not ask the bridal party to look second-hand, too?
‘If your heart is set on a brand new dress, there are plenty of ethical bridal designers to choose from. Also, pick a timeless style that you can wear again, or repurpose, to avoid wearing it just once.’
‘A great alternative to flowers on your wedding day are potted herbs and plants, or foliage. However, if you’re keen to keep the flowers around, then opt for a seasonal floral arrangement that’s dictated by what’s available at the time, rather than flowers that need to be shipped internationally. Ask your florist to source only local flowers in order to reduce your carbon footprint.
‘If you fancy following in the footsteps or Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, donate your floral arrangements to a local charity afterwards to brighten up someone’s day, and avoid waste. You could also send your guests home with an arrangement each, and once the flowers have been enjoyed, encourage them to dispose of them in the brown bin.’
‘Do away with single use decorations such as confetti. it creates harmful plastic litter which is almost impossible to dispose of once it’s on the ground. There are plenty of alternatives, such as biodegradable confetti, recycled confetti or dried flower petals.
‘Try to source recycled or reusable wedding decorations, too, including glassware and hanging ornaments made of fabric. Lots of decorations can be hired or bought second hand, and if they’re still in good condition once your special day is over consider selling them, donating them, or repurposing them for your home.
‘Reduce the amount of paper you use on the big day by writing programs and menus on chalkboards or signage, and by sending digital copies to guests. You won’t need to print out hundreds of pages and it doesn’t matter if you make a spelling mistake.’
‘Wedding favours are a great opportunity to encourage your guests to get on board with your ethical principles. Make a small donation on behalf of your guests to a charity or organisation dedicated to helping the environment or provide your guests with a packet of seeds. Think flowers, plants or even produce. Your guest can take their gift home and plant it in the garden, enticing wildlife.’
Now it’s time to make these sustainable wedding ideas a reality…
With brides and grooms dishing out the honours to friends and families ahead of their big day, a lot of people in the wedding party are left questioning what their roles actually involve.
For the bride a maid of honour – or matron of honour as some refer to it – is considered the chief bridesmaid, so the pressure is on to fulfil all the duties necessary; plan a hen party to impress (not embarrass) the bride, and be at her beck and call for the months running up to the big day. But there’s more.
I have never been a bridesmaid, or maid of honour (obvs), but last year my sister said those all important words ‘Will you be my maid of honour?’ After I squealed, screamed and sobbed (and obviously said yes) a sudden fear enveloped me because I don’t know what I’m meant to do, or plan (aside from the hen) or if I’m meant to give a speech on her special day – if I do I’m going to be a blubbery mess and not get a word out, and most importantly I d̶o̶n̶’̶t̶ can’t let her down.
I spoke exclusively to wedding guru Sarah Allard – who is the Editor of Hitched – as well as, professional bridesmaid Tiffany Wright, and the Marie Claire team to get the top tips for being the best MOH, and to find out what a maid of honour’s duties really involve; from hen party planning to their role on the day, the speeches to their gifts, and whether brides need to have a maid of honour at all…
Maid of honour duties
The panicked question all maid of honour’s ask themselves is ‘what do I actually need to do?’ Answer: to plan the hen party and be the bride’s support.
Sarah exclusively told us: ‘As the maid of honour, your job is to be the bride’s right-hand woman for anything and everything they need throughout their wedding planning journey.
‘The maid of honour role has always been an important role in weddings. Helping to choose the dress and then organising the hen are the two biggies. The bride is going to have a lot on her plate, so being there to offer advice on the dress, and taking the pain of another event to organise out of her hands will really help her out.
‘Traditionally the maid of honour would spend several days with the bride leading up to the wedding day to make sure she was ready for the wedding. But the rules are a lot more relaxed now.’
Similarly, professional bridesmaid Tiffany Wright insisted communication with the bride is paramount.
She said: ‘The thing I advice maid of honour to do is talk to the bride as soon as possible and find out what is important to her when it comes to the duties of the maid of honour. Some brides might just want the emotional support whilst others want practical help, so make sure you know where you stand from the beginning.’
Aside from organising the hen party and bridesmaids, as well as helping the bride on her special day, whether it’s holding her dress when she goes to the loo or her bouquet as she signs the wedding certificate, you are also a moral adviser listening to all the bride’s woes and dilemmas.
Tiffany added: ‘Although the most of the bridesmaids probably want to get involved in the planning too, it’s huge job to set up the bridesmaid WhatsApp group, book flights, arrange games. You are the sos girl when things go wrong.
‘On the day you have to look after the brides bouquet when the bride and groom go through their vows. If you have your own bouquet hand it to one of the other bridesmaids to hold.
‘But, most importantly, make sure the brides eats and drinks (water!) no one wants a brides to pass out from dehydration or lack of food on the day so keep an eye on her and check she is eating and drinking.’
TIPS: Where do we start?
Sarah advised: ‘Start by organising a brunch for just the two of you, bring a notebook and start brainstorming some ideas with her – what kind of hen do she might like? When is the wedding? What is the colour scheme?
‘By the time the big day comes around, all the planning will be done, so on the day it’s all about being there to support the bride. One job that is paramount on the day, but often forgotten about, is to straighten the train of the bride’s dress when you get to the front so try to remember that – it’ll bug her in all the photos if you don’t!’
Tiffany added: ‘Make sure you have a list of all of the wedding vendors and contact numbers of anyone important incase anything goes wrong.’
Maid of honour gifts
Maid of honour gifts are subject to each bride, and will depend on their budget. Some may gift their bridal party when they dish out the maid of honour title, others may give their MOH a token present on the day or on the eve of the wedding day, while others may gift something post-wedding to show their appreciation, but there are some brides who may wish to do all three – if they are feeling generous.
Sarah said: ‘It’s tradition for the bride to give her maid of honour and bridesmaids gifts too.’
Marie Claire’s Beauty Editor, Katie Thomas, shared her bridal party gifts advice. She said: ‘Buying your bridesmaids gifts is really lovely. I bought them each a pair of earrings to wear on the day and some pyjamas to wear the night before.’
But does the maid of honour give a gift? Again, this is down to each individual.
Sarah said: ‘If the bride has asked you to pay for your dress you don’t have to. But if you still want to give her gift, then focus on something more sentimental and a small token rather than splashing the cash, such as a framed photo from your favourite holiday or a bag full of goodies for the morning after the wedding.’
Maid of honour speeches
It is most common the father of the bride, best man and even the groom perfect a speech on the newlyweds wedding day.
However, it has become more common for the maid of honour or a bridesmaid to say a few words too. As daunting as they may be it’s your time to celebrate your bond with them. After all, if the groomsman can brag about the groom, so why can’t the maid of honour do the same?
Sarah explained: ‘We’re seeing more and more maids of honour give speeches on the big day. It’s such a brilliant way to celebrate your friendship and the ultimate way to show her how much she means to you.’
But professional bridesmaid, Tiffany, has insisted it is a conversation you need to have with the bride.
She said: ‘It didn’t used to be tradition but recently more maid of honours are giving speeches. Ask the bride if it is something she would like you to do.
‘Don’t try and compete with the best man. Best man’s speeches are renowned for being risky so keep it classy with yours.’
TIPS: What should the speech include?
‘Remember that while the story of you both getting locked out of halls during your first year of uni is still hilarious for the two of you, not everyone in the room will want to hear 20 minutes of inside jokes. Instead, focus on a couple of anecdotes (how you met or a special milestone you share), and a poignant message for your friend. I love the idea of writing a poem’, said Sarah.
Tiffany advised: ‘Explain to everyone why the bride is your best friend, remind her of anecdotes when you were younger and tell her why her groom is lucky to have her. Sentimentality goes a long way in a MOH speech.’
Maid of honour dresses
What dress the maid of honour should wear is a common question every bride wants to know, as well as who buys them.
Sarah clears this up. She said: ‘It’s really down to what the bride would like on her day. She may want every bridesmaid in a different dress or prefer to have you all in the same, but it’s really up to her and the vision she has for her day, as well as her budget.
‘If you’re worried about your friend choosing something you don’t like, sit down with her beforehand to discuss her ideas and see if you can agree on some styles you both like and that you feel comfortable wearing. If you have a dress you really don’t like, think about how you might be able to alter or adjust it, and then choose the right moment to explain to your friend that you’d like to make some small changes to feel more comfortable.’
There can be a lot of dress fittings for the bride, her bridal party and the maid of honour too, but does the MOH have to go to EVERY fitting?
Sarah added: ‘If the bride asks you to! But if not, it’s not essential for you to be there so long as she is happy and confident to go on her own or with her mum.’
Tiffany has revealed dresses can be styled in different ways, which can suit the whole bridal party.
She said: ‘Fabulous bridesmaid dresses out there than can be worn in numerous different ways, so if you do want to stand out, suggest that you all wear the same dress but that yours is worn slightly differently.’
This is the main role the maid of honour is given the responsibility of planning, but where to start? There’s pressure to please the bride, the stress of who to invite so not to upset the bride, as well as friends of the soon-to-be newlyweds, the fear the bride won’t enjoy it, so there needs to be a happy medium between fun but not too rowdy, and affordable, as well as drama free.
Sarah shared her nuggets of wisdom to make the whole process stress free. She said: ‘It really depends how well you know the other bridesmaids. If you’re all part of the same friendship group and you’ve planned things together before, then it can be easier to plan.
‘However, if you don’t know the other bridesmaids it can sometimes become tricky when everyone has a different opinion of what the bride would like. Ask the bride for a few bullet points of what she would and wouldn’t like before you get started, so you always have a point of reference to go back to.’
Katie added: ‘The hen party always reveals who puts the most effort in…it’s always very telling! There’s always a bit of drama. I thought I was going to completely bypass it, but I think its unavoidable.’
But when the hen do has been planned the responsibilities continue. During the actual party the maid of honour has the additional responsibility of being in charge of the kitty.
Tiffany said: ‘It usually falls to the maid of honour to be in charge of the kitty and collecting any money needed for the hen do.’
TIPS: ‘My top tips for planning the hen would be to start planning it as early as you possibly can. This way you can give the guests an idea of the cost immediately and manage expectations of whether it will be in the UK or abroad, and there is time for payments towards the total cost to be spread out and more manageable for those attending, especially if they have other holidays too’ Sarah advised.
With all the hen party planning – do not forget to factor in the bride, who the bridal party pay for.
Sarah continued: ‘Remember that traditionally, you need to add in the cost of the bride, so make sure you give the guests the costs up front – people will be annoyed if you keep adding more as the hen gets closer.’
Tiffany added: ‘Make sure you arrange a hen that THE BRIDE would like, not one that the bridesmaids want. If you bride has told you she doesn’t want penis straws and strippers then respect her and stay away from this.
‘Try and personalise a hen do to your bride. If your bride loves the countryside and good food then book a gorgeous cottage and bring in a chef’, or even opt for a zen do.
How to choose your maid of honour
Picking one person to be your maid of honour can be a huge dilemma for some brides, who fear they will offend the rest of their bridesmaids with their choice.
Katie shared her tips for picking her bridal party, and we are so here for it. She advised: ‘I didn’t have a maid of honour as, to be honest, the whole asking people to be bridesmaids is awkward enough. I have so many best friends whom I love equally I didn’t like the idea of asking one to be top dog.
‘But choosing my bridesmaids was the easiest and toughest thing I have ever done. Easy because I knew exactly who I wanted by my side, but tough because I wanted around nine people. I’m not keen on lots of bridesmaids so I had to narrow it down, which broke my heart a little. However, I don’t think anyone would have questioned my choices.’
Marie Claire’s Fashion Editor, Penny Goldstone, said: ‘My maid of honour was my sister, which made it an easy choice, rather than picking a best friend within a group of friends. It meant she knew me best too, so was a great organiser, but also that I had that sister relationship with her that meant I didn’t mind telling her if there was something I didn’t like. She was just very good at taking stress off me.’
While some may opt for siblings or their best friend, others feel obliged to return the favour and choose someone to take the role because they were there maid of honour for their wedding, or because some are simply more savvy and organised (we’re not joking!)
Katie added: ‘I have one friend who chose her bridesmaids based on who was the most organised and would be able to throw the best hen do and be the most help in the lead up to the day.’
However, some brides may want to buck the trend and not single out one person as their maid of honour, and will stick with a group of bridesmaids to share the load, while others may even give the title to a male friend.
TIP: ‘Always stick to who you want. Don’t have someone because you feel you have to. Just because someone asked you, doesn’t mean you have to have them.’
It has been reported the couple will tie the knot again in France, but they had to get married in America first to legalise their vows.
A source told PEOPLE: ‘They had to get married in the States to make it legal, but the wedding is still in Europe.’
Joe, 29, previously revealed he and Sophie were planning to tie the knot in France, and knew to stock up on the alcohol after Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra’s wedding.
However, a French religious ceremony for international couples is not legally binding, unless they have resided in the country for over 30 days, as stated in the U.S. Embassy & Consulates in France documentation.
It reads: ‘In France a religious ceremony does not constitute a legal marriage.’
Wedding season is upon us, as Jude Law, Idris Elba and Sophie Turner have all tied the knot in the space of a week, and when there are weddings there are hen dos.
New research has found almost 80 per cent of British women find traditional hen parties ‘tacky’, especially when L plates, strippers, butler’s in the buff and phallic inflatables are involved, with almost 50 per cent of people preferring a healthy alternative – a Zen Do – to a boozy long weekend.
The survey, conducted by Champyneys, has found 44 per cent of British women would prefer a yoga retreat, pamper day, spa weekend or chilled girls night to a wild three-day party, while 10 per cent of women are up for an alcohol free bash instead of a binge drinking fiasco to avoid hangovers and drunken rows.
Although hens may enjoy a little tipple, 53 per cent of females felt pressure to drink excessively while away with the girls – not cool.
A spokesperson for Champney’s spa said: ‘This research is fascinating as it shows just how much British women have moved on from the alcohol soaked hen parties of the past.’
The Champney’s representative has revealed there has been a 25 per cent surge in customers booking trips to the hotspot for a girly weekend or pre-wedding package ahead of the wedding day.
They continued: ‘These days, a relaxing and rejuvenating Zen Do is becoming much more popular, and we have seen a huge spike in bookings from women looking to celebrate their upcoming marriage with a healthier alternative. Classes such as meditative yoga and Pilates have also become much more popular with hen party bookings.’
Although there is a rise in tea-total hen dos, some women feel apprehensive about planning something alternative to the typical alcohol-fuelled celebrations in fear it would disappoint the bride and the guests.
The study has found over 30 per cent of the bridal party prefer to book a beach break, afternoon tea or healthy brunch, a massage, yoga session or fitness class, and even a theatre trip to celebrate ahead of the wedding.
Ultimately whatever the maid of honour plans for the bride, it’s bound to be unforgettable with 78 per cent of women insisting their hen do was the best experience of their life.
Jazz up your wedding day (and night) with this lacy edit
Brides-to-be, we’re taking you to bridal lingerie heaven. It’s easy to forget about what’s going on underneath your dress when you’re rushing around trying to find the perfect gown and wedding shoes, but putting aside a little money for a comfortable and sexy underwear set could go a long way.
Nobody wants unsightly bra straps peeking out in their wedding photos, so matching the right bra to your neckline will help you look more polished. Strapless bras work a charm with sweetheart necklines, while you might need something more heavy duty full cups for dresses with a cheeky bit of cleavage.
Your bottom half’s just as important and there’s lots to think about as well. Regardless if you’re getting a helping hand from some shapewear for a form-fitting gown or avoiding dreaded visible panty lines with a thong, adding a suspender belt will add a little spice to your nuptials. The all important garter is easy to overlook as well and we’ve found a number of styles in our edit that you might not want your husband-to-be to toss.
As is the tradition, white is a popular choice for bridal lingerie since it’s easy to pair with sheer or lacy wedding dress. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous though, touches of pale pink, blue and nude also make for a dreamy, romantic colour palette.
Whether you’re aiming for elegance or a sensual secret, these are the pieces that will give you that extra boost of confidence.
Weddings may be divisive but they are undoubtedly a major rite of passage, all starting of course with the proposal and the selection of the right engagement ring.
The selection of a ‘rock’ is notoriously difficult, proving a constant source of debate.
The classic diamond or a different gem? Princess or emerald cut? New or vintage?
Yes, from clarity and cut to carat and price point, there’s a lot to consider.
Something only few consider however is no ring at all, with actress Kaya Scodelario recently explaining that her husband proposed to her with something else.
No he didn’t pull a Sex and the City move and propose with a Monolo Blahnik shoe like Big did for Carrie.
Instead, he proposed to her with a bracelet.
Yes, really. Benjamin, Kaya’s US actor partner popped the question with a ‘love bangle’ with the couple going on to marry in 2015, hyphenating their surnames to Scodelario-Davis.
‘I never had any family heirlooms,’ Kaya Scodelario recently explained in an interview with ELLE. ‘Nothing that was ever passed down to me and so, when I met my husband and we were falling in love, he actually bought me a Cartier Love bracelet, for our first Christmas together.’
She continued: ‘He says that it was then that he realised that he actually wanted to buy me an engagement ring, so he sort of weirdly proposed with a Love bangle.’
They’re especially a good solution if you’ve seen all of the minimalist bandeau bridal gowns with their contemporary cuts and structures and haven’t been wowed, or just aren’t keen on the fashion-forward separates and sexy fishtail gowns.
But make no mistake, opting for a vintage style doesn’t mean you’ll look like you’ve borrower your granny’s wedding dress. This season’s spin on antique gowns isn’t all frumpy ruffles and ruching – think delicate lace, embroidery and silk with a variety of trains, necklines and cuts.
1950s wedding dress
A good way to start is to look at which style eras you fancy the most, to get an idea of what shape you’ll go for. The 1950s tea-length full skirts are often a popular choice, that goes especially well with a Hollywood wave and a red lip. Or like Meghan’s, a simple floor-length silhouette can look very modern if you keep details minimal.
If it’s a sleeker silhouette you’re after, 1930s and 1940s silk dresses and fitted styles are a sure way to add a touch of understated elegance to the aisle.
1920s wedding dress
If you’re a bit less traditional, then 1920s cuts have made a surprising comeback this year, and it’s all about the beading. Our love of all things 70s also shows no sign of going away any time soon, and we’ve seen brides opt for bohemian off-the-shoulder designs and even crochet dresses for a beach wedding.
Vintage lace wedding dresses
Of course, you’ll never go wrong with a classic fishtail champagne lace dress either – we guarantee you’ll never look back at wedding pictures and regret your sartorial choice.
In terms of accessories, we encourage you to have a bit of fun and stick to a vintage theme, whether that’s a dazzling brooch in side-swept hair, a pearl sautoir, velvet bow belt, or, if you want a really dramatic effect, white opera length gloves like the ones Sophia Amoruso wore with her vintage Alexander McQueen gown on her wedding day. The choice is yours.
From Grecian cinching to Hollywood silhouettes, we’ve rounded up the best of the more classic and traditional wedding dress designs. From Vivienne Westwood and Marchesa to Ghost and Monsoon, here are the timeless styles that you’ll never look back on and question…