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Hens and Bucks


A large number of people that I speak to are not too fond of the ‘traditional’ Hens and Bucks nights. I don’t blame them. You have all heard stories about Bucks and Hens nights that have gone horribly wrong and this make everyone nervous. Grooms ending up on the other side of the state after being handcuffed to the inside a train. The Groom and best man having their eyebrows shaved off. Or even worse, breaking an arm or leg and being in plaster for the wedding day! All horror stories, but I’m sure that you all know at least one person who has been a part of a similar story.

Adult entertainment evenings make most people cringe. I have been invited to Hens party’s that have seemed so seedy, I would rather have scrubbed my shower with a toothbrush than attend! Not all Hens and Bucks need to be like this. In my opinion, this should be a time spent with your close friends before your big day. It should, like all things that go along with your wedding, reflect your personality. It should be something fun that will provide you with wonderful memories with your friends. It may be a winery tour, golf day, paint ball adventure, laser tag, day spa afternoon, a weekend in a beach house with spectacular views. It really doesn’t have to be something that makes your friends or partner cringe. It should be something that you want to do, but everyone can enjoy.

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Do think about the people that you want there too. You may want to have a weekend at the beach house with the day spa as well. Keep in mind that not everyone that you invite can afford to do all of the things that you want to do. Make it easy for them to join in some of the activity so that they do not have to miss out if they cannot afford to do all the things that you are doing. Perhaps arrange a lovely dinner or brunch if some guests can only commit to some of the time required.  For example, If you are having a winery tour and people can’t make the whole thing, let them know which winery you are finishing at so they can meet you there for a meal.  Sometimes not everyone can walk the 18 holes of golf but may want to catch up for a beer and bbq in the evening.

Some people would also prefer not to make this time strictly a girls or guys time of the wedding celebrations. You can choose to have a day where you have all of your friends together doing something fun. It doesn’t have to be as structured as a traditional Bucks or Hens. Why not spend a day at the local bowls club, or hire a houseboat with a stack of your friends.

Do you have any suggestions or did you or one of your friends have a Hens or Bucks day that was just something different and fantastic fun?


Thanks again to Betty and Keith from Untamed Images for their stunning photos this week. Go to their website here and facebook here.

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Gifts for your attendants

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What kind of gifts do you get for the lovely ladies that have helped you out throughout all of your wedding planning and dramas?

Most people give their bridesmaids some sort of gift for helping them out on their special day. Not only will they help you on your day with getting ready, calming your nerves, making sure that you have everything that you need, but sometimes they have to help you even more than you would realise. Depending on your dress, some bridesmaids even need to help you use the bathroom. Not only on your big day are they required to help, but think of all that they have done in the lead up to the wedding. Sometimes, bridesmaids may have thrown the bride a Hens Night or a Kitchen Tea. Some of them may have given up countless weekends having dress fittings, hair trials or just being amazing supports for you when you have had lots of things to do or check out for the big day.

In saying all of this, you don’t have to go and spend hundreds of dollars on the girls. You just have to exercise a little bit of thought and you can get them something great to show your appreciation. There is also nothing like a beautiful card that you have written something to each of them that tells them how much you love and appreciate them and their friendship.  You could also find an old photo or your favourite photo of the two of you and put it in a nice frame. Other than these lovely sentimental ideas, here are some other practical and fun ones.

Something to wear.

This is always popular! Something to wear as far as jewellery is always an excellent choice.  It is a great keepsake and is something that will ensure that all of the attendants are matching, and is handy if all of the girls are wearing different styles of dress. It can act as something that ties them all together. The same applies if you use a shawl or wrap, it can be something that you can add to the style of the day and be part of your thank you gift. A classic and elegant bracelet is always lovely. Something that they probably wouldn’t buy for themselves, but something that they could wear again on a special occasion. Or you could have something for them to wear when they are getting ready and all of you are spending time having your make up and hair done. Personalised robes or t-shirts are a great bit of fun and something that they can use later on and will prompt memories of your special day every time that they use them.

Something to carry things in on the day.

Depending on if you want these seen or not, there are a few options here. You could have some lovely custom made tote bags done, keeping with the colour theme of your wedding. Having the bridesmaids initials monogrammed on to a tote is a great way for them to keep all of their belongings together, especially if they are going to have to take them to the venue. This will be something that they will get use after the big day too. My best friend got all of us girls lovely little handbags for us to have at her wedding that were perfect for our make up, mobile phones, some tissues and for other little things. They are stunning and all of them had our names engraved on them. There were no mix ups and it was another great way to give us something that all matched as we had different style dresses, but we all had the same lovely handbags.

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Something to keep, or a tradition starter.

Another thing that my best friend did was to put a lovely brooch on the bouquet of flowers. At the time, I don’t know if she intended these just to be a pretty way for the bouquet to be done up, or if the brooch was something that she really loved. I personally have used this the most out of all of the gifts that she gave us. I wear it now when I conduct weddings and it makes me think of how much fun we had on her special day and reminds me of her every time that I wear it. This would be a great idea especially if your attendants are not yet married, you could mention that they could pin it onto their bouquet on their big day too, or pin it inside their dress (especially if it had some blue on it somewhere), or attach it to their garter if they were wearing one.

Something to eat and drink.

People always love food and drink! You could incorporate this with the tote bags and fill each one with different things that your friends love. If one girl loves champagne and Oreo biscuits, put all of those things in her tote bag, and if another likes vodka and chocolate frogs, put these things into her bag. It is a great way to show them just how well you know them.

Something for after the big day.

Another great way to show them your appreciation, would be to get them something they can do after the big day, like gold class movie vouchers. Or perhaps treat them to a pampering massage, or facial, or maybe even organise a girls spa day! This way, you can all spend some quality time together when you come back from your honeymoon, stress-free post-wedding!

Again this is something that is only limited by your imagination. Think about something that your friends like and go from there. Have you been in a wedding and been given an amazing gift?

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Thanks to Untamed Images for their photos on the blog check out their website here and their facebook page here too. Check out my facebook page here too and be kept up to date with all things wedding.

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Speech order at your Reception


Speeches are a lovely part of the wedding celebration. It is a great time for guests to get to know the people speaking and generally learn something about the bride and groom that they didn’t already know. Traditionally, speeches are done after the main meal  and before the desert (if there is a sit down meal) but nowadays a lot of couples are deciding to break with tradition and do their speeches earlier in the night. As it can be quite a daunting thing for people who are not used to public speaking to be asked to be the centre of attention, it can sometimes make it easier on them if the speeches are out of the way early in the celebration. It also helps if some people are nervous drinkers as there is nothing worse than a rambling drunk speech, even if it is lovely and heartfelt, it just doesn’t seem as sincere if someone is quite obviously drunk.

By all means, break the tradition and change things up! It is entirely your day and I am always one for doing things the way that you want them and not how others dictate they be. But for the people who want to know, traditionally speech order is as follows:

Father of the Bride.

The Father of the Bride usually goes first, as in the past the brides family would traditionally pay for the wedding and generally invited a great portion of the guests to the wedding. Generally, the Father of the Bride would thank everyone for coming, tell the Bride how lovely she looks, and tell some stories from her childhood. He also welcomes the Groom into their family, give the couple some marital advice and most importantly makes a toast to the Bride and Groom.


The Groom usually responds to the Father of the Bride’s speech and thanks him for welcoming him into the family, thanks his parents for the formative years. He thanks people for helping with the wedding and all events leading up to the wedding, such as his bucks night or the hens night, he might say something lovely to his new Wife (everyone usually cheers the first time the Groom mentions his wife), thanks and makes a toast to the bridesmaids and other attendants of the bride, thank his attendants for the day, and lastly thank everyone for coming along.


The Best Man.

The Best Man generally compliments the Bride and Groom and give them well wishes for their life together. He will traditionally thank the Groom for asking him to be the best man, tell some humorous stories about the Groom, thank the hosts on behalf of all the guests, and sends well wishes from absent guests.

Traditionally, The Best Man’s speech is supposed to be funny, with care not to offend anyone, and has to say something heartfelt to the couple, which can be such a tall order and a lot to expect of someone if they are not particularly funny, or overly sentimental. This can often be hard for some people and if your best man isn’t going to be comfortable doing this or it is really not his strong point, it may be best to consider someone else close to the couple. One of the other Groomsmen might turn out to be a more appropriate choice, or perhaps a brother, or even another close friend or relative that is happy to be in the spotlight and will do the speech justice. On the other hand, don’t ask your Best Man to try to be funny if he is just a sweet heartfelt guy.

All this being said, there is no hard and fast rule about who should speak or when they should speak. It is now more common for a Bride to give a speech, and at some point for the Maid of Honour or all of the bridesmaids to do a combined speech. Sometimes Mum’s of the Bride or Groom want to say something too, and this can be nice if someone has passed away or the parents are separated and they want to have something to say about the newly married couple.

It is really important to let people know what order they will be speaking in and make sure they know who they are after as it allows for the reception to be smooth and the guests’ attention to be held. Have a list or running sheet for your MC, ask your speakers to try to limit the speech to 4-7 minutes, as there is nothing worse than a speech that goes for 15 minutes or longer.

Generally, for anyone giving a speech the best advice that you can give them is to speak slowly, clearly and speak from the heart.


Thank-you to Untamed Images for the use of their images on this weeks blog, check out their website here.

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Facebook and your Wedding

In the digital age there are only a few people who I know who don’t have Facebook, Twitter or some form of social media. There are a few things that can make a wedding process less problematic. Just by realising that as much as people love social media, not all of them are thrilled about hearing your big news at the same time that the person you went to primary school with and haven’t seen for 14 years does. It is a good idea to let your family and close friends know before you change your relationship status to engaged, or post photos of the ring.

It is also a good idea to be careful how much you tell people on Facebook. It is all well and good, to announce things that you are doing, but be mindful  if there are some people that will feel left out it might not be fair to have it flashing on their newsfeed. There might be people that want to be invited to the kitchen tea, hens or bucks nights that are not invited, and the photos of those  occasions might cause you to get some unwanted grief whether it is directly or indirectly. Maybe for these events it would be good to create a group so that the people who were at the event can view the photos.

Be sure to make it clear that people still need to RSVP. I might be old fashioned on this one, but facebook to me is not acceptable RSVP-ing and if you agree with me and think that people should send their RSVP card to you or call you, don’t be tempted to complain on facebook that people have not replied to you about the wedding. Call them and ask. It also rubs salt into the peoples wounds who thought that they would be invited and haven’t been. I have heard a story about a full family feud starting about this exact problem, where certain members of a family weren’t invited. When the bride had a facebook status about how rude it was that people had not responded to the invite those who were not invited made quite a public display of how unhappy they were that they were not invited.

Most of us like to put our exciting news and fun photos on facebook, but thinking ahead about who is in your friends list and who might see what you are posting might make an already crazy stressful time that little bit easier.  Its ensures avoiding some messages or explaining that you don’t really want to and shouldn’t have to do. It is your day after all and you should be able to have fun and invite and not invite those who you choose.

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