It’s less than two weeks until the most romantic time of the year – Valentine’s Day! Whether you’re on the verge of getting married, are already old marrieds (like us!) or simply have your eye on someone special, it’s fun to make a fuss on February 14.
Take a look at this little round-up of 20 cute gifts and ideas I’ve struck upon on social media to make your day of romance go with a bang…
Shocking statistics by UK loan broker Freedom Finance show the number of people applying for wedding loans is on the rise. Between 2013 and 2015, UK couples applied for £151m in loans! In the first two months of this year, the company recorded £8.6m applications alone.
I realise weddings generally cost a fortune, but starting married life with a stressful debt hanging over your heads cannot be conducive to a happy home. We only spent seven months planning our big day, but we both worked super hard in that time to earn the money we needed as we went along, ensuring we started our new chapter with zero wedding debt. These days, it’s also commonplace to ask guests to gift money towards a honeymoon and that’s how we paid for our luxury trip to Turkey.
But, there are other ways to cut the cost of your dream wedding.
Paula Gorry of Stampin’Up!demonstrates how there’s money to be saved by getting creative, making your own invitations, thank you cards, bunting and table centre pieces.
I’ll always leap at an opportunity to talk about weddings, especially when I’m asked about my own big day!
So, when a journalist got in touch to discuss wedding traditions with me for a feature she was writing for Wedding Ideas magazine, I was obviously up for the chat.
As much as I’m a hopeless romantic and love many wedding traditions, my husband and I weren’t afraid to ditch the ones which didn’t mean as much to us.
If you’re battling with the potentially controversial decision to go against traditions for some or all aspects of your wedding, have a read of this for some inspiration and encouragement to do what suits you.
As is often the case these days, our dear friends – the This Morning wedding couple – didn’t have a gift list and so we gifted them cash instead. But, I couldn’t resist giving Annie and Gareth, the new Mr and Mrs Lewis, a keepsake from one of my favourite suppliers.
Annie & Wilfproduce the most beautiful, personalised, pretty, handmade textile items. So, I couldn’t go along to a wedding without a bespoke fabric heart featuring the couple’s names and wedding date, with matching handmade card.
I hope it will take pride of place in the couple’s family home and remind them of their incredible wedding day aboard the HQS Wellington on the Thames, with the likes of Philip Schofield, Holly Willoughby, Gok, Alison Hammond, Rylan Clark, Phil Vickery, Eric Lanlard and Peter Andre – and Mr Robertson and I – as guests!
Do you ever watch those mind-blowing experiences on TV and wonder what it would feel like to be chosen to take part? To be sent on an exotic holiday or take delivery of a luxury car…or have your dream wedding day planned for you. Well, it turns out, those fantasies do become reality for real people!
When I spotted ITV’s This Morning was looking to throw a wedding this spring, I knew the exact people who should put themselves forward. My good friend Annie is, thankfully, just coming out the other side of a hellish year, having discovered a lump in her breast while watching a feature on This Morning this time last year urging women to check themselves.
During her 12 months of treatment, losing her hair, feeling poorly and terrified, one thing that kept playing on her mind was maybe never getting the chance to marry her man, Gareth. They had already got engaged, but finances and then Annie’s illness meant any solid plans to become man and wife had to go on the backburner indefinitely.
And then came This Morning Throws A Wedding. » Read more
There’s nothing more painful on your wedding day than missing a loved one who cannot be with you. My precious stepdad has Alzheimer’s and so couldn’t be there for the whole of our wedding day. To make sure he felt close to me, I carried his wedding ring inside my wedding dress as a comfort.
So, with my dear friend Annie’s big day (HUGE day – she’ll marry live on TV’s This Morning!) just around the corner, I wanted to give her the same comfort in memory of her late dad.
Luckily, my friend over at Beatrice Belle has just the thing to make sure a lost loved one can be a part of a bride’s special day. And so, a sneaky chat with the groom-to-be, old photo scanned in and emailed over and Beatrice Belle had produced the most incredible memorial charm which will take pride of place on Annie’s wedding day bouquet.
As soon as Christmas festivities are over with, my thoughts turn to the first romantic date in the calendar…Valentine’s Day. I love any excuse to turn on the romance and spend some lovey-dovey time with Mr Robertson. Although we don’t tend to splash out on expensive gifts at this time of year, we love finding more thoughtful, meaningful presents which are special to us and our relationship. And, of course, who doesn’t enjoy being taken out or whisked away at any time of year!
Stuck for ideas this year? Worry not as here’s a round-up of a few of my favourite finds this Valentine’s… » Read more
There’s nothing like giving a card with the most perfect wording. I spend a lot of time picking the right cards to suit a person and occasion. So when it came to going to the vow renewal of my school friend Charlie Smith of Truly I Do (http://trulyido.weebly.com), I had to find something perfect…
Have you ever tried to find a card for a vow renewal, though?? They’re pretty much non-existent, particularly if you want a cool one.
So, the occasion called for the skill and wit of Love Layla Designs (www.lovelayladesigns.co.uk) who cracks me up with her brutally honest range of cards. While even Love Layla’s collection didn’t yet include a vow renewal card, it was no problem at all to have a bespoke card made just for Mr and Mrs Smith.
And here it is…cool, or what!
Disclaimer: Love Layla Designs supplied this card free of charge.
With so many of us waiting until we’re in our 30s or 40s to get married, the traditional gift list of pots and pans is somewhat out of date and useless. I love the idea of having a more appropriate, quirky gift list. We simply asked our wedding guests to gift money towards our honeymoon as that’s all we wished for.
But, how cool would it be – if you are keen cooks – to have your guests donate something far more precious…their family recipes!