Friday, January 29, 2010

Pets at Weddings...

Lisa from Kensington, Perth, Western Australia has asked: “I want to include my dog as part of my ceremony and reception, do you have any tips on making this happen?”

There is more to consider before including a dog as part of your wedding day celebration then simply turning up with your beloved pet and hoping that all will be well.

The first thing you should do is to find out whether your ceremony and/or reception location (be it a park, church, hall, reception venue) will allow your pet to attend.

The next thing to do is to assess your pet. Accommodating a Teacup Poodle is going to be very different then a Great Dane. And while you may think it is cute that your beloved Fido jumps up on your lap to say hello, Great-Aunt Millie may have a fit. Other people may not love your dog as much as you do. While you want your pet to be included, you will not want it to dominate proceedings.

Ask yourself if your dog’s personality is conducive to attend a wedding? A wild, unruly animal is never going to be suitable. Does your dog have any embarrassing habits that you won’t want included in your wedding video? What issues is your dog likely to create? Has your dog been properly socialized?

The following tips should help make the whole experience pleasurable…

  1. Have your pet’s health assessed by your Vet at least three months before the wedding. Ensure that the dog’s dental health is checked and attend to any issues. Have the dog’s vaccinations brought up to date and don’t forget such issues as skin conditions, worming tablets and any necessary medication.
  2. Ensure your dog is on a regular diet that is appropriate to the dog’s age, weight and health status. Don’t change your dog’s diets before the wedding day. Do not allow your well-meaning guests to give your dog ‘treats’ at the wedding, as you will not want to deal with a sick dog.
  3. Attend to your dog’s grooming well before the big day. Regular baths with a suitable dog shampoo is recommended. Ensure your dog’s nails are clipped so that if it does jump up on someone it will not tear stockings or delicate fabrics.
  4. Take your dog to obedience classes in the lead up to the wedding day. Address any behavior issues such as digging, begging, barking, jumping on people, or running away. Be especially aware of how your dog reacts to children. You will want to be able to predict your pet’s behavior and know that you can rely on the dog’s good judgment. Many local councils throughout Australia host free dog behavior classes.
  5. Leading up to the wedding day you should rehearse the day’s procedures by traveling with your dog to the wedding location. The more you can do this the better things will go on the day. Familiarize your pet with the surroundings, parking areas, and venue. Provide your dog with a suitable area where it can relieve itself in private. If the dog is to be part of the actual wedding party then include it in all formal rehearsals. In this way the sights and smells of the location and people involved will be familiar.
  6. Have a designated ‘quiet’ area for your dog at the venue. This could be a small room or even a dog pen. Have at the ready your dog’s favorite bedding and toys, as well as a constant supply of fresh water.
  7. Make sure you allocate someone who is officially responsible for your pet. Preferably a non-drinker. Make sure clear arrangements have been made as to who is bringing the dog to the event, how long the dog will stay at the venue and when the dog will be returned home. Ensure that a dog car restraint is made available.
  8. Many couples choose to have fireworks at their reception. Fireworks generally terrify dogs, so it may be worth organizing that your dog has returned home before the fireworks are released. Loud music and dancing may also scare your dog.
  9. Don’t forget to ask your photographer to include your dog in lots of lovely shots. Since you have gone to all of the trouble of training your dog, looking after it’s grooming and diet, as well as including it in your special occasion, you will want lots of candid snaps featured in your wedding album.
There are the cutest dog outfits available that are wedding themed including, veils, bows and tuxedos. By ensuring that your dog is comfortably attired and well supervised your beloved pet is sure to enjoy your wedding day as much as you will.

Have a lovely weekend, Anna

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Plan your wedding with an Inspiration Board...

Claire from Plympton Park in Adelaide, South Australia has asked: "What's the best way to begin planning the colours and style of my wedding? I really don't know where to start." My advice would be to create an Inspiration Board.

In the 2010 editions of The Bride's Diary we give you four stunning examples of a Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter Inspiration Board. Beautifully created in our photographic and design studio we show you how to put an inspiration board together and how it is then interpreted throughout the actual styling of a wedding.

To summarise briefly, buy a corkboard and cover it with a neutral coloured fabric (a soft cream/beige works well). Then, collect paint swatches in colours that you adore. Pin them to the board. Then go through magazines and cut out pictures of wedding cakes, cars, flowers, dresses and any other elements that you love. You can also pin actual pieces of fabric, lace and stationery samples to your board. Go crazy, as this is a place to explore your ideas freely.

Keep visiting your board often. You'll quickly see if you like each element selected, or alternatively, if you dislike an idea completely. You will also see if the colours you have chosen are working or not. Don't be afraid to add items and remove them as you feel necessary. Get your groom-to-be involved as well. Together, you will know if the style of your wedding that you are exploring is what you both want.
However, do not get other people involved. It will end up being 'their' Inspiration Board and not your own.

Once you have finished, you will be able to sit back and assess your Inspiration Board. You will know instinctively when you absolutely love it! This can then become the blueprint for your wedding. You can take it along when you visit your wedding stylist, florist, couturier, reception venue and anyone else involved in your special day.

Inspiration Boards are also great in other areas of your life. Have one for each room at home you would like to renovate. One for your baby's room (whether you have a bubba already, or are planning one). One for this season's fashion you would like to buy. One for planning a dinner party, with recipes, table settings, flowers and seating plan included. One for Christmas. The possibilities are endless. And, if you absolutely can't part with an Inspiration Board you have created, then frame it into a three-dimensional box frame and hang it on the wall.

You will be amazed at how much fun creating Inspiration Boards can be...

Have a lovely day! ... Anna

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Welcome to my Blog...

As the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Bride’s Diary® since 1985 I have witnessed so much change within the wedding industry. Couples today have more choice of location, services and products then ever before and are able to create a wedding that truly reflects their personality and style.

Today, our team is celebrating the launch of our new blogs. I may be a little biased, but I think there are only three things you need to plan the perfect wedding. Firstly, you must have a copy of The Bride’s Diary. Our superb publication will get you from “I will” to “I do” as painlessly as possible. With expertly written guidance on traditional and modern etiquette and Australia’s leading wedding service providers, you simply can’t go wrong. Secondly, become a member of – not only to use our fully interactive planning tools, but also to chat to thousands of other brides-to-be also planning their weddings. Finally, you must have a copy of the fabulous new 2010 edition of Weddingstar! The superb new edition features over 2895 individual wedding and gift products. And, with over 400 pages of wedding inspiration, creating your own dream day will be a cinch.

You will notice that we have created many new blogs for your daily inspiration. Being a member of The Bride’s Diary really is a lifestyle choice, as so many of our members stay with us well after their wedding day and now enjoy chatting about their pregnancies and newly married life.

With fabulous new wedding, fashion, beauty and home products coming across my desk each day, I look forward to sharing the latest and greatest with you. Enjoy!

Anna Pedersen
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief
The Bride's Diary