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'I resigned as bridesmaid'
Im sure there is a special place in wedding hell for people like me. You see I once resigned as a bridesmaid. It was a decade ago. Toni (not her real name - oh what the hell, actually, yes it is) and I were close friends at uni but as soon as I graduated I moved from Brisbane to Melbourne then London and finally settled in Sydney. I only came back to Brisbane once a year. We were still friends but we only spoke on the phone maybe twice a year. I was surprised when she made a big deal about catching up for a coffee the next time I was in Queensland. I was more surprised when she asked me to be her chief bridesmaid. Bridesmaid hell: Katherine Heigl feeling blue in the film 27 Dresses. But its the sort of thing you cant say no to. So I awkwardly said yes. I was excited for her to be getting married. I was happy she was in love. I just focused on that. Ummm no. She expected me to fly up to Brisbane to go dress shopping, then again for shoes, then again for final fittings. Plus she wanted me to throw her a hens party. Bridesmaid hell: Katherine Heigl in the film 27 Dresses. Now if she was my best friend who I spoke to most days I would do all of this without question. But I didnt know a single one of her other friends and the thought of male strippers at a tacky hens party made me want to gag. I had also only met the groom once. At the time I had a very demanding job at Channel Nine. It was massive in terms of hours but paid peanuts. The thought of the time off and cost of the flights had my mind swirling. Two months out from the big day I finally got the courage to tell her it was all getting too much. I would have rather stuck a fork in my eye than have that conversation. There were tears, accusations and anger. And I deserved it all. Bridesmaid hell: Katherine Heigl juggling tasks in the film 27 Dresses. But I had this massive sense of relief. Which is not the emotion a bridesmaid should feel. It seems I'm not alone in my reluctance. Being a bridesmaid is expensive business. Recent research shows Australian weddings cost an average $48,296 which, according to Bride To Bes annual Cost of Love survey , is an increase of more than 70 per cent in the past decade. The national industry is worth almost $5.8 billion. A list of possible costs covered by a bridesmaid may include the bridesmaid dress, the wedding shoes, accessories, hair and makeup, pre-wedding beauty such as manicures and pedicures, pre-wedding parties such as the bridal shower and hen's party and a wedding gift. Maddie, 28, was bridesmaid for a high school friend in November last year and says it cost her almost $3000. Having never been a bridesmaid before, Maddie was honoured to be asked and didnt feel she could complain about costs after she had said yes. She says: "Now, after talking to other girls about my experience, I feel like I was taken advantage of. I should have spoken to the bride and come to a fair agreement about what I was willing to pay for. If another friend asks me, Ill be saying no." Another problem is its a big time commitment. Kristen, 30, found it near impossible to balance the various commitments associated with the role and her job as an accountant. "There was a fitting or event on every week for the last two months leading up to the wedding. I struggled to find the time to attend every occasion and had a row with the bride when I missed a ceremony rehearsal when I couldnt get out of work." Between fittings, rehearsals, meetings, kitchen teas and hens parties there is a big time commitment involved with being a bridesmaid. Kristen says, "I didnt want to sound ungrateful for the job - because I was thrilled to be a part of her wedding - but as the date drew closer I kept thinking how glad I would be when it was all over and I didnt have to do anything anymore." For some its more fun being a guest. Stella, 29, told her friends straight up that she had no interest in being a bridesmaid because she would prefer to be a guest. "I would rather wear my own choice of outfit, arrive when I want, enjoy cocktail hour instead of being photographed with the wedding party and not have to do anything official on the day." As a bridesmaid, your duty is to assist the bride in anything from helping her get ready to making a speech at the wedding. Kate, 27, shares the same opinion as Stella, "I dont like being cheap Celebrity Dresses - http://sitesteer.com in the spotlight, I would much rather be on a table with other guests than walking down the aisle and sitting up with the bridal party." Always the bridesmaid, never the bride? For Prue, 31, that has been the case seven times. She has always enjoyed being a bridesmaid for family and friends but after the last one she is hanging up her pale pink heels. "Ive had a little bit of teasing from family - aunts and my grandmother, joking that surely it will be my turn next time. It doesnt really bother me but I have had enough of being a bridesmaid. I dont really want to do it again." Sometimes it happens in reverse and the bridesmaid can be sacked. Miriam, 26, was thrilled to be asked, along with three other friends, to be a bridesmaid at their high school friends wedding. They bought dresses, planned a kitchen tea and a hens party and then eight weeks out from the big day the bride decided she had changed her mind and demoted all but one of them. "I was shocked when the bride organised a dinner and in the middle of the meal announced to the three of us that we were no longer her bridesmaids and that she was only having one now. It got worse though - three weeks prior to the wedding and all of a sudden she had decided to have a small reception and we found ourselves uninvited from the party altogether!" After that experience Miriam claims she would definitely think twice before accepting the job again. Jodie, 22, agrees. "I wouldnt rush into it again. There are only a few friends I could tolerate being a bridesmaid for - there are just too many opportunities for potential friendship breakers." Well, it was a friendship breaker for me. And karma bit me hard. My boyfriend at the time got called to work the weekend of the wedding so I had to turn up alone. The bride hardly spoke to me, the brides mother kept shooting me death stares and the new chief bridesmaid looked strangely smug. Weve never been in touch since. Horrible situation, horrible outcome, everything just horrible. I honestly hope shes happy. I wish Id just been brave enough to say no at that first coffee. Additional reporting Bree Player Is being a bridesmaid more of a burden than an honour? Have you ever said yes then regretted it? <br>For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life/blogs/shell-shocked/i-resigned-as-bridesmaid-20130801-2r0pw.html
J.Crew Launches Collaborative Line of Wedding Stationery With Sugar Paper
J.Crew bridesmaid dresses are some of the most popular around (theyre pretty much perfect for the pick-a-color-and-then-let-your-girls-each-choose-their-own-style thing), and we have long been a fan of their wedding dresses . Theyve all just got that beautiful, timeless, clean-lined look that really appeals to a classic bride. And now, J.Crew has just added to its stable of gorg wedding goodies by collaborating with LA-based stationers Sugar Paper to launch a line of exclusive-to-J.Crew wedding stationery! Its not save-the-dates or invitationsbut its nearly everything else! The line has 13 different pieces on it, ranging from sweet little Will You Be My Bridesmaid?cards to gift tags, thank-you notes, place cards, decorative coasters and that omni-present organizational planner that every bride really kinda needs, whether she thinks she does or not.Prices range from $6.75 to $62, and the whole line is done in an array of soft, pretty blush tones, grays, whites and golds with whimsical fonts and feminine patterns like polka dots, bubbles and arrows. So cute! Theyre selling them online only, and you can check out the whole collectionand now, get emright here . <br>For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.phillymag.com/philadelphia-wedding/2014/01/03/j-crew-launches-collaborative-line-wedding-stationery-sugar-paper/
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Claire Fallon and Paul Worthy met on the job as garbage truck drivers for the Sunderland City Council, in North East England. It's only fitting, then, that they decided to travel from their wedding ceremony to the reception in a garbage truck. Watch the video above for more on their unusual Big Day ride. Keep in touch! Check out HuffPost Weddings on Facebook , Twitter and Pinterest . Also on HuffPost: Loading Slideshow Vast Veil For her wedding to Ferdinand Pucci near Naples, Italy, bride Elena De Angelis wore the world's longest wedding veil, measuring a staggering 1.8 miles long. The white silk veil, which was six and half feet wide, took months to make and needed a staggering 600 people to carry it. The village of Casal di Principe came to a standstill as hundreds of people turned out to help De Angelis along the streets to the church. Her veil was so long, it would take Olympian Usain Bolt racing at world-record speed nearly five minutes to run its length. Fated to Marry Amy Singley and Steven Smith of Bushkill Township, Pennsylvania, were born at the same hospital on the same day in 1986 -- and their mothers even shared a hospital room. On June 12, 2010, the 24-year-olds married. Wedding Machine In 2011, Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum in Detroit, Michigan, bought a new vending machine that enables couples to get married for just $1. Devised by British company Concept Shed, the AutoWed has a robotic voice that takes couples through their vows, at the end of which they either press one button for "I do" or another for "Escape." At the end, they get a wedding receipt and two plastic rings. Wet Guests Eva and Pavel Jaworzno got engaged and married underwater. Their August 2011 wedding ceremony took place in a flooded open-pit mine in southern Poland. They took the plunge with 275 guests, making their nuptials the world's largest underwater wedding. Popped the Question For her wedding to Duncan Turner, schoolteacher Rachael Robinson from Lincolnshire, England, wore a dress made from bubble wrap. The dress and train were made out of 13 feet of the packing material by pupils and parents from her school. The sheets of bubble wrap were stitched together, attached to an inner lining of cloth, and topped off with white packing foam and candies. Nipple Dress At the 2011 London Fashion Week, Liverpool designer Rachel Freire unveiled a rose-covered dress made of 3,000 real cow nipples. Created from patches of leather recovered from tanneries, the dress was part of her Nippleocalypse collection, which also featured a bra made from layers of protruding nipples. Contribute to this Story: <br>For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/28/wedding-getaway-car_n_4170837.html
30 Unexpected Wedding Costs Brides Forget to Budget For
Interim Labor leader Chris Bowen says the series of revelations about Mr Abbott, three of his ministers and a backbencher show a pattern of poor judgement. "This goes to judgement of senior Liberals claiming travel expenses for what are very clearly, very clearly not legitimate travel expenses," he told reporters on Sunday. Ms Mirabella was set to be in Mr Abbott's cabinet but lost her seat at the recent federal election to independent Cathy McGowan. A spokesman for Mr Abbott said he had recently repaid money claimed for the 2006 trip after the Department of Finance told him it could not guarantee he was entitled to it. Likely speaker Bronwyn Bishop also attended the wedding. Separate questions have arisen about the Bollywood adventure of three other coalition MPs which cost taxpayers more than $12,000. Mining magnate Gina Rinehart flew Julie Bishop, Barnaby Joyce and Teresa Gambaro from Perth to Hyderabad in a private jet to watch the granddaughter of her business partner marry in front of 10,000 guests, Fairfax media reported on Sunday. They later claimed travel expenses to return home. Ms Bishop claims to have spent more time talking to business executives over the three days than she did attending the wedding, while Mr Joyce met officials in Malaysia on his way home. It's the second wedding Mr Joyce attended which has come under scrutiny. A week ago he and Attorney-General George Brandis paid back almost $2300 they got to cover travel to the 2011 wedding of former radio shock jock Michael Smith. "This simply isn't good enough," Mr Bowen said of the series of wedding revelations. "This money is only being paid back after journalists are asking questions, not because the individuals involved have decided on balance that it was an illegitimate claim." But minister Malcolm Turnbull says his colleagues would have been "absolutely satisfied" they were doing the right thing when claiming the expenses. However he conceded there was a degree of ambiguity in the rules. "The better course of action is to always err on a more conservative side and if there is any doubt, then don't make a claim," he said. <br>For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/coalition-mps-wedding-travel-costs-20k-20131006-2v1me.html
Travel Leaders Unveils New Destination Weddings Program
Some invitations can set you back $1 or more in postage fees. Keep in mind that extra postage is also required for square invitations, regardless of weight. Also, dont forget that you also need stamps for your save-the-dates, RSVP cards, and thank-you notes. And try not to obsess over matching your postage to your invitation theme, which can sometimes lead you to choose a more expensive stamp just for the design --No one will remember the stamps, said Woroch. Getting Ready A Hotel Room the Night Before: If you and your bridesmaids are planning on getting ready in a hotel suite, pay attention to check in/check out times -- you'll often need to book the room for two nights in order to have the morning to get ready. Many hotels will not guarantee an early check-in on the wedding date, said KarenBussen ,A-list wedding planner and designer of Simple Stunning Destination Weddings for Palladium Hotels and Resorts .To be safe, and especially if you have a larger bridal party, you might want to consider reserving your room for not just the wedding night, but the night before as well. This way, you can check in at your leisure the night before, sleep a little late, order room service, and invite the ladies to join you for a relaxing day of pampering and getting dolled up. Meals on the Wedding Day: Whether youre getting ready at home or in a hotel, your bridesmaids will likely be with you every step of the way. Dont let them starve! Keep it simple with bagels and fruit for breakfast and a platter of sandwiches for lunch. And dont forget the champagne! said Damon Dietz of Absolute Media Productions . Plus: 5 healthy breakfast ideas. Forgotten Items: Wedding brain can affect even the best of us -- and if youre not getting ready in your own home, it's far too easy to forget something and need a last-minute replacement. At one weddingDiane Warner, author of Complete Guide to a Traditional Wedding,attended, the groom didnt realize hed neglected to pack his dress shoes until he arrived at the ceremony venue; This required a hasty trip to the closest shoe store, she said. We recommend starting your packing list at least a week before your wedding, and have a trusted loved one look it over as well to make sure youre not forgetting anything. Plus: Your last-minute wedding-day checklist. Fashion Alterations: Unless youre extremely lucky, your wedding gown is going to require some alterations, whether that means hemming the gown, taking it in (or letting it out), or structural changes (like adding straps). Some salons offer a flat fee, while others will charge you for every alteration. This can run you several hundred dollars, so dont blow your entire fashion budget on the gown (psst -- check out these gorgeous gowns under $1,000! ). Undergarments and Accessories: Also, save room in your fashion budget for the extras: Your veil, shoes, undergarments and/or shapewear, and jewelry, which can set you back $200 to $500 or more ( see the best new bridal accessories under $100 ). You can cut costs by making your veil or jewelry your "something borrowed." Pre-Wedding Party Attire: Another forgotten fashion item: Cute dresses for your pre-wedding events, said Woroch. From the engagement party to the bridal shower to the bachelorette party to the rehearsal dinner to the day-after brunch, youll be celebrating all year long with your nearest and dearest. Save money by re-wearing dresses you already own -- you dont need a little white dress for every party just because youre the bride. Guests Transportation for Guests: While youre generally not responsible for how guests get to and from your wedding, it becomes your concern if a guest gets too intoxicated to drive home. If you cant recruit a friend or family member to provide the necessary transportation, youll need to pay taxi fare, said Warner. Unexpected Guests: Inevitably, a guest who RSVPd no will turn up anyway, a clueless friend will show up with an uninvited plus one, or your cousin will bring her kids even though you specifically said no kids were invited. As rude and upsetting as this may be, it should be anticipated by planning ahead for a couple extra dinners and place settings, said Warner. Welcome Bags: While these are certainly not required, gift bags are a lovely touch if youre hosting out-of-towners. They may include handwritten welcome notes from the bride and groom, fresh fruit or flowers, disposable cameras, bottled water, a schedule of events, brochures for local attractions, and a city map, said Warner. Plus: Get more ideas for your welcome baskets. Gifts Presents for Parents and Other Family Members: You already know that youll need gifts for your hardworking bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, and ring bearers. But dont forget about your parents! Consider an engraved frame, an IOU for a parents album after the big day, or even a second honeymoon package. It doesn't have to be costly -- the emphasis should be on remembering them. But if you calculate these costs, you won't be surprised down the road," said photographer Elisa Bricker .Some couples also opt to give small gifts to other family members, like grandparents and any siblings not included in the bridal party. Purchase these gifts early in the planning process so the expense doesnt hit you at the last minute, recommended Warner. Check out 40+ bridal party presents and sweet thank-you gifts for parents. Favors: Favors can cost anywhere from $3-8 (or more) per person, according to Ann Taylor of A Chair Affair Inc. , which can make a sizable dent in your wedding budget depending on the size of your guest list. A few ways to cut costs: Opt for one favor per couple rather than per person; go for a DIY option if youre feeling crafty, or skip favors altogether -- theyre definitely not required, and most guests wont even notice if you dont have them. Plus: 30 winter wedding favors we love. Vendors Day-of Coordinator: So many DIY brides decide at the last minute that they'll need a little help on the big day. You really don't want to be stuck taking calls from your florist and band on your way to your first look, do you?" reminded Woroch. Enter the day-of coordinator , which can run you about $500 to $2,000. It's best to plan this into your budget ahead of time. Then, if you feel you got it all under control, that's just extra cash in your pocket." Vendor Meals: Your photographer and videographer will be with you for 8+ hours on the wedding day; theyre going to need some fuel to keep making sure you look your best all night long. Vendor meals are usually much cheaper than guest entrees, but depending on the size of your band, number of photographers, videographers and coordinators, you may be looking at a few hundred dollars extra, said Woroch. Videography: Couple often think they don't need a videographer because photos will be enough, said Dietz. Then they come to the realization the month of the wedding that they have made a big mistake. Trying to squeeze in a major vendor like videographer without properly budgeting for it can be a cause for concern. Fees for videography can vary wildly, from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on what youre looking for. If youre wishy-washy on video, set aside the money anyway -- then, if you decide you really dont need it, you can reallocate the money later on. Plus: What to ask a potential videographer. Reception Lighting: A simple addition of up-lights around a reception area can cost around $1,000, so it is best to plan ahead, said Stacey Lynn of Stacey Lynn Design . Other popular lighting options: Pin-spotting (to highlight centerpieces or accent areas, like the cake display), a wash (general room color or dance floor), and a custom-designed gobo projection, such as a monogram. But lighting isn't just an extra -- if you're planning an outdoor wedding , it's a requirement. Consider hanging bistro lights, chandeliers or lanterns to create the perfect rustic-chic space, said Stacey Lynn. Check out 15 fun ways to light up your reception. Sound: Having an outdoor wedding? Invest in a sound system if you want your guests to actually be able to hear your vows. It doesn't matter if you're only having 50 guests -- without a sound system, your guests will struggle to hear your ceremony, and that means they'll miss out on the heart of your wedding, said event planner Amy Kaneko .And if you've hired musicians to play as you walk down the aisle, they also need to be amplified, or those songs you've so carefully chosen will be wimpy instead of powerful. Spend the money on a sound system, even if it means you need to trim elsewhere. Decor Beyond the Flowers: The majority of your decor budget will likely be allocated to flowers, but set aside $25-30 per table for the non-floral elements: Candles, glass hurricanes, mercury votives, specialty linens, flatware and even how you will identify your tables are all important details that can drastically change your budget if you have not accounted for these details, said Lindsey of L. Brook Events . And if you're looking to add additional elements like lanterns or vintage decor rentals, you may want to save as much as 40% of your total decor budget for these pieces. Plus, you can also save on flowers by choosing in-season blooms -- see your best picks for your wedding month. Also, always overestimate how many items you'll need. At one wedding Warner attended, the couple planned an elegant candlelit wedding ceremony. However, as friends and family members began decorating the ceremony venue, they realized they needed at least a hundred more candles to provide enough light at the front of the chapel, said Warner. Including Yourselves in the Final Count: Sorry, the bride and groom dont eat for free at the wedding. <br>For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bridal-guide/30-unexpected-wedding-cos_b_4412385.html
Further leveraging existing supplier relationships, as well as using Travel Leaders' In-Country Partners for more exotic honeymoons and destination weddings globally, the initiative will include structured marketing efforts and refined education and training. RELATED:Georgia Agents Take Home Travel Leaders' Top Honor at 2013 National Meeting "One of the things the teamhad noticed in talking to agents is the growth of destination weddings and in working with our destinations, we determined there is a natural need to put together a defined program that will help agencies expand in this marketplace," Roger E. Block, president of Travel Leaders Franchise Group, told Travel Agent during a media briefing on the subject. Marketing for the new initiative will encompass everything from online micro-sites to direct mail, supplier partnerships designed to offer lead generation to specialists, and consumer events designed to showcase Travel Leaders honeymoon and destination wedding specialists. These efforts will be augmented by comprehensive training ranging from specialist boot camps and FAM opportunities to a proprietary certification program for both honeymoon and destination wedding specializations. "We know this is something that is very important to the client," Brian Hegarty, vice president of destinations for Travel Leaders Group, told Travel Agent, noting that 98.7 percent of the agentsthat Travel Leaders' polled said destination weddings and honeymoons were either moderately or very important to their leisure strategy. Overall, 64 percentof surveyed agents have indicated that a minimum of 10 percent of their leisure sales is derived specifically from serving the honeymoon and destination wedding markets, says Block.Additionally, Travel Leaders research has shown a dramatic increase in the number of Travel Leaders agents reporting an increase in leisure business among travelers under the age of 35. The comprehensive initiative will benefit Travel Leaders agencies that already have a significant foothold in the honeymoon and destination weddings marketplace. RELATED:Minnesota Couple Nabs Travel Leaders' 'Associate of the Year' Award However, Block also pointed to two other groups within Travel Leaders who stand to become beneficiaries: agencies wishing to develop more business in serving these markets and independent contractors (IC) who are seeking to specialize in these niches. Recognizing the nuances of the specific clientele, Travel Leaders honeymoon and destination wedding initiative will offer its Travel Leaders specialists with structured marketing programs that take separate content paths for each specialization one for honeymoons and one for destination weddings. The initiative will provide specialists with microsites for each that will be seamlessly integrated into Travelleaders.com and Travel Leaders agency sites. Specialists will also be provided opportunities to further engage clients through in-store point-of-sale pieces and marketing collateral, direct mail, email and social media assets. Visit www.jointravelleaders.com and www.TravelLeaders.com . <br>For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.travelagentcentral.com/destination-weddings/travel-leaders-unveils-new-destination-weddings-program-43574