English vs American Weddings

weddingCan you imagine a wedding where the wedding meal is actually the wedding breakfast? Where you trade in the chicken marsala and beef pot roast for pancakes and eggs. Or what about eliminating the rehearsal dinner? Do you really need it?

How about getting married in a venue with their own traditions? Their place…their rules. To top it off, what if you only could select a couple friends to be in your wedding party? Could you do that? Could you tell your other friends that they didn’t make the cut?

What about using “ushers” as groomsmen? Here’s a big one, what about having the bride enter before the bridesmaids?

Could you schedule a break before evening festivities? Will you feel comfortable requiring your guests to pay for their own drinks? Or what about ONLY having the bride’s father, best man, and groom give a speech (well, more like a roast)?

If you’ve ever attended or had an English wedding…then such things probably are no surprise. But if you haven’t, and are only used to American weddings, then English weddings maybe a little “different.” But, different doesn’t necessarily mean bad. In fact, you can gain some budget friendly inspiration and ideas to simplify the entire wedding process.

I found a great article on Smitten by Britain with “9 Differences Between English and American Weddings”. It’s a good read. And if you or anyone you know are planning a wedding, how about taking into consideration English wedding ideas? Did you see Kate Middleton’s wedding? Remember, English weddings are my specialty!

All-inclusive weddings – Traditional weddings just got better

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When dreaming about your fairytale wedding, what does it look like? Are you floating down the aisle, in the perfect dress, to your handsome prince charming? Are you at some exotic location? Surrounded by family and friends? What do you see?

Dreaming about and planning your perfect wedding can be exciting. However, once you experience the stress and discover all the costs involved with choosing a venue, food, cake, flowers, DJ, videographer, photographer, dress, tux, hair, and make-up. ..a sense of shock takes over, and reality kicks in. Dream weddings are not cheap! And these days, mom and pop can’t always cover the bill.

So what do you do? What could you do? Fall into debt before even saying “I do”? Hold off the wedding? Run to Vegas? Perhaps the court house? Sell your soul to the mafia and ask them to pay for it? What can you do?

Well…I’m here to share an option. While growing in popularity, this alternative to traditional weddings is still unknown to many. What is it? It’s an all-inclusive wedding. All-inclusive weddings give you the best of both worlds. You can enjoy all the fixings of your dream wedding, at a beautiful, exotic location, with a price tag you can afford.

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Typically, they include a venue, catering, wedding cake, flower, DJ, videographer, photographer, hair and make-up artist, minister/officiant, and a coordinator to design and set-up everything to your liking. So how can you have all this and still afford it?

Well, let’s start with the venue. As opposed to booking a venue hundreds/thousands of miles away and having to pay absorbent amounts in transportation and accommodation, you can experience a destination wedding at a hidden, local oasis.

For instance, where do you see your dream wedding? At an exotic beach, overlooking the ocean? At an exclusive mansion or private estate, feeling like a fairy princess? Or what about a romantic winery or a Tuscany villa, where everyone is at awe to the eloquent surroundings? How about a prestigious country club where others will absorb your wedding venue in envy. Or maybe even a country setting?

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I can’t speak for all, but just here in Temecula Valley, or a short distance away, we have access to romantic wineries, country settings, private estates, exclusive mansions, private country clubs, waterfronts, Tuscany villa, and more.

To top it off, since we’ve partnered up with such venues, we’re able to book them at significant discounts, passing the savings to your pocket book. In fact, on average, when compared to traditional “retail costs”, all inclusive wedding packages are cheaper by 15% to 35%, which can save you thousands of dollars.

Similarly, in terms of vendors…since we’re a big part of their business, not only do we receive discounted rates (of course passing the savings down to you), but we’re able to bargain with them and take advantage of promotions.

You see, all-inclusive weddings take the guess work out and keep costs low when creating dream weddings. They’re bundled packages per se’ that include everything you need from to kick start the first chapter of your married life together.

How to lose weight for your wedding

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While planning for your big day can be a great motivator to help you slim down and shape up, it’s also a resort to drastic measures, fad programs, and quick fixes. Such tactics may initially help brides-to-be to lose weight, but at the end, they usually result in miserable failure. So to help you reach your goals, we’ve listed 13 tips to shed the unwanted pounds and get you in shape for your wedding day.

1) Calculate your BMR to reveal how many calories your body burns at rest (i.e. while sleeping and dreaming about your wedding day).

2) Using such a formula as the Harris Benedict Equation, calculate how many calories your body needs daily based on your activity level.

3) Next, calculate how many calories your body is actually taking in. I know…tracking calories is no fun. But with a wedding around the corner and all the food samples you’ll taste, it does require a little extra effort. Mental tracking doesn’t count. Write down everything you’re eating and drinking. Not only will you find out how much your eating daily, but you’ll unveil all your hidden and unnecessary calories (usually found in drinks, sauces, dressings, etc…).

4) After calculating how many calories your body needs daily and discovering how many calories you’re actually taking in, establish which number is larger. If you’re consuming more than your body needs, then you’re on a path towards weight gain. If it’s less, then you’re on your way towards weight loss.

5) The magic number is 3500! 3500 calories equals 1 pound. So for each deficit of 3500 calories you create…either via diet, exercise, or a combination of the two, you’ll lose one pound. Now, I’m not saying go out and lose 3500 calories a day! In fact, I wouldn’t even recommend losing more than 1 to 2 pounds a week. However, if you create a daily deficit of let’s say 500 calories a day by diet (assuring you don’t drop below a daily consumption of 1200 calories) and exercise, you’ll lose 1lb a week.

6) There’s something special about sitting down and having a meal with someone. It’s a time to reflect, share, and listen. So, as you’re about to start a life with someone else…hopefully one full of shared meals, use this time to discover what one another enjoy to eat. Then, since I’m not one for fad diets or eliminating any foods, search online for healthy recipes of these dishes…recipes comprised of whole grains and unprocessed as well as low-caloric ingredients.

7) As you’re probably experiencing, planning a wedding requires a lot of work. Nonetheless, so does beginning a new life with someone. To help keep control of what you’re eating, try preparing meals in bulk and freezing uneaten portions for easy and quick meals later (without having to resort to packaged meals or take-out). And if time is real tight, try finding crockpot recipes. All you need to mainly do is dump your ingredients into the slow-cooker, close the lid, and viola! By the time it’s time to eat, your meal is all done.

8) Finding vendors, meeting with vendors, sampling foods, running around, meeting with family and friends…all can take a toll on you. To keep your energy levels and metabolism up, make sure you have healthy snacks available with you at all times (i.e. almonds, fruits, etc…). In fact, it’s been said to eat 5 to 6 smaller meals a day to keep your metabolism up. For instance, eat breakfast, followed by a snack 3 hours later, then lunch another 3 hours later, then a snack, then dinner, and maybe an after dinner snack/dessert (again, about 3 hours apart per eating).

9) If you’re planning your own wedding, be ready to run around a lot. But note, running wedding errands is not the same as running. Yes, you do burn some calories (just like you do while sleeping), but you should incorporate exercise 3 to 5 days to maximize your weight loss potential. You’ll need both cardio (to burn the calories) and toning (to speed up your metabolism and strengthen your muscles).

10) Many brides start strong on a workout program but then quickly lose motivation and stop. To stay motivated, schedule your workouts in just like you would any other appointment.

11) Likewise, working out doesn’t have to be running on a treadmill. Find out what activities you enjoy. Perhaps for cardio, take a sexy dance class…maybe learn a few sexy, new moves to use on your honey moon…wink, wink. Maybe hit the gym with your future spouse to help spot you when toning. Or maybe, gather your bridesmaids together for a group workout. Their support will come in handy.

12) One reason we’re great advocates of hiring wedding planners is that planning a wedding can be a full time and stressful job. Good wedding planners, as us, have the connections, expertise, and resources to create your dream wedding within your budget. We do the hard and dirty work while focusing on creating a worry-free and smooth wedding for you and your guests. But, if you are planning your own wedding, don’t allow the stress to get you. Stress raises your cortisol level, a hormone known to create belly bulge. If you’re trying to lose weight, keep stress levels low and make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep.

13) As two lives become one…so does yours and your future spouse’s clutter. Research has shown that clutter can cause weight gain. How you ask? Well, a cluttered environment as well as a cluttered life and mind have shown to create stress. And once again, stress increases cortisol, which increases weight. What’s the solution, as you’re planning for your big day, also use this time to declutter your guys’ life and create a low-stress environment.

So there you go…13 tips to help you slim down and shape-up for your wedding day. On a final thought, remember not to allow your weight loss goal overwhelm you. Don’t focus on the big picture of let’s say losing 20lbs. Rather, create baby goals. Focus on losing 2lbs. Once you’ve accomplished that, then focus on another 2lbs. And before you know it, you’ll be flowing down the aisle to your love with the body you love.