I'm Wedding Blogging!

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

When it comes to choosing wedding and engagement rings, there are so many more options than you would ever expect! The key is to keep it personal, and have fun choosing!

Engagement Rings

With the average cost of an engagement ring in the UK last year being roughly £1,500, an engagement ring can be a pretty big purchase! Of course, engagement rings can cost anything from £100 to £10,000 and so it's really down to your budget and style as to how much you will spend. Some research into the different styles and metals will go a long way to helping you make your decision (read on for a quick summary of different metals).

Proposal rings

Traditionally, the person proposing chooses the engagement ring - and the style will be a surprise when they pop the question. Some people have confidence in picking out an engagement ring that they know their partner will love. But more and more often, a 'proposal' or 'temporary' ring is bought instead.

This ring will be used to propose to your loved one with, before you both go out and choose a 'proper' engagement ring together. This is a great idea if you haven't been able to sneakily suss out your partner's jewellery size, or if you have no clue what they would like!

You can purchase 'proposal' rings for as little as £40 from established jewellers, but there are also lots of cheaper costume jewellery options. I also love the idea of using a jelly sweet ring for fun! In The Simpsons, Homer proposed to Marge using an onion ring - but perhaps skip that idea if you want your loved one to say yes!!!

Engagement ring trick

If you're not sure of your partner's size, I would always recommend choosing a ring that is a little bigger than you think it should be to propose with. This means that at that all important moment it will fit on your partner's finger without a struggle and you can get those photographs to share with your family straight away!!! If it's too small, they won't be able to wear it straight away. You can always visit your jeweller soon afterwards and have them adjust the size for you.

My engagement ring

My husband chose the ring he proposed with. Knowing that I don't often wear jewellery he must have had a tricky time of it, but he customised a stunning engagement ring (pictured at the top) at the family run jewellery shop Prestige Diamonds in Southport. I absolutely love it, and he almost got my size right (it was a size or two too big). I loved that he had chosen the details for me, and he did an amazing job!

Wedding Rings

Usually you would go out and choose your wedding rings together, and I would suggest ordering them about 6 months before the big day. Whether you include them in your wedding budget or not depends on who is contributing towards your wedding day - traditionally you and your partner buy them for each other.

Metal types

Don't forget that you will be wearing your wedding rings for years and years, and so it's really important to know what you want for this super important piece of jewellery. The metal that your rings are made from is more important than you might think, so make sure you think about your lifestyle and personal tastes before you make your decision.

Here's a quick guide:

--> Platinum: The most rare metal, and also the one that needs the least maintenance. Platinum doesn't tarnish and doesn't mark easily. Perfect for you if your day to day life involves using your hands a lot, or if you like your jewellery to be low maintenance.

--> White Gold: White gold is made from a blend of yellow gold and a white metal like silver or platinum. It's then coated in rhodium to give it a lovely shine. To keep it in top condition, you'll need to have it re-coated every so often.

--> Yellow Gold: Possibly the most traditional choice for wedding rings. It's a soft metal and marks quite easily from everyday wear, but has a lovely warm glow.

--> Rose Gold: This modern metal has been super popular recently, and is made from a mix of yellow gold and copper. It is more durable than yellow or white gold, but due to the copper it is not hypo-allergenic.

--> Titanium: A comfortable, lightweight, and hypo-allergenic metal that is very hard-wearing. It has a slightly darker hue than silver or platinum and is a popular choice for grooms (including my husband).

--> Palladium: Another modern metal that has a similar look and feel to platinum, but isn't as expensive.

--> Sterling Silver: Made from 90+% silver and a metal alloy such as copper, sterling silver is strong and durable, and great value. It can be coated in rhodium to give it a lovely shine.

Wedding ring styles

You might need to take into account the style and shape of your engagement ring when you pick your wedding ring. If you plan on wearing both together, will they sit nicely next to each other? Is it important to you that they match? Is it comfortable to wear?

My wedding and engagement rings...

My wedding ring

Jewellers would suggest that you match the metals of your engagement and wedding rings to reduce tarnish. My wedding ring is yellow gold and doesn't match! It was originally my nan's (and possibly my great-nan's before that), kindly gifted to me by my dad in the months before my wedding day.

The fact that they don't match my engagement ring doesn't matter to me as they both harness so much sentimentality. I originally had my wedding ring coated in rhodium, but as you can see it has worn away over the last 18 months, and I'm not sure that I would like to have it re-coated.

My husband's wedding ring also doesn't match mine, although often couples will choose a matching pair.

Whatever you decide, your wedding and engagement rings are so super personal to you, that it will really depend on your own personal tastes as a couple. Good luck choosing, and make sure you have fun deciding!!!

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

It's a biggie! And a question that can sometimes divide family and friends right down the middle. But after stumbling across this dilemma when planning my own wedding in 2018, I found that there are quite a few ways of approaching whether you invite the little ones to your big day.

Here are my thoughts...

1. No kids allowed!

Let's get this one out of the way first! There are reasons that you might choose not to invite children to your celebrations. The more people you invite to your wedding day, the more expensive it can get - and that includes when it comes to kids. Family politics might also make it impossible to decide whose children should attend and who shouldn't. If you decide not to invite children to your wedding, just make sure that you stick to it - maybe stick to an age limit - to make sure you're fair. If any of your guests are in need of childcare for the day, there are options available (read on for more!).

2. Setting a compromise...

This is what my husband and I settled on, and where most couples will find themselves landing. We ended up inviting children who were our cousins, but not our second cousins and third cousins, or our friend's children as there would have been so many!

As long as you set a clear rule and don't deviate, your guests should be okay with your decision, and quite often parents are looking forward to a night of letting their hair down without their little ones.

3. Inviting all the children!

This is my favourite of course! Don't forget that if you're inviting quite a few little ones to your wedding, you might want a plan in place to get them through boring grown up stuff like speeches and ceremonies...

Introducing.... NannyTap!!!

No matter what you decide, I have the solution for you! NannyTap is a wonderful local Liverpool based childcare service, created and managed by Annette - who has 18 years of experience within the childcare industry.

Annette and the team at NannyTap offer a flexible childcare and babysitting service that will fit around you and your wedding celebrations - whether you would like your children to be with you, or whether you would like somebody to care for them whilst you get married! NannyTap also offer babysitting services for wedding guests. I had the pleasure of learning a little more about the business from Annette herself....

Hi Annette! I've outlined my tips on inviting children to weddings - but as someone with 18 years of experience within the childcare industry, what are your own thoughts?

Weddings and civil ceremonies are special and meaningful days, that see two families come together for a beautiful and memorable celebration. Inviting children along to a wedding opens up opportunities for wedding couples, creating special roles, as ring bearer, flower girls and bridesmaids. With that; children bring so much fun laughter and sparkle to the day with their cheeky smiles and funny moments.

Many of the bridal party appreciate and value their children being invited, it helps guests with attending the day, to which in turn solves their child care arrangements, as its possible their chosen choice of babysitter may be attending the wedding too.

I love it when couples get the kids involved in their weddings too! What kind of services do you offer for couples who may be in need of childcare on their wedding day?

Nannytap offers bespoke wedding nanny services, this is a great service and ideal for bride/s and groom/s or guests that are looking for help & support throughout the wedding day or for evening babysitting. My trustworthy professional experienced child carers will look after the little VIPS, helping with anything from nappy changes, toileting, playtime, nap time, meal times and entertaining.

Alternatively if there is a larger group of children, Nannytap provides beautifully set up play creches within the wedding venue, offering a fun and comfy space to play and relax with wide range of toys, games arts & crafts. This is perfect for those times when speeches are taken place. All creche’s are supervised by highly qualified and experienced childcarers, holding DBS checks, and first aid training.

Amazing! Can you tell me a little bit more about the Nannytap team and childcarers that you have built?

I began adhoc babysitting at weddings for children I cared for at previous and current job positions. I attended and supported a wedding in Spain as part of my half term travel nanny position. The feedback from the parents was overwhelming in its praise for the role I had performed. They’d never enjoyed a wedding so much, and the children had loved it. I’d heard that more and more people in the UK were looking for children’s entertainers and child minders for weddings. I began to wonder - why didn’t I offer my experience and services as a ‘wedding nanny’ or gather my own Nanny team?

With working in the childcare sector for many years I knew lots of outstanding and highly experienced child carers that would create a wonderful team, that’s when Nannytap Wedding Nannies and pop up crèche services was created!

Do you have any memories of a special moment between a little one you were looking after and their mum or dad on their wedding day?

Children are so innocent and spontaneously say the sweetest things. I hear lots of lovely compliments children say to their parents. “my mummy is a beautiful princess”

“My daddy is a handsome prince”. Depending on the booking arrangements, we do get the privilege to see some beautiful moments during the photography shots.

When entertaining little ones - what is your favourite fun wedding day game to play?

Our pop up creche’s are filled to the brim with fantastic toys and games all selected specifically for the age group were looking after. We have lovely wedding related resources such as a Sylvian Families wedding car and figures, bride ragdolls, and brides & grooms colouring in sheets.

It’s hard to pick a favourite, but I would say classic games are always a huge hit with both the nannies and the children! Snakes and Ladders, Monopoly, Connect 4, and Guess Who are always popular and give hours of fun!

Can you offer any advice for keeping older kids happy during speeches and all of the other 'grown up' stuff?

Older children and teenagers tend to stay at the wedding breakfast and evening reception, which means listening to lengthy speeches. A great way to keep them engaged and less bored, is creating a busy bag that is left out on the table for them. Some fun ideas are things like a wedding I-spy card and wordsearch sheets.

Throw away cameras are also cool and something different that some children may have never used or experienced before! "Showing our age here!!!" - Gem

Giving older children a job or task is a creative way of keeping them on their toes and involved; acting as ‘toastmaster’ for example. If they have a special talent or memory to share, you could let them preform or give a speech maybe.

Thank you so much for your time Annette! If readers would like more info, or to get in touch - where should they go?

Nannytap can be found on various platforms and wedding directories such as Instagram, Facebook, Bridebook, Wedding business awards directory and not forgetting the Nannytap website that’s also linked below.

When so much money is invested in getting weddings to be just right, to be as perfect as they are imagined in our dreams and wishes, it seems that Nannytap Weddings has a great part to play in making those dreams come true. And it feels great to be able to offer this service and to be putting all those years of training and expertise to such a happy and memorable use.

You can visit my website: NannyTap.com

Check out my Instagram page: @nannytap1

Or catch us on Facebook: @nannytapweddings

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

So your big day is nearly upon you, and you've put soooo many hours into planning it. It's time to relax and enjoy celebrating with your loved ones! These are three of my favourite tips on how you can make sure you really make the most of your best day ever...

1. Before you walk down the aisle, ask your guests to put their phones away.

It's your special day. All of those months or even years of planning have led up to the moment you walk down that aisle. You step through the door to your favourite music, the mood is set, the wedding planner fixes the train of your dress, your bride or groom turns to face you for the first time....

And you can't see anybody else because they're all watching you through the screens of their mobile phones!

This is a personal bugbear of mine, but I would always suggest prompting all of your guests to keep their phones in their pockets. Even if it's just for the ceremony. Let the professional photographer do all the work, and the shots they get will be so much more stunning as there will be no phones in sight and your loved ones will be fully immersed in your love.

2. Make time for just the two of you.

Your wedding day will rush past in a blur, believe me. You'll feel like you haven't spent very much time with anybody because you'll have so many people congratulating you, asking you how you are, and asking you if you'd like another drink! It's lots of fun catching up with your nearest and dearest, but don't forget about your number one.

It's difficult to spend more than a minute with your brand new husband or wife after your wedding breakfast. To make sure you get that breathing space together, ask a trusted friend to find a quiet place for you to both get away from the crowd and take it all in. You won't regret it!

3. Get someone to save food for you.

If you're anything like me, you will have put a decent amount of time into making sure the food you serve to your wedding guests is spot on. Whether it's a daytime roast or a nighttime food truck, or canapés, or a cheese cart, or a doughnut wall; make sure a plate is kept aside for you!

As soon as the buffet is announced people will flock to it. And you'll probably be too busy bouncing from person to person to even notice! Even if you're too busy celebrating to tuck in, somebody should be appointed to bring a taste of everything over to you so that you don't miss out. You don't want to put lots of effort into your planning and not get to experience everything.

Above all, do what's right for you and have lots of fun!