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Your Hampshire and Dorset Wedding news and ideas from around the area

All the latest wedding news for couples getting married in Hampshire or Dorset, along with bridal fashion and beauty inspiration and honeymoon ideas.

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NameSwitch series: It's all in a name - how to change your's post-vows!

After all the precious time spent planning a wedding, and then the excitement of the day itself, followed by a honeymoon of a lifetime, do couples ever think about the admin after the big day? If you're embracing modern independence and keeping your birth name - great news - if you're traditionalist and what to show your newly married status by taking the surname of your beloved - then what's it all about and how do you go about changing it?

Posted: 25 November 2020

Almost Mr & Mrs gifts for would-be brides and grooms

Exclusively for Christmas, London-based Pink Positive has launched a collection of 'Almost Mr & Mrs' gifts for would-be brides and grooms, including festive mugs and sweatshirts. With 71 per cent* of couples postponing their wedding this year due to the global pandemic, the collection is a thoughtful way to bring some cheer. The collection also includes the signature 'personalised gift boxes' with custom gift message inside the lid to make every gift look amazing with a luxurious finishing touch!

Posted: 23 November 2020

Are we all longing for more romance?

Ahhh 'romance', here at County Wedding Magazines HQ we are, of course, suckers for a classic, romantic love story! Apparently, a quarter of Brits (24%) are to, and admit they are longing for a little more romance in their life, according to new research from luxury UK jewellery retailer Goldsmiths - who also looked at the UK's perception of romance in their own lives as well as the films they favour when they're looking for a little bit of love!

Posted: 20 November 2020

How will law reforms impact weddings

In the biggest reform proposed to England's marriage ceremony law the Government's legal advisors have recommended that couples be allowed to marry in whatever outdoor location they choose. The current law, which prohibits couples from marrying in anything other than a permanent structure with a roof if the ceremony is to be solemnised legally, has been largely unchanged since 1836. The Law Commission (an independent body which scrutinises legislation) are wishing to radically modernise the current antiquated laws. There is a strong consensus from the public that reform is desperately required as the current laws are not fit for purpose nor are they reflective of the way in which people wish to solemnise their relationship.

Posted: 18 November 2020

Dinner for one? Individual catering ideas for weddings in a pandemic

Good food is very often simple food! We all know that coronavirus has thrown wedding plans across the UK into chaos. The traditional ceremony, wedding breakfast and evening do is being revamped and reworked from a safety-first viewpoint. Aside from the face coverings, hand sanitiser and social distancing, there's also the catering to think about. Gone are the days of canapés, sharing platters and serve yourself buffets – all hot spots for cross-contamination. Now, with the emphasis on not getting too close, innovative catering ideas that focus on the individual are coming into their own.We caught up with expert Liz Taylor, of wedding planners the Taylor Lynn Corporation, to hear her Covid-friendly wedding catering ideas that put safety first; without losing the taste, impact and importantly the style, from the occasion.

Posted: 16 November 2020

Diamonds are a girl's (or guy's) best friend!

Ooooh what a lovely prize we have in store for our County Wedding Magazines readers over the next fortnight. After such a miserable year, we're now at the start of a grey and gloomy winter season; what better way to bring some sparkle to your life than by winning a £200 voucher to spend at thediamondstore.co.uk? Whether you want to spend it on a little pick-me-up gift for yourself, or put if towards your wedding rings or bridal party gifts, the choice is yours if you end up being our lucky winner!

Posted: 13 November 2020

Perfectly packaged and posted

Sending gifts to loved ones from a distance has never been so easy with Letterbox Gifts. As many people have not been able to host their planned weddings this year, or be able to see family and friends, what better time to share the love on what would have been your hen/stag do, or what would have been your wedding day. Letterbox Gifts have everything you could think of for sending that special person a little something straight through their letterbox. Each Letterbox Gift is gift-wrapped by hand and comes with a free personalised card, making it just that little bit more special for your loved ones to open.

Posted: 4 November 2020

How luxury wedding venue Braxted Park is helping fellow wedding suppliers across the country

Stunning Essex vedding venue Braxted Park has not only diversified and adapted its own operations to fit with ever-changing restrictions on weddings during 2020, but it has also formed the Association of British Wedding Businesses (ABWB). The association aims to support its members and fellow wedding suppliers who have felt the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as act as a liaison with the government – something which is even more important now we face the UK's second lockdown.

Posted: 3 November 2020

31 is the age that the average Brit will get married

One4all Gift Cards has launched a new interactive timeline which reveals the ages most worth looking forward to and what makes them so special – revealing 31 is the age that the average Brit will get married! A survey of 2,027 UK adults also revealed that the age at which we are most happy with our lives is 36. One4all Gift Cards has launched a new interactive timeline which reveals the ages most worth looking forward to and what makes them special. Brits can reflect on happy memories from their past while looking forward to some of the happy years and birthdays they have to come. According to the data, the average Brit has already ticked off key adulthood milestones by this point – and in fact, it shows that your late twenties and early thirties are a time to look forward to, due to the number of special occasions and achievements that are taking place in the average adult's life.

Posted: 2 November 2020

Venue of the week: St Giles House, Dorset

If you're on the hunt for a one-of-a-kind backdrop for your big day, this ancestral home in the Dorset countryside is hard to beat. A labour of love, the historic landmark has been sensitively restored, breathing new life into the historic building. Be prepared for plenty of stop-stare moments from the instant you arrive and catch your first glimpse of the place. Set in beautiful private parkland, surrounded by an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the award-winning venue sits in perfect harmony with the natural landscape. Grand, yet intimate and inviting, think sumptuous interiors, marble fireplaces and ancient leather-bound books.

Posted: 30 October 2020

Good things come in small packages with Mercure microweddings

2020 has been a year like no other for those planning their weddings with an estimated 75,000 weddings postponed this year. However, it has given couples the freedom to let go of all those big wedding expectations; and for brides and grooms who would like a more intimate day, Mercure's Microwedding experience is the perfect solution. From country houses to city-centre modern, couples can find a Mercure venue to suit their personality and suit the new government guidelines...

Posted: 30 October 2020

Little Big Weddings launch in Hampshire

The QHotels Group, which includes Norton Park, Winchester, is offering newlyweds-to-be an extra incentive to tie the knot and celebrate in style with the launch of its 'Little Big Wedding'. The new concept gives all couples the chance to go bigger on their intimate wedding plans at no extra cost. The group will be gifting a range of special add-ons to help all those choosing to host their wedding at one of their hotels to have an extra special celebration, despite the current restrictions. With local wedding venue the historic Norton Park near Winchester, part of the QHotels Group, newlyweds-to-be in the region will be able to make their celebration extra special too.

Posted: 28 October 2020

How to create your own wedding perfume using flowers

Choosing the perfect wedding gift is difficult at the best of times; you want something truly personal and thoughtful. A lovely personalised wedding gift would be to make your own natural and organic perfume using the bride's (or groom's) favourite flowers and wildflowers - all from the comfort of your own home!A simple spritz of perfume is the finishing touch to the wedding morning getting ready routine, a great scent is not only a confidence-booster to start the day, but it will be a fragrance that evokes the memories of such a special event for years to come...While we all have our signature shop-bought scents, natural and organic perfumes can also be created at home with ease using your favourite flowers and wildflowers. If you're looking for a thoughtful and personalised gift for a loved one, or a gorgeous treat for yourself, then take a look at Serenata Flowers' guide to creating your own perfume at home using real flowers:

Posted: 23 October 2020

5 ways to treat your loved one this Champagne Day (today 23 October!)

Françoise Peretti, Director of Champagne Bureau UK shares her expert tips on how to safely celebrate at home and make this Champagne Day special. If there is anything that 2020 has taught us, is that it's important to celebrate those little moments of pleasure whenever we can. It's been a tough run, and there can be no doubt that we all deserve a joyful lift to start the weekend – wherever you find yourself this Friday. Each year on the third Friday of October is Champagne Day, an international day dedicated to Champagne: the original and pinnacle of sparkling wine. This year we are not able to throw lavish and bustling 20 guests soirées (how far-fetched does that seem now?), but spoiling a loved one at home and opening a bottle together is a familiar tradition that will definitely bring a smile to the face of the special person in your life. Here are my top tips (and remarkably easy ways!) to mark the occasion:

Posted: 23 October 2020

Have wheels, will travel

Raise a glass to newcomer to the local wedding scene Southampton-based Tin & Tonic, a mobile horsebox bar that's sure to get guests mixing and mingling. The bespoke mobile drinks bar has been set up by Jo Hudson for weddings, parties and events, specialising in locally sourced gin served with premium tonics and garnishes, signature proseccos and artisan Somerset cider.Jo says, "We've seen huge demand for our 1982 Rice Beaufort horseboxwhich has been lovingly restored and converted. Our range of speciality spirits, cocktails and mocktails, as well as family-produced Old Jollop cider, will turneven the smallest gathering of friends into a very special celebration."

Posted: 22 October 2020

Fun, quirky and thortful - just what we need right now!

Here at County Wedding Magazines HQ we adore this range of cards for couples who have had to postpone their big day! With a whole host of different designs thortful.com has something for everyone; yes nothing can take away from the upset of a cancelled or postponed wedding, but a thoughtful card will certainly go a long way and put a little smile on someone's face. Check out this range of delightful cards to be inspired to send one to someone you know

Posted: 21 October 2020

Dorset's new wedding celebrant duo

Dorset dream team Laura Bell and Lou Brown have joined forces to launch Fox & Star Ceremonies providing a range of bespoke celebrant-led services including weddings. The enterprising pair are both certified celebrants and trained independently with the Academy of Modern Celebrancy and Fellowship of Professional Celebrants. To celebrate the launch they're offering the chance to win a silver naming ceremony or the equivalent value towards a wedding blessing or vow renewal silver or gold package.

Posted: 20 October 2020

Get wedding-ready with Institut Esthederm - prize giveaway

French skincare brand, Institut Esthederm's Cellular Water Fresh Moisturising Gel is the ideal moisturiser for skin exposed to urban aggressors and essential for use in your pre-wedding beauty regime. Suitable for all skin type, it acts as a shield against pollution, creating an invisible film that traps particles and pollutants. In addition to the urban defence benefit, this lightweight moisturiser provides all day-long water diffusion between skin cells for dynamic hydration. The skin is revitalized and glows with lasting radiance. Last but not least, it's quick-absorbing texture and practical packaging make it a men's favourite moisturiser too!

Posted: 19 October 2020

Get married now, party later! Top tips for a micro wedding

Last month County Wedding Magazines shared with our readers bridalwear designer Sabina Motasem's intimate lockdown wedding - which we loved! This month, here's Sabina's top tips on hosting a personal, intimate, micro wedding.... weddings aren't gone, and they're certainly not forgotten!Sabina says, "Embracing a small and intimate wedding now and having a larger reception later can be intimately beautiful and you get to celebrate again with your guests. After our wedding date was postponed several times and it became clear a ceremony and reception were off the cards. We had a small wedding in September with 15 of our nearest and dearest. "The new wedding restrictions are for legally recognised weddings only in the UK, which means all 'non-legally' recognised weddings are sadly not and follows the 'Rule of 6'. In these instances, many weddings may have a cultural ceremony now followed by a civil ceremony and reception later.

Posted: 9 October 2020

Win a gorgeous necklace from Jana Reinhardt jewellery

County Wedding Magazine readers have the chance to win this gorgeous necklace! The perfect meaningful gift for your bridesmaid or maid-of-honour, this ultra dainty pendant features a finely carved tiny hummingbird. As well as looking super pretty, the hummingbird symbolises joy coming into your life and new beginnings, perfect sentiments to remember your special day by. Delicate and subtle, this gorgeous necklace will add glamour and sparkle to any bridesmaid dress and is classic enough to be worn long after the big day.

Posted: 8 October 2020

Newly married? Make sure you’re both financially protected for the future

Major life events, such as getting married, provide an ideal time to take a closer look at your finances. For example, tying the knot is a good prompt for couples to assess their current financial setup and examine what financial protection is necessary for them, not just individually but also as a married couple. Often, couples are uncertain about what type of life insurance or cover is necessary or when it's best to start planning for it. To help newlyweds, Zoe Bailey, Chartered Financial Planner and Director at Tilney, shares some financial considerations:

Posted: 7 October 2020

Diamonds are a bride's best friend

Bright spark Charlotte Cornelius has launched a dazzling new Diamond Lagoon collection. Specialists in engagement and wedding rings, the latest line is sure to raise a smile for anyone on the hunt for some big-day sparkle. Featuring fine white diamonds and clear blue free-form aquamarines, the pieces drip elegance and feminine glamour.Renown for her handmade jewellery, designed to reflect the wearer's individuality and personality, her ready-to-wear designer collections are inspired by nature and the coastal surroundings of her studio in the heart of Southsea.

Posted: 6 October 2020

Wedding make-up masterclass

Award-winning bridal hair and make-up artist Caroline Swaffield is expanding her services to include the ultimate luxury make-up lesson for one. With the current increase in smaller more intimate weddings due to COVID restrictions, she's introducing special lessons at her studio in Poole, Dorset for brides wanting to do their own wedding make-up. At the end of the three-hour 'I've got this' session, they'll take home their own make-up brush set and all the products they've been taught to use in a bridal make-up bag ready to go on the big day.

Posted: 2 October 2020

16 plants to improve health and wellbeing for your wedding

As brides and grooms adapt to even more wedding restrictions, Serenata Flowers has identified 16 plants with qualities that can aid health, improve wellbeing and ease anxiety - the perfect choice for wedding venues and receptions this year, and in to 2021. While the health benefits of plant-based diets are well documented, such as lavender, mint, basil and so on, new research uncovers the lesser-known uses of the nature around us, read on to find out more...

Posted: 30 September 2020

Reform in marriage law

In the biggest reform proposed to England's marriage ceremony law, the government's legal advisors have recommended that couples be allowed to marry in whatever outdoor location they choose. But for couples that might be unsure of what these reforms will mean in practice, and how and when they will likely to become law, County Wedding Magazines chats to Sebastian Burrows, managing partner at Stowe Family Law, to find out more about the proposed changes and when they might likely be put in to place...

Posted: 28 September 2020

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