Category Archives: Ask Jenny

Ask Jenny – Guestbook.

Hello Jenny

I’m getting married in 3 months and I am really struggling to find a nice guest book. I actually want something that people can write in and we can put a photo of them alongside so we have a record of everyone there looking gorgeous! It means that we’ll need about 60 pages I think. I don’t want anything too overly embellished – more something quite classic and elegant. Conversely I saw some with three hearts cut from old maps on the front which I loved but they couldn’t put enough pages in, nor could they fit our first names on the front (Amanda & Paul, not horrendously long you’d have thought!). Can you help? I’ve run out of places to turn.

Yours gratefully,


Hi Amanda,

Fortunately there are tons of fun and different ideas out there for guestbooks. I went to a wedding a few weeks before my own, and the bridesmaids were tasked with running around with a polaroid camera taking all the guests pictures, and writing a message to the bride and groom in the scrap book they used to stick the photos in (they had pritt stick in their clutch bag!). It meant the bridesmaids had an important part to play, and the resulting guest book was absolutely the most fabulous thing I had ever seen. This also meant that the guestbook was complete there and then, and the Bride and Groom could take it home with them and enjoy reading the messages. The reason this is a plus point is that at my wedding I had a ‘Make a Wish, Take a Wish’ guestbook, which entailed a glass bowl of Irish blessings, delightful proverbs from around the world, and a few affirming mantras for guests to ‘take’, and a glass bowl for guests to leave some words of wisdom for us.… View the full post.


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Ask Jenny – Booze Issues.

Dear Jenny,

My father and his partner very kindly offered to host our wedding reception in their back garden. They agreed to pay for the marquee, food and booze which was amazingly kind of them. We were going to have our reception in a hotel where, after the meal, we would have had a pay bar – free booze for 80 guests over 7 hours is not in our budget!

However, I am a bit worried that my father has underestimated the amount of wine we will need. I have worked out that there is 2.5 glasses each of Prosecco for the first two hours and I have removed non-drinkers from that equation. I don’t know how much wine he has bought and I don’t know how to broach the subject. More booze is out of our budget but we will buy some more if we have to rather than running out on our special day and in a venue that is in the middle of nowhere!

How do I go about sorting this out without offence being caused?

Mimi x


Hi Mimi,

I love a back garden wedding! How generous of your Dad to host too, it sounds as though you are feeling a little anxious about the whole thing so you need to find the strength to be diplomatic, and approach him to discuss the finer details.

You can use this opportunity to be assertive, mature, and build on your relationship with your Father. He is doing a very generous thing by hosting and taking the heat financially off of you guys, but there is an element of relinquishing control that most Brides to be find challenging.… View the full post.


Ask Jenny – Big Plates O’Meat (feet).

Hi Jenny,

I am having shoe issues. In fact, the issues don’t actually lie with the shoes but with my feet.

Whilst only being 31 I have bunions on both of my feet, I also have something called clawed toes (though I like to call them Claude, sounds a bit more exciting/exotic)… basically it looks like my feet are holding on all the time.

Trying to find shoes that fit, look nice and are comfortable is not easy at the best of times. As I write this I am surrounded by shoes that I have bought that fitted but on the first wear tore my feet to shreds. I basically live in converse boots.

I am getting married in September and will be wearing a Candy Anthony dress, it’s a short dress and requires a “statement shoe”. In addition my groom is only a couple of inches taller than me and I can’t walk in high heels.

I bought some GLORIOUS shoes from Bespoke Big Day, the kitty with a 1.5″ heel and encrusted in purple glitter. They are so beautiful I nearly cried. I did indeed shed a couple of tears when I only managed to squeeze one foot in – it was fine whilst I was sitting but then when I stood up my little toe went numb. Waaaaah!

With a 12 week lead time on their shoes I contacted the ever helpful Rachel at BBD and I’ve ordered the next size up which will get to me in time for the wedding but I am exceedingly worried – what if they don’t fit?!… View the full post.


Ask Jenny – Ceremony Troubles.

Hi RMW amazing-ness,

I’m still pretty new to all this wedding blog glory, and am loving trawling your gorgeous polka dot pages. However, before I can get excited about our day, I’m having troubles with a big part of our day, and wonder if I might be able to ask advice from you uber-experts and your lovely readers.

See, the thing is, and maybe I’ve been totally naive about this, but I’m really surprised by how little freedom we seem to have with what we can do for our ceremony! For us, it feels like this is the most important part of the day, and what we see as a way of defining our commitment and future together, but yet there seem to be so many restrictions.

We don’t want to do a church service, but would quite like to involve a religious reading in the service a) because we’ve found one we like and b) to nourish those guests for whom religion is important. We’d also love to involve a humanist celebrant, and keep the service light and full of love. But low and behold, I’ve found that you can’t have anything religious in a civil ceremony. This includes humanist stuff, even though in England you can’t have a fully humanist service.

I’m at such a loss of how to create a service that is meaningful to us?! We’ve considered just ‘getting the legal bit’ done the day before, it feels a bit like too much hassle the day before W day (not to mention an extra cost).… View the full post.


Ask Jenny – Project Wedding Dress.

Dear Charlotte & all the RMW lovelies (including Adam!),

I’m hoping you and all your gorgeous readers will be able to help me.

I’m getting married on 27 July next year, hopefully outside, in the Oxfordshire countryside. As the Boy is paying for the whole day, the budget is rather tight and as such I dont have the budget for the dress of my dreams (Monique Lhuillier’s Scarlet) or anything like it. I have a budget of around £500. So I was thinking of getting my dress made instead – it’ll be one of a kind and exactly what I want – or at least that’s the theory.

So…..what I’m hoping you can help with is this: have any of your readers had their dress made? how did they find the process? and more importantly – how much did they spend? and could they recommend someone? I’m willing to travel to Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, all of Oxfordshire, Bristol, Bath, Northamptonshire and probably even London!

Hope you can help!

Anni x

P.S – Absolutely love those beautiful polka dot pages, I am (as Naomi would say) “all over them, like a pigeon on a chip!”

Dearest Anni,

I felt compelled to respond to your appeal for dress making advice, not because I had my own dress made (although I did have my bridesmaids dresses all hand made), but rather because my own history with wedding dresses probably renders me the most qualified to advise….!

Never having had a wedding dress made from scratch, I have no idea if your budget will allow for the dress of your dreams – our readers should and will have buckets of advice and information for you, so you will leave here better armed for Project Wedding Dress.… View the full post.


Ask Jenny – Coping with Stress


I am getting married next year (we think)…we have only been engaged for 2 weeks and already I am feeling stressed and under pressure!

The main problem is I have a lot of family…my parents are divorced and have re-married and my mother divorced again….so you can see the headache!!

My fiancé hates wedding stuff and also hates a fuss (also he has been married before and had quite a big wedding) however me – Miss ONLY CHILD… dreamed of this day FOREVER (!) is the opposite!!

So the compromise…hence writing this e-mail…is to have a destination wedding possibly in Tuscany. I have looked online and I just don’t know where to start. We love the idea of a reception in a private villa eating outside with candles and lots of red wine :) but at the same time do we really want to stay in a villa with all of my many parents. (I have a Mom, step Mom, Dad, step Dad. Then my Mom has a boyfriend and my step Dad has a girl friend-my fiancé is a bit boring and just has a Mom and Dad ;) )

Plus we have lots of wonderful friends who would be up for an Italian adventure…please help me….please :)

Another Jenny xx

Hi Jenny (do we have a lovely common name, or what?)

Cor if you’re feeling stressed now, how will you feel in the final few weeks? Ask yourself what you want from your wedding, to have the big white wedding, or to be married to the man you love?… View the full post.


Ask Jenny – Shoe Issues.

Hi Jenny

I’m having a big dilemma about wedding heels! I’ve got a lovely pair of ivory peep toes that I wanted to wear for the church, but they’re not comfortable, so I bought a pair of flats to wear in the evening. Only then I realised that if I put flats on, my dress will then be far too long! Does this matter? Should I not wear my first pair of heels, and find a more comfortable mid-height heel/wedge instead? Or should I stick to flats and be super comfy all day?! I’m getting married in Ibiza, so flats would be perfectly in keeping with my beach wedding (church ceremony, then reception at beachside restaurant) but a few people have told me I wear heels for the church and for photos/first dance etc, for posture.

I have no idea what to do, and time is running out. First dress fitting fast approaching!


Dear Jenny,

Ok I’ve a few suggestions for you my dear, how in love are you with your painful ivory peep toes…? I would perhaps consider keeping them for your photographs, and buying another pair of heels that aren’t going to cripple your tootsies, no one needs to see a bride walking like John Wayne by the end of the ceremony, and you will have better things to worry about than where your next plaster is coming from.

It’s important your dress hangs right, you don’t want to be picking up the bottom so you don’t trip over it when you walk, so maybe you could wear some gorgeous beachy boho flats, and have your dress taken up to accommodate them?… View the full post.


Ask Jenny – How far is too far…?

Hi Jenny,

I’m having a big wobble about reception venues, and how far it is acceptable to ask guests to travel, and I’m hoping you might be able to offer some advice..

The background – my fiancé’s family will be coming from Ireland, and most of my family will be coming from up north (Lancashire way). In addition, we will also have guests coming from America (we hope!) and Switzerland. So a lot of people already coming a long way to be at our wedding.

The wedding – the Church we want to get married in is the Parish Church where I grew up, and where my parents still attend, in Amersham, Buckinghamshire. It means an awful lot to me, and my parents, that this is where we’ve decided to get married.

And now for the ‘but’ – all of the reception venue’s I’ve seen that I’ve fallen in love with are all about 30-45 minutes drive (or more) from the Church. I’ve always dreamed of getting married in a barn, or possibly a marquee decked out to look like a barn (!!), and I haven’t found any which are closer to Amersham that’s not ridiculously out of our budget (like, double than what we can afford!)

So this has thrown up a real question for me – how far is acceptable to ask guests to travel between wedding and reception? I’ve thought about putting on transport from the Church to the reception, such as a coach or bus, but then how do guests get back to their cars afterwards?… View the full post.


Ask Jenny – Open Bar Drama.

Hi Jenny,

My fiancé & I are getting married this September & all our plans are going well & we’re very, very excited. However, I am prone to flapping & this week I’m mostly worrying about drinks. Our package at our reception venue includes 4 drinks for each day time guest & I thought this would be fine, but I saw an article on that suggested guests would be peeved if there wasn’t an open bar. Is this just an American expectation or should we be doing it too? I can’t bear to cost it- I’d probably faint in horror- & I just don’t think we could stretch to it, but I don’t want to be a bad hostess!

What do you think? Are we being stingy by just having a cash bar for the rest of the day? Getting sozzled is a given at a party, but I don’t want to have to compromise on everything else to facilitate it. Your advice would be greatly appreciated!

Jenn x

Hello Jenn,

Cor I remember the drinks/open bar stress. Mr O was intent on having an open bar, as was Mr O the Senior. I however have been to many events with open bars, and ended up absolutely sozzled beyond belief (because it’s rude not to, right?)

Let me share my experience of having an open bar wedding. My concern was that people would take the mickey and order double whiskeys and champagne. So after much debate we finally agreed on an open bar set at a limit of a certain amount of money, say £700, and guests were offered beer, wine, and single spirits.… View the full post.


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Ask Jenny.

Hi Jenny!

To save on costs we’re not having a sit down meal at our wedding but having a big evening buffet, but me and hubby to be can’t decide what would be the best time to get married. I don’t think getting married too early is a good idea because there will be a long waiting time after the photos etc. But was thinking of having a little tea party with sandwiches and scones just to give people some food. 
Any thoughts appreciated.

Cara Xx (getting married in April 2013!)

Hello Cara!

Thank you for getting in touch, my first ‘Ask Jenny’!

I think it all depends on the type of venue you are going for, are they happy for you to forgo the sit down meal and provide an afternoon tea instead? If they are, then why not go for it? If you got married at 4pm, had afternoon tea at 5pm, and then a big evening buffet at 8pm your guests will be fed and watered and happy! It would be no different to a 2pm wedding, with canapés prior to the main meal – it’s just you are doing it slightly later in the day. I would imagine mosts guests having lunch before attending a 4pm ceremony, I know I would eat before hand anyway!

Afternoon tea is a lovely idea, quintessentially British, and you could incorporate that into your décor too! Lots of lovely doilies and crockery.

Another suggestion though, it’s worth looking into costs, and getting some numbers together, because by the time you have paid for afternoon tea per head, it may actually still be only very slightly more costly to go for the sit down meal and an earlier ceremony, and once you have your dress on, and you have said ‘I do’ the day will go by in a flurry of activity and you will wish there were more hours in the day for you to enjoy your wedding!… View the full post.