Pin Image

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. I haven’t actually put any of them into my wedding book as yet, they are all sitting nicely in a box waiting for me to get creative with them. One day – when we are back in the UK, I will crack on with this task!

Alternatively, have you had a search on Etsy? This is where I sourced my guest book from, and having a scroll through there are some gorgeous ideas! Seeing as you want something specific, you could have something made that suits you perfectly. Etsy never fails to come up with the goods for me, whatever it is I am looking for, I always find what I want there.

Good luck Amanda, and if our readers have any suggestions to help I am sure they will point you in the right direction!


Jenny x

Pin Image

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. And rightly so, your nearest and dearest will be there celebrating with you so its understandable you don’t want to run out of drink, or toilet paper for that matter!

How much has he involved you in things so far? Surely the vendors providing the food and booze will have given him a good guide on what will be consumed? Will there be a bar provided by the marquee or food vendors? I think for the sake of your sanity, you need to suggest you get together and discuss the finer details. You will need to decide on a menu at some point, and you can work the booze into the conversation that way. Make sure he knows that in no way do you want to offend him, but that you are worried about running out of booze. I believe honesty is the best policy, as long as you approach the subject with respect and love then how could he possibly be offended? It’s hard to plan a wedding, with so much to consider and organise, I think you perhaps need some reassurance from him that he’s got it all under control, which I’m sure he has, it’s a big event afterall!

Be brave and talk to him. Just explain how certain aspects of this wedding planning malarky has you feeling a little frazzled and you want to get a grip on everything, just for peace of mind. It’s like ripping of a band aid, once you have done it you will feel better! And it will mean you can focus on other things, and start to really look forward to your wedding!

Wishing you the very best of luck,


Jenny x





Pin Image

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?!

I’m not sure where to start looking for pretty shoes that are going to accommodate my Sasquatch monstrosities – I’m certain you don’t have the same affliction, I seem to recall you having gorgeous wedding shoes – but do you have any recommendations or advice?

It’s also worth noting that I’m a size 42 (8, 8.5, 9 depending on where you go) and whilst wide fit shoes fit the badboy bunions in they normally flap around like a dead fish because the rest of my feet is normal width.

Ho hum. Any advice is gratefully received!


Claire xx


Dear Claire (and Claude),

They can’t be that bad….? I laughed when you said your toes look like they are holding on all the time, I have a pair of old flip flops where my feet do the same!

Your options do sound pretty limited, although I have a good feeling about Bespoke Big Day coming up with the goods in perfect time – and I do believe my own Bespoke Big Day wedding shoes were indeed a size 42, and the perfect width still as my feet aren’t overly wide, just long! And do you remember me saying in my wedding report how I didn’t sport a single blister, despite doing the running man, moonwalking, AND hopping in them all night? It’s true, not a single blister! I went on honeymoon the next day with my newly pedicured married feet in tip top condition still. No gnarlyness at all.

Another alternative, is to find a shoe that is comfortable, then customise them to within an inch of their life so your end result is the statement shoe that you desire? This means trapsing round shops etc to find said shoe. But with the possibility of having them dyed to a statement colour (which they can do in John Lewis I do believe, someone correct me if I am wrong?) and adorning them with brooches/feathers/beads etc yourself you CAN end up with something magnificent, and totally bespoke!

Please remember, as much as we feel we have to look fabulous beyond reason (well, it is our wedding day right?) People won’t be looking down at your feet. You could change into converse if you felt the need and yes, you’ll be the kooky bride who wore Candy Anthony with Converse, but it’s your beautiful, smiling, happy face people will remember, and your eyes people will look into when they congratulate you (unless they are shifty and avoid eye contact, and then they will notice Claude in all their glory, but then really, who cares?)

Do you have something comfortable shoe wise in your wardrobe to practice customising, just so you have an idea of whether you could pull off a DIY shoe? I know it’s not ideal, with so many factors against you like height, dress length, and Clawed toes it’s a case of beggars can’t be choosers and drastic action must be taken. Oh how we big footed ladies envy those who can rock the spectacular killer heels on their big day! There is no reason, should the Bespoke Big Day shoe not be right in the bigger size, that you cannot pull off a case of Shoe Customisation! Be imaginative, be creative, and ask yourself – ‘What would Gok do??’ Channel your inner Gok and get cracking lady!

Oh and please, send us photo’s of you in all your wedding finery? I am head over heels in lust with Candy Anthony gowns, and I just know you will look INCREDIBLE!

Wishing you luck, if I were in the UK I would come and give you a hand – I love a customisation project!

Jenny xx

Pin Image

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). Has anyone else had this problem and found a way round it?

I know we can do a seperate bit after the registrar’s gone, but we don’t really want an hour-long service, especially as some of our guests may have to stand.

Help, please!!!

Lulu x

Hello Lulu,

Welcome to Rock My Wedding!

I totally understand your woes regarding the ceremony. I wanted to include humanist, civil and a little spiritual in my wedding but the option to do all three just wasn’t possible. Which sucks.

This is where we settled on the church ceremony. The church was not where I had always planned to get married, a small part of me feels a little hypocritical still even now for having a religious ceremony, however we had a fantastic Reverend who supported the fact we were rather new to the church and were more spiritual in the sense of believing something is out there… we just aren’t entirely convinced that something takes the form of a man who looks like Jesus. We had one short reading from the bible, but the other two readings were totally unrelated to religion! Having a civil ceremony at our reception venue was an option of course, but I won’t lie to you, architectually speaking our little church was beautiful. I wanted to be married there, and have everyone I loved there, and some of my favourite wedding images are of inside the church. So we had to make a compromise over freedom of ceremony options, and make the best of it. And it was beautiful, I don’t regret a thing.

Sadly the law is, if you have a civil ceremony then it’s all very legal and there can be no religious or spiritual references. I like your idea of doing the legal bit before your actual wedding day, so your actual big day is full of all the ideas, and readings, and music that you long to have. Most couples who have a Humanist Wedding are required to have a civil marriage certificate before hand. I don’t think there is any way round that as a humanist service isn’t legal. Have you spoken to a Humanist Celebrant to ask their advice? Find one here. Civil ceremonies are strict in that they don’t allow any religious references, but you have the freedom to use any readings and music you so wish. And compared to a Church ceremony a civil service is relatively short, so you could continue after the legal bit is done, and include the religious reading you really want to have, and really make it your own. You could have the readings included in your speeches even? At least this way your guests will be seated, and fed, and watered, if having them standing for too long is a cause for concern for you.

How about our dear readers, are any of you facing challenges regarding freedom of ceremony? And how are you dealing with it? If you’ve any advice for Lulu please drop a comment below!

Good luck with your decision, no matter what you decide it will be the best day of our life, trust me.


Jenny x


Pin Image

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.

My experience with having my bridesmaid dresses made were that the silk was expensive, but worth it because I wanted to have a good quality material that hung nicely. The dress maker I used is predominantly a Wedding Dress maker and her portfolio was amazing, after all of my own dress issues I wish I had gone and just given her my spec, budget, and ideas and let her create something for me! I will send you a private message with her contact information.

An alternative, rather than splashing out for your dream dress, is to buy second hand, or pre loved if you will (a nicer turn of phrase). This early in the planning stages you may feel that a pre owned dress is almost certainly not an option but I would beg you to change your mind and look at what is out there. After trying (and failing) to get rid of the first wedding dress I purchased, I quickly realised it’s a second hand market out there at the moment. Well that, and it’s cheaper to get it made in China.

It might be worth just looking and trying on a few styles, and then finding a dress maker to tweak it to your own personal specification, et voila! An utterly bespoke wedding dress, and one that fits in with your budget!

Take it from someone who dithered and spent / wasted (delete as appropriate) a lot of time and money on wedding dresses. I too wanted a dress that no one else had, and took my final dress to my dressmaker to tweak and I wish I had just cut out all the stress beforehand and made that my immediate course of action!

You can pick up gorgeous designer ‘pre loved’ wedding dresses, for literally a fraction of the cost brand new. Have you checked our very own RMW Undress? It’s common for bridal boutiques to also stock pre loved wedding dresses, you may even find some that went unworn (like my first dress, hey why don’t you buy that?)

Just because you feel your budget is low, doesn’t mean you still can’t have the dress of your dreams. Just be creative and confident in your decisions, and honestly, for those of us that spend a shameless amount of money on our wedding dresses… just ask us what we have done with them since we got married… my own is sitting in a plastic lidded box from Ikea and is kept in the loft at my Mum-in-Laws.

Previous to that, it was rolled up and shoved into the bottom of my wardrobe.

It hasn’t even been cleaned!

If I could go back and do it all over again, getting a dress made, or buying a pre loved dress and customising it would be exactly what I would do. And I would spend £500 on it.

And if anyone asked, I would probably say it was a Monique Lhuillier (although I could probably say it was made my Bob Dylan and they would still be none the wiser).

So lets open it up to the forum, has anyone gone down the dressmaker route? And can you give Anni any tips?

Wishing you all the best of luck,


Jenny x

Pin Image

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? I was never one of those girls who planned and dreamed of their big day from childhood, so I can’t relate to that at all, what I can relate to is the stress of having a difficult family, and of trying to please everyone (which won’t happen, no matter what you do someone will get the hump).

You will still have stresses involved in planning a destination wedding, but they will be different stresses, and it will still be a most wonderful day, with the most wonderful memories.

It’s so so easy to get caught up in the details. I know we are a wedding blog here at Rock My Wedding, but we are more than that. Yes we showcase the details, and the glorious photos, but it always has, and always will be, about doing it your way, and about remembering what it is all about. And that’s (for fear of sounding cheesy) about love and togetherness. It’s about starting a marriage, and you should feel free to embark upon marriage however you see fit, however it suits you. Don’t feel constrained to adhering to anyone elses wishes, just focus on what you guys want, and if you have to compromise and have a destination wedding, rather than the big white UK wedding then you can still make it your childhood dream come true.

As for Mr Jenny, there are few men who thrive on wedding planning. All he needs to do is turn up, and not end up on a boat to Calais the night before the big day on some crazy Stag do. You will find that almost all duties fall on you to complete, and you might find that the “paying for it” issue becomes source of a few minor disagreements (this is natural, honest) but just have faith in your ability to pull off the wedding of your dreams, and trust that on your wedding day your new husband will be knocked bandy with pride. Never lose sight of what matters, when you feel the stress start to get to you just take a step back and re-focus. Don’t worry about complicated families, who doesn’t have a complicated family these days, right? Our plethora of gorgeous readers will all back me up here and say that the family issue tends to be a main source of stress. But it’s stressful because we care about what they think, and we care about them being involved.

As for your Tuscany wedding, it sounds perfect to me. Find some venues and give them a call. Talk to them. Explain your concerns over your family (trust me, they would have seen it all before) and I promise you they will be able to cater for any situation. When we as women first get engaged our minds go into overdrive, thinking about every possible situation and everything that could go wrong – just try not to over think things. Have trust in a wedding vendor, trust in your decision whatever that may be, and just enjoy the ride.

And should the stress really get to you, I advise having wine by the glass, and girlfriends, and probably some chocolate too. Have some for me whilst you’re at it!

Let me know what you decide to do, and good luck!

Jenny xx

Pin Image

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? I’m not sure what your dress is like, but with my own, I only needed the front altering to allow for my kitten heels – it was a fiddly job but worth it. I didn’t even get a single blister the whole day, something I am so grateful for because sore feet can really taint my mood! Take your heels and flats along to your dress fitting, and see what works with your dress, and find out if altering the length is possible. Then the decision is yours!

I saw these when perusing ASOS this week, and thought they would suit a destination boho bride. A bit fancier than your average sandal!

I honestly think (and perhaps I am showing my age now) comfort over style on a day in which you spend most of your time on your feet. A perfect example of this is a good friend of mine bought a pair of BEAUTIFUL Christian Laboutin heels for her wedding, she had them dyed a blush pink to match her flowers (a decision she didn’t take lightly by the way) and enjoyed doing the hoovering in them at home to break them in a bit. When I asked to see the beauties at her reception, she hoisted her dress up and showed me two gorgeous little size 4 feet, all red, swollen, and covered in plasters… the poor girl was in agony! This isn’t to say that Christian Laboutin shoes kill your feet, just on this occasion she wished she had gone down the comfort over style option and changed into something comfy the moment she felt her feet throbbing.

As for posture, you move differently in heels I agree with that, I personally feel sexier in heels too, so I think you need to find your happy medium. Have you seen any other shoes that might be a great alternative? If you have a long dress no one will see what you have on your feet anyway, unless you make a point of showing people!

Good luck with your fitting, please try not to panic or worry, shoes are a relatively easy problem to solve – us brides we always find something to obsess about. Have a wonderful wedding day too, it sounds absolutely gorgeous.

Jenny x

Pin Image

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? (and there’s nowhere for them to leave their cars at the Church) Plus there’s then the added issue that many barns don’t have accommodation on site – so I’d be asking guests to travel again from the reception to their rooms for the night, although I’m hoping that might be solved by persuading them to all stay in the same hotel and then providing taxis/mini-buses at the end of the night!

Please help me, Jenny, can you suggest what you think is acceptable? For me, it will be having all of our family and friends at our big day that will make the perfect day, over the ‘perfect’ reception, but I’m still struggling to make that compromise!

Thanks for your help!!

Julia Kirkup

Dear Lovely Venue Wobbly Julia,

You sound as though you are in such a pickle, why do we do it to ourselves?!

First off, let me offer you some reassurance. I drove an hour from a Cathedral wedding to the reception venue for a very close friends wedding, which was also in a different village to that of the hotel I was staying in for the night, and it wasn’t an issue for me. It was a case of having to be organised. Oh, and it took me almost three hours to get to the Cathedral in the first place from where I lived too. And I had to get into my dress in the passenger seat of the car (this was very poor time management on my part! We got stuck on the motorway in traffic).

So from the ceremony itself we drove an hour to the Hotel to check in, drop our bags off and freshen up, then had a taxi pre booked to drive us to the reception venue. It honestly wasn’t any hassle at all, when we arrived at the venue everyone else arrived at pretty much the same time, and we had some champagne and canapés to relax, quench our thirst, and catch up with old friends. The bride and groom planned the timing perfectly, and it was one of the best weddings I have ever been to. They did it exactly as they wanted.

When you splurge such a huge amount of money on a wedding, and invest so much time into planning, isn’t it best to remain true to your dreams and have the day you really want to have? Why compromise, unless you really really have to?

I’m going to open this up to our community because you won’t be alone in feeling a bit stressed about this, it was something that was important to me in my planning too, but I shouldn’t have wasted my energy worrying, your loved ones will be there come hell or highwater!

Has this helped at all?


Jenny x

Pin Image

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. This is as well as the four glasses of wine and glass of Prosecco they were offered at their tables. There were guests who of course wanted to drink something different and they were happy to pay for that out of their own pockets.

This set limit lasted until about 6 or 7pm. We were asked if we would like to close the open bar or increase the limit. So we increased the limit. An hour later we were asked the same question. And we increased again. This continued until at 10pm my drunk husband just signed off an open bar for the rest of the night (I believe the night ended at about 3am).

I can’t say whether it made a difference to the party atmosphere, there were a few people who shall remain anonymous who like a drink and ended up completely rat ar$ed – but then it’s a wedding, you will always end up with a few who enjoy a higher state of refreshment! …..As long as there are no fights then you’re all good.

Settling the bill the next day was a little bit of a shock. However we felt immense pride that we had thrown a really good reception, our guests gave us brilliant feedback they had all had a really bloody good time, and the pictures from the fully packed dancefloor speak for themselves. It was worth every penny and I felt that somehow it was a small thank you to our gorgeous family and friends for being so generous, supportive, and loving of us.

Do I always take a fully stocked purse with me to weddings? Yes of course I do, it’s not good etiquette to presume an open bar. Am I offended when there isn’t an open bar? No way! Would you be?

You could always have an open bar for close family and friends, set at an amount you are comfortable with, a few hundred quid maybe? Give the bar staff a code word for them to use like ‘massive wangers’ or something…

“Ahem yes I would like two pints of Carlsberg and three glasses of dry white wine please-massive-wangers”.

You just gotta hope the barmaid hasn’t been blessed in the chest department otherwise that could be awkward.

This means you won’t break the bank with an uncontrollable bar bill, you are keeping those close to you looked after – which will be a lovely surprise for them, and your other guests still have the table drinks to kick start their evening. Everyone’s a winner!

It’s something to think about, and if you opt out of an open bar that is your choice and anyone who judges or complains about it needs to order themselves a double and loosen the heck up! It’s a celebration!

Good luck Jenn, make sure you let us know how your big day went.

I’d love to hear other experiences of open bars, did you have to sell a kidney on the blackmarket to cover the cost? Drop me a comment and let me know!

Craving wine but can’t touch a drop because I’m pregnant again love,

Jen xx