Using Watering Cans at Weddings

Looking for something a little different? Are you a gardening fanatic? Why not incorporate some watering cans into your wedding for something a little bit different? At Weddings by Rachel, we love these designs.

Bridesmaid Dresses – Who Pays?

So, who pays for the bridesmaid dresses? This is a commonly asked question of me, especially for couples who are looking to keep costs as low as possible.

A lot of people don’t like to ask their bridesmaids to pay for the dress, but is it expected of bridesmaids to pay or have the times changed?

One of the big difficulties here is that the bride usually picks the bridesmaid dress – and this can be a big worry for bridesmaids. They don’t want to wear something they don’t like, especially if they have to pay for it!

If the bridesmaids are different shapes and sizes, the chief bridesmaid and the bride have the complicated task of choosing a style and colour to suit everyone. One solution is for the bride to choose material in a particular shade and for the bridesmaids to have dresses made in a style that suits them.

Who pays for the bridesmaids’ dresses is a matter of some debate. Traditionally, bridesmaids were provided with material from which they made a dress to their own design. The bride could only dictate the colour, the rest was down to them to make whatever suited best.

Modern brides are keen to be more co-ordinated and most want to have some control over the outfits. In this case then the bride or her family should pay.

However, parents do sometimes pay for their children’s clothes and older bridesmaids might help out with out with the cost of their dresses, if budget is tight.

If you are letting your bridesmaids choose what they are wearing, and it’s something they can wear again, they might be able to contribute to the cost. Alternatively, they might pay towards shoes, handbag or jewellery. If a lot of money is being spent, it’s wise to get something that can be worn again, to a ball or a smart dinner. Another option is to sell them on afterwards, so consider this.

When it comes to payment, just make sure that everything is clear. If you are asking a friend to be a bridesmaid, it’s perfectly acceptable to discuss fairly early on whether they will be paying for their outfit. If you are choosing an expensive dress and would like them to pay for it themselves, it might effect their decision on whether or not to be bridesmaid.

For more etiquette advice and tips, contact Weddings by Rachel today.

The Hunger Games Style Stag Parties

Men, forget strippers and booze (I know, you think I’m crazy!). The new trend for 2012 stag parties is The Hunger Games and Weddings by Rachel are loving the idea!

Think outdoor adrenaline and survival skills! Sign yourselves up for coasteering or caving, or even mountain boarding. Try out some mountain trekking, abseiling or even gorge walking for a real taste of the outdoors.

Pack up your gear and go camping for the weekend, putting your survival skills to the test. Think about it, beer, barbecue and the outdoors.

If you fancy the sound of it but you’re not sure about getting too hardcore Hunger Games, why not seek adrenaline elsewhere like race car driving or quad biking. Or why not give your hunting skills a go with Clay Pigeon Shooting?

It’s all changing this year – so why not get involved?

May the odds be ever in your favour.

Wedding Fayre This Sunday

This Sunday Weddings by Rachel will be at the Eternity with Love wedding fayre at Wales Millennium Centre. As a special offer at the wedding fayre, we will be offering a 10% discounts for consultations and bookings made on the day and we will also have our prize wheel where you can have a free spin for a chance to win a wedding planning related prize!

We will also be offering great offers for Eternity With Love’s members!

Come and see us and have a chat about how we can work with you to create a bespoke, unique and personal day for you both within your budget, saving you money along the way!

Happy Anniversary To Me (And My Hubby)!

Today is my second wedding anniversary and it’s always lovely to look back at your big day and remember what a special and wonderful occasion it was. That’s what I have been doing and thought that I would share a couple of photos with you that make me smile. Enjoy!

Kate Petersen did my make-up - she's a miracle worker!

Kate Petersen did my make-up – she’s a miracle worker!

Just before the big moment!

Just before the big moment!

Our moment away from it all after the ceremony

Our moment away from it all after the ceremony

Trying not to get my beloved dress and shoes too dirty!

Trying not to get my beloved dress and shoes too dirty!

I don't think he was meant to be in this photo :-)

I don’t think he was meant to be in this photo 🙂

Mr and Mrs Matthews

Mr and Mrs Matthews

My Wonderful Parents Who Helped Out So Much!

My Wonderful Parents Who Helped Out So Much!

So, there you have it. A couple of my favourite photos from my special day! Happy planning!

Rachel x

Decorating Your Chairs

Ah, chair covers. And sashes. So many different options available, at so many different prices…where do you begin?? Do you go lycra or linen? Organza or taffeta? Coloured or white? Matching or alternating? The options are endless, as are the amount of companies available who offer these services. It really is becoming a minefield out there.

I always recommend that you begin by looking at your venue. Do you have a modern venue or a traditional venue? Are you in a castle or having a garden party? If you are having something very vintage consider if chair covers would be the right option – often you can hire chiavari chairs for not far off the same price and they can make a huge difference to a room!

If you have your heart set on having chair covers the next question to ask is linen or lycra? Lots of people want to steer clear of lycra covers but they have their advantages. Firstly, they don’t crease. Secondly, they will fit almost any chair so it won’t look like it’s the wrong size. Thirdly, because they need little after care (mainly with an iron or steamer) they are often much cheaper to hire.

Next come the decorating of the covers. Now, you can decorate even if you’re not having a cover and sashes or hoods can look fantastic on bare chairs too – so it’s worth considering if you’re looking for that WOW factor!

Sashes usually come in either organza, taffeta or satin and most in a multitude of colours. Ask to see samples – or give them a sample and see if they can match the colour exactly. Also consider alternating colours if you are having more than one colour in your scheme, like this selection from Chair Covers and Bows.

Alternatively, you can mix two sashes together for a show-stopping look like this one from Ambience Venue Styling.

Chair hoods also look fantastic and aren’t as common as standard sashes – this may mean they’re more difficult to come by but it also means that they will make a bigger statement, like these from Perfect Finish.

Ask your venue decorator to experiment with different sash tying techniques. There are some decorators out there who will mix it up to give you something extra special.

Also consider adding extras into the sash, such as small flowers, to tie in your theme and create something a little unusual, like these chairs from DLS Studios.

For help and advice with your decorating and to source some outstanding venue decorators at reasonable prices, contact Weddings by Rachel today!

Congratulations to Jenny and Andy!

I wanted to say a big congratulations to Jenny and Andy who got married at the end of April and brought in Weddings by Rachel to make sure everything was perfect. It was lovely to be a part of your big day! It was a beautiful ceremony and reception and you both looked wonderful!

Here are some pics from the day of some of the great work by some of their great suppliers.

All flowers were done by Zoe’s Florists of Cardiff.

Here I am finishing off the room ready for the arrival of guests.

This was a beautiful chocolate cake covered in white chocolate from Cupcakery Bakery.

Jenny and Andy used Spiro’s Caterers who provided fantastic service and food for their wedding reception which was at Cardiff Yacht Club.

Selecting a Make Up Artist

A big thanks to Heidi Herkes for offering up some tips on selecting a make up artist for your wedding.

Copyright Heidi Herkes


Copyright Heidi Herkes

In order to choose the perfect stylist for your special day, one needs to factor in all the following in order to make the right decision. Consider:

  • The look of their website – Ensure that it looks slick, contemporary and professional and it is something that you can identify with.
  • The Artists response time to your enquiry – this should be 2/3 days maximum unless otherwise stated
  • The Artists telephone manner – this should be easy to find!
  • The trial run – you need to go away not only looking but feeling amazing too!!

Copyright Heidi Herkes

Having all these in place, will highlight that you have the right artist for you.

Copyright Heidi Herkes

For more information on Heidi, visit her website:

Calling All Brides!

SuperScrimpers have asked Weddings by Rachel to spread the word for their search for brides!


Remarkable Television are making a third series of SuperScrimpers for Channel 4 and looking for over-spenders to take part!





If your spending in one area is getting you into financial trouble and you’re desperate for help – we want to hear from you!!

Remarkable Television are looking for serious over spenders to appear in a show for Channel 4.  

We want to help the great British Public make their money go further so we’re looking for families, couples, singles or groups of friends that seriously need to rein in their spending.

Whether you’re addicted to shopping, a sucker for the latest gadgets or designer wears, spend a fortune on your beauty treatments, or spoil your kids rotten, we can help!

If you are a self confessed over spender then we want to hear from you!!

For more information, please email or call 0333 577 7773, leaving your name, contact details and mention that you are applying as a group and a member of the production team will contact you directly. All landline calls will be charged at your local rate and mobile may vary.

Remarkable Television’s production team will try and reply to you but cannot guarantee that they will be able to reply to each message received.

Remarkable Television will use any information provided by you for the purpose of selecting participants for the programme and will only share information with Channel 4 and any independent contractors involved in the programme.