News round-up: the week in weddings

Because the weird and wonderful world of weddings means weird and wonderful news stories…

ccBride-to-be Chelsea Clinton should watch her back, after being accused of ruining the pending big day of another bride. Emn Haddad-Friedman is upset after finding out that the former first-daughter and child of Hilary and Bill Clinton is due to get married on the same day as her, July 31, in the same US town.

Brooklyn-based school teacher Emn is reported to have said: “I know she’s not doing it on purpose. But Chelsea Clinton has taken what was supposed to be a special day for me turned it into hell.”

But before we accuse Emn of acting like a Bridezilla on heat, CB must highlight that she has a point. Because if Chelsea’s $2 million wedding to investment banker Marc Mezvinsky does go ahead in the town of Rhinebeck (and as it will no doubt feature the US glitterati and big wigs) most of the roads will be closed… leaving Emn’s wedding guests unable to get from the church to the reception.

For Emn’s sake, let’s hope – as rumours suggest – that the Rhinebeck plan is a rouse, and Chelsea is actually getting hitched in Martha’s Vineyward. (Read more HERE)

From one political power-family (with a daughter named after a place in Britain) to another. Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin has allegedly refused to attend her daughter Bristol’s wedding to Levi Johnston. However, Mr (less-well-known) Palin will walk his daughter down the aisle. (Read more HERE)

Back over on CB’s side of the pond, wedding’s aren’t exactly plain sailing either. News has come to light, which will no doubt make Mr CB very happy, that singer turned TV-presenter Myleen Klass has scrapped plans to walk down the aisle with her security guard partner of ten-years Graham Quinn. Myleen, who has a two-year-old daughter Ava, apparently fears that getting hitched will ruin their relationship.

“When I look at all the celeb couples splitting up, I think it’s time to return to the basics. It’s much more important to just love and respect each other than have a ring on your finger,” said Myleen. (Read more HERE)

acOnto more light-hearted news. The very lucky Alicia Keys will have wedding shoes specially made for her by Christian Louboutin and a bridal gown by Vera Wang (as CB daydreams for a moment, you can read more HERE). Meanwhile, heart-throb Orlando Bloom has tied the knot with his supermodel girlfriend Miranda Kerr (HERE).

Finally – an idea for wedding entertainment. Civil engineer Hall Hunt, who is ranked as the world’s No 9 competitive eater, challenged his wife to a cake eating contest during their Florida wedding… and she won!  (HERE)

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Sun, Sea, Sand

When myself and Mr Clueless Bride (hmmm… not sure he will appreciate that name) got engaged about six months ago, we had no idea how much a wedding would cost. So it came as a shock to the system to discover that the average wedding in the UK costs about £20,000.

What started out as an amazing development in our relationship, soon became a massive point of contention and stress. We had already decided that we were going to pay for the whole shebang, but how were we going to afford it?

After months, I exaggerate not, of negotiations and looking at cost-effective ways of wedding planning in the UK, we’ve decided on a whole new strategy – to get married abroad.

There are so many positive reasons to go overseas – your money will stretch further, the weather will probably be better, and hopefully you will not have to invite all those family members that you didn’t really want to attend. Yes, some of your friends might not be able to attend, but you can have a party when you get home. This is how I am trying to talk around it.

And for me and Mr CB the getting married abroad option takes the stress off trying to please families with different cultural backgrounds. Instead we can focus on a third, completely neutral culture (although my mother is still not entirely convinced).

At the moment we are thinking of going to one of the Greek islands to do the deed – hopefully more people will be able to attend if it is in Europe, as you can get reasonable package deals or cheap Easyjet flights.

So with that in mind, we met with wedding planner Andreas Palikiras of Ionian Weddings, to discuss ideas. During the two hour consultation, at a price of £85, Andreas went through some of the different islands – there are 123 after all – and the benefits they offer. It was an incredibly worthwhile meeting, and one I would recommend to couples who are thinking of getting married in Greece.

Now we just have to look through the information provided to us by Andreas and make a decision, although it is proving a little tough. Here are some of the locations on offer…

santorini_sun.sized

Santorini

I have heard great things about this Aegean island, which lies to the east of mainland Greece. A giant lump of rock, the result of a volcanic explosion, Santorini is supposed to be the place to go for amazing views and sunsets. Most of the wedding venues – whether hotel, restaurant, church or winery – are on top of the Caldera (crater), and many people choose to have their ceremony at sunset.

Santorini is one of the more exclusive islands, and this has an impact on the price of wedding packages. For me a small drawback is the fact that the beaches have black sand. Am I being too picky?!

One of the venues I am considering is Santo Winery. Here’s a little clip from youtube of the view:

lefkada

Lefkada

Also known as Lefkas, this island used to be part of mainland Greece, but was been separated by a canal. With white sand and shingle beaches, the island is located on the south west coast of the country, and is part of the Ionian Islands. Just off Lefkas is Skorpios Island, which is owned by the Onassis family.

From what I have read, this one of the less touristy islands, and has amazing beaches and great conditions for water-sports. There are a variety of wedding ceremony options, such as the beach (although I don’t think it is private), a purpose built venue inland, or the town square of Meganisi.

Here’s some more of Meganisi:

zanteZante

Also known as Zakynthos, much of the island is taken up by package resorts and clubs (the south eastern part of the island in particular). Just off the main resort of Laganas is Cameo Island, which looks gorgeous and can be hired privately. To the north of the island, there is a beach-side garden where civil weddings can take place.

Zante has a lot of options, and you can get more for your money. But, Mr CB and myself have ruled this one out.

kefaloniaKefalonia

Where Captain Corelli’s Mandolin was filmed, this island is green and beautiful. This had initially been our first choice, however we wanted somewhere with a view, and most of the scenic places in Kefalonia are by chapels (our venue has to be non-religious). If this isn’t a problem for you, check out Assos chapel and castle, which looks stunning. Sadly this one has been ruled out now.

So we are currently choosing between Santorini and Lefkada – if anyone has been to either location (or any others) than advice is greatly appreciated!

We also need to figure out how much we can expect our guests to spend – how much is reasonable and how much is too much?

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Gettin’ hitched Hollywood-style

We’ve all found ourselves pining after a picture painted in a Hollywood film or TV show at some point. After all, that’s one of the reasons why a programme like Sex and the City was so popular, right? I know I dreamt of owning Carrie’s wardrobe… and maybe Smith Jerrod.

But, as someone who spends a large amount of time writing about arts and entertainment, what I love about wedding films is the fact that they – by and large – feature a disaster scenario with a happy ending. And usually that disaster is something we can relate to or empathise with (I know when my family first met my fiancé’s, I feared it would be a remake of Meet the Fockers).

Next month, March 12th, will see the release of a new rom-com Our Family Wedding, starring America Ferrera (aka Ugly Betty). The film looks at the issues families can stir up in the run up to a wedding – in this case young couple Lucia and Marcus have to deal with bickering fathers and an over-eager mother.

It also highlights the questions and expectations that are thrown up when people of different cultural backgrounds decide to get hitched. As a British-Asian woman who will be getting married to a Welsh man next spring, I can definitely relate to this! We can’t afford to have two ceremonies, and don’t really want to either, so we are figuring out how we can create one event that will capture both of our backgrounds. And it is a challenge, so I look forward to see how the film deals with it.

Check out the trailer for Our Family Wedding (it probably won’t win any Oscars), and then read on for my top 5 wedding films… and the nuggets of wisdom they offer!

1. My Big Fat Greek Wedding: I loved this Oscar-nominated 2002 film, which dealt not only with people from different backgrounds getting married, but also looked at the pressure that is put on women to settle down with a man.
Message: You need A LOT of compromise when organising a wedding – in this case John Corbett’s character Ian gave in entirely. Ah, what some men will do for love.

2. Father of the Bride: I haven’t seen the 1950 original starring Elizabeth Taylor, but the 1991 Steve Martin remake is still a classic for me.
Message: Dads can go crazy when seeing their little girls getting married… and weddings at home can be amazing (especially if you have THAT house and a planner like Franck).

3. Sex and The City: This 2008 film version of the series didn’t quite work for me, but has to be included on the list for the Viv West dress and the millions of women who saw it worldwide.
Message: Don’t get Carried (ahem) away when organising your big day, and take time out to remind yourself why you are getting hitched in the first place.

4. Mamma Mia! The Movie: A little cringey in parts, but weddings on the Greek Islands shot up in popularity after this 2008 chick-flick.
Message: You can’t rush love, some people wait decades. Oh, and please don’t sing Pierce Brosnan.

5. Monsoon Wedding: This beautiful 2001 film provides a snapshot of cosmopolitan Delhi life, as a family from around the world reunites for an arranged marriage. The wedding scene between Alice and Dubey really tugs at the heart strings.
Message: Sometimes people do get cold feet the day before the wedding… and the simplest wedding can still be enough to mark true love.

I know there are absolutely loads of films I have missed out, both old and new… Who doesn’t love Four Weddings and a Funeral, or what about Muriel’s Wedding and Honeymoon in Vegas? And I know I’d feel a little intimidated if my Wedding Planner came in the form of J-Lo…

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Getting started

Hi all,

Welcome to my blog!

I am a  journalist and the ultimate anti-Bridezilla, who is on a quest to discover and document what weddings are really about, as I go through the process of organising my own big day.

I am a complete newbie when it comes to the subject of weddings, having never been the type of girl who created wedding scrap books or anything (my friends always said I would be the last in our group to get married and I always agreed!.. Haha, I showed them).

So here I am, engaged and starting from scratch, and hoping to share my experiences and insights with you along the way.

I am the Clueless Bride. Follow me on my journey – I think we’ll have fun.

CB x

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