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Should I Propose at Christmas? (Spoiler Alert: Probably Not)

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There’s something relentlessly optimistic about the festive season: the gathering of family and friends, the gift-giving and peace-and-good-will-to-all-men shtick.
It’s probably the proximity to New Year, too, and all those resolutions and promises for a fresh start.
SO many Christmas films have proposals in them, too. 
And what greater gift could there be than an engagement over the festive period?
Well…
It’s easy to get carried away in the spirit of things but Christmas engagements aren’t always a great idea.  And if you have to ask should I propose at Christmas, then the answer is probably no.
According to a survey by event company Chili Sauce, men seem to like proposing on Christmas Eve (woman aren’t quite so keen).

Guess you lucky lesbians are off the hook…

Only you know whether or not it’s the right time to propose to your partner but here’s why we think you should be careful.

1.Don’t propose just because it’s Christmas.  Propose because you want to, because you think your partner wil…

Wedding Trends: What to Watch Out for in 2020

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As we head into the last month of 2019 (and into the roaring 20’s…Christ), we thought we’d take an opportunity to look ahead to some of the wedding trends that you’re likely to see in 2020.
Trends and traditions are all well and good, but there’s nothing like putting your own stamp, your own personality on your big day. 
Don’t worry too much about what’s up-and-coming or what’s on-trend for 2020.
In reality, weddings are more than the sum of your Pinterest board and what a fashion editor says is a “must-have”.
Trends can, however, open our eyes to new possibilities, colours, floral designs, food choices, music, games and cuts of clothing.  There’s no harm in looking into what’s trending, especially if it opens your eyes to something unique.  
From the wit-woo to the wacky, here are some of the big wedding trends you could be seeing in 2020. 



Vogue writes that couples are now choosing wedding and engagement rings together, which we think is really rather lovely.  It takes the pressure of …

Askham Hall Earns a Michelin Star

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Couples getting married at Askham Hall in Penrith, Cumbria, now have another reason to celebrate their choice of wedding venue:  Allium, Askham Hall’s on-site restaurant has just been awarded a Michelin Star.
And we couldn’t be happier for them.
Askham Hall is a superb venue and this most-coveted award is thoroughly well-deserved. 
The food is sumptuous, scrumptious locally-inspired hearty fare inspired by produce that's grown on the estate and in the surrounding area.  
Charles Lowther, the owner of Askham Hall, says,

“This is tremendous news and a testament to the dedication, creativity and sheer hard work of Richard and his talented team. The cycle of life in the gardens and fields at Askham Hall dictate our menus and we are proud to take a leading role in the Lake District’s growing reputation as a foodie destination.”

Head Chef, Richard Swale, has been praised for his “innate understanding” of how to use the “fantastic produce” on Askham’s doorstep. He says, “The Michelin star i…

Make the Most of Visiting a Wedding Fair

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Make the Most of Visiting a Wedding Fair


Visiting a wedding fair is a chance for prospective brides and grooms to meet and talk with wedding venues, suppliers and vendors and to find inspiration, to enquire about services offered and to potentially (and hopefully) make a booking.
Some couples relish the opportunity to attend a wedding fair.  
Others avoid them altogether.  
They can be a good place to start but they’re by no means the be-all and end-all of planning.
Wedding fairs range in size from small boutique events, to hotel open days and right through to large exhibitions like the National Wedding Show at Birmingham’s NEC.
Events take place right across the country and there’s almost certain to be one local to you.
If you’ve found hotels or venues that you like the look of, ask if they’re holding a wedding open day.  It’s a great way to see the space dressed for the occasion.
Wedding fairs are also a great way to get friends and family involved in the organising, too.  Although, don’t …

Askham Hall: Wedding Venue Showcase in February 2020

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Oh Askham Hall, you gloriously gorgeous wedding venue!
We make no secret or apology of the fact that we LOVE this place so we're really excited to be able to share with you details of Askham Hall’s Wedding Venue Showcase.
You’ll find the details below J



Gilwell Park Late Availability Wedding Special Offers (and Open Day)

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Gilwell Park is one of our favourite wedding venues.  They really do go above and beyond for all LGBTQ couples and guests.
Located in Chingford and just 5-minutes from Junction 26 of the M25, it's closer than you think! And only 25-minutes from Central London by train. 
Set in 108 acres, the Gilwell estate is home to the stunning 17th Century Grade II listed White House.  There’s space in the main hall to accommodate 150 guests for the wedding breakfast and 40 on-site bedrooms for guests to stay overnight.
Tucked away in Epping Forest, Gilwell Park is close to major transport networks allowing couples a real rural retreat but one that’s easily accessible.
We’re really excited to share the details of some of Gilwell Park’s current special offers as well as reminding you of their open day in November.
Gilwell Park Late-Availability Special Offer
Not wanting to wait any longer to say ‘I do’? Check out our late availability offer and save on your dream wedding….

20% off our CIC Main hall f…

Gay Marriage is Legal in Northern Ireland

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Northern Ireland has legalised same-sex marriage. 
It brings the country in line with the rest of the United Kingdom with the first gay weddings expected to take place on February 14th 2020.
Equal marriage has been legal in England, Wales and Scotland since 2014.
Over the years, campaigners have made numerous legal challenges arguing the ban is discriminatory but all have been unsuccessful.
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has been the biggest political sticking point having blocked all previous attempts at legislation.
Why Now?
Northern Ireland’s legislative assembly hasn’t sat at Stormont since January 2017 when power-sharing between the DUP and Sinn Fein collapsed.  Subsequent attempts to restore a devolved Government to Northern Ireland have failed.
MPs in Westminster voted 383 to 73 in July 2019 in favour of legalising both same-sex marriage and abortion in Northern Ireland.  This gave a 3-month window and an October deadline for the Assembly to re-form and challenge the decisi…

5 Tips for Picking the Perfect Wedding Planner

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5 Tips for Picking the Perfect Wedding Planner
Weddings take a lot of organising.

 Honestly? Sometimes the planning sucks.
Negotiating with vendors isn’t fun.  You will not have a good time figuring out who sits where.  Finalising the running order of the speeches doesn’t make for an exciting morning’s work.  
Picking the perfect wedding planner can help alleviate some of the stress and boredom that comes with planning a wedding.  Find the right one and they are absolutely worth their weight in gold.
Meet in person
You have to have a connection with your wedding planner.  If they don’t click with you and your partner, then it’s not going to work.
This is particularly important for same-sex couples.
Of course, wedding planners should be accepting and open-minded towards everyone, but, as you probably already know, there are narrow-minded people in every profession.  Fortunately, these individuals are rarely subtle and are often easily sniffed out during a face-to-face meeting. Move on and fi…

6 Gay-Friendly Honeymoon Destinations

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Same-sex couples have a disadvantage when it comes to choosing a honeymoon destination. 

Straight married couples don’t worry about their relationship offending someone or whether a simple romantic gesture like holding hands will draw abuse.

Homosexuality is illegal in 70 UN member states.  According to CNN, six have imposed the death penalty for consensual same-sex sexual acts.

Okay, so it’s unlikely that places like Yemen and Saudi Arabia will be pinned to your Pinterest board but Brunei might be. In Brunei, same-sex relationships are now punishable by death.

Gay sex in Tanzania can land you in prison.  What about a trip to St Petersburg or a safari in Kenya?  You might like a shopping trip to Dubai or a tour of India’s Golden Triangle.  Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos don’t have any specific laws against homosexuality, but they’re generally very intolerant to LGBTQ travellers.

Of course, plenty of LGBTQ travellers will go to these places and experience no trouble at all. They’ll have fantast…

How to Plan a Wedding on a Budget of £1000

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The average cost of a UK wedding in 2019 is £17,674, that’s according to a wedding report published by Bridebook.co.uk earlier this year.

It’s a lot of money to spend on a single occasion.   To put it into perspective, the average deposit for a house in the UK is £11,400 – that’s £6,000 less. 
There’s nothing wrong with having a wedding that surpasses the national average.  There’s no shame in spending what you want in order to have the day of your dreams.  There’s enough pressure on couples without slamming them with unsolicited advice on what’s too much (or too little) to spend on their big day.  If you can afford to and if you want to, then do it.
But know that you don’t have to spend a fortune, either. 
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a wedding.  Things tend to escalate once the planning starts but that doesn’t mean you have to break your budget just to keep up with whatever it is that magazines, Pinterest, Etsy, social media, TV programmes, well-meaning friends and family,…