Showing posts from 2014

Scotland's Gay Marriage Law

Congratulations, Scotland!

Gay marriage is now legal.

 It brings Scotland into line with England and Wales and means that we should see the first Scottish same-sex marriages on December 31st 2014 (there's a 15 day notice period).

Scottish couples already in a civil partnership will be able to convert to marriage from today, too.
And the process will be free until December 2015.

We should be congratulating Luxembourg, too. The small, landlocked European nation is due to legalise same-sex marriages on January 1st 2015.

So slowly, we are getting there.

Scotland (2014)
England and Wales (2013)
February 2014.
Brazil (2013)
France (2013)
New Zealand (2013)
Uruguay (2013)
Denmark (2012)
Argentina (2010)
Portugal (2010)
Iceland (2010)
Sweden (2009)
Norway (2009)
South Africa (2006)
Spain (2005)
Canada (2005)
Belgium (2003)
The Netherlands (2000)

We'd like to send our best wishes to all the couples north of the border. If you're planning a wedding or civil partnership, then don'…

Converting Civil Partnerships to Marriage FAQs

It's been over 8 months now since we celebrated the first gay weddings in England and Wales. March 29th might be a way behind us now, but it isn't the only landmark that we'll be celebrating in 2014. 
From tomorrow (December 10th 2014), gay couples in England and Wales will be able convert their civil partnerships to marriage. We've gathered together a set of FAQs to help explain exactly what you can expect during the process.
When can we convert our civil partnership to marriage?
Conversions can take place anytime after Wednesday December 10th 2014. If you haven't already, you'll need to book an appointment with a registrar.
How much will a conversion cost?
Conversions will cost £45. However, if  your civil partnership took place before March 29th 2014 then you'll have until December 9th 2015 to convert it to marriage for free
Why is it free for some couples?
Civil partnerships have been legal in the UK since 2005, but same-sex marriage has only been legal …

Finland Votes to Allow Gay Marriage

On Friday November 28th, Finland became the last Nordic country to legalise gay marriage.

It means that Finland is now the twelfth European country to accept that marriage should not be gender specific.

Considering how progressive the rest of Scandinavia has been on the issue it's come as a surprise to some that Finland has taken this long. Sweden, Norway and Denmark are years ahead (legal since 2009 and 2012 respectively), and campaigners are eager to bring Finland into line with their neighbours.

However, you may want to hold off buying a hat just yet; it's unlikely that we'll see any same-sex weddings in Finland until at least 2016.  What will be worth waiting for however, is the law change for adoption as gay married couples will be allowed to adopt children.

When the result was announced there were jubilant scenes outside the Parliament, but there's still much work for campaigners to do. Victory was slim: 105 members voted in favour, but 92 voted against.


Congratulations Chateau Rhianfa!

The Welsh National Wedding Awards:

Chateau Rhianfa 2014 Venue Winners for North Wales

Chateau Rhianfa – fantasy meets reality, a glorious grade II listed waterside venue in North Wales, a stone’s throw from Snowdonia and the Menai Strait. A history of romance.  Get married at Chateau Rhianfa and continue an age-old love story.

Congratulations to everyone at Chateau Rhianfa. This superb venue is available for weddings all year round, and its latest accolade is very well deserved.

Wedding planning is never easy but with a venue like this, it's hard to see where you could go wrong.

If you'd like to find out more about Chateau Rhianfa, then you'll find them in our directory here

Rise in Homophobic Crime

19 UK police forces, including Scotland Yard and Greater Manchester Police, have recorded a rise in the number of homophobic crimes.

And other forces look set to either equal or surpass last year's figures by the end of the 2014. The Express and Star website highlight that between January and October 2014 there were 170 homophobic crimes were reported to West Midlands police alone.

The Guardian reported that Scotland Yard has recorded 1,073 violent homophobic offences between January and October, up from 1,007 in 2013 and 1,002 in 2012.

Despite same-sex marriage becoming law in England and Wales (Scotland in December), it's obvious that homophobia is continuing to ruin the lives of lesbian and gay people across the UK.

Of course, it might not necessarily follow that homophobic crime has risen. It could be that more people are reporting homophobic crime either as a victim or as a witness. Increased education, greater public awareness of gay issues and successful LGBT campaigns …

Charles Manson Is Getting Married, So Why Are So Many Gay People Still Refused The Same Right?

We live in a funny old world.

In the US, there are 17 states where gay marriage remains illegal. Opponents to same-sex marriage maintain that it undermines the sanctity of marriage, that it goes against God, that it's incompatible with a just society, that's it's morally wrong, and, in many cases, that it is a vulgar attack on conservative communities. There's nothing new to these arguments. We once saw something similar in Britain. It's what gay rights campaigners and equal marriage advocates are fighting hard to change.

In the western world, gay marriage is an unstoppable force. Almost certainly, one-hundred years from now, people will look back and think how strange it was that in a time when Islamic State was cutting off heads, when Ebola was spreading across West Africa, when the global economy was treading toilet water that so many people should be so angry about homosexuality.

 I mean, for God's sake, the world is a mess. People got angry about the aboli…

Have a Scottish Wedding

From the end of December, same-sex couples in Scotland will be able to get married. This fantastic move towards equality will bring Scottish law in line with England and Wales.

So, in honour of this momentous occasion, we thought we'd celebrate some of the unique traditions that make Scottish weddings such fun to attend.

Hire a Ceilidh band for your wedding reception. 
For the uninitiated a ceilidh is "a traditional Gaelic social gathering, which usually involves playing Gaelic folk music and dancing." Traditionally, ceilidh music is performed with an accordion, a tin whistle, a fiddle, flute and bodhrán (Irish drum) and is accompanied by up-tempo dancing. If you've ever seen Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, then you might remember the yule ball scene - kind of along those lines (apologies to hardcore ceilidh fans!).

Break an oatcake over your partner's head
Originally a Roman superstition, breaking bread or cake over a bride's head was believed to ensure…

Converting A Civil Partnership To Marriage

From Wednesday December 10th 2014, couples who have previously registered as civil partners in England and Wales will be able to convert their partnership to marriage.

Following a public consultation over the summer, the Government is still amending details to expand the scope of the conversion process.

This last-minute fine tuning should strike a balance between a simpler, common sense system of conversion whilst simultaneously accommodating couples who might like the option of an additional ceremony.

There are likely two be two options:

Simple conversion: Two partners sign a declaration in front of a registrar. This is about as low-key as it gets: no pomp, no circumstance just a meeting with an official.

2-step conversion: Two partners sign a declaration in front of a registrar and then have some sort of ceremony built around it. This option is more similar to a wedding or civil partnership ceremony.

Couples will receive a marriage certificate which will be dated from the day of the o…

Capturing Your Big Day: Black Vine Productions

Couples can spend years planning their perfect day, and yet, when it arrives, the day is over in a few short hours. In the immediate aftermath it's easy to remember the smaller details: the rainstorm that passed overhead with 5 minutes to spare; the colour of the balloon arch; the speeches from the wedding party or the look on a partner's face glimpsed for the first time from the back of the venue. We never want to forget these memories but, as the years pass, inevitably we do.

Photographs are are fantastic way of recording a big day, but they only capture so much. Jenna Wimshurst of Black Vine Productions got in touch with us to tell our readers about her videography company.

"My passion for film comes from my love of telling stories and capturing special moment to share forever. That is why I started my wedding video company so that I could share people’s special day and capture the beauty and love of the couple.
My four years of videography experience means that I am hi…

Bloody Horrendous Halloween Wedding Ideas

A themed wedding isn’t everyone’s cup of blood.

For those more traditionally minded, the dress will be white, the cake will be fruit and the seating plan will be handled with absolute sanctity
For others, however, a wedding is a great excuse to get creative and what better time of the year to do it in than Halloween.
The problem is that choosing a theme comes with its own set of problems. This isn't having a few people round for some drinks on Halloween; it's your wedding. Whether you believe in the walking dead or not there has to be authenticity to what you're doing. Having a themed wedding won't necessarily be any cheaper than going traditional: it's going to take more than a bag of jelly spiders, a Jason mask and some cobwebs to pull of a frightfully good event.

Here are a few tips to get you started if you’re looking for a truly gorygeous wedding:

Be frugal but don’t be cheap. For authenticity, you’ll have to shop clever. You may need to make some of the things …

10 Ways To Keep Your Wedding On Budget

A Wedding Costs How Much!?

There's no such thing as a free lunch. Unless, of course, you turn up to a wedding without a present and start digging into the buffet...
In the age of the consumer - for better or for worse - everything has a price, and weddings are no exception. The average cost of a wedding in the UK is now an eye watering £17,853
Somewhere down the line simple ceremonies, sit-down meals and Sunday bests were swapped for photo booths, vodka fountains and garters stitched with virgin mermaid tears (that last one may very well exist on Etsy). 
Picking a budget isn't about prescribing how much you should spend. It's about working out what you can spend. Whether that's £500,000 or £500, by being smart with your spending you can make it go further. Nobody is saying that you shouldn't splash out on your big day; it's knowing where to draw the line. Marriage isn't about a single day, it's about the rest of your life, so don't be tempted to p…

Not Feeling a Honeymoon yet? Take an Autumn Mini-Moon Instead

Autumn is a great time of the year to be married, but it can be a difficult season to honeymoon in: European holiday destinations start cooling down, seasonal weather warnings start popping up in the Caribbean and, for those without children, there’s the half-term holiday period to compete with when prices inevitably rise. 

After an expensive wedding, couples are likely to be painfully aware of the cold, brandy tainted breath of Christmas drawing near. It begs the question: are quick UK getaways in autumn worth attempting?

We say absolutely.
Increasingly, couples are choosing to hold-off on the big honeymoon and opt instead for a mini-moon in the UK.
It means a short but well-earned break right at the start of married life yet it leaves the option for a larger honeymoon later on, too.

There are a number of reasons why couples might choose to do this: work commitments, childcare commitments or (very understandably) post-wedding lethargy. Equally, it isn’t every couple who might want a big …

Scottish Same-Sex Weddings: We Have A Date!

We're taking a break today from our planned post on autumn weddings to share some amazing news from Scotland.

From December 16th 2014, same-sex couples in Scotland can finally register to marry. The first ceremonies will take place on December 31st and will coincide with Hogmany.
What a fantastic way to start the new year :)
We've been following developments in Scotland since the Marriage and Civil Partnership Act was passed back in February with a majority of 87. 
It's great news, too, for couples already in a civil partnership; they'll be able to convert their partnerships to marriage from December 16th. Following a similar strategy to England and Wales (where same-sex marriage has been legal since March), Scottish couples will not have to pay for the conversion providing their civil partnership took place when same-sex marriage wasn't legal. They'll have until December 2015 to do so.
Tom French, policy and public affairs coordinator for the Equality Network

Flower Power For Your Autumn Wedding

Autumn doesn't need to be a season of burnt oranges, pine-cone browns and cinnamon; it shouldn't be considered as a poor relation of springtime, either.

Most of us would agree that it's a beautiful season but for those getting married: what flowers are available?
Well, probably more than you think. You might consider Gerberas. Gerberas have bright and large petals that will add standout colour to any bouquet or centerpiece. They can be found in a multitude of colours that include more autumnal hues right through to bolder tones. The Gerbera doesn't have a scent,  so it won't clash with other flowers or with perfumes and aftershaves. 
It would be a good choice to use in a bouquet, as decoration around the venue or as a gift for the brides' or grooms' parents.

There's the Calla lily, too. Once considered to be a flower of mourning, this lily is now a popular choice for couples. The colour, long stem and shape of the flower make it the perfect choice for ei…