Being The Hostess With The Mostest


Planning an event can be a difficult and challenging time. You have a lot of work to do, both on the day of the event, and in the days and weeks leading up to it. Even something small, like a birthday party, can take a good few weeks to arrange. During this time, the choices you make will greatly shape the experience your guests have while the event is on. So, it makes sense to put a good deal of effort into your planning during this time.

To help you out, this post will be going through some of the biggest elements you’ll have to organise for a special gathering. With this in mind, your planning should be a breeze.

One of the most important parts of a large gathering is the venue that it’s held in. This part of the big day will have a big impression on the mood and feel of the party. You have the chance to give your guests an event to truly remember, it’s just a matter of choosing the right place for it. It’s easy to rent large houses, capable of hosting dozens of families, without having to spend a small fortune on it.

Unlike a hotel, this will give you complete control of the venue. You won’t have to deal with other guests, just the people important to you. This is while receiving the service you’d expect from a grand hotel. There are plenty of other options that are similar to this. So, it’s worth doing plenty of research to figure out the best one for you.

Next, it’s time to think about the food at your event. Like the venue, this element of the party could impact the atmosphere very heavily. When you’re choosing your catering options, it should be done with inclusivity in mind. A lot of event organisers fail to consider the needs of their guests, choosing options which they like above all else. Instead, one of the best ways to handle something like this is with a buffet. Unlike a set menu, this gives your guests a range of choices for their food. It will also make the meal go a lot smoother. You can find catering companies with buffet services in most locations, so it’s just a matter of doing some research to find the best option for you.

Of course, you can’t organise an event without thinking about the entertainment. In most cases, this will be the cherry on top of your big day, giving people a chance to unwind and enjoy something with a drink or two. Live music is one of the best options for any event.

It doesn’t have to be anyone famous or popular, just someone good at what they do. The music should be chosen based on the mood you’d like to set. You can find freelance musicians in most places, offering to play at any event which pays. Although this may not be cheap, it’s a great way to keep everyone entertained.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to do more with the next event you plan. A lot of people base their choices when organising something like this on their own desires. But, to create something everyone can enjoy, you have to consider options to suit a range of people.

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Showing Your Partner That You're In It For The Long-Haul


'' I Love You '' is the most powerful phrase anyone can say in English. '' I Need A Bacon Sandwich ' is definitely up there, but I love you just beats it to the finishing post.

The problem is, it can fall short of how you actually feel. It doesn’t carry the weight or truth or oomph of how you really feel, no words do. You look your partner in the eye and tell him/her you love them a hundred and thirty-six times a day and yet it still falls a million miles short of the emotion you so desperately want to convey. That is why actions are so important too, especially when it comes to telling your loved one you’re in this for the long haul.

That is why we have come up with some staggeringly powerful (and often unorthodox) ways of showing the person you are head over heels in love with them you’re in this until the end of time.

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Give Them A Drawer

This can be as symbolic as you like, but if he is already staying over at your place five nights a week and you absolutely love it, show him by clearing out a drawer for him to put some of his stuff. That way he won’t have to run home every other day to get fresh boxers. If you’ve already done this and it is going as well as Usain Bolt’s career, well, maybe it is time to get some keys cut.

Couple Holiday Cards

We don’t care what anyone else tells you, sending out couple holiday cards is a massive deal. These are a sign of your total addiction to each other because that picture of you two dressed as festive Batman and Robin will grace the mantlepieces of homes all over the country (maybe even the world) for months and months and months after you’ve sent them out. It is a relationship confirming and longevity defining moment in a couple’s life.

Present You Can’t Afford

Nothing says dedication like handing over a present you and your partner you can’t afford yet you went and saved up for anyway. It could be picking a timeless timepiece after speaking to a bunch of vintage Rolex dealers that will do the trick. It could be paying well over the odds for an N64 with all the classics like GoldenEye and Mario Kart. It could be two tickets to Hong Kong to see their brother who moved out there over a year ago and he misses deeply. Whatever will shout volumes to him.

Hand Over Your Password

Sure, there may be more tangible means of showing your commitment to someone, but handing over your password to Facebook, emails and possibly even your online banking is going to show a level of commitment that even a diamond ring and wowzer of a wedding would get jealous of. Of course, the diamond ring may argue that it costs thousands and thousands, but the old password will be able to pop up and argue that it’s priceless.

What methods did you take to show your significant other that you wanted more in the relationship?
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The Essentials For A New Life With A New Partner


It's an exciting part of life when you are embarking on a new beginning with a new partner, and thinking about the big things, such as buying a home, getting married, having children and getting older together.

But a lot of us may look at the material things as being a bit more important sometimes. Some of us want to have the career and the finances to go with it but what is it that we really need to have in place to ensure a happy life together?

A Stable Home

For a lot of us it's about the home comforts, and when we are setting up a home with a loved one, we need to make it is as warm and welcoming as possible. A lot of people in the modern world cannot afford to buy their own home, and so they are stuck with renting, but if it is possible to get a down payment on a mortgage and then it is worth doing so so you can have something that is yours. You don't even have to buy a home that's perfect right away, you can take the time and effort to renovate somewhere to make it exactly what you want out of your perfect home.

There are plenty of renovation companies like http://www.therenovationcompany.com.au/ that do renovation on a fast time scale, so if time is limited for whatever reason, then you are able to enlist professionals to get it done. If you want to have a warm and welcoming home for future generations, you can't do this by renting.

Communication With Your Partner

If you are about to move in with your partner, it's always important to make sure you do it for the right reasons and to discuss it properly, so you both know exactly where you stand on the situation. But this is a skill you need to carry throughout your relationship. Living together can create tensions you didn't know that was there, so it's always important to be upfront and to encourage channels of communication rather than bottling everything up.

You can look at sites like http://www.nt.relationships.org.au/ for a bit more help on improving how you communicate with your partner. Bottling up emotions means that stress will come out in one way or another which isn't good for you at all.

Independence

While moving in with someone is a declaration of your love for one another it's always important to keep certain parts of your life just for you. Moving in somewhere together is a wonderful thing but you can end up living in each other's pockets which are not healthy, and while people have date nights it's also important to have time apart so you can both appreciate each other when they're not there. For example, not everybody has the same taste in music or movies, and if this sounds like you and your partner, then that's the perfect opportunity to spend an evening apart.

And while it's healthy to spend a bit of time away from each other, try not to make it an excessive habit! Starting a life with your partner is an adventure in many ways, but it's also the beginning of a new life together, so make sure you have the essentials.

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Organising Your Way Towards Increased Health


Nothing in this world is more important than your health. You only get one body in this life, and failing to take care of it will bring very real consequences. Unfortunately, amidst the complexities of modern life, it can be very easy to overlook some of the crucial factors.

Regaining control of your health, and happiness begins with establishing a sense of organisation. Without that sense of structure, you’ll never unlock your true potential of a better lifestyle. Here are six simple suggestions that can transform your future forever. Start incorporating them into your life today, and those improvements will soon follow.

#1. Change Your Commute

If you’re lucky enough to work in a physically demanding job, fitting exercise into your routines won’t be a problem. Unfortunately, though, it’s difficult to burn calories when you've sat an office desk all day long.

Your commute is one aspect that can be upgraded, though. Cycling to work gives you a chance to gain the benefits of workouts without eating into your leisure time. Alternatively, you could simply get off the bus at an earlier stop and walk the last mile. It’s a small change that brings noticeable results. Again, the fact it doesn’t impact your day means it’s a far more attractive option than working out.

#2. Prepare Your Lunches

Nutrition is clearly an important aspect of leading a healthy lifestyle. Sadly, time constraints can make it very tempting to choose processed foods for dinner and eat out while you’re at work. Deep down, you know that this isn’t good for your body. A few simple changes will get you back on the right track.

The internet is packed with great meal prep recipes that can transform lunchtimes. Likewise, slow cookers are a great tool for cooking dinners without hindering your day. The resulting food will be healthier, tastier, and cheaper. Try it for a couple of weeks, and the new habit will soon become second nature.

#3. Manage Health Issues

Nobody is immune from getting ill or facing various health conditions. Preventing those problems might not always be a possibility, but you can at least reduce the damage and disruption that they cause. However, this is only possible when you follow plans and treatments to perfection.

Getting the right diagnosis and instructions is vital. Some pharmacies now offer online reordering of medication too, meaning you’ll never miss your prescription. Support this structure with daily reminders to take them at the same times each day, and keeping your body in the best shape becomes easy.

#4. Gain Emotional Stability

By now, we can all appreciate the fact that mental health is as important as physical health. If you are showing signs of depression or other serious conditions, it’s important that you seek professional support. But even those that don’t have those problems need to establish a sense of emotional stability. Otherwise, the inability to plan your future can create unnecessary stress and physical health issues.

It’s not all about your personal stability. You need to think about the people around you too. Whether it’s showing your partner that you’re in it for the long haul or creating stability for your children doesn’t matter. Knowing that your lives are heading in the right direction is key.

#5. Control Finances

You may not think the link between financial security and good health exists, but it certainly does. Money worries are the most common source of stress in modern society. Moreover, the consequences of being poor will cause several physical health problems. Without needing to be rich, you should avoid discomfort in this field.

Take the time to organise your income and outgoings with a spreadsheet and basic bookkeeping. This will also highlight any areas that require immediate attention. This could mean reducing the TV bill, car insurance, or grocery costs. Either way, analysing the situation is the first step to recovery, and it will indirectly boost your health.

#6. Take Time To Relax

Modern life is more frantic than ever before. As such, the positive steps mentioned above need to be supplemented by ample recuperation. Good sleep patterns are important. However, you should also treat yourself to regular relaxation with spa days and short breaks.

Fail to give your body a chance to recharge its batteries, and the physical damage will slowly start to show. In turn, that lack of energy can actively reduce your ability to make the most of your days. For the sake of productivity as well as your happiness, now is the time to change it for the better.
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Adulting | How to Train Your Dragons


I’m not ashamed that like Connor, I also genuinely enjoy Disney movies, cartoons such as Phineas and Ferb, Adventure Time, Regular Show, Teen Titans - ah hell, I pretty much like Cartoon Network. I collect Pop Vinyls! Zelfs and Hot Wheels cars and I enjoy a good collectable - regardless of what it is. In all honesty I think I get more excited about the release of some toys than my own sons do. 

I only recently found out about Speedy Hen after they contacted both Connor and I to see if we wanted to review an item. We had the option of choosing any items but Connor and I headed straight to the graphic comic section. Yep I’m a sucker for a magazine type book with cartoons in them. I find I easily get drawn in by the imagery and the story and in times of high stress (which is pretty common with thirty-something’s) it’s sometimes good to revert back to your inner child, you know as a form of stress relief. Say it with me now ‘ohm’ 

I took a few days (OK it was actually about three days)to pawn over the range of graphic comics available, I finally settled on Adventure Time or DreamWorks How to Train Your Dragon series. Again each of these series’ contained multiple comics within the one cover which in my opinion is great value for money. 


My final decision was ‘’DreamWorks Dragons, Riders of Berk – Tales from Berk

This graphic comic was created by Titan Comics, who also create Doctor Who, Assassins Creed, Regular Show and Warhammer to name a few. My choice and many others contains two stories within the one cover, call me a tad greedy but two comics over one will always get my vote. Connor also chose a two story graphic comic with Darth Maul being the main character. You can check out his review here of Darth Maul - Death Sentence. 

The two stories are (from the blurb):

• Dragon Down |One of the dragons does missing and the hunt is on to find him – before the enemies do!
 Dangers of the Deep | Stoick and Hiccup encounter something huge and deadly in the mysterious Veil of Mists.

• About the series and the comics 

Some of the main characters from the series include Hiccup who is the main protagonist in the stories and movies, he lost a leg in an accident and was the first to ‘train a dragon’, Toothless is the main dragon, he, like his rider has a disability but neither of them let it affect their ability to problem solve, ride, or do good for others. Stoick The Vast and Valka are the parent to Hiccup and his friends include: Fishlegs, Ruffnut and Tuffnut, Astrid. 

• Some of the main dragons include 

• Toothless who is a Night Fury and is ridden by Hiccup. 
• Meatlug who is a Gronkle and ridden by Fishlegs. 
• Stormfly who is a Deadly Nadder and is ridden by Astrid, 
• Skullcrusher who is a Rumblehorn and is ridden by Stoick. 
• Hookfang is a Monstrous Nightmare and ridden by Snotloud. 
• Barf and Belch is a two headed Hideous Zippleback a is ridden by Ruffnut and Tuffnut. 

Each of the riders and their dragons are similar in some ways, very much like how owners these days match their dogs. Along with the species of dragons being different they each bring different characteristics to the story making it somewhat unconventional. I mean most characters these days (especially for children) don’t seem to have disabilities. Sometimes things go wrong in this series, sometimes they fall out and I like that. I like that they really are bringing an element of real life to the cartoons and comics because that’s what kids and adults need to see and read. To remind us that hell, life isn’t always rosy and you know, things work out fine in the end.

• The imagery 

Just look at this example of the imagery, here you will see the gang ranting about Hiccup (as usual). Look how detailed the artwork is without it being pixelated or grainy. The images are sharp, their clear and, they get the mind working overtime. You really can imagine being in that place at that time (yes I know it’s not a real place).


The covers also are of a super high standard, the print work on these is awesome and because they are super glossy, they will last a long time without easily being marked, scratched or ruined. I like that *winks* I like things that last and are easy to care for.


• So why did I choose this option over others 

Well, it’s partly due to my sons. Over the years we’ve enjoyed many DVD’s with How to Train Your Dragon’s being one of them. Every time it would come on I’d always say in a very deep and manly voice with a strong Scottish twang ‘How tae trrrr-ain yur draguns’ and the boys would laugh and copy me. Because of that, and my youngest sons love for Toothless (the main dragon) I couldn’t not choose this option.

Yes I will benefit, but ultimately so will my sons as I know each of them will also get enjoyment out of the comic. So value for money this is definitely up there. Not all of my sons are into reading novels, but this type of graphic comic they absolutely all will enjoy. As a parent anything I can do or buy to get my sons using their imagination and reading more is money well spent or time well spent in my opinion.

You don’t need me to tell you to go and check out their range of comics but if you’re oohing and ahhing over whether you would enjoy one of these, or you ‘could’ enjoy one of these without the backlash of someone saying ‘you’re not a child’ then my answer to that is absolutely Yes, Yes, Yes!

 Stress reduction – tick
• Some ‘’you’’ time – tick
• Cost per read – tick
• Beautiful imagery that will make your eyes happy – tick
• Excellent table reads props or shelf ornaments– tick
• The ability to pass this onto someone of any age or gender – tick

Check out the range (first book in a few days of online browsing, you’ll thank me later) over at Speedy Hen.  Let me know which one’s stand out or what you’ve purchased yourself. Should we get the #graphiccomicohms going (!!!) for mums or dads who prefer to read graphic comic and ‘not adult’ rather than yoga and meditation?

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Celebrating What Really Matters On Your Man's Birthday

There’s quite a lot to do when your man’s birthday is coming up. You have to organise the party, which might include rounding up all his friends and family in secret if you want to make it a surprise. There’s the big gift, which you might very well spend weeks agonising over if the right idea isn’t jumping out at you. But it’s important to make time to really celebrate what matters, especially if it’s a big birthday. Here are a few things you don’t want to forget.

His life

Really, that’s what a birthday is. It’s a celebration of someone’s life and you can make a little effort to ensure that’s really the case. For instance, you can look at things like creating a photo book in tribute to them with Memento custom photobooks. It can feature snippets from all kinds of moments in their life, from childhood memories to their relationship with you and your kids, if you have any. It’s a good idea to get his family or friends involved in the process of picking the photos that are going to have the most impact. They can get sentimental, they can get silly, they can even get a little embarrassing. Whatever direction you go with it, it serves as a terrific way to look on some of the most memorable moments of his life.
Good company

If you have a birthday party, then your man might already be touched by the presence of everyone there. A party is made by close family and fantastic friends. They deserve to be celebrated as part of his life as much as anything else. Some people keep birthday cards on really big birthdays to do just that, but you can make your dedication much more accessible than a bundle of cards. You can use Booth Boy photo booth hire to give everyone the opportunity to take the best possible pictures of themselves at the party. If it’s a biggie, like a thirtieth birthday, you can include a guest book for attendants to leave their own funny, meaningful, or simple dedications.
Your relationship

It might seem just a touch self-absorbed, but you know how much your relationship means to you and your partner does, too. If you’re having a big party later, it might be a good idea to have a quiet lunch or dinner with them at a spot that has some special significance to the both of you. But what’s important is taking the day to celebrate him and what he brings to the relationship. One of the best ways to do that is in writing. Men don’t get to hear why the people in their life are grateful for them enough. There’s plenty of inspiration to draw from when writing a gratitude letter or love note, but if you take some time and really pore over it, you’ll surely find plenty of your own material to draw from.
When all's said and done, having your birthday celebrated can feel like a whirlwind. It’s fun, but it blasts by and soon recedes in the distance. If you want the love of your life to really remember the day fondly, then find those little celebrations that will stick with both of you.
        


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Planning a Stag or Hen Party With a Twist


When you are planning your wedding, then there will be one other thing that you will also have to think about; a stag or hen party, of course! Nowadays, more and more people are having joint stag and hen parties, a hag or stag if you will. It might be that you have the same groups of friends, or have a large number of friends of the opposite sex. You could be a same-sex couple that doesn’t want to have separate parties.

Whatever the reason, there are many reasons why a joint do could be for you. It can save you money for one thing, which is always a good idea when you’re wedding planning. But if you’re not sure what might work for a stag or hag, then here are some ideas that would work well. Would love to hear what you think!

A Boat Party

A party on a boat is something that everyone will remember and enjoy as there are things for everyone. It can feel pretty luxurious too. This might only work if you were planning on going abroad, but it is a good idea if you are. Fun in the sun is a sure fire way to have a great and memorable party.

Paintballing

Traditionally a paintballing party is more of a stag party thing, but I know plenty of ‘hens’ that would enjoy that kind of thing too. So look up somewhere local and find out how much it might cost for all of you. You can usually get good deals when there are going to be a lot of you on a booking. You could even wow your guests with some fun facts about paintball on the day! Just don’t plan it too close to the actual wedding day; you don’t want to have bruised arms or legs!

Escape Room Game

Escape rooms are growing more and more in popularity, and it is easy to see why. In teams, you will enter rooms and have to solve puzzles and work together. It can be a really fun day out, finished off with some drinks! It is something a little bit different too, which is always a talking point.

Dancing

It could just be a regular night out for some dancing, or you could head to somewhere like a salsa club. The bonus of having both men and women in the party is that there will be partners for everyone. Finish off with some sangria, and you’ve got a fun evening making happy memories for sure.

Pizza Making

If one of the group has a large enough house, then get all the gang together and make pizzas! It can be funny to see the concoctions that you create, especially if there are any extra spicy versions! Finish off with some old-school house party games or a movie, and you’ve got a cheap but fun night all rolled into one.

Have you ever been to a joint stag or hen party before? It would be interesting to hear about it!
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Your Wedding: The Solution To Cost-Cutting & DIY Disasters


Given the average cost of a wedding, it’s fairly easy to see why many couples choose to chart their own course when it comes to their big day. After all, it is just one day out of your life so it can seem obscene to spend a fortune if you simply don' have it.

The reality is a wedding doesn’t need a huge amount of money spent on it to be beautiful and memorable. After all, It’s supposed to be about a couple investing in their future together, exchanging vows in front of their friends and family in an effort to cement their union. Over time, society has seen weddings as something that should be beautiful, a perfect image of the perfect couple on a perfect day. Choosing to buck this trend to keep costs down can be a wonderful way of celebrating your future and defining yourselves as a couple by who you are, rather than what society expects you to be.

The Inexpensive Wedding Can Work…

But... only if you’re really okay with it. If you’re happy to save your money for the rest of your life together, perhaps saving for a house deposit, then that’s absolutely fine. You do you, after all. The problems tend to begin if you decide you don’t want to spend the money, but you do want the big, grand, beautiful wedding that we’re all meant to lust after.

What’s The Difference?

One is an active choice; a couple eschewing the expectations of what their wedding day should be in favour of what they want it to be. This couple isn’t going to mind going without the perfect floral arrangements and trimming their guest list because they’re not actually that concerned with their wedding. It’s about the moment, the marriage.

The alternative couple is very much attracted to the trappings of a big day - and there’s nothing wrong with that either! If you have been imagining a grand, fairytale-style wedding your entire life, then, of course, you’re going to want to go for it. You’re only going to do this once, after all - might as well make the most of it! Nevertheless, this couple isn’t making an active choice to scale back their wedding - it’s a choice they are being forced into by circumstance. It’s safe to assume this couple would have the big, glitzy wedding with all the trappings if they could, but they are being hamstrung by financial necessity.

The first couple - who really don’t mind about going without on their big day - are not going to be concerned with what their wedding isn’t. The second couple is going to be extremely concerned because they would have a big do but are being prevented from doing so by circumstance.

At this point, the second couple has a choice. They could look to borrow money from friends or family; look for loans for bad credit so that they can afford the nuptials they want, or just save up for longer to ensure they can make their dream wedding come true eventually. These are all viable options but, instead, many couples find themselves making a decision they will live to regret.

The Decision For A DIY Wedding

On the surface, opting to DIY as much of your wedding as possible seems like a neat way of bridging the gap. There are the things you want, the desire for how your wedding is going to look - but there’s not the money available to pay for them. So, you conclude, why not DIY to leap the chasm? It’s the best of both worlds, isn’t it - the wedding you want (even if it is DIYed) but without the cost. It’s a no-brainer, win-win kind of situation, isn’t it?

The problem is that it's not a win-win situation.

There’s no harm in DIYing elements of your wedding if you’re the kind of couple who isn’t much concerned with the wedding day itself. It might even be fun, bonding you together as you work on place settings and fiddle with different top table arrangements.

If, however, you’re trying to DIY your way to the grand wedding of your dreams, you’re setting yourself up for a disappointment. The reason for this is simple: you’re never going to be able to DIY as well as a professional production. You can try as hard as you like, but there’s a reason certain professionals make their entire living from producing all the little elements that give a wedding day a special touch. They have experience, time, and the skills to do so. If you’re going to be trying to match their standard in your spare time, then you’re inevitably going to be disappointed.

Can It Ever Work?

The key to managing this kind of issue is to deal with your expectations.

As mentioned before, if you have your heart set on the big, grand wedding of your dreams, then there are options that will allow you to achieve it. Maybe you need to wait a little longer before the big day or take a few financial leaps, but there are ways and means of being able to get what you’re dreaming of.

If you decide those aren’t for you, then something has to give - and the thing that should bend is your expectations.

Ask yourself how you are going to feel if you don’t have the wedding you have always dreamed of. There’s nothing precious about your response being “I would be devastated”, by the way. You will often see a lot of encouragement to the idea that your wedding should just be about the vows, that it doesn’t matter, that it’s just one day - but that’s a rather patronising take on the whole affair. Weddings have a special place in our hearts, with many couples describing their day as the best in their lives. It’s therefore not a sad reflection on your relationship or the times we live in if you want your wedding to be wonderful - and don’t let anyone persuade you differently!

Think About Scale

If you can adjust your expectations in any way, then the more viable and rewarding is going to be to tinker with the scale. The more you have to do something, the bigger the room for problems and issues that could upset you.

It may be a small change, but it can make a big difference as to what you have to afford or DIY for yourself: why not trim your guest list? You can get more for your money if you reduce the number of people attending. If you’re still going to DIY, then it’s going to be easier to get five table settings just to your liking rather than 20!

If the option is between having a smaller, but still gorgeous, wedding and a large but not-particularly-nice wedding, most couples would choose the first option every time. Your budget will spread further with a small wedding, allowing you to indulge a touch of luxury that a large event wouldn’t give you the chance to do.

The Decision Is Ultimately Yours

Of course, no one can make this decision for you. If you decide the priority is to have all of your friends and family at your wedding, then that’s completely your decision - no one is going to judge you either way!

Just be careful that you don’t spread funds and your abilities too thin. At the very least, give yourself as long as possible to get ready for the big day. If you’re rushing large preparations on a shoestring budget, then life is going to be tough. Give yourself adequate preparation time and with a little determination, you’ll still be able to have the wedding you have always desired.

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