To celebrate the launch of the Mr & Mrs Smith wedding pages, we’ve persuaded Brides magazine editor Deborah Joseph to divulge her Little White Book of wedding secrets – and trust us, what she doesn’t know about weddings and honeymoons probably ain’t worth knowing: Brides is the UK’s biggest-selling bridal magazine.
Here she reveals her favourite wedding-dress designers, UK wedding venues, caterers and honeymoon destinations…
DEBORAH JOSEPH’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Fishtail or fairytale? A-line or slinky? Choosing your wedding dress is the biggest fashion decision a woman will make in her lifetime. And finding the right designer/retailer to ensure you are top-to-toe perfect is essential. Luckily, the UK has a range of incredible places to buy from.
My favourites? Pronovias on Bond street is perfect for brides who want glamour and flamboyance; Jenny Packham’s wedding dresses (available nationwide) are unique with a boho twist; and Caroline Castigliano‘s dresses are perfect for that classic, traditional look.
The first thing you need to do after he’s popped the question is choose your venue and make sure it’s free on the date you want to get married. You need to ask yourself the following question: do you want to marry in the city, the country, in a stately home, or in in a marquee wedding at home? Then you can start your search.
I had a city wedding and married at the Midland Hotel in Manchester, but other venues I love include London’s Claridges, The Grove (half an hour from London), Blenheim Palace, and Stoke Park.
Although the day is about you and your husband, for a truly great wedding, you need to make sure your guests are well watered and well fed. Lunchtime weddings are cheaper than evening weddings as you don’t need to serve a three course meal and guests tend to drink less alcohol. Buffet-style receptions can also be a good budget option. If you’re getting married in a hotel, they will usually work with reputable catering companies, which they will recommend to you.
The time of year you get married will influence where you go on honeymoon. If you’re marrying in the summer, Europe, and West Coast America are fabulous (California’s Napa Valley is beautiful and great for wine-tasting; and the London West Hollywood in Los Angeles is a new favourite). For winter honeymoons, head to Australia, a safari lodge (Sasaab in Kenya is truly special), the Caribbean, or – my favourite – the Maldives.
I honeymooned at the Conrad Maldives and can honestly say it was the most incredible holiday of my life. My top tip? Even if you’re looking for an adventure honeymoon, give yourself at least a few days of relaxation as you’ll be exhausted from the wedding!