Tag Archives: wedding

Tips for men to propose on Valentine's Day
January 22, 2016 | in: Blog

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner many lads across the UK turn their thoughts to a proposal.

Proposing on Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular times of the year to get down on one knee, but whilst proposing to your other half means that you hopefully will marry the love of your life and will be able to organise an incredible stag do in Krakow or to some other European destination, it can also be an extremely stressful and nerve-wracking experience.

The pressure of making a Valentine’s Day proposal a romantic and a memorable one can be too much for some, but do not fear as here at Pissup we have gathered together the best tips from a range of proposal experts to ensure that your proposal is an unforgettable one that will impress your mates just as much as your missus!

Don’t forget 2016 is a leap year – meaning that your missus could end up proposing to you! We’ve got you covered here too with advice from experts.

Proposal tips

Get your timing right!

Ben Parker from Groom Power, a website that gives advice to grooms, said, “Ideally you need to have been with your girlfriend long enough for her to say ‘yes’, but not so long that the surprise has gone when you get down on one knee.”

Do the unexpected

The Heart Bandits, who are dubbed as one of the top proposal planners in the world, suggest doing the unexpected.

They said, “Since proposing on Valentine’s Day is already somewhat expected, you are going to have to propose in an unexpected way.

“Simply proposing during dinner (especially by dropping the ring in a champagne glass) is very played out and 1980s. Do something more personalised for her.”

Make it personalised

Another of the world’s biggest proposal planners and experts, The Proposers, say it is important to make your Valentine’s Day proposal personalised.

They add, “There’s no point proposing at a sports bar if your partner hates sport. It doesn’t need to cost the earth but make sure you put a little effort into it.”

Include friends and/or family

If it’s your stag do in Budapest then you would want all your best mates and close family members there, so why not do the same for your proposal?

The Proposers, said, “You may want everyone you know there to celebrate, but first you need to make sure you A) know that the answer will be a YES B) Practice what you want to say – just saying those four famous words is pressure enough without worrying about what the family think.”

Don’t pretend that you’re not doing anything for Valentine’s Day

The Heart Bandits say that if you are trying to completely throw your girlfriend off the scent then don’t. They added, “Don’t pretend that you’re simply not doing anything for Valentine’s Day to try to throw her off.

“You want her to know that you are doing something for her, not just catch her completely off guard when she’s not dressed or done up. Let her know you’re planning something but tell her it’s a surprise.”

Have a ring ready

Groom Power’s Ben Parker says that nowadays lads don’t always propose with a ring, so instead he advises purchasing a ‘stunt ring’.

He adds, “Lots of guys these days prefer to propose without a ring, because they know their girlfriend will want to choose it themselves.

“This is where the ‘stunt ring’ comes in.  For £30 or £40 you can arm yourself with something that looks the part, but you can tell your girlfriend it’s a stand in. Then she gets the fun of a ring on her finger straight away and a shopping trip a few weeks later.”

Diamond ring

Build up anticipation before your proposal

The Heart Bandits say that building up your missus’ anticipation before you propose does not ruin the surprise.

The proposal planners, who have a dedicated section on proposal ideas, added, “Many women want to wonder if ‘this is it’ so it’s good to build anticipation.

“Throughout the night you can keep adding elements that show off your feelings to her. For example, you can bring up stories or look at old pictures of how you two have grown and have had great times together. This doesn’t ruin the surprise, it only adds anticipation to the actual moment.  The anticipation then only makes the actual proposal moment more impactful.”

Hide the ring

Another useful tip to make your proposal even more special and romantic on Valentine’s Day is to hide the ring and leave a trail of clues.

The Wedding Spot, one of the biggest wedding-related sites on the internet that shares advice with brides and grooms, added, “Leave clues all over the house as if it were a treasure hunt, so that they have to spend a while thinking about how to find the next clue and especially how to discover the final location, which they are probably not expecting to be the start of your new future together.”

Another great idea is to hide your ring in a shell on a particular beach that you both love and to point out the beautiful shell that contains your ring. As she picks it up and realises there is something in it, this is your cue to get down on one knee. This won’t just be remembered by your partner for the rest of her life, but will impress your mates that inside that laddish exterior there is an old romantic inside!

Hide the ring

Invest in documenting your proposal

The team at the Heart Bandits suggest documenting this day as you and your partner can remember the day for the rest of your lives and you can show all the boys how you did it.

The expert proposal planners, said, “Ideally, you should at least have a photographer to capture the moment you are on bended knee. If your proposal idea also lends itself to having a videographer as well then go for it too.

“You will be happy you did down the road when you look back at your pictures or video and retell your engagement story.”

The Proposers agree, “In this day and age, everyone loves pictures and adding their special news to social media. Make sure you capture this once-in-a-lifetime moment so that you have it to share with your friends and family (even grandkids) time and time again.”

Be confident

Being confident when proposing on Valentine’s Day is important, even though you will be absolutely bricking it.

Groom Power say, “Think what you want to say, speak clearly, look into her eyes, and smile.  Lots of guys mumble or fluff their lines, which is understandable.

“But your girlfriend is going to remember this exact moment for the rest of her life, so try to get it right.”

Get on one knee

They say romance is dead and in today’s society more and more of us lads are not getting down on one knee. If you really want to impress your other half then proposing the traditional way on one knee is certainly the way to go.

The experts at The Proposers simply say, “It’s traditional and ladies love it. Not to mention, it will make an amazing photo.”

Get down on one knee

Proposal ideas

Propose abroad

Wedding Spot, said, “You could plan a weekend getaway and choose the perfect moment to ask them, imagine how nice it would be to do it whilst up the Eiffel Tower with the city of Paris at your feet.”

Eiffel Tower

Do a Friends-style proposal

If you have a girlfriend that is a big fan of Friends and want to get the rest of the lads talking about it then The Proposers have a great idea for you.

The Proposers recently helped a man with his Friends proposal idea. The planned proposal involved West End singers to play the TV show’s iconic theme tune, a sofa and lamp to recreate the famous opening credits of the show.

The genius of a man that proposed to his partner had planned to go to the Shard after the proposal and therefore the Red Cross Gardens, which looks over the Shard, was chosen as a destination.

It was pretty obvious that when the guy dropped to his knee in front of the fairy lights, lanterns and furniture that his missus was always going to say yes (and she did)!

Relive their favourite movie

The Wedding Spot, who have previously written about how to propose in an original way, suggest proposing and reliving your favourite movie at the same time.

The Wedding Spot, said, “You probably have a romantic movie that you both like and in which there is an extremely romantic scene. Make the script your own and recite it to them whilst embracing them and take out the ring.”

Advice for guys being proposed to

2016 is a leap year, meaning that your missus can ask you for your hand in marriage. It is best to consider that this could potentially happen, especially if your other half has been dropping hints.

Be prepared

Groom Power adds, “It’s not just advice for cub scouts! If it’s February 29th and your girlfriend is making dinner reservations, then a big question might be on the cards.”

Propose back

The team at The Proposers suggest that if your girlfriend proposes to you on Valentine’s Day, then you should propose back.

The Proposers added, “Usually if a woman proposes to man, she is desperate for him to propose to her, but he just won’t get the hint or perhaps he’s just ignoring them. If she does propose then he should propose back. It will make the story a lot more romantic to say that they are both involved.

“Things to do after are to tell the parents, get pics, announce it on Facebook, and meet friends in the pub to let them know.”

Do you want to get married?

Lads should seriously think about whether they actually want to get married. If your other half has been dropping hints about potentially proposing to you and you’re not ready, then you need to make this known before the deed is done.

Ben Parker of Groom Power explains, “If you’re genuinely unsure then it might be better to discuss it with your girlfriend in advance rather than let her pop the question and not be able to say yes.”

Do you want to get married?

She will probably be nervous

Men across the world get nervous thinking about proposing to their other half, so when your girlfriend is thinking of proposing she will be even more nervous as it is not considered normal for a woman to propose.

Mr Parker, adds, “Everyone who proposes thinks they’ll get a yes, but has a small fear of an unexpected ‘no’.  If you know you’re going to say yes, then say so quickly and give her a kiss.”

Can you handle being proposed to?

The experts at The Heart Bandits say that guys need to think about whether they are happy switching this gender norm.

They said, “Some men consider themselves to be more progressive in their ideas of gender roles and would be comfortable with this. But many men feel that proposing is an important part of their role as boyfriend/fiancé, and would be put off by the woman asking the question.”

Don’t lose the opportunity to get a joke in

Ben at Groom Power, says, “It’s more or less compulsory to say ‘So I assume you’ve bought your own engagement ring?’

Image Credit: Michelangelo Carrieri, Isabelle Acatauassú Alves Almeida, Tommie Hansen (flickr.com)

Relieving wedding day stress
December 24, 2015 | in: Blog

Most budding grooms suffer from nerves ahead of the big day as well as the usual stress and, of course, excitement.

But after enjoying an incredible Budapest stag do with your mates, the nerves and pressure really heat up on both the groom and the best man, but do not fear as we have come to your rescue!

To help you sail through all your wedding stuff we have asked a range of experts about what you can do to relieve wedding day stress and nerves.

So if you don’t want to be like this unfortunate fellow…

… we suggest you read on.

Be mindful of food and drink

It is very easy to let food slip down the list of priorities when you are organising a wedding, but it is vital that you get enough nutrients as this could be the difference between you feeling great on the big day or feeling over-tired and over-worked.

Iron

Jo Travers, from the Harley Street Nutritionist said, “Iron carries oxygen around the body to all the organs including the brain. If too little is eaten it can cause tiredness, lethargy and even dizziness – the exact opposite of what you need for getting hitched without a hitch.

“Iron comes from red meat, beans, pulses, dark green leafy vegetables and fortified foods such as white flour products and breakfast cereals. Iron from meat is readily absorbed but iron from plant sources requires vitamin C to convert it to a useable form. Adding some fruit and vegetables alongside will aid this process. Iron absorption is hindered by tannins, which are found in tea, and also by calcium so it’s a good idea to separate dairy and iron-rich foods sometimes.”

Jo Travers

Magnesium

Laura Clark, from LEC Nutrition, advises the groom and other wedding goers to take in plenty of magnesium to calm the nerves on the big day.

She added, “This helps to relax muscles and is also important for a good night’s sleep the night before.”

Laura Clark added that snacks containing foods rich in magnesium, which will serve you well as you prepare to say ‘I do’, include:

– Bananas
– Seed bars e.g. 9-bar
– Wholegrain cereal with milk
– Wholemeal toast and peanut butter
– Handful of nuts

Laura Clark

Carbs

The Harley Street Nutritionist’s Jo Travers says the brain’s favourite energy source is glucose, so carbohydrates are therefore important.

“As the body doesn’t keep large stores of carbs it’s necessary to get them from the diet at regular intervals. Everyone needs about five portions the size of their fist of carbohydrates every day, such as bread, rice, cereals, potatoes or pasta: some at each meal and the odd snack. This helps keep blood glucose levels nice and even, the brain alert, and hunger (and hunger-related mood swings) at bay. So please no carb-dodging diets!”

Breakfast

When it comes to eating breakfast, Jo Travers says that breakfast ahead of the big day is essential.

She added, “Anything is better than nothing, but some slow-release carbohydrates such as in whole grain cereals and toast or porridge are ideal. Avoid anything with lots of sugar as this can contribute to irregular blood glucose levels. Adding some protein will keep them fuller for longer, eggs on granary toast is the breakfast of kings.”

Breakfast

Hydration

Most people now know how important it is to keep hydrated, especially if you are a groom or best man, as you both need to keep concentrated for your speech – even mild dehydration can cause all kinds of problems with concentration and energy levels.

Jo Travers says, “Sipping fluids regularly throughout the day is the most effective way of keeping hydrated, but very sugary drinks may have the opposite effect. Juice is not hydrating, as it tends to draw fluids into the digestive tract rather than the other way around. Thirst is actually not the first dehydration signal. Early signs of dehydration can be quite subtle and non-specific such as fatigue, a lack of concentration and headaches.”

Food on the wedding day

When the big day arrives it can cause chaos with your nerves, but in terms of food it is important to try and eat whatever you can, whether it be a small snack or something more substantial.

Jo Travers, who also runs the London Nutritionist site, adds, “When you eat it will depend a bit on the timings of the ceremony and reception but make sure you have a good breakfast. Try to stick to small meals and top up with snacks. Keep well hydrated – this will help prevent any hangovers the next day too.

“When it’s over, you can cut loose and eat whatever you want, food is about celebration as well as nutrients!”

You must relax

The build-up to a wedding is stressful and when the actual day of the wedding arrives it can often come to a climax.

The Vivamus Psychologists advise grooms, best men, brides and bridesmaids to try some basic relaxation techniques.

Dr. Marie Thompson, a Chartered Clinical Psychologist at Vivamus Psychologists, says, “Relaxation techniques, such as abdominal breathing or visual imagery, can also help prevent the build-up of stress. These techniques need to be practiced regularly to be most effective.”

Relaxing on your wedding day is important

Delegating jobs will help you

Another important tip for the groom and best man to follow is to delegate jobs to other close friends and family as this will help reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed by the day that is supposed to be one of the happiest of your life.

Vivamus Psychologists, add, “Ask others to do some of the tasks for you. For example, writing the name places, picking up the suits, ordering babysitters etc.

“It is important that when you delegate you trust others to make the right decision and to do the job on time. Try not to feel guilty about delegating – other people often like to be involved and to feel that they are helping with the special day.”

Don’t avoid jobs

Vivamus Psychologists also recommend that in the build-up to the wedding; grooms, best men and brides do not avoid jobs that they know are going to be stressful.

Dr. Marie Thompson, said, “Avoidance of a stressful activity, whether it be the planning, the awkward discussions with friends or family about where they are sitting, or the choosing of vows, only makes the stress increase.”

Making your wedding speech perfect

The groom, best man and father of the bride speeches can often cause anxiety for all three people, but there are ways to reduce stress levels for all three.

Wedding speeches

Think about your audience

The best man’s speech is usually the most eagerly anticipated of all the speeches at a wedding as it is expected to rip into the groom. This, however, is dangerous territory as you need to consider your audience and must remember that the room will be filled with family and friends of the bride and groom.

So if you are considering telling that story about the strippers the groom had on his stag do in Krakow, it might be worth skipping that and telling some other funny stories you have up your sleeve. Try to fit in stories that everyone in the room can relate to.

Consider the length of your speech

There is nothing worse than rambling on in your speech so aim for it to be 5-10 minutes long as you will find that it takes longer on the day after all the laughing (hopefully) and cheering.

Practice, practice, practice

If you have it in your head that as the best man you are going to roll up and smash the speech, then you need to think again.

You need to practice your speech as the more you practice the more you can learn it off by heart. Then instead of reading it off of your sheet, you can look up at the guests you are speaking to.

Image Credit: The Harley Street Nutritionist, LEC Nutrition, Antti T. Nissinen, Take Back Your Health Conference, Christopher Head (flickr.com)


tagged: ,
November 27, 2015 | in: Blog

My Best Man Experience

In December of last year (2014) my best friend of 18 years got engaged to his lovely girlfriend whilst on holiday in Bali. They’d first hooked up in Berlin  9 years ago and therefore it wasn’t much of a surprise when they announced it to the world on Facebook. In April he asked me to be the Chief Best Man with two of my other closest pals being asked to lend me their support as best men (confusing structure hey!). So with only 6 months to the wedding, I needed to get working on the stag do ASAP. I am sharing my experience with you to help anyone who may be looking for inspiration for a stag do or would appreciate some tips regarding the wedding day and the best man’s speech itself.

"Hooves and Grooves" - our UK stag do

“Hooves and Grooves” – our UK stag do

The stag wanted as many of his friends and family to attend his last weekend of freedom as possible. Therefore we decided to have two stag dos – an adventure abroad for his younger friends and for the older generations and those not able to travel – a “respectable” day out at the races. This latter event came complete with a Stevie Wonder tribute act playing after the last race and was geniusly titled “Hooves and Grooves”. Amazingly the young Stevie Wonder sound-alike was led on and off the stage just like the real legend himself (the highlight of my day – even eclipsed winning £150!!).

Hamburg stag do

Hamburg’s famous Alster Lake

After whittling down possible dates with the list of invitees via Doodle (I strongly recommend this tool) it was time to get our adventure abroad all booked up. My fellow best men and I decided that Hamburg should have the pleasure of hosting our best friend’s stag weekend away. Germany seems to be the country to visit right now and I’d heard that Hamburg had a lot going for it including a great nightlife and very acceptable prices – two essential components of a successful stag do abroad. So after selecting our accommodation and some activities that we thought he’d appreciate on www.pissup.com, I booked the group’s return flights to Hamburg.

After weeks of excitement, the weekend of the stag had finally arrived. I was living in Copenhagen at the time and therefore I was headed to Hamburg by train. I hadn’t seen my mates since Xmas and so I was buzzing en route to Copenhagen Central Station. This excitement was short lived as the entire Danish rail network had been shut down due to a bomb threat. Given the terrorist attack that had happened 6 months previously in the city, it was understandable that the police were taking this security alert seriously. So my door to door journey to Hamburg which should have taken 5 hours actually took 12! The security alert also resulted in packed out trains. Luckily I managed to score a seat in First Class next to an annoying American family who relentlessly documented their train journey with their digital camera. It made an irritating sound every time the flash went off. If that wasn’t aggravating enough, the father kept repeating each announcement made by the train driver to his wife and daughter – almost immediately after it was made.  However, I was very lucky – the rest of the standard ticket holders were slumped on the floor of the carriage outside. Many had to stand for hours.

The stag makes his standard two metres before falling into the water

The stag makes his standard two metres before falling into the water

Even though I was 7 hours late to Hamburg and nearly an hour late to our first activity (waterskiing), I still managed to beat my friends to the venue. On arrival I was greeted with torrential rain and a rumble of thunder – perfect waterskiing conditions! Twenty minutes later the rain had stopped and the sun appeared. Another 10 minutes later and my friends decided to do the same! The girl on the reception was very understanding and told me not to worry about the rest of the group’s atrocious timekeeping. After greeting my friends it was time to hit the water … primarily face first! I knew waterskiing was meant to be hard but I thought I’d go a little further than I actually did. I took solace in  the fact that the majority of my group were equally as bad! Irrespective of our waterskiing abilities we all had a really fun couple of hours. The venue was uber cool and its German staff were very hospitableBrazilian BBQ.

Next up was dinner at an all you can eat Brazilian Rodizio BBQ … heaven! The majority of the group had never been to a Brazilian restaurant and it is safe to say they thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We liked it so much that we went back the next night. Slice after slice of succulent meat was carved on to our plates accompanied by tonnes of chips and sides. This was the perfect way to line our stomachs in preparation for the night ahead! If you’re in Hamburg and want to sample local German cuisine …. don’t… just visit this Rodizio! Trust me!

After stuffing our faces it was time to hit the bars and as you would do on a stag break in Hamburg, we headed to the Reeperbahn. I had been to Amsterdam a couple of months beforehand and it was only natural that I wanted to compare the notoriously naughty neon Red Light Districts! The area was buzzing – a lot livelier that I had expected. As we slowly walked along the bustling strip we were approached by various men in horrific animal print shirts, each asking us if we wanted stripteases (not from them thankfully!). We agreed to one and walked through a dark doorway for 10 Euros each. We were greeted with the most unarousing scene ever. We sat at cheap tin tables and on the plastic chairs you had at school. As for the women…well let’s just say they weren’t the youngest or the best looking in Hamburg! This place was awful but hilarious at the same time – definitely one of my highlights of the trip.

Shitty Strip Club

The strip club that was soooo bad – it was good

We decided to hit a couple of bars before trying our luck in another strip club. We had learnt our lesson and therefore targeted a more upmarket venue. Thankfully it was a lot cleaner and classier and the strippers were actually attractive! Amazingly they let us in for free and my day got even better as two of my mates each paid for me to have a private lap dance (one instantly regretted it and vehemently complained about his decision!!). One of our group estimated that we were in this venue for 3 hours. I think that he was slightly over exaggerating but we certainly had a funny time in there, predominantly watching a group of creepy Russian guys uncomfortably tipping the dancers on stage with notes fed from their mouth.

The next day we were up relatively early for a shower and a McDonalds breakfast before a cocktail making course at 1pm. Sitting in Maccy D’s, I could tell absolutely nobody in our stag party liked the idea of even being close to alcohol – let alone consuming it. The venue was located on the Reeperbahn just around the corner from our hotel. Hamburg is a lovely city, characterised by its famous waterfront and canals. However, during the day the Reeperbahn is not the nicest place to be. As we waited for the venue to open in our hungover states, we were constantly approached by junkies, pushers, whores and homeless people. Luckily the bar soon opened and we were greeted by two of the nicest and coolest bartenders you could wish to meet. They made us some extremely sweet welcome shots before instructing us on how to make some seriously tasty cocktails. Our hangovers soon began to dissipate courtesy of the large amount of cocktails we were making and consuming (easily £300 – £400 worth) and we had a memorable start to our second afternoon.

Getting the most out of our cocktail masterclass

Getting the most out of our cocktail masterclass

Relaxing in one of Hamburg’s best beach bars

Whilst at the venue we were greeted by our tour guide for a Beach Bar Crawl. Over the course of two hours she took us to some of the coolest beach bars in Hamburg – overlooking its famous port. In the first bar we all lay back in a deck chair accompanied by a beer. The next bar was a little livelier and even had its own dance area. This venue was perfect for getting us in the frame of mind to party again. We bid farewell to our lovely tour guide and got ready for our last sample of Hamburg’s nightlife.

Massively overrated – Hamburg’s famous Dollhouse

Once again we headed to the Reeperbahn and to a bar called Molotow which had been recommended to me by my colleague who is a Hamburg resident. I seriously rate this two storey venue which consists of indie music on the ground floor, with a house arena outside and a northern soul room on the second floor. There was something for everyone, however fatigue began to set in and we were struggling to enjoy ourselves on the three dance floors. Subsequently we headed for the infamous Doll House, Hamburg’s most famous table dancing club. I was not impressed with this venue as it took them ages to seat us, serve us drinks and get dancers for our table. Interacting with the strippers also became a bit of an effort in our ever increasingly sober and tired states. Luckily we all got some enjoyment out of one stripper viciously belting the stag on his bare chest and back! After witnessing that and a half-hearted “lesbian show”, it was time to return back to our hotel!

The next morning we had brunch by the scenic Alster Lake before a stroll around the Jungfernstieg. This was a nice way to conclude the weekend and bid farewell to my friends. Thankfully my journey back to Copenhagen the next day took the standard 5 hours. I got home, tired and rough but having had a great time. Most importantly of all the stag had absolutely loved it. I looked at some of the great memories that I had captured on my phone. The funniest memory of all was to surface a few days later. The security scare that had caused my 12 hour journey had been a hoax! A railway worker was found by his colleagues of ten years gagged up and bound to a chair. He informed them that two men had beaten him and tied him up. He specified that they were also going to plant bombs on the railway network! I don’t think I will ever understand what this person aimed to achieve out of doing this. He is now serving time in prison and on several occasions I have wondered what he tells his fellow inmates as to why he is there! His stupid actions made an already memorable weekend that little bit more memorable.

8 weeks later and the day of the wedding had arrived. The days prior to it had been a bit of a whirlwind for me. I had moved back to London from Copenhagen and handed in my master thesis exactly 48 hours before the wedding ceremony. This meant I only had a day to perfect and practice my speech! As this reality dawned on me, my nerves started to kick and they never really subsided until I was at home the day after the wedding!

My "trendy" haircut

My “trendy” haircut

Now, my best mate is a laid back guy, but it wasn’t until the day of his wedding that I realised exactly how calm he is! En route to our morning haircuts I enquired about how he was feeling. “Absolutely buzzing” he replied. From his excited demeanour and singing along to the radio he wasn’t lying. The receptionist in the hairdressers told me that I looked more nervous than he did. She wasn’t wrong – and the haircut that I had just received magnified my anxiety about tenfold! The young hairdresser had absolutely ****ed my hair! I looked liked a rejected member of One Direction. I kept being told it was “trendy”. That word just made me resent it even more!

The ceremony and wedding breakfast quickly came and went. My nerves would be accentuated by small events such as one of the other best men accidentally decapitating my buttonhole with his elbow at the beginning of the service! A few drinks would calm the nerves and then they would return even stronger. The thought of my speech should have made me brim with excitement – just like the groom, however I felt as if I was about to go on a date with Jihadi John. Public speaking never used to phase me when I was at school – but that was  long time ago!

After 20-30 minutes of cringeworthy poses with the bridesmaids, ushers, bride and groom it was my time to shine. I had to follow two great speeches from the father of the bride and the most relaxed person in the venue – the groom himself. My written communication skills are much better than my verbal ones, hence the fact you’re reading this! I ‘m not Barack Obama, I never will be but the extent of my nerves really did surprise me.

What I delivered was more of a reading than a speech, however the guests did seem to appreciate my stories. I told of how we used to wash cars together whilst at school and of how he used to ‘lend’ me high calibre pornographic magazines from the newsagents that he used to work in. I told of how I saved his life in Barcelona when three local bandits tried to rob us! They had rocks and glass and we had two ridiculously drunk and irritating French girls. I received a good degree of laughter in addition to several compliments and drinks at the bar afterwards.

My speech

The crowd enjoying my speech!!

The next week I met up with the groom and one of my fellow best men to reflect on the wedding and the stag dos. The groom thought that everything had been a great success and that we’d played our parts very well. That’s all a best man should want to get out of the experience – to do his best mate proud. I had done my job and learnt a few things about myself in the process.

If you have been given the honour of being a Best Man, here are my top tips from my experience.

  1. Book the stag do through a company such as ours. In comparison to some stag parties, our group to Hamburg was relatively small. Additionally they were good at communicating with me. Organising a much larger group with poor communication would be a very stressful experience. Not only does a company like pissup.com give you ideas and inspiration for destinations, activities and themes but they also provide you with support at each step of your stag do journey. You get what you pay for and most important of all they provide structure to your trip. No walking around the city centre in large groups trying to get into bars – which is a surprisingly tricky thing to do independently.
  2. Use Doodle to arrange dates for the stag break. This easy to use and accessible tool really is a godsend for organising events.
  3. Even if it is a few drinks down the local, arrange an event for those who don’t want to travel abroad or are unable to. This ensures you are able to include all of the groom’s friends and family. Our day out at the races was a great success and I got to have a great time with several of those who couldn’t make the Hamburg trip, including the father of the bride.
  4. Practice, practice, practice your speech. Although I had started writing it 7 weeks prior to the wedding, I started practising it 48 hours before the ceremony. You need to refine it as you go along. As soon as you write a sentence, practice it out loud to see if it works. Practice in front of friends who are physically in the same room as you. I didn’t have the chance to do this but it definitely would have helped. Like everything else, public speaking is a learnt skill. You WILL be shaky unless you are in a job or society where you do it regularly. People will be expecting you to be nervous, it’s natural.
  5. Enjoy the best man experience! Easier said than done but you need to repeatedly tell yourself that you’re at a wedding NOT a funeral!
8 Totally Unique Wedding Venues
May 20, 2015 | in: Blog

 

We’ve all enjoyed a good church wedding or a knees up at a big hotel, but celebrating with another couple for the choices they make and planning your own big day are two very different things. Your wedding should be an expression of who you are and traditional might not be it.

None of us is tied anymore to restricted options when we make a marital commitment, so unless you want to actively embrace tradition, don’t think you have no other choice. Go far away, go extreme, or go small and intimate, but whatever you do — go you.

There’s no limit on how far you can go with this, and here we present some truly unique wedding locations from around the world to help inspire your plans for the big day.

 

#1 Getting married in a cave

Bridal Cave, The Ozarks of Missouri, USA

Bridal Cave, The Ozarks of Missouri, USA,
Randy Peters / Flickr / CC

The romance and excitement of making your vows pairs up perfectly with the sense of awe and power that erupts inside an ancient cave. Whether you’ve ventured into caves before or you’re not really sure what to expect, it’s hard not to feel inspired by the elegance and strength of these natural wonders.

There is a surprising number of caves available for use as a wedding venue. From the Bridal Cave in the heart of Missouri’s Ozark Mountains to Bulgaria’s famous Yagodina Cave, pick your own unique spot to suit your style and needs.

There’s just no better backdrop for a ceremony promising everlasting love than a place that has provided millions of years of stalactites and stalagmites to decorate your unique wedding venue. If there’s one guarantee, it’s that your special day will become an unforgettable memory for all your family and friends.

Where:
Bridal Cave, The Ozarks of Missouri, USA

Alternative:
The Yagodina Cave, Bulgaria

 

#2 Getting married on а pirate ship

Pirate Ship, Treasure Island Hotel and Casino

Treasure Island Hotel and Casino
Kristen / Flickr / CC

You’re about to begin a lifelong journey with your new partner, so a wedding on water that can take you to some of the greatest places on earth is a great way to begin.

A yacht wedding, for example, will not only guarantee an incredible set of wedding photos; it’s also a great way to kick start your honeymoon. Еverything you need, from the moment you say “I Do” to the time you return home, is with you on the yacht.

From cruising the Salish Sea with Vancouver’s North Shore Mountains towering above you, to a classic riviera experience in the Mediterranean or Adriatic, your horizons extend as far as the saltwater stretches.

If you prefer a theme, have your guests step aboard the Pirate at the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and they’ll have tales to tell of their own adventures for years to come.

Whatever your choice, you can’t go wrong with the elegance of a yacht and the tranquility of the surrounding water as the setting for your special day.

Where:
Pirate Ship, Treasure Island Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas USA

Alternative:
The Wedding Yacht, Vancouver, Canada

 

#3 Getting married on a bridge

The Artist's Covered Bridge

The Artist’s Covered Bridge
Jane Griffin / Flickr / CC

Can you imagine turning one of the world’s most beautiful landmark bridges into a special reminder of your wedding day? You could look at it as building a bridge between two families or a symbol for the strength of your love, but there’s no denying the fact that your wedding photos will look awesome.

You can go big and busy on the renowned Brooklyn Bridge in New York, or you can get creative with the Artist’s Covered Bridge of Newry, Maine. Alternatively, there is an incredible number of small, picturesque bridges throughout Europe for a quieter, more private gathering.

Wherever you go, such tourist spots are not short of artists, photographers and galleries where images and paintings of your wedding venue can be framed for your own home. That is, until the time comes when you can revisit the bridge, then walk over it with your memories.

Where:
Artist’s Covered Bridge (Sunday River Bridge) Newry, Maine USA

Alternative:
Brooklyn Bridge, NYC, USA

#4 Getting married in a cemetery

Cincinnati – Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum

Cincinnati – Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum “Fleischman Mausoleum & Geyser Lake”
David Paul Ohmer / Flickr / CC BY

There is good reason to embrace the full cycle of life at a wedding as it means one of the key milestones is reached: finding your soul mate. Besides the symbolism of a life spent together into old age, a beautiful cemetery can be just the piece of tranquil greenery you’re looking for; a wedding day is respectful of those who are not there to see it, as much as it is a joy for those who are.

We’re not just talking about small local village cemeteries, either. Big cities like London or Tokyo may have a hidden cemetery, quietly waiting around the corner to offer peace and solace amongst the hustle and bustle of busy metropolitan life.

Take the Marble Cemetery of New York. It’s a true rarity in the Big Apple: this grotto between Second Avenue and the Bowery is a recently-discovered secret space teeming with flowers and fruit trees. People started getting married there when the venue wanted to raise money for badly needed renovations. Following suit is Spring Grove in Cincinnati, Ohio, which has become another popular option for a cemetery wedding.

Gothamists have even asked: “Are Cemetery Weddings The New Church Weddings?

Where:
Marble Cemetery on 2nd Avenue, New York City USA

Alternative:
Historic Spring Grove, Cincinnati, Ohio USA

 

#5 Getting married in the sky

G-FORCE ONE

G-FORCE ONE / Image credit: Stephen Boxall/ZERO-G

Leave the ground and convention behind to check out Hot Air Balloon weddings, or if those aren’t daring enough for you, there’s always a weightless wedding in zero gravity.

That’s right, you can now get married floating alongside your husband or wife to be with your guests bobbing around beside you. It hardly seems believable, but Zero Gravity Corporation offer weddings like these and people are already getting their space suits on to get hitched (or whatever you choose to wear).

Where:
ZERO G, Miami, New York, Austin, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Houston, Cape Canaveral, and San Francisco, USA
Alternative:
Hot Air Balloon, Arizona and New Mexico, USA

 

#6 Getting married on a volcano

Kilauea Caldera, Volcanoes National Park

Kilauea Caldera, Volcanoes National Park
Matt McGee / Flickr / CC BY

Hawaii is a hugely popular spot for destination weddings, and for good reason. The tropical location, scenery, and activities all offer huge appeal, but there’s more to the island than beaches. Hawaii is also home to active volcanoes, which produce jaw-dropping natural landscapes.

The jet-black volcanic rock creates surreal moon-like terrain that contrasts with the intense blue Hawaiian sky, and it’s sure to leave you and your guests breathless. This is a place like no other and an amazing location for a jaw-dropping destination wedding.

Volcano weddings are currently on offer at the Hawaii Volcano National Park.

Where:
Hawaii Volcano National Park, Hawaii USA

#7 Getting married in a temple

Mayan Temple Ruins, Belize

Mayan Temple Ruins, Belize
Russell Harrison Photography / Flickr / CC BY

Think Tomb Raider and you’ll know what a Mayan Temple looks like — steps lead up every side of its distinctive pyramid shape to a striking flat peak. You can even go inside on your wedding day for a truly memorable blessing.

Amongst a Maya civilization in Central America are spectacular ruins with panoramic views of lush jungle and verdant valleys. Getting married in a bygone temple is guaranteed to be a wedding your friends and family will talk about for decades to come.

We should add that the temples are within easy reach of a luxurious tropical resort, so you and your wedding guests can have the best of both worlds — soak up some culture before relaxing into a more contemporary holiday in the sun.

Where:
Mayan Temple Ruins, Belize

 

#8 Getting married in a tree house

Treehouse Point

Treehouse Point / Image by Adam Crowley, www.adamcrowley.com

Every kid wants a treehouse at the bottom of their garden that acts as a hideaway where they can unleash their imagination. If you never got your treehouse, but want to make a dream come true, a treehouse wedding might be just perfect for you.

Nestled in deep forest 30 minutes outside of Seattle, Washington, Treehouse Point offers a large variety of treehouses for everything from basic lodging to full wedding ceremonies. If you’d like to get off the ground, but not totally into the air, this is a more earthbound choice than ZERO G.

Of course, you could always build your own treehouse for this purpose, if your own place is big enough. It’s a great chance to come together with your special someone to create a place you can return to again and again to remember your vows.

Where:
Treehouse Point, Fall City, Washington USA

 

Make your wedding as awesome as you are

Whether you’re looking for a twist on the traditional wedding or something completely out of the ordinary, there are excellent options out there. What’s important to remember is that your wedding is all about you, and should also be about having an amazing time yourselves.

Now is a good idea to stop and consider all the possibilities. This list of unexpected and unique wedding venues is sure to prove there are ideas out there you never even thought possible, let alone realise you can book tomorrow.

Be unique, bold, and amazing, and your dream wedding will follow.