Meghan markles wedding dress | Coochicoo Cards

The Meghan Markle Effect

The ‘Meghan Markle Effect’ is sweeping the nation as brides aim to replicate the look that the Duchess of Sussex wore so beautifully on her big day. Meghan opted for different day and evening looks - her day gown was reported to cost £200,000 and her evening gown a mere £80,000! But fear not ladies as there are a multitude of more affordable designer dresses out there. Here are some similar gowns available to bridal boutiques across the nation:

The Day Look

Meghan's day dress (designed by Claire Waight Keller for Givenchy) was simple and elegant with a bateau neckline, three-quarter sleeves and a stunning silhouette made from silk cady. The look of this fabric can be replicated by a dress in silk crepe. Keep your accessories simple as the focus should be on the gown. The first one is from Justin Alexander and the second from Pronovias

The Evening Look

Meghan's evening dress (designed by Stella McCartney) was less traditional with a halter-neck and maded from lily white silk crepe. Again, the first one is from Justin Alexander and the second from Pronovias. 

Coochicoo Cards
10 Top Tips on planning your wedding guest list | Coochicoo Cards

10 Top Tips On Planning Your Guest List

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and having the right people there to share it with you is essential. Couples often tell us that deciding who to invite can be stressful as they feel pressured into inviting family or friends they have not seen in years. Well worry not, as here are 10 tips to help you choose who do and do not make the cut……

Choose Your Venue
Before you think about your guest list find and book your wedding venue and see how many people it accommodates. If your perfect venue is a small boutique hotel that only has room for 50 people then you cannot have a guest list of 100’s.

Be Realistic
It is not possible to invite everyone you know. Accept that some people are going to be disappointed for not being invited. Remember it is YOUR day so do what is best for you.

Make The List 50/50
Split the guest list in half – the first half will go to you and the other half to your partner and remember to account for mutual friends.

It Is Your Wedding, Not Your Parents
Some parents can get overly excited, after all the apple of their eye is getting married, and they may start inviting all their friends and family. Make sure they know how many people they can actually invite (and you still have the final say on who they are).

The One Year Rule
As a guide, do not invite anyone you have not spoken to in more than a year. This is a good idea for cutting those you are not 100% sure about.

No Plus Ones
Everyone has that friend or family member who has a new partner every few weeks and it is hard to keep up with their love life. So a good rule to have is if they are not a long-term partner they don’t make the list.

No Children
Not allowing children is a good way to cut down numbers. Make sure your guests know this so they have plenty of time to sort childcare. Word it in your invitations in a fun way (e.g. that they can have a night off from the kids) so they are not offended.

The Co-Worker Dilemma
Only invite co-worker that you see outside of work and socialise with. Just because you work 8 hours a day with someone, it does not necessarily make them your friend.

Do Not Feel Guilty
Look at your list again, is there anyone who is only on it because you feel guilty about leaving them off? Then take them off. Just because you were invited to their wedding does not mean they should be at yours.

Stick To Your Rules
Once you set the list, stick to it. Some of these tips may seem harsh but be strong as they will help you reign in your budget. There are always going to be people who are upset or offended for not being invited but it is your day and you should have the people there who mean the most to you.

For help on organising your seating plan please see our earlier Blog article ‘Strategic Seating Planning’

Tips on planning your civil wedding ceremony | Coochicoo Cards

TopTips On Planning Your Civil Ceremony

Which comes first the chicken or the egg?  You could apply this rule to booking your wedding venue and registar…….you have found your dream venue and picked your wedding date, now you need to contact your local Register Office to make sure they are available to conduct your ceremony on that date.

The Legal Stuff

  • You must give ‘notice to marry’ (a legal declaration that you are both free to marry each other) to the registrar in the district where you live. If you both live in different districts then you each need to give a separate notice to the registrar in your own district.
  • The notice will be displayed publicly in the register office where you live.
  • A notice is valid for 12 months and you cannot give notice until your ceremony venue is booked.
  • The registrar will need written evidence of your full name, age and address, and if you were previously married, proof that your marriage ended and that you are free to remarry.

On The Day

  • Ensure you and your guests arrive for the ceremony on time. The registrar may have other ceremonies to conduct on the same day and may have to leave and not be able to conduct yours if it is delayed.
  • Registrars will arrive at the venue approx 30 minutes before the ceremony start time. They will introduce themselves and see you both separately to the check the details to go onto the marriage certificate
  • They will begin the ceremony with a welcome and you will be asked, in turn, to repeat your legal vows. (The ceremony will follow the order you have chosen).
  • At the end of the ceremony you will each sign the register, and then be presented with your wedding certificate. Two witnesses must also sign the register and they must speak English and be old enough to understand the role they are playing. 






Getting Married Outdoors

  • There a number of licensed venues in the UK with outside structures where you can get married outdoors.
  • Unfortunately UK laws do not allow you to be legally married on a beach (although you can have blessing).

Change Your Passport

  • Book your honeymoon travel tickets in the name you will have on your passport at the time of travelling.
  • Some countries may not accept a passport that has not been changed even if you take your marriage certificate with you. Check with your travel agent or the country’s consulate before you go.
  • You can change the name on your passport up to 3 months before your ceremony but you cannot use your passport until after you are married.
Wedding Gift List | Coochicoo Cards

Your Gift List Dilema Solved

Gift list or no gift list? Well worry no more as we have the solution for you!  Who knew that Wedding Gift Lists are back on trend and it's not all about toasters and tea towels. As most engaged couples are already living together, gift lists are now more about upgrading to things you've always wanted but may not be able to afford. It's a once in a lifetime wish list for your dream home. Or perhaps you would prefer money towards a honeymoon, home renovations or donations to charity but feel uncomfortable asking your guests to bring actual cash on the day? 

The solution is Prezola, the wedding gift list company.  You can create the registry of your dreams with 50,000 gifts from 500 top brands and some that you won't find on any other gift list. It could not be simpler - just sign up online by clicking the Prezola logo below and enter code PZABVDYULVG. You will receive £50 credit to spend (Prezola Terms and Conditions apply, please see their website) and free gift list cards to send out with your invitations.

Wedding Gift List | Coochicoo Cards

Don't feel guilty about asking, as your guests really do want to buy you a gift. Lets face it, they would  rather you had something useful than something that will get put in a cupboard (or on eBay) and never see the light of day!


Coochicoo Cards accepts no responsibility and will not be liable in anyway if you sign up to Prezola. Any agreements and contracts will be between yourself and Prezola.


Wedding Budget Planner | Coochicoo Cards

Wedding Planning Budget

He's put a ring on it, you're dizzy with excitement and have a million ideas of how you want your dream day to be but before you start booking suppliers left right and centre, take a breather sit down and work out a budget. OK so it's not very romantic but you don't want to over spend and allow the costs to spiral out of control and end up starting your married life in debt. It is how you spend your money that counts and not how much. Traditionally the father of the bride paid for most of the expenses but times have moved on and now most couples choose to pay for the bulk of the wedding themselves or even split it three ways between the couple and both sets of parents. But it comes down to who is willing and able to pay.

We offer you some advice on how to set your budget and given you a handy Wedding Budget spreadsheet to keep you on track.


Decide what is more amazing dress? the dream venue? 100+ guests? then add that to the budget and divide what is left over to other suppliers.

Set Up A 'Wedding Fund' Bank Account

Both of you put a set amount of money into this account each week/month and pay all of your suppliers from this account. Some banks offer cash-back for opening an account which you can put that towards the wedding.

Decide Together

Make sure you are both 100% happy with what you are spending to avoid any arguments.

Venue Deposit

The biggest expense of your day is the venue so make sure it is right place, affordable and that your guests can make it before you pay the deposit.

Get It In Writing

Use only reputable suppliers and make sure you get written quotes and order confirmations before you pay any deposits and they you have read and agree to their terms and conditions.

Have A Contingency

Set aside around 10% contingency in case of any problems (e.g the cars don’t arrive and you need to get a taxi, a supplier goes bust and you need to find another - you should be able to claim this back on your insurance after the wedding).

There are lots of wedding budge planners available on line, try this one from

Top tips on organsing a Destination weddings, getting married abroad | Coochicoo Cards

Top Tips On Destination Weddings

Are you getting married abroad but not sure where to start, the do’s and don’ts? Well we are here to help with our top tips and hopefully answer your questions:

Visit before you book
Take a holiday to the destination you are considering getting married at. The website and brochure may look fantastic but you would be wise to take a look in person – you would not book a venue close to home without checking it out would you?

Consider the costs
Decide if your chosen few guests are paying for themselves to get there or are you? If the guests are paying and you choose a destination that is very expensive be prepared that some of them may not be able to make it. So the destination you choose may be dependant upon this. The top five most popular abroad wedding destinations are Cyprus, Caribbean Islands, Greece/Greek Islands, Italy and Mexico, plus New York is very popular too. Make sure you check the small print and what is/is not included in the package price – some destinations add on hidden extras.

Make sure the venue has an on-site wedding co-ordinator
You need a local planner with specialist knowledge of the venue, location and legalities of getting married there. Listen to their advice, do not be afraid to ask questions and make sure you communicate in and get everything in writing. This is very important before you make any payments.

Research the legal stuff
Each country has its own legal requirements with regard to marriages so allow yourself enough time to get everything in place. For example some countries require a sworn affidavit/certificate of single status that you are free to marry, in others you will need documents translating. Your Travel Agent or on-site Wedding Co-ordinator should be able to guide you in the right direction.

Make the correct travel arrangements
If you have not legally changed your name and passport before you travel make sure you book your airline tickets in your maiden name for both outward and inward flights. Check with the airline if you are allowed to carry your wedding dress on as hand-luggage – don’t run the risk of a ‘lost luggage’ situation if you check-it into the hold. Bare this in mind when choosing a dress – specific wedding dress travel boxes/bags are available and your bridal shop should be able to help you pack the dress appropriately. Hang your dress up as soon as you arrive or ask the wedding co-ordinator if they can steam it for you.

Arrive within the right time
Research the appropriate amount of time you need to arrive before your wedding day – some countries require you to be in ‘residence’ for at least a week before your wedding. Use this time to meet with the wedding co-ordinator and relax before your big day – get pampered, have a massage and get your hair and nails done. You and your partner can either go on ahead, or ask your guests to travel out with you and they can have a holiday before the big day.

Ask the bridal party for help
Don’t burden yourself with the responsibility of getting the bridal parties outfits there – ask them to pack and bring their own bridesmaid dresses, suits, shoes etc. Also ask them to help with transporting favours, stationery (such as guests books, place setting cards etc) – after all helping is the roll of bridesmaids and the bestmen.

Give your guests plenty of notice
Order your invitations at least nine months before your wedding so your guests can book time off work and start saving and you may want to include flight and accomodation details in there. Our Passport or Boarding Pass invitations are great for this. You might also want to send them Save The Dates twelve to eighteen months before.Luggage Tag Save The Date | Coochico cardsPurple Boarding Pass wedding invitation | Coochicoo cards

The Latest Wedding Trend

Our aim at Coochicoo Cards is to give you your perfect wedding stationery and to do that we keep up to date with the latest #weddingtrends and introduce new products to suit. The hot trend this season is glamorous glitter and sparkle and our brides tell us they are LOVING IT! Before you dismiss the sparkly stuff as being too OTT or garish, just wait, because done right, a little glitter can give your wedding that extra level of glamour and sophistication.  Here are just some of the products we have created for you. 

Add a touch of sparkle with our Glitter Belly Band invitation, go bolder with our Glitter Pull Out Pockets, or for the ultimate in glam shine go for either our Deluxe Glitter Pull Pocket or our brand new Deluxe Glitter Pocketfold Wallet and both of these are covered in sparkle from head to toe! 

The Belly Band and Pull Out Pocket invitations are available in this massive choice of colour sparkle and can be teamed with any colour ribbon. And we can tailor the rest of your wedding stationery to match the same theme and style too including your Table Plan, Guest Book, Welcome Signs and even these beautiful glass votive candle holders which can be supplied with or without a personalise guest name tag.

Either order your samples on-line by clicking on the image you want above (and tell us your colour choice at the Paypal check-out) or drop us an email if you want something more bespoke.

Role of the Mother of the Bride, Role of the Mother of hte Groom | Coochicoo Cards

Roles of Mothers of the Bride and Groom

Both the Mothers of the Bride and Groom have a valuable role in the wedding planning process, so what better way to celebrate Mothers Day than to look at how they can help and be involved in your big day.

The Role of the Mother of the Bride

The Mother of the Bride has probably dreamed about her ‘little girl’ getting married ever since you had your first primary school crush and will be excited about helping you plan your big day. It may not be obvious at first, but the role of the mother of the bride is one of the most important roles in any wedding. The wedding planning process can be overwhelming at times so her advice will help you in many way. Being able to delegate some of the work to those you love and trust can be a huge relief. Here are few things the MOB can do to help:

• Help you find the perfect ceremony and reception venue – ask her to accompany you to wedding fayres and on venue visits.
• Ask her to address the envelopes for the wedding invitations of invited family members and friends of your parents.
• You must ask her to join you when you go dress shopping – she will never forget the moment she sees you in a wedding dress for the first time. It can be a very emotional moment for both of you.
• Accompany her and get excited when she goes shopping for her own outfit.
• Ask her to help you choose the flower girl and pageboy outfits.
• Get her help to organise the seating plan – this can be very stressful and she will know better than anyone which family members should and should not sit together.
• Help you keep track of the wedding gifts and ask her to send thank you cards on behalf of you and your new husband.
• Ask her to help you get ready on the wedding day – but make sure she has enough time to get dressed and have her own hair and make-up done before she helps you into your dress.
• Ask her to organise an emergency kit containing essentials such as deodorant, stain remover, safety pins, plasters, lipstick, and anything else for touch ups during the wedding.
• Ask her to greet as many guests as possible and thank them for coming.

Above all, make sure the Mother of the Bride has a wonderful day and enjoys every moment.

The Role of the Mother of the Groom

The MOG will be feeling emotional as the primary role of her son will shift to husband of his new bride. So make sure she feels part of the planning process and give her some roles and responsibilities:

• Invite her to host a dinner to introduce the groom’s family to the bride’s family or if they already know each other then ask her to host a dinner for the bridal party before/after the wedding rehearsal.
• Ask her to give you a guest list for the groom’s side.
• If you are struggling to find suppliers ask her to research some for you.
• Ask if she has a preferred song for the mother/son dance at the reception.
• Accompany her when she shops for her outfit.
• Ask her to greet guests in the receiving line and introduce friends and family on the groom’s side that you do not know.
• Ask her to help book accommodation for out-of-town guests on the groom’s side.

Above all, make sure the Mother of the Groom has a wonderful day and enjoys every moment.

How to start wedding planning | Coochico Cards

How to start planning your wedding.

Whether you were lucky enough to ‘get a ring put on it’ over Christmas, New Year or Valentines or if you have been engaged for a while, we know you want to spread your joy and to spring into action planning your wedding.  With so many ideas out there where do you start? Well we recommend visiting local Wedding Fayres so you can get a feel for your dream venue and meet lots of lovely wedding suppliers who can advise what they can do to make your big day special.  After that, it is a good idea to revisit your shortlist of venues at their Wedding Open Evenings where the rooms are generally set up as they would be for a wedding and you can talk to the venue’s Wedding Coordinators and also meet the hotel’s preferred and recommended Wedding Suppliers.

There are still lots of Wedding Fayres going on through Spring and into Summer which we will be attending. We are very proud to be the chosen preferred and recommended wedding stationery supplier for a number of North East venues, so we are also attending their Wedding Open Evenings.

Full details of these events can be found on our website and Facebook events pages.  Keep checking the lists as more dates are added.

We hope to see you at any of these events and “Happy Wedding Planning”

New products | Coochicoo Cards

Time for a little facelift

At Coochicoo Cards we make sure we keep on trend with our wedding stationery designs and to listen to what our customers what. We thought some of our designs were looking a little tired and needed a facelift to give them a boost and here are the results.

Our modern 'Timeline' wedding invitation now has a gorgeous glow with the outside cover available in glorious glitter, pretty textured pearl or floral artwork.  This shows just three possibilities but we can make them in any colour to match your theme. Just imagine a beautiful pale pink textured pearl overlay with a delicate champagne gold ribbon, how lush would that be! 

Rose Gold glitter and pale pink timeline wedding invitation | Coochicoo Cards
Ivory pearl timeline wedding invitation | Coochicoo cards
Rustic floral and dusky pink timeline wedding invitation | Coochicoo Cards

Our fun and funky 'Tie The Knot' wedding invitation has been given a little nautical feel which we hope you love. As your guests open the invitation an actual knot is tied! Choose either twine or any colour ribbon and text to match your theme. 

Tie The Knot with twine wedding invitation | Coochicoo Cards
Quirky Tying the knot wedding invitation | Coochicoo Cards
blue nautical tie the knot wedding invitation | Coochicoo Cards

Our latest 'Four Fold' wedding invitation has a refreshing new look with the introduction of wonderful watercolour artwork that flows across every page.  This has four pages with the last being a tear-off RSVP and it all folds up into a neat A6 size. We are showing just two possibilities here in a lovely lilac and purple watercolour splash, and pretty pale pink watercolour flowers. But just tell us your theme and we can create the perfect design for you. 

Tri-fold purple lilac watercolour splash wedding invitation | Coochicoo Cards
Tri-fold dusky pink watercolour wedding invitation | Coochicoo Cards

All of the designs are available with a matching set of wedding stationery from Save The Dates and Evening Invitations right through to Table Plans and Place Setting Cards.  If you would like to order any samples just select the design from our Invitations page and hit 'Order sample'. You will be taken to a Paypal cart where you can leave comments about your colour theme and style.  Should you have any questions please just contact us!

10 Facts About Valentine’s Day

It is renowned for being the 'most romantic day of the year' with flowers, cards and gifts, but why?

1. The most popular theory about Valentine's Day's origin is that Emperor Claudius II did not want Roman men to marry during wartime as single men made better soldiers. Bishop Valentine went against his wishes and performed secret weddings. For this he was jailed and executed.

2. While in jail, Valentine wrote a note to the jailor's daughter he had fell in love with signing it "from your Valentine" – hence the first card.

3. In the middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who would be their Valentine. They would wear this name pinned onto their sleeves for one week for everyone to see. This was the origin of the expression "to wear your heart on your sleeve."

4. In 1537, England's King Henry VII officially declared 14th February the holiday of St. Valentine's Day.

5. The red rose was the favourite flower of Venus (the Roman goddess of love) and red symbolises strong romantic feelings.

6. In the 1800’s Physicians advised their patients to eat chocolate to calm their pining for lost love.

7. In Victorian times it was considered bad luck to sign a Valentine’s Day card which is why cards are signed anonymously.

8. The X (kiss) symbol is believed to originate in medieval times when people who could not write their names signed in front of a witness with an X. The X was then kissed to show their sincerity.

9. In the 18th Century loves in England began to send trinkets and cards to their loved ones. In 1913 Hallmark Cards began mass producing Valentine's Day cards and now over 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year.

10. The average number of wedding proposals on Valentine’s Day each year is 220,000.  If you are one of them CONGRATULATIONS and your wedding planning starts here. Please take a look at our invitations or contact us to discuss your requirements.

Wedding Planning Timeline | Coochicoo Cards

18-Month Wedding Planning Timeline

So, you’re engaged, many congratulations! Now you are left with your head in a spin wondering what to do and when? Worry no more and use our handy timeline to help you plan the most amazing day of your life:

12 to 18 months before
Have fun and celebrate your engagement first.
Think of the kind of day you want to have and set a budget.
Look at venues and set a date  – check the availability of a celebrant for that date too (if you are having a civil ceremony) or the Church and Vicar/Priest (if you are having a religious ceremony).
Invite your friends / relatives to be in the wedding party (bridesmaids, maid of honour, best man and ushers).
Get the girls together and go shopping for the dream dress.
Book the next few Sundays out and attend local wedding fayres and short-list your favourite wedding suppliers.
Look at wedding stationery and all those lovely invitation designs out there – order and send Save The Dates.

9 months before
Go back to your favourite bridal shop and buy ‘the’ dress.
Choose the florist and flowers for your bouquet and room décor.
Go shopping for the men’s suits and bridesmaid dresses.
Arrange appointments with, and book, your favourite wedding suppliers particularly the cake maker.
Book your entertainment – there are lots to choose from including DJ’s, musicians/bands, string quartets/harpists, magicians, casino/games room etc.
Finalise the guest list and order your wedding stationery. Why not consider building a wedding website too.
Agree the menu with your venue.

6 months before
If you are not staying at the venue the night before then book your transport – don’t forget the groom who might want to arrive in style in a sports car perhaps?
Book your room decor supplier (eg. chair covers, sashes, centre pieces, LOVE letters, dancefloor etc).
Go shopping for shoes, the very important wedding rings and your accessories.
Plan and book your wonderful honeymoon.
Arrange wedding insurance (you just never know what could happen).
Receive your gorgeous invitations from your wedding stationer.

3 months before
Send out your invitations (ask guests to reply no later than 6 weeks before your wedding date so you have sufficient time to get final numbers to your venue).
Book hair and make-up for the bride, bridesmaids and mother of the bride.
Go shopping for bridal party gifts – make sure you include mother of the bride, mother of the groom as well as your bridal party and anyone else who has helped to make your day truly special).
Shop for, and order, wedding favours – your stationer should be able to help you with this.
It is a good idea to break-in your wedding shoes around the house – you don’t want blisters on the day.
Order you wedding cake.

6 weeks before
Organise the seating plan – this can take longer than you think.
Groomsmen and Father of the Bride write their speeches.
Confirm the timeline of the day with your venue.
Have a pre-wedding photo shoot to get to know your photographer and agree those ‘must have’ shots.
Confirm bookings with all of your suppliers so they know exactly where and when they need to provide their services and products.
Agree play-list or must have/not have songs played with DJ.
Have a hair and make-up trial.

4 weeks before
Write your wedding vows.
Chase up any guests who have not RSVP’d.
Have a final dress fitting at the bridal shop and agree any alterations if necessary – take your chief bridesmaid along so they can learn how to fasten and bustle your dress.
Give your seating plan and menu to your stationer so they can prepare your Table Plan, Place Setting Cards, Table Name Cards, Table Menus, Favours and any other wedding stationery.
Book spa and nail treatments for yourself and your bridal party.
Have some fun, let your hair down and go on your hen and stag parties.

1 week before
Collect dresses and suits after any alterations and make sure the dress has been pressed and steamed.
Receive the on-the-day stationery and deliver this to your venue.
Both bride and groom to have their last pre-wedding haircut and colour.
Give reception venue a schedule of supplier delivery and setup times including contact details.
Sort your ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue).
Groomsmen and Father of the Bride to finalise their speeches.
Pack your overnight bag if staying at the venue and also think about packing for your honeymoon.
Have the ceremony rehearsal with your bridal party.

The Big Day
Relax, enjoy and have a wonderful day – with the proper planning everything will go swimmingly.

After the Wedding
Pre-arrange for any hired goods to be returned to the suppliers (although most should have arranged to collect the next day)
Pre-arrange for the bestman to return any hired suits.
Contact your stationer and order thank-you cards which should be ready for you to send out when you return from you honeymoon.