Fun Christmas Cards prep way for fun Wedding Stationery

wedding-cartoon-sixWe all want to send Christmas cards and wedding stationery with a difference but trying to find something different can be a difficult task. The Cartoon You could be the answer to your Christmas cards worries the season pre your wedding. The Cartoon You, set up by art graduate Paul Flanagan, designs personal cartoon cards for all occasions, including Christmas, wedding invitations and birthday cards.


A few Christmases ago, Paul decided to surprise his family designing a Christmas card featuring ‘cartoons’ of his family members. The card was a sensation so he decided to turn his ‘cartooning’ talent into a professional business. The Cartoon You was born.


For most of us, designing our personal Christmas cards and meet the Christmas post deadline is just not possible: either because of time constraints or because we just lack the skills. Sometimes, grabbing a stack of boring-looking cards in the supermarket seems like the easiest option. However, The Cartoon You allows you to give your Christmas cards that personal touch you were looking for, completely hassle-free.  


This is how it works:


Step 1:


Email Paul for a quote (, including a brief description of what you want for your cartoon: who will be in the picture, what the scenario will be and any special requests.


Step 2:


Email or post a few good photos of who you would like ‘cartooned’, making sure the people to be cartooned are visible in the photograph and that the picture is an accurate representation. Sending a couple of pictures, the artist can double check the likeness, making the final piece as accurate (and fun) as possible.


Step 3:


Paul gets to work on a black and white sketch of the proposed final piece.


Step 4:


Once you sign off the black and white sketch and you are happy with the likeness and cartoon, Paul gets to work on the final coloured image. Once the final coloured image is signed off, the image goes to print.


If you want to check out some of Paul’s work, you can visit For extra information, bookings or if you would like to receive some samples, you can contact Paul on or 0863099229.

Wedding Guests’ Bellies!

The Wedding Planner Ireland advises: Between getting ready and travelling to the ceremony, guests often don’t have time for lunch so by the time the service is over they are so hungry that they can’t enjoy themselves. They then have to wait until the photography is over which adds to tummy rumbles. Arriving at the reception venue, guests usually have a drink or two, which is not a good idea on an empty stomach!

Solution: Have a variety of filling canapés on arrival at the reception venue, allow three or four for each guest.  This will keep hunger at bay without spoiling their appetite for dinner.

Children at Wedding Tips

The Wedding Planner in Ireland advises that when planning a wedding where children are included some extra thought needs to be put in. Here are The Wedding Planner’s top child friendly tips:

Invitations: Etiquette says envelopes should be addressed to everyone invited, children included.

If sending invites by e-mail you need to make it clear if you kids are welcome.

Baby-sitting: Have professional sitting services available during the ceremony and the later hours of the reception.

Diversions: Consider setting tables with paper placemats and crayons, stocking a table with games during the dancing, and leaving gift bags with small toys and snacks (healthy ones – not lots of sugar!) available for ushers to give out to parents at the entrance to the ceremony.

Are they cute?: Think twice about including children in the ceremony, They could freeze or have a tantrum. Some adults almost pass out from the anxiety of being in a wedding, so it’s no wonder that kids get anxious.

Assistance: Parents should be prepared to walk down the aisle with their child, if need be.

While I do think having children at a wedding is a bonus as they make it a truly family affair, I find it annoying if parents when parents don’t take extra care and responsibility to make sure they don’t spoil the day.

Some advice for parents:

Plan an escape route: Sit near an exit and be do not hesitate to use it as soon as your child is getting in anyway vocal. I am not just talking about crying but talking loudly or laughing loudly too during the vows is not on. This is the couple’s special moment and they should not have it disrupted by a child in the background no matter how cute their voice is!

Designate an adult to each child: Especially if you’re in the wedding party, make sure your child has a trusted adult with whom to sit, and play, if need be. Hand the friend a bag of small (quiet!) treats, with instructions to dole them out slowly not all at once.

Child free: Even if your little one is invited consider leaving them with a relative for the evening so you and your partner can enjoy a night out together child free.

Walking Down the Aisle – Step or Bio Father?

The Wedding Planner in Ireland Advises:

A dilemma that often comes up now when planning a wedding is who will walk the bride down the aisle. Although traditionally it’s the father that does this, the commonality of step-families in todays world has made it a more difficult decision. This is especially true when the step parents have been in the children’s lives for a long time.

Breaking tradition A bride that has both a step father and a biological father may opt still to have her biological father walk her down the aisle. This can be a way to show her family bond as well as stick with tradition. In the case of a bride that hasn’t been close to her father, she may opt to have her step father walk her down the aisle. This is a newly emerging sight at weddings, and quite touching. Of course, if the bride loves both of the men and wants to include them, there’s nothing wrong with having both walk her down the aisle. It honors her relationship with both men and lets them have the chance to hold her arm.

 This also holds true for the groom. He can choose to escort both a step mother and his biological mother down the aisle at the beginning is she should choose to. Or the best man can do so, as is tradition. If the father has passed on, the bride may opt to have an older brother or an uncle walk her down the aisle. Likewise, if the mother of the groom has passed, then a sister or an aunt may want to walk with him.

While this all seems like a loving and simple solution to include everyone in the wedding, some parents may still have issues with their ex-spouses. And this can lead to bitter feelings about your choice in who walks who down the aisle. Should you fight for what you want? That’s entirely up to you. If walking with both fathers makes you happy, then you should do that even if the opposite wives are not pleased for whatever reason. If you feel that it may cause more trouble than it is worth, then you may opt to stick with tradition. Just be sure to include your step father in some other part of the wedding so he doesn’t feel left out because of biological status.

In the end, remember that it’s your day and your decision.

Planning an Irish Wedding

wedding-ring.jpgThe Wedding Planner in Ireland writes: Things did seem simpler in the old days.  You got engaged, made arrangements to move out of your home and before you knew it you were saying “I do” in a plain costume before heading off to Tramore for the weekend.

A Wedding Breakfast was held for all the family, and most of the community.  A far cry from the logistical nightmareing Reception nowadays.  Instead of worrying about invitations, hotels and favours the organisation was centred on the food, drink and musicians.

At least nowadays, the likelihood is that you are actually in love with the person you plan to spend the rest of your life with – instead of him being in love with your father’s milk quota and your Dad in love with your prospective’s big farm.  If you’re going to give up the single life in Ireland 2008 it better be love and you may as well throw ‘a bit of a do’, only without the porter cake and dowry!

But there is a lot to be said for tradition, and the tradition of having a great party on the day of your wedding is one to honour.  So if you’ve just announced your engagement to the world, and are overwhelmed with your head in the clouds – take a few minutes to get together and get used to planning – as a couple.

Will you opt for the traditional wedding and reception?  Perhaps you might prefer a private ceremony followed by a larger reception?  Or maybe you fancy heading off to the Bahamas with a party planned for your arrival home as Bride and Groom?

Once you’ve pondered on that – give it some more thought, this event that will change your life!  Will it be formal, or informal?

Do you want the reception to be indoor or outdoor (you could go looking for foot and mouth if it’s not raining!)

Do you want your wedding in the morning afternoon or evening?

Do you really want all the trappings of a traditional wedding?  Have you heard the one about the receiving line, the toasts, the first dance, something old new borrowed and blue, the groom who didn’t notify the Tax office of your new status and the mother in law?

These questions are just the tip of the iceberg.  As a guideline of what you should be planning have a look through the following and besides answering decide how important each one is to you.  It is supposed to be your special day, so go with your instinct and leave the bickering to the in-laws!

Will you have a wedding party or just one person to stand with you?

What is the maximum size of the party?

Must the number of bridesmaids equal the number of groomsmen?

What is the maximum number of guests you can accommodate at the wedding?

Do you want a fully seated dinner, a buffet or just a standing reception?

What kind of setting do you want: stately home in the country?  Hotel?

Will the ceremony be held at a church or the reception site?

Do you want children at the wedding?

Do you want dancing?

What is the maximum you will pay for the wedding?

 When you both agree to the answers to some of these questions you are off to a good start!

Mixed Faith Marriages


pink-turbans.jpgThe Wedding Planner Ireland advises: You’ll know long before you start the wedding plans if your faiths are different from one another so this shouldn’t be a shock. And you may have already begun how you want to deal with this. It doesn’t have to be a problem; rather, it can be a great way to create a new ceremony for the both of you. 

Deciding to convert 

Before deciding to convert to one religion or another, you want to take your time to discover why you’re doing it. Do you truly want to convert to another religion or do you just want to make your spouse and his or her family happy? This is a very honest discussion to have with your self and there aren’t any good answers, except for the ones that are true. 

If you feel that converting is a good decision for you, then by all means, go ahead and take the steps needed. Many times, you’ll have to take classes and speak with the religious head well in advance of any wedding plans.

The trick is not to feel pressured into converting. And with all of the emotions attached with a wedding, some families may have trouble accepting someone of a different faith. If you believe that you want to remain the faith that you are, you should do so. And if your spouse is trying to coax you into converting, you may want to hold off on the wedding as well. This is a very personal choice, and it needs to be made by the individual, not everyone else. 

A dual faith wedding It’s actually very easy to have a wedding that incorporates two different faiths. Sit down and see what each faith requires at the wedding and then talk about how you can compromise to make sure all is proper. You may want to have the wedding in a non-denominational setting so that you don’t have the ‘home court advantage’ for one faith or another. You may also decide to have two different ceremonies weaving in and out of one another, combing elements of both faiths. This really shows the commitment to each other and to the separate faiths. 

You may also want to have two different ministers or one denominational or have a civil ceremony that is legally binding without the emotion attached to either denomination.

Basic Budgeting

wedding-beach.jpgSummer is the most popular and most expensive time of the year to get married. Because hotels and other wedding reception venues wish to profit from the busy wedding season, be prepared to pay a higher price during the summer rush.

The more guest you invite to your wedding, the more money you’ll spend. You should calculate your food budget based on a per-head cost for food and drink. The type of meal you plan to serve your guest is limited by your budget. For example, a seated dinner served is more expensive than a buffet. Some locations are more expensive than others, Dublin being the most expensive city in Ireland to get married in. Don’t panic if your wedding budget doesn’t cover everything that you’d like to have on your wedding day. It may require compromises, scheduling changes, or simply begging for more money, but even with a limited budget you can have your ideal wedding.

Choosing Wedding Stationery

Many brides get caught up on the proper etiquette for invitations. While etiquette is important, there is no need to fuss over it, as you can quickly look up the proper format and wording online or in any bridal magazine. What is really important, however, is that your invitation matches your expectations for your wedding. For example, don’t send out extremely informal invitations, and then expect your guests to somehow understand that you’ve planned a formal black tie event!

Once you have chosen the style of wedding you would like to have, you can then choose your invitation. Some invitations require many different inserts and envelopes, and these would be considered more formal. Others contain just a simple notice, and a postcard style reply card.
All invitations, regardless of style, should be addressed neatly and include vital information such as directions and the time of your wedding. If you are not having a reception, you can send out announcements rather than invitations.
You will also want to consider your budgetary limits when choosing an invitation. There are striking price differences in seemingly similar invitations, so beware of the prices before you fall in love with a particular invitation. Before you make your choice, it is a good idea to look at several different styles.Looking to save some money on your invitations? Consider creating your own invitations. If you or your family members have any artistic ability, you may be able to create a beautiful invitation using calligraphy and some art. You can then have your invitation duplicated onto fine stationery, and the results could be both beautiful and meaningful. This idea probably works best for an informal wedding, although it could work for something more traditional depending on the skills of your family member or friend.