Indian Community on the Web

Weddingsonline India is the sister company of weddingsonline Ireland, which has been in the weddings business for over a decade. Weddingsonline India was launched in January 2013 and promises to be an online community apart from being a mere wedding ‘planning tool’ or a one stop shop for Indian brides and grooms looking to plan and organize their own weddings.

As a bride or groom-to-be, there are bound to be several questions on one’s mind. These may be related to one’s bridal trousseau, venue selection, catering, decoration, selection of makeup artists or hair stylists, invitation cards, mehendi application, and so on.  There are literally thousand things to do when planning an Indian wedding irrespective of whether one is having an intimate ceremony or a big fat Indian wedding.


For this purpose, one needs a community or a forum that can help one address all of one’s doubts and concerns. Weddings online India promises such a forum. Brides- to- be can chat with like minded brides and get tips, suggestions, advice and recommendations on all aspects of the Indian wedding. They can also get answers to questions they are hesitant to ask their family members about.

The Blog section of the website has hundreds of articles on tips and expert opinions on makeup, skin care, trends in bridal attire, décor, trousseau selection, and cakes and so on. It is easy to lose oneself in the beautiful photographs as one browses through this vast collection.

Their real weddings section features real weddings covered by top Indian wedding photographers or sent in by real brides and grooms. This section can help other brides, grooms as well as their families get inspirational ideas for photographer selection, venue decorations, trousseau selection, as well as selection of the wedding or reception venues. One can even choose their wedding vendors in a particular city based on the recommendations offered by these real wedding stories.

The site also has a section on honeymoon destinations, in and around the country. This section can help couples pick a suitable destination for their honeymoon.

Weddingsonline also offers daily competitions and giveaways which one can avail of to get fabulous discounts and prizes. The site also plans to add several more tools and resources in the near future to ease the entire wedding planning process.

Nearly 30,000 couples tie the knot in India on a daily basis. Weddingsonline India offers free tools and resources for all these couples so that they can plan a stylish and an unforgettable wedding ceremony that is remembered for a long time to come!

Their website can be found at

And you can find them on twitter and facebook

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*featured image photography - Moments that matter(
Photo above - Sandeep Gupta Photography (

The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation

Somerset-based, Naomi Thomas, founder of The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation, chats to Secret Wedding Blog about the inspirational organisation helping to give people with terminal illnesses and life limiting conditions, the wedding day of their dreams.

Where it all began

IN THE YEARS leading up to the launch of The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation, Naomi Thomas had been through more than most people contend with their entire lives.

At thirty years old Naomi is a happily married, mum of one and settled in the beautiful Somerset town of Wellington, with her new husband, Graham.  However, one thing you wouldn’t know about Naomi if you saw her in the street is that she is living with Secondary Breast Cancer, a disease which has transformed her life and the lives of others, in so many ways.

From the minute you meet Devon born Naomi, you cannot help but notice her bubbly personality, her creative flair and the way she is able to make others smile, just by her smiling at them.  It is very true though; she does have a beautiful smile and manages to light up the room just with her presence.

As we chat, Naomi looks back over her life choices, focusing on her career decisions and admits she had not known what she wanted to do when she left school. With such a warming character, burning passion to succeed & an enjoyment for planning things, in 2005 she began working as a self employed Wedding Planner across the county of Devon.  Life was going swimmingly, it seemed.

It was during this time Naomi learnt how to create the ‘perfect’ wedding for brides-to-be, from the dress, the venue, the flowers to all the little finishing touches which help make the day personal and extra special for all involved.

It was unquestionable; Naomi loved her job and flourished in helping brides-to-be with all the arrangements for their big day, helping to ensure it would be a day never to forget.  But after only four years pursuing her dream career and only three months with her fiancé Graham, Naomi’s world was turned upside down as she was given the devastating news that she had Breast Cancer.  She was only 26. 

Naomi admitted it was a diagnosis that she never thought she would hear.

‘It was terrifying,” she says. “Your world just falls apart, especially thinking of my loved ones.’

Searching for an explanation, Naomi details, ‘I’m a young woman with no history of breast cancer in my family.  It just highlights how it really can happen to anybody. Cancer doesn’t discriminate; it affects men and women, people of all ages, races and backgrounds.’

Three years on and the issue is still as important as ever before; around 9,000 women under the age of 50 are diagnosed with breast cancer every year with the other eighty percent effecting women over the age of 50, with the risks increasing with age.

Despite these figures, it seems the awareness of breast cancer amongst younger women is not as prominent as it could be. Many young women, just like Naomi, simply believe that are not at risk of developing breast cancer.  Furthermore, many are unaware that once diagnosed, a high percentage will be told they have the more aggressive forms, often resulting in higher mortality rates.

Detailing her involvement with Bosom Buddies UK, an organisation which educates and advises on all aspects of breast health in schools, Naomi describes how it is essential that younger women (and men) are vigilant and check their breasts at least once a month.

‘Young people need to be taught from an early age, the importance of knowing what is ‘normal’ for their breasts, knowing what to look and feel for, and actually checking for lumps and changes.  If they do discover anything they must report any changes to their GP’s without delay’ says Naomi.

‘Obviously’, she continues, there are many factors affecting the development of the disease such as lifestyle, weight, exercise and genetics.  But if the younger generations are more aware of the issues relating to breast health and the development of breast cancer, more lives can hopefully be saved, before it is too late.’

The issues Naomi faced, from how to preserve her fertility, continuing to work for as long as possible and maintaining relationships are all still genuine concerns for younger women with the disease.

Naomi says, ‘When I was diagnosed I had to deal with all sorts of difficult issues, but it was just as tough for Graham.  How partners cope with a breast cancer diagnosis and the rollercoaster of emotions that follow is often overlooked.’

The cancer rollercoaster

But this news was just the beginning of a heartbreaking journey, for not only Naomi, but everyone close to her. After a gruelling series of treatments including an operation, chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy, Naomi had hoped she had beaten the disease and looked to the future with Graham.

Both were delighted when in early 2010, aged 27, Naomi discovered she was pregnant and expecting their first child.  Naomi explained how she felt very lucky to be carrying a baby, especially knowing chemotherapy can more often than not affect fertility in women.

Unfortunately, this excitement soon turned to devastation as only six days after her newborn son, Devon, came into the world in September 2010 Naomi was rushed back into hospital with a serious MRSA infection. It was during this time that doctors delivered the massive blow that the cancer had spread and that her back had broken in three places due to her bones being eaten away by cancer. Despite everything, Naomi soon had come to terms with the fact she now had incurable Secondary Breast Cancer.  

It soon became apparent that this news came as an even bigger shock to everyone, especially after the initial hope that the treatment had worked.  Defiantly, Naomi bravely endured further treatment, only for surgeons to decide against operating on the tumour on her spine for various reasons.

‘You forget it’s happening to you,’ says Naomi.  ‘All I know is I won’t survive this and I just enjoy every day as it comes.  Over time I’ve come to terms with it.  It’s the people you leave behind I feel for’ she explains.

Despite Naomi struggling to cope with her recent diagnosis, looking after a newborn and dealing with her shocking news she bravely decided to try to focus on the future with her new young family.

Having had to cancel their wedding day due to the financial impact cancer has on people going through it Naomi decided to arrange a charity event in the town she grew up in, Sidmouth, Devon to lift her spirits. Naomi’s extraordinary story and the way the disease impacted her as a young woman soon caught the attention of local Wedding Planner Sam Williams. Unknown to Naomi, this event was to signal the first step towards her becoming the beaming Mrs Thomas, as she is today.

Through the enormous generosity of Sam, the local community and from complete strangers, a dream wedding was arranged with donations from wedding suppliers on 6th June 2012, Naomi and Graham eventually tied the knot in a beautiful ceremony at St Audries Park, Somerset. 

Naomi admits, ‘It was a stunning day; one to cherish for ever. I loved feeling special for the day and getting the chance to marry the man who has supported me through so much. As I have always proclaimed, I am eternally grateful to everyone who made the day possible; it really was a real group effort.’

Determined to put her experiences to positive use, Naomi set about ways to help others enjoy the wedding day of their dreams, just as Sam and her event planning business Perfectly Planned Events had enabled her to.

So, in early 2012, with this passion and determination right at the centre of what she wanted to achieve, The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation was born.

One thing Naomi thinks about a great deal is how, that despite the devastating impact cancer has on so many people’s lives, ‘it is magical how cancer brings people closer together and it is this fact which inspired me to help others in this way.’


The highs and lows of new beginnings

However, as with any new venture, there are always challenges, as Naomi has found out: ‘One major challenge has been receiving the applications and the dealing with the range of emotions it stirs up.  It is exciting to think we can help people have a fantastic wedding day but at the same time, it is difficult to think about the limited time couples will enjoy as husband and wife.’

‘Behind this upset, however,’ says Naomi ‘lays a desire to focus on the positive side of things in life. If The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation is able to help, in any way, make the couple feel complete, just as Graham and I did on our wedding day, I will be one happy lady!’

The foundation is going from strength to strength and with the support and generosity of not only suppliers and businesses, but individual fundraising efforts, the project is really coming into its own.  ‘It’s going really well and I cannot wait for our new fundraising teams in each county in the UK to be in full swing and generating vital funds so we can continue the great work we do.’

Still, as Naomi explains, ‘Of course, we need more money to develop the organisation and such funding is vital for the foundation to continue in its quest to ensure people can enjoy their perfect wedding day, without the stress, uncertainty and financial burden that cancer inevitably brings to families’.

Looking forward to the future

Although Naomi now has to consume a concoction of hormonal drugs to force her into premature menopause and prolong her life as long as possible, she explains that her plans for the future of The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation are simple.  Naomi said she wants ‘to spread the word about the project, continue raising funds and awareness, in turn helping more and more people in the same position as me’. 

She continues, ‘When I began the foundation I wanted to help as many people with terminal illnesses or life threatening conditions have the wedding day they could only have dreamed of and I want this to continue.’

It is clear that Naomi wants this project to continue even after she is no longer around to see her project continue to thrive.  ‘The foundation will be my legacy and that makes me a very proud woman.’

With this in mind and as the foundation’s first year draws ever closer, it seems Naomi will be busier than ever with more applications flooding in, but with an innovative idea and an impressive determination, there is nothing stopping this mum of one.

So, how can you help this worthy cause?

If you are a supplier, individual or business and can offer your services for free or at a reduced rate, The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation would love to hear from you. 

Whatever your niche or specialism, with your help you will be supporting this inspirational organisation, be it through cake decoration, wedding dress supplies, food distribution, venue hire, stationery, floristry or car hire.  Any wedding products, services or support are always welcome and the foundation continually searches for enthusiastic people to generate vital funds too; through donation, sponsorship or fundraising.

As Naomi reiterates, ‘We cannot continue with this fantastic project without the generous incoming funds, so any help is always gratefully received and very much appreciated.’

When such fabulous projects support people and their loved ones through some of the most challenging of times in their lives, there is nothing more rewarding than giving something back and putting a smile on everyone’s faces.

So, why wait?

Support this fantastic organisation today and spread the word about their inspirational and dedicated mission with everyone you know.

As the old saying goes, one good deed deserves another.
Contact details

The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation
Wellington, Somerset

Father of the Bride

We wanted to interview a Father of the Bride to find out their perspective of their daughter’s wedding day, so we thought, who better to ask, than John Relph! Find out what he had to say…

How did you feel when Lawrie asked for your permission to marry his daughter?

I was sort of expecting it but it was still a bit of a surprise. A surprise that is that Lawrie asked my permission! Anyway the real answer to your question is ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTED!!

Beth and Lawrie then went on Holiday to Ibiza and everyday we were waiting for the news that Beth had accepted Lawrie’s proposal. It came eventually in the form of a photograph of a very happy & proud Beth holding up her engagement ring

When writing your father of the bride speech, did you already know what you was going to say?

Yes, I sort of worked the whole speech out in my head first so I wrote it down quite quickly. But after that I tinkered with it right up until the last minute, and what I said was only approximately what was written on the paper!

How long would you recommend the speech to be?

Someone told me my speech was about twenty minutes - which surprised me as I thought it was much shorter. I don’t feel (I hope) that it was too long - I suppose it all depends on the speaker. I had a few nervous moments but on the whole I was pleased with it (I got a few laughs!) and felt it was about the right length.

On your daughter’s wedding day, what was the best part of the day for you?

Well letting my hair down at the disco really! But the whole week was thoroughly enjoyable so it’s difficult to pick a moment.

If you could go back, is there anything you would want to change or improve?

Well I should have practised my speech more and there were a few hiccups; the bouquet nearly didn’t happen and the chair covers were the wrong size.

But we got through them and amazingly Beth keep her cool and didn’t panic, which, I feel, was mainly due to Mr ‘Level-Head’ Brand.

How did you feel walking your daughter up the aisle?

From the moment we got into the car to giving Elizabeth away was a quite surreal or perhaps I should say super-real moment. It’s one of those moments that defies words. It was an amazing moment that I shall never forget.

Can you tell us anything else about the day?

I would like to say that it was a wonderful day, and a wonderful week. I think the fact that Kate and I got to know Lawrie and Beth’s friends during four days before the wedding really enhanced our enjoyment of the day. Which meant that when I stood up to give my speech I was greeted with a sea of friendly faces most of whom I could name!

Of all the thankyous on the day the one that is too easily forgotten is thanking the guests. So I would like to end by saying a big thank you to everyone who came - you really made the day and the week an occasion Kate and I will away remember with great fondness.

What is The Wedding School?

The Wedding School - Something a little different.

Emma - the proprietor of The Wedding School got in touch to tell us all about her business. She begins her story of how it all started…

“My day job for the past few years has been as a registrar for the very busy Westminster register office. It’s fair to say I have been involved in a quite a few ceremonies in that time, hundreds in fact! While the ceremonies themselves come in all different shapes and sizes, one thing remains a constant: you are (hopefully!) only going to do this once, and you want it to be perfect.

In order to promote the service of Westminster register office I introduced open evenings where couples could come and find out about what we have to offer in terms of ceremony rooms and outside venues etc. This proved pretty popular but most of the evening was spent answering lots of different questions about what actually happens on the day of the ceremony and what you need to do to get to that stage.

So, I introduced a presentation part of the evening to go over all of these questions in one session, taking customers through every stage of planning the ceremony from the legal preliminaries right through to saying ‘I do’ and beyond. This received excellent feedback and got me thinking about how useful this would be for everyone planning a ceremony, not just customers in Westminster!

So, Wedding School was born. My aim is to provide impartial advice concerning your ceremony, making sure there are no surprises when it comes to dealing with the register office. I want to ensure no bride or groom ever has to utter the phrase ‘oh, I didn’t know about that’ on their wedding day. Although occupying perhaps only thirty minutes of your wedding day, the ceremony is why you are there; to formally commit to one another in front of your loved ones. But it can sometimes get overlooked with all the other planning to think of. I want to ensure it receives the attention it deserves and goes exactly how it should.

What can The Wedding School do for you?

Let’s face it, some register offices are not in a hurry to answer the phone or reply to your emails, and registrars are guilty of assuming you know what they do - not me, of course, I am an excellent registrar, honest! Forums are great but time-consuming; you can’t be certain you actually have the correct legal advice, rather than well-meaning but, ultimately, incorrect information. Mistakes at registration stage can cost time and money and, if things go really wrong, can prevent you from having a legal ceremony at all.

And what about other types of ceremonies? Registrars are never going to be forthcoming about independent celebrants or humanists, for example. But I can explain all of these options to you as I am impartial.

Likewise, wedding planners are excellent at what they do but don’t tend to get involved much with the registration side of things. Wedding venues are booked by you or the planner, but there is little, if any, communication with register offices and you may not meet your registrar until the wedding. How do you ensure it all comes together on the day?

Wedding School works in two ways: the group workshop, and one-to-one sessions. If you attend a workshop you will be greeted with a glass of wine. We then have the presentation followed by a Q&A session. If you still aren’t sure about anything after the event you can contact me for a further consultation at no additional cost. Workshops are great for swapping ideas too; after all, everyone there will be in the same boat as you so perhaps someone will know of the perfect bridal shop, or that great discount at the florist. I want to create a community feel where we can all help each other.

Group sessions aren’t for everyone so, alternatively, you can arrange to meet with me for an individual session. If you are planning to visit England from another country in order to get married I can assist you via Skype and email at a time that suits you, not the register office.

We cover the following:

Giving notice of intention: how to do it, where to do it, when to do it, and what is actually going to happen when you do it.

How to avoid common mistakes at registration.

Registrar versus celebrant - pros and cons.

Civil registration law - what you can and can’t do at a civil ceremony.

The composition of a ceremony script.

Top hints and tips for music, photography and venues.

What will happen at a civil ceremony.

Advice on pre-nuptial agreements and things to remember after you marry.

Plus, anything else you can think of: I am here for you to the bitter end!

So, if you are getting married why not speak to The Wedding School first and we will help you prepare the easy way. Happy planning everyone!”

If you are interested in attending The Wedding School, please visit their website: -

You can also connect with them on facebook and twitter 

Please leave your comments below too!

A Northern Wedding

Sarah and Michael tied the knot on 17th August 2012 at Cawthorne church and the reception was held at Nostell Priory in Wakefield.

Sarah had a stunning fitted brides dress with a long train while the bridesmaid dresses had short orange dresses. Bouquets consisted of orange and pink gerberas which looked simply elegant. Check out their double decker bus too! Continue reading