We don’t want to admit it, but the Winter months are looming! No matter how much we turn a blind eye to it, it’ll creep up on us eventually and we need to be prepared for what it brings. Being a UK resident means snow, ice, wind (you name it) will soon be upon us, and it’s essential that we prepare ourselves and our homes correctly to combat the effects.


You’re right; it’s still summer, so why on earth are we discussing the colder months?! The fact of the matter is that the more prepared you are, the more you will benefit later down the line. The changing weather will not only affect us, but it can cause damage and disruption to how we run our homes every day. With the right steps in place, we can help prevent this. It’s never too early to prepare!

Give your property a health check.

Your house is your pride and joy. You’ve spent time decorating it, keeping it under control, paying its bills and simply running it, so it’s very important that you look after it! There are many ways to keep on top of your property well before the cold weather sets in:

  • Damaged water pipes – if you notice any cracks in your walls, this will be bad news when winter rears its head! Seal any gaps to prevent the cold air reaching your pipes. If it does reach them, the water in your pipes could freeze and no one wants or needs burst pipes in the winter!
  • Clean your gutters – leaves and dirt can build up in your drains over the months causing unfriendly blockages. Having a good clean can prevent water getting clogged in your drains which could, eventually, make its way into your home.
  • Prevent damp – anything that can cause condensation such as drying clothes or steam from cooking can create damp. Drying clothes outside or cooking with a door closed can prevent this from entering colder rooms.

 Get your fuel prices nailed

Gas, electric, heating oil or wood burner? Either way, you need to choose the right option at the right time! Different fuel types can fit some homes better than others. There are benefits of using each type, so it’s worth researching to see what can save you the most money. For example, when choosing heating oil to heat your home, it can work out cheaper when purchasing in the summer months than winter. Getting a heating oil quote early will make sure you don’t get caught with high fees that you’ll be forced to pay. Don’t leave it too late!

Check for draughts

Draughts can be the worst thing in the world when winter comes around, so sealing cracks and winter-proofing windows is a good precautionary measure to take before it gets chilly. Weatherstripping the frames of windows and fixing any holes can keep your home warmer for longer, and keep that cold air at bay!

Insulate and protect!

Correctly insulating your home can make all the difference when it comes to keeping the heat in. We’re all aware that heat energy rises. It rises through ceilings in the home into out through the roof if you don’t have the right insulation. Help to keep your house warmer for longer by investing in good loft and wall insulation. As well as the main benefit of keeping your house warmer in winter and cooler in summer, insulation can help to reduce energy costs and increase your comfort all year round.

Stock up on winter essentials.

Making sure you’re well prepared with the essentials will save you worrying about it in a few months’ time. Think about the types of weather we could have, (and by being in the UK, it really could be anything). For snow and ice, make sure you’re stocked up on salt/grit and perhaps the odd snow shovel or two! Certain weathers could also prevent power cuts or disruptions, so stocking up on torches and matches will be beneficial.

Through keeping on top of these points, you’ll be prepared well in advance for whatever the winter months throw at us. And, before you know it, we’ll be back in the warmth!


The perfect wedding for me is one where the couple are genuinely celebrating their love for one another. If that is in place and all guests wish the couple well a wedding will be a lovely event. A mistake that I think is really common is for brides and grooms to forget their individual tastes in favour of whatever the latest wedding magazine or bridal blog has  to say. I find this quite sad as two people have fallen for the individual traits of their partner so it seems a shame that such individuality should be missing from the wedding details.

Perfect Wedding


There was a time when your choices were pretty  much restricted to a church or a registry office. Nowadays you can match your venue to your personal tastes from castles to football grounds. Think creatively when selecting a venue and make it a venue as well as a day to remember.


What makes you tick as individuals and as a couple. Is there something that unites you such as a strong love of the Fifties or a passion for motorcycles. Whatever it is, could you make that the theme of your wedding? Once you have a theme, I find the details of wedding accessories fall into place quite easily. The theme can be very in your face or just hinted at subtly perhaps in the invitations and the decorations at your wedding reception.


It worries me that too many wedding guests are people that the couple feel that they ought to have attending rather than people they actually want to be there. I think there is a real danger of trying to please family members and work colleagues in this regard. Unless both partners genuinely want people there, it can lead to a lot of stress both  during the run-up and on the day itself. Similar feelings surround the selection of key players such as pageboys, bridesmaids and best men. Do it your way and anyone who cannot live with that does not care enough about your happiness clearly.

Food and drink

I remember a period in my twenties where I was going to a lot of apparently perfect weddings. Without being offensive, it did seem there was an awful lot of chicken dinners going on. Don’t get me wrong! I like chicken but does it have to be the go-to choice of every bride and groom. One thing I did at my wedding was to have fun burgers for the children and teenagers attending. That worked really well and my grown-up menu consisted of favourites of mine and my mum’s.


You will recognise my wish for all couples is that they do their perfect wedding their way. I have always hated evening dos with discos. They seem less intimate that the ceremony and the reception. Worse, all too often they are a way of inviting people that you actively did not want at the earlier part of the day. I think weddings can actually go on way too long with the bride and groom not to mention the guests exhausted and fed up by midnight. You may love a disco but if you would prefer ballroom dancing or a movie night or whatever floats your boat, why not? I would also caution against doing whatever the latest social media trend is which will almost inevitably date quickly and may not be to your taste at all.

So dear couple in love, please treat the wedding as you did selecting your partner in the first place. Know what you like and insist on it. If it makes you happy, your family and friends should be delighted. I would use this advice for all aspects on the wedding from the flowers to the cake, from the transport to the honeymoon.

Do you really want to have someone else’s perfect wedding?

Planning The Perfect Wedding


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