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Ten Wedding Hacks Every Engaged Couple Should Know

Ten Wedding Hacks Every Engaged Couple Should Know

Weddings are an expensive business. According to this article from MoneySavingExpert.com, the average cost of a wedding ceremony is around £20,500 so any little bit that can be shaved off the price tag here and there is very welcome! If you’re a particularly savvy couple, there are a couple of ways to cut down on the cost of your big day and make things run more smoothly without it being any less special, so read on for our top ten wedding hacks that every engaged couple should know. We’ve also thrown in some special tips and tricks which will help give your wedding that little bit of extra sparkle that’ll make sure that you and your guests will never forget it.

Set up a “dessert bar”.

Instead of shelling out for an expensive wedding cake, why not consider setting up a dessert bar? It’s a much cheaper alternative and is a lot more fun and quirky! All you need to do is purchase a selection of sweet treats whether they be cakes, cookies, or even just chocolate bars, and let your guests come and get their own as they please. For a special touch, you could even bake some of your own treats to add to the table or ask your guests to do so.

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Be your own DJ.

Hiring a DJ and all of the necessary equipment can be one of the biggest costs associated with a wedding, so why not cut this out by being your own DJ! All you have to do is put together a playlist on Spotify or Apple Music in your phone, plug it into the speakers and away you go! You and your partner can spend an afternoon putting this together and pick out some of your favourite songs, perhaps including some that are special to you.

Avoid printing loads of paper items.

A surprisingly big cost when it comes to weddings is that of printing out all of the individual menus and seating plans, etc. How about creating some attractive signage using something like a chalkboard instead of printing out pieces for each guest? You would be surprised at how much can be saved!

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Opt for a Friday or Sunday.

Saturday weddings are in hot demand and are definitely the most expensive day of the week to get married. Going either side of Saturday could wind up saving you a lot of money, and still give you a weekend wedding to make things easier for your guests and let the celebrations take place over a couple of days.

Surprise your guests with a special touch.

Sometimes going that extra mile can really leave a lasting impression on your guests, whether it be the entertainment, the food, or something to do with the ceremony itself. For a really spectacularly thoughtful touch (especially for a night-time outdoor wedding), how about these amazing light up letters from Light It Up UK. They add a unique touch to the ceremony and will definitely stick in everyone’s memory.

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Use weights to keep your veil in place.

If you’ve gone for an outdoor wedding and it’s a windy day, your veil is going to get blown all over the place. However, you can use handy little weights such as those at Save the Veil which will help to keep everything in place.

Set up a dedicated email address.

It might seem a little bit overboard, but believe us, it can be a really good idea to set up a separate “wedding planning” email address. The last thing you need is to miss emails, especially if the caterer cancels at the last minute! By separating emails, you’re much more likely to keep on top of everything, and you can even use it afterwards to send out wedding photos and maybe to deal with things such as households bills in your married life.

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Buy a second-hand dress.

It might not be for everyone, but keeping an eye out for a second-hand dress can be a real help on the budget front. They’re likely to be in near-perfect condition as they’ll only have been worn once, and you probably won’t even be able to tell! While you might turn your nose up at the idea at first, you might change your mind when you see how much you could save. Check out this post from BrideBox for more info. on buying a preowned dress.

Opt for a faux cake.

If you don’t want to shell out for an ornate tiered cake, there is a more budget-friendly option available. You can ask your baker to make the top tier of the cake as usual so that it can be cut, and the rest can be made from styrofoam. (Another idea to just opt for a much smaller cake). You can then have a normal (but equally as tasty!) cake available which you can serve to the guests.

Get the venue size right.

Many couples often waste a lot of money by overestimating or underestimating their venue. To be on the safe side many couples opt for a venue which is actually far too big for their needs. While this doesn’t have a negative effect on the day, it takes a much heftier chunk out of the budget than it needs to!

Featured photo credit: Shutterstock via shutterstock.com

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12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and black tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here:

11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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