Six in ten brides aim to make their wedding better than their friends'

Six out of ten brides purposely choose certain wedding day features just to make their big day better than their friends’, a new survey from has found.

The survey of 1,000 just-married women revealed that four in ten brides become very competitive when they start to plan their wedding. One of the main reasons why women want their wedding to be perfect is because they want to show off about their big day on social media. Three in ten brides-to-be worry about how their wedding is going to look on Facebook, reports

A number of women said they would not be pleased if someone they knew copied their wedding plans, but over a third of brides steal ideas from their friends anyway. One in ten even go so far as to say that they wouldn’t forgive a friend if they chose the same wedding dress as them.

Writing for, Reverend Laurie Sue Brockway, a wedding officiant, says to prevent becoming a bridezilla, women should allow for a bit of downtime during their wedding planning sessions. Moreover, when brides can feel themselves getting stressed, they should go for a walk or go see a film to take their mind off of things.

A spokeswoman for commented: “We all know that a woman’s wedding is supposed to be the best day of her life – so of course wanting it to be just right can really build pressure. With wedding blogs, social media and the huge furore over celebrity weddings, no wonder a bride-to-be can become overwhelmed with making everything perfect.”

Gatwick passenger numbers rise six per cent year-on-year

Gatwick’s passenger numbers rose by six per cent in July, compared to the same period the previous year, new figures from the airline show.

Some 4.1 million passengers passed through Gatwick airport in July, whereas 6.97 million travelled from or to Heathrow airport – a 0.5 per cent increase on the previous year. Both airports argue that their latest figures show they need to expand, rather than their rival, reports

Nick Dunn, Gatwick’s chief financial officer, believes that a new runway at Heathrow would mean British travellers have less choice. Meanwhile, an expansion at Gatwick would boost competition and keep airfares low.

Fred Dixon, New York’s newest tourism boss, has praised Heathrow Airport, stating that it’s better than New York’s JFK.

In an interview with, Mr Dixon said: “London is in the best shape I think it’s ever been in. It’s clean, it’s safe, and very welcoming. I’ve never waited in line more than 30 minutes at Heathrow, even with the volume they do. The sense of arrival is something that we Americans can learn from and strive for.”

He added that business travel is doing well in London thanks to the strong business community. Moreover, the tourism boss also had plenty of praise for London’s taxi drivers, which he said are one of the city’s best assets.

New mobile app helps vision-impaired passengers to navigate London Underground

Navigating the London Underground has long been a daunting prospect for the blind and visually-impaired, but a new smartphone app hopes to change that.   

Developed by the Royal London Society of Blind People (RLSB) and design studio ustwo, the Wayfindr app is specifically designed to help blind and visually-impaired passengers find their way around the London Underground.

By positioning beacons which send out information via Bluetooth technology in and around various transport terminals, including tube stations, the app is able to pick up signals and transform them into signs and directions for passengers, reports.

Signal strength is used to decipher the location of the beacons, which are then relayed through voice prompts via a pair of bone-conducting headphones. However, a blind or visually-impaired passenger’s hearing will not be compromised by the headphones.

Transport for London (TfL) already offers assistance to blind or visually-impaired passengers, notes, by providing members of staff who meet them at ticket gates and accompany them to the train, while also arranging for someone to meet them as they get off the train at another station.

Courtney Nugent, head of RLSB’s transport youth forum, said: “Wayfindr is a practical and affordable aid to navigation for vision impaired people. Our joint project with ustwo is a great example of how charities and the private sector can work together, applying the latest approaches in digital design to make a difference, rapidly.”

Heathrow will have "too much market power" if allowed to expand, Gatwick claims

A third runway at Heathrow would allow the airport to have “too much market power”, Gatwick has argued in its newest report to the Airports Commission.

Gatwick thinks that there’s a danger of the market seeing a repeat of the past, when Heathrow Airport Holdings (formally known as BAA) was forced by the Competition Commission to sell off a number of its airports. Regional airports could also potentially be affected by the expansion, which Gatwick says are vital for improving customer choice, boosting competition and maintaining low airfares, reports

Stewart Wingate, Gatwick airport CEO, argues that Gatwick should be expanded, rather than Heathrow.

“Competition between the UK’s airports has been one of the great successes of recent industrial policy and has delivered choice, better standards and lower airfares for consumers,” he said.

“A new runway at Heathrow would give the airport too much market power. However if Gatwick build a second runway it could compete more vigorously with two runway Heathrow, which would deliver benefits for both consumers and other UK airports.”

Birmingham airport chief executive, Paul Kehoe, agreed that smaller regional airports would be at risk if one single hub was allowed to control the market. He called for a network of regional airports, so that consumers are offered more choice, reports

London buses to offer free Wi-Fi

Transport for London (TfL) is to trial free Wi-Fi services on buses across the city, it has been announced.

Although the project will only be featured on two buses to begin with (a route 12 bus between Dulwich and Oxford Circus, and a route RV1 bus between Covent Garden and Tower Hill), it is hoped that the trials will be successful enough that sponsors get involved, allowing TfL to roll out free Wi-Fi on more buses, reports.

Londoners and visitors will be able to stay connected on routes without exhausting their mobile data allocation. Browsing social media and internet on the move, for example, will become far easier for commuters.

The wi-fi trials are all part of TfL’s ‘Year of the Bus’, a celebration of the buses’ contribution to London. Advanced CCTV technology allowing passengers to see if there are seats available on the upper decks has also been trialled, notes.

Simon Reed, head of TfL’s technical service group, said: “London buses have always led the way with new technology on its network, benefiting the millions of passengers who make the most of the extensive network every day.

“Innovation is a key theme of the Year of the Bus and we have worked with our suppliers to find new and innovative ways to further improve the experience of our passengers. These trials will establish whether this technology provides genuine benefits to people on the move.”

EasyJet passenger numbers rise by more than seven per cent

Budget airline EasyJet saw its passenger numbers rise by 7.7 per cent in July, compared to the same period the previous year.

More than 6.4 million people flew with the airline during July, an increase from last year’s figure of 5.9 million. In the 12 months to July, annual passenger figures were up by 5.9 per cent to 63.8 million. The passenger load factor also rose in July, by 1.3 per cent to reach 92.9 per cent, reports

EasyJet wasn’t the only budget airline to see dramatic passenger increases last month, as Ryanair reported that its customer numbers had risen by four per cent, which equates to around 300,000 extra passengers. This means a total of 9.15 million people travelled with the airline in July. Ryanair’s load factor also rose to 91 per cent, a three per boost from 2013’s 88 per cent, reports

Chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs, commented that Ryanair offers the cheapest fares in every market, but the airline also has so much more to offer to its customers.

“Ryanair traffic grew by 300,000 to 9.15 million customers in July thanks to our lower fares and our improving customer experience, including our great new website and mobile app, allocated seating, a free second small carry-on bag and PED use on all flights,” he explained.

Levi's London Commuter Workspace set to open

London’s cycling commuters are to be given their own designated workspace over the next ten days, on behalf of Levi’s.

The denim brand is set to open a venue at New Inn Yard in Shoreditch tomorrow (August 7), where cycling commuters will be able to enjoy free coffee and wi-fi, music, local artists’ exhibitions and a social and cultural events programme.

Perhaps more important to cycling enthusiasts, however, will be the free bicycle repair services that are available thanks to several local mechanics. Instructional workshops will also be provided, educating keen riders on the best ways to look after their frames and tyres, as well as a free bike valet service courtesy of the London Cycling Campaign.

The Levi’s London Commuter Workspace begins with an opening party hosted by DJs Only Real and Bradley Zero, reports. The hub will officially close on August 17.

Levi’s has already opened a pop-up cyclist workspace in Brooklyn, New York (July 8 – 28), while another hub is currently open in Los Angeles, California (August 5 – 29), notes.

“These resource-rich workspaces are designed for the modern commuter, seeking to capture the creative and productive experience of commuting with a range of offerings. These three cities were chosen due to their high concentration of commuters/bike advocates,” a spokesperson for Levi’s said.

Sparklers perfect for wedding receptions, expert claims

Sparklers will be a popular choice at weddings this year as they can make a bride’s entrance to the reception venue more special, events and weddings DJ John Macaluso believes.

Writing for, Mr Macaluso states that it’s a good idea to get the bridal party to hold some sparklers as the bride enters the reception venue, as it will bring out the child in everyone. However, he notes it’s a good idea to ensure the sparklers are smokeless, otherwise fire alarms could be set off.

He argues that photo booths will continue to be popular too, and in some instances are now considered just as important as a wedding cake.

“There are so many cool photo booths coming out, such as flip books, slow motion booths, social media booths, and others,” he writes.

In terms of the cake, Tracey Mann, founder of wedding cake supplier Tracey’s Cakes, states that couples are now choosing to opt for coloured wedding cakes instead of plain, traditional, white ones.

“If you want your cake to make a colour statement, it’s good to have a clear idea of your colour scheme and venue before consulting your cake designer.” she wrote on “This will help them create a shade and design that fits perfectly.”

Mr Macaluso says that lots of couples want to show how happy they are by making it look as if they’re dancing in the clouds for their first dance together. Moreover, it’s a feature that looks excellent in photos, so it’s also becoming a popular trend this year.

East London remembers plight of Suffragettes as festival comes to the capital

To celebrate the centennial of the East London Federation of Suffragettes (ELFS), a festival is set to take place in August.

Founded by Sylvia Pankhurst in 1914, the independent social movement fought for British women to gain suffrage, a right withheld to women in many other European countries too. One hundred years later, the Suffragettes’ inspirational fight is to be remembered at the East London Suffragette Festival.

The event, which takes in Bethnal Green, Bow and Stepney Green, and runs between Friday August 1 and Sunday August 10, is headlined by a free all-day celebration at Toynbee Hall in Tower Hamlets on August 9, reports. As well as giving the public an opportunity to learn about inequality in the East End and the Suffragette movement, there will also be talks, workshops and storytelling catering for children.

Other activities taking place throughout the festival include an art exhibition showcasing the lives of young women in the East End during World War One, the Women’s Activism Film Night at Four Corners in Bethnal Green on Friday August 1, as well as a free outdoor picnic at the former Victoria Park Cemetery on Sunday August 3.

Mary Davis, author of ‘Sylvia Pankhurst: A Life in Radical Politics’, told “[Pankhurst] saw the relationship between oppression and exploitation early on. She wanted working class women to be active in the fight for the vote.”

But despite her contempt for authority (Pankhurst was the most frequently arrested woman in the party), she remained a pacifist.

“If she was to witness all of this celebrating of World War One we do today she’d be turning in her grave,” Davis said. “She saw it as an imperialist war.”

Orbital railway is high on Mayor of London's £1.3 trillion agenda

Work has begun to design an orbital metro-style train link connecting London’s suburbs, after Boris Johnson announced his Infrastructure 2050 Plan.

The £200 billion project would introduce a high-speed orbital railway to link zone three’s suburban areas in a bid to keep up with the capital’s increasing population, expected to rise as high as 11 million over the next several decades.

According to Mayor Johnson, Barking Riverside “will be Piccadilly Circus…in 100 years’ time” as London’s population begins to shift to the east, so a huge investment in new forms of transport is required. The £200 billion being set aside for the orbital railway is just a small amount of the £1.3 trillion total investment laid out in Johnson’s Infrastructure 2050 Plan, notes.

The demand for rail transport in London is expected to increase by 80 per cent, and Johnson is predicting some 50,000 new homes will need to be built. The 2050 Plan also looks at tackling the pressure placed on energy supplies, water and schools.

Johnson said: “Transport infrastructure makes all the difference to the prospects of a community,” reports

“Population growth is unstoppable. You’ve got to go with the grain of how people want to live their lives. If they want to live in the greatest city in the world, there’s no point in trying to fight them off with a pitchfork,” he added.