Want to keep your guest list on the small side? Not all weddings have to be big, lavish affairs.
A lot of couples begin their wedding planning, only to realise that a large, traditional wedding isn’t for them. In many ways, planning a small and informal wedding celebration can be much easier to manage and allows you the opportunity to personalise your day.
So what can you do at a small wedding to keep guests entertained? Here are some more reserved wedding entertainment ideas that won’t overshadow your day.
A solo acoustic performer such as a guitarist offers you enormous freedom in terms of where your musician can set up to perform. As versatile as they come, solo acoustic guitarists are amazing at providing background music to set the scene.
An accomplished wedding guitarist boasts sophisticated and elegant tones that stay relevant all year round, making it a perfect addition to any wedding – big or small.
Just because you’re having a small wedding, it doesn’t mean you can’t be unique with your music ideas. Steel drums are perfect for summer weddings to bring that Caribbean atmosphere and soundtrack to your day.
Better yet, they are a really cool talking point without being too overbearing on a low number of guests. Sit back and relax with your close friends and family with this amazing feel-good music in the background.
PHOTO BY Piteira Photography
My dear friend and wonderful wedding planner Olivia of Nulyweds specialises in planning gorgeous colourful weddings in Portugal. She wrote a blog post to tell you why is her beloved country a wonderful wedding destination.
PHOTO BY Piteira Photography
5 Reasons Why More and More Couples are Getting Hitched in Portugal
Let’s start this article by saying I am biased. As a destination wedding planner in Portugal, of course I want to share the merits of this gorgeous country and what it has to offer. However as 1 in 5 UK couples are now considering getting married abroad according to Destination Weddings Magazine, there is a clear reason why there has been an increase in interest in getting married in Europe and particularly in Portugal, which has seen a sharp spike in its wedding industry from the international market over the past 5 years. This is not by accident dear reader, and in this piece I’m going to share with you, what is tempting couples from all over the world to tie the knot in sunny Portugal. Speaking of which…
PHOTO BY NULYWEDS
Probably stating the obvious here but bear with me, I might surprise you. Portugal is not a sun-all-round-winter-does-not-exist kind of place, so be mindful of anyone who sells it to you that way. Portugal is not all sunshine and rainbows and should never pretend to be. What it does offer is bright, temperate days in the Spring, hot, long days in the Summer and often warm, sunny days in the early Autumn too. For weddings, it’s the ideal evening soiree destination as the warm Summer evenings are great for late ceremonies and dancing into the early hours under the stars.
PHOTO BY Piteira Photography
If you are looking for something more to entertain your guests but have no idea what to do so it’s not boring, definitely read this advice from Joey of Warble Entertainment. They offer a variety of amazing artists and will help you find a perfect one for your big day! (And are one of our amazing suppliers too!)
Get unique. Bring a touch bizarre to your wedding day and create something memorable in an instant.
For a long time now the staple for a wedding has been great music, food and friends. Wedding entertainment however is now branching out to the world of weird, wonderful and wow. It is now entirely possible (and incredibly easy!) to bring something fun to your big day that guests will have never seen before.
Check out these 10 creative wedding entertainment ideas for your big day.
This is one of our favourite ideas and is always something to be remembered. Whether it’s Gordon Ramsay, Jack Sparrow or Del Boy, these celebrity characters are sure to create a stir at your wedding.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall… let your entertainment shine with these eye catching performers. They will cast spectacular reflections whilst dancing and mingling with your guests.
You’re supposed to feel special on your wedding day, but why not feel like an actual celebrity on the red carpet? You can hire your very own Paparazzi Photographers to snap those lucrative shots as your guests enter the room.
I’ve been obsessing over House of Ollichon‘s wedding jumpsuits on Instagram for ages! Their outfits are perfect for modern brides who don’t care much about traditions and want to do something other than a big white dress and still look gorgeous and sophisticated. I’m so excited to be sharing with you their advice on picking an alternative wedding outfit perfect for your figure.
The majority of our appointments start with brides telling me ‘I’m just not a fan of the big dress’, ‘I just want to feel like myself’ or ‘I’m a jeans and trainers kind of girl’. Although bridal trends have come a long way in recent years, we’re still scarred by the stereotypical expectation to wear a big white meringue!
Two-pieces have been hot for a couple of years but we have really seen the jumpsuit take off in the last six months which, obviously we are thrilled about! I feel like finally, brides to be are proud to break the mould and be themselves.
Our mantra at House of Ollichon is ‘Be a special version of your normal self’. That’s all our brides want!
We are honoured to have lots of same-sex couples come to House of Ollichon, it’s such fun to style a couple together and it’s the biggest honour as a designer to dress both brides. It’s crucial for couples to be on the same page when it comes to what level of bridal they go for. Our clients often end up going for one jumpsuit and one two piece between them, they’re matching but not the same and there’s no guessing game on who wears the dress and who wears the suit!
Best sellers and what works well for…
Claire from the printing company Lost Heritage wrote a fantastic piece about all the ways you can use stationery for your wedding and included some really good tips that will help you in the planning process.
Congrats on being newly engaged! Hope the wedding planning is going well, so much to think of hey!
Well, even if you say you are having a small do or you are totally going all out there is so much choice out there it can get a little overwhelming.
Hopefully to make life a little simpler we have put together a little guide about wedding stationery and what it means. You don’t have to send or have all of these for your big day but if you can’t go all out when getting hitched when can you hey?!
It’s your day so my advice is to incorporate you and your partners style into the design. A theme is essential and helps hugely as you have a intention and outline for all the bits and pieces needed.
BEFORE THE BIG DAY
SAVE THE DATES – This is essentially a pre-invitation – you are asking people to reserve this date and not to make any other plans. It is sent to guests pretty much as soon as a wedding date is set. You don’t have to include any other information apart from the actual wedding date but really thats up to you- sometimes people may put a vague idea of location but that’s usually only if you are getting married aboard or you think guests may need to make special travel arrangements in advance.
DAY INVITES – These are the main invitations for guests who will be attending the full day- typically some sort of wedding ceremony and then wedding breakfast and or reception. Obviously every wedding is different but usually the day invites indicate that the guest or guests are there from the beginning till the end of the event. Essential information included would be date, location/locations and times. Other information added usually depends on the type of wedding you are having and/or the budget. For example if you are on a limited budget you may want to fit extra bits of instructions on the main part to save on cost – however beware as you don’t want the page to look too cluttered. Your stationer/designer are always happy to advice on this though.
RECEPTION/EVENING INVITES – This is usually in the same style as the day invites but just with a change of time and location (if applicable). Typically given to guests who are just attending the evening celebrations. A little handy tip: send out your day invites before your evening ones. That way you can see if you receive any regrets and upgrade some of the evening guests to day guest if needed!
RSVP’S – This card is basically your way of asking a potential guest to “please response”. It is essential to know how many guests will be coming to your wedding as a lot of planning and time is spend on table plans, seats, meals etc. The RSVP can also be a way of getting extra information from your guests if you feel this is necessary (such as food allergies/preferences) Some couples even ask for people to include a song of their choice on a RSVP.
John Hearn, executive head chef at Tapenade, one of the UK’s top caterers, talks us through this year’s biggest wedding food trends.
Gourmet comfort food
Couples want to serve guests foods they’ll love so it’s no surprise that we’re seeing more people swap a la carte in favour of classic comfort foods made with gourmet ingredients. We created a truffle mac ‘n’ cheese for one recent wedding and served an indulgent game pie and mash at another.
Photography: Jessica Grace Photography [one of our suppliers!]
Traditionalists may shy away from the idea of meals on wheels at a wedding but this festival-inspired food trend is going from strength to strength. Whether it’s for a reception, late-night bites or complete catering, the possibilities are endless with mobile food vendors. We often create street-food stands and vintage ice-cream vans which always delights guests.
DIY food & drink stations
Everything is more fun when you make it yourself and we’re seeing more couples taking a hands-on approach when it comes to catering. Our ‘Pimp Your Prosecco’ bar is always a firm favourite for a drinks reception with flair.
Pairing & sharing
Swap traditional canapes for fun mini pairings of your favourite food and drink. Classic combos such as tacos and tequila or oysters and bloody Mary’s never fail to impress our guests.
Wedding planning can get really overwhelming. Newly engaged brides and grooms to be start all excited and often quickly realise they have no idea where to begin! Nina who runs Occasion Queens and professionally helps couples make their day the best it can be, created a list of 10 basics to remember when planning your wedding.
There are so many ways to go about planning your wedding but I really do feel that there are 10 things that you should keep in mind from the beginning to keep things on track…
Money, money, money!
Whether it be £10, £100 or £10,000, you need to know how much you can spend as this will dictate so many different aspects of your wedding planning. So work out what your maximum budget (plus a little bit more!) and start that spreadsheet so you can easily keep on top of where you’re at and how much you still have to play with.
Who will be there?
This is easy (no really, it is): list everyone you want to invite. This may be influenced by your budget and it will probably be one of the elements that influences your budget the most so you may have to be a bit ruthless! But remember, this is your day, no one else’s so make sure you are surrounded by the people you want, love and care about and who will still be in your lives in 10 years’ time.
Research! Look at what is important to you, whether that be décor, natural light or nice loos! Use venue finding websites and go on a few visits to your favourites. It may be a hotel or warehouse; it doesn’t matter so long as it is right for you. Make sure you don’t miss the important things though, like can it hold the number of people you have attending or the type of wedding you want to host? What are their rules on catering and drinks? Make sure you get answers to the questions you need and you feel comfortable with who you are dealing with.
Venue: Nurstead Court [one of our suppliers!]
Think you can sort out music for your wedding with an iPad and Spotify? Our friends from RedLine DJs will give you 19 reasons you should re-think it and get yourself a real DJ.
Almost all soon-to-be-newlyweds have been there: you’ve been planning the wedding for months, if not years.
The cake’s been taste tested by the entire family, the dress has been fitted (three times), the canapés and wedding breakfast confirmed and your dad has already done the booze cruise to Calais (obviously you’ll have bought five times as much as you need, and will be drinking that bottle of ‘wedding day red’ until 2020). You’ve just about recovered from your stag or hen weekends, and virtually everything has been organised apart from one crucial thing: the music.
At this stage of the planning – with costs snowballing and budgets squeezed – one question is inevitable. Do you really need to spend money on a professional wedding DJ? We all know how to make a good party playlist on spotify, right?!
Wrong! Skimping on your dj is a fast-track to an empty dance floor, and here are some of the reasons why you should book a professional wedding dj.
Weddings are a special day and they require specialists
You want your wedding day to be perfect in every single way. It’s why you spend hours making sure your wedding breakfast menu is just right, rather than just asking your local chippy to supply some battered sausage and chips (nan would never approve).
Regardless of how much we love fish and chips, the point still stands – the best weddings are all about employing the best people to do each specialist job. Your DJ should be seen not just as the provider of music but also as your evening reception specialist – get the right one and your night will be one to remember, get the wrong one and it could be one to forget. After all, no-one wants an accidental YMCA as their first dance.
Professional DJs know how to build – and keep – a dancefloor
People like to think that being a DJ is easy. After all, isn’t it just playing good songs?! Not really. Everyone will have a story of a DJ that completely messed up that wedding, party, or club night.
DJing a wedding is a much harder job than it appears. But the best DJs are able to pull together all of your song and genre requests and mix them in with the inevitable requests from your guests. They are able to use their experience to add their own selections, successfully keep a broad cross-section of people happy for the entire night and most importantly, they know how to build a dance floor and keep them there ‘til the very last bars of New York, New York.
Professionals are invested in their own business, and you
The professional wedding DJ cares about their business – every single client is important to them because word-of-mouth both online and in person counts for everything. They are therefore highly motivated to provide a superior level of customer service and attention to detail to ensure that they are recommended and reviewed in glowing terms.
In the case of amateur DJs, the opposite is often true – you are likely to be dealing with someone without a business name, their own website and an online presence. With so little motivation for them to treat you with the care you deserve, do you trust them to handle something as important as your wedding day?
We are all about being your self and organising a wedding exactly the way you want it, no matter what magazines or blogs say. However inspiration is a wonderful thing and we will always do our best to show you what is out there to spark a bit of creativity.
What if you have a venue, want your wedding to be beautiful but have absolutely no designer skills? Then quickly get yourself a stylist – like our guest author today – Chenai of by Chenai . She prepared for you a round up of what will light up the 2018 wedding scene from fashion style to venue selection. We hope it will give you some amazing new ideas (we are loving these grazing tables!!).
Whilst it’s always important for personal style to dictate your wedding planning and styling decisions, we can’t ignore the influence that art, design, and fashion play on the choices we made in society & culture. With this in mind, here’s my big 8 themes for 2018 weddings.
The Grazing Table
It genuinely surprises me that this has yet to permeate wedding culture in Britain. No, really, I mean it. Australia has been ahead of the curve on this front as evidenced by the number of platter companies offering the service. The beauty of the grazing table is that it lends itself to an informal setting and when styled creatively and (depending on size and scale) is an affordable option for feeding guests. It can be a show stopper between acts, instead of canapes between ceremony and reception for example and thanks to likes of Grape and Fig, the first platter company in the UK, I guarantee you, many a summer and outdoor wedding will feature grazing tables next year.
Photo from Grape and Fig
Royal Wedding Style
Unless you’ve been living under a very large rock, you can’t have missed the engagement news of our favourite royal, Prince Harry to Meghan Markle. Every single detail from her dress to who will serve has her bridesmaids has been written about in blogs in publications everywhere but undoubtedly the so called ‘Meghan Markle ‘ effect will influence bridal style from Spring 2018 onwards.
Village Hall? Check. A field at the back of your dad’s friend’s neighbours house? Check. A cosy pub? Check. Railway arches? Check.
You get the picture. Traditional venues often satisfy the requirements of lovely views, gardens or rooms and make for wonderful photos. However, great value and flexibility is to be found in non traditional spaces. Increasingly, couples are getting bolder in their thinking where venue search is concerned and and as long as it has basic facilities, you know like electricity and running water (or at least access to) we’ll continue to see couples opting for everything but the country manor house.
Image from Shoreditch.com
Photo: Royalty free from Equalli
Choosing you wedding rings is a big decision. To help you, today we have some advice from Roland Dean of Equalli – a company specialising in beautiful and high quality jewellery, serving LGBTQ+ community.
Love is a wonderful feeling and it’s only natural to want to celebrate it by making an official engagement. And what better way of saying I love you to the person next to you than with a beautiful wedding ring?
Even more, due to the legalization of same-sex marriages in so many countries across the globe, nowadays everyone has the possibility to freely celebrate their feelings. However, this freedom didn’t bring too much change in jewelry stores and there are not that many brands to consider the needs of a same-sex couple.
This is why we put together a short guide to help you out.
1. Choosing the style
With traditional man and woman weddings, the style is clear: the man gets a thick band while the woman can choose something more delicate and refined. However, with LGBT wedding rings, the options are limitless.
For instance, some couples decide to choose completely different styles, but with a unifying element. This way, both partners show they are unique, but united by their love for each other.
2. Wedding band or engagement ring?
This is a choice you’ll have to make, but there is also the option of going with a matching set. This means that you can get a wedding band and the matching engagement ring and decide who wears the one and who the other.
3. Matching rings or not
This is a legit question and it shows up in both heterosexual and LGBT couples. The answer is no, there is no rule that says the rings must match. It’s just a tradition that was designed to allow people around to identify you as a married couple.