Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Wedding Entertainment Tips

It's your Wedding Day and you want everyone to have a great time, so where do you start with your entertainment?

You have probably taken ages to plan your wedding day and you want everyone to have a great time but how much entertainment do you need to put on for your Guests.

Well first things first, keep within your budget. It would be great to have the same entertainment as our favourite celebrities but not if its going to swallow up most of your wedding budget.

So be practical and plan out your day.

If your wedding is an all day affair there are going to be times during the day than you might need want to think about having some entertainment through out the day especially if you are having an early ceremony but dinner is not served until much later in the day.

You will be spending time with your photographer after the ceremony for those all important photographs and some of your Guests may not know anyone other than the person they came with as with most weddings our Guests are made up with friends and family that we have been close to over the years as well as good friends that you have made recently together.

Putting on entertainment creates a talking point and helps to get the day to flow. But remember its does not have to be expensive.

So what is the best time to lay on Entertainment?

One of the biggest ‘lull’ times is the time between Ceremony and the Wedding Breakfast.

This is a great time for a magician to mingle with the Guests or you could surprise them with a ‘singing waiter’ act which is great fun.

If you are having your wedding and/or reception at a historical venue you could organise a guided tour for your Guests as a surprise.

Remember one thing you are never going to please everyone – most weddings are made up of Guests of diverse ages and even more diverse tastes. So whilst keeping your Guests in mind do chose a form of entertainment that you like as well or that is relevant to you wedding.
We recently had a wedding were the bride was Chinese and during the drinks reception we surprised the Guests with a Chinese Lion Dance Act and it was fantastic.

Another couple were Elvis fans and had an Elvis impersonator walked through the grounds singing love songs whilst the couple went off to have their photographs taken whilst another had a Frank Sinatra tribute singer do the same thing.

Don't forget there is nothing lovelier than a string quartet or jazz trio on a summers afternoon playing during the drinks reception.

What are the more cost effective forms of entertainment?

I would definitely say that for the evening entertainment a good DJ is the most cost effective form of entertainment.

Although I am finding more and more that couples are bringing their own IPod and Bose speakers and playing their own evening entertainment which is obviously a good way to save money on your entertainment budget. We had one couple that created their own party games that everyone had to take part in they went to a lot of trouble to create a Mr & Mrs Quiz and then had a Piñata challenge.

A casino is also a good form of entertainment and not over pricey you can hire a couple of tables with croupiers for less than £500.00.

Fantastic Magicians are great and can be hired for a couple of hours for around £400.00, great for a drinks reception and during dinner between serving of courses.

If you have a little more in your budget for entertainment, then perhaps you could go for a live band or a good tribute band, which can make the party swing, if they have a great reputation and well known they will be more expensive so make sure you have the budget.

Lots of Children coming to the wedding

Five ways to Entertain Children

1. Help the parents out and always do a goody bag at the dinner table – this gives the child something new to play with and will hopefully keep them entertained during dinner.

2. You could hire some over sized games such as Jenga or Connect for the children to play with.

3. A magic show is great and you could combine this with a magician working the drinks reception area.

4. Set up a Kids Korner - Purchase some Puzzle Books, storybooks, crayons etc and put these into a gift bag, or the Disney Store for the latest action figure. Most children love making things so Hobbycraft is great for kits to make jewellery and badges and much more.

5. Children’s Party Company! If you have more than 2 or 3 children and your budget can afford it look at a getting in a children’s entertainer such as http://www.tttsparties.co.uk/ & http://www.southeastchildcare.co.uk/ are both a god send!

Want to finish the evening with a bang!

Fireworks are always popular with everyone and are not as expensive as you might think. Always check with your venue first before booking them as some venues have strict policies.

But remember whatever the entertainment you choose, just enjoy the day and all the memories that it brings.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Do you really need a professional photographer?

Do you really need a professional photographer?

Do you really need a professional? After all your friend, cousin, brother, neighbour has a great camera. Couldn’t they do just as good a job and save you a whole pile of money? Maybe. But then, I have a pretty nice pair of scissors. Trust me, you don’t want me to make your wedding dress.
I’ve been photographing weddings professionally for nearly 5 years now so I may be a little biased, but here are some reasons why I think this is one job where a professional is actually worth the money.

Every shot counts
Cameras are pretty good now. Lots of your friends might be very keen on their photography and able to produce a stunning picture every weekend. Ask them to show you their 10th best picture from a photo shoot and they may be able to show you something rather nice. How about shot 20? 50? A professional wedding photographer might deliver 300 shots from your day.

Some of these will be formal portraits, some grabbed candids and some of them will be groups. And some of them will be better than others. But you’ll want them all to be good. Because if shot 300 is of your long lost cousin Sylvia whom you haven’t seen for 20 years dancing playing Air Guitar on the dance floor you’re going to want it for blackmail purposes if nothing else.

Herding cats
There’s a big trend at the moment for photojournalism, reportage, call it what you will. Often the pictures you love the most are the ones that look like they are “just” candids – taken without the subject being aware. But even the most relaxed day isn’t going to be all like that.

Are you absolutely sure you don’t want just one group picture? The professional you choose should have the skills and experience to gather your guests together quickly and efficiently to allow for all the pictures you want. Or to advise you in advance when your shot list is just a little ambitious.

There may also be rules on photography during the ceremony. Trust me, nobody ever won an argument with a registrar about whether they could use flash while hanging from a chandelier to get that special shot. Your photographer will need to work within any fixed rules and to anticipate all the key points of the day. There’s no real way you can ask them to back the ceremony up and start again because you missed something.

When they take your portrait, your professional should be able to give any guidance you need to look your absolute best in the pictures. Formal posing is rather out of fashion at the moment but it’s amazing what a difference you can make to pictures by tiny changes to the angle and composition.

Things go wrong
Here’s something the bridal magazines (and maybe even your wedding coordinator!) won’t tell you. Things go wrong on wedding days. This can be anything from the wrong shade of buttonhole to a last minute seating plan change to major equipment failure and horrendous weather.

But none of that matters because (1) at the end of the day you’ll still be married and (2) the professionals you chose for the job will smooth the way. It’s unlikely you’ll even notice that anything has gone wrong (well, you may just spot 4 inches of rain….)

Your professional photographer should (of course) carry backups of all essential equipment such as cameras, flash guns etc and know that equipment well enough to get the best of them in all circumstances.

The shot at the top of this article was taken very late in the day but there was still plenty of light around I had an assistant on the left hand side performing two very vital jobs

1. Holding about £5,000 worth of studio level mobile flash to light the bride and groom and cast their reflection into the water.
2. To hide the sign that says “danger! do not walk out onto this path”….

About the author

Jonathan Ryan is a professional wedding and children photographer working from his gallery in Canterbury throughout Kent and the South East of England. When he’s not writing about himself in the third person, he regularly contributes images to bridal magazines. When asked to sum up his pictures he chose “fun, relaxed and, erm, fun.” You can see some of his work online at
www.MyWeddingStory.co.uk where you can also contact him. But the best bet to see his work is to make an appointment at his gallery – loads of pictures, amazing albums and really nice

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Buckingham Gate Visit

Buckingham Gate

It’s been a busy summer and after many rearranged appointments I finally made it The Private Rooms at Buckingham Gate at the invitation of Aali Ghufran the Conference & Private Rooms Manager.

So one rainy Friday morning Akansha from Vivah Weddings and Ericka from Fluttery Fly Events (we have found a real benefit in meeting up every couple of months just to talk & brainstorm about the world of wedding planning) and I arrived in Buckingham Gate which is just a short walk from some our most famous and beautiful landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and the Royal Parks.

Just walking into the lobby area gives you a feeling of grandeur and aristocracy and this was before we even started our show around.

We set off from the wonderful courtyard garden with its famous Victorian Fountain, where you could hold your Civil Ceremony or Drinks Reception surrounded by the most stunning architecture all around you.

It was then off to Spa at Fifty One which is included in Harpers & Queen’s Worlds 100 Best Spa’s and from the moment you walked in you were greeted by the most amazing aromas from the Anne Sémonin spa treatments and oils, the Spa is used by many a famous face who may be staying at Buckingham Gate whilst on tour, filming or appearing in the West End. Of course we were keeping an eye out for familiar faces.
Whether you want an intimate candlelit dinner party or your Wedding Reception the historic private dining rooms are a perfect location. Ornately furnished with turn-of-the century chandeliers make this a stunning back drop for your event and the location could not be better.

Aali kindly invited us to have lunch with him and I would highly recommend doing so the food like everything else was exquisite and we were truly spoilt.

We were all in love with The Private Rooms and discussing endless possibilities by the time we said good bye to our host Aali.
I have to say that this gem which has played host to Presidents, Princes & Her Majesty the Queen along with sportsmen and film stars is definitely a venue with sophistication, elegance, consummately professional staff not too be missed.

Friday, 13 November 2009

A Guide to a stress free wedding!

Getting married should be the happiest time of your life but it can also be the most stressful!

To try and elevate the stress element get organised!

Keep a wedding file and store all your wedding information together in one place. Have sections for each element of your wedding such as ceremony, venue, photographer, music, cake, transport etc and file all the relevant information in the correct section. Type up a status report for your wedding, covering all aspects and up date this regularly and keep it in the front of your file.

Don’t be afraid to delegate to your friends and family, they won’t mind a bit. In fact they will be honoured that you asked them to help you, especially your mum! Try to remember this is a big day for her as well.

Always remember though this is you and your partner’s big day and you will drive yourself mad trying to please everyone. Be polite and thank them for their thoughts, suggestions and ideas but at the end of the day please yourself!

If you have a budget stick to it! Don’t feel that you have to have bigger and better than friends or a wedding straight from the pages of magazine. Remember that after the wedding day a phone call from your bank manager will be something you will not want.

At don't let yourself get stressed about the weather, it is the one thing that you just cannot do anything about, everyone hopes for a sunny day but a rainy day can be just as much fun & your photographs still fantastic.

Don’t let your wedding stress take the fun out of being together, have date nights and make them ‘wedding free’ nights – so that you can chill out and remind yourself why you are getting married in the first place.

ISIS Weddings – 13th November 2009

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Business of Brides Association of Bridal Consultants Convention

Business of Brides Association of Bridal Consultants Convention

Wedding Video.com produced this video to promote the 2009 Business of Brides Annual Conference to be held this year.

You can’t help but fall in love with Indianapolis at the 2009 Business of Brides Annual Conference. Join hundreds of your colleagues November 8th, 9th and 10th at the Hyatt Regency where you’ll attend informative seminars, workshops and panel discussions.
This year’s conference will feature master Bridal Consultant Frank Andonoplas, Etiquette expert Peggy Post, Destination wedding guru Rebecca Grinnals and celebrity cake maker Sylvia Weinstock. At this year’s Business of Brides conference, you will obtain valuable information guaranteed to advance your skills and increase your income earning potential.

You will enjoy program topics that include how to develop a media campaign, marketing strategies, blogging for the bridal business, administrative management skills and the inside information on planning destination weddings. Attending The Business of Brides will be a solid investment in your future.

Thank you http://www.weddingvideo.com/ for allowing us to use your footage.
Wish I was going!

Trevor Godfree

Trevor Godfree - Wedding Photography for Sarah & Barry's Wedding

Trevor kindly allowed us to use images from Sarah & Barry's wedding for their blog entry and I asked Trevor about himself and his wedding photography style.

'I specialise in shooting natural, vibrant, unrehearsed photographs, to capture the emotion, colour, texture as well as those unexpected magical moments.

The most important thing for me is that couples are able to relax and enjoy their day without having to worry about the photography.

I pride myself on a calmness which tends to radiate out to those who are perhaps not so calm on the day.

Over the past 25 years I have covered nearly 2000 couples weddings (I am getting the hang of it now! ) and many have stayed in touch over the years and have brought their families to the studio for portraits. It is a privilege and great fun to the job that I do, and wouldn't ever want to change it.'

Sarah & Barry

When Sarah & Barry asked us to look after their wedding day for them we knew it was going to be good fun!

Getting married on the 4th July was just the start.

The couple got married at the beautiful St Peter's Church Boughton Monchelsea which over looked the deer park and the famous Weald of Kent.

The boys finally all ready and off to church..........in a Red Ferrari and a Black Bugatti

After some last minute preparations The bride was ready and off to the Church in a beautiful Vintage car that her father had spent the previous year lovingly restoring for her wedding.

The Ceremony was lovely and the couple said their vows and signed the registrar to the singing a Gospel Choir

It was then time to go back to Barry's parents house were a huge marquee had been set up with a stunning red carpet to greet the Guests.

It was a lovely hot 4th July and the Guests enjoyed drinks and canapes whilst listening to a very funky Steel Band.

As the Guests were invited into dinner they were able to admire the stunning flower decorations by Amanda at Distinctly Floral.

It was soon time for speeches and the cutting of the Empire State Wedding Cake made by Icing on The Cake.

The couple had a big surprise in store for the Guests as they started their first dance, a slow romantic number which they performed with style and then the music beat changed on burst the most amazing break dancers to take over, entertain and encourage the Guests to join in!

All in all, a spectacular 4th July Wedding!

Michelle & Will

On behalf of Love & Lord the leading Italian Wedding Planning company I had the pleasure of working with Michelle & Will on their romantic wedding in Tuscany.

Despite a torrent of rain, that could have put a real dampener on the day, the couple had a beautiful ceremony in Sienna a historical walled city - a town so well preserved and maintained, free of traffic and full of history and monuments, to be considered an essential part of the world's cultural heritage.

At the Town Hall, Palazzo Comunale where the civil ceremony was held, Michelle walked down the aisle to join Will and he was blown away by how beautiful she looked.

After the ceremony we managed to get a few photographs in the Piazza del Campo among the tourists and Guests before getting back on board the coaches and making our way to
Villa Vignamaggio in Greve, Chianti.

The Villa of Vignamaggio, surrounded by an elegant Italian garden in a stunningly beautiful corner of the Chianti countryside, offers an authentic testimony of country life during the Renaissance period. The main part of the villa dates back to the 14th century. The Gherardi family who bought the villa from the Gherardini at the end of the 16th century, were responsible for its present appearance.

Mona Lisa, the daughter of Anton Maria Gherardini, was born at Vignamaggio in 1479. It is rumoured that Leonardo's Mona Lisa painting was of her in fact those are Tuscan hills in the background. The film Much A Do About Nothing was also filmed here making good use of the lovely Italian Gardens.

Due to the weather the wedding breakfast was held inside but with the stunning flowers of every colour that Michelle had chosen the room looked amazing.

It was then time for the dancing, and of course that was going to be a fun time as well.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Julie & Guy Wedding

Congratulations to Julie & Guy!

Joshua Rhys has arrived weighing in at 6lb 14oz and perfect in every way!

Monday, 21 September 2009

Patrick Swayze

Patrick & Lisa Swayze
As we have all heard Patrick Swayze died last week after a brave battle with cancer. This weekend I was reading The Mail on Sunday and they had an extract from Patrick & Lisa's book 'The Time of My Life' its a moving account and I was particularly sadden but also somehow happy to read about their renewal of vow ceremony that took place last Summer.
Being the cowboy that he is Patrick Swayze road into the ceremony on a white stallion, which was perfect for our romantic lead hero but it was their vows to each other that I thought were really beautiful.
Lisa's vows:
'While the future is an unknown, the one thing I do know is that I will love you. I'm very lucky to have found you in my life and am grateful that I have had the ability to open my eyes and see what I have. Because what I have, the love, the greatness and enormity of what I feel informs everything around me and brings me back to what I cherish most. And in cherishing the most there is for me, I cherish you more'.
Patrick's response was:
'How do I tell you how lucky I feel, that you fell into my life? How grateful I am that you chose to love me? I know that because of you, I found my spirit, I saw the man I wanted to be. But most of all, you were my friend. Together we've created journeys that were beyond anything we could imagine. Journeys that dreams are made of......Yet you still take my breath away. I'm still not complete until I look in your eyes. You are my woman, my lover, my mate and my lady. I've loved you for ever, I love you now and I will love you for ever more'.
Taken from The Mail on Sunday. The Time Of My Life byPatrick Swayze & Lisa Niemi 20.09.09

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Wedding Bugs

Wedding Bugs

Looking for something a little different, quirky and a touch
contemporary for your wedding transport?

Throw in competitive prices and you have Wedding Bugs!

Billy Nixon introduced his company to me recently Chauffeur driven Cream VW Beetle Convertibles.
I did fall in love with his charming cars.

Wedding Bugs offers couples a range of packages but are also happy to do bespoke quotes to meet your requirements. They might be the perfect car for your bridesmaids or Groom and Bestman. Or you could have a whole fleet for the Bridal Party.

For more information: http://www.weddingbugs.co.uk/

Monday, 31 August 2009

Sonia's Baby Shower

Sonia's Baby Shower

One of the lovely things about this job is the wonderful friends you make.

I first met Sonia a couple of years ago when the couple got married and we have stayed in touch. We try to catch up a couple of times a year with a day of culture and lunch in town (there is always a lot of lunch and a hint of culture) & of course I was thrilled to be invited to her baby shower!

Sonia & Phil are having a little girl any day now and I cannot wait to meet her I am sure she will be as lovely as her mum and dad.

STOP PRESS! Lyra Jane has arrived! Congratulations!