8 things to ask your wedding venue

There is no universal way that venues give you information so sometimes you need to ask some specific questions to get to the bottom of what's on offer and what's allowed to help you make an informed decision so you don't come unstuck during the planning process.

 Revelry Events, image courtesy of We Heart Pictures

Revelry Events, image courtesy of We Heart Pictures

1. What is included in the price of the venue?

All venues are different, some quote on a dry hire basis meaning you just get the space, others throw furniture in as well. Some venues create a package including food and drink. Find out exactly what is included? And what you can negotiate on if you don't want it all.

2. Is VAT included?

More often than not a venue will quote for their hire charge and conveniently leave the VAT off. The first you know about it is when the invoice turns up. It's always worth checking so you can factor the whole cost into your budget.

 Revelry Events, image courtesy of Xander and Thea

Revelry Events, image courtesy of Xander and Thea

3. Do you have to pay to use a supplier who isn't on their list?

Often venues will have preferred/accredited and recommended supplier lists. Recommended is just that, and you can take it or leave it, but preferred/accredited generally means you have to use someone off that list. If you've got your heart set on a particular caterer or cuisine its worth finding out if you can use them instead and if so will the venue charge you?

4. What are the venue's restrictions e.g. can you have naked flame or do candles have to be battery operated? Can you have red wine and potentially staining food? Can you have confetti etc...

Ask if they have any restrictions that you should be aware of. Chances are none of these will be deal breakers, but if you have got a romantic looking candle filled room in your head it saves a lot of heart ache and stress to know from the outset if that's possible or not.

 Revelry Events, image courtesy of Xander and Thea

Revelry Events, image courtesy of Xander and Thea

5. Can you store things overnight or does everything have to be removed that evening?

If you've gone for a dry hire venue and you're bringing in your own furniture, bars, etc... definitely find out when they need to be collected. Some companies charge more to collect at 1am than if they were to come back during normal offices hours. Also try and find out about storing wedding gifts and cards or anything you're bringing in. if everything has to be off site you may need to nominate a friend or family member to take these with them at the end of the night.

6. What's the wet weather option?

If being outside is a selling point for the venue be sure to find out what happens if it rains (we are in the UK after all). Make sure you're happy with the wet weather option because the one thing you can't control is the weather.

 Revelry Events, image courtesy of We Heart Pictures

Revelry Events, image courtesy of We Heart Pictures

7. Can you extend the curfew?

Most wedding venues finish at midnight, sometimes earlier, but you can often extend this via the venue with a small payment to the council. So if you want to go on until 1am or possibly later, find out if the venue can accommodate this and what the additional charge is.

8. Are there any changes to the venue planned before your wedding day e.g. maintenance works, changes to general public access etc...? 

Make sure you ask as it won't always be revealed. If there are plans, find out when any works are likely to finish and how soon that is to your wedding day. These things have a habit of running over and if its going to disrupt or be an inconvenience to you there may be some negotiation to be done.

Wedding Tablescapes 101

best creative wedding planner london

Your wedding table is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you start thinking about what your wedding will actually look like. It's when your guests really get to be up close and personal (and sometimes even interactive) with your chosen design.

But, in our experience, we've seen couples tie themselves into knots trying to figure it out, get a little bit overwhelmed overthinking it or, worse, not thinking enough about it.

Planning your wedding tables falls into two different categories - design and logistics. Let's kick off with the latter.


What do you actually need on the table?

The answer to this will differ according to what style of dining you're going for.

wedding table diagram
 Images via Brunch at Saks

Images via Brunch at Saks

If you're having a plated meal across a number of courses, the formal option is likely where you're headed. For more relaxed, perhaps family-style sharing platters or a buffet you might have something closer to the informal diagram.

best wedding planner london
best wedding planner london

It's really important not to underestimate how much room each guest will need at the table, so avoid packing people in at tables. If you're having a formal dinner for example, take the maximum number of people you could fit at each table and take away one - eg. a 5.5ft round table can seat between 9 and 11 people, so don't try to fit more than 10 if your dining is more formal.

Don't forget the extras

This is all, of course, what each individual needs at the table. But lots of couples forget to plan room for the shared items like salt and pepper, menus, table names/numbers, bottles of wine and water - and that's before you even get to the centrepieces!

best wedding planner london
best wedding planner london

If you're having sharing platters, you'll have less room to play with for centrepieces so be aware that you'll have to opt for something minimal with a big impact like some gorgeous, statement candles in between plates or a foliage runner that plates can be laid on.

Decorations

A dynamic tablescape comes about with a number of factors:

Colour and texture - standard plain, white linens do not a great tablescape make. Add a colour or even a pattern to one or both tablecloths and napkins. Contrasting colours look beautiful, or even hues of one colour family. Layer different colours and textures together - such as an antique paper scroll place name on a clean, crisp napkin. Or a sprig of foliage against a gold charger plate.

best wedding planner london
best wedding planner london

Upgrades - if budget allows, you can add in design touches by upgrading your cutlery to something a little more special (maybe copper or gold) and ordering in charger plates that work for your overall design.

Rule of three - grouping your tabletop decor into three is just plain pleasing to the eye, it's science. Clusters of votive candles or individual vases on a table looks gorgeous and creates a dynamic look super easily.

best wedding planner london
best wedding planner london

Varying heights - similar to the rule of three, creating various heights with your decor and centrepieces goes a long way. Perhaps it's a row of flower arrangements on a long trestle at different heights, or tall taper candles standing out against a low foliage runner. Just make sure the heights aren't so high your guests can't see each other!

Personality

Don't be afraid to add a few miscellaneous items to the table by way of decor, if you have the space. Perhaps something that ties into the table's name, or that hints at your combined hobbies and who you are as a couple. 

And speaking of personal, don't be afraid to get creative with your place names either - there are some fantastic and beautiful design options that mean your guests will be over the moon to take their little name token home with them as a keepsake of your day.

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best wedding planner london

Find more table setting inspiration and image credits over on our Pinterest board!

8 things you've forgotten to put in your wedding budget

Well done for creating a wedding budget, that is a sure fire way to keep your spending in check, but we bet there are a bunch of items you haven't even considered, right? We suggest including a miscellaneous line when you make your budget which will cover all these extra unknown or forgotten payments. Here are the 8 usual suspects that miss the wedding budget cut.

 Image courtesy of Image by Craig & Eva Sanders Photography

Image courtesy of Image by Craig & Eva Sanders Photography

Registrar 

You're getting married right? It's amazing the number of couples who forget that they have to pay to get married to cover the cost of a registrar and the paperwork involved. It varies depending on where you live but make sure you factor this cost in to your overall budget.

Postage

All those invitations you've had beautifully designed aren't just going to walk to their recipients. You need to get them stamped and sent. Sending 100 + invitations first class adds up so consider a second class stamp but do include it in your budget or you could be in for an expensive surprise. 

Beauty treatments

Pre-wedding beauty treatments should be factored in unless you've agreed they'll come from another budget. You want to look your best on the day and that can include everything from a manicure to waxing or even a massage to rub away those last minute stresses. 

Sustenance

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Weddings are long days and chances are you won't eat much of the meal you've so lovingly picked out for your guests but that doesn't mean you should go hungry. Now a full English might be out of the question but make sure you put something in your stomach before you get ready. The same goes for your bridal party, you don't want them passing out from hunger halfway up the aisle!

Feeding suppliers

Speaking of food, always remember to include supplier meals in your overall catering numbers. These will be at a lower cost but its important to feed the people that are working during the day as they don't have the opportunity to go and get something themselves, so unless you've otherwise agreed for them to bring a packed lunch factor in the cost of feeding your suppliers. 

Accommodation 

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Where are you staying the night before and after your wedding? If it's not your own home you need to allocate some money to cover this or include it in your honeymoon budget. Most hotels will offer something special for newlyweds so take advantage of any upgrades that come your way.

Thank you gifts

Chances are you didn't get to this day without some help, whether its a monetary contribution, practical help or emotional support, now's your chance to say thank you to your nearest and dearest. You don't have to do this on your wedding day but a present shortly after will be appreciated by your bridal party and/or close family.

Wedding dress cleaning and storage 

Once the wedding is over and your tan from your honeymoon is fading fast its time to think about what you want to do with your dress. Whether you plan to keep it, sell it or donate it you still need to get it professionally cleaned. If you're keeping the dress it's also worth investing in a suitable box to store it in.

Wedmin brides always leave to the last minute

No matter how ultra-prepared you may have been for the year or so until now you’ve been planning your wedding (you’re the queen of spreadsheets and everyone knows it), in our experience there are always just a handful of tasks brides and grooms are always leaving until the last minute. Avoid eleventh-hour stress by tackling this wedmin checklist at least a few weeks before, so you can enjoy your final exciting weeks!

Cue it Up

This is the time to really go through your timeline with a fine tooth comb and make sure you have every key timing covered and that everyone knows what their signals will be. From asking one of your bridesmaids to text the venue manager when you are pulling up in the car, to knowing what the cues will be for speeches and who is introducing who, asking someone to coordinate the confetti moment, and more. People will always need a bit of shepherding, so make sure you delegate to the right people to make sure everything runs smoothly and without awkward silences where no one knows what they are meant to be doing next!

Get the Digits

Now this is something that we usually handle on a couple’s behalf, but if you don’t have a planner or a super-organised, Monica Gellar-Bing-esque maid of honour to delegate to on the day, make sure everyone has all the important numbers for on the day. That includes all your suppliers having contact numbers for the venue, the venue having contact numbers for one of your bridesmaids (see aforementioned ‘signal system’!), and your bridal party all having each other’s numbers.

Don’t forget to keep a note of your transport companies too, a number for the drivers you have booked to get you and your bridal party from your prep location to the ceremony. Plus a local cab company number - just in case!

Numbers Game

Don’t forget to update your caterer with the final headcount - inevitably people change their plans last minute, and you end up adding new guests on (cousin Pete can make it after all, brilliant), taking some guests off (a uni pals ill-timed skiing injury, well done Katy) and new allergies/intolerances suddenly crop up. Make sure you give your caterer the final numbers and seating chart at least a few weeks before as not only will they need to order the right amounts, but it will also affect your final bill.

On the Day Stationery

We’d hope by the two week mark you’d have sorted out the majority of your on-the-day stationery like table numbers, place cards and a table plan (though we’ve learned never to assume anything) but little things like guest books, pens, menus, orders of service - some of these bits get forgotten until the last minute.

It’s also a good idea to bring a copy of your wedding invitations for your photographer to shoot it. You spent a lot of time, energy and budget on those invites, it’s nice to get a few professional shots of it along with everything else!

Getting Your Shots In

Make a list of must-have shots to give to your photographer - that includes groups you want photographed, details you want captured, key moments you have lined up. If you have a surprise musical performance planned or an outfit change mid-evening - let your photographer know otherwise she might miss it!

Always make sure you let your photographer and videographer know about any possible awkward family situations - any divorced parents, new partners, siblings who aren’t speaking, etc. We’ve heard many a horror story about parents who have kicked off because the photographer asked them to pose with an ex, and put a damper on the whole afternoon!

Musical Numbers

One thing that couples always forget to do is have a few playlists lined up for background music. Whether it’s for the time pre-ceremony as guests file in and take their seats, during dinner or in between band sets, have a few playlists up your sleeve and ensure you have designated someone to be in charge of cuing it up.

Honeymoon Planning

Oh yeah, that holiday you’ve got planned as a reward for all your hard work getting married! You’d be surprised how easy it is to forget about prep for your honeymoon as you enter the final weeks of wedding prep. Start packing a bag, order your currency and buy your travel insurance!

A Little Thank You

Some couples choose to buy gifts for parents and bridal party members to hand out during the speeches or on the morning of the wedding. Make sure you order anything in good time, especially if you want to ask your florist to add on a few bouquets for mums. Oh darling you shouldn’t have!

The Aftermath

Even if you’ve registered for gifts, rest assured there will always be a few rebel guests who wrap something up as a little surprise to leave on the gift table (spoiler alert, it’s usually champagne or a photo frame). Ask your venue ahead of time whether there is anywhere you can leave important items overnight, or until the Monday. If not, ask a friend or family member to take things with them at the end of the night.

Don’t forget about any decor you have at the location too - don’t assume your venue will keep everything just in case, let them know what they can throw away and what you’ll be coming back for later.

Most importantly, if you’re getting legally wed on the day, don’t lose that marriage certificate! You would be shocked at how many couples come thisclose to the it ending up in a bin bag at the end of the night along with paper rubbish because they didn’t ask someone to look after it. Nightmare!

Photo credits: Christopher Ian Photography, Maryanne Weddings and Ben Moore Wedding Photography

 

DIY don'ts - why it's worth paying a professional

There are lots of talented vloggers and bloggers with wedding DIY tutorials which are both informative and inspiring, however what they create isn't always achievable, it's not always as cheap as you think, it takes you time and can cause you stress. That's why we have professional wedding suppliers who do what you try to recreate from a video as a full time job. 

Now don't get us wrong, we know how pricey a wedding can be but professionals have a particular set of skills, skills they have acquired over a very long career (I knew I'd get a Taken quote in a blog one day!) and they are worth the investment. Here's a few reasons why

Wedding Photos and Video

I know it can be tempting to leave your photos and video to one or several well meaning guests but don't make the mistake of thinking photographers and videographers just turn up on the day, point and shoot. Nope! They have a narrative in mind, they understand the light and they know when key moments of the day are going to happen so they can capture them perfectly. Once the day is done, the guests have gone home and the presents have been opened it's only the photos and video you have as a keepsake, how disappointing would it be if they were rubbish and you couldn't relive the day through them?

Also if it's really cheap - think twice - they're either scamming you or they're rubbish. Exhibit A...

Wedding Flowers

When it comes to flowers I know it can sometimes look like a lot of cash to drop and it's hard to believe flowers cost that much. But remember, you're also paying for someone's expertise and time. Trust us - it's worth it, do you really want to spend the morning before your wedding up at 5am trying to get the best deals on blooms and THEN spend hours arranging them, hanging them and transporting them to the right place. Florists have years of experience, they know how to work with a space, they know what's in season and what works well together. If you just pick up a bunch of flowers at your local supermarket every now and then, don't fool yourself into thinking you're a flower arranger extraordinaire.

It's not just bouquets, florist's love the opportunity to get creative, you can check out some of our favourite flowers!

Wedding Decor and Favours

Now this is the mother of all DIY. They take you hours and don't always turn out the way you expect. I'm not going to say anything else, I'll just let the photos tell the story.

Want more? There is a whole pinterest board dedicated to DIY wedding fails. Enjoy yourself!

 

6 Wedding Traditions to Trash

A wedding is full of traditions and superstitions, but it's the 21st century and as rulebook-free wedding planners we firmly believe in breaking traditions and making your own rules. With that in mind we've come up with six wedding traditions which we think belong in the trash.

1. Not seeing the groom the night before

They say, it's bad luck. We say, it's never been cited in a divorce yet! This is a very old tradition, long before co-habitation came along. Most of you find out if you can cope with your other half's snoring long before you get hitched, why should this night be any different. Enjoy your last night as a betrothed couple, but we're still big fans of getting ready separately so you get some individual time with your friends and family.

  Revelry Events , Image by Maryanne Weddings

Revelry Events, Image by Maryanne Weddings

2. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue

You've got a wedding to plan, you haven't got time to find something blue to slip into your garter (and just to be clear, that's another thing to go in the trash pile). Look, if you've got people around you who firmly believe in this and you don't care either way then fine, go with it, but don't spend your last weeks of engagement trailing the antique shops looking for the perfect something old, it won't make a blind bit of difference to your day.

3. Cutting the cake

The classic picture of a couple cutting an over sized, multi tiered cake is what springs to mind. Fair enough your cake (and your dress) might have moved on in style but can you honestly say the best wedding photos involve a couple holding a knife! We think there are better photo opps to be had during the day. Let the cake be admired untouched and leave the cutting of it to the professionals.

4. The processional song

Traditionally this was Wagner's Bridal Chorus but nowadays the shackles have lifted and for a civil service you can strut your stuff down that aisle to anything that isn't a hymn. This is one of the first parts of the day where you can let your personality shine so make it count.

5. Throwing the bouquet

We rarely see this now, it just doesn't seem to come up with our couples and it's not something that guests are expecting to see. Catching the bouquet is a tradition that seems to have died out on its own, and we're happy for it to stay that way.

6. All male speeches

Now this is one tradition that definitely needs to change and we're seeing that movement already. Lots of brides, mother's of brides/grooms and bridesmaids are making speeches on the big day. If you want to get up there to say thanks and tell some stories then go for it. Long live equal opportunity speeches!

 

5 tips for picking your wedding suit

As a groom you want to look great and feel comfortable on your wedding day, but if you're in a suit that doesn't suit, that's not going to happen, so we've pulled together 5 top tips to think about when making your purchase.

1. The Style

Your wedding suit is not a functional business suit. Wedding suits typically come in four styles from smart to formal. You need to decide what type of wedding you're having and match your suit style to that.

Morning Suit - This is the most formal option available for grooms. Traditionally worn with a top hat, striped trousers and a waistcoat you generally see this style at traditional church weddings or very formal civil ceremonies.

Tails - This is less formal than a morning suit but still pretty full on. The classic tail coat has two long tails at the back and should be worn with braces, a white shirt, waistcoat and cravat. 

Black Tie - Only for formal, elegant or evening weddings, the black tie screams glamour so if you're having a festival style wedding its probably best avoided. 

Lounge Suit - The most popular style is a classic everyday-style suit, which can be enhanced by a matching waistcoat or cravat. You can have it tailored to fit so its sits perfectly and it's a suit you can then wear again and again.

2. The Fit

There are three main types of fit to consider when picking your suit. You might already know the style you like but its worth trying on all three to make sure you're picking the most comfortable fit for you.

Regular – classic style in a comfortable fit with room for extra movement

Slim – ideal for those with a slimmer physique 

Tailored – a more streamlined look and a midway option which allows more movement than a regular fit

3. The Colour

Sorry boys, but depending on your other half you may not get much say in this. Blue suits have had a real resurgence and look dapper on the day but don't just go for what's trendy. Think about what will work with the wedding as a whole, and what you feel comfortable in. Grey is a brilliant alternative to blue, it's more subtle yet still stylish.

4. The Season

Think about when you're getting married and where. We know English weather can be unpredictable but if you're plumping for an August bank holiday wedding and you're in a heavy wool suit, chances are you're going to get warm! Linen is always good in summer, it's breathable and keeps you cool.

5. The Accessories

And let's not forget the accessories, we're talking ties, pocket squares and cuff links. Ties and/or pocket squares are a great way to add a pop of colour to your suit and tie together the wedding colours. The great thing about cuff links is they can be whatever you want - sophisticated or fun, it's your call.

 Ann-Kathrin Koch Photography

Ann-Kathrin Koch Photography

The Who, What, Where and Why of Wedding Websites

What to include in your wedsite

Wedding websites are a great way to share information about your big day and you get extra brownie points for being environmentally friendly. You don't have to worry about invitations getting lost in the post and you can update them with new info as your big day draws closer. Plus, no paper cuts!

However, it can feel a bit daunting trying to remember all the information you need to share with your guests but there are plenty of websites that will prompt you and of course, we've got a handy list of things to include.

1. A little bit about you - a great way to personalise your wedsite and tell your guests how you met

2. The timings and locations for the day - make sure your guests know where they need to be and when 

3. Accommodation and travel - this is where the local taxi numbers or the mini bus timings go, add in accommodation details as well

4. Gift list or registry - whatever your stance on this people will ask, so let them know upfront what your expectations are

5. Dress code - you may think it's self explanatory but each wedding is different and if you want it casual, smart or formal let your guests know

6. FAQs - this could be a separate section or include some of the above but it's always good to give more info than not enough. The last thing you want is pesky questions on the lead up to your big day

7. RSVP section - not supplied with all websites but it's great if you can roll invitations and RSVPs into yours

5 of the best  

Gettingmarried.co.uk

A free UK site (most are US based) gives a variety of designs, it's easy to build and includes RSVP management. It's got some great features including venue maps, multiple events for those spreading their wedding across a long weekend and an integrated gift list.

2. Luvbirds

Another free site, this is great if you want an easy to use website with no fuss. It includes all the basic features you need and you can match the colour and font to your wedding style. It claims it only takes 60 seconds to set up so this is a great free, no fuss option.

3. Squarespace

If you want a more bespoke wedsite you can shun the wedding providers and make your own. Squarespace is very visual so there is lots of room for images and it comes with various templates so you don't have to start from scratch. It's $16 a month which does add up over the year but if you like a more personal touch or you've got a short engagement this is a great option.

4. The Appy Couple

An app rather than a website this puts all your wedding information at your guests's fingertips. Boasting stylish designs, a travel concierge and photo sharing, this app includes everything you need and more, available for a one off cost of $39.

5. Riley & Grey

And finally at the top end of the market, we give you Riley & Grey. Just because you're having a wedding website it doesn't mean it has to be budget. This option has great style and  useful features, you can even change the site to different languages to suit your guests. Starting from $35 a month, this is a serious wedsite!

Perfecting Your Wedding Table Plan

Ah, the emotional game of Tetris that is the wedding table plan. No one's family and friend groups are so perfect that they work in neat little groups of 10 - there's just no way.

So if you are facing a fun little game of 'who can't sit next to who', we have a few handy tips to make the game a little easier to play!

 Doodlelove, Not on the High Street

Doodlelove, Not on the High Street

1. Start Early

You can't leave this job to the last minute, as much as you want to put it off. As soon as you have most of your RSVPs, or even before then, start mapping out your tables.

Be aware that things will change so you need to give yourself ample time to make adjustments. And also give yourself a few days in between each change to scream and throw things. Then go back to it.

Your suppliers - like your caterer and your stationer - will need to know final seating a good few weeks before the day.

2. Map it out

Go low tech for your first few goes - use pencil and paper, or sticky notes, before graduating to anything more permanent, and definitely don't go to print until you really have to.

3. To Group or not to Group

Lots of people will make sense to group together - uni friends, distant family, colleagues - but there will always be stragglers. Resist the urge to put all the odd people on one table unless you have to, instead try to fit a few people in with current groups that you think might get along. Your neighbour couple might have the perfect sense of humour for work friends, your cousin and his wife you've never met have a lot in common with some of your friends from school - you get the picture.

4. Modern Families

Whether it's divorced parents or people who have had a falling out - you have two options. One is to figure out a seating plan that means those people won't have each other in their line of sight during dinner and are as far away from each other as possible, OR tell everyone to suck it up for one day and play nice as a gift to you (they also still have to give you a gift though...).

Be amenable and considerate to an extent, but if you find yourself bending over backwards for a handful of particularly difficult people, lay down the law and issue an ultimatum - sit where we put you or eat outside...

5. Kids

If you are having kids at your dinner, depending on the ages you might decide to put them all together - give them their own kid's menu and some table games.

If they are at the table, remember to ask the parents if you need to get them a highchair from the caterer.

6. Elbow Room

 J. Scott Catering

J. Scott Catering

Be aware of table sizes when you are planning your seating. A 6ft round table can comfortably seat 10, and 12 at a push. A rectangle trestle table will seat 3 each side, and one on ends.

Make sure you're giving people elbow room!

7. Get Creative

If your venue allows, and round table sizes just aren't working for your groups - mix it up. Have some round tables of 10, a big square table made up of trestles to seat 16, long rows of as many as you like - whatever works in your venue, don't be afraid to experiment or have all the tables the same shape and size.

8. Numbers Vs Names

Ah the eternal debate, give your wedding tables names or numbers. Sure, numbers are easier and more logical but they can also indicate hierarchy (table 15 may assume you're not thinking too highly of them). Names require a bit more thought and creativity, but they eliminate any question of importance.

 Paula Bartosiewicz Photography

Paula Bartosiewicz Photography

9.  About Face

Once you have figured out who is sitting on which table, then it's time to consider where on the table each person should sit. You may not think it matters, but consider who is on the table - if you have any older guests or those with disabilities, make sure they are facing the head table. When it comes to speeches and generally just looking adoringly at you, you won't want them to be straining or cricking their neck for long periods of time. 

10. Head Table Dilemmas

The head table can be one of the trickiest parts of table plan planning. Especially if you have a complicated set up - parents who aren't together, are with other partners, or a big horde of siblings or bridesmaids. How do you know who to include and who not to?

Depending on your venue, your head table can be as big or as small as you want. A super long, double sided table works for big bridal parties. Or to be diplomatic, sit just with your parents, your best man and your maid of honour. Some couples even opt for a sweetheart table with just the two of them!

But perhaps sitting with the traditional parents/best man/maid of honour trifecta doesn't work for you. As with many modern traditions, it was born out of a different time and for different reasons. Now, why not just to sit on a table your closest friends? It's your wedding!

 

Getting Married On A Budget

A Wedding For £5K

Welcome to the first of our getting married on a budget series. In this series we'll give you an example wedding for a set budget to show you how to make the most of your money and how much things really cost.

We're starting out with £5,000 which is 1/6 of the average budget according to 2016 research from Brides Magazine. Don't despair, if your total budget is £5,000 we've got some tips on how you can have the day of your dreams. However, we'd suggest following these two rules - keep it small and keep it simple. 

Wedding Location

Firstly let's get the legal stuff out of the way, if you get married in your local registry office or church you can do away with a high venue cost.

If you head to a local restaurant for dinner instead of an events space most will charge you a minimum spend rather than a hire fee. Keep your guest list small, by small we mean about 20 people and you can afford to feed and water people with good food and good wine.

Rent an area in a bar or a local hall for the evening and stick to a playlist if you're providing the entertainment and a cash bar for the drinks. You've already had a hot meal so go for sandwiches, crisps and other snacks for the buffet food. Enlist the help of some of your friends to make them in advance and you've got a low cost buffet that everyone will enjoy. 

Attire

Brides have never had it better for budget bridal wear, in the past couple of months alone Top Shop and Boohoo have both announced a bridal collection. This gorgeous gown from Phase Eight is only £595, and try the department stores for shoes on sale like these from Jenny Packham.

The high street is also great for bridesmaid dresses. Asos has a brilliant range and everyone knows New Look knows how to do a budget shoe.

And let's not forget the boys, back to the high street again. Next do a brilliant range in suits, you can get the whole shebang for about £200. When it comes to the best man, pick someone with a suit and they can wear their own!

Stationery

Buy off the shelf rather than getting them made. Paperchase do a great range of invitations, place cards and thank you cards. 

Flowers

Keep the bouquets and buttonholes sweet and simple and just enough to dress the tables. Always go seasonal and work with a local florist or assign a trusted member of the wedding to buy flowers beforehand and create your own bouquet, buttonholes and centrepieces. Some flowers are cheaper than others, try Baby's Breath, Roses or greenery. Flowers and foliage cost more on scale so keep the volume low.

Other bits

Keep the wedding rings cheap, you can always upgrade in the years to come. If your DIY or call in favours for your hair and make up and cake you'll save a fortune. And there is no need to splash out on a fancy wedding car, stick to taxi's, they might not look as pretty but they'll still get you to the church on time. That should leave you with a decent chunk or change for a photographer. This is a place where it's best not to skimp too much as the photos will be the keep sake of your day. 

The breakdown

Registry Office: £1000

Attire (including rings): £987

Catering for 20 people: £1550

DIY Evening Buffet: £200

Stationery: £40

Photography: £1000

Flowers: £200

Transport: £20

Total: £4997

Wedding Decor Brides Always Leave to the Last Minute

It's the final weeks, maybe even days before the big day. You're counting down with excitement but also dread, thinking about all the last minute bits and pieces you need to get finished - final headcount for the caterer, break in your new shoes, flowers for the mums. And then an arbitrary look at Pinterest sets you into a panic.

There are just some bits of wedding decor that couples always seem to leave until the last panicked minute. Here's a handful of the ones you really want to make sure you have sorted in those last few months!

http://www.modwedding.com/

Signage

If your wedding venue is out in the sticks or perhaps just a little bit hidden, setting up a few signs to let your guests know they are in the right place will avoid a lot of confusion (and phone calls).

And if things are a little bit spread around in your venue, make sure you have a few directional signs to let guests know what's happening where. Or even where the toilets are! Some venues are a bit of a rabbit warren, or in the case of festival style weddings - very spread out! So giving guests an idea of where they should be going will be so helpful.

Seating Plans

It's unlikely you've forgotten to sort out a seating plan (we hope) but when it comes to displaying it, some couples haven't thought it through. If it's a mirror or a printed plan, ask your venue if they have an easel or another way of displaying it. If it's hung, have you ordered everything you need to be able to hang it?

Confetti

Always, always, always a last minute one - the confetti. Many couples don't think much of it, thinking that it's so common they will be able to order it on Amazon or pick it up from Tesco on the way to the wedding....

But in many cases, venues need bio-degradable or even dried petals because of their rules (some historical venues will only allow white petals only because of fear the colours will damage floors!). Make sure you know what you are allowed, and leave plenty of time to order it from a provider or from your florist. They will need to make sure they have at least a few weeks to sort it out, as they will also need to order enough flowers to provide it.

Etsy

Guest Book and Pens

For most people these days, guest books are an afterthought. But make sure you get something. Yes, your guests will likely write some nice things in their cards, but most people don't keep all their wedding cards. So a book is an opportunity to keep a record of all your guests in one place.

And don't forget the pens!

For some more interesting options, see our blog post from last year on Gorgeous Guestbooks

https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/518265869602754349/

Bathrooms

Lots of couples decide to add a little personal touch to the venue's bathrooms. A handy little basket of goodies like gun, deodorant, combs, hair clips, hand cream and other lovely bits to refresh your guests after a hard night on the dancefloor. If nothing else, you'll appreciate not having to locate your handbag before you head to the toilets to sort out your hair!

Preparing For A Marriage While Planning A Wedding

You're getting married, congrats, that's exciting. But it's easily to get carried away with the day itself and forget what comes next - a marriage. As wedding planners by trade we perhaps shouldn't be saying this but really that's the most important bit. Your wedding day may be an amazing celebration but the part that really matters is the marriage and the life you'll have together. Ultimately that will always trump the colour of the table cloths or the best band you can get for your budget, so we're putting planning to one side in this post and giving you a list of the 10 best pieces of marriage advice we can find.

1. In every argument, remember that there won’t be a “winner” and a “loser.” You are partners in everything so you’ll either win together or lose together. Work together to find a solution.

2. Remember that marriage isn’t 50-50, divorce is 50-50. Marriage has to be 100-100. It’s not splitting everything in half, but both partners giving everything they’ve got

3. Don’t put your marriage on hold while you’re raising your kids or else you’ll end up with an empty nest and an empty marriage.

4. Let the little things go and think big picture. Since you're in it for the long haul, are you really going to care who did or didn't run the dishwasher when you look back in 10 years? Remind yourself that your relationship is much, much bigger than any one minor incident.

5. Take time for yourself to do what you love, what makes you happy and gives you energy — being successful as a couple will only work if each of you is strong and fulfilled as an individual.

6. Don't take each other for granted. You have to work at it all the time.

7. Be nice! This can be harder than it seems sometimes, but remember that you (hopefully) love the person more than anyone else on the planet and you chose to marry them, so treat them with kindness.

8. Communication is key. When your marriage hits certain speed bumps, remind yourself that when you come out on the other side, your relationship should be better and more evolved. Make sure the tough times lead to improvement, and if you keep making the same mistakes, reevaluate why.

9. Don’t bring up the past. Last week’s fight was last week. If he cheated on you five years ago and you forgave him, it’s off limits. If she broke your favourite mug last month, let it go.

10. Schedule romance and sex. This sounds unromantic, but sometimes we get so busy and stressed we forget each other. A couple may be working, parenting and the social calendar may be full, but, taking time for your marriage and physical affection is important. It takes work.

Advice courtesy of Stronger Marriages, Popsugar, Observer, 

Party Inspo | Easter

It's not always veils and buttonholes around this joint.

Easter is nearly here and we know good celebration inspiration when we see it.

A casual brunch with friends, egg hunt for the kids, a post-church picnic in the park or just spice up your usual Easter roast table. Bunnies and eggs for all!

The Table

party planner london revelry events
party planner london revelry events
party planner london revelry events
party planner london revelry events

The Food

party planner london revelry events
creme egg brownies
party planner london revelry events
bunny fruit shapes easter

The Details

diy bunny ears easter
mini eggs tea cup easter decorations
easter decoration ideas diy
diy easter decorations tulips umbrella

For credits and more Easter celebration inspiration head over to our Pinterest board!

Little Black Book | BerinMade

If you're anything like us at Revelry HQ, you go a bit nuts for paper goods. A trip to Paperchase is like Disneyland, you always have a cute, new notebook on the go, and your Pinterest boards are filled with the most gorgeous invitations.

If you're anything like us, you're going to LOVE BerinMade, London stationery and design studio. Let's catch up with founder Erin and designer Lana!

wedding planner london

Tell us a little bit about BerinMade and how it came to be?

E: I started the company in 2012 after taking the plunge to quit my 9-5 working in an auction house. My degree was in Fine Arts and ever since graduation, I longed to be creative again and manage something of my own. After I got married, I fell in love with stationery and paper goods. It was hugely inspired by all the amazing things you could do with paper, and 5 years on, I still feel the same way.

We specialise in wedding and events stationery, greeting cards and lifestyle gifts. Our philosophy is to always push the boundaries of what we can do with paper, and I believe that is reflected in every project that we work on. I want our clients to fall in love with paper goods the way that I did. Even though we are now a small team, each one of us feel the same way and have the same passion for our products.

Our wedding clients are treated like special guests. Lana is our wedding project manager and the main contact for most wedding clients; she and I work together to ensure that our brides are taken care of and their project goes seamlessly. Often clients don't realise that stationery projects need a lot of management. There is timeline, production technicalities, supplier co-ordination; clients need to be kept in the loop, know all their options, have the right expectations. It's a stressful time for them, and sometimes they can feel out of their depth with so many things to learn and to manage, especially when it's a technical aspect- and it's our job to put that at ease. It's often not just a design-job, it can be a bit of an operation. I would say that apart from our designs and signature style, that is an added bonus that sets us apart from other companies.

creative london wedding planner

We'll say! How would you describe your style of paper goods?

E: We do a varied range but mostly you'll find that we love a bit of bold pattern, floral illustrations, unexpected but beautiful colour combinations, with a touch of metallic. With weddings we're really into special formats that tell your story, whether that's a geometric fold out invitation with glittered panels, or travel-guide inspired booklets for a destination wedding. So for us, it's all about telling a story as well as making it look beautiful and worthy for a wedding in the process.

What is your favourite kind of thing to work on?

E: The best briefs come in Pinterest boards that are not stationery-related! They can be full of fashion, interiors, flowers, fun objects to do with the couple- things that really tell their style. We are then able to translate that into paper form and often clients are so amazed by the unique-ness of their bespoke design and how much it represents them, because it's so unlike anything else they have seen out there! 

L: Definitely a lot of foiling! Erin's hand lettering and illustrations make the perfect details to foil, I fall in love every time. Another heart-throb would be all the lovely patterns we create with Erin's amazing illustrations. Do yourself a favour and don't miss our wrapping paper!

What has been your craziest or most fun brief for a wedding?

E: Last year we did a brief for a Mexican-fete inspired wedding and it was one of the most fun projects I've ever worked on. The couple were a dream to work with, giving us an idea of what they liked and letting us run wild with ideas. I illustrated a full set of colourful stationery with gorgeous gold foiling details, as well as scalloped pockets inspired by papel picado. It was an ambitious project in terms of production, a lot of things took a while to figure out, and the results came out like a dream!

creative wedding planner london

You have a new book out! Amazing! What's it about and who is it for?

E: Thank you! My new (and first) book is called Paper Parties. It features 50 paper projects for every celebration, and covers parties across engagements, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries as well as holidays. I'm really excited about its unique format which has a coffee table inspiration lookbook at the front (like browsing through pinterest with me), and then followed by detailed instructions in the back of how the lookbook items. It means that flipping through it is just as enjoyable as using it as a manual.

It includes my favourite colour and decor trends, themes and schemes and has lots of inspiration and tips on the most fun and heart-filled celebrations to share with your family and friends. There are lots of inspiration and projects suitable for weddings too, but what i love about it it the most is that they are not super "weddingy" but rather things that can be translated well, like white crepe sea foam chair-backs, irridescent gem cake toppers, flower crowns. It's a title under the "craft" section but I think it does straddle design and lifestyle, too. You can see more inside the book here

creative london wedding planner

Why should wedding day stationery not be an after-thought?

L: Most of the time we think of wedding stationery as practical items that is just a necessity to give information through to the guests. The amazing thing about wedding day stationery that gets overlooked is that it can tie your whole theme together, serve as decor in and around your venue, greet and guide your guests with something that is special and still have the bonus of being practical. 

E: I agree with Lana. As well as conveying a set of information about the day itself, the stationery should be worked out as part of the decor and overall experience for your guests. So many things about our world now is to do with the digital and social media, so when you can make an impact on the tangible aspects, it really makes your celebration memorable for your guests.

creative london wedding planner

What tips do you have for couples trying to figure out what the want for their wedding stationery?

L: Your wedding day is one of the most public displays of you as a couple, this is where your inspiration must come from. Instead of just trying to keep up with the newest trends or going with what everybody else is doing, be true to who you are as a couple. Look at the highs that you enjoy most, what makes your heart beat faster and through that we create a reflection of you as a couple.

E: So much goes into wedding that it's often exhausting to think of your options. With your wedding stationer it's important to go with your heart, and someone you click with. If you're going for something extra special, it's important to find a designer that clicks with your sense of aesthetic and tastes!

Wedding Photos You Don't Want To Skip

Wedding photos can be tricky if you don't want to spend a large portion of your day having your picture taken. Let's face it, not all of us are snapping selfie's every minute and we feel more than a little self conscious in front of a camera. Plus the more time you're in front of the camera, the less time you have with your guests. And then there's the little matter of your photos looking a bit, well, cheesy. Not everyone is going to be comfortable with posed couple pictures but don't disregard this right of the bat. When you look back on your wedding in 30 years time, the pictures are the keepsake you'll have from the day so it's worth putting some thought into what you want to capture.

Hopefully you'll only get married once so a shot of just you in your wedding dress being the independent woman you are is a must. Same goes for the groom, sometimes an after thought but the groom all ready and raring to go to the ball is a photo worth keeping.

  Revelry Events  photos courtesy of  BrancoPrata

Revelry Events photos courtesy of BrancoPrata

  Revelry Events  photos courtesy of  BrancoPrata

Revelry Events photos courtesy of BrancoPrata

Weddings are emotional days, particularly for your nearest and dearest. Capturing that moment when you dad, mum or those closest to you see you in all your finery is a moment you want to have snapped. It will give you all kinds of feels in the years to come.

If you've spent time planning the decor and style of your wedding, get it on film. You'll never get to see anything fresh the whole day, guests will always be in there before you so make sure your photographer has instructions to snap your hard work before its too late

And finally, even if photos give you the heebie jeebies don't miss out on a photo of your new family. That's right, you and him have a new family now, you may already have some additions to it with kids and even dogs but this is the start of your life as a family unit - capture it!

Bridal Party Ideas That Don't Suck!

Does the idea of an 'L' plate sash fill you with dread? Does a night out in a sticky floored club you haven't been in since you were 17 turn your stomach? Do you agree that male strippers are the peak of awkwardness and embarrassment? Then welcome to the FOHP club, that's Fear of Hen Parties to you and me. Looking for a less cringeworthy way to spend your hen weekend, maybe you should casually email this to your maid of honour instead.

 Getty Images

Getty Images

1. Glamping

It's a great way to enjoy the countryside without being wet, miserable and unable to light a fire. These days there are so many options from yurts to tipis and tents to tree houses. Best of all you don't have to give up your creature comforts. A wide range of companies offer affordable glamping packages all over the UK, perfect if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle.  

2. Zombie Experience Days

As you can probably tell from our Maggie and Glenn fictional follies, we're big fans of zombies (we reserve the right to change our mind if a zombie apocalypse does happen!). 

If you can't get enough of Rick Grimes et al, then this might be the hen do to end all hen dos (literally!). You’ll be put through your paces by a trainer who will tell you all you need to know to take down the living dead, before being released into the battle zone, where you will use all the skills learnt to save the world!

3. Bedtime Stories

You've got to get in quick for this one as it books up but if you like to plan ahead this is a bridal party evening with a difference. Held at 40 winks in London these events are a decadent and glamorous take on the traditional sleepover, think vintage pyjamas, classic cocktails and exquisite storytelling. It will certainly make for an original hen do.

P.S Dog not included at hotel, we just couldn't resist the picture.

4. Zorbing

This is an experience for the awesome, adrenaline-junkie bride. Ever imagined what it's like to be a hamster? probably not but this still looks like fun! This is an exhilarating experience which you can throw yourself into (no pun intended!). Zorbing packages don’t break the bank and both one day and weekend packages are offered. One word of advice - skip the lunch and Prosecco beforehand...

5. Yoga retreat

If you're more zen that zorbing, head off to a yoga retreat to relax and unwind before the big day. We like Secret Yoga Club, it's not cheap but if you're looking to get away from it all in luxury then it hits the spot and the whole hen party will come back feeling refreshed and relaxed. 

9 Things Your Wedding Planner is Actually For

It's not all spreadsheets and hairspray, here's a handful of things you may not have realised you were getting when you hired a wedding planner like us!

1. BEING THE BUFFER

Sometimes you need a friendly third party to tell your parents you don't want those
hideous brocade napkins or to let those back up caterers down gently.

 
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2. NEGOTIATION TACTICS
 

The wedding planning kind aren't afraid to haggle to get you a good deal. We have our ways.

 
 

3. CALMING YOU DOWN
 

In those last weeks when you just need someone to vent to and assure you it will all be totally amazing.

 
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4. TAKING THE HEAT

When your grandmother doesn't like where you decided to sit them, we'll just smile, nod and apologise.

 
 

5. HERDING THE BRIDAL PARTY

Making sure the drink best man keeps to schedule and keeping your mum in tissues.

6. KEEPING YOU FED AND WATERED

The minute you've got a fork-full of fondant potato near your mouth, someone will want to say hello,
goodbye or want to drag you into a photo. We'll make sure you get what you need!

7. FIXING THE MINI-DISASTERS

Lipstick on the dress? A broken buttonhole? We got you covered. We have a kit.

 
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8. BEING IN CHARGE OF PLANS A THROUGH D

Planners live in the 'just in case' so you don't have to worry your be-veiled head about anything.

 
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9. INSPIRING AND ENCOURAGING YOU

For when you just need good ideas, we keep a good stock up our sleeves!
And when you just need someone to tell you it's going to be ok, we're a phone call away.

 
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Interview with a Wedding Planner (or two)

Over here at Revelry HQ we thought it was about time we shared a bit more about the team behind the name and introduce ourselves properly! And since TIME magazine isn't leaving an messages for an interview, we thought we would just interview each other instead!

Enjoy 5 minutes of hard hitting, journalistic questions from one wedding planner to another. First up under the microscope, it's Susie...

Who are you again?

I'm Susie, a northern girl who has called London home for the past 10 years. A seasoned list maker and once introduced to someone as 'probably the funniest person you'll ever meet.'

Hey, so you're getting married soon! You freaking out mate?

Nah not so much. 10 years in brand events and weddings seems to keep all that stress in check. I'd say it's coming along swimmingly, although one of my bridesmaids did admit that she thought I might be a nightmare because I'm 'a bit Type A'. The cheek!

Well...? Tell me in three words why you wanted to become a wedding planner.

Looked like fun!

What is the most common thing people say when they hear what you do for a living?

"Like Jennifer Lopez in that film?"

Aside from JLo, who is your business role model?

Deborah Meadon. Yes I know, I should be naming some hot young thang who hit dizzying heights of success before she turned 30, but my God that woman is amazing - straight talking and always right. I can aspire to that!

What is the farthest you have ever been from home?

Geographically that would be Australia, but in terms of home comforts that would be a night of bush camping in the Okavango Delta in Botswana. I am not a camper.

If you could sing a duet with anyone, who would it be?

I do love boybands, but I also love cheesy soft rock so it would have to be Bon Jovi or Bryan Adams. Safe to say I'm not known for my cool taste in music.

What is your favourite item in your home?

Is this where I say my fiance? It's not, it's my slippers.

What was the last photo you took?

Myself eating fish and chips so I could send it to my brother to rub it in his face that he wasn't having any (there is a back story to this I promise).

Pinterest or Instagram?

I'm more of a Pinterest girl. I'm on the cusp of Gen X and Millennial and I've bowed out of most social media by now, don't even get me started on Snapchat.

Do you like your handwriting?

I do! No one else does. According to my friends and my fiance my writing slants thewrong way (?). Well you can blame the Sheffield education system for that one.

What is your favourite cocktail?

I like my hard liquor (you can take the girl out of Sheffield) so I'm partial to a Gin Martini, an Old Fashioned and Dark 'N' Stormy.

What is always in your fridge?

Cheese! But not through my doing. Our fridge is pretty varied, I'm a big fan of cooking.

What is it you like most about working with me? Please don't feel like you have to limit yourself here.

Nothing.

I'm joking. I love working with you. If I won an Oscar you'd be top of my speech of people to thank. There are lots of great things both professionally and personally that make our partnership so good. On a professional note your eye for design is AMAZING, the styling ideas you come up with for our clients and styled shoots are so creative, unique but also exactly what the couple is looking for. On top of that you're also organised and have great relationships with suppliers. You are literally the perfect formula for a wedding planner. Personally I love that we have a very honest relationship with one another, I think we communicate really well and you're such a warm and welcoming person who really cares about others. 

OMG the blushing. I think I need a second to compose myself from all the flattery! Ok chill. Most loved and most hated wedding trend?

Hate is a strong word. I do think it's each to their own but pretty much anything girly and pastel is not my scene. I'm also not a big fan of bunting and the vintage thing, which I think has become too much of a catch all term and doesn't mean much anymore. However, I am a huge fan of greenery and cactus. I like industrial spaces and bold colours, clean lines and coolness. And I love interesting, 'out there' entertainment and personal touches!

How much did you say you could bench again?

Ha, I do like to brag about my strength to lead people to believe I'm much stronger than them so they don't mess with me. I'm not sure my upper body is up to much but I have thighs of steel - 100kg and counting.

PS. Holly has totally asked me this because I talk a little bit too much about World's Strongest Man which is some kind of weird obsession I have.

Who is the smartest person you know?

My other half would be upset if I didn't mention him. He was on University Challenge you know (nerd).


What was your name again?

I'm Holly, a born and bred Londoner who decided she wanted to be a wedding planner when she was 6 (Exhibit A to your left), which was before JLo but after Martin Short. I interned from 16 with a wedding planner in North London and started planning on my own when I was 19. Those brave, brave couples. I'm now a grown up and I live in Blackheath with my husband and nutjob toddler Hazel.

That was one lifelong dream. If you could narrow it down, tell me in three words why you wanted to become a wedding planner?

Lists. Scrapbooking. Storytelling.

What is the most common thing people say when they hear what you do for a living?

*gasp* I have always wanted to do that!

 

Who is your business role model?

Does Michelle Obama count as a business role model? Because I love her, she gets business done and she's my spirit animal. #WWMD #FLOTUS44

She definitely counts in my book. Speaking of successful women with a family, how do you juggle being a mum and a business owner?

With great care. When you're raising a child and running a business, so many people know your time becomes your most precious commodity. Every minute I have available to focus on work is mapped out with lists and calendar reminders - blocks of time to make the most out of childcare days, evenings and nap times when we're at home together. Having my daughter means I work harder - not because I have to work around her but because I'm working for her. Not just to earn for our family, but to show my daughter that she can achieve her goals and be successful if she puts her mind and back into it. I hope that because she's seen me (and you!) carve a path and stick to it she'll feel confident enough to take on the world when she grows up.

Who run the world? What's your favourite item in your home?

Alllll the blankets. I can't relax without draping one (or two) on me, regardless of the temperature.

What was the last photo you took?

My daughter covered in green pen and a guilty look on her face. Remember 2 seconds ago when I said I want her to feel like she can take on the world? Well, right now her world is all the pens in the house. 

Pinterest or Instagram?

Don't make me choose, damn it! Pinstagram.

Cheater. Ok, who or what inspires you?

Other women who have forged their own path and are totally owning it. Fearless people who see risk and do it anyway. This industry is full of them and it's both a source of inspiration and positive challenge.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Still heading up the empire that will be Revelry with you, taking our rulebook-free brand north and pushing our creative boundaries even further. I'll have written that damn book too.

If you were planning your own wedding now (or renewing your vows), and you had no budget ceiling, what would it be like?

I think about this way too often. I would get the heck out of here and go abroad. I'd still do the small church ceremony in London, but then grab a dozen of our close friends and family and jet off somewhere to celebrate for the weekend. But no where with sand. It's overrated and I have a vampiric pallor. Maybe the Italian Lakes?

What's your favourite cocktail?

Espresso martini because alcohol without caffeine just makes me sleepy and want to return to my blankets. 

What is always in your fridge?

Hummus and petits filou. 

What do you like most about working with me? Please take your time...I know you must have a lot to say.

I have a theory that you don't actually sleep. You just stay awake permanently, drawing new ideas and big plans on walls like an obsessed detective. And I love that about working with you! When I get those emails or texts telling me to remind you to tell me about your latest idea next time we meet. I always know it's going to be a good one. Your brain is always on and striving for the next thing, the next opportunity. You push us to be bigger and better all the time and I love that, I need that. You're a born businesswoman, a tireless organiser, an unflappable planner, and it all makes us the perfect combo for what we're doing. Couldn't think of a more perfect partner in crime and weddings! Mainly weddings.

Why, ta very much! Most loved and most hated wedding trends?

Hessian and burlap are a bit of a bugbear of mine (what a weird word, is it like a bug-sized bear, or a bear-sized bug?)--

A bear-sized bug sounds literally terrifying.

--Anyway it's a bugbear because it looks nice but it smells so, so bad! We seemed to be using it a lot three or four years ago when weddings hit peak shabby-chic. My absolute favourite is the tropical influence we're seeing now. Especially if it's contrasting tropical like one wedding we're working on in a 16th century barn!

Thanks for letting us share a little more about ourselves - Joe Biden finger guns to you!

We'd love to get to know you all better this year too - shoot us an email at , or hit us up on Pinstagram! (Pinterest + Instagram...)

Susie + Holly

10 Tips for Sticking to Your Wedding Budget

Budget, the dreaded word! But every wedding needs one. How else are you going to know if you can afford Bruno Mars to sing your first dance song (you probably can’t) or Dave Benson Phillips (remember him) as your DJ (you probably can). So before those eternal questions are answered you need to set your budget.

Setting a budget is difficult because all weddings are different, but you do need to have some idea of how much you should spend on each supplier so you don’t end up with debt you’re paying off until your 25th wedding anniversary! There are example wedding budget breakdowns out there but sometimes they don’t really line up with real life and can underestimate the cost of quality supplier so do take them with a pinch of salt.

Image: Weddings by Zoe

We’ve got some handy hints below to help you set your budget and manage it along the way.

1.      How much do you have and how much are you willing to spend? That total amount is what you’re trying to stay under. However, always allow an additional 5% on top as your contingency should you go over budget e.g. with a £25,000 budget keep a separate £250 that you can dip into if you need it.

2.       How many people do you actually want there? This number is one of the biggest factors as it will influence your venue and catering costs. £25,000 can stretch a lot further with 60 guests than 150 so don’t go overboard on the invites if you want to use your budget wisely.

3.       Once you know your total budget and number of guests you can start researching venues to get an idea of the likely cost of the venue. Do your research first so you know if it is a fair price for the location, size and style you want.

4.       The venue and catering are normally the biggest chunk of your budget and could take up to half of your total budget which sounds a lot but is totally normal. Try to avoid going over two thirds of your budget though as you’ll be left with very little to pay for everything else.

5.       By the time you’ve booked your venue and catering you often find yourself in a  ‘what’s left?’ scenario, so now’s the time to earmark any specific priorities you have e.g. if music is the most important thing then ringfence a decent portion of your budget so you know you’ve got enough and pick slightly cheaper suppliers for other parts of the day.

6.       As always, do your research on each industry to check that what you’re being charged is the norm. It will still vary depending on supplier quality, ability and location but always try to get three quotes from similar suppliers. This ensures you know the price is fair and may also give you some leverage to negotiate. Try to research and get estimates for some key elements (photographer, videographer, florist, wedding dress and bridesmaids) before you book anyone so you know either you can afford everything or pinpoint the areas that are lower priority where you need to make savings.

7.       Don’t forget styling. It doesn’t appear out of thin air and can really make your wedding stand out so it’s worth holding some of your budget back for this.

8.       Try not to worry about money. If you can’t afford something think about how much you really want it and whether you can compromise elsewhere. If you can’t, is it really worth breaking the budget for? Would it really affect your day if you didn’t have it?

9.       Keep a log of everything you’ve paid for and what you still need to pay and try to have a separate wedding bank account so it doesn’t get mixed up with the money you spend on a daily basis. Keeping your budget logged and separate makes it much easier to track.

10.   Pay everyone before you jet off on your honeymoon, not only have all the suppliers worked hard to give you a great day but you also don’t want to come back to an inbox full of wedmin!