Networking at The Betjeman Arms 2018

Networking at The Betjeman Arms 2018

Monday evening was yet another successful meeting of the CamdenWeddingers co-hosted at The Betjeman Arms with some new faces and some regulars – thank you all for coming out of a dark winters Monday evening, but hey what a great way to start the week?!

This time we decided to make it purely social with no guest speakers and no formalities, it really was just a chance to catch up before we all get in to the throws of Christmas.

Our co-host The Bejteman Arms is located in St Pancras International Station it is steeped in history and located under the spectacular arches of the impressive terminus.  It is one of the most civilised traveller’s rests you’re likely to find anywhere. Reminiscent of 1920s nostalgia and times gone by, a charming spot to wait for your train to Paris whilst soaking up the iconic atmosphere of The Grand Terrace.  The venue itself has several beautiful spaces available each unique and perfectly suited for any occasion and absolutely perfect for weddings.

 

CamdenWeddingers were treated to a reserved area on the heated Grand terrace  – we enjoyed wine and a lovely savoury afternoon tea which looked spectacular on the tiered stands, the spread included freshly made finger sandwiches, scones with cream and jam and an array of savoury nibbles including the ever popular mini scotch eggs and sausage rolls.

 

 

 

Lee at The Betjeman Arms had also arranged for Evy from Sipsmiths Gin to do a gin tasting which went down rather well!

Safe to say our CamdenWeddingers networked in style – once again!

www.thebetjemanarms.co.uk

www.sipsmith.com

Karen Beadle

Karen Beadle

So tell us a little bit about Karen Beadle…

What service do you supply for weddings?

I offer make-up and simple hair designs for brides and their guests.

When do you first meet with the couple?

It’s usually the bride who would contact me directly to ask about fees, availability and
discuss ideas on hair and make-up. This can be up to a year ahead and any other time in
between. It’s been known to book me last minute if a client has been let down, unhappy with
another artist or just left this part of the wedding to the last moment.

What do you decide on designs?

    • I request the client to send me images of hair and make-up styles they like and find online.Offering me some ideas of how they would like to look on their wedding day is a good start. We then go from there.

What is special and unique about you?

My background is in hair/ beauty and have 20 years experience in my chosen career in the
media working through professional agents. I feel I’m able to offer clients good sound
advice and experience. I’ve been recommended for many years through Browns Bride
Little White Book and listed in the Secret Quintessentially Weddings Guide. I’ve also
devised and taught make-up courses at Morley college and written as a beauty editor.
Currently I run three blogs about skin care, make-up, health well being,

What do you really like about supplying for weddings, brides & grooms?

It’s really enjoyable offering good advice to brides. Helping to find exactly what they’re
looking for on their wedding day. Including helping family members and guests.

What special things do your couples request?

It really varies on how we work together leading up to the wedding day. Clients have been
known to book me a year ahead to make sure I’m available. Sometimes it can be last
minute. Some brides want a run though and some not. I have a lot of experience so able to
deliver on the day without a run though. It’s possible to just have a make-up lesson,
workshop with another friend and then apply your own make-up on the day. Every one has
a budget so please feel free to enquire and ask me. I’m open to lots of different ways to
work together.

Any limitations?

No limitations to requests. I also travel to destination weddings if requested.

What’s your favourite wedding moment?

It’s that last moment when the bride leaves my chair ( brides are usually the last person to work with me) to get dressed. It’s a very special moment as the room tends to be be filled
with very supportive friends, bridesmaids. The special friendships that exist between friends and family are the memories that endure over the years. Absolutely Love that moment when it’s time to go to the ceremony.

Every wedding is different and so very special and unique.

What are your favourite wedding planning moments?

The run through is a lot of fun. It’s a time to experiment with lots of different styles and
ideas. A time to get familiar with a clients features and skin type/tine. It also acts as a mini
make-up lesson. A client doesn’t need to know much about skin care or make-up. I offer a
lot of good advice to each individual client. Everyone’s needs are different and unique.
Although I want to state a run through is not always necessary.

Can I come and meet you?

Yes absolutely. I’m very approachable and friendly and will always reply to you asap. Text
me to arrange a chat? Or just email me your requests, ideas. I have a pdf of my services and
prices and will always reply to you asap..

How do I get in touch?

There are many ways to contact me….

email: karen@karenbeadle.com
instagram: @karenbmakeupartist @beautylondonstyle
mobile: + 44 (0) 7768 981421
website: www.karenbeadle.com
twitter: @karenbeadle

Ruby Violet

Ruby Violet

So tell us a little bit about Ruby Violet…

What service do you supply for weddings?

We supply ice-cream! From traditional favourites all the way through to totally custom flavours, we’re a local ice-creamery that specialise in adding the wow factor. 

For weddings, we can serve from Billy the van, Barbara the tricycle, Frank the trolley and our trusty serve-over stand. Billy the van is from 1968 and comes filled with your choice of 12 flavours of ice-cream and sorbet, plus cones, cups and our famous Ruby Violet wafers. Barbara and Frank can both roam around venues with a choice of four flavours in cones or cups, and we also do usherette trays which can serve delicious frozen treats in different shapes and flavours should you be all ice-creamed out.

When do you first meet with the couple?

We need at least a few week’s notice on large ice-cream orders such as cakes, longer if they want something totally custom or would like to hire Billy, Barbara or Frank.

Then we chat to them about their venue, number of guests and what’ll work depending on time of year, their theme and what flavours will be in season.

We like to use seasonal ingredients where possible so it’s always fun to select something totally unique to their wedding day.

 

What do you really like about supplying for weddings?

  • We get to be part of the most special day of their lives, which means we get to go all out! We love anything that allows us to add some extra flourish, so being able to bring their personalities to our creations is really quite magical. It also very often challenges our views of what’s possible with ice-cream!

What special things do your couples request?

Custom flavours used to be limited to big businesses, but now we’re able to create them with the bride & groom to add a totally unique touch to their day. We’ve made a vast range of unique and unusual flavours, alcoholic sorbets and even savoury ice-creams.

Any limitations?

Not all custom flavours lend themselves well to
ice-cream – but we’ll always try and give it a go if
we think there may be a way!

How do I get in touch?

phone: 020 7609 0444

email me at parlour@rubyviolet.co.uk

  • Find out more here

30 Euston Square – Opening of The Heritage Rooms

30 Euston Square – Opening of The Heritage Rooms

Wow, what a pleasure to be invited to this exclusive opening of The Heritage Rooms at 30 Euston Square.

For me, my first visit and what a treat!

On the corner of Euston Square you will find 30 Euston Square where the grand Grade II façade meets ultra modern. This is where the Opening of The Heritage Rooms took place last week.

We were greeted in the lobby area with its pale green and cream tiling, then elevated to the first floor to where it turns all white and illuminated.

Great British fizz from Greyfriars was flowing and we were soon chatting with the other invitees, tasty canapés appeared, the staff floated around us with ease and professionalism.

Luiz Mazzari gave Sam Lane and myself a tour of the 5th floor Staterooms where civil wedding ceremonies can take place, it’s a good area with lots of natural light, fabulous chandeliers and artworks that take you through the history of the General Practitioners – although these are able to be cleverly masked out if you choose not to invite them to your wedding!

30 Euston Square boasts a great roof terrace too, the sun was setting and reflecting on the glass buildings around us, sipping our British fizz, very nice!

We entered the England Room, one of the six Heritage Rooms and were treated to a best of British meal sourced from the UK. Each course being introduced by Searcys Executive Head Chef, Daniel Broughton.

A British Sparkling wine had been carefully chosen to accompany each course, and a wine explanation was given by Raz of Searcys.

Each course was beautiful presented, delicious and served with style.

The feeling of the room was cosy, comfortable (36 guest I believe) and the harpist playing by the fireplace just added to the intimate feel – absolutely perfect for a wedding venue.

The location is so easy and there are also boutique bedrooms available to the Royal College of General Practitioners and event organisers, these can only be booked with events taking place at 30 Euston Square which means total exclusivity for you and your guests.

 

Thank you 30 Euston Square for a lovely evening.

Meet the team at www.30eustonsquare.co.uk

020 3733 5176

30eustonsquare@searcys.co.uk

Essex Photo Booths

Essex Photo Booths

So tell us a little bit about Essex Photo Booths...

What product/service do you supply for weddings?

The main service we provide is the hire of photo booths, DJs and starlit dance floors.  As well as this we also hire giant LED letters; “Mr & Mrs” or “Love, projectors and wireless microphones as well as other PA setups.

When do you first meet with the couple?

We don’t usually meet with the couple before the big day, however we are in contact via email or phone to ensure their specific requirements are met, this can be a very simple process or much more involved if they have something bespoke booked or a package of services. 

How do they/you decide on designs?

We offer personalised prints for our booths so we discuss with the bride/groom how they’d like their prints to look, we then either design in house or send to a designer for more bespoke templates.  

What is special and unique about you?

I would say that we are always willing to go the extra mile, if a couple want something bespoke or unique we will always find a way to deliver.

What do you really like about supplying for weddings, brides and grooms?

There is immense satisfaction in seeing the couple enjoy themselves on their special day, even just words of thanks after a wedding make it feel so worthwhile or simply seeing them having a good laugh in the booth.  A wedding day is possibly the most cherished day of a bride/grooms life so being part of that and working at making it perfects is very satisfying.

What special things do your couples request?

The main requests are personalised prints for the booth or playlists for our DJs.  

 

What’s your favourite wedding moment?

From the DJ side of things seeing the first dance or listening to the speeches.  The photo booths are often away from the dance floor area but we often see family members reunite after many years at weddings and share a photo for the first time in years, it’s nice to see guests having fun in the booth.

What are your favourite wedding planning moments?

It’s a great feeling when the planning side is finalised and our plans for the day are complete.  

Can I come and meet you?

Yes we are always happy to meet before a wedding whether it be to discuss planning or for a walk through of a venue.

How do I get in touch?

Email: terry@mestre-entertainemnt.co.uk

Phone: 07751 238654

www.mephobooths.co.uk

Brigitte Flowers

Brigitte Flowers

So tell us a little bit about Brigitte Flowers

Last month we had the pleasure of producing the floral designs on behalf of Green & Fortune for Margaret and Frank, in what turned out to be a fabulous, unique wedding at Kings Place. The wedding featured seasonal June flowers in a colour scheme of romantic lilacs, elegant ivory and soft greens.

The chosen wedding venue was created as one of the first developments in the regeneration of King’s Cross that is turning this area into a new creative hub. Just a short walk along the canal from Granary Square this landmark, modern building offers it all under one roof; music, art, dining and events.

Our lovely bride and groom took full advantage of the variety offered at Kings Place – deciding to hold their ceremony on the stage in Hall One, a state of the art theatre, with their guests seated in tiered rows. Stage management gave their cue and the bride glided down the aisle ‘stage left’, clasping her delicate bouquet of delphiniums, love-in-the-mist, veronicas, alstroemeria, rose and lavender. Margaret climbed the set of steps to meet her groom’s loving gaze, smiling centre stage under a spotlight. Framed by four large pedestal arrangements the couple made their vows amongst purple alliums, white gerbera, lilac campanulas, clematis, hydrangea and green anthuriums. Margaret and Frank then eloquently positioned themselves at the registry table for the signing, which was dressed with a long, low contemporary arrangement of complimentary green, lilac and white flowers.

Guests were then welcomed up into the Rotunda to continue the celebrations, entering between a pair of bay trees dressed with fairy lights and bird cages. The bird cages were filled with a pretty display of white hydrangea, natural birch twigs, phalaenopsis orchids and lilac petals to set the romantic scenery.

For the wedding breakfast we designed a selection of tall, impressive tapered vase centrepieces for the round tables, using stems of tanacetum daisys, white hydrangea, lilac roses, gerbera, allium and draped ivy. We then created garlands of ruscus embedded with colourful flower heads of hydrangea, carnation and rose for the trestle tables. A thick, luscious garland with glass candles dotted amongst the greenery was displayed along the back of the top table.

The Rotunda is walled all the way along on one side with full height glass windows which look out upon a stunning alfresco terrace, right on the Regents Canal. Guests are privy to unique views of charming canal boats bobbing against their moorings underneath overhanging willow trees, set in a bubble of tranquil, naturalistic surroundings which is a blessing in Central London.

Although already beautiful, we personalised the terrace by providing demur, low glass vase arrangements for the outdoor seating, using complimentary flowers in shades of green, ivory and purple.

The wedding went off without a hitch and with lovely weather you couldn’t really ask for more. We wish Frank and Margaret all the best for their future together and look forward to many more special occasions at this unique, stunning waterside venue!

Can I come and meet you?

We work from our studio in Golders Green, where we can meet you for a consultation but only by appointment. Also, we can meet you at your wedding venue or at a convenient location in central London, we sometimes meet couples for a coffee after work or just in their lunch break. And sometimes brides arrange everything over the email from abroad and we meet them first time on the morning of their wedding day.

How do I get in touch?

Email: brigitte@personalflowers.co.uk

Phone: 07530 627043 or 020 3005 4876

www.brigitteflowers.co.uk

The Jaunty Flâneur

The Jaunty Flâneur

So tell us a little bit about The Jaunty Flâneur

What service do you supply for weddings?

At the Jaunty Flâneur, our focus is in making the groom’s shoes look spectacular, and so enhance his whole look. That can be polishing or patina, which is increasingly popular. Patina is recolouring shoes to either revive and restore, or to completely change the character of the shoes by giving them a new appearance in several shades blended together to create a personalised finish.

How do you make the Groom feel special?

Our flagship location is inside Savile Row’s Cad and the Dandy tailors. A substantial portion of the tailor’s business is suits for weddings or other special occasions, and it’s typically during a client’s first consultation that we would introduce the idea of working on their shoes. Even a beautifully tailored suit can be let down by battered old shoes. Sometimes we would go over what type of shoes they ought to be looking to buy and from where; as we are independent of a shoe brand, we can recommend different makers and styles at different price points to reflect what the client is after. Once we’ve agreed on the shoes, we can talk about what can be done to them to make them that bit more special

How do customise the look?

A standard cap shine will make any pair of shoes look terrific, but that’s only the start. When gentlemen are designing their suit, they may want us to customise the colour and finish of their shoes. This can be giving an ‘antique’ look to a pair of brown shoes (probably our most common request), but there is an incredible range of colour and patterning that can be included. We’ve done blue and grey marbling, and a pair of purple shoes shading to be black at the toe!

What is special and unique about you?

As with all of our patina commissions, it’s a very personal interaction. What type of shoe the gentleman has, how he wears it, if he has a particular gait of shape of foot that would lead to premature wearing in certain places, are the shoes to be used in the future for office use, if so – what is the culture of that office, is the wedding in town or country, will there need to be a matching belt, etc. After a chat and showing some examples of previous work to get the creative juices flowing, we will have a specification nailed down.

What do you really like about supplying for Bridegrooms?

One of the joys of providing polishing and patinas to wedding customers is that it is one of the few times when gentlemen are solely interested in their presentation and one of the rare times when they will push the boat out a little and consider things beyond the traditional charcoal/navy suit with black/dark brown shoes. Even if black shoes are the final decision, the gentleman will be open to hearing about navy shoes, or burgundy with a darker ‘cloud’ like blurring in certain areas. And once we start that conversation, people are often staggered at how much their shoes can be changed. We gently strip back the existing finish of the shoes, then build the new finish up with layers of leather dyes. It takes time and skill; there are no short-cuts and it’s all done by hand.

Any limitations?

We generally say that shoes should be considered as soon as the suit is being decided upon. To us, you’re not dressed until you’ve got your shoes sorted, so it really cannot be a last-minute detail. Our patina and recolouring service has a lead time of 4-6 weeks once we’ve got the shoes and agreed a finish. Before that point, there may well be a few trips that the groom has to make to different shoe shops to get something that works for him and his feet. 

Can I come and meet you?

Our location in Savile Row is an ideal place for a consultation. We have done many consultations via email with images, but there’s no substitution for meeting the artisan who will be working on your shoes; it greatly adds to the experience!

How do I get in touch?

Email: doffyourhat@thejauntyflaneur.com

 

Phone: 07546 324641

www.thejauntyflaneur.com

The Love of Dance

The Love of Dance

So tell us a little bit about The Love of Dance…

What service do you supply for weddings?

We provide first wedding dance lessons, teach dance at events and parties, such as hen parties, weddings and birthday parties and provide event entertainment in the form of live music and performers.

When do you first meet with the couple?

We meet the couples as soon as possible to start planning.  We get down to the basic practicalities with the couple, such as where they are based or live, how many sessions they would like – whether they want weekly classes or if, sometimes they are short on time before the wedding, we offer intensive lessons of a few hours at a time. We serve couples and parties in and around London, so once we know their first dance song we match them with a teacher who can teach a style of dance that suits the song, and can easily meet the clients in their preferred venue on the days they are available.

How do they/you decide on a first dance?

We get to know them based on things like their first dance song, styles of music and dance they like, the theme of the event and, quite often now, things they’ve seen on social media – that usually gives them inspiration for how they would like the finished performance to look.  Some clients want classic, simple first dances, and some want more adventurous choreography – in fact, many who think they just want general dance lessons end up requesting a choreographed routine!  We can give a bit of inspiration too – usually through a consultation dance lesson looking at different styles, and they can try out some moves!

 

What is special and unique about you?

Our flexibility to suit so many different tastes in music, and also that we don’t have fixed premises so are able to hold the lessons in an area suitable for the clients, rather than inconveniencing them with travel to a different location for the lessons – important for these busy lives when additionally planning a wedding!

What do you really like about supplying for weddings, brides & grooms?

It’s such a happy and important occasion that it feels like a privilege to help them create their vision for their special day.

What special things do your couples request?

When couples can’t choose one song, we’ll make a medley of songs for them to dance to – spanning different musical genres.  One couple we worked with recently had everything from soul, to arabic, to hip hop to reflect their culture and their love story! We even mix the music for the performance too

Any limitations?

Quite often time, when clients leave first dance planning to later in the process.  We recommend starting earlier so couples can really relax and enjoy their dance rather than panic when they don’t feel they’ve had enough practise – read our Practice Makes Permanent Blog here: http://theloveofdance.co.uk/practice-makes-permanent/

What’s your favourite wedding moment?

Being at a clients’ wedding in Santorini. So special to witness my creation!

What’ are your favourite wedding planning moments?

Getting a rapport going with the clients, who usually say the wedding dance lessons are the most enjoyable part of their wedding planning.  We usually have a lot of fun and laughter.  A great way for couples to bond more through the shared experience. We make sure the couple learn the basic technique of their dance style so they can walk away with a new skill that will last them a lifetime of dance floors to come.  

Can I come and meet you?

We can come to meet you either for an initial Consultation and taster lesson at £20, or just for a chat over coffee! 

How do I get in touch?

Email: alison@theloveofdance.co.uk

Phone 07769 695051

www.theloveofdance.co.uk

Insta/twitter : @ftloveofdance

Madame Galina Prima Ballerina

Madame Galina Prima Ballerina

So tell us a little bit about Madame Galina Prima Ballerina…

Well, I’ve entertained troops in Iraq and Afghanistan,  headlined at the Café de Paris, Rah Rah Rooms and the London Hippodrome, and given recitals for all the senior members of the royal family.

I’ve guested in the Olivier Award winning show C’est Barbican, sung principal roles with British Youth Opera  and fronted two series on ballet for Channel 4.

Woman’s Hour made me Forces’ Sweetheart and Joanna Lumley played my recording of “Tom Bowling” for her appearance on Desert Island Discs.

The book about my war-zone experiences: My Tutu Went AWOL!  is available online as is the self-narrated audiobook.

What service do you supply for weddings?

  • Classical singing and/or Variety entertainment centred on Madame Galina Ballet Star Galactica. Host, games mistress, always hampered by, apparently, her missing dance partner…
  • What do you really like about performing at weddings?

  • It’s a very special day for all concerned.  I’m on my mettle to deliver, because the stakes are so high.  Just watch Judge Judy/Karen/Rinder et al to see how people can get if their special day disappoints. I really enjoy my collaboration with CamdenWeddings, Henry Bonas, the Deanery of Bocking, for the attention we pay to detail.
  • How did you meet with CamdenWeddings?

    • I’ve known Megan and Colin since 2000, when I moved into a bedsit in Megan’s father’s house. They later came to watch me perform during my residency at the classic London nightspot Volupte, booked me for a full evening’s entertainment on their home turf in Pen Selwood and decided then that what aspects of my work would be right for Camden Weddings. I gave Colin permission to fill my onstage segments at Volupte and we then sat down and put together my wedding set.
    • How do you decide on your outfit, after all it wouldn’t do to upstage the bride?

  • I’m expected to wear the posher of my two tutus.
  • What is special and unique about you? 

My act is known on the circuit to be totally unique.  Nobody does anything quite like it. It’s barnstorming, high energy, fully interactive. Feedback from an event in Penzance recently: ‘Can’t think of anything else that would have kept us as happy as Madame Galina did, anyone and everyone from squaddies, through the WI to royalty.’

    • What special things do your couples request?

    They request huge embarrassment always for the Best Man – always! There’s usually a list of male guests set up to be brought onstage for my act. 

  • An interesting request was for Madame Galina to interrupt the couple having their First Dance. We all wondered, seriously, if that was going to fly. Mainly because the bride’s father seemed to own three quarters of Hungary.

Any limitations?

  • I have to be careful with my material if there are children present.
    • What’s your favourite wedding moment? 

  • When I’m singing the bride down the aisle, I will be facing the main door to the church. I see that moment when the door opens and the bride is having her last check of the dress before she puts her hand on her father’s arm. And there will be a look of such emotion on both their faces. These few moments are always magical.
    • What are your favourite wedding planning moments? 

    When we have got through the professional necessaries and the laughing starts. 

Can I come and meet you? 

Yes, of course. 

How do I get in touch?

email me at Ide65@hotmail.co.uk

  • Intrigued? …find out more here

Lauderdale House

Lauderdale House

So tell us a little bit about Lauderdale House…

Lauderdale House is a Grade II* listed historic building in Highgate. We run as an arts and education centre, as well as hosting important family events like wedding ceremonies and receptions. As a wedding venue, we can boast a selection of flexible spaces, a stunning historic building and direct access into the beautiful park.

Are you licensed for Weddings?  

  • Yes, two of our historic gallery spaces are licensed for civil wedding ceremonies. Couples can have either their ceremony or reception at Lauderdale – or both!

What makes Lauderdale House special as a wedding venue?

  • Lauderdale House is in many ways an unusual and surprising space. The house dates back to the 16th Century, but was been completely refurbished in 2016. The result is a surprising mix of historic elegance and modern facilities. We’re also an arts centre, so we are home to all sorts of eclectic activities and events throughout the year. This creates a warm and inviting atmosphere throughout the building – we’re certainly not another staid and sombre stately home!
  • The house is positioned right on the edge of Waterlow Park in Highgate Village. So, while based in London, Lauderdale doesn’t feel like a city venue – we’re surrounded by beautiful open spaces with green views from every window. Outdoors space is often hard to come by in London, so having the option to step out onto the Tea Lawn for a celebratory drink in the sunshine goes down really well! And of course the park makes a stunning backdrop for the all-important wedding photos. 

What is a typical wedding at Lauderdale like?

  • We try to be as flexible as possible so that couples can create their perfect day. A typical wedding day might start with the wedding ceremony taking place downstairs in our pretty Lower Gallery space, which can accommodate around 100 people. From here, guests can step straight outside onto the terrace for a celebratory drink and a toast to the happy couple. After this, there might be wedding photos in the park before the guests head upstairs for a sit-down meal in the Long Gallery. In the evening, the Lower Gallery could be transformed into a dance floor with a DJ or band performing while the celebrations continue.

What are the food and drink options?

  • We work with an experienced and highly talented catering partner, Pink Food. Having hosted many, many weddings and parties at Lauderdale, Pink Food know exactly how the house works and can offer a wide range of catering options for your big day; including champagne receptions, buffet meals or sit-down dinners. They’re also able to accommodate all kinds of dietary requirements and provide vegetarian, kosher or halal catering on request.
  • Can I come and visit?

  • Of course, we love to show couples around – it is a great chance for them to get a feel for the venue and an understanding of what we can offer, while we can help them to plan exactly what they want on their big day.

How do I get in touch?

Covent Garden Hotel

Covent Garden Hotel

So tell us a little bit about Covent Garden Hotel…

  • Weddings at Covent Garden Hotel.

Located on a picturesque cobbled street in the heart of Seven Dials, Covent Garden Hotel is a stunning location for a truly memorable London wedding. The hotel offers beautiful and elegant spaces to suit any style of wedding, from intimate gatherings to lavish parties.

All the stress on the day will be taken away with the beauty of having all aspects of your wedding under one roof. Your day will start as the bride gets ready for the ceremony in one of the stunning, individually designed guest rooms. Meanwhile the groom may wait in the charming Tiffany’s Library before moving through to the Drawing Room for the ceremony. The wood panelled Drawing Room is a beautiful venue for an intimate ceremony, with vivid upholstery, a French stone fireplace and unique furnishings.

After the ceremony, move down to The Lyric or Fortune rooms which are flexible in format and can be transformed into a sumptuous dining room or a drinks reception style for champagne and canapés. The 1930s sweeping staircase is a beautiful location to capture photographs of this remarkable moment, something you will remember for the rest of your life.

  • After the vows have been said, the cake has been cut and the party is all wrapped up, the bride and groom can enjoy the first magical moments of married life in true style with a stay in a romantic top floor suites. Choose the airy and light Loft Suite with stunning views over the London Skyline, or the vibrant Terrace Suite with it very own private terrace. Every newlywed couple staying at Covent Garden Hotel will be guaranteed to experience the utmost in individual style and personal service.

A perfect wedding is all down to the details and the dedicated team at Covent Garden Hotel will ensure that every element of the big day is planned to perfection, from personalised name cards to your very own bespoke cake knife to commemorate the special day, it is these individual touches which will make your wedding a truly magical occasion. The experienced team will lift the weight off your shoulders by advising and recommending on preferred suppliers, from photography to flower arrangements. One of London’s top florists, Bloomsbury Flowers, are Covent Garden’s very own in-house florist who will be on hand to help you choose from a wide range of seasonal flowers and foliage to create your perfect bouquet.

Covent Garden Hotel can even plan your dream stag or hen night, suited to your own preference and style. From a Poker Night to Burlesque dancing, Covent Garden will be sure to plan your night to perfection. The hotel is located in the heart of London’s lively West End, just a minutes’ walk from London’s world famous theatre district.

Enjoy a night out on the town with a magical Broadway show for the whole group to enjoy or wander through the bustling streets of Covent Garden and Soho, home to an endless choice of restaurants and bars. 

How do I get in touch?

BMA House

BMA House

So tell us a little bit about BMA House…

Built on the foundations of the house where Charles Dickens wrote classics such as Bleak House and Great Expectations, BMA House is a stunning grade II listed building set in the heart of London’s fashionable Bloomsbury. BMA House was designed in 1911 by the famed architect Sir Edwin Lutyens and has been home to the prestigious British Medical Association since 1925. 

This central London venue, a real hidden gem, combines stunning features such as our spectacular outdoor Courtyard boasting an eye-catching fountain and surrounding statues, and our romantic private Garden, we are the perfect back drop for any wedding all year round.

We want you to feel at ease when planning your wedding and that is why we offer a dedicated Wedding Planner to guide couples through their wedding journey, right from the planning stages and on the day itself. We like to think of ourselves as ‘glorified toastmasters’ ensuring their wedding day runs seamlessly!

Couples can take advantage of our four impressive rooms, each with a wedding licence, accommodating up to 200 guests for a reception. From stunning glass chandeliers to our intricately painted gold leaf detail, magnificent high ceilings and winding stair cases, we can provide couples with the ideal indoor and outdoor atmosphere and memorable photos for their special wedding day.

Are you licensed for Ceremonies?  

  • BMA House is licensed for the solemnisation of marriage in four of our stunning rooms; the Great Hall (our flagship room), Sir James Paget Room, John Snow Room and the Prince’s Room. Couples will need to contact the Superintendent Registrar at the Camden Registrar Office to book their services for conducting the ceremony. Registrar’s fees will need to be paid directly to Camden Register Office.

What are your capacities?

  • Our spectacular Great Hall can seat up to 200 guests for both ceremony and reception, with up to 320 guests in the evening.
  • For a more intimate wedding our ornate Prince’s Room can accommodate up to 60 guests.

  • However, our two most popular rooms are the Snow and Paget Rooms which spill out directly onto our Courtyard offering wedding parties the perfect opportunity to enjoy time with friends and family during their drinks reception. Adjacent to each other, these beautiful rooms lend themselves perfectly to holding both a ceremony (max 150) and reception (max 120), both retaining many of their original features and plenty of natural daylight.

 

Do you have outside space?

  • Our true secret lies in not one, but two beautiful and peaceful outdoor spaces; the Courtyard and the Garden, providing a fabulous setting for wedding photographs and pre-dinner drinks!
  • The Garden is a picturesque secret spot located to the side of BMA House with an ornamental pond. With a capacity of 90, it is suited for reception drinks, evening barbecues or simply for romantic couple shots. Surrounded on three sides by the majestic walls of BMA House, and on one side by an ornate iron gate, The Courtyard is a glamorous location for larger receptions, or to
    simply show-off to your guests when arriving in your wedding car!

 

  • Food, glorious food! Our menus offer a wide selection of sumptuous dishes to please all guests, from delicious Canapés in the day to the lavish Wedding Breakfast and bespoke evening Buffet, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Provided by in-house caterers, CH&CO, a couple’s experience is at the centre of everything we do, and we pride ourselves on our delicious food that bursts with colour and flavour. You’ll be torn between our Roasted lamb rump & crispy breast, anchovies, pressed new potatoes, goat’s curd & English peas or the Pan-fried hake, tomato relish, cannellini bean purée, braised fennel, dried olives & parsley oil, part of our new Wellbeing menu offering.

We have some great wines, English sparkling wines and champagnes on our list, plus a new range of themed cocktails and mocktails, designed with our botanical garden in mind!

 

What special things do you offer to couples?

  • We offer a complimentary private room to use during the day for brides to freshen up in between the ceremony and reception, to leave belongings and to store gifts and cards they are given on the day, a secure place for collection the following day.If there are babies and/or children attending the wedding we can offer a complimentary room which can be used as a creche where the couple may wish to consider hiring a children’s entertainer to keep young ones occupied.BMA House offers limited on-site car parking for the bridal party, cars can be left on-site and collected the follow day making it simple when staying overnight in a London hotel.If a couple is considering a theme or has a specific menu in mind, our talented chefs will create a bespoke menu for them.

Do you have any special entertainment/licensing rules?

  • Live music can be enjoyed both inside and outside in our spectacular Courtyard so guests can mingle with friends, sipping on our refreshing English Sparkling Wine and indulging in delicious canapés while the bride and groom are off capturing romantic shots with their photographer. If we feel the music levels are going to cause disturbance to our neighbours we may ask for them to be lowered.We ask that guests move themselves inside by 11pm (from the Courtyard) and by 10pm (from the Garden) to enjoy the party so as not to disturb our local residents.Couples can bring their own live band and/or DJ, we do not require them to choose from our list, however we can provide great recommendations should they need some ideas.Our rooms can be hired until 1am (subject to availability) so our couples really get to boogie the night away!Should a couple wish to provide their own wines and Champagnes, a ‘chill, pour and serve’ fee will apply:•  Wine £15.00 plus VAT per 75cl bottle   Sparkling wine and Champagne £18.00 plus VAT per 75cl bottle

    Smoking is not permitted anywhere in the venue, this includes the Garden and Courtyard. A designated smoking area can be made available.

Any limitations?

  • BMA House is a working building during the week, and although we hold a wedding license 7 days a week, it is preferable for couples to tie the knot at weekends, which offers them exclusivity of the venue.

What are your favourite wedding planning moments?

  • We love to sit with the couples to discuss strings, rings and pretty things, drawing seating plans, organising bridesmaids, ushers & flowers girls. Highlights of Wedding Planning for us include enjoying countless menu tastings, arranging cakes, cutting cakes and tasting cakes! We love to help bring in an element of surprise, something away from the norm.
  • Can I come and visit?

  • Yes! Our doors are always open should you wish to book an evening visit, a tour in your lunch break or at the weekend, just drop us an email or call to arrange a viewing of our beautiful venue.

How do I get in touch?

The Montague on The Gardens

The Montague on The Gardens

So tell us a little bit about The Montague on The Gardens…

The Montague on the Gardens, an elegant Georgian townhouse in the heart of Bloomsbury, lends itself perfectly for weddings and civil partnerships – guaranteeing memories you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

The stylish interior is adorned with rich furnishings and exquisite antiques to create an atmosphere of sophisticated charm, with the added benefit of the spacious wood deck and terrace overlooking the beautiful private gardens of the Bedford Estate at the rear of the property.

Are you licensed for Ceremonies?  

  • Yes, we are licensed in 3 of our event spaces: The Great Russell Suite, The Woburn and The Large Conservatory.

What are your capacities?

  • Ski Lodge/Beach Bar – Reception/ Occasional seating 200pax
  • Great Russell Suite – Reception 150pax, Banqueting 110pax
  • Woburn Suite – Reception 50pax, Banqueting 40pax

What is special and unique about you?

  • Each season we offer a unique holiday getaway for our new couples without even having to leave London! The Ski Lodge invites an alluring Alpine adventure to your day during the winter months. Alternatively, our bright and bold Beach Bar offers sun, sparkle and splendour to your special day.

    Do you have any special entertainment/licensing rules?

  • In our outside event spaces we can only play music until 10pm, however, our fantastic Great Russell Suite is a great space for guests to move to if they want to carry on the party until late.
  • We accept any external suppliers (so long as they adhere to the Montague rules), however we do not accept caterers as we supply food and beverage alongside the event space hire.

Any limitations?

  • Due to the maximum capacity of sit down guests reaching 110, this means that we are particularly tailored to more intimate weddings.

What’s your favourite wedding moment?

  • One of the most memorable days for us was when one bride joined ‘Popchoir’ in serenading her new partner and guests.
  • The heart warming union was simply beautiful and encouraged guests to partake in a song to close the ceremony. After all, as Shakespeare would say “If music be the food of love, play on”.
  • Can I come and visit?

  • Of course, we’d love to welcome you round! Feel free to give us a ring or email us to book a viewing of the hotel.

How do I get in touch?

  • Email the Conference and Events Team at:
  • meetmt@rchmail.com
  • Phone us on: +44 (0)20 7612 8404

St Pancras by Searcys

St Pancras by Searcys

So tell us a little bit about St Pancras by Searcys…

Set in the heart of the historic St Pancras International Station, we are home to the longest Champagne Bar in Europe, a beautiful, 1920’s style British restaurant designed by the internationally acclaimed Martin Brudnizki, surrounded by heritage, history and fabulous architecture.

Are you licensed for Ceremonies?  

We are, on the Grand terrace under the intricate display of the Barlow Shed.

What are your capacities?

We can host a wedding breakfast for up to 150, or a standing reception for up to 400.

Do you have outside space?

We have our Champagne Bar on the Terrace, not quite outdoors not quite indoors!

What do you really like about the space?

I just love the uniqueness of the space and all the history that comes with it. The architecture you find yourself surrounded by is incredible and there is always a great atmosphere.

What special things do your couples do?

Sometimes our couples order a Nebuchadnezzar of Champagne and then use the giant bottle as a guest book which gives them a very special reminder of the day!

Do you have any special entertainment/licensing rules?

Unlike a lot of London venues we can be licensed until 3am, and are happy to welcome all kinds of entertainment.

Any downsides?

If you are looking for a private ceremony we are not quite the right place for you. Apart from that, none!

What’s your favourite wedding moment?

Watching the bride and bridal party enter through the arches onto the Grand Terrace, it’s such a magical moment and the walk from the arches down the aisle gives everyone a chance to fully appreciate the moment

Can I come and visit?

Absolutely, we would love to welcome you and show you around our spaces.

How do I get in touch?

StPancrasEvents@searcys.co.uk

or give us a call on 0207 870 9900

Bloomsbury House

Bloomsbury House

So tell us a little bit about Bloomsbury House…

Located in the heart of London in historic Bloomsbury,  Bloomsbury House is a Grade II listed beautiful venue for your wedding day.

Located on Bloomsbury Square overlooking the gardens, this magnificent townhouse which was built in 1887 designed in a Flemish Renaissance style by one F. Pinches and was restored in 2007, it still has many of the original features including the grand spiral staircase, original mosaic floor tiles and stained glass windows.

Originally to house the College of Preceptors.

Are you licensed for Ceremonies?

Yes we are through Camden Council, the most popular room for a ceremony being the Virginia Woolf which can seat up to 80.

What are your capacities?

We can seat up to 80 for a ceremony in the Virginia Woolf and 80 people for dinner in the Ascham room and more guests for a standing reception party.

Do you have outside space?

We do not have any outside space attached to the house but there is an option to hire an area of Bloomsbury Square gardens which is just opposite the house. We can then host your drinks reception out there and serve drinks and canapés. This is something that Camden Council will arrange directly with you for the hire and we can arrange to serve the drinks reception outside.

We have no parking at the house, but just opposite under Bloomsbury Square Gardens is an NCP carpark.

We are also a short 5 minute walk from Holborn station which is on the central line.

What do you really like about the space?

The rooms inside Bloomsbury house are beautiful. The Virginia Woolf is a romantic timeless room, with stunning chandelier features and a classic colour decor of dark blue and gold which works perfectly. We have a feature fire mantle piece which looks stunning dressed up with flowers or just simply some candles, there are lots of options. It doesn’t need much dressing inside the room at all as it is so beautiful, which helps clients reduce costs on over dressing the space.

The Ascham room is a bright, light room, with large windows and a great space to host your wedding breakfast.

The ceilings have wooden arch beams offering a contrast to the first floor with floods of natural light and a great space for dining and then onto your party.

We have a built in bar and backdrop unit which can be used to project personal photos or draped with fairy lights for a backdrop.

What special things do your couples do?

To ensure our couples get to have a confetti shot experience, we line up guests after the ceremony in the hallway to do a confetti shot! This is always great fun.

We have even done a human archway for our happy couple to exit their reception.

Do you have any special entertainment/licensing rules?

We finish at midnight, last orders at 23.30 and live music finishes with background music until guests depart.

We have an amazing offer of no corkage on your Champagne and wine during your drinks reception and wedding breakfast which is a fantastic saving for our clients. You can deliver your drinks up to 2 weeks prior to your wedding and we will store and chill these ready for the big day. We are very lucky to offer this incredible no corkage to our clients at our London venue which means they can chose the exact wines and champagnes they like and it saves them money. We then move onto a cash bar for the evening which they can open a tab if they wish. 

Any downsides?

We don’t have a lift inside the house but we do have the most glorious spiral staircase. We always say the best conversations happen on the stairs as our only toilets are located on the ground floor.

What’s your favourite wedding moment?

Our favourite wedding moment is watching the bride and her bridal party make their entrance up the stairs towards the Virginia Woolf, such a wonderful moment full of excitement.

Can I come and visit?

We can happily book you in to come along to view Bloomsbury House. Just get in touch

How do I get in touch?
Drop me, Natalie a message at

Bloomsbury@louiseperryweddings.com

0207 1181 119
07939 007257

Photography credits to:
Guy Collier Photography
Kate Nielen
Jez Dickson
Victoria Eve Photography
Insta Wedding
Epic moments Photography
Libby Christensen Photography

Networking at The Megaro 2018

Networking at The Megaro 2018

Well what a buzzy exciting time we had Networking at The Megaro Hotel and Eatery last night, the iconic multi-coloured building is every bit as eye-catching as it is stylish.

Simon and Team from the St Pancras Hotel Group were very attentive, keeping the tea, coffee and wine flowing at all times. It was a real treat to be given a tour of the Hotel, the Bedrooms, the Bar, the Roof Terrace, the Meeting Rooms and the very special downstairs Cocktail area.. …this place has it all!!

I do hope everyone had a chance to look around properly, and if not, it’s a very good reason to return!

www.themegaro.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m sure quite a few of you will have met Jenni Grant before and it was kind of her to come along and update us. The ceremony suite at the Town Hall will temporarily relocate to Tavistock House this summer 2018 and this is already bookable.

crs@camden.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Beth, Mark and Patrick from Bridebook were there to give us an insight in to their product and Beth captivated the room with the presentation. Everyone was fascinated by the stats and looking forward to the report…

www.bridebook.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please do keep Networking with each other and we hope it won’t be too long until we all meet, chat and drink together again, after all it’s not every Networking Event that has children and a dog too!

Images from the Event by Sam Lane Photography are available at:

https://samlanephotography.smugmug.com/Commercial/CamdenWeddings/Networking-2018

 

It’s a Meg(h)an thing…


It’s a Meghan thing…

I overhear ‘my’ name so much these days, as the Nation prepares for the Royal Wedding but this time to a namesake, well almost ‘h’!

Like all brides I’m sure Meghan Markle will be, excited, nervous, perhaps a little overwhelmed – after all its not everyday you get to marry a true life prince.

So I find myself thinking back to my wedding, it was a modest registry office ceremony for us, about 24 guests from memory. I am really not one for being the centre of attention and the thought of all eyes on me terrified me.
We chose to make our invites and I put my husband to be’s graphic design skills in to place. I had an idea, my wedding dress which he obviously wasn’t allowed to see had an embroidered design on the bodice, I took a photo and cut it so only the detail of the pattern showed and so our design was born. We made ceremony and party invites, we made gift tags to hang around the half size bottles of champagne that we had for each guest and many years later I even got the design as a tattoo, the ultimate personal one and only tattoo I shall ever have. Our wedding day really was the best day of my life and I truly enjoyed it so much, I often joke and ask my husband if we can do it again?!
So I guess I find myself thinking of Meghan, way at the other end of the scale – with absolutely all eyes on her.

So from from Megan to Meghan – enjoy your day, cherish the intimate glances you will share with Harry, your family and friends, the ones that we will not see because we simply don’t know you at that level, the little hand squeeze, the nod they will be yours to have and to hold forever dear in your hearts.

For us, the Nation we will enjoy seeing two young, happy, beautiful people walk down the aisle and we shall raise a glass to your future.

megan@camdenweddings.co.uk

 

Birthstones by Krausz Jewellery

Birthstones Chart – Contemporary Jewellery Inspiration

Birthstone Chart for Bespoke Jewellery Inspiration

There is nothing like a beautiful vibrant coloured gemstones to express your individuality, through wearing a piece of bespoke jewellery.   Colour and sparkle has the ability to lift your mood. Glancing down at your stunning diamond engagement ring would make you happy every time your looked at it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With an infinite choice of coloured gemstones with at least 50 varieties where to start. Gemstones throughout history have been surrounded by stories of mystical powers. Ability to heal or protect the wearer. Back to ancient times wearing birthstones as a ring, necklace or earrings, was a wonderful way to celebrate the month of your birth.

Diamond Bespoke Jewellery Ideas (April birthstone)
The spring birthstone Diamond sparkles like no other gemstone and is a symbol of purity. A diamond is made of pure carbon which is the hardest natural mineral on earth . The perfect choice for an engagement ring. If you’re ever stuck for a present idea you couldn’t go far wrong with a pair of diamond earrings or simple diamond necklace.

Diamonds which were formed millions years ago, even in the simplest setting this magical stone catches the light an captivates with its beauty. Jewellery design for contemporary diamond rings gives you ifinite possiblilties to create unique jewellery. A slight hint at vintage shown in the lovely diamond ring below. Or a more contemporary feeling using yellow gold as a contrast to the diamonds. There are no more rules in jewellery design.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January birthstone – Garnet Ring ideas
The blood red stone is associated with passion and love. A popular gemstone for use in jewellery for over 500 years. Other than the beautiful red garnets this versatile gemstone occurs in a vast array of colours. Which includes the rare and stunning deep green Tsavourite below. Garnets are medium hardness which make them suitable for either cocktail or engagement rings, necklaces or earrings.

 

February – Amethyst Ring Ideas
The rich purple quartz stone has been embraced by jeweller’s and wearers for thousands of years. The marvellous colour ranges from pale lilac to deep purple. My favourites are green Amethyst also called green quartz. I love using them in rings with contrasting yellow gold settings, which highlight the beauty of the stone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March – Aquamarine Ring ideas
Aquamarine is popular among gem collectors for its stunning pale sea green/pale blue colour. A member of the Beryl family, a hard gemstone suitable for all jewellery including engagement rings. Aquamarine is a gemstone signifying courage which was carried by sailors to protect them.

April Weddings superstitions

‘Married ‘neath April’s changeful skies,
A checkered path before you lies.’

‘Marry in April when you can
Joy for maiden and for the man.’

What’s happening at The Betjeman Arms?…

…it’s all stations at The Betjeman Arms as the refurb is now well under way, the estimated time for this exciting rebirth is early April.

The Betjeman Arms is the last pub and dining rooms before Paris or first back in Blighty!

Steeped in history and located under the spectacular arches of the impressive terminus of St Pancras International station. The Betjeman Arms is one of the most civilised traveller’s rests you’re likely to find anywhere. Reminiscent of 1920s nostalgia and times gone by; a charming spot to wait for your train to Paris whilst soaking up the iconic atmosphere of The Grand Terrace over a fine pint of ale or glass of wine.

The venue has several beautiful spaces available each unique and perfectly suited for any occasion from private dining, engagement parties and weddings to birthdays, afternoon tea and business meetings.

We are also proud to maintain our heritage with British seasonal menus developed by our chefs with fresh produce from our home-grown suppliers.

THE GRAND TERRACE – Set amid the soaring splendour of St Pancras concourse but up out of the way of the hustle and bustle, The Grand Terrace looks up to the vaulted ceiling and across to the fading tracks to ooh la la Paris. Equipped with its own bar and Gin Lounge serving cocktails it’s a wonderful space for a wedding reception, a grand dinner, drinks party or a birthday to remember.

THE MAIN DINING ROOM – Large, light and enchanting, our dining room offers a sense of occasion reminiscent of Heritage country houses of old, and is a grand setting for canapé parties and formal dinners.

THE PARLOUR – The Parlour is perfect for champagne breakfasts, drinks dos and gastronomic gatherings.

AFTERNOON TEA
The delectable setting of The Betjeman Arms is perfect for relaxing and devouring afternoon tea perfectly complimented by Sipsmiths gin. The Spread includes freshly made finger sandwiches, scones with cream and jam and an array of savoury nibbles such as mini scotch eggs and sausage rolls.
**Keep your peepers open, we will be rolling out an Afternoon Tea For 2 Gift Experience Voucher by end of April.

THE POET’S CORNER  – A cosy and inviting casual area set near the main bar. The Poet’s Corner is just the ticket for after work drinks parties, birthday celebrations or ideal for playing host to business meetings of a more informal nature. With easy access to our main bar this means smaller parties can also benefit from the space.

THE STUDY – A 1920s train carriage inspired design – Sit back and soak up the heritage features. Ideal for Private Dining or all day business meetings.

www.thebetjemanarms.co.uk

Getting married under the Zodiac sign of ARIES?

Zodiac Weddings

Your Wedding Date: March 21 – April 19

Aries is a very adventurous, bold, and independent sign. If you tie the knot during this time you’ll thrive as individuals and not risk losing site of yourselves in the relationship. Your marriage will be filled with lots of spontaneity, too. Think last minute getaways, exciting dinner dates, and unexpected romantic surprises. But be careful not to get too competitive with each other, as Aries couples tend to do.

March Weddings superstitions

‘Married when March winds shrill and roar,
Your home will lie on a distant shore.’

‘If you wed when March winds blow
Joy and sorrow both you’ll know.’

Getting married under the Zodiac sign of PISCES?

Zodiac Weddings

Your Wedding Date: February 19 – March 20

Pisces is the sign of fantasy, imagination, romance, and creativity. You and your hubby are no doubt an incredibly dreamy match. Expect vow renewals and anniversary getaways in your future. Beware of getting too much out of touch with reality, however. You don’t want to let your emotions take over to the point where you aren’t grounded as a couple and begin to overspend to accommodate your creative endeavors.

February Weddings superstitions

February Weddings superstitions

‘Married in February’s sleepy weather,
Life you’ll tread in time together.’

‘When February birds do mate
You wed nor dread your fate.’

Wedding Wednesday

Wedding Wednesday

Did you know in English tradition and Folklore, Wednesday is considered the ‘best day’ to
marry?  Although Monday is for wealth and
Tuesday is for health.

A Wednesday wedding can also be a cost
effective and more readily available alternative to a more
popular Saturday date meaning you may get that dream venue,
car or band more easily.

Getting married under the Zodiac sign of AQUARIUS?

Zodiac Weddings

Your Wedding Date: January 20 – February 18

The Aquarius marriage can best be described as unconventional, quirky, and modern. You’re each other’s best friend, but you’re also a very social couple that hosts a ton of parties. You enjoy going out and being amongst a big crowd. To keep your marriage strong, it’s important to make sure you set aside enough one-on-one time together.

Getting married under the Zodiac sign of CAPRICORN?

Zodiac Weddings

Your Wedding Date: December 22 – January 19

Capricorn is the sign of tradition, which is why this winter wedding typically happens around Christmastime or the New Year.
You and your hubby are all about legacy and honoring your heritage.
You love celebrating the holidays and carrying on traditions from your childhood.
One thing you both need to work on though is learning to enjoy the present instead of always planning for your future.

December Weddings superstitions

December Weddings superstitions

‘Married in days of December’s cheer,
Love’s star shines brighter from year to year.’

‘When December’s snows fall fast,
Marry and true love will last.’

Getting married under the Zodiac sign of SAGITTARIUS?

Zodiac Weddings

Your Wedding Date: November 22 – December 21

The Sagittarius couple is very outgoing, adventurous, and worldly.
There will most likely be a lot of travel in your future. You’re constantly learning and taking classes together, and you’re both incredibly open-minded as well.
Nevertheless, you tend to take too many risks sometimes, particularly financially.
Try not to live so much on the edge and hold down the fort at home

Victorian Moulin Rouge New Year’s Eve Party

Victorian Moulin Rouge New Year’s Eve Party

Victorian Moulin Rouge New Year’s Eve Party @ St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, London.

Enjoy a Parisian-Style New Year’s Eve, marvel at the spectacular live jazz, and party the night away at an event you’re sure to remember for years to come.

£30 standing tickets will get you entry into our Victorian Moulin Rouge party and includes a glass of Veuve Clicquot Champagne on arrival.

If you wish to book a table to dine or drink with us or for group reservations please contact booking office team on 020 7841 3566 alternatively email us at;
bookingoffice@renaissancehotels.com we will be serving a set 5-course menu from 7:30pm for £130 per person including a half bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne.

Live Music starts 9pm till 1am following DJ till 3am.

Will you be there?

More information http://www.stpancraslondon.com/en/offers/festive-celebrations

 

Christmas Party Time at Ambassadors Bloomsbury

Christmas Party Time at Ambassadors Bloomsbury

We like to keep things to the last minute.  Have you booked your office Christmas party yet?  If not, we may be able to help with your last minute needs.

We offer stress free parties, you may wish to join lots of other guests at a shared event or have your own exclusive private event.

Choose one of our packages or let us design something just for you. Santa is not the only one who loves our food and you will be guaranteed not to have any plastic turkey or lumpy custard with your Christmas pudding at this year’s party!!

  
Spaces still available in our ‘Shared Christmas Party’ as follows:

Join A Party (13th Dec) – £45 per person (incl VAT)
–          Glass of bubbly on arrival
–          Carvery Buffet
–          Half bottle of house wine
–          DJ & Dance floor
–          Sashes and place cards
Minimum numbers of 8 required.

Exclusive Christmas party dates still available for 1st Dec and 22nd Dec as follows:

Glitter Ball – £69 per person (incl VAT)
–          Glass of Prosecco
–          Traditional 3 course seated Christmas dinner with mince pies
–          Half bottle of house wine
–          DJ & Dance Floor
–          Photo booth
–          Sashes and place cards
Minimum numbers of 60 required.

Various dates for a Christmas buffet are still available as follows.

Christmas Buffet – £25 per person
–          Private room
–          Sashes and place cards
Minimum numbers of 30 required.

Book your Christmas Lunch or Dinner at our Number 12 restaurant for £29.50 per person (incl VAT)

–          Lunch available from 12 noon – 3.30pm
–          Dinner available from 5.30pm – 9.45pm

Call Santa on 0207 693 5423 or email him at Christmas@ambassadors.co.uk

Love is in the air at BMA House

Love is in the air at BMA House

Our top 5 tips on planning the wedding of your dreams…

annabaz_bma-house_wedding-0329

Yes folks, it’s that time of the year again, when shops, online retailers and colleagues’ desks are full of everything red! Dreary and depressing for some, but oh so exciting for others who’ve been waiting in anticipation ever since the letdown of a non proposal on New Year’s Eve! So ladies, were you one of the lucky ones to receive a sparkling diamond ring on the 14th February? A huge CONGRATULATIONS to you.

Now is the time to get planning for your big day, but where to begin? Here are my top five tips in the best order to get cracking to ensure this lovely engagement period is smooth and as stress free as possible.

  1. Choosing your wedding venue

First thing first, you can’t have a wedding without a wedding venue, so put this at the top of your planning list. Questions you should consider discussing with your fiancé before you call up for a visit are; where is the venue located? If far away, you’ll need to think about accommodation the night prior for yourselves, as well as places for friends and family to stay.

Are you dreaming of your drinks reception and photos outside in luscious greenery, or a modern barn setting where fun garden games and tug of war games take place? If so, look for a venue with plenty of outdoor space, but what is key is choosing a venue as much for its interior as its exterior. No one’s going to want to be sipping champagne and tottering around in high heels in the mud, so make sure you are prepared for all guests to be indoors and for your wedding photos to have an inside backdrop, unless you’re happy to put on fashionable wellies, grab a big brolley and enjoy the English rain!

BMA House has four gorgeous inside rooms, each licensed for both civil ceremonies and wedding receptions for up to 200 guests, together with two stunning outdoor spaces ideal for live music and your champagne and canape reception.

And talking about food…this WILL be the talking point for all your guests so ensure your venue offers the variety and cuisine you are hoping for. If you’re keen on serving your uncle’s best wine or your fiancé’s favourite craft beer, ask if the venue allows you to bring in your own alcohol and if they charge a corkage fee. And lastly, get as much help as possible, see if the venue offers an in-house wedding planner who can help plan your day, after all you’re likely to have never done this stuff before. BMA House offers a dedicated wedding planner to guide you on all aspects of planning your special day.

  1. Picking your perfect photographer

Good photographers will get booked up well in advance, so do look around as soon as possible so you can secure your photographer. Once your wedding is over, all you will have left are your memories of the day and photographs, so it’s important you choose the right person to photograph your special day, and in a style you’re comfortable with. Meet a range of photographers and ask to see some of their work, as well as browsing their online galleries.

Another popular option nowadays is to have an engagement photoshoot, which is a lovely opportunity for you both to meet your photographer and to get used to being behind a lens, bearing in mind this person will be with you all day from bridal preparation through until the first dance, you’re going to want to feel at ease with them.

  1. Bridesmaids

Choose them wisely and don’t take any abuse from friends and family if they feel hard done by if you’ve not chosen them as your bridesmaids. People can be funny when it comes to this subject, but stick to your guns; you’ve chosen your favourites for a reason. If you have close friends who you’d like to make part of your day, get them to help out in other ways, for example, doing a reading during your ceremony, helping you make your wedding favours, or assisting setting up your dining tables. This way you’ve involved everyone.

  1. Finding your ultimate wedding dress

Dress fitting is another daunting task, and usually the dress you’ve dreamed of since you were a young girl is often not the dress you’ll go for. Fittings need to be booked in advance, most bridal shops will not let you just turn up and try on a range of dresses, so make sure you book an appointment and take along mum or your chief bridesmaid as a second option is worthwhile.

Be wary when buying from places online and do checkout the supplier’s ratings, as some dresses can appear to be one thing, then when they turn up, many a bride I’ve known has been disappointed but the seller has not had a refund policy due to this being a bespoke dress. So my advice is do your homework and try it on before you buy.

Don’t rush into buying the first dress you see, you’ve got to be 100% happy with the style and fit. Your dress will be the first thing your guests will glance at when they see you walking down the aisle.

  1. Honeymoon destinations

Another big job, but a very exciting one to plan! With so many destinations to choose from, the first thing to think about is the time of year you are looking to jet off as this will condense your country search, for example, it’s unadvisable to travel to some parts of the Caribbean during their hurricane season.

I’m seeing more and more couples taking a ‘mini-moon’ immediately after their wedding, then going on a longer break months after. This is a nice idea as it allows you time to reflect on your wedding, see friends and family again the following day, to unpack and open up your cards and gifts…and still have something to look forward to later on in the year! This option is also good if you’re ideal honeymoon destination is in its rainy or stormy season around your wedding day, meaning it may not be ideal to fly out then.

Written by Rebecca Hurley

Contact us on 020 7874 7020 or email events@bma.org.uk

BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JP

November Weddings superstitions

November Weddings superstitions

‘Married in veils of November mist,
Fortune your wedding ring has kissed.’

‘Love will come but riches tarry.
If you wed in bleak November.’

Halloween – All Hallows Eve

You can bob for apples, dress as the bride of Frankenstein or Stephen King’s scary clown, or maybe even try to ignore Halloween and hide when the doorbell rings!…

…BUT Halloween was traditionally about finding a husband and figuring out what sort of husband you would get married to!

Here are a few Halloween tales:

When bobbing for apples, it is believed that the first person to bite an apple would be the first to marry.

Make some mashed potato in an18th century Irish style. Hide a ring in the mashed
potato, and whoever finds it gets true love – if they haven’t choked to death!

Buy some hazelnuts, give them the names of people you fancy and throw them in a fire? The nuts that burn to ashes, rather than exploding or popping, represents your true love. Annoyingly some cultures believe the complete opposite is true.

Peel an apple and toss peels over your shoulder, the peelings will spell out the name of your future husband.

Oomancy – egg divination. People have looked at eggs to tell the future ever since there were eggs. Pierce the egg, pour the white into a bowl of hot water, and read the symbols the egg whites form as they half-poach in the bowl.

Stand in a darkened room looking over your shoulder into a mirror you will see your
future husband’s face -eeeek!

On Halloween your ball of yarn, From out the window fling,
And he who is to be your fate, will come to wind the string.

Fill your mouth with water, shut it tight, pray for good luck on this magic night,
cross your fingers and go forth and greet the first man you meet on the street.
And no matter how odd your actions may seem, he’s bound to propose to you Halloween.

Another 18th century Irish classic. This one involves looking into a bowl of water at
midnight on Halloween in an attempt to see your future love.

Getting married under the Zodiac sign of SCORPIO?

Zodiac Weddings

Your Wedding Date: October 23 – November 21

Scorpio is an extremely sexy and intense sign. There’s bound to be a ton of intimacy and passion inyour marriage, and you should have no problem keeping the romance alive over the years. Scorpio is also a sign of power and control though, so jealousy issues can crop up down the line. Be careful and make sure that if you’re feeling hurt you talk about it. You don’t want to let a power struggle ruin your marriage.

Getting married under the Zodiac sign of LIBRA?

Zodiac Weddings

Your Wedding Date: September 23 – October 22

Libra is the sign that rules marriage. This is probably why October is one of the biggest wedding months. Libra marriages are, not surprisingly, very much about balance and give and take from both partners. The relationship is a real priority to you and your man. However, the danger lies in losing your individuality. Remember to break out of the couple bubble and do things on your own too.

Designer Vintage Headpieces

Designer Vintage Headpieces

Bespoke Wedding Headpieces, Tiaras 

Every piece of vintage jewellery tells a story from a bygone era. Its wonderful to source only the most equisite materials from the 1930’s to 1960s, sculpting them into a bespoke bridal headpiece using fresh water pearls.

Lovely photo by www.samlanephotography.co.uk

Vintage Wedding Headpiece, Designer wedding Headpiece, bridal hair accessory

Queen for a day

A touch of Hollywood galmour and a hint of magic, 1940s costume jewellery looked and felt like the real thing.  A contemporay bride on her wedding day, or a woman of any age getting ready for a party or event, at the moment they complete their outfit with a tiara or headpiece, I want them to feel special, every woman deserves to be Audrey Hepburn, Marlyn Monroe or Queen for the day.

wedding headpiece, vintage headpiece, designer headpiece

Hierloom pieces recreated into a contemporary, one off designer headpiece should be worn several times and passed on to the next generation, giving the jewellery many more years of life. I met a lovely girl at a wedding fair recently who had a tiara that she was going to wear on her wedding day it had been passed on though 4 generations.

www.krauszjewellery.co.uk/product-category/headpieces

one off headpiece

Something old Something new

Something old Something new
Something borrowed Something blue

We’ve all heard this rhyme used when someone gets married, but what does it mean?
Wearing “something old” represents the bride’s past, while the “something new” symbolises the couple’s happy future.
The bride is supposed to get her “something
borrowed”
 from someone who is happily married in the hope that some of that person’s good fortune rubs off on her. “Something blue” denotes fidelity and love.

Getting married under the Zodiac sign of VIRGO?

Zodiac Weddings

Your Wedding Date : August 23 – September 22

Virgo is an extremely organized, refined, and healthy sign. You and your husband pay attention to the little things and you’re all about the details. He’s your cheerleader and you’re his, which is why helping each other out comes so naturally. Though you may get stuck focusing on your problems and lose site of the bigger picture since you can be a bit nitpicky.

 

 

First Wedding Dance Styles DAY 7 Summary

First Wedding Dance Styles DAY 7 Summary

We hope you enjoyed our daily First Wedding Dance Styles Blog over the past week.  It may be a wet summer, but this is our Summary Day!
We have a winner!
We’re pleased to announce the winner of our competition was Rachel Barratt who is getting married in October!  Congratulations Rachel and Luke.  We look forward to starting to create a bespoke dance especially for you!
If you missed out we’re still offering our lesson discount – scroll down to the end for more information…
First Dance Styles in a nutshell…
Here’s an easy reference summary of all the posts over the last week for you to click on and review.
If you’d like to  have an initial conversation about your dance, or book a dance consultation with one of our experienced teachers.

Visit our Contact Us page for more information.

Discount

Don’t forget – to celebrate Alison TLOD’s birthday we’re offering a 20% discount to anyone who books their First Dance Lessons, Hen Party or Event Entertainment before 30th September 2017 and mentions “TLOD Birthday”.

Thank you for reading and happy First Dance planning!

We leave you with a clip of Caroline and Tim’s First dance – a Foxtrot…

First Wedding Dance Styles DAY 6 Freestyle Dance

First Wedding Dance Styles DAY 6 Freestyle Dance

…and all the Dance Styles in between.

This is our Wild Card Style day celebrating the first wedding dances that are a bit ‘left of centre’. The Wedding Dance YouTube videos have given rise to the phenomena of more adventurous couples wanting something a little less traditional. The Love of Dance’s teachers have massive experience in choreographing, performing and teaching in many styles of dance beyond Latin and Ballroom – we know no boundaries!

Freestyle Dance / Non-traditional First Dances

This is where your first dance gets exciting and has the potential to really thrill your guests. A fun, novelty statement routine could incorporate dance styles such as street dance or musical theatre styles – jazz or tap dance perhaps?  Or why not re-enact a famous dance scene from your favourite film, musical or music video. Don’t worry – you can still keep the romance – how about bringing a touch of Hollywood glam – think Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire!
John and Hannah wanted a medley of songs and they really went for it.  They started with the Dirty Dancing routine, into MC Hammer’s Can’t Touch This, finishing with Black Eyed Peas I Got A Feeling.  It entertained us teachers for sure – imagine how their guests responded!
You bring the music you like, whether one or multiple songs, and we’ll fit the movements to it, according to your requirements. At least within the scope of what the wedding dress will allow!
 
Event Entertainment - 50th Birthday Party

Event Entertainment – 50th Birthday Party

Freestyle Partner Dance

We’ve all had the fling around the dancefloor with a friend, partner or family member to mimic partner dance steps seen done by the pros.  These are moves we throw into routines to give them a bit of wow factor, which don’t necessarily follow footwork patterns of the structured social dances, but are used to fit the music.  After all – you’re won’t be competing for the world finals (not quite yet).  The rules are there to be broken as far as your first dance is concerned!

Dance for All!

Our favourite routines involve the bridesmaids and groomsmen…or as a surprise to the couple perhaps the guests could join in flash mob style!
To finish our week of The Love of Dance styles, although not strictly a wedding event here is a routine we choreographed for a 50th birthday party to give an idea of what we can achieve with you.  The client here commissioned us to produce a routine with professional dancers to his chosen song – we fulfilled the brief and then some.  Unbeknownst to him we taught his closest friends the routine too and they jumped in halfway through the song.  They’ll had lots of fun learning the dance – and the birthday boy? He loved it.

First Wedding Dance Styles DAY 5 Jive & Swing

First Wedding Dance Styles DAY 5 Jive & Swing

Get the Wedding Party Started with a Swing

Swing dance styles are the more fun, vivacious dance styles to suit more up-tempo tracks – great first wedding dances to to get the party started.  There are many types of Swing Dance, including Lindy Hop, Charleston, Jive and Rock N Roll created in the 1920s-50s to accompany swing style jazz music.
The Love of Dance Jive Dance Party

Heres a throwback photo to one of our jive parties we taught at for a regular dance social dinner and dance!

Jive for example is classed as one of the international latin styles of dance.  It came from the US in the 1930s and has a bit of a retro vibe about it.  Your first dance song doesn’t have to be from these eras – here are some songs that we think perfectly fit Jive and Swing dance:
  • Happy – Pharrell
  • Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars
  • Candy Man – Christine Aguilera
  • Sing Sing Sing – Benny Goodman
  • Do Your Thing – Basement Jaxx
Social Jive Dance basic steps consist of two slow steps on the spot and then a ‘quick quick’ rock back and forward.  The steps should be light and bouncy and the upper body is free and responds to the usually jazzy and lively music with an air of showmanship and lots of smiles!
We’re not just about weddings. TLOD has also taught Jive and Swing dance parties for many occasions such as birthdays and commercial party events. Taster sessions in any dance style are a fun way to help guests get up to their feet and onto the dance floor. Your guests get mingling whilst learning some basic steps too!

First Wedding Dance Styles DAY 4 Salsa & Rumba

First Wedding Dance Styles DAY 4 Salsa & Rumba

Bring Your Sauce to the Dancefloor with the Latino styles

Salsa
If you want to bring a bit of sauce to your first dance or maybe your first dance song has a bit of latino flavour, Salsa is a good style to throw some dynamic moves into your routine.  Originally from Cuba with African and Spanish influences, and developed further in South America and New York too, this dance style is sure to bring a bit of fiesta to your day.  A style of dance that can also transfer to many dance floors together, once you have some basics under your belts.  Salsa can be entirely spiced up with the full on latino hip swank, it can be fun and energetic, sensual, or tamed down according to your preference to become a stylish first dance.  There are many different types of Salsa, depending on the country or region of origin – e.g. Cuban or New York cross body style.  Your teacher may specialise in one, two or many styles thus influencing the footwork and floor patterns you will learn.
Songs to suit Salsa:
  • If You Had My Love – Jennifer Lopez
  • Fly Me to The Moon – search the salsa version on Youtube
  • Suavamente – Elvis Crespo
  • Sway (There are many versions of the Dean Martin original.  Bublé does a cha-cha version. Have a search on Youtube for the many different versions.)
  • Have a listen to the Buena Vista Social Club album.
Quite often you may find Salsa covers of popular songs – worth a search through YouTube for the options!
 
Rumba
Just like Salsa, Rumba has flexibility to be as camped up Strictly Come Dancing/competition style or smoothed out to be a little more relaxed.  A little more intimate style than salsa, Rumba suits many modern popular and jazz standard songs on the 4/4 tempo, with a prolonged, slow first step and two percussive quick steps.  The song doesn’t necessarily have to have latino flavour.
Some of our favourite song examples that suit the Rumba are:
  • Can’t Take My Eyes off You – Andy Williams/Franki Valli
  • At Last – Etta James
  • The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson
  • My Baby Just Cares for Me – Nina Simone
Here’s Amie and Alex’s First Dance using the Rumba footwork.  Watch out for the sustained first two beats to the bar.

 

First Wedding Dance

Dan & Jo. Photo (c) Kirstin Prisk

First Wedding Dance Styles DAY 3 Waltz

First Wedding Dance Styles DAY 3 Waltz

As part of our daily guide helping you choose your First Wedding Dance style, will it be a Wedding Day Waltz?

Originating from Germany, the characteristic flowing rise and fall of the Waltz offers an ethereal, graceful quality when bride and groom dance in their wedding day finery.  Another of the more classic, romantic and formal styles of ballroom, which will suit songs that are counted in a 3/4 time signature. Three beats to the bar means three steps in a basic Waltz footwork pattern.

Body Control

Couples dance in closed hold and you’ll see from the video example below the man/the lead have a strong, proud air to their poise, remaining lifted in the chest, whilst the woman/the follower may arch backwards.  There is minimal movement to the upper body, aside from the dancers’ upper body leaning slightly to follow the turn of the head towards the left or right shoulder.

Travelling Patterns

Social Waltz steps usually travel anti-clockwise around the dance floor, and in a ballroom with many other partners dancing, couples will move to the centre of the floor to perform steps on the spot.  The usual rules of course can be stretched for your first wedding dance, so that the floor patterns can travel in any direction, or that posture can be more relaxed.

The Music

There are different types of Waltz dance, as there are many forms of the music.  Traditionally classical composers such as Strauss, Chopin and Brahms wrote Waltz scores, and now more modern popular songs using the 3/4 time signature can also be danced to, such as;
Come Away With Me – Nora Jones
Kissing You – Des’ree
Kiss From A Rose – Seal
If I Ain’t Got You – Alicia Keys
Here’s a beautiful Waltz from a Strictly Come Dancing moment, performed to Des’ree’s Kissing You.  Just like something out of a fairytale.

First Dance Lesson (c) Mike Edwards

First Wedding Dance Styles DAY 2 Foxtrot

First Wedding Dance Styles DAY 2 Foxtrot

Over the coming week we’re releasing a First Wedding Dance style per day as part of our guide to helping to choose a style for you. Today we’re looking at Foxtrot!

Foxtrot is quite a common wedding dance style – a classic, romantic and smooth ballroom dance, couples can take their time and feel confident on the dance floor.  Some types of Foxtrot can be a little more up-tempo depending on the song.  Think ladies gliding around in their beautiful ball gowns, led by dapper gents in their coats and tails.  Classy.

Karina and Theo wanted to dance to John Legend’s All Of You.  They didn’t want anything too adventurous, just needing some dance lessons for some pointers on the floor.  The song is nice and relaxed at a gentle 4/4 tempo.  They had some basic social Slow Foxtrot dance lessons and a simple structured routine using just the basic steps and a few ‘generic partner moves’ (see below) that allowed them to move calmly around the floor, whilst having a little flourish of moves to offer those photo worthy moments; opening out toward the audience and finishing with a classic dip (groom leans bride backwards).  They looked so chilled during their routine which meant they could just really enjoy the moment. Watch Karina and Theo here:

 

Other songs to suit Foxtrot:
Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton
Here Comes The Sun – Nina Simone
You & I (Nobody In The World) – John Legend
The Way you Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra
Let There Be Love – Nat King Cole

Discount and Competition Time!

It’s founder Alison’s birthday on Saturday.  To celebrate TLOD is offering a 20% discount to anyone who books their First Dance Lessons, Hen Party or Event Entertainment before 30th September 2017 and mentions “TLOD Birthday”.

We’re also running a competition. To be in with a chance of winning a first dance lesson follow these instructions:

  1. Subscribe to ‘The Love of Dance’ on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram;
  2. Reply to this email that you would like to enter and Forward this email on;
  3. Tag 1 or more friends who you think would like to take advantage of this give away; and
  4. We’ll announce the winner on Alison’s birthday 19th August!

The more routes you interact with, the more you increase your chances of winning!

First Wedding Dance Style

First Wedding Dance Style

You know you want to learn a routine or have dance lessons for your First Wedding Dance, and may even have played out how the first dance might look in your heads.  The many viral wedding dance videos may have been inspiration for your daydreams – but which style of dance should you choose?  Over the coming week we’ll release a dance style per day as part of our guide to helping you decide.

A guide to choosing your First Wedding Dance Style

First Dance Styles

The Song

You probably know which song you’d like to dance to on your special day.  Without dance lessons or prior preparation, the gentle sway from side to side may be some couples’ natural go-to groove for the more traditional slow song, or for something more up tempo, a fun ‘we’re in the disco style’ bop might do.

For something a little more memorable however, to either give yourselves a bit of a confidence boost on the day, or to give your guests something to talk about, a little choreography (let’s call it a structured routine if that sounds scary), or dance lessons in a style that suits your song could be for you.

The Style

Your The Love Of Dance teacher is more likely to teach you the ‘social’ style of dance forms rather than the formal, more structured competition style.  You may see variations in footwork in comparison to styles of dance you see on tv as there are quite often different variations of each type, so don’t worry if your style doesn’t look exactly like you’ve seen on TV dance competitions etc.  We aim however to leave you with a good foundation in your style for you to carry with you forever more!

Style and Music in Harmony

The Love of Dance teachers will work with you and your choice of song/s to find a style of dance that works with the music.  I say either ‘song’ or ‘songs’, as you may either be stuck on which song of many to choose from, in which case a consultation with us will demonstrate and allow you to try a few dance styles to suss out what you feel comfortable with, or you may want a medley of songs, so your teacher may suggest you have a little mash-up of dance styles to create a really impressive routine!  Your teacher will also get to know you and help to create the bespoke routine unique to your personalities, abilities and initial visions you may have.

…but we don’t have a Song?

You may even have the style of dance in mind, but not a clue of a suitable song to go with your style.  We can advise here too, giving you some songs to listen to if need be. There are many websites giving First Dance Song inspiration – just have a google search and see what comes up.

Live Entertainment

You may have a live wedding band and you could talk to them about performing the first dance song for you.  Make sure you give them the same version of the song you’ve got in mind so they play the right arrangement as you are unlikely to get a rehearsal with them. The Love of Dance can also provide live music to suit a desired theme or musical taste, taking the hassle out of finding music yourselves. Visit our Event Entertainment Page for more info and contact us to discuss.

Discounts and Giveaway Competition!!

It’s founder Alison’s birthday on Saturday 19th August.  To celebrate TLOD is offering a 20% discount to anyone who books their First Dance Lessons, Hen Party or Event Entertainment before 30th September 2017 and mentions “TLOD Birthday”.
We’re also doing a competition. To be in with a chance of winning a first dance lesson follow these instructions:
  1. Subscribe to ‘The Love of Dance’s’ blog;
  2. Comment that you would like to enter
  3. Forward the Blog Link on to anyone you know getting married (even if they’re not engaged yet!);
  4. Ask your friends to do the same; and
  5. We’ll announce the winner on Alison’s birthday!

This competition is also running on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – so you may increase your chances of winning if you share through those too!

The Glasshouse on the Lock – Wedding Fayre Saturday 9th September 2017

Wedding Fayre Saturday 9th September 2017

Visit the Glasshouse on the Lock for their Wedding Fayre…

The Glasshouse on the Lock is part of Holiday Inn London.
Camden Lock is a true gem in the heart of the action where wedding guests are spoiled for choice, with local attractions pre & post their special day.

The Glasshouse on the Lock is also the perfect venue for Same-Sex Weddings. Being fully licenced for civil ceremonies in both the Glasshouse and our Camden suite.

Follow the link to view Phil & Tyrone’s experience at the Glasshouse on the Lock.
http://www.wonderfulweddingvenues.co.uk/real-weddings/phil-tyrone/

Please confirm your attendance to sales@hicamdenlock.co.uk

It’s like rain on your Wedding Day…

It’s like rain on your Wedding Day…

In some cultures, rain on your wedding day symbolises
fertility and cleansing.

A couple’s wedding was interrupted by a torrential
downpour, and nine months to the day of the wedding,
their child was born.

 

…it can also make for fantastic photos – get your
funky wellies ready!

Getting married under the Zodiac sign of LEO?

Zodiac Weddings

Your Wedding Date: July 23 – August 22

Leo couples are likely to have a very dramatic, theatrical, and passionate marriage. You both have strong opinions and you’re certainly not shy about sharing them. While it’s nice that there’s a lot of romance and passion, you do have a habit of getting too dramatic sometimes.

This could result in a power struggle, so be careful not to boss each other around.

Choosing your Wedding Venue…

…choosing your Wedding Venue is on a par with choosing the right Wedding Dress…
…and similarly comes down to the heart vibe as well as practicality.

Fall in love with your Venue, after all it’s where your two hearts will entwine and you will leave as one, with an exciting future of togetherness ahead of you.  Visualise yourself, your dress, your theme, your chosen wedding transport, your guests (their transport), your caterers, the photos in your album – does it WOW you?!

Ceremony – Is there a choice of rooms? could it be outside? what about the unpredictable British weather?

Transport – If you are having, say, a horse drawn carriage, a bus, a limousine do the roads leading there accommodate this (limos do not do narrow twisty lanes too well)?
Does the venue have enough space to create the image you have in your mind when arriving? do they allow animals in their grounds? speed bumps can also be an issue to some vehicles, as can cattle grids!

Location – Does it have ‘that arch’, ‘that staircase’ or ‘that to die for backdrop’?
Will your guest be able to arrive there easily? are there transport links, a city or international airport nearby even? can your guests stay on site or are there nearby hotels? Is there outdoor space for
children to run about and tire themselves, if needed? (this can be very useful!).

Capacity – What size venue do you need? Work out your numbers – you don’t want it to be
overcrowded yet you don’t want it to feel too spacious either.  It can be hard to visualise this, ask if it is possible to view the venue when it is set up for another wedding/function.  Most venues will have a photo library if this is not possible.  They will have some example seating plans, this will aid you in working out if your guests will be comfortable.

Timings – Discuss how the day will unfold, you will want to avoid long pauses. The venue will be able to guide you with a turnaround time from arrival, through ceremony service, to departure onto your
reception.
Of course you may be having your reception at the same location, plan what your guests can do while you are having some photographs taken.  All though it is your day, you need to consider your guests – you don’t want to loose them if there are many rooms, or a vast outdoor area for them to wander in.

If your ceremony and reception are in the same location the venue can advise on things like reception drinks, caterers, photographers, videographers, registrars, florists, table decorations, hair and make up stylist, MC/toastmaster, bands/DJ’s, photo booth, taxi’s.

Photography – View both the inside and outside space and around the local area, your photographer will want the best experience for you – this may mean leaving the venue and your guests for a short while.  Consider the lighting, time of day and practice your smiles.

Visit the Venue more than once.  Make a list and ask away.
Budget – don’t forget some elements of the day will require VAT to be added.
Capacity – sit down and work out your numbers, for the Ceremony, wedding breakfast through to
Reception.
Catering – dietary requirements, bbq, cuisine from other countries, perhaps?
Suppliers – check you can choose your own.  You may have creative friends who wish to dress the venue, bake the cake, photograph the day for you.
Confetti – is it allowed?
Live Music/DJ – mic for speeches, first dance, dance floor area, time restrictions for volume, power, if you are using a marquee.
Entertainment – magician, caricaturist.
Fireworks, sparklers or even just candles – check your venue permits them.
Restrictions – ask if there are any?
Use a spreadsheet – sorry I really hate to say this, but it can really help with the final decision!

Stay in control, it is 100% your day – enjoy it x

Please view our Venues both Ceremony and Reception, check out our suppliers too.

Getting married under the Zodiac sign of CANCER?

Zodiac Weddings

Your Wedding Date : June 21 – July 22

Home is where the heart is for Cancers.

You really like to pamper your husband (and vice versa). Cooking together is another shared interest. And don’t be surprised if you have a lot of cutesy nicknames for each other.

The danger Cancers face is getting a little too wrapped up as a couple and becoming homebodies. Make sure to get out, be interactive, and stay connected to friends and family.

Karen Beadle – an introduction

I thought this would be the best way to say hello and introduce myself post Camden Weddings networking event. My background is extensive (training hair & beauty) so I’m able to work with make-up & hair depending on the client’s budget and number of people. My personal website KarenBeadle. Below are some further links to pass on to your clients who might be interested in working with me. Or want advice.

I work through Browns Bride as a make-up artist and listed in the Browns Bride Little White Book. Endorsed by Quintessentially Concierge, weddings and events and listed in the Quintessentially Secret Weddings Guide when first published. The Quintessentially Bride Blog written by me for Quintessentially.

Listed by Four Seasons Bridal Twitter as a bridal beauty expert. 5Starweddings and Catalonia Weddings interviews from the recent past. Devised and ran short make-up courses at Morley College SE1 for ten years.

If you wanted to discuss how we could work together please feel free to contact me. I offer various services for weddings, from one to one, workshops in groups, make-up lessons and advice about skin care and the latest treatments in London. Sometimes brides just want to know how to apply their own make-up on the day. If you wanted to connect with me on social media then I’ll certainly follow you back. I have a PDF of Services & Prices if you wanted further information. Just to add advice given is written into a Look Book for make-up lessons and run through’s as a memento. I only work with consumer products so items are easily bought online or over the counter.

Twitter @karenbeadle Instagram @beautylondonstyle @karenbmakeupartist

Just to add I’ve worked as a beauty editor for Paul Mitchell Luxury hair care company for five years, and written about the latest in skin care, beauty and make-up trends for women and men. Work colleague Photographer Robert Fairer supplied the images until he was hired by Anna Wintour at American Vogue. I worked with Robert as a hair and make-up artist on shoots for many years before starting to write as a beauty journalist.

I run two blogs CreativeBeauty beautylondonstyle
Facebook Pages KarenBeadle beautylondonstyle makeupfashionstyle

Anyway hope to connect with you at some point in the near future. Feel free to contact me.. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Karen 🙂
Mobile 07768 981 421 Twitter @karenbeadle

Credits:

Photography @alhsnaps 

Model @rebeccalfinch

Bridal Designer @rashalondon 

CW Networking Event ‘Trends’ – Michael Richards, Your London Wedding Magazine

Tonight’s first trend is….

Wedding Food

Drip cakes, +437%

Drip cakes are the new naked cakes (icing lovers rejoice!)

The design incorporates one main colour, on-trend pale shades, and then a contrasting a bright-toned icing is drizzled on top, running down the sides to create this eye-catching finish to the cake. It’s most common on a multi-layer, single tier design, though you could go multi-tier for a real showstopper!

Brunch weddings, +35%

Daytime weddings with brunch-themed menus are on the rise. As a nation, we apparently love breakfast at any time of day; gone is the five-course sit-down option which has been replaced by the all-day breakfast, or continental favourites such as pastries and preserves.

Part of this increasing ‘brunch trend’ is the addition of sweet items, I personally love the up-and-coming doughnut wall

(google it, trust me you won’t be disappointed with what you see!).

Personalized drink stations, +50%

A great interactive addition to any reception is a DIY drink station. Enabling guests to personalise their beverage choices – gin and tonic, coffee and syrups, mocktails and cocktails – this theme works whatever your tipple!

For presentation; opt for vintage jars with taps, mini milk bottles or even frozen Pimms in ice-lolly moulds for something different!

A more detailed cocktail hour, +60%

Couples are ditching traditional post-ceremony drinks & canapes and giving guests a fun and tasty alternative: Creative food and drink pairings such as small hamburgers with shots of beer or cider or oysters with sparkling wine are on the rise! For a summer refresher, a cosmopolitan jelly shot paired with an elderflower flavoured sorbet would make you nuptials so on-trend!

Taco Party, +132%

We could blame it on the rise of the taco emoji last year, or just that brides- and grooms-to-be have realised that Tacos stations, mobile pizza bars and all-things-grilled cheese from food trucks create a fun, tasty and budget-friendly food option – you can serve up street food from all corners of the globe at your London wedding! It doesn’t get hotter and fresher than this big trend.


Wedding Style & Fashion

Wedding tattoos, +116%

Because tattoos + marriage = forever. Couples are getting inked with their wedding dates, wedding bands and floral bouquets to mark their love and the occasion.

Off the shoulder wedding dresses, +158%

Having been big in mainstream fashion the trend has made its way into bridal style.  Expect to be seeing a lot of these at upcoming weddings.

Statement earrings, +67%

Brides are making a statement when it comes to accessories, particularly earrings. Don’t think Pat Butcher from EastEnders as that would-be way off the mark.

Big can be beautiful. Think custom designed pieces with precious stones finishing off the look.

Printed bridesmaid dresses, +50%

Printed, and often mismatched bridesmaid’s dresses are continuing in popularity. Whether it’s a sassy and bold, or a classic colour in varying styles, the bride’s best gals are expressing their personalities in their bridesmaid-style choices.

Blue suits for grooms, +90%

Men are having fun with colour, as grooms are passing on traditional black or grey suits for a more fun, brighter blue hue with a colour-pop of floral prints.

The continuing rise of the tailor-made suit means that big day looks (and budgets) aren’t just reserved for the bride’s dress.

Wedding Beauty

Just as important as the fashion and accessories are, big day looks wouldn’t be complete without hair and beauty being taken into account.

This year is all about pink eyeshadow and berry lips (I’m reliably informed) which was spotted at the most recent Bridal fashion week!

Lip masks, +388%

Speaking of lips…skincare routines are definitely a must. Thanks to Emma Stone’s Golden Globes beauty look, collagen lip masks are all the rage.

Perfect pouts are the order of the day!

Simple, polished updos, +83%

Goodbye fussy bridal updos. This year it’s all about simple, polished glamour. Updos are not only, a little bit more weather-proof, but they also highlight a glowing face, neckline and gorgeous back details on a bride’s chosen gown.

Wedding Decor 
Autumn weddings
, +280%

Brides & grooms have decided this is the season to get married and love to highlight the colours, the weather, the food – it makes a fab time of year to tie the knot.

Green. 

Pantone announced its colour of the year which is Greenery, THE colour in weddings this year, +300%

Brides are ditching pretty pastel floral details, for bold rustic looks with plenty of foliage!

 

Rose colour, +255%

Pink is having a moment in fashion and design, and it’s also making waves again into the wedding world too. This isn’t the pink of the past – it’s done in a cool new way, think rose gold and coral hues, or tropical pink teamed with a contrasting blue.

 

Keeping it intimate, +100%

Less is more – brides are choosing to go with fewer bridesmaids, or sometimes none at all! This decision ensures the focus is all about the couple.

Wedding Travel

Travelling far and wide has never been easier and honeymoons are no exception.

Romantic honeymoon destination: Santorini, Greece, +70%

Santorini, a picturesque Greek isle, is becoming a popular honeymoon destination for it’s obvious beauty. With a flight time of 4 hours from London couples can be sunning it up in next to no time as husband and wife!
Adventure honeymoon destination: New Zealand, +125%

New Zealand is full of stunning hikes and scenic views. It’s the perfect place for couples who seek outdoor adventure at every turn.
Mini moons, +122%

Couples are postponing honeymoons and taking shorter, local minimoons. They are some fantastic places to mini-moon. Coastline, Forests, Spas, Cities, Historical sites – the UK has it all.

Who and What is All Events Childcare?

We would like to welcome All Events Childcare to our ever-growing list of wedding suppliers.  We asked Lisa from All Events Childcare to give us a bit of history about the company, so sit down, have a cuppa and have a good read.  Thanks Lisa.

I set up All Evelogonts Childcare in February 2015 so we will be approaching a second birthday on Valentine’s Day which seems rather fitting what with working in the wedding industry.

I used to run a company in Tenerife where I lived for 6 1/2 years called Tenerife Childcare. When I moved back to the UK 3 years ago I kept it running for the first year but found it proved too difficult to effectively be based in two countries at the same time so I sold the business on to one of my colleagues and it is still going strong under new ownership today.

Within a month or so, I was getting itchy feet and missed the organising, even the admin side of the business, and I had the time to start something new. Whilst having a chat to my husband in the kitchen over a cup of coffee, the idea popped into my head.

He is a musician and was playing that night at a local hotel at wedding. Once he told me what he was doing that evening sparks flew and the ideas just keep popping into my head.
I wanted to be completely different to all other mobile crèche companies so as you can imagine, a lot of thought, research, planning and hard work went into what we have to offer today.

I am currently based in Corby, Northamptonshire, but we will travel to many counties across the UK providing on what the clients need. We have over 40 nannies currently on the team and we still get contacted weekly for more wanting to join us

I am so lucky to have the team that I have as they are absolutely amazing and the best in the company could have.  All the team are level three qualified and above with a current DBS certificates.  Many of them have paediatric First Aid and all of them have a wealth of experience.  I meet and interview all nannies personally and I’m very particular about who I do have join us.
Wmarqueee are insured to cover up to 50 children at any event and the most we have had to date has been 45 children.  I think our unique selling point is having the ability to cater for individual children of different abilities and ages by using individually interviewed qualified and experienced nannies. We have the ability to supply enthusiastic ,trained nannies who can cope with any situation they find themselves in, with a calm professional attitude.

I absolutely find that covering wedding parties are becoming a lot more popular as this seems to be a much easier way when you have a number of children attending their special day, and as we all know, the little ones do you get bored during the formal ceremonies. This is why we get booked.  There is never a dull moment and they are having a whale of a time whilst in the most professional and safest of hands.

These are some of the typical questions we get:

Do you feed and supervise the children?  Yes.

Are you able to change nappies? Yes

Are you able to administrate medication?  We must say no to this for the simple reason that if there are two more children who need to take medication we would rather avoid getting anything medications mixed up, so we ask the parents to come back to give medicine to their own child as and when they need it.

What has been our favourite event to date?  I must say that is an impossible question to answer as each event we cover is different and unique in their own special way..  I can confidently say that there is not one event that we have done which I have not enjoyed. Don’t get me wrong, some are heavier going and others but that’s what we expect each and every time and we are always prepared for whatever we face.

I think we are unique because we have so much to offer. We are a childcare company with a difference!
We don’t just offer out a mobile crèche service, we offer a lot more, including hotel babysitting, one-to-one childcare/supervision, and overnight or 24-hour bridal package.  We also do slumber parties, proxy parenting and a children’s Photo Booth.

We can do a crèche for any event although we find weddings are the most popular.  During each session, we always play children’s party games with prizes and then finish off with our LED kidz mini disco.We can then go on into the evening and calm things down with our classic Disney DVD movie night with popcorn.

As mentioned above, our newest service is the children’s photo booth which goes down an absolute storm.  We let the children get dressed up in whatever they want, and we have a huge selection of dressing up clothes, crazy hats, wigs, glasses, in fact, you name it, we have it. We then take a Polaroid photo and put it into little goodie bag for them to take home with them which is full of other little treats too. This service is totally optional and does not have to be booked.

I hope this answers any questions you may have and gives you all the information you need.  If not, have a look at our entry on CamdenWeddings.co.uk and get in touch.

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Beach Weddings

It seems that beach weddings are one of the most popular ideas for those who marry abroad.  Most people head to warmer climates such as the Caribbean Islands or islands in the Indian Ocean.  Can’t you just imagine it now? Your feet in the warm sand, the sound of the waves crashing on the shore and that cool salty breeze that blows gently in the air.  Having a wedding in that atmosphere creates such a romantic feeling….

 

There are some important things that you need to take into consideration when planning a beach wedding. 

Do you need a permit to have the ceremony in a specific area?  Does it have to be a permanent structure?

Do you really want lots of sunbathers in the background of your wedding photos?  Is there somewhere private for you to have your ceremony?

Check things like tide times.  You don’t want your special moment to be a complete wash out!!

The hottest time of day should be avoided, unless you have somewhere shady.  The last thing you want it someone passing out in the heat and don’t forget, kids will get grumpy if it’s too hot!

Dress according to the weather.  You may have picked the perfect wedding dress, but will it be suitable for the hot weather and sandy ground?

Try to use local flowers that are used to the heat, wilting flowers ½ and hour into the ceremony is not a good look!

To make the whole even easier, get yourself a local wedding planner who knows the area, the suppliers and even the weather forecast!

 

Once you’ve considered all the above and many more, sit back, enjoy some local cocktails and have a day to remember, as well as a great holiday with friends and family.

Not a Secret Society, Instead a Unique Wedding Venue

The Honorable Society of Grays Inn is one of four London-based Honorable Societies, the smallest in size yet the one with the biggest grounds and the only one that is licensed for weddings in Camden.

In existence for over 600 years it is steeped in the traditions of the legal profession. For those not ‘in the know’, it is one of the four UK professional bodies for judges and barristers and a place where many have their Chambers (offices). This amazing venue is available seven days a week for licensed Wedding Ceremonies as well as also for sumptuous receptions and full evening parties.
Based in the heart of the legal area around Holborn and Chancery Lane it’s not immediately obvious that you are a stones throw away from beautiful buildings, rooms and halls and five acres of leafy grounds known as “The Walks”.
They boast two licensed rooms – The Large Pension Room and The Elizabethan Hall available for 120 and 180 respectively for Ceremonies. The former can also be transformed into a fine dining experience for the more intimate seated receptions – complete with silverware and candles; the later with it’s historic oak-panels and carvings can be set up with round tables or long bench style for wedding breakfasts and receptions (with a nod to Hogwarts never far from your mind).
 Even larger receptions, dances and celebrations can take place in the marquee on the grounds. Seating up to 270 people and offering a wide range of catering options.
The banqueting and events team members are really keen to help you shape your perfect day, offering package deals as well as great ideas for ultimate flexibility for maximising the use of the various rooms and green spaces. You get all the luxuries of a one-stop shop venue with tremendous scope to make it truly unique.
Call 0207 458 7960 or email banqueting@graysinn.org.uk.
Photos to follow.

How are you getting to your wedding?

There is so much to consider when choosing your wedding transport.

How many people will be in the vehicle?

Where is the location of the wedding, a field in the middle of nowhere, or inner city?

Who is paying and how much can you spend?

Is there a wedding theme to stick to?

I could go on and on.

 

Once you have looked at all the above considerations, you then have to choose between traditional style or really “out of the box” style transport.

I got married down in the beautiful countryside of Somerset and was fortunate enough to have a father in law that drove horses so I had a beautiful horse drawn cart that took me and my bridesmaid to the church, and them took my new husband and I on to the reception. You also see a lot of tractors done up in wedding ribbons, transporting brides to and from the church.

One of my friends caught the bus from their house to the registry office and walked to the reception but this was in a busy town so a horse and cart would not have really fitted. They did actually treat themselves and caught a cab home after the reception!

Looking around online, I have seen pretty much everything you can get for transport. Did you know that you could get Del Boy’s Robin Reliant to drive you to your ceremony? I doubt there’s much room in there. However, if its space and comfort you are looking for, why not hire a stretch Hummer? They even do them in bright pink, if that’s your thing!

blog photo - transport2

A double decker bus is not an unusual form of wedding transport nowadays, it’s great, not only can the bride and groom get on, but so can all the guests if the reception is quite a way from the ceremony. Even cooler are a convoy of matching VW Camper vans!blog photo - transport

 

However, the coolest option (in my opinion), would be to turn up with a James Bond style Aston Martin……particularly if Daniel Craig is driving!!

blog photo - transport3

Wedding dress choices….the list is endless!

Choosing a wedding dress, is the biggest decision of all. White is traditionally what brides go for but do you know why?

Different colours have different meanings when it comes to getting married. There’s a little rhyme to remind us of what each colour means:

 

Married in white, you have chosen right,

Married in grey, you will go far away,

Married in black, you will wish yourself back,

Married in red, you will wish yourself dead,

Married in green, ashamed to be seen,

Married in blue, you will always be true,

Married in pearl, you will live in a whirl,

Married in yellow, you’re ashamed of your fellow,

Married in brown, you will live in town,

Married in pink, your spirit will sink.

 

Source: The Book of Love, K.C. Jones

 

Now, some of these seem quite morbid really, so I am glad to see that more and more brides are choosing brighter coloured options. However, did you know that it hasn’t always been tradition to wear white? Before Queen Victoria was married the popular colour for a wedding dress was black!

In China and several other countries, it is traditional for brides to wear red. Red is considered to be a colour of good luck and auspiciousness. In Japan, the tradition is to wear a pure white outfit to symbolise purity.

Nowadays the ‘wedding white’ dress symbolises virginity, so you see many shades of white, including ivory and eggshell. The current trend is to wear sleeveless or strapless dresses in white or ‘off white’. However I think you should be able to wear whatever style or colour you like. Whatever makes you feel comfortable or matches the flowers or groom’s outfits.

Remember, the photos and memories from your wedding day will be with you for years. Choose wisely!

 

Tips for Choosing a Wedding Photographer.

In order to savour the memories of your big day, you will need photos or video of the event.  I was fortunate to have a very talented family member who took some fantastic photos of my wedding, but how do you choose your photographer?

On this occasion I thought I would hand over to one of our suppliers, Sam Lane Photography to get her to give us some tips on choosing your wedding photographer…..

 

SLP1(1)

OK I’ll show my hand straightaway, I am a photographer and I love weddings, choose me!  (If only it was as simple as that).

I’ve been really trying to work out the keys to success in an increasingly competitive world – where everyone’s a photographer and everyone has a camera in their pocket – and answer the million-dollar question: How does a bride (and/or groom, and/or mother of the bride) choose the perfect photographer for the perfect day?

Are Wedding Fairs effective? Do Wedding Directories or Bridal magazines help point you to the perfect supplier; or is Word-of-mouth the best option?

I’ve put together some thoughts on what I think should be key considerations when selecting a wedding photography package.

1 Decide how important photography is for you

I’m working with a couple who want a two-hour photo session of just them on their wedding day – dedicating time to get really beautiful photos that mean something very special to them; and then, at the other end of the scale, I’m hearing stores about how ‘we don’t want any formal photos’, and, ‘we’re just putting out some disposable cameras on the tables for the guests to take pics’. Ask yourself how important is photography on our wedding day? And this will determine how much time, effort and money you spend on it. Many of the items on your wedding checklist are for one-day only: the hair, the make-up, the dress, the suit hire, the venue, champagne, catering, flowers, car, disco… whereas the photos last forever. Some say about 10% of the overall wedding budget should be dedicated to photography. At the end of the day it’s the choice of the budget holder(s) and a balance with the other elements that works for you.

Check out The Knot and WeddingPhotographerIndex has a simple calculator.

2 And, don’t scrimp on the budget

Consider what you are asking your photographer(s) to do: have one, two or more pre-wedding planning meetings and correspondence; 10+hours on the day, plus travel to and from the venue(s); possibly double or triple those hours to edit through and prepare the images; and also their experience, insurance, equipment… Make sure you truly value what you are asking for.

3 Experience matters

Don’t settle for your brother’s mate’s cousin who’s got a nice camera and takes nice pics. Paying a Professional means that you will have a dedicated person focusing on the job of documenting your wedding from start to finish, working to an agreed plan and not distracted by friends and family dynamics etc. Wedding Photographers do this for a living, week in, week out; Pro Photographers that ‘do Weddings’ have experience and many successful stories to tell. Amateurs and willing friends may well have all the gear and some idea but be warned you get what you pay for… and I for one don’t chose a dentist that’s watched a few YouTube videos or a plumber that’s watched someone else fit a new shower…

SLP2

 

4 Ensure you see ‘real’ work

Many photographers will only showcase their ‘pretty weddings’ or a couple of ‘perfect’ commercial shots (which may actually have been taken on a workshop rather than at a real wedding). To get beautiful, dramatic couple shots you will need to allocate time to set these up, they don’t just happen by accident and most people do not have the perfect OK/Hello Magazine wedding. Get testimonials from actual couples that have experienced the photographer on the day – and remember there’s a lot more to wedding photography than the photos – there’s directing, people management, project management, time management and quality control that goes on to make the day work

SLP3

Photo taken on a two-hour photo shoot – not a real wedding:

 

5 You’ve got to like them

To be honest this is really critical for me. The photographer you choose will often be with you all day, privileged to be witnessing private moments, capturing memories that you will keep forever… We start as strangers and become friends and almost members of the family. We go on a journey together from the moment we first have contact until handing over the album and beyond… And trusting your special day with a new supplier is an emotional decision not just a financial transaction. Meet them face to face and decide if you actually want them in your life!

 

Of course I am happy to meet you face to face and discuss your requirements! sam@samlanephotography.co.uk ;0)

 

OK I’ll show my hand straightaway, I am a photographer and I love weddings, choose me!

 

(If only it was as simple as that).

 

I’ve been really trying to work out the keys to success in an increasingly competitive world – where everyone’s a photographer and everyone has a camera in their pocket – and answer the million-dollar question: How does a bride (and/or groom, and/or mother of the bride) choose the perfect photographer for the perfect day?

 

Are Wedding Fairs effective? Do Wedding Directories or Bridal magazines help point you to the perfect supplier; or is Word-of-mouth the best option?

 

I’ve put together some thoughts on what I think should be key considerations when selecting a wedding photography package.

 

1 Decide how important photography is for you

I’m working with a couple who want a two-hour photo session of just them on their wedding day – dedicating time to get really beautiful photos that mean something very special to them; and then, at the other end of the scale, I’m hearing stores about how ‘we don’t want any formal photos’, and, ‘we’re just putting out some disposable cameras on the tables for the guests to take pics’. Ask yourself how important is photography on our wedding day? And this will determine how much time, effort and money you spend on it. Many of the items on your wedding checklist are for one-day only: the hair, the make-up, the dress, the suit hire, the venue, champagne, catering, flowers, car, disco… whereas the photos last forever. Some say about 10% of the overall wedding budget should be dedicated to photography. At the end of the day it’s the choice of the budget holder(s) and a balance with the other elements that works for you.

Check out The Knot and WeddingPhotographerIndex has a simple calculator.

 

2 And, don’t scrimp on the budget

Consider what you are asking your photographer(s) to do: have one, two or more pre-wedding planning meetings and correspondence; 10+hours on the day, plus travel to and from the venue(s); possibly double or triple those hours to edit through and prepare the images; and also their experience, insurance, equipment… Make sure you truly value what you are asking for.

3 Experience matters

Don’t settle for your brother’s mate’s cousin who’s got a nice camera and takes nice pics. Paying a Professional means that you will have a dedicated person focusing on the job of documenting your wedding from start to finish, working to an agreed plan and not distracted by friends and family dynamics etc. Wedding Photographers do this for a living, week in, week out; Pro Photographers that ‘do Weddings’ have experience and many successful stories to tell. Amateurs and willing friends may well have all the gear and some idea but be warned you get what you pay for… and I for one don’t chose a dentist that’s watched a few YouTube videos or a plumber that’s watched someone else fit a new shower…

4 Ensure you see ‘real’ work

Many photographers will only showcase their ‘pretty weddings’ or a couple of ‘perfect’ commercial shots (which may actually have been taken on a workshop rather than at a real wedding). To get beautiful, dramatic couple shots you will need to allocate time to set these up, they don’t just happen by accident and most people do not have the perfect OK/Hello Magazine wedding. Get testimonials from actual couples that have experienced the photographer on the day – and remember there’s a lot more to wedding photography than the photos – there’s directing, people management, project management, time management and quality control that goes on to make the day work

 

Photo taken on a two-hour photo shoot – not a real wedding:

5 You’ve got to like them

To be honest this is really critical for me. The photographer you choose will often be with you all day, privileged to be witnessing private moments, capturing memories that you will keep forever… We start as strangers and become friends and almost members of the family. We go on a journey together from the moment we first have contact until handing over the album and beyond… And trusting your special day with a new supplier is an emotional decision not just a financial transaction. Meet them face to face and decide if you actually want them in your life!

 

Of course I am happy to meet you face to face and discuss your requirements! sam@samlanephotography.co.uk ;0)

 

Wedding cakes….a brief history and how to choose yours.

Wedding cakes.

I remember trying to come up with ideas for my wedding cake almost 10 years ago. It is such a personal thing but you want to keep it within the theme or you want it to reflect your personality or hobbies. In the end we decided to stick to the theme with a simple three tiered white cake with orange gerberas but to add a twist, we had a snake draped around the cake with a gerbera in it’s mouth! My husband had been an avid snake keeper since age 11.

cake

Nowadays you can find all sorts of designs and even colours, but what is a traditional wedding cake and how did they come about?

Looking as far back as Medieval times, wedding cakes were the centrepiece of the wedding often sitting in a place of honour. In those days, it was more likely to be a pile of buns instead of the works of art we see now but the symbolism remains the same.

When planning your wedding cake there are several things you will need to take into consideration:

Budget – This is probably the most important thing to consider. Cakes can be very expensive but if you shop around you can find local suppliers that will help. You could even consider baking one yourself if you have the necessary skills…..unlike me!

 Style or theme – Every bride has their own ideas for a cake, whether it be a traditional style or a more modern day option. Some themes you could look at are retro, glamour, rustic, romantic or contemporary….the list is endless.

Shape – No longer are you restricted to simple round tiers. You can pretty much opt for any shape or even sculpture depending on your supplier. Some other simple options are heart shapes, rectangular, square or even several tiers of cup cakes.

Servings – How many people are coming to the wedding? In general 3 standard tiers will serve between 75-100 people. If you have a smaller wedding guest list but still want the 3 or more tiers, you can use ‘fake’ cakes.

Once you have made your decision, found a great cake maker and have given them your design, all that you will need to do is cut the cake on the big day.

Cutting the cake symbolises the first thing you do as a married couple, but back in Medieval times things were done slightly differently. The custom was to pile the buns together and the couple would try to kiss over the top of the pile. If they managed to kiss, they would be blessed with many children. It was also thought that this ritual would bring them good fortune. Looking at the height of some of these cakes nowadays, you’d have to be at least 7 feet tall to kiss over the top of them!

I am going to be looking at everything to do with weddings over the next few weeks, so watch this space for more details of wedding traditions.

Wedding traditions from around the world….not what you would expect!

Weddings conjure up some great emotions and memories. There are all sorts of ceremonies ranging from forest weddings and beach weddings to registry office and your traditional church weddings. So I started thinking about traditions not only from this country but from all over the world and I once I started researching, I was surprised and shocked at the extremeness of some of them. Here are just a few:

I know the build up to a wedding can be an emotional roller coaster but did you know that in a region of China called Tujia, starting one whole month in advance, the bride starts to cry for one hour everyday? If you think this is bad, the mum then joins in ten days later and ten days after that, so does the grandmother!! By the time the wedding is due, every female in the family is crying along with the bride. Let’s hope none of them have swollen eyes for the wedding photos!

Look away now if you have a love for trees…. In India, women born at a certain time of year (when Saturn and Mars are in the 7th house), are thought to be cursed and are believed to cause their future husband an early death. The only way to combat this is for the woman to first marry a tree. This tree is then destroyed and only then is the curse broken!

In France it is traditional for all the friends and family of the newlywed couple to gather outside the newlyweds home on the first night of marriage and make as much noise and be as annoying as possible. They shout, scream and even bring their own pots and pans to bang in order to be as irritating as possible. Not a great start to wedded bliss especially when you are expected to provide snacks and drinks to calm everyone down!

Over in Korea, as soon as the groom is married, his friends and family remove his socks, tie his feet together and beat his feet with fish. This apparently will prepare him or his first night as a married man……perhaps I should look at first night traditions too!?

Whilst most brides go on a fitness mission, or nutritional plan to ensure they look their best in the wedding dress, in Mauritiania, the women are encouraged to go to ‘fat farms’ to put on weight and find a groom. It is true; beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

In order to prepare for the trials and tribulations of marriage, some women in Scotland get ‘blackened’ by their friends and relatives. This sign of affection is displayed by throwing mouldy food, dead fish, curdled milk and any other offensive food item you can think of, into a bucket which is then tipped all over the poor bride to be! Not sure how this will prepare her for marriage, but I hope she has a good shower before the wedding!

Back in China, and in the Yugur culture, grooms shoot their future spouse with three arrows, luckily the heads are removed first, but that’s still got to hurt! Once he has shot her he will collect the arrows and break them, thus ensuring they will love each other forever.

In southern Sudan, members of the Neur tribe believe that a couple’s marriage is not complete until the woman has given birth to 2 children. If this does not happen, the husband is free to seek a divorce.

In the Congo, in order for the marriage to be taken seriously, the bride and groom are not allowed to smile throughout the whole ceremony. Let’s just hope there aren’t many comedians in the Congo!

And finally, I can’t go (you’ll see what I’ve done here in a minute), without letting you know about the Tidong community in Northern Borneo where newlyweds are confined to their home while not emptying their bowels or going for a wee for three days and nights. This apparently is to help them bond! Not sure how close I would want to be to someone after those 3 days!!

Anyway, that is just a few of the more obscure wedding traditions around the world. I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I did finding them!

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