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!

New Website

Very exciting to see a fresh, new look for CamdenWeddings, although I am still mourning the loss of the logo…