Entertainment that’s up close and personal

It’s a sad fact that many people who attend your wedding may not be in the best of health. This may be because of an injury, general sickness or complications related to age but that is not a reason to exclude these attendees from the fun! It’s true that your Great Grandmother might not be able to dance to an Ed Sheeran track any more, but she can still enjoy some wedding entertainment! How? By booking strolling entertainment of course, where the performers come to you!

Living Topiary

If you’re booking a summer wedding then hiring Living Topiary is an absolute must! Perfect for weddings taking place at stately homes like Eltham Palace, or a natural fit for venues like Kew Gardens, Living Topiary are a fun act that will have everybody smiling as they arrive for the ceremony. Perfect for photo opportunities and surprising guests as hedges apparently come alive, they are a hit no matter where they go and are sure to be the most talked about part of your wedding day… Until the vows and speeches of course!

Eyecon Art

Here’s something a little bit different to offer your guests on their wedding day – a high resolution photograph of one of their eyes. We admit it may not seem like a standard form of Wedding entertainment to feature at a wedding, but Eyecon Art is certainly interesting. Not as mobile as a number of other acts, this is still a fascinating and high-tech form of wedding entertainment.

Strolling entertainment.

A strolling musical act is a very popular act of all – For example you could book a strolling act comprising two guitarists and a saxophonists, the group have a pre-prepared repertoire that they hand out to guests as they stroll about your wedding venue. Like the look of a song on their sheet? Request it! A bit like a live walking jukebox. We can readily assure you that guests will not stop talking about your wedding day for many months to come!

 

Perfect music for your wedding

Book a function band for the evening

Not only does a band get the party started in style, they’re sure to fill your dance floor and ensure many a happy memory as the evening wears on. A band is able to learn a tune that has a sentimental attachment to the newlyweds or more than capable of rattling through the hits, so that  your wedding guests will keep rockin’ all night long.

Book a DJ to finish the evening

A DJ is a great choice, they are able to play virtually any song from the past 70 or 80 years, you’ll be able to seamlessly blend Gangnam Style with Crazy Frog, Agadoo and Ernie, The Fastest Milkman in the West (if you so desire). No matter the genre, our DJs are all hugely experienced and you can relax knowing that your party will still be going long after you head off to the hotel!

Book a harpist for the ceremony

There’s something beautiful about having a harpist play at your wedding, the sound of a harp emanating through your wedding venue is a truly gorgeous moment. The tinkling of the strings really is the perfect sound to accompany a walk down the aisle and when it comes to tradition, we don’t think there’s much better.

Book a string quartet for the drinks reception

When the vows have been spoken and guests have retired for a few drinks, a string quartet is a wonderful accompaniment to their surroundings. The bride and groom will be having their photos taken with the wedding photographer and such a gap shouldn’t be an awkward situation. With the soothing sounds of a string quartet, this is a lovely opportunity to friends old and new to chat to one another on this special day.

 

Background jazz with your wedding food

Many guests’ favourite moment of the day with food, drink and of course, the speeches! The bride and groom often walk from table to table during the lunch or dinner and we find that having some background music certainly enhances the atmosphere. Booking a jazz trio is a great choice which is very trendy at the moment.

 

Original places to get married in London

You might be thinking that you and your bride or husband-to-be want something a little bit different from your wedding venue. Out with the church or marquee wedding and in with… Well, some inspiring and incredible London wedding venues that you never knew were available to you! Thespians, animal lovers and more will adore this quick feature on amazing places to get married in London!

London Zoo

Are you a fan of animals? If you’ve ever wanted to get married amongst reptiles,

mammals and various other members of the animal kingdom then getting married at London Zoo might be the thing for you! A unique venue in the heart of central London’s Regent’s Park, there’s nothing quite like getting married at a zoo and all profits from your celebration go directly to helping critically endangered animals.

Fortnum & Mason

Did you know that there are a number of private wedding venues you can book at Fortnum & Mason for a dinner and that you can actually celebrate your wedding within the world famous building? You can! From the tiny but exclusive Crypt to the luxurious splendour of the Boardroom (don’t go thinking about the Apprentice!), there really are a number of high end spaces to choose from for your wedding venue.

The Globe Theatre

Imagine walking down the aisle in a building beloved by tourists and theatregoers all around the world? Imagine the footsteps that have walked on the very spot where you say your vows, reciting various lines from Shakespeare, perhaps even berating him for a line change. Yes, you can get married in the Globe Theatre on London’s Southbank and for those that love theatre and the arts, we can’t think of a better location. Met your better half at drama school? This is the wedding venue for you!

The Gherkin

If you’re a fan of heights and iconic London architecture, then the Gherkin has to be a top choice for your wedding shortlist! The very top is completely off limits to the public so if you’re a person who’s a little put off by the hordes of people at the Sky Garden or The Shard, this is definitely the venue for you. With a stunning 360 degree viewing area, it’s less “I do!” and more “I view!”

 

Honeymoon trends for 2020

Love and pasta

Rolling hills, winding streets, fine wine and food like your own mama does not make. Puglia is the perfect place to relax, unwind and put an end to the pre-wedding diet. If you really want to escape head back 300 years to Lama di Luna, a fortified estate set in 190 hectares of organic olive groves, overlooking the coast. Deliberately cut off from the modern world, this once-working farm feels more like a monastery than a hotel and provides a heavenly escape for food lovers looking for peace – and the world’s best pizza! Eat at the Michelin starred Antichi Sapori just down the road, bring books, borrow bikes and relax with the one you love.

 

Paradise lost

Looking for a heavenly escape after the hustle and bustle of planning your wedding? This is it. White sands, turquoise seas and nothing, nothing, nothing to do but lose yourselves in the paradise that is Bora Bora. Its remote position in the middle of the Pacific Ocean does mean it’ll take you a day to get there but once you arrive you’ll discover pure peace, ridiculous relaxation and unlimited luxury. Your only chore will be to choose whether to sleep on land – in a bungalow with private beach and pool – or on water – in a hut on stilts overlooking the crystal clear sea.

 

When nature calls

Whether your wildlife enthusiasts, animal lovers or adrenaline junkies, Costa Rica has it all. A Jurassic landscape, eco accommodation and jungle activities mean you can get as close to nature as you dare! For unrivalled romance stay at The Pacuare Jungle Lodge where you can sleep in a secluded bungalow nestled in the rainforest canopy, watch the wildlife from the comfort of your candle-lit terrace, soak in your private plunge pool and cosy up in a hammock made for two.

 

Family fun

Want to combine romance and relaxation with some quality time with the kids? Family friendly, boutique hotel Caserio del Mirador is the answer. This picturesque farmhouse, set amongst almond and olive groves in the Spanish mountains, offers you and your children a chance to get in touch with nature in a safe and serene setting. Half an hour from the beach, with gorgeous gardens, a child-friendly pool and ponies, goats and a pet pig to play with, there’s plenty to entertain the children during the day. Then once they’ve gone to bed, you can sit back, relax and enjoy being served a delicious dinner every night, knowing your kids are safe, happy and loving the familymoon as much as you.

 

Cosy up in these amazing Hotels

Couples can cosy up in some of the UK’s most romantic spots. From Shakespeare’s birthplace, to the town which inspired a royal love story, Macdonald Hotels are the perfect place to spend time together for your wedding venue or just after the wedding for the perfect break.

Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa, Lake District

On the shores of Lake Windermere has unrivalled views over mature lawns to private jetties and moorings on the lake. The luxury four-star hotel proves a popular choice for romantic getaways and weekend breaks. The hotel is offering a proposal package for guests looking to pop the question. Couples will be able to stay in a suite where they will be greeted with a chilled bottle of Prosecco and chocolates in the room on arrival. The Macdonald team will also be on hand to surprise loved ones with an engagement ring hidden inside Champagne glasses, and beds will be strewn with rose petals as an extra romantic touch.

Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel, Bath

For couples seeking 5-star luxury, this Hotel offers a romantic getaway in the heart of historic Bath. With landscaped gardens, four poster beds, and a ‘bath butler’ this town which was home to Jane Austen, can create a weekend that even one of the world’s best known romantic fiction writers would be proud of.

Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa, North Berwick

Just half an hour from Edinburgh by train is the beautiful seaside town of North Berwick; renowned for its dramatic coastline as well as independent boutiques and ice cream vendors. This hotel is housed within a glorious 19th Century building; reflecting a time when Romanticism swept through the British art world. Guests can take a windswept walk along the beach or stay cosy indoors and watch the coastline from behind the windows of one of the hotels’ 83 individually styled, luxury rooms. For couples looking to be pampered, the award winning thermal spa boasts a heated indoor pool as well as an outdoor hydro pool.

 

Romantic honeymoon ideas

There are many wonderful places to go on honeymoon why not make it as romantic as you can:

Make the most of your honeymoon and explore your beautiful holiday island taking you to wonderful places of interest where there are sunset bars or take a catamaran cruise, or a classic gondola. You can both experience the most beautiful sunsets in the world, together.

A romantic meal for two;

Don’t scrimp on this, enjoy fine dining and experience tastes that you have never tasted before, from a selection of both elegantly casual and formal restaurants, where service is attentive yet unimposing, where creativity and presentation of gourmet cuisine is proudly supervised with passion by the world’s most celebrated chefs.

If you don’t fancy dressing up and want to give the fine dining a miss, go bohemian and have a barefoot chic evening! From a Beach Grill, throughout the night you can have casual dining and be being served delicious local specialities and the catch of the day.

The ultimate in romance is the intimate, private dining experiences on the beach, with just tiki torches and stars twinkling down on you whilst being served by your personal attentive waiter. Combine that with your favourite cocktail, wine, or a glass of champagne while you listen to the Caribbean gently welcoming another stunning sunrise, and you’ll know you’re in paradise!

Spa treat;

And don’t forget to book a pampering day for the two of you.  There are many holiday packages that have this included; massages, hot tubs, facials, this would be such a wonderful intimate thing to have together.  Just maybe, this could be the last relaxing holiday you have for a while before the patter of little feet will take up much of your time!

So, when planning a wedding don’t forget to plan a honeymoon to remember..

 

Have a break from Wedding Planning

When planning a wedding, wedding breaks are fast becoming a must for newlyweds. They’re not a minimoon for a few days or a honeymoon or a week abroad. Wedding breaks are a post-wedding, pre-honeymoon getaway for a night or two, somewhere nice, near home.

Here are some of our favourite places to take wedding breaks;

The Scarlet

Perched on a cliff top overlooking the stunning beach at Mawgan Porth, The Scarlet is a luxurious

hotel perfectly positioned on the Cornish coast. Cornwall is filled with pretty villages to visit and views to swoon over, but if you fancy something more active, it’s the perfect place to learn to surf. The hotel can arrange private lessons or why not join the surf school?

Not to be missed during your stay is The Scarlet Spa, where total indulgence awaits. The Spa focuses on wellbeing as well as beauty, offering a fab range of eco-friendly treatments. Prices start from £180 B&B in low season – worth every penny!

Peak Edge Hotel

The Peak Edge Hotel is the gateway to the Peak District in Derbyshire. Aside from the panoramas of rolling dales from every window, there is great local food cooked to perfection in the adjoining 17th-century inn, beautifully designed décor and an extensive activities package to keep you busy here. There are 27 brand new boutique bedrooms with picturesque views and sumptuous finishes. Bathrooms boast double-ended baths, rain showers and underfloor heating. You’ll also find LED flat screen TVs, decadent bedding and Wi-Fi internet to enjoy inside.

Blakes Hotel

Blakes in London is the sort of hotel that makes you want to stay in your room, sipping Champagne, indulging in room service! Locally you’ll find shops galore on Kensington Church Street, and Harrods is a short taxi ride away, as are the V&A and Natural History Museums. Each of the 47 rooms is designed by internationally acclaimed designer Anouska Hempel, and each is daringly different.

The Royal Scots Club

The Royal Scots Club is a members’ club situated in one of Edinburgh’s finest Georgian streets. It’s about a two-minute walk from the main shopping areas of Edinburgh, and it takes about 25 minutes to get to the hotel from the airport by car.

It’s quite a formal place to stay, oozing sophistication and class. It’s perfect for couples looking for privacy. There is no place for jeans and t-shirts here, especially at dinner time. The restaurant serves indulgent dishes, which are an absolute must try. The decadent decor, beautiful furnishings and the luxurious rooms create a cosy country manor house feel, despite their size. Accommodation prices start from £140 per room for bed and breakfast based on two sharing.

 

Polish weddings

In Polish culture, weddings are preceded with engagement celebrations. Those are usually small parties held for the closest family members of the groom and the bride and are meant to get the two families meet and get to know each other better. The engagement dinner party means that both families accept the engagement.

In the past, the engagement ceremony was the time when the future bride received a ring from her beloved partner before the entire family gathering in a very official way, which resembled to some extent the wedding ceremony itself. In recent years, however, that official note has been largely abandoned and a ring is delivered when the future groom pops the question for the first time in a more private setting. The family gathering is just a nice way of informing the family members about the mutual decision once it has been made.

The Polish Wedding Ceremony

For many years, preparations for the Polish wedding ceremony and reception were largely concerned with finding a place for the wedding, organising food, drinks, making guest-list and inviting people to the wedding. In some regions, especially in the countryside, the custom was to invite family, friends, and neighbours in person, so the future groom and bride would devote a lot of time to visiting people before the wedding day. In the modern day, although the tradition prevails in some places, open-minded Polish younger generations and celebrities copy the western examples and some Polish brides and Polish grooms like to hold Hen and Stag parties shortly before the wedding day.

Most Polish weddings take place on Saturdays and continue through Sundays. The marriage ceremony and wedding reception for all guests are held on Saturday, while a smaller, more private party for close friends and family is continued on Sunday. There are no weddings during the 40-day Lent before Easter and during the Advent before Christmas. Those periods of year are believed to be the time dedicated for penance and preparation for the most important Christian holidays, so there is not space for public celebrations and dancing parties. Interestingly enough, there are very few weddings in May as well. This is mostly due to superstition, as many people believe that persons who marry in May are not going to be happy and won’t live together long.

In the church, the bride and the groom walk up the aisle together preceded by their groomsmen and bridesmaids. The parents and other guests are usually already seated when the couple enters the church. Whether the ceremony takes place in church or at a local magistrate, there must be two witnesses of the marriage, who sign the documents alongside of the bride and groom. During the religious ceremony, the traditional in the Western movies kiss basically does not exist. Civil ceremonies are less solemn and usually only the bride and groom, and the witnesses are allowed in the room, so whether they kiss or not, very much remains their private venture.

In Poland, weddings in the countryside are usually much bigger than weddings in the city. The reason for that is simple; in the countryside all people know each other, so most get invited to the wedding unless there is some conflict going on between the families. Thus, weddings in the country are longer and more extravagant because more people attend, and more guest return on the following day to celebrate, eat, drink, and dance some more.

A special moment on the first day of Polish wedding celebrations is when the Polish bride is taken the white veil off and an apron is wrapped around her waist. This symbolizes that she gives up her innocence and accepts her duties as a wife, a hostess, and a mother. Once this tradition is satisfied, the wedding guests give presents to the newlyweds. In most cases, those are congratulation card with money, but other useful household objects are also quite common.

 

African Wedding

There is something special about African weddings with celebrations from jumping the broom to tasting four elements. To make it memorable and happy, here are some traditions that you can include in your wedding to personalize it so that it pleases everyone with unique experiences.

Jumping the Broom

This tradition reaches all the way back to slavery times. Today, this game consists of the bride and the groom jumping over a beautifully decorated handmade broom to publicly signify their commitment to one another. The newlyweds can hang the broom in their home as a reminder of their wedding day and commitment to one another.

Libation Ceremony

As a way to honour the elders in your families and to honour your ancestors, this ceremony has lots of meaning. To perform the Libation ceremony, use holy water or alcohol to pour on the ground in east, west, north and south respectively. Someone should be designated to learn and recite the prayers to say during the ceremony.

Kola Nuts

The Kola nut is given to the couple during an African wedding. With the nut symbolizing the happy couple and extended family, it means the couple is willing to help heal together as one. The Kola nut should be shared between the newlyweds and their parents.

Tying the Knot

With this ceremony, the bride and groom are tied around the wrists with a cloth or grass that has been braided for the ceremony. The braided grass symbolizes the unity of marriage. The ceremony is conducted while the wrists are tied.

Crossing Sticks

Use two tall wood sticks that represent life force among the trees and the couple will cross the sticks to represent the unity of their love and start their marriage on the right foot.

Knocking the Door

In this ceremony, the groom will knock on the door of his future in-laws and bring them gifts and requests permission to marry. This ceremony brings the families closer together.

Purple and Gold

Choosing these colours for your wedding colours not only adds fabulous and modern feeling, but it is also an African American wedding tradition because they represent royalty in many African cultures.

Feeding the Family

After the four elements tasting, it’s time to sit down and share a meal with the family. Joining the families is important in the African wedding ceremonies.

Ditching the Diamond

Because many diamonds have been mined in Africa, some brides choose to use a different stone as a symbol of their marriage instead. Ditching the diamond is becoming more popular today.

Kente Cloth

All brides want to have the Kente cloth as part of their wedding. This bright fabric is gold, green, and red in color and is made in Ghana. The groom’s vest can be made from this material or you may see it in the bridesmaid dresses.

 

Japanese weddings

Shinto is the ethnic religion in Japan and it has a huge impact on the country’s culture and ceremonial traditions. Even today, more than 79% of Japanese people still belong to Shinto temples. Still, a large majority of people in and even outside of Japan are not very familiar with how the religion influences different ceremonies and events in Japan. The same is the case with Japanese wedding traditions that may come as a surprise to many.

The Betrothal/ Engagement

Called the yuino in Japanese, the betrothal ceremony is an exchange of symbolic gifts between the bride’s and groom’s families. The most popular gifts are a seaweed called konbu, which refers to “childbearing woman”; a long piece of hemp in white that represents the wish that both husband and wife will grow old together; and a folding fan that spreads and indicates future growth and wealth. The most common gifts also include a hakama for the groom and an obi for the bride. One of the main gifts in this ceremony is money, which can be £5,000 or more – the money is offered in a shugi-bukuro, a special envelope with gold and silver strings. Ornate rice-paper envelopes are also used to give other gifts.

The Venues

Since most Japanese weddings take place in Shinto temples, the wedding venues are always quite attractive. These locations also feature religious iconography that give the whole function a special feel. Some of the most common are water pavilions, stone dogs, and tall red gates that symbolise the division between the corporeal and spiritual worlds.

San-San-Kudo

This sake sharing ceremony is common for Buddhists as well as Shinto Japanese weddings. It is among the most interesting Japanese wedding traditions for outsiders. There will be three stacked cups of sake and both bride and groom have to drink taking three sips. “Three, three, nine times” – just as the name San-San-Kudo suggests. Ku or 9 means good luck in Japanese culture. So, some believe that the three sips each time represent love, wisdom, and happiness, while others believe they represent earth, heaven, and mankind. Some believe they represent the three couples – the bride and groom, the groom’s parents, and the bride’s parents. However, some believe they represent the biggest human flaws, which are passion, hatred, and ignorance, which the couple will overcome together in life.

Wedding Wardrobe

Something that will always fascinate you in a Japanese wedding is the wedding wardrobe. It is all in white – at least most of the time. The country’s national colors are red and white, and you will notice these same colours in Japanese weddings. While a bride’s gown may be of delicate silk or some other material, the colour is usually white. Sleek evening gowns may come as a surprise to you, but they are quite common. Grooms usually opt for black – they may wear a suit or kimono. At some Japanese weddings, brides wear a white silk material over the bun in their hair – that silk headdress is called a wataboshi and is one of the oldest Japanese wedding traditions.

Speeches

Wedding speeches hold a great place of importance in Japanese wedding ceremonies. Family, friends, teachers, colleagues, and other relatives stand in line and wait for their turn to wish the couple well. These speeches can be moralistic tales about marriage, but they can also be heartfelt messages of love from family and friends.

Gifts for Parents

As you may have gathered, Japanese wedding traditions are often about exchanging gifts. There will be loads of presents for the parents of both the bride and groom. The most common gifts are a toast for the parents, bouquets of flowers, and a personal letter of thanks and love. These simple gestures make Japanese weddings very intimate and special.

Gifts for the Guests

Japanese weddings have a lot available for the guests as well. Brides usually spend up to £50 or even more on favours for their guests. These favours might be a lace bag of sweet almonds and much more.