Leave it to the Band

You’ve found the love of your life, you’re getting married, you want your night to be a party to remember, so you hired a band for the wedding entertainment… what next?

 

Your aim is to make sure you and your wedding party have an absolute whale of a time – to end the night having that much fun you haven’t noticed you’re only wearing one shoe and your Dad has found himself a table to dance on. If you’ve booked the right band, there’s a high chance that these things could happen… here’s a few party tricks that will help make this mission a success.

 

Timing is Key – Start the band as late as you can. Ideally the first set would start at around 8.30pm/9pm to make sure everyone is limbered up and ready to start throwing some incredible looking shapes. This kind of timing also gives the evening guests time to arrive, catch up with the newly weds and get a few drinks down them.

 

There’s nothing wrong with a bit of dutch courage to prepare you for the dance floor, but to create the perfect party atmosphere, dim down the lights and hey presto! Your dance floor will be full of shape throwers.

 

Trust Your Band – Your band is playing ‘Mr Brightside’, everyone is singing their socks off and the dance floor is packed, next up is your favourite Kayne West song, the band plays it and everyone leaves. Now we all love a bit of Kayne but it might just not be the right time. Being particular about what the band plays means they won’t want to upset you by going against your wishes but they also want you to have the best possible time.

 

Putting together a set list that keeps such an eclectic bunch of people is an art form and this will be one of the main reasons why you will have such an awesome party. You will always be able to choose the odd song or two.

 

Having 3 sets of music can mean a lot of stopping and starting, the last thing you want to do is stop the music when your wedding party has just formed a dancing conga. If you’re still stuck, let the band worry about it, they will do what’s right and look after your Band too, don’t forget to feed them.

 

Being able to leave your night in their capable hands whilst you have the time of your life. So go on, give it a go.

 

Back up plans

As far as big life events go, marriage is often touted as one of the most stressful.  When planning a wedding it take a lot of time and patience. It’s a once in a lifetime thing so it’s only natural to feel some weight on your shoulders during this time.

 

Whether it’s during the arduous planning stages or the task of keeping up appearances on the day, there’s a lot to think about. When it comes to initially booking your wedding entertainment or live band it can seem a little overwhelming with so much choice and information to take in.

 

In a stressful time you need helpful and stress free people – which is exactly what the entertainment experts at Red Masque can recommend. With all the other stresses that go hand in hand when planning a wedding, why worry about your entertainment when someone else can take the pressure off you?

 

Hire a wedding organiser.

Wedding planning is an easy process is. Not only that, you’ll feel safe in the knowledge that you have booked a professional and an experienced act that you can trust. This is huge in controlling your stress levels on your wedding day! An act or band of this calibre are well versed in performing at weddings just like yours and are prepared for any eventuality.

 

Guest Babysitting

Consider the general mood and atmosphere on your day and how you can manipulate this at key times. Bored guests get fidgety and frustrated easily. This happens most often during the drinks reception which is a common lull. Why not get your entertainment to ‘babysit’ your guests whilst you’re away taking photos? Doing this means you don’t have to worry about your guests well-being in your absence. Acts like magicians and caricaturists are perfect for this and are sociable enough to be able to keep everyone happy!

 

Beach themed weddings

Many absolutely adore heading to the seaside as a relaxing day out away from the troubles of modern life. Be it diving head first into the waves or sprawling out on your towel, it’s fair to say that we as a nation love going to the beach – we even spend money to sit on the sand abroad – but have you ever considered a seaside themed wedding?

You can’t actually get married on the beach in the UK without jumping through a few hoops. As such, it might be better to merely theme your wedding around the seaside instead, opting to exchange vows at a cliff-side stately home.

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!

Acoustic Band

An acoustic band is perfect for the beach because let’s face it, electronics and water don’t really mix. Or rather, they do mix a little too well and that is very dangerous for all concerned. A summer party down on the sand after your wedding ceremony might just be the order of the day and with this in mind, they can stroll around with your guests and everybody can have a marvellous time!

Mermaids

Let’s be honest, a wedding is often a somewhat magical affair and to that end, why not take it from the realm of reality by hiring a mermaid or two to swim elegantly in the waves? At first, guests won’t be totally sure of what they’ve seen but after getting a glimpse or two of the tail, we are sure they’ll absolutely love the surprise! A fascinating act that is performed by experienced aqua performers, your wedding photos will be a sight to see, keep this in mind when planning your wedding entertainment.

Ice Cream Van

What’s a trip to the seaside without an ice cream? No trip to the beach is complete without a Mr. Whippy with 99 flake or a few scoops in a cone and your wedding is the perfect timing to hand one out to everybody! With the sun beaming on your wedding day and the sea breeze cooling everybody down, an ice cream will surely make a welcome change from the bottles of fizz doing the rounds!

 

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!”

 

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..

 

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.

 

Controversial music pieces

One area that doesn’t seem to be quite so unique is the wedding ceremony music; many opt for a traditional theme that they have heard before like Mendelssohn’s Wedding March or Pachelbel’s Canon in D. That being said, some of the pieces are a tad controversial. Here’s why!

Mendelssohn’s Wedding March

Although hugely popular, Mendelssohn’s most famous work has proved to be controversial to its literary origins. Mendelssohn was commissioned by Prussian monarch Friedrich Wilhelm IV to compose a number of pieces to accompany various pieces of literature in order to revive a lagging genre in society at the time. In 1843, Mendelssohn was tasked with writing music for Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and this is where the Wedding March comes from. Why controversial? That particular play features a lot of pagan mythology including magic, fairies and fantasy, of which many in Roman Catholicism are uncomfortable. Is it therefore inappropriate for a Christian wedding ceremony? We don’t have the answer but it’s always best to check.

Schubert’s Ave Maria

Another tune that is popular during the wedding ceremony or as a prelude to the bride’s arrival, Ave Maria is a beautiful piece of music that was originally composed by Schubert for Sir Walter Scott’s Lady of the Lake in 1810. The plot of the story focuses on King James V banishing the Douglas clan to a castle on Loch Katrine and one of the group’s number is Ellen, a daughter who has to live with her exiled father. The initial lyrics have changed over the years to convey a more matrimonial tone, but some fear the lyrics don’t quite go far enough. Some hear them and feel the song is a beautiful hymn to a loving mother while others believe the words to convey the desperate cries of an exiled bride.

Wagner’s Bridal Chorus

Richard Wagner’s Bridal Chorus is perhaps the most well-known music chosen by couples on their wedding day. Known by many as ‘Here Comes the Bride’, we are pretty certain that you’ll have heard the piece before, even if not at a wedding. Why is it controversial? The music was composed as part of Wagner’s opera, Lohengrin and lovers of the operatic music scene may very well be aware of where the piece featured. Although it was used during a wedding scene, the marriage itself was short-lived. Not the omen you’d like on your wedding day! Richard Wagner was also notoriously anti-Semitic, which is another reason you may wish to avoid picking the Bridal Chorus for your wedding ceremony.

No matter which wedding music you opt for on your big day, we advise a couple to choose whatever makes them most happy. Still, it’s interesting to know the provenance of the tunes you might hear!

 

Country weddings

When planning a rustic wedding or a country wedding most brides usually get control over the venue space, the wedding gowns and a few other key details but one thing no bride has control over is the weather. If you are planning a rustic or country style wedding you might find yourself checking the weather in the weeks and days leading up to your wedding. We thought it would be the perfect time to give a few ideas on rainy day wedding must haves! With a wedding, especially one that is planned for outside it is always best to play it safe and have these items on hand

Wellies

You probably will not be able to provide Wellies or rain boots for all your guests but you should check the forecast and if rain looks like it may happen buy some lovely rain boots for your bridesmaids, your flower girls, your mother and fiance’s mother and of course a white pair for yourself. Wellies can look great in your pics and are easy to switch in and out of as you move from one location to another.

Hay

Hay can be a last minute savor for a wedding that has been hit with rain. Adding a layer of hay to an outdoor location like a garden wedding or a rehearsal dinner can soak up the water and help to prevent mud from forming. You can’t exactly break out the hay if the clouds open and rain comes unannounced but it is something you might want to think about in the days before your wedding if you have had some weather come through.

Clear Plastic Tarpaulin

For a very reasonable fee you can get a large clear plastic tarpaulin and keep it on hand to place over items such as your wedding chairs, wedding flowers, your aisle runner and just about anything else that might be wet. Hardware stores stock this at great prices.