Marriage and equality

Celebrate “Love Wins” with these inspired same-sex wedding décor ideas — from cute “Mr.” and “Mr.” chair signs to customized cake toppers featuring two brides.

When it comes to crafting a beautiful wedding, it’s all about representing the couple’s style and personality — and same-sex weddings are no different. With the law changing in favour of marriage and equality, we’re feeling especially inspired to share some gorgeous wedding-planning ideas for gay and lesbian couples.

We’ve rounded up a few décor ideas that provide a unique twist on traditional wedding details: Kick off the festivities with a personalized billboard sign, a fun way to welcome your guests — and get them excited for the nuptials ahead! Add a twist to traditional ceremony seating with a tongue-in-cheek sign pointing guests to choose a seat and not a side (either way it’s for a bride!). Want to show off your newlywed status in style? Opt for matching ‘Groom and Groom chair designs adorned with greenery or display whimsical “Bride” and “Bride” laser-cut letters in front of your handcrafted sweets. You can also add a humorous — and elegant! — upgrade to the grooms’ cake with tiered chocolate cupcakes adorned with mini bowties and top hats. For brides, go for simple “Hers” and “Hers” calligraphed signs in front of delicious, non-traditional wedding cakes. And as the night’s celebration comes to a close, send off your guests with personalized canvas totes that read “Love is Love” — a perfect closing to an unforgettable night!

Whether you’re sticking to tradition or going all-out with personalized details celebrate love with these creative wedding ideas that make for a truly unique same-sex wedding!!

Welcome your guests with a sign with big personality — like a billboard with your wedding-day phrase!

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!

 

The best surprise of all

When it comes to weddings, there are many opportunities to surprise the bride and groom. Be it with gifts, a fun interactive game for the newlyweds to engage in during the wedding reception or the Best Man’s speech, each surprise is sure to delight and entertain those in attendance. But what about surprising the bride and groom with entertainment? Here are three brilliant options.

Stand up Opera

One for the couple who love a bit of musical theatre, Stand Up Opera is a comedy and music performance unlikely anything you’ve ever seen! The concept begins during the drinks reception, where two charismatic performs will mingle with other wedding guests. Later in the day, the duo take centre stage to commemorate the new Mr. & Mrs. but their witty chatter quickly turns into an impressive and unexpected performance with operatic and classical crossover duets. The perfect blend of laughter and spine-tingling music for your big day!

Breakdancing Waiters

For those who are familiar with flash mobs, Breakdancing Waiters shouldn’t be too hard to explain. For the uninitiated, a flashmob is when a group of people who appeared not to be linked suddenly break out in song and dance! If you book Breakdancing Waiters for your wedding, you’ll receive a troupe of performers who immerse themselves among the wait staff and then break out into a stunning dance routine that will shock everybody in the room. A tremendous alternative to Singing Waiters but just as enjoyable!

Singing Waiters

Perhaps the most famous of the surprise acts, since their arrival on the events scene over the past decade, Singing Waiters have been a hugely popular booking for wedding entertainment each and every year. Working as part of the catering staff throughout the wedding breakfast, Singing Waiters surprise every person in the room by breaking out into song at a pre-arranged time. Perhaps the bride and groom have a special song that would be perfect for the Singing Waiters treatment? Hugely fun, this is sure to stun the room.

 

Getting the music mix right

We all know that when it comes to creating the perfect atmosphere for your wedding, music plays an important part. But if you really want to personalise the soundtrack to your big day, why not consider a completely bespoke musical experience? Here are our top tips for creating bespoke wedding music that wows!

A string quartet playing Bohemian Rhapsody, for example sounds awesome. The traditional wedding march on electric guitar? Seriously cool. You can even see if your musicians will mix up their dress code and typical band setting – we once had a band who loosened their ties and set down their instruments before crowd surfing over guests!

Singing waiters may seem a bit cheesy to some, but they’re still great fun. Or you could try something similar – one of my favourite wedding gigs involved recreating the scene from the film Love Actually where the musicians sit amongst the congregation in the church and stand up as each instrumental section joins the wedding march.

When it comes to wedding entertainment, the sky’s the limit. Depending on your tastes you can choose from heavy metal, bandeoke (karaoke with a live band), reggaeoke (karaoke with a live reggae band), an opera performance, or even Burlesque dancers and fire eaters. Just decide on what’s going to make the day special for you and reflect your tastes, and go for it!

Combining Reggae with Charleston makes for a lot of fun, for example. Or mixing world music styles such as Sega and Mauritian traditional music. Speak to your band to see what’s possible. Depending on the preferences of you and your better half, don’t choose between them;combine them and make something totally unique to your personalities.

 

How to choose a choir

Many wish to follow in the footsteps of Harry and Meghan and host a choral ensemble that will wow guests on their wedding day. But should you go for a gospel choir or something else? We look into your options.

Gospel Choir

A gospel choir traditionally focuses on Christian music (that is after all where gospels come from) but the creation, performance, significance, and even the definition of gospel music varies according to culture and social context. When it comes to events and weddings, one can expect tunes that have been adapted to feature a whole lot of soul and the result is a hugely uplifting choral performance. Everybody will be smiling!

A Cappella

When we talk about a cappella, we are talking about a very specific type of choir for weddings, in this case those that have their routes in American performance. Think Glee, think Pitch Perfect and you are definitely on the right track. Able to perform a variety of pop songs in an a cappella style, the choirs are often only four or five people strong but pack a huge punch.

Choral Ensemble

A choral ensemble is slightly larger than what we envision when we think about an a cappella act. Think of the world famous Sixteen or the choir to which your grandma or grandpa belongs. There tend to be clear distinctions between the parts that people are singing (tenor, soprano, etc.) and the result is a wall of music that will astonish and amaze guests at your wedding.

Beatboxing

When we say beatboxing, we actually a cappella with beatboxing but it’s far easier to distinguish between the two if we focus on the main difference! A very modern form of vocal accomplishment, a beatboxer brings a whole new vibe to the singing at your wedding. They often set the beat (as the name suggests) and will often perform a short solo to the amazement of wedding guests.

Christmas Carol Singer

A blog on choirs for weddings wouldn’t be complete without suggesting Christmas carol singers and the best bit is that often, if you request it, a choir may very well be able to do one set of Christmas songs as well as their usual setlist. Get the festivities flowing on your wedding day by booking a choir today!

 

Incorporating kids at your wedding

Children at weddings? Do you invite them or not? It’s always a heated topic when discussing wedding planning and we’re here to help you make a properly informed decision. Read on to find out more…

Do you invite all kids? Just babies? Or just teenagers? What about if you’re having young flowergirls and pageboys? Can you then ban your friends from bringing their offspring (we think not).

In addition, you may have teenagers at your wedding too. They are easier to entertain (they’ll like chatting to friends and maybe even dancing if they consider the music cool enough) but you’re still going to have to bear their likes and dislikes in mind.

First off, let’s think about the young children. Very young babies aren’t such a problem – they’ll hopefully sleep and can be cuddled by everybody (something the grannies usually enjoy!)

However toddlers and under 5s can be quite demanding. Supermodel Kate Moss solved this problem at her wedding by having a marquee dedicated to children, with drama teachers and nannies on call.

Obviously that’s not something most of us can copy as we don’t all have a supermodel’s budget, but you can have children’s play areas on your wedding day – maybe a corner of the marquee or barn stocked with colouring books, toys and somewhere peaceful to watch a DVD. Overtired children can get tearful so if you can have a quiet chill-out area for them, so much the better.

If you’re having a Christmas wedding, you could invite ‘Santa’ to visit the young children and bring a gift – this would be good timing just after the wedding speeches when everybody is getting ready to party.

Finally, if you do employ childcare for the event, make sure that the individual is CRB checked beforehand.

Children of all ages – including ‘seen it all before’ teens will enjoy watching a good magician – particularly one who works the tables and does magic close up.

An experienced conjurer will gauge his tricks according to the age group he’s entertaining – you just have to look at the cult following of Dynamo to see that ‘how did he do that’ magic has never been more popular.

If you’re having a summer wedding and you’ve room outside, consider having a bouncy castle for the kids but alternate sessions for different age groups. An energetic 12-year-old boy let loose amongst toddlers will quickly result in tears and of course you’ll need to have a responsible adult to keep an eye on proceedings.

Garden games always go down well (but remember they’re largely weather dependent). You can hire giant games of Jenga, croquet and even old-fashioned fairground swings.

The trick to making sure kids have a great time at your wedding is to think about them beforehand, maybe consulting the parents as to what they like and have some planned strategies and entertainments.

 

How to be a confident Bride

On your big day, you want to be a confident bride, not a bride that’s hiding away from her wedding guests and the photographer in the corner! Don’t think you can do it? We beg to differ…

Look the part

First thing’s first: if you’ll look the part, you’ll radiate confidence. It’s all about your posture, smile and eye contact. We don’t want to sound like your grandma, but stand straight and keep your head high! We doubt your hubby really had his imagination set on marrying the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Plus, it will do wonders for your back. And what’s more attractive than a gorgeous natural smile and genuine eye contact? Now, for how to actually feel confident.

Forget what the others think

Don’t go following trends or other people’s expectations just to make sure your wedding guests are happy on your big day. It’s YOUR day, and it’s about you and your husband getting married – you’ve got to show each of your personalities, not anyone else’s. Too many brides concern themselves too much with meeting other people’s expectations, from the wedding theme to that ‘dream wedding body’, which is extra stress that those brides just don’t need. If it’s not you, don’t do it!

Don’t overdo it

It’s not uncommon for brides want to take on as many tasks to do with the wedding as possible, if not all of them. You want to be in control of your perfect day, don’t you! However, don’t overdo it! Make the most of your hubby, your friends and your family – hand some tasks over to them to relieve yourself before it’s too late, and you start to resent wedding planning.

Take a break

No matter how much you think you have to do, it’s so important that you take a break from it all from time to time. We mean it! Don’t head home from work and head straight to your laptop to narrow down the different centrepieces you’ve got in mind – do something a bit different. Schedule in a date night for you and your hubby-to-be where wedding chat is totally banned. Nope, no mention of which colour napkins or what wine to serve. It’s will make you feel revived, refreshed and more ready to get back on it, we promise!

Get foody

Eating healthily is not just about losing weight, it’s about feeling great and at your best – aka feeling confident! A balanced diet, full of lots of goodness, is super important to your mood,  and we all want a happy bride, don’t we! Make sure you fight the bad binges that just make you grumpy and feel rubbish; pack your fridge full of good-for-you foods, and snack on fruit and nuts rather than that share bag of Doritos you’ve got in your cupboard…

Boost your endorphins

There are a number of ways to boost your endorphins, and yes, exercise is one. The idea of exercise might send a shiver down your spine, but we’re not necessarily talking hardcore cardio – even going out dancing with your friends can count! That’s not the only fun way to boost those endorphins either: laughter is a booster, music is a booster, and sex is a booster… even more reason to have that date night we talked about

Treat yourself

Just because of that wedding diet or wedding budget that you’ve got going on, doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself every so often. Yes, that means a little retail therapy or a sneaky Twix or Crunchie bar here and there. You should enjoy yourself now you’re engaged, not punish yourself by banning your favourite pastimes or treats. That’s no fun!

Relax

Planning a wedding isn’t all about running round and doing stuff – that’s just exhausting! You need the nights when you can run yourself a lush bubble bath, sit back and read your favourite wedding magazine. There’s no point in stressing and getting uptight over things that aren’t going to get done, or aren’t playing by your exact plan, because your wedding day will undoubtedly be the best day of your life – even if you’re getting a three tier cake instead of four.

 

Step by Step Wedding Entertainment

Morning

The pre-wedding jitters can easily be set to bed by a little entertainment in the morning! When family are gathered together in the hotel just waiting for a few hours to pass by, there’s nothing better than a bit of entertainment from a strolling act to enliven proceedings. A great time for a magician to diffuse some nerves and ensure that talking to your Great Uncle isn’t as difficult as you’d feared. A brilliant ice breaker, we highly recommend this whilst the bride and groom are busily getting ready.

Ceremony

During the wedding ceremony itself! You’re probably wondering if you want a traditional wedding march to accompany you as you walk down the aisle, but why have that when you can have a small jazz band playing off to the side? It makes for a far more unique proposition than an organist playing that same tune you’ve heard at hundreds of weddings before and can even form part of the ceremony itself should you decide to put your own spin on things.

Drinks Reception

Whilst the bride and groom are off having their photos taken with their various in-laws, cousins and old University friends, it leaves the rest of the wedding party to stand about somewhat aimlessly drinking some Champagne or non-alcoholic equivalent. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Hiring a wedding pianist for an hour, or perhaps a solo singer is a perfect example – always goes down a treat.

Wedding Breakfast

Naturally it all depends on your budget but after the food and speeches the bride and groom tend to walk between tables, happily greeting those they haven’t seen in awhile. For those who aren’t on a table with anyone they know very well, the small talk ran out somewhere between the main course and dessert. As such, some light entertainment in the form of a quiz – perhaps about the couple? – or caricaturist can go a long way!

Reception.

We needn’t go into too much detail about whether a band of DJ is the way to go… Just know that entertainment is pretty much a must have for this portion of your wedding day and can make the occasion even more special to those who have travelled a long way! There are a whole host of acts that come under the ‘wedding entertainment for hire’ banner, so you don’t need to stick to just one!

 

Keep the kids entertained

Often, couples have a few words of wisdom to share and other times it’s couples who would love to have little ones share their day but aren’t sure how to best do it.

Any which way, you’re reading this because you want to keep kids entertained at your wedding, whatever role they are going to play, so we won’t make you wait any longer. Here are some best and budget-friendly buys for success,

Remember having fun days at school? The ones where you all brought in board games, made all kinds of crafts and generally had a whale of a time? Channel that for your wedding day too by providing table games on the tables reserved for children.

Blowing bubbles are a great option for this – they’re inexpensive, easy to use and will have children trying to blow the best, most or biggest bubbles they can. This will keep them entertained and busy playing together so the parents can enjoy a little break during the wedding breakfast.

If you’ve got older children attending, the appeal of bubbles may have burst, so you’ll likely want an extra idea to keep these guests happy too. Why not include table trivia boxes on your tables? You could put those history lessons to the test with this monarchy trivia set, or try this travel game for wannabe jet-setters… Even the grownups will be dusting off their competitive shoes and getting involved for this one!

Have you considered having a photobooth? Whether you hire one in or make your own, they’re guaranteed to keep kids entertained. You can make yours a playground for every guest by adding lots of props – be prepared for some hilarious wedding photographs!

Take this one step further and enlist the children to be the director for the day. Whether you give them a clapboard prop for the photobooth or a checklist of photographs to snap on disposable cameras during the day, the role will make them feel special and keep them busy.

How many children do you know who don’t have a sweet tooth? Children will love to pick and mix, so be sure to have plenty of serving scoops and colour co-ordinated paper bags at the ready (refills of sweets might be necessary, too!). Once they’ve had their fill, they’ll be full of energy to dance as late as their parents want to!

And if you don’t want an all-out sweets stand, why not choose little jars of sweets for your wedding favours instead? These could be reserved for the kids with adult guests receiving miniature liqueurs, for example, or simply be sweets for everyone. Remember that you can choose old-fashioned sweets like bonbons or even a refreshing mint imperial…

So there you have it:  budget-friendly buys to keep kids entertained at your wedding, ensuring everyone has as brilliant a day as you will. The bonus? They’ll keep your adult guests happy too and have them feeling like a child again for a super fun celebration!

 

Wedding and festival season

Here’s our quick guide, to create a Glastonbury festival themed celebration for your own big day. It’s ideal for laid-back couples who favour fun and characterful touches over outdated traditions.

Plan a Glastonbury festival themed wedding and it won’t just look great, it’ll be the most fun wedding your guests have ever attended! So book your tipi and let’s get planning…

One of the beauties of throwing a Glastonbury festival themed wedding in a tipi or yurt is that you get lots of ceiling height for hanging decorations. Cluster colourful pom poms together for a fun, festival vibe. Then, add atmosphere as night falls with endless strings of festoon lights, both inside the tent and outdoors too…

Illuminated oversized letters are a trend that took the wedding world by storm and never really let up. They’re also big news at festivals, so we think purchasing some giant letters for your own Glastonbury festival themed wedding is a must! For a twist on the theme, you could always try letter balloons, or go pint-sized with a letter block guest book.

One of the most important elements of any Glastonbury festival themed wedding reception is the wedding entertainment. Make sure guests are clued up on all the food and festivities to come with an illuminated chalkboard. This line-up of fish and chips followed by fireworks and dancing has us tempted…