Valentine’s Day proposals

It’s completely understandable why you’d want to! Is there a more romantic day of the year? Whilst everyone seems to be planning a wedding you haven’t even proposed yet!!!  So even if the day is cliché, your proposal doesn’t have to be. Here are 5 creative ways to propose on Valentine’s Day!

  1. Put It in the Movies

Are you and your love a couple of movie buffs? Rent out an ad space at your local theatre to play your “trailer” asking them to marry you! Thanks to technology, you can produce a short video fairly easily using video editing software. Or hire a Videographer to help you produce something that’s a little more high-end. Turn your life into a true romantic comedy with clips of video of the two of you, or recreate classic scenes from old romantic movies. We guarantee they won’t see this one coming!

 

The Proposal: During the last scene of the trailer, proclaim your proposal onscreen and have the ring waiting for the moment of surprise.

 

  1. Make it a public affair

An idea for the artsy couple, or just those who appreciate spontaneity and the unexpected: Incorporate live art. The trend of “living creativity” is definitely growing, and live artists are quite amazing to watch. Maybe you set up an evening stroll, and “happen” to come across a Performing Artist who is painting on a canvas, or creating a chalk mural on the sidewalk. Encourage your significant other to stop and take it in for a moment, for a truly unique memory.

 

The Proposal: Coordinate with the artist ahead of time to have them include the two of you in their piece. As your darling realises that it’s about the two of you, pull out the ring for your big moment.

 

  1. Say It with Paint

For the imaginative couple who loves to try new things together, hide your proposal in painting class. Most cities offer a wine/paint class, where romance and art meet! They’ll assume that you’ve found something new and exciting to do together, never suspecting that you have a proposal waiting. And after the big event, you’ll have a memento to remember the evening for the rest of your life.

 

The Proposal: Paint several easels ahead of time, spelling out “Will You Marry Me?” and make arrangements with the class instructor to have them help coordinate the big reveal.

 

  1. Create a Storybook

There’s no better way to lead up to the next chapter in your life than to start at the beginning. Create a book about the journey that has brought you to this moment by highlighting key moments in your relationship! Start with how you met, your first date, first holidays, memorable trips, or inside jokes along the way. Don’t worry if you’re not an amazing artist or writer.

 

The Proposal: On the very last page, create a part of the story that says something like “This is when I asked you to be mine forever.” Or simply draw or include a picture of a ring.

 

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!

 

Stylish Venues

1. The Ned, London

Part of the super-stylish Soho House Group, The Ned was formerly home to Midland Bank, designed by Sir Edward ‘Ned’ Lutyens in 1924. This vast venue has six private hire rooms and terraces available for weddings, with capacity between 10 and 200 guests. And whether your guest list is big or small, with 252 1920s-style bedrooms, every single one of your guests can stay the night. In fact, why not make a whole weekend of it?

2. Hedsor House, Buckinghamshire

Set within 100 acres of historic parkland and listed gardens, Hedsor House makes for one picturesque wedding venue. The Georgian manor house blends the architectural design of the era with stylish contemporary features, featuring a number of spectacular rooms and spaces that will be entirely yours for the duration of your stay. Civil ceremonies can take place here, or you can opt for a religious service at the 12th century church that’s just 300m from the house.

3. Highclere Castle, Berkshire

Whether you’re a fan of Downton Abbey or not, this palatial castle in leafy Berkshire is fit for a celebration. Civil ceremonies take place in the Saloon, featuring ornate detailing, stone arches and a sweeping oak staircase just waiting for you to make your entrance. The food here matches up to the scenery thanks to the castle’s first-class in-house catering team.

4. Natural History Museum, London

One of the capital’s most iconic venues, the Natural History Museum boasts magnificent architecture and intriguing collections to backdrop your day. Its largest space, Hintze Hall, is perfect for a big celebration – make use of the atmospheric lighting and plenty of candles for a romantic celebration your guests certainly won’t forget in a hurry.

5. Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire

Blenheim Palace’s 18th century baroque architecture, over 2000 acres of picturesque landscaped parkland and formal gardens make it fit for royalty. There’s six venue spaces here for different styles and sizes of wedding, from the Orangery to the Great Hall and the Long Library. Guest list exceed 300? Construct a marquee on the lawn that’s big enough for all your desired invitees.

6. The Royal Pavilion, Brighton

Just a stone’s throw away from the city’s famous beach, The Royal Pavilion is the jewel in Brighton’s crown. Built as King George IV’s seaside pleasure palace, there are two rooms here that are licensed for weddings. The palace’s gardens are yours to enjoy for post-nuptial celebrations and photographs – head back inside for a wedding breakfast for 60.

 

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!

 

Harmony singers

There is something so beautiful about close harmony  that they were hugely popular during the 1940s and 1950s and we are working on bringing them back to the forefront of entertainment. But how to choose the right harmony group for you? Well,  here’s a few excellent options below, and we’ve also thrown in a string quartet too..

Eden

Eden are an internationally renowned close harmony trio. Featuring superb choreography as well as stunning voices, the ladies perform a splendid repertoire of vintage classics from the 1930s and 40s as well as a few new tunes and original songs on occasion. Able to perform with a backing band and the group of choice, this superb close harmony trio are sure to impress at your wedding.

Manor House Music

Manor House Music consists of some of the UK’s finest wedding musicians, having performed for over 700 weddings, corporate events and private functions as a string quartet and string duo. We combine a high quality of musical performance with a large repertoire of dynamic arrangements and a desire to work closely with clients to ensure that every detail is just right for your event.

Berkeley Trio

Taking their inspiration from a host of genres including jazz, blues, swing, They pride themselves on their personal service from your initial enquiry to the day itself. Thy can advise on music for the ceremony if necessary and accompany a singer or your hymns. We can also entertain in most settings, inside or out.

They have various images that suit the formality of the occasion. We take care to liaise with staff at your wedding venue to ensure a superb presentation.

Nero String Quartet

The Nero String Quartet is one of the most sought after quartets in the UK and has been established for 13 years performing at over a thousand weddings and functions. They have also worked with professional orchestras (BBC Phil, BBC CO, BBC NOW, WNO, RTE, RLPO, Ulster, Northern Ballet Sinfonia) and have performed on luxury cruise ships including P&O, Fred Olsen, Saga and Cunard. In addition to their classical work, members of the quartet have also performed on TV, Film and Pop recordings, most recently performing on GMTV, Don’t Tell the Bride and Four Weddings.

 

Weddings for everyone

Wedding ceremonies are all about sharing. While the big day ultimately belongs to you, the couple getting hitched, it’s also a special and significant moment for the people who know and love you best. So, how can you involve your guests to make your wedding day into a truly shared experience for everyone? Here are some great wedding ideas.

Ceremonial rituals

For centuries, people have used rituals to help cement their unions. One relatively new wedding ritual is the lighting of the unity candle, where close family members of the betrothed couple light a separate candle each before the ceremony. The newlyweds then take their respective candles and bring them together to light one single flame.

In a twist to include everyone in your new union, you could hold a version of this ceremony in reverse, letting each guest light a candle of their own from your united flame.

Confetti throwing

Showering confetti over the happy couple is another time-honoured wedding ritual. Make sure everyone is prepared for the big moment by handing out confetti dispensers like wands or cannons to all your guests. (This is a job that you can delegate to a trustworthy member of the wedding party)! Alternatively, why not set up a ‘confetti bar’ beforehand, so that everyone can mix and match their own unique concoction?

Music mixtape

Once you’re on the dancefloor, you’ll want everyone to come and join the party. Why not make everyone feel included by playing one song for each guest? (You can ask them to nominate their chosen track when they RSVP to your invitation). The DJ can announce any special dedications or significant songs with comments from the nominator. The mixtape approach will make your reception into a truly communal experience that everyone will appreciate.

Photo opportunities

Posing for wedding photos is the perfect opportunity to get everyone involved while creating some stunning shots! You could set up an aerial shot and get everyone to stand in formation to make a heart shape or a word. Or if you have suitable space, why not lead everyone in a procession around the grounds of your wedding venue? It’ll be a special, shared experience to cherish, and you’ll be able to treasure some ‘action shots’ of all your guests together.

Like and share

It’s also good to give your guests somewhere they can all share their respective photos of the day. Wedding apps like WedPics allow your guests to upload all their snaps to one central place, making sure you don’t miss a thing! Alternatively, set up a Facebook event for your wedding day. This will ensure that everyone can communicate and stay in touch after the big day, if they so wish.

 

Valentine’s Day Weddings

February is the month of romance and passion. In February, many like to blow their salary on expensive tasting menus in top restaurants and embark on lavish weekends away in remote country spa hotels. For those who prefer to be more resourceful with their Valentine’s budget, it’s often a challenge to prove your love in another way.

To help those looking to escape, we have come up with five ways to save money but still impress your other half this February.

Be original

A great way of proving to your partner that you love them is to think outside of the box. Why not choose a Wedding Venue they wouldn’t think of going and surprise them. Even the most expensive cities in the UK have accommodation which is affordable but still offer a good spot to rest your head.

Be spontaneous

One of the best ways to be romantic is to be spontaneous, (if proposing) tell your partner that you are taking them away; you can even tell them where you’re taking them if you’d prefer. The trick is to save all the little trips and adventures for them to find out the weekend goes on. This makes the trip more exciting and unpredictable.

Be tasteful

While being on a budget often rules out pricey experiences, one thing money can’t buy is taste. When choosing activities for your honeymoon getaway pursue cultural experiences such as museums, art galleries, and landmark sites as oppose to gimmick activities that you can do at home like bowling, ice skating and laser quest. It is also worth taking advantage of upmarket restaurants and bars which offer cheaper menus between certain times of the day.

Be true

Finally, when you have finally tied the knot, like taste, no amount of money can buy true love. Ensure you spend plenty of time talking to one another, planning your next adventure and relaxing. Everything else will be an added bonus.

 

Wedding day nerves

We can assure you that as soon as you see your betrothed at the end of the aisle, those nerves will disappear, but how do you cope with them in the meantime? Well, to give you some top tips on calming those wedding day nerves in the lead-up to and on the big day itself.

Identify your list of chief concerns

Make a list, get some hierarchy and perspective going. Identify your big worries, know the smaller ones and accept them.

Surround yourself with positive people

Anyone that has an agenda about your wedding should not even be in your vicinity. If there are certain friends or family members that are causing problems, do not engage with them.

Talk about your anxieties

Any doubts about anything will fester so articulate them to your nearest and dearest, don’t get distracted but do tackle what you need to tackle them. Confronting them and taking action will instantly reduce stress levels.

Focus on your breathing

If you start feeling anxious, focus on your breath, and in particular, your diaphragm. And become calm – yoga is a brilliant way to learn body awareness, build stamina to stress and remain flexible, emotionally and physically. Take it up!  Spending five minutes each day focusing only on your breath is a fantastic strategy for dealing with worry.

Look ahead with positivity

Start visioning a wonderful day ahead of you, with people who want to share it with you… This is the gift of a wedding.

Allow yourself to be supported

This wedding is not solely your responsibility, you can delegate tasks to chosen trusted friends, you do not have to be the one holding it all together alone.

Think of your posture

If you think you’re getting overwhelmed you will look at the floor more, give and receive eye contact less and your voice will become more high pitched. If you haven’t realised yet you are stressed, those around will have done. Acupuncture is a brilliant way to counteract the manifestations of tension and finding a good practitioner will pay dividends.

Allow yourself to be pampered

Let go and relax. Have fun in the run up, lighten up, see the funny side to any conflict.

Rehearse the day in your mind

Mentally walk through what will happen on the day, from beginning to end. If there are parts you are worried about (these are usually the aisle walk, the vows and the speeches) focus on your role in that only – you can’t control what anyone else does or says.

Be positive

Smile, be happy and enjoy planning your wedding day. It’s going to be amazing!

 

Do you really need wedding entertainment?

When your grandparents got married, they probably didn’t have too much in the way of wedding entertainment. In fact, 50 or so years ago, most weddings took place in the morning, followed by the wedding breakfast and then, after the speeches and cake, the bride and groom would leave to go off on their honeymoon – probably in the mid to late afternoon So in fact, their actual wedding day was really quite short.

Nowadays the trend is to make much more of a deal of the whole event.  It’s not unusual to be invited to a ceremony taking place in the late morning or early afternoon, followed by a drinks reception and canapés, a wedding breakfast, the speeches and cake cutting.

Then there’s a short break – maybe some afternoon tea and the arrival of the evening guests when the whole event restarts with probably another drinks reception and dancing. That could be a whole 10 hours of keeping guests happy from the moment they arrive at the church until they leave around midnight.

So what are you going to do with them? How can you make sure your guests feel entertained, happy and engaged throughout the day rather than looking at their watch and wondering when they can politely leave?

Look up entertainment in the dictionary and it says ‘the act of providing amusement or enjoyment’. Which is to say that entertaining your guests isn’t just a matter of providing conjurers, magicians, musicians and photo booths – it’s making sure that they have a great time at your wedding.

Catering..

First off, make sure you don’t let your guests get hungry or thirsty. If you’re having a late morning wedding and evening dancing then you’re going to have to feed your guests twice over. Or if you’re having an early afternoon wedding followed by an evening event, then you can’t expect your guests to wait until dinner time to eat.

If all this is beyond your budget then you’re going to have to rethink the timetable of your day –  maybe get married mid-afternoon, serve a delicious afternoon tea and then dinner in the evening. Or get married as late as possible and just have an evening affair. Serving your guests delicious food and drink is all a part being a good hostess and you don’t want to cut corners here.

Music?

That really depends on the structure of your day. You don’t have to have a string quartet or music playing during a drinks reception but it does create a party atmosphere. Music also fills in the gaps when you’re having your photographs taken or signing the register and can fill in any awkward silences that might occur.

Obviously if you’re having an evening event with dancing you’re going to have to have music – whether you opt for a DJ or a live band, or ideally both if your budget stretches. One thing we don’t recommend is that you create a playlist on your iPod, your wedding music is something you shouldn’t really DIY, it’s too much pressure.

Say Cheese..

Having a group photograph taken of your wedding day is another way that all guests can feel involved in your big day. Exercise your photographer’s creativity by arranging everybody in a giant love heart shape or the initials of the bride and groom. Gathering everybody together is a great icebreaker and a good way to get people talking to one another before dinner.

In fact, if you’re a good host and hostess you should make everybody feel part of your big day and not allow anybody to feel left out – that’s all part of entertaining.