Guests Dos and Don’ts

Brides often worry about some guests that may not behave and are worried about how to approach the issue of the Grooms (or her) relatives or others that may not behave well. Here is a list a do’s and don’ts for guests. We dare you to include a print-out in your wedding invitations!

1. RSVP on Time

Hi guest! You’ll notice on your wedding invitation there’s a date for RSVPs to be in by. That deadline is there for a reason, so please make sure you get back to us by then. The seating plan is hard enough to sort without all of the RSVP’S!

2. No Kids Means No Kids

You might notice your wedding invitation is addressed to just you and your partner. As much as we love little Cosmo and Chrysanthemum, we’ve decided to have a child-free wedding. No exceptions. Not even for children as delightful as yours. Don’t ask. (This goes for everyone – if the name isn’t on the invitation, they NOT invited.)

3. Don’t Wear White

Or ivory, or cream. Steer clear of those colours, and even more so if lace is involved too. You can wear your nice white lace dress to any event of the year. Brides get one day to wear their nice white lace dress. Don’t ruin it.

4. Don’t Wear Black

Black is a bit funeral-esque, and traditionally wearing black was a way to protest against the marriage. So unless you not-so-secretly wish the bride was marrying you, put your black tie back on the rack and pick out a more jaunty floral one.

5. Just Obey the Dress Code in General

Unless the wedding invitation states that there’s an informal dress code, don’t assume there is one. That means no jeans! Yes, they’re comfy and you can do an awesome slide-across-the-room-on-your-knees in them, but it’s not the time or the place.

6. No Last Minute Change of Plan

If you’ve said you’re going, unless it’s a serious emergency or you’re horribly, contagiously ill, do not even think of cancelling. Likewise, if you said you’re not attending, don’t even think about rocking up to the wedding breakfast unannounced. Even if you bring an awesome gift. Come to the evening party (with the gift).

7. Switch Your Phone Off

Picture the scene, the registrar is guiding the couple through their vows, the bride is delicately wiping tears of happiness from her eyes and…what’s that? ‘Toxic’ by Britney Spears starts blaring out. Oh, that’s your phone? TURN IT OFF.

8. Don’t get in the Photographer’s Way

So you have over 500 followers on Instagram? You’re still not the photographer the couple hired for their big day, so don’t get in their way, wielding your iPhone. Or iPad. But no one would actually bring an iPad to a wedding, right…?

9. Think about Your Hat

If you’re wearing a hat to the wedding, good for you. More people should wear hats. But be considerate when choosing it – a tall hat will block views at the ceremony and a wide hat will eclipse guests during the group pictures.

10. Don’t Smuggle in Alcohol

You’re not going for a night out in Oceana. You’re going to a fancy wedding, where the couple have paid a considerable amount to host you, and may be limited by corkage charges. Don’t risk getting them fined or getting yourself thrown out for the sake of a few Malibu miniatures in your clutch bag.

11. Don’t Drink Too Much Alcohol

There’s a fine line between dancing with your friends and taking some hilarious photo booth pictures, but if you start to cry, swear or be sick, you’ve gone too far. No one wants to be the person who wrote a rude message in the sentimental guest book after one too many Sambuca’s.

12. Behave Yourself

You wouldn’t go to a restaurant and decide to steal some of the décor (at least we hope not), so resist the urge to make off with one of the carefully assembled centrepieces or inhale the helium from a giant balloon before giving an impromptu speech. Unless you’re invited to, in which case, knock yourself out

13. Do Not Touch the Seating Plan

I know Uncle Jerry is a bit boring, but if you’re sat by him – tough luck! The couple have spent hours working out their seating plan and you can’t even begin to imagine the logistics. If you switch place cards for whatever reason, all hell could break loose.

14. Try Not to Sulk

There’s a thing about wedding season – lots of wedding tend to happen. If you’re marrying at a similar time to a friend, don’t be upset if they, like you, have gone for a rustic theme or a similar dress. It happens! No one will notice, unless you point it out.

15. Consider the Environment

Everyone loves the confetti shot – it’s so much fun! But be considerate and choose biodegradable confetti. It’s nicer for the environment and avoids the happy couple getting whacked with any fines for flouting the venue’s rules.

16. You get what you’re given

Don’t moan about the menu choices to the couple. It’s their wedding and they’re footing the bill, so it’s only fair they’re allowed to eat their favourite wedding foods. As long as they’ve catered for any dietary requirements, you can’t complain. And don’t try and ask for different food on the day anyway. It won’t happen.

17. Try Not to Be an Entertainment Hog

It’s fine to request a song or two, but be wary of being the guest who hassles the DJ or band with an endless stream of requests, or commandeers the iPod playlist to introduce everyone to your favourite experimental jazz band. It’s quite likely the couple will have a playlist worked out – now is not the time for experimental jazz. We’re not actually sure there’s ever a time for experimental jazz.

18. Have Fun!

It seems like a lot of rules and diva demands, but really it’s just courtesy and common sense! Be happy for the newlyweds and enjoy yourself!

Perfect Venues for Outdoor Weddings

If you want to get married outside then take a look at some of our favourite wedding venues where you can hold an outdoor ceremony

Although the weather isn’t always reliable, outdoor ceremonies are growing in popularity in the UK.

If you’d love to say your vows outside, here are some UK venues to consider:

1. Ta Mill, Cornwall

There’s a choice of outdoor options at Ta Mill, on the fringes of Bodmin Moor, including lawns that can accommodate up to 100 guests with a wildlife pond in the background. If the weather changes, a canopy can be used on the lawn, or up to 60 guests can be accommodated in the indoor venue. To continue the outdoor theme you can enjoy a bespoke wedding breakfast in a personalised marquee in the gardens.

2. Heaton House Farm, Cheshire

As well as offering a choice of two barns, Heaton House Farm also has a beautiful oak pagoda available for outdoor weddings. Licensed for civil ceremonies, and with its own patio area, the pagoda has panoramic views across the Cheshire plains. Guests can be seated on the patio area with additional seating extending onto the grass if required.

3. Laughern Hill Estate, Worcestershire

Laughern Hill Estate can provide a “complete al fresco outdoor wedding experience”. It has a selection of ceremony locations, including beside a wishing well. You could have a quintessentially British marquee wedding or a boho festival style tipi. You could dine under a vinery of real leaves and sumptuous grapes or devour a mouth-watering hog roast within the walls of a secret garden. You could even dance the night away under the stars…with your own silent disco.

4. Careys Manor, New Forest

Careys Manor Hotel is the only venue in the tranquil New Forest that holds an outdoor wedding licence. The hotel’s elegant, custom-built wedding pavilion harnesses the traditional romance of a walled garden with its serene design and sweet floral aromas. Up to 100 guests can be accommodated here – and they will also be able to use the award winning spa facilities.

5. Nymans, Sussex

In a peaceful country setting, Nymans is a National Trust property with a loggia that is licensed for weddings and civil ceremonies. A beautiful gothic building, with soaring arches and ivy clad walls, the loggia is set within a sunken garden that has striking floral displays. Intimate ceremonies for 30 guests can take place inside the loggia or, for a larger congregation, an unlimited number of additional guests can be seated on the lawns.

6. Brinkburn, Northumberland

Offering an unusual historic, tranquil and quirky experience, the estate is set in a secluded wooded ravine on the banks of the river Coquet in Northumberland, with a beautiful 12th century church and stables in the grounds. Outdoor ceremonies can be held here with the sound of the birds singing and the river running as a gorgeous soundtrack to your day.

7. Polpier, Cornwall

If you’re looking for an outdoor wedding venue with a stunning view, picturesque Polpier on the Cornish coast has a spacious front lawn that looks down on Mevagissey fishing village and harbour. With a feature gazebo that can be dressed with flowers and decorations, up to 100 guests can be accommodated at an outdoor ceremony in the self-contained gardens.

8. Cripps Barn, Gloucestershire

An old Cotswold stone barn has flag stone floors, an open fire place, a large south facing terrace with fire pits and a bonfire in the garden. Couples can get married either in the barn or outside in the woodland glade which is equipped with a microphone and speakers in the trees so guests can hear music and the couples’ vows. After the wedding, the barn is a perfect place to party – and there is free camping available in the field next door for any outdoor-loving guests.

9. Jollydays Glamping, Yorkshire

Although Jollydays isn’t licensed for a legal ceremony, it’s a great choice if you are a glamping fan: couples usually have a legal ceremony at the nearby village church, or at the registry office in York, and then have a humanist ceremony in the Jollydays woodland. There are three wedding packages to choose from; you could have a festival vibe, a posh vintage tea party or a romantic boho extravaganza.

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!

Sit back and Chillax

If you’re feeling frazzled on the lead up to your big day, you are most definitely not alone. There is no doubt that planning a wedding is one of the most stressful events you may have to put together so it makes total sense that every once in awhile you need to take a step back and essentially, chillax. So we’ve put together a list of some activities that are guaranteed to get you zen 

1. Keep a Balanced Diet 

Some stress can often be perpetuated by having too much or too little of something in your diet. In the lead up to your wedding, it’s important you’re staying healthy and eating enough of everything. Make sure you’re eating at least 5 fruit and veg a day (preferably more vegetables than fruit) and that you are getting the correct amount from each food group. A good way to do this is to ensure you’re sticking to this as a routine throughout the weekdays and then at the weekend let yourself indulge a little. 

 

  1. Have a friends night 

Just as much as a wedding is a celebration of the love you have as a couple, it is also all about the love you have for your friends and family. There’s no doubt that sometimes when you need to take your mind off things, getting together with all your good friends is the best thing for it. To minimise any stress of organising, get your pals round and have everyone bring a dish and some vino and just let the giggles begin.

3. Have an evening dedicated to YOU

Everyone has their ideal kind of evening and has a good idea of what sort of ingredients that might involve. For some it may be a takeaway and a boxset, for others it might be cocktails and a night out until the late AM. Have a think about what fail-safe things always make you happy and have an evening dedicated to YOU.

 

  1. Get Outside

Sometimes there’s nothing better than wonderful fresh air to clear your head and help you realise the things that matter in life. Take a stroll in the countryside or in your local park – we love a bit of people watching as a way to check out of your own life, just for a little while. Treat yourself to a hot choc or a burst of caffeine, grab a magazine or a book, a good pal or the dog and just chill – we guarantee it will do you the world of good. 

  

  1. Go on a date 

In all the wedding chat, you can often lose sight of what this is all about – your marrying the very person you love the most. So turn this period of time into a bit of a pre-honeymoon phase and value the time you spend with your husband to be. Organise a date night that you know you’ll both love and just catch up and most importantly – ban the wedding chat, just for one night. If will help you put everything into perspective and help you realise there’s other stuff outside of the wedding bubble. 

 

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.