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!

Bridesmaids tips for the day

The bridesmaid’s role at a wedding might not be as clearly defined as the best man’s, but it’s just as vital. And from emotional support to practical assistance, your duties start long before the big day.

1) Check the Venue

You might be asked to help set up or make sure the placing is correct on the morning itself. Don’t worry about losing out on “getting ready time” — remember the bride is the only one who needs to look perfect, your help and support is much more valuable.

2) Getting Ready

Get dressed as quickly, quietly and efficiently as you can (the bride won’t thank you for hogging the GHDs or having a tantrum over a bad hair day) and take charge of any younger bridesmaids to ensure everyone’s dressed with hair and make-up done.

3) Act as Photographer’s Assistant

Before the ceremony, liaise with the wedding photographer as well as rounding groups of guests up later on.

4) Attend the Bride

As well as walking down the aisle, hold the bouquet as she says her vows and arrange her train. Later, check she and the groom have champagne and canapés.

5) Public Speaking

More and more bridesmaids are making a speech, They’re also often asked to give a reading and the chief bridesmaid may be a witness. So be prepared to show the best man how it’s done.

6) Be Ready for Emergencies

Have a kit prepared, including lipstick, sewing essentials, tissues, baby wipes and blister plasters.

7) Get the Party Started

Make sure guests go in to the wedding breakfast when they should, and be one of the first onto the dance floor later.

8) Don’t Forget the Details

Check everyone has confetti, remind the bride to throw her bouquet (and make sure there are people to catch it!) — you can even help to distribute the cake.

9) Go the Extra Mile

One idea is to take the brides mobile phone on the morning of the wedding and not let her have to deal with any phone calls. Let her enjoy her morning and get ready without the hassle of having to answer calls.

Why wedding music is so important

When planning a Wedding, you’ll want the very best for your guests to enjoy. You’ll want the best food, the best decorations – and the best music to get them up out of their chairs and strutting their stuff on the dance floor all night long, which makes music at weddings so important.

If so, your big music decision is – wedding disco or live wedding band? Wedding discos have been popular for generations of newly-weds, and with good reason. Professional wedding DJ’s do much more than play tracks; they assess the age range of your guests, their energy levels, take requests, and create a flow of music that ensures all ages and all musical tastes have a great evening of non-stop dancing. 

If you’ve ever headed for your chair and a drink at a wedding disco, only to turn on your heels as another of your favourite tracks calls you back on the floor, that’s due to the skill of your wedding DJ! A top wedding DJ will have an impressive collection of tracks at his fingertips, and thanks to the wonders of technology, they’ll probably be stored on an easy to carry hard drive or a laptop. So, whatever your guests request on the night, chances are, your wedding DJ has it on file, or can even download it on the fly! 

Most wedding DJs also bring their own sound system and lighting, to turn a marquee or hotel function room into an instant nightclub atmosphere. They can usually integrate their kits with a venue’s own sound system if required, important if the venue has sound-limiting equipment installed. 

So, today’s wedding DJs can set themselves up in almost any space or room, perfect entertainment for smaller weddings and large venues alike. 

A live wedding band brings the energy and excitement of a live gig to your special day. Wedding and function bands are actually cover bands, who played all the hits you know and love. The best wedding bands play a wide selection of hits from the 1950s to the present day, so every guest can enjoy something they know, played live right in front of them. Every professional wedding band wants their audience (your guests) to have the best time possible, so they will tailor their performance just like a wedding DJ, to ensure the best range of music to suit all tastes. 

Although many wedding bands may be able to learn a special song just for you, it’s often easiest to pick a first dance song which is already in their play list. Likewise, classical musicians may read sheet music but a well rehearsed tune for your ceremony is far more preferable to putting manuscript in front of them and making the best of it. 

 

Wedding Engagement photo ideas

Make sure your pictures are everything you’ve been dreaming about since the day you said yes! Draw some inspiration from these adorable engagement photo shoot ideas.

 

  1. Be Passionate

Well, not like that. Engagement photo shoot ideas should obviously be centered on you as a couple, so include the things that you both love! Do you both love coffee? Your cat? Movies? Snowboarding? Whatever passion you both share, representing that in your engagement photos is guaranteed to make them original.

 

2.Stay At Home

Keep things simple with your shoot. There is no rule saying that you have to pose in a field of flowers for your photos. Break from the usual and set up a comfortable photo shoot in your own home! This where you and your significant other can really be yourselves. You’ve created a perfect space for both of you, so celebrate that!

 

  1. Get Artsy

Tap into your creative side with these artsy ideas! Break out paint, chalk, paper, paintbrushes, or glitter. Whatever you need to get a little messy with colour! You can keep it classy and imaginative, or just go mad and cover each other in paint or powder.

 

  1. Go Glam

Something about being all dressed up really brings out the romantic side in couples! High-fashion is great for fashionistas looking for ideas. If you’re planning a sophisticated or evening wedding, glam engagement pictures can give your guests a peek at what to expect on the big day.

 

  1. Props

Do you and your fiance feel awkward in front of the camera? Bring in some props! They can help you interact with each other in a playful and natural way. Getting your photos taken can be intimidating. Take some of the pressure away with fun items like bicycles, bubbles, sparklers, coffee cups, whatever strikes you! Your photographer can usually help with this, too.

 

  1. Use the Golden Hour

Good lighting is the number one thing to consider when thinking of photo shoot ideas! Any wedding photographer will tell you that the “golden hour” is a beautiful time for photos. Take advantage of early morning or late afternoon times to create truly stunning engagement pictures.

 

  1. Celebrate the Season

Getting engaged in summer, spring, autumn, and winter all have their perks! No matter what season you’re in, you can take advantage of what’s happening outside. Incorporating nature into your photos is a failsafe way to end up with gorgeous photos.

 

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.

 

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!

 

Entertainment that’s up close and personal

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

Living Topiary

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

Eyecon Art

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

Strolling entertainment.

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

 

Romantic honeymoon ideas

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

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

A romantic meal for two;

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

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

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

Spa treat;

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

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

 

Have a break from Wedding Planning

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

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

The Scarlet

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

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

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

Peak Edge Hotel

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

Blakes Hotel

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

The Royal Scots Club

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

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