Month: February 2016

Alternative Top Table Arrangements

Seating plans can provoke a sense of dread in a bride or groom to be. While it’s often obvious which groups of guests should sit where, there can be some problems and the top table is not immune from these issues either. Some parents may be separated, divorced or remarried, some may be on good terms, and some may not. Some couples’ parents may have passed away and they may wish to have grandparents present at the top table, while some couples may have children and would like them at the top table too. There are a staggering number of possibilities to consider and it’s very much individual to the couple.

But the important thing is not to panic. It’s understandable that in the middle of the wedding planning melee, the top table seating plan can give you the shivers, but there are always options. Remember you don’t have to stick to a traditional long table and seating arrangement for the top table. There are lots of great alternatives and no one arrangement is better than the other.

As an award winning wedding planner, I’ve organised lots of non-traditional top tables to suit every couple’s needs. If you’d like to get in touch about this or any aspect of your wedding planning or décor, please email me.


Sweetheart Table
Kitsch and cute, a sweetheart table is essentially a table where the newly married couple sit apart at their own table, facing the rest of the guests. It can be a little much for those who don’t want to feel like they are ‘on show,’ but there are other advantages. It allows you to spend more time with your new husband or wife and allows the bridal party to be seated at other tables giving you scope to move people around more easily as you’re not leaving anyone off the top table. Also consider having a sweetheart table where the newly married couple sit with their kids at their own special table.


Round Top Table
The classic top table tends to be a long rectangular one facing the rest of the guests, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Think about having a round top table as it is perfect for maximising socialising, plus there’s no real middle in this style of table so you can again move people around more freely without anyone left feeling like they’ve been left out in the cold.


Bridal Party Only
If family issues are proving to be a problem with parents, stepparents and partners, then a great solution is to have just the newly married couple, along with their bridesmaids, best man and groomsmen at the top table. This way you can seat the parents and/or stepparents at other tables in the room or even ask them to ‘host’ these tables in a special VIP role.


Long Table
Having long tables is great when you have large numbers, rustic style themes or you want to make the most of the space in you venue. They are also great if you aren’t keen on a traditional top table, because everyone is sitting equally and no noses will be out of joint. Plus to make it even more relaxed, don’t have any names on the seats and allow people to sit there they wish.

Advantages of a Small Wedding

A large wedding is not something every couple wants for their special day. While some weddings can run in excess of 300 people, the average wedding size tends to be in and around the 100/150 mark. But many couples opt to keep things much more intimate with smaller numbers attending, choosing to only include their very close family and best friends.

While a small wedding might not be the ‘norm’, it is certainly full of fantastic possibilities to make it truly unique and special. From access to a wider range of incredible venues, to budgetary impacts, to the food, décor and much more, small weddings have so much going for them.

If you’d like to chat about how I can lend my award-winning wedding planning services to your intimate wedding day celebrations, then don’t hesitate to get in touch.


There’s two ways of looking at how a small wedding can impact on your budget. First, if you’re looking to keep things more economical, then a smaller wedding will of course yield plenty of savings across the board, then you would have with a larger party.

However, smaller weddings also mean you get essentially more bang for your buck and if budgetary reasons aren’t the main driver behind why you’re having a more intimate affair, then you can really splash out on more incredible food, décor and venue options.



Small Gathering
For many couples, the whole idea behind having a smaller wedding is that they want their closest family and friends around them on their big day. It can make for a much more relaxed atmosphere, akin to a family dinner or occasion, rather than something that can feel too big and overwhelming. Also smaller weddings mean you can spend more time with each of your guests and your new husband or wife, rather than spending the entire day and night trying to have a few quick words with everyone.



Often times, couples will automatically look for a hotel with an appropriate sized room for their wedding venue. However, if you’re having a more intimate celebration, then this opens up a whole host of new venues to you. Consider your favourite restaurants, or museums and galleries. Also don’t forget that a smaller group means that it is easier to have your wedding abroad.


Food can be somewhat formulaic at larger weddings, especially when your each the 300 or more mark. When you’ve got a smaller party, you can really have fun with the food. From splurging on Michelin starred food, to family style platters or nibbles, the sky is the limit.



More Creativity
Finally, smaller weddings will allow you to channel your creativity in different ways. You’ll be thinking of ways to include favours or activities that the entire, smaller group can get involved in, rather than something that has more mass appeal. More intimate venues can also take a different sort of décor and music options, as you don’t have to go for the usual larger band set ups.

Wedding Photobooth Fun

Having a photobooth at your wedding equals guaranteed fun and laughter! For many couples, their official photographer will be done and dusted by the time the meal is fully underway and the dancing begins. The beauty of a photobooth is that it gives you the chance to get different sorts of photos of your guests and pictures of different groups of guests when they are fully relaxed and ready to have some major fun! Props are a must for photobooths; from funny moustaches, to signs, to big lips, glasses, wigs and anything else you can think of that might elicit a giggle.

There’s several options for setting up a photobooth, you can chose a professional photobooth hire, or you can go for a DIY version. It’s completely up to you and your budget. Either way, a photobooth is huge fun and the snaps will definitely make you smile when you go through them during the post wedding weeks and months.

As well as being an award-winning wedding planner, I also run, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like our photobooth at your wedding day.



They are just like the old fashioned booths where you might have gotten your passport photos taken, only generally bigger, with most wedding photobooths catering for a group of people at one time. There’s normally a start button and a countdown and then the happy snapping begins. Make sure to fill the booth with lots of fun props. The beauty of a professional photobooth is that everything about the process runs super smoothly and at the end of it, the guests are left with fantastic photos in their hands, plus most upload them to an online gallery so everyone can access them.

DIY Booths
A professional photobooth hire might not be in every couple’s budget, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have the essence of a photobooth in your big day! There’s lots of ways to set one up and if you’re a DIY lover then this will really appeal to you. You can use practically anything that fits in with your décor, from retro screens, to homemade frames, to painted backdrops, to streamers, to an antique couch, to an old door frame and so on. The only limit is your imagination. You’ll also need to either set up a tripod for your camera or iPad, and leave instructions for the guests on setting up the timer, or go old school and leave out a polaroid for some selfie fun! And don’t forget the props!

Props are super important for your photobooth, whether it be a professionally hired booth or a DIY booth, good props will make or break it. The old starworts like moustaches, lips, wigs, oversized glasses, funny hats, Elvis glasses etc, are always a good choice, but think about other options that will fit in with your theme or interests. For example are you total movie buffs? Then why not have some clapperboards and movie star inspired disguises. Or if you adore Alice in Wonderland for example then make sure you’ve got Alice bands, Mad Hatter Style hats and ‘Eat Me,’ ‘Drink Me’ Signs. Professional photobooth hire companies often provide props too, but it’s good to throw in some of your own as well.

Bride & Groom Gifts

The morning of your wedding day can be a bit of whirlwind. It can be equal parts exciting and nervous and is often an emotional rollercoaster. But it’s hardly surprising; it’s the day you and your husband or wife to be have planned and looked forward to for many months or years. It’s a day you’ll both have put lots of thought, time, effort and energy into and when the realisation hits that the wedding day is actually ‘today,’ it can be almost hard to believe.

You’ll also be very busy; from hair to makeup, to flowers arriving and suits to be put on, to photos and more, it can be hard to find a small moment to gather you thoughts. So the tradition of sending your partner a small gift on the morning of the wedding is both a romantic and thoughtful gesture and one you will be very grateful for. The gift doesn’t have to be anything massively expensive or extravagant either, instead something personal, heartfelt and funny is often the best choice.

Here’s just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing. If you’d like to chat about any aspect of your wedding day, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch


For the Bride
Classics –
Jewellery is always a safe bet when it comes to a gift from the groom. It doesn’t have to be hugely expensive, just something small and heartfelt. Think about perhaps a fun MRS necklace, or sparkly earrings with a cute note attached.



Going to the effort to have something personalised, is always much appreciated and the morning of your wedding is no exception. Think about an engraved locket or bracelet. What about a fun embroidered wedding robe? A leather embossed passport cover or travel wallet for the honeymoon, or just a handwritten note! Be sure to have your waterproof mascara on!


For something a little different why not present her with that pair of designer shoes she’s always wanted and she can bring them on the honeymoon! Send champagne, or a little goody box filled with treats. Or why not write a message on the sole of her wedding day shoes that she’ll see on the morning before she puts them on! Or for something very emotional, a heartfelt notebook with reasons why you love your bride-to-be is ideal.


For The Groom
Classics like cufflinks, watches or even a hipflask are all ideal little presents for the morning of the wedding and can make great photo opps as well. You can personalise these sorts of gifts too for an extra special touch.



A pocket watch with a personal inscription on the back is a super thoughtful groom gift, especially if perhaps there is a pocket watch in the family that might have belonged to a grandfather. A leather monogrammed travel wallet or passport cover for the honeymoon is another great one or why not engrave the inside of his wedding ring as a surprise – it could be something funny like ‘put me back on,’ to make him laugh whenever he has to take it off!



If he’s and adrenalin junkie why not surprise him with a bungee jump or skydive voucher for your honeymoon? Or why not surprise him with a small note stitched on the back of his tie that he’ll only see on the morning of the wedding as he gets ready! Also don’t forget the little funny gifts like ‘just in case you get cold feet’ socks, or the groom/hubby boxers.

Wedding Backdrops

Wedding backdrops are a wonderful addition to your big day décor. They can serve a number of locations depending on the style of your ceremony. For example, if you are getting married outside or in a venue other than a church, you have more freedom to include a bespoke backdrop into the ceremony itself. But fear not, if you’re going for a church ceremony there are still lots of options for a beautiful backdrop in the day’s decor. Think about having it outside for your photographs or inside for a dedicated part of your décor, behind the top table or as a handy photo prop.

A wedding backdrop is also another fantastic way to underpin your wedding theme; be it rustic chic, glamorous, floral, nautical, or even film or book inspired. There’s no limit to the ways in which you can include a backdrop. Also they can be complete multi-taskers! You could have your backdrop serve as part of the seating plan, for example you could have your rustic pallets adorned with antique style picture frames with the tables seating arrangements and then use it as your wedding photo backdrop later on!

Finally, if you’re a bit of a DIY’er, then putting together your own wedding backdrop can be a fantastic project to work on in the lead up to the big day.

If you’d like to discuss any aspect of your wedding day planning or décor with us, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We can work with all budgets to bring your wedding dreams to life.

In the meantime, here is some beautiful backdrop inspiration.


Rustic Chic
If you’re going for a rustic chic feel for your wedding day décor, then think distressed wood, palettes, old doors, trellis, and antique screens. If you’re a dab hand at bringing new life into old pieces of furniture, then think about upcycling some of these items yourself for a great DIY wedding project.


Florals & Greenery
This is a trend that we’ve seen in numerous celebrity weddings, but with a little thought you can bring a flavour of it into your wedding day décor. Think about the colours carefully. Too many white flowers and the impact will get lost, but again too many bold colours may not work with your overall décor. Try and have a chat with your wedding planner or florist about what’s in season and what will work well, both on camera and in the flesh with the space you have available. A burst of greens without florals are another beautiful option to consider and have become quite popular in recent times, especially for that ‘secret garden’ feel.


While big floral walls are not something every budget will stretch to, it’s still possible to create a beautiful alternative with paper flowers! Also consider streamers, paper shapes like birds or stars or pom poms for a visually stunning, yet often more economical option.


Lights & Draping
There’s little that can rival the twinkle of fairy lights and draping for a romantic effect and this much loved duo, continues to be a popular choice for many brides and grooms today. Think about the different sorts of lights and bulbs sizes you can use to set yours apart and how they are placed for maximum effect. Add in some carefully chosen draping and you’ve got the perfect backdrop.


Letters & Initials
For a bold, modern, visual statement, oversized initials or letters spelling out words like LOVE or I DO are an incredibly popular alternative to a traditional background. They are often lit, adding to the effect and look stunning in both the photos and in the room itself.