Month: September 2016

Things To Consider When Picking Your Wedding Venue

Choosing your wedding venue is one of the most important factors in planning your big day. The moment you make that crucial decision, it feels as if the wedding is finally, really happening. It’s an exciting time, but it can also be stressful as you try to make the right choice for you as a couple.

There’s many factors you both need to consider before going ahead. Crucial issues like numbers, your budget and the theme you want to go for, will all have a major bearing on your final decision. But there are other elements to consider as well, such as the time of year, the venues proximity to your guests, does it have accommodation, are you are having the ceremony in the venue or in another location, does it have outdoor grounds you can avail of for photos, the catering situation and so on.

As an award-winning wedding planner, I can take the hassle out of much of this process and if you’d like to chat about how I can help plan all or part of your big day then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

In the meantime, here are some of the top considerations to keep in mind when choosing your wedding venue.


Number of Guests
While it’s impossible to have your extract final figures set in stone before you choose your wedding venue, the likelihood is you’ll have a pretty clear idea of roughly how many people you expect to attend. You may already know you’ll have something in the region of 200-300 guests for example and this will have a direct bearing on the sort of venue you can book. Think hotels with ballrooms and function rooms large enough to cater for this size of gathering. Alternatively, you may know that you want something small and intimate with just immediate family or friends. In this case you can include different sorts of venues such as restaurants into the mix.


Your Budget
This, along with the number of guests you expect, is a crucial factor in deciding on your venue. You may have enough of a budget to go for an exclusive castle venue or 5 star hotel, or indeed you might only have enough of a budget for a quirky guesthouse or smaller hotel. Whatever your maximum budget is, try and stick to it as rigidly as you can, as costs can spiral. Hiring a wedding planner like myself is an ideal way to keep an eye on your costs, plus I can source incredible and unusual venues that will fit with your budget.


Your Theme or Feel for the Day
This is another really important factor that should be right up there on your top list of considerations. If you’ve always wanted to have your wedding in a marquee for example, then there is no point going for a standard hotel package. Similar if you have your heart set on a glamorous ballroom style feel for your wedding, then going for a trendy barn venue is not going to work. In the end, you have to try and find the best venue that fulfils your vision for your wedding day. And while we may not all be able to afford an exclusive 5 star castle, there are plenty of private hire venues around the country which can give a similar feel for less. It’s about doing your research and again, this is where a wedding planner can come into their own as they have fantastic connections and can do much of this leg work for you.


Accommodation and Location
Choosing a venue that has suitable accommodation either on site or close by is another very real factor to keep in mind as it can have a major impact on your guest’s ability to come to the wedding. Location is another key point as not everyone will be in a position to travel large distances.


The Time of Year
Finally, another really important point to keep in mind is the time of year you plant to get married. You may have your heart set on a glamping style wedding complete with yurts and outdoor music, but if you end up saying ‘I do’ in winter this may not be realistic. Similarly, that remote country venue in the mountains might not be a runner if it snows. While no-one can predict the weather, it’s a consideration worth keeping in mind,

Games to Entertain Your Wedding Guests

Weddings can be a long day for everyone. Of course for you, as the couple getting married, most of it will pass by in a wonderful whirlwind of emotions and ceremony, from walking down the aisle, to saying the I do’s, to getting photos taken, to the speeches, cutting the cake and the first dance, most of the day is regimented and set out. For guests, however parts of the wedding can be a little long, especially when you are off getting your photos taken, some guests can feel this part of the day drags slightly.

So it’s a good idea to think about some kind of entertainment. And that doesn’t mean it has to be expensive either. Sure it’s nice to have a musical act entertain your guests during the drinks reception, but with a little thought, there’s plenty of quirkier ways to keep guests having fun, plus it can also serve as a great ice breaker too. Think about giant jenga, connect 4, or if you have outdoor access in your venue maybe some boules or croquet?

To chat about this or any other aspect of your wedding day décor and room theming, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly.


Retro Games
Who doesn’t love a good retro game or board game? Think about classic retro board games dotted around the drinks reception area and let the guests play as they wish, with the likes of draughts, connect 4 and scrabble. And don’t forget about giant versions of these games too, such as giant jenga, a giant word search or giant connect 4!

Outdoor Fun
If you’ve got access to outdoor space at your venue and the weather allows, then make the most of it with some fun outdoor lawn games everyone will enjoy. Think about having a carnival style theme with old fashioned sack races, ring toss or throwing horseshoes. Classic croquet is always great fun, as is boules. Table tennis is another one that young and old will enjoy and if you’re feeling creative why not DIY a spin the wheel with different tasks for guests to carry out.


Games at the Table
The fun doesn’t have to stop when the guests sit down to dinner, and indeed here games are even more important as an icebreaker for groups who may not know each other so well. Of course the classic speech sweepstakes is always firm favourite amongst Irish wedding guests, as is the ‘thank you game,’ but others you may want to include are ‘he said, she said,’ wedding madlibs and wedding guest bingo!


Late Night Fun
When the lights go down and the music goes up, it’s a safe bet that most guest will be feeling more relaxed, so why stop the fun and games? Think about games like twister, the limbo, beer pong, a piñata or even fun dance offs or sing offs for guaranteed grown up giggles? Just make sure you’ve got the cameras ready to capture all the shenanigans.


Wedding Traditions From Around The World

For most of us our wedding day will be full of traditions, be they family traditions or more general wedding rituals. Even if you want to shun the entire idea of a traditional wedding day, it will still be steeped in well rooted rites whether you realise it or not. Such as the father of the bride walking the bride down the aisle, the ‘something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue,’ the bouquet toss and even the first dance are all from very old traditions. But these are just some of the wedding traditions that we might be familiar with in this country.

Indeed, there are many fascinating and amazing wedding traditions from different parts of the world which are both beautiful and intriguing. From releasing doves in the Philippines, to ‘ransoming’ the bride in Romania, to kissing the groom every time the bride leaves the room in Sweden, the world is full of fantastic wedding traditions.

And there’s nothing to stop you incorporating some of these ideas into your wedding day too and effectively start your own new family traditions.

Here’s a look at 10 wedding rituals from around the world. If you’d like to chat about any aspect of your wedding décor or planning, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly.


In Sweden, whenever the bride leaves the table, all the ladies at the reception are free to kiss the groom. Sweden keeps the tradition gender-neutral so whenever the groom leaves the room, all surrounding gentleman are free to plant a peck on the bride.


An Australian wedding ceremony often features the tradition of a unity bowl. Guests are given stones and asked to hold them during the ceremony. At the end, guests place the stones in a decorative bowl that the couple will keep and display afterwards to remind them of the support and presence of their friends and family.


Indian weddings have many beautiful traditions but on the wedding day, the bride and groom put flower garlands around each other’s necks in the Var Mala Ceremony to show the bride has accepted the groom as her husband.


The French are known for their fantastic pastries so it’s no surprise that for their weddings they often serve a croquembouche – a mighty tower of cream-filled profiteroles that can be dipped in any number of sweet sauces, as the wedding cake. A croquembouche can be decorated with fruit, nuts, and glazes, and makes a fantastic centrepiece.


After getting married, couples in Germany are presented with a large log and a saw and have to get to work. By sawing the log in half, it is believed they are proving their ability to work together in overcoming obstacles.


In Peru charms are attached to ribbons and are tucked between layers of the wedding cake. Each woman grabs a ribbon and pulls. At the end of one ribbon is a fake wedding ring. Whomever receives the ring is said to be next in line for marriage, a bit like throwing the bouquet!


Japanese weddings are generally full of Shinto traditions and to symbolise their union, the new couple drinks sake together, becoming husband and wife once they take the first sip.


At traditional Filipino wedding receptions, the bride and groom release two white doves to represent a long, peaceful, and harmonious life together.


While standing under the Chuppa, a canopy meant to provide sanctuary from evil spirits, the groom stands on a glass wrapped in cloth to symbolise the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.


The wedding cake, also known as kransekake, at a Norwegian wedding isn’t a traditional cake. It is made of bread and topped with a mixture of cheese, cream and syrup. The dessert is then folded over and cut into small squares.



How To Use Greenery In Your Wedding Decor

A big trend this year has been for greenery in wedding décor. On first thought, it may seem a little boring when compared to colourful florals, but on the contrary, using bold greens in your décor can be incredibly stunning. Think of a vibrant array of greens against crisp whites for the ultimate look. They can also be much more budget friendly then fresh florals, which is another major plus to consider.

There’s also a huge range of greens to choose from, such as ferns, herbs, boxwood, moss, eucalyptus, lambs ear, lavender, gypsophila, banana leaf, bamboo, holly and many more. And there’s so many ways to incorporate them into your wedding day décor and theme, for example using more banana style leaves will give it a tropical theme, whereas more moss and ferns will make it feel more woodland. From the ceremony itself, to the room décor and even in your bouquets, greenery is the really versatile addition to your wedding day.

To chat about this, or any other aspect of your wedding day décor or planning please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.


In the Ceremony
Greenery works incredibly well for your ceremony pew ends. It can look so atmospheric especially in a church setting. If you’re going for lanterns, then why not surround them with a mini garland or greens or use mini green wreaths on each pew? Alternatively a scattering of green leaves can look stunning along the aisle and don’t forget an arch, which can look incredibly eye-catching in vibrant greens.


On the Table
Table runners work so well especially for long tables, but don’t discount it for round tables too. Use the greenery in a circle for a unique centrepiece that will really stand out. Also think about wrapping candles in greens, bamboo or leaves and why not use larger banana style leaves for the each guests place name.


Herbs are a super quirky idea for favours, especially if you and your husband or wife to be have a bit of a green thumb. You can give guests mini potted herbs or even some seeds for them to grow. Micro cacti works really well too.


Hanging Greenery
If you don’t want to go for greenery on your tables or around the room, but would like to incorporate it in other ways then think about going for hanging greens. It can be a real stand out detail of your décor and is relatively easy to pull off. Just take a hula hoop and some greens and you’re got a readymade woodland chandelier! Also inverted lace parasols stuffed with greens make ideal hanging décor too. Greenery can be hung over the top table, the dancefloor, over a dessert station or cake table, or indeed over each table.


If you’re lucky enough to have a staircase in your wedding venue, then make the most of it, by styling it with some dramatic greens. It is a look that works so well and especially when you team the greens with simple candles. It is surprisingly impressive and very simple to pull off.