Something old, something new

Something old and something new

It’s a Tradition

Something old and something new
All the occasions we celebrate are riven with traditions. Easter has the eggs and the bunny, Christmas has Father Christmas/ Santa Claus – and more besides – depending on the nation. And, of course, every family puts their own spin on these regular calendar markers. And weddings are no exception.

So here’s a quick tour round some of the classic wedding traditions from horseshoes, to chimney sweeps to something old and something new.

Chimney sweeps

Back in the days when most of us had chimneys, to have a chimney sweep turn up at your wedding was seen as great good fortune. If he wished the couple good luck that was a very good omen indeed.

Remember Dick Van Dyke inn ‘Mary Poppins’?: ‘Good luck will rub off if you shakes hands with me’.

Chimney sweeps had, as Sooty the Sweep explains, this luck dispensing ability invested in them by King George II, when a sweep was the only one brave enough to stop his out-of-control carriage and save the king’s life. As a result the king issued a royal decree declaring chimney sweeps as bringers of luck that one should treat with respect.

Lucky horsehoes and edible traditions

Then there’s horseshoes – an ancient symbol of good luck of course. Since time immemorial we’ve hung them over doorways across the globe to protect the home from evil spirits. The giving of horseshoes to a bride is a tradition of long standing. Well before Christian times people thought that a horseshoe resembled a crescent moon and that made it a very potent fertility charm! But, more recently, in Victorian times the tradition became established as a way of bringing good luck to the newlyweds for the duration of their lives together.

Something old, something new - horseshoe and bride and groom

The wedding cake

Steeped in as much tradition as it is in fruit and brandy is the old fashioned wedding cake.

The wedding attire

The traditional white wedding dress is a relatively new one for British brides after Queen Victoria made them fashionable. As this Vanity Fair article explains, Queen Victoria made such a sartorial impression nearly 180 years ago that her example of wearing white is still considered mandatory by many a traditional bride. Further, Victoria’s choice of white bore no relation to any notion of purity. Victoria wore white for no other reason than that it complemented the delicate lace on her dress. Before Queen Victoria caused a sartorial stir women of the lower orders wore their best dress and those with a bit more money married in a colourful dress that they could recycle for other occasions. And IF, before Queen Victoria, a bride wore white, it symbolised wealth rather than purity – they could afford to have the dress cleaned.

A wedding rhyme – Something old and something new


There’s a related tradition that may have its origins much earlier than the white dress:

Something old,
Something new,
Something borrowed,
Something blue.

The origins of the rhyme are not clear but you can find references to it as an ancient custom in an 1876 edition of ‘Notes and Queries’. (Wikipedia) In Britain this old couplet is a direction to the bride on what she should wear. Originating here, the tradition has since spread across the globe.

Tradition holds that the something blue takes the form of a garter – and there’s yet more tradition behind that. In some wedding rites the bride had the garter plucked her. Saucy? Or Chauvinistic?

Additionally, something blue combines with something old as a device to baffle the Evil Eye – feared to render the bride barren. Preventing such an unfortunate occurrence is the wearing of something borrowed. Properly speaking this should be the undergarment of a women blessed with children so as to pass on her fertility to the bride.

When I got married, many moons ago now, I observed this tradition but in my own way. I borrowed a necklace, the new took the form of my dress and shoes and the blue was a garter.

Popular culture

This particular tradition is not ignored by popular culture. It made it into the ‘Friends’ episode: ’The one in Vegas’. Monica tells Chandler she has to have ‘Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue before they can get married. So, to fulfil the borrowed part of the rhyme they stole a new blue sweater from a shop and for the old they pressed a used condom into service!

How about you? How did you meet the rigours of this something old and something new rhyme at your wedding? If indeed you met them at all. Or if you’re planning to tie the knot soon do you plan to?

Why don’t you let us know? We’d love to hear from you. Drop a note to: hello@fabulousfunctionsuk.com Our full contact details are here.

Tradition with a twist

The website of Wedding Ideas Mag has lots of ideas on how you can follow the rhyme while you can find a list of 12 modern day takes on the tradition in this article: ‘12 Modern Items to Replace Your Something Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue’.

Something old, something new - blue garter, wedding ephemera








5 fab benefits of weekday weddings

March 2021


A look at 5 fab benefits of weekday weddings over the traditional weekend


5 fab benefits of weekday weddings
It’s been the tradition for as far back as anyone knows, for weddings to take place on a Saturday. And there are historical reasons for that. This article from The Atlantic, on the topic of weekday weddings, quotes a rather interesting observation from Vicki Howard, a history lecturer at the University of Essex and author of Brides, Inc, about the wedding industry.
She posts that the work schedules of the couple and their guests had an inevitable heavy influence on the whole Saturday wedding norm. As she says, throughout history ‘agricultural seasons, factory hours, and other work constraints shaped the month and date people could take time out to marry.’

 Hence the popularity of the weekend wedding and, in the chances are, the summer wedding too. That would add up. But now more than ever there is an active choice to make between a weekend or weekday marriage. Further into this post we give 5 fab benefits of weekday weddings!

Guests relaxing after the wedding - 5 fab benefits of weekday weddings

Never on a Sunday

A further factor in it not being the rule to marry on Sundays, is that of weddings only taking place in church. And on Sunday’s they’d have services. But of course, recent years has seen a huge decline in church weddings. With that there’s been a shift in both the day that weddings happened and the location. Something that’s seen off the never on a Sunday notion. 

The first elephant in the room

There’s no escaping the fact that, as soon as you talk about having a weekday wedding Nellie the elephant goes on a stampede. So, let’s try and control the elephant in the room.

Yes, it’s true that if you want a midweek marriage you’re going to have to ask your guests to take time off work to come to it. And for some that won’t be an option – but the opposite can apply too.

BUT: you can point out to your guests that they’ll get some valuable time to let loose from the Monday to Friday routine.  And, thanks to there being a wider choice of venues and suppliers available to you, sometimes at less cost, there’s reason aplenty to opt for weekday weddings. 

The second elephant in the room

Then there’s the second elephant in the room. Currently we are in 2021 and coming out of a global pandemic with numerous national lockdowns – Coronavirus and its effect on weddings

At the moment, ceremonies can only take place in England in exceptional circumstances, for instance, if the bride or groom is very ill. But changes are coming soon if we continue to progress as we have. While the government aims to stop social restrictions by late June, do bear in mind that anything can happen. Ergo, a small weekday wedding may not be such an inconvenience after all. And aside from that, because Covid-19 put our lives and weddings on hold, this coming year is going to see more couples having to compromise on days and dates. Why? Because we’re about to see a rush to the alter as couples who’d postponed move to get the marriage deed done.

Still in a quandary?

If by now you’re still on the fence with the whole weekend or weekday marriage thing, this article from Hitched UK on organising and planning a weekday wedding will help.  They proffer 5 fab benefits of weekday weddings. Read on for why you should give serious consideration to wedding on a weekday.

5 fab benefits of weekday weddings

  1. More choice of venue and suppliers
    You’re much more likely to have a larger range of suppliers with availability to choose from on a weekday than weekend.
  2. It’s a money-saving option
    There is often a separate rate for weekend and weekday venue hire. in fact, sometimes the price difference is often great enough to convince couples to wed on a Wednesday.
  3. Your guests could save too
    Most hotels and guest houses offer reduced tariffs on a weekday. And transport is often cheaper on a weekday. So if you avoid peak times, your guests could end up paying much less than they first thought.
  4. Avoid date clashes
    Wave if you’ve had invitations to two postponed weddings on the same Saturday! 
  5. Beautiful photos whether it’s a Saturday or a Tuesday
    When you look back at your photos you will never be able to tell if it was taken on a Saturday or on a day of the week. So don’t make a weekday availability put you off.

Covid-caused delays

Thanks to the pandemic, many spring and summer couples have had to move their weddings to later in the year or early next year. Thus, increasing the chances of a wedding date clash by a massive margin.

But choose a not-so-popular-but-just-as-amazing weekday wedding date and you increase the chances of you most loved family and friends being there with you.  And surely that matters more than it being on a Saturday?

Talk to us

Now things are getting moving again in the wedding world we’re itching to get going – with weekend or weekday weddings. Whichever it is – we’re on the starting blocks!

Anything you want to talk to us about – our availability, decor ideas, venues we have worked at, bespoke accessories etc. – do get in touch! All our contact details are here.

Inspiration for a Multicultural Wedding-Fabulous Functions UK. A multicultural wedding inspiration with influences from Jamaican and Indian. This styled shoot fuses elements from both countries using the national symbols from both countries. The Hummingbird and the Lotus.

A Multicultural Wedding Inspiration

A multicultural wedding inspiration with influences from Jamaican and Indian.
This styled shoot fuses elements from both countries using the national symbols from both countries. The Hummingbird and the Lotus.

Welcome sign featuring the Hummingbird and the Lotus for a Multicultural Wedding- Fabulous Functions UK

                                                                                                                                           The wedding world has been thrown a whopper of a spanner thanks to the global pandemic Covid-19.

Couples are still falling in love, still saying “Yes” to the question “Will you m….” and we are so happy because we love all things weddings. The questions, the researching, the discoveries. The decision making, and the journey to the glorious “I Do’s”

Table setting with hummingbird and lotus themed stationery for a multicultural wedding- Fabulous Functions UK

This styled shoot brings together two beautiful cultures – A Jamaican groom and an Indian bride, creating an elegantly beautiful fusion of two cultures.

Jamaican Groom and Indian Bride for a Multicultural Wedding Themed Styled Shoot. - Fabulous Functions UK

We chose the Lotus flower; India’s national flower and the Humming Bird; Jamaica’s national bird to symbolise the union of the two cultures. The colours are strong and vibrant while lending the opportunity for softness and sophistication.

These were used by Payal of Caligraphy by Payal to create an original design which could then be reproduced in the various elements of the stationery. Nicky of Polkadot Creations designed the welcome board and the banner and Anna of Evelyn and Elliot created the menu cards and the place cards.

Multicultural Wedding Couples

We created two looks for our multicultural couple: the traditional white wedding.

White wedding for our multicultural wedding-Fabulous Functions UK

and the traditional Indian wedding.

Indian Wedding Lehengha for our Indian Bride Fabulous Functions UK

Both representing the lives of our modern day couples who want to honour their heritage and embrace the diversity of the world they live in.

Set in the beautiful Kings Head Hotel and featuring the tall sweeping heights of the modern Assemble rooms; giving couples the choice of décor and style for their celebrations.  The centuries old walls of the vaulted cellar is perfect for a fabulous party to celebrate the start of your beautiful journey.
The Kings Head Hotel has some fabulous spaces perfect for your celebrations big and small. From the Corn Hall which comfortable seats 400 guests to the library for an intimate gathering of 10 guests.
We chose the Assemble Room which can accommodate up to 180 guests.

We chose a banquet style setting for this setting, The table supplied by the accessory hire company, Hospitality Services LTD were complemented with the lovely crossback chairs. The tables and chairs echos beautifully the natural world associated with both countries.
The centrepieces were long lush green garlands, interspersed with blue hydrangeas and purple / fuchsia anemone. The lushness and vibrancy of the centrepieces brings to mind the vegetation associated with the two continents in which the two countries are situated.

Table Setting for a Jamaican and Indian Fusion Themed wedding photoshoot-Fabulous Functions UK
Banquet style setting for a Multicultural wedding inspiration at the Kings Head Hotel in Cirencester
Gold Charger Plates for a Banquet Style Table Setting - Styled by Fabulous Functions UK
The beauty of crystal glassware contrasts beautifully with the wooden trestle tables from Hospitality Services LTD
Wedding inspiration for a Jamaican Indian fusion wedding- Fabulous Functions UK
Fabulous images from photographer Steffen of Steffen Milsom Photography
Black and White themed tablescape-Fabulous Functions UK
Candle light dinners setting for a wedding - Fabulous Functions UK
Table for two at a black tie dinner setting -Fabulous Function UK
Gorgeous Wedding gown from Theia Couture

Why settle for one gown on your wedding day when you can wear two? The gorgeous white wedding gown is the beautiful creation from the fab designers at Theia Couture. Created in a soft crepe and embellished with delicate beading on the straps at the back

White wedding dress from Theia Couture
Theia couture gown for a multicultural wedding
Make up was supplied by the very talented Maurice at Make_by_Maurice and hair by Kamila of Kamila Roberts MUA
A multicultural wedding styled shoot featuring the Hummingbird, the national bird ofJamaica and the Lotus Flower, India's national flower. The setting was designed by Fabulous Functions UK

For your Entertainment, this blog about wedding traditions around the world is a fun read. It’s perfect for finding out about some of the fabulous traditions wedding couples from around the world follow.

We would love to have you in our social media family, please like and follow us on social media to keep up to date with our happening and to see even more of our decor.
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Charger plates are used to dress a table for a wedding or special event. These gold rimmed charger plates are a perfect complement to the wooden table set in a banquet style for the guests. Created by Wedding Designer Fabulous Functions UK

Charger Plates – When and How to Use Them

What are charger plates?

“What is a charger plate?”  That’s a good question. And, unless you’re in the wedding or events world, or do a lot of entertaining, it’s possible you’ll have no idea what they are.

A charger plate is a simply a very large plate used for decorative purposes.  They’re sometimes referred to as service plates or under plates.

Why would you use a charger plate?
Luxury venue styling ideas from Fabulous Functions UK
Banquet style setting with an ombre themed tablescape featuring glass charger plates

We use charger plates to dress a table for special events such as a wedding, vow renewal or special birthday. They dress a table place setting and help to define your theme and style. Charger plates come in a wide range of styles, shapes and materials from glass to china to wood or metal. Or even melamine or plastic. They can be plain or decorated.

When you’re designing the style for your table, consider the look you want to achieve. Is the feel going to be a modern and contemporary one? Or are you aiming for a particular vintage era or something edgy and minimalist. Or maximalist on the other hand? Whatever look and feel you’re aiming to achieve, there’s a charge plate to complement your style and decor aesthetics.

The charger plates form part of the guest place settings. You can have the plates for your various courses set on top in readiness for your guests sitting at their tables. Or you can place the napkins and place cards on the charger plates. Your plated entrée and main courses are then placed on top of the charger during the meal.

White charger plates with a diamante rim available from venue stylist and accessory hire Fabulous Functions UK
White charger plates with a diamante rim – A beautiful complement to a silver and grey themed wedding decor.
Gold rimmed charger plate- Wedding table setting
Gold charger plate layered with plates and dishes for the various courses. Perfect for an Autumn or winter festive event.
Vintage style charger plate with a scroll design on the edges. Styling by Wedding designer Fabulous Functions UK
Contact Fabulous Functions UK to see our range of charger plates for hire
Yellow fluted edge charger plate - Wedding table setting - Fabulous Functions UK

Chargers are always removed from the table after all guests are finished eating the main course. They’re taken away with the dinner plate still on top, as this clears the table and leaves it ready for the serving of dessert.

Charger plate hire

You can hire your charger plates from various event organisers or catering companies if you’re organising a large event. If you plan to use charger plates a lot, it may serve you to buy them. Though this may restrict the range of chargers you have at your disposal for each of your events.
Each event deserves its own style of charger plates depending on the theme, style and colour palette of your event.

Fabulous Functions UK has a range of beautiful charger plates at your disposal. Do contact us to discuss the range and style of chargers that we offer to find one that will best complement your wedding or event.

And don’t forget our promise: if we don’t have them in stock – we’ll source them for you.

Silver floral edge charger plate - Fabulous Functions UK

 As you can tell, I love using chargers in the design of the tables. They lift the table design and, on a practical note, they protect the table from spills.

I trust this blog has inspired you to want to incorporate chargers in your table-scape designs.

We’d love to have you in our social media family. Why not follow us on social media to keep up to date with our happenings and to see even more of our decor? We have lots of inspirational photographs across all our social media. We have a presence on all three of the platforms you see below so you should find us somewhere that you are.

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Charger Plates- What they are and how to use them.  Blog Post - Fabulous Functions UK
An outdoor setting - Planning a 15-Person Wedding -An intimate Wedding in Covid Times -Fabulous Functions UK -An outdoor setting - Planning a 15-Person Wedding

Planning a 15-Person Wedding

Planning a 15-Person Wedding

We have shifting sands beneath our feet and no mistake. It feels as if there are changes to wedding guidelines every week thanks to Covid – and all guaranteed to affect your plans. At the time of writing you’re allowed 15 guests at your wedding.

So, we thought we’d use this blog to have a look at planning a 15-person wedding. But first:

Take heart! 

No matter the changes brought in and the number of guests in attendance, or where you can hold your celebrations – what matters most is the love surrounding you both. Never forget that the important thing is the marriage not the wedding.  But before we do anything else here’s an at-a-glance reminder of the current advice:

In the first instance, choose a Covid-secure venue for your wedding breakfast or celebrations. Not your back garden or a marquee in a neighbour’s field. That sorted:

  • You can have 15 guests at your wedding. This does not include the officiant, venue staff or suppliers.
  • You can now have a first dance to celebrate your marriage.
  • Your wedding breakfast must be a sit-down meal, held in a Covid-secure venue.
  • Your venue will need to close between 10pm and 5am.
  • Guests and staff must wear face masks when moving around the venue.

On the subject of face masks, there are companies that can create masks to match your outfit. It’s quite clever to be honest. You provide a pic of your fabric and they create a mask in the pattern and colour of your outfit. I did this for a recent wedding I attended. 

No matter what!
You WILL have a beautiful day!
And this become part of your fabulous story!

An outdoor setting - Planning a 15-Person Wedding -An intimate Wedding in Covid Times -Fabulous Functions UK
Table setting for a 15 person wedding breakfast designed by Fabulous Functions UK

Planning a 15-Person Wedding

In this Hitched.Co.UK article about such an occasion as the 15-person wedding, they observe that it’s not everyone that wants the whole big, white wedding thing. Which is true. And no doubt it’s just as well because, at the moment, no-one can. 

While the definition of a ‘small’ wedding is a matter of personal viewpoint, a general figure is between thirty and sixty guests. A micro-wedding though is the term for one with 20 guests or fewer.

Choose your setting for your 15 person wedding- Go with your heart and make the most of your wedding day. Blog by Fabulous Functions UK
Image curtesy of Photographybysallyanne

If you’re struggling to get your head around having a small wedding rather than the big splash you’d dreamed it’s worth remind yourself why small is beautiful:

  • You could well save a lot of cash. And that in turn will let you …
  • … spend more money on the bits that matter the most to you
  • With a small wedding you can create an intimate and more personal day. One that allows you to …
  • … spend more individual time with loved ones
  • And of course, fewer guests means less stress and a relaxed atmosphere.

And of course, a small guest list doesn’t mean all aspects have to be small to match! So – if you want to – go big on the dress

Wedding dress with bow feature on the back. As seen on the instagram of bridal boutique @willoughbyandwolf
Wedding dress with bow feature on the back. As seen on the instagram of bridal boutique Willoughby and Wolf

the flowers, the cake, the invitations, the venue, the shoes.

wedding shoes by @loefflerrandall as seen on the instagram of @willoughbyandwolf
Wedding shoes by @loefflerrandall as seen on the instagram of Willoughby and Wolf

Small Wedding Planning: Top Tips

The aforementioned article on Hitched gives 7 top tips for planning a small wedding. In summary the main points suggested are:

  • There are lots of venues that host micro weddings. The venue should be exclusive use to you while you are there.
  • With a 15-person guest list you have to be super-selective. Thus every single person you invite should be someone close to you and that you can’t imagine marrying with them not present.
  • Hire a planner/venue decorator to make sure the day flows and you don’t have to worry about food, drink or decorations.
  • Think about a weekday wedding – although do consider people’s professions. This won’t work if your very closest-couldn’t-possibly-get-married-without-her-there friend is a teacher!
  • Make the most of the experience you CAN have. Whatever your wedding looks like it’s going to be – don’t rail against it. Instead go with it and push from your mind what was going to be. Focus on the good stuff and make the most of: food, music etc.

Whether you’re planning a 15-Person Wedding or fewer guests than that, Fabulous Functions UK can and will create for a you an atmospheric and amazing day. We guarantee it will linger in the memory in the best possible way. Read this account by a guest at a minimony wedding close to our hearts at Fabulous Functions UK and you’ll see what I mean!

Call us on 0044 7511 842 451 or drop a note to hello@fabulousfunctionsuk.com and let’s talk!

Tips for planning a 15 person wedding - Blog by  wedding designer Fabulous Functions UK

More like this.
If you liked this blog then you may like the blog about attending a 15person wedding written from the best mans point of view. Visit “An Intimate Minimony Wedding” to find out how beautiful they can be.

Happy reading!

An Intimate Minimony Wedding

An Intimate Minimony Wedding

On August 22nd 2020, it happened at last. My best friend Allen and his lovely partner Rakhee finally got married in an intimate minimony wedding.

I’m Julian and I was Allen’s best man. And here I’m sharing my experience of a wedding in coronavirus times.

A fabulous minimony wedding  in covid times. The couple chose to marry despite the restrictions in place due to the Covid-19  pandemic gripping the world. Florals created by Fabulous Functions UK


The wedding day was a long time coming. Allen and Rakhee had scheduled their nuptials for April 2020. They’d been many months of planning and preparations, right down to the smallest detail.

A Weekend of Celebrations …

At least the couple had intended the event to be that. They’d booked a grand and beautiful venue for a weekend of celebrations. The event would bring together two large families and many friends from across the world – 200 in total.

But then the dreaded C-word came into our lives turning everything upside down. First of all, the wedding was rescheduled by a few months. Then it was a year’s postponement. And then, with a few weeks’ notice, the wedding was back on for the end of August 2020. But in a much different form. This time an intimate minimony wedding. ( A minimony ceremony usually involves an officiant, a small group of loved ones and a select number of suppliers, ie. your photographer)

The UK guidelines at that time, restricted attendance at weddings to thirty people at the most. In total there were sixteen of us plus the photographer and the two registrars.

Honoured

I felt so honoured when Allen asked me to be his best man together with Ashley, his brother. So it meant a lot to me to attend this wedding, especially after all the ups and downs of the last month. Yet, being the only guest arriving from outside the UK, I needed to ensure my attendance at Allen’s wedding was both legal and safe.

I was living in Berlin at the time, which had a very low number of cases during the summer. After a lot of thought, I decided that I would do my best to make it to England, but minimising the risks. Easier said than done.  

Initially preferring not to fly, I booked three successive modes of transport: Eurostars through France or Belgium was the first plan, but that had to be cancelled a week before the wedding; then a ferry from the Hook of Holland was cancelled a day before my departure. Finally, I settled on flying directly from Berlin to London a few days before the day.

Arriving in the UK, I knew the wedding would be very different from the original conception. From a grand celebration in a sumptuous location, it would now be a much smaller, intimate affair. And in truth, I didn’t quite know what to expect.

The-Groom-and-his-Best-Men-florals-created-by-Fabulous-Functions UK

Worries soon dispelled

But, on the day itself, any worries I had about this wedding in the present Corona virus times were soon dispelled. The first thing that became clear is this: big or small, the focus of the day remains the same. Celebrating the union of two loving partners.

The legal ceremony at the town hall in Frome was very sweet and tasteful. Despite the hygiene rules in place (1.5 metre distance between the attendants, masks worn indoors and no cheering it never felt sterile or emotionless. Extended family and friends attended via Zoom to witness the beautiful exchange of vows and rings.

When the newly-married couple looked in each other’s eyes and everyone in attendance started clapping and stomping their feet, I completely forgot that we were only fifteen people in the room. Nor did it matter one bit. We were all here to celebrate and share this special moment.

An Intimate Minimony Wedding

A Covid-compliant wedding reception

After the official ceremony, the celebrations moved to the decorated marquee in the groom’s parent’s garden. Sandra, the groom’s mother (and Fabulous Functions UK MD) had pulled out all the stops and made it look amazing.

Entering that marquee with a canapé in one hand and a glass of Champagne in the other transported me from suburban England into a different world.

An intimate Wedding in Covid Times -Fabulous Functions UK



From the flower arrangements to the delicious four-course meal, it at no point felt like this wedding was a Plan B or a last-minute affair. In fact, the intimate setting, with all the guests sitting on one long table, allowed conversations and sharing the moment with the happy couple, in a way not possible at a much larger celebration.

It was the small things that made this day so special. Instead of catering staff taking care of everything, family members shared those tasks. Parents, brother and sisters carried in plates and poured wine.

This was a joyous, celebratory gathering, and every single person played their part in making this intimate minimony such a special occasion.

Now, in an ideal world, the rest of the family and close friends would have been present. Fingers crossed they’ll also have the chance to celebrate with the new married couple sometime in the future in the manner of a sequel wedding. Yet, at no moment, did I feel that this wedding was ‘too small’.

Very different from the original plan yes, but beautiful in its own right.

The focus of the whole day was on the couple and it was truly a shared experience. Even more so than if 200 people had been in attendance.

I know that Rakhee and Allen will cherish this day forever.

And it’s one intimate minimony wedding that I’ll never forget!

Thank you so much Julian, for writing your account of your best friends wedding in these Covid times. This was certainly a wonderful wedding and the memories will be cherished by the couple and the guests a like. It was full love and joy.

An account of a Minimony wedding in Covid times from the best mans point of view.  Read the blog on Fabulous Functions UK
The story of a marriage not a wedding- Vic and Spencer canvelled their big wedding and opted for a small intimate wedding in Italy. Read all about it on the Fabulous Functions UK blog

An Intimate Italian Wedding Day

Covid-19 might well have surpassed the British weather as our number one topic of conversation. For sure we’ve written about Covid’s effect on wedding planning on this blog several times now. So in this blog we tell you about an intimate Italian wedding day – albeit with a little twist. That twist being that this wedding happened well before Coronavirus came and changed everything.

A marriage not a wedding

An Intimate Italian Wedding Day - Victoria and her fiance in Italy

Back in March, as the UK went into lockdown and people’s best-laid plans tumbled like the walls of Jericho, we wrote a blog called Your Marriage or Your Wedding? The central message of that blog being, that the MOST important thing is you and your partner joining together in marriage. The rest of it is a party – and that can happen whenever. And this idea of the marriage being the part that matters, lay behind the decision taken by Victoria Wolf of Marlborough’s Willoughby and Wolf bridal shop, and her fiancé, to upend their original plans.

The Italian Job

Says Victoria: ‘three years ago, I married my best friend in a small and intimate ceremony for 11 people and us two. The whole thing was a complete and utter fairy tale with three amazing days of partying, dancing, drinking, eating – all with so much fun and laughter.’

But this wasn’t what we ‘d planned at all.

To begin with we did what every couple planning to wed does. We sat down and drew up a list of potential venues and possible guests and began to go through the motions of planning a wedding. We had the ups and downs. Then the politics started – as family politics do. And soon the whole thing began to feel less about us and the love we felt for each other and more about entertaining people and sacrificing the things we most wanted.

This was the second time round for both of us. I wanted masses of fresh flowers – he wanted masses of food – we both wanted live music. ⁠But our needs were getting subsumed – and it happens all too often.

So, you know what? We pulled the plug. We cancelled the venue viewings and decided instead to get married in Italy with only our immediate family and one friend and their partners present. And you know what else? We had absolutely the best time ever. We didn’t miss anything that we’d planned to have. ⁠It was such a joy.

What’s more, we grew as a family and our friends still tell us it was the best wedding they’ve ever been to. They even remember our anniversary and that’s a rare thing!

The moral of Victoria’s story?

Again, here’s Victoria’s own words:

‘If your plans need to change and you’re limited to smaller numbers, work with your venue, your florist and your caterer. Small weddings are beautiful and the intimacy of a small wedding means that you don’t have to compromise on anything. They can be liberating and they’re fun!’

An Intimate Italian Wedding Day - flowers down centre of a table setting with glassware, cutlery and candles.

Whatever the size of wedding you’re hoping to have, whether it be an intimate wedding setting, or a minimony and sequel wedding – we’re here to help.

There’s several ways of getting in touch with us to chat about what you have in mind.

You can drop a note to us on: hello@fabulousfunctionsuk.com Or fill out our web form on our contact page here. And, if you prefer, you can call on: 07511 842 45.

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A bride and groom chose to have an intimate destination wedding in Italy instead of a big wedding at home. Visit our blot to get the low down.
Sequel weddings what it is and how to do it -Fabulous Functions UK

The Sequel Wedding: What it is and how to do it

August 2020

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic continues to exercise us all – in and out of the wedding industry. We’ve already tackled aspects of the situation a couple of times on our blog in our article about changing wedding plans and a feature about creating a Covid-friendly intimate wedding set-up.  But the buzzword now, to work around the restrictions we have, is the sequel wedding. So, in this post we’ll have a look at the sequel wedding – what it is and how to do it.

Covid-Compliant Weddings

So, we have to embrace the reality of weddings with fewer than thirty guests in a Covid-compliant venue. The reality is that for the moment, no wedding can have as many as thirty guests.

Let’s examine why:

Say the capacity of the Covid compliant ceremony room is going to be around 25 people. Remove the registrars from the equation and you’re down to 23. Then there’s the photographer – now you’re at 22 people. And that number has to include the entire wedding party – bride, groom, witnesses, bridesmaids and guests. 

But there is a way to get around this problem – and that’s the sequel wedding.

What is a sequel wedding?

The sequel wedding simply refers to a couple hosting several sequential ceremonies/celebrations.

This isn’t a new concept however. Many other cultures and religions have had such a system since … well since for ever. But now, with our pandemic restrictions, British couples are embracing the idea. Indeed, we’re doing this very thing in our own family. My son had his marriage ceremony late August and his wedding celebrations will be at the start of September in 2021.

An intimate wedding- close family attended the marriage ceremony and wedding breakfast. The sequel to be held in 2021
Image courtesy of photographybysallyanne

And that’s an important distinction to make in any event, as we wrote in this blog, Your Marriage or Your Wedding, earlier this year.

The sequel wedding concept shows every sign of being the new norm for 2020 and into 2021 too. Following so many months of being unable to see friends and relatives in person, few are now willing to limit the joy of a wedding celebration to one event.

Thus, we’re going to see more and more of what Hitched.Co.UK describe as ‘minimonies, micro weddings and elopements joining big reception celebrations for a sequel wedding.’

It’s typical then for the marriage ceremony to have only the closest of family and friends present, with a larger guest list invited to a second ceremony. And following up those two is a large reception.

Irrespective of Covid, some couples have elected to follow a pattern something like that anyway. A small church or registry office marriage followed a small gathering to mark the occasion. Then a larger party, on a different day, at a chosen venue.

And now, in the midst of Coronavirus, there’s a rising trend of couples opting to host, as described above, a minimony or micro-wedding on their original wedding date – or later this year on a re-arranged date. And then they’re planning for a bigger, sparkling, sequel wedding celebration in 2021.

The new wedding jargon

Now for definitions of these new wedding words – so you’re clear on what we’re talking about.

Minimony

This is a cut-down version of your postponed wedding. It’s your legal ceremony or commitment ceremony held by a celebrant your vicar, priest or registrar. You’ll have your minimony in the presence of a few loved ones – either in person or virtually. 

Everything will be as you planned it for your original date. You’ll make your vows, have your first dance, have a photographer for a few hours and even a put a knife in to a cut-down version of your wedding cake.

With a minimony your guest list has enforced and severe limitations on it. So the guests you had to cull get an invitation to a follow-up wedding when large groups can meet once more.  At the follow-up event you’ll have another ceremony, where you’ll walk down the aisle and exchange your vows, this ceremony can be conducted by a celebrant, followed by a reception.

The sequel wedding - couple at table signing register
Photograph courtesy of Twirly Girl Photography

Micro-wedding

I’ll forgive you for wondering what the difference is between this and a minimony.  Yet bear with me – there is one. 

Whereas a minimony is a Covid-compromise, a micro-wedding is a wedding with fewer than 20 guests by deliberate design.

A common feature of a micro-wedding is the absence of a reception at a later date. The couple concerned are simply choosing to have intimate wedding day in the presence of their very nearest and dearest. 

Though of course, many couples are feeling the desire to host a big party in celebration of being able to reunite. Often, they don’t have another ceremony but they do have a ‘sequel reception’ with the emphasis on ‘party’ rather than a second wedding day.

Get in touch

Are you planning a minimony or a micro-wedding? In either event, we at Fabulous Functions UK are here to help. Why not get in touch and arrange a no-obligation consultation?

And if you want to get an idea of how we work and what we do checkout our Instragram and Facebook feeds for inspirational images.

Featured photograph curtesy of Steffen Milsom Photography

The sequel wedding, what is is and how to plan one - Fabulous Functions UK
Creating a fabulous setting for an intimate wedding setting. Cross back chairs and a gorgeous floral arch makes the setting perfect for an intimate outdoor ceremony - Fabulous Functions UK created this gorgeous setting.

An Intimate Wedding Setting

June 2020: An Intimate Wedding Setting

In my capacity as a Wiltshire-based venue stylist and as the mother of a groom with Covid-crashed wedding plans, I’ve got both second and first-hand experience of what so many couples are going through right now. 

As it happens, myself and two people with whom I work closely, at Wrag Barn golf club Nr Highworth, are supporting offspring whose wedding plans, Covid-19 sent into a tailspin. We’ve had to pull them back from crash-landing, keep them on track with their planning and help them hold-fast onto the joy and the thrill of the journey to making their vows.

With that experience in mind we set about creating and showcasing a stunning intimate wedding setting for an outdoor ceremony. The sort of ceremony and number of guests that an easing of the lockdown rules might allow for. This BBC article reports on potential changes to the current wedding rules coming quite soon.

Look at the setting we created in the image below and picture yourselves there with your very nearest and dearest, supporting you both and cherishing you both as you declare your love for and commitment to, each other. 

An Intimate Wedding Setting at Wrag Barn golf and country club nr Highworth, Swindon
An Intimate Wedding Setting at Wrag Barn golf and country club nr Highworth, Swindon

In this particular setting, you make your way around the trees to find this romantic scene before you. Those closest to you are waiting – as is your groom and the wedding officiant. . Seated on the cross-backed chairs, their first glimpse of you sends their hearts soaring skywards.

This bloom-bedecked archway is as much in perfect harmony with Wrag Barn’s meadow as you and your fiancé are each with the other. And you and the sunshine are as radiant as each other as you begin your walk along the cream aisle carpet towards your smiling husband-to-be.

An Intimate Wedding Setting - floral and greenery archways at either end of a cream aisle carpet in a meadow setting at Wrag Barn golf club Nr Highworth, Swindon

The Wedding Breakfast

Now you’ve said ‘I do’ and the air rings with cheers and good wishes as you begin being Mr & Mrs. And what’s the first thing you do as husband and wife? Why, you preside over your wedding breakfast of course.

Rustic wedding breakfast setting for an intimate wedding scene  - bare wooden table dressed with a chiffon runner and white flowers and greenery. With an overhead arch of foliage.

This simple yet stunning scene is in keeping with the setting and style of your ceremony location. We dressed the rustic table with a simple, cream chiffon runner and plain white crockery, with blooms and greenery in plain, clear, glass vessels to echo the blooms in the outdoor arch.

To add to the natural theme , we made an overhead canopy of lush green foliage with clear baubles hanging down. Tea-lights placed in the baubles add to the atmosphere and the magic.

The green canopy is a fabulous way to create an intimate wedding setting for your first meal together as a married couple.

Overhead canopy of green foliage with clear baubles into which you can out Tea-lights.

A Versatile setting

You can adapt both the outdoor ceremony setting and the wedding breakfast setting to accommodate the size of your ceremony and guest list. 

Equally you can transfer the outdoor ceremony setting inside your venue, should the capriciousness of the British weather throw a cloud or two over proceedings. This is the UK after all. 

We hope we’ve shown you the possibilities of creating something wonderful, even within the restrictions of our current lockdown situation.

There are so many ways for creating an intimate wedding setting. If you’d like us to create something similar for you – or you have something else in mind – please get in touch and we’ll chat. It costs nothing and is non-obligational.

Visit our treasure trove to find some fabulous accessories to dress your venue. If by chance you don’t see what you are looking for, we will source it or create it for you.

Follow us on social media to keep up to date with our happening and to see even more of our decor. Follow the links to Instagram , Facebook and Pinterest

An intimate setting for an outdoor wedding ceremony- encouraging couples to still feel the   excitement and joy of planning their wedding. Setting created by Faulous Functions UK
10 Things to thing about when planning your wedding

Wedding Planning Timeline 12-18 months+

The top 10 things to do at this stage in the wedding planning timeline

In the post under this link here we have an article on the whole wedding planning timeline. But it is a rather long post. So we’ve decided to break it down into two separate posts, with less of the detail, to make it a wee bit more manageable.

So this post is concerned with the wedding planning jobs you need to tackle in the 12-18 month period before the wedding.

For a downloadable and printable list of venue walkthrough questions click below.

1. Set the date – Have an idea of your preferred date

Decide on the sort of wedding you want. Are you looking for a winter wedding, a full blown summer do or do you have a date significant to both of you?
Knowing this will help you to choose your venue as they will have a different look and feel depending on the time of year.

There are ways to give yourselves more options. Consider booking a mid-week wedding instead of the usual Saturday.
The suppliers you really want could have more availability for weekday weddings. Registrars and Celebrants may also have more availability for midweek ceremonies.

Wedding Planning Timeline 12-18 months+ - a wall planner

2. Set a realistic budget

No wedding is worth going into debt for. Decide on your priorities, items or services that are important to you. And add in a bit extra for a contingency – because you never know.

3. Draw up the guest list or lists

Gold backed acrylic table plan- Fabulous Functions UK

Knowing your numbers will help you with your venue search. Shortlist the venues that will cater for your numbers. This reduces the leg work and help to avoid the stress of viewing venues too big or too small for your wedding party.

4. Book your venue (s) – as soon as you can

Rose gold chiffon vertical drops serve to decorate the chiavari chairs in the Assembly Rooms of the Kings Head Hotel in Cirencester. The backdrop was created with a white voile draped panel and green foliage for the top border decoration. Styling by Fabulous Functions UK

After you have fixed your budget, this is the first item on your wedding planning timeline that needs your attention.
A good place to start are the wedding directories like the White Wed Directory. You will find a good selection of venues and usually listed under regions.
You can also find venues listed by categories ie. Quirky Venues, City Venues, Country House Venues.

It’s almost impossible to plan anything else or book your suppliers until this one is sorted out.

Do see the full post for more detail.

5. Send out save the date cards

You could sign up to a wedding website to send out save the date notices to your guests. This is a fab way to safeguard your environment while generating less paper waste.

6. Are you willing and able to do the planning yourself? Decide now!

You can do it yourself of course. Or you can decide to call on the worth-its-weight-in-gold expertise of a wedding planner/venue decorator. In which case, Fabulous Functions UK is here to help!

7. Select your wedding party: bridesmaids, ushers, best man etc.

They want to enjoy then journey with you knowing they are a part of your fabulous tribe.

8. Book your photographer and/or videographer

Photographers and videographers often get booked up to 18 months before a wedding. If you find one you love, confirm your date with them to avoid disappointment.

9. Meet your minister/registrar/celebrants

And be prepared with everything you want to ask about your ceremony.

10. Book your DJ/Band/dancing girls/chamber quartet – or whatever it might happen to beand don’t forget the catering either!

It’s never too early to secure your favourite suppliers. Ask for recommendations. Other suppliers will know who are the best in the business. Those who will give you fabulous service and attention to detail.

So that’s the big top ten planning decisions to make in the 12-18 month period from the engagement ring to the wedding ring.

Your journey along your wedding planning timeline is well underway.
Time for a breather and a cup of coffee !

Other things to think about are:

  1. Booking your cars/bus/horse or whatever mode of transport you want.
  2. Finding a florist
  3. Book a toastmaster or master of ceremonies
  4. Take out wedding insurance and ….
  5. … THE DRESS If you haven’t already – start now!

    If you’re going to have a couture bridal gown made then you must start now. To buy a designer dress allow 6-8 months. For off the peg or second-hand then 6-8 weeks should be sufficient for necessary alterations.
    Do check the availability of a good seamstress as there are peak times when they are rushed off off their feet with alterations.

Now follow this link for what to do in the period 6 months to the big day.

Wedding Planning Timeline- things to do 12 to 18 months before your wedding day- Fabulous Functions UK