Access to your venue is even more impofrtnat when your have limited mobility - Ensure disabled access for you and your guests- Fabulous Functions UK

Wedding Venues and Disabled Access

Wedding Venues and Disabled Access
Here are some important questions to ask/points to consider when you’re searching for a venue to host your wedding or other celebrations. Whatever the occasion, if you have guests with any sort of limited mobility then this subject is one you’ll need to consider.

Wedding Venues and Disabled Access - person in a wheelchair



9 questions to ask about disabled access

What follows is some suggested questions to ask about wedding venues and disabled access either when making the first contact with the venue or during a venue show round. 

1. Is the disabled access through the front access or a side entrance. If you are the bride and groom and are offered a side entrance, ask yourself if this is the right venue for you?

2. What are the dimension of the doors?

Ask for the measurements of the doors as wheelchairs are not all the same sizes. Some power chairs are larger than manual wheelchairs.

3. Are the car park and walkways paved or gravelled?

Wheelchairs are already heavy. Then add the weight of the person and you’re going to need a superman to manoeuvre over gravel.

4. Is there a lift to access the upper floors if need be? If you have accommodations on site and they are on the upper floors how will you reach them?

5. Ask about ramps at the venue and if you can take your guests with limited mobility on a visit with you to test out the access arrangements.

6. Think about buying a second-hand wheelchair and customising it for your wedding day. You can respray it or re-upholster it.

7. Is the bathroom big enough to accommodate a wheelchair and attendants?

8. Does the venue have non slip floors in in the reception areas, bathrooms etc? 

9. Are support rails in place? 

You might find this website useful. It gives details of a number of wedding venues and disabled access across the country.

Moving away from weddings for a moment and on to accessible UK event venues in general, this website from Age UK is worth visiting. As they point out:

‘The UK is replete with many wonderful music and event venues that are enjoyed throughout the year. This country is certainly very lucky in this regard as we have plenty of choices no matter where we live, especially in the cities. The even better news is that there a good number of venues across Great Britain where people can enjoy music, talks, workshops, and myriad other events, that have also made a great effort to implement accessible facilities.

Attitude is Everything, who have made wonderful strides to improve deaf and disabled people’s access to live music, know a thing or two about what it takes to make a venue accessible …

… From big arenas to small local venues, there certainly are a number of truly terrific locations to be proud of. With this in mind, please read on for a selection of some of the very best accessible event venues in the UK. Hopefully, you will be able to visit some yourself in the near future.

Wedding planning timelines

If you found this blog about wedding venues and disabled access useful, you may also want to visit our wedding planning timeline blog. It’s full of useful tips and advice on the tasks you need to do and when during your wedding planning journey. See also, our Wedding Planning timeline 18 Months +

Are you the social sort?

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 and see the latest additions to our accessory hire range as well as the fab venue transformations that we produce for our lovely couples.






Second Marriage Wedding Dress Etiquette - drawing of red gown

Second Marriage Dress Etiquette

April 2021

Second Marriage Dress Etiquette - pair of gold wedding rings


Second Marriage Dress Etiquette

Of late I’ve been giving some thought to two questions I’ve seen asked in various Facebook groups, that relate to second marriage dress etiquette:

  1. Should one wear a wedding dress for a registry office ceremony?
  2. Are there rules around second marriage style etiquette? Or put another way, a bride to be, marrying for the second time, wanted to know if it was acceptable to wear a white wedding dress for her ceremony.

    My own thoughts on both those is a big YES – of course. If that’s what you want to do, if that would make you happy, then go right ahead. 

    But you don’t have to only take our word for it. I’ve done a little digging to see what big wedding-related websites are saying about second marriage wedding dress etiquette. Hitched.com have an article from late last year, Second Marriage Wedding Dresses: The Rules and Etiquette Revealed. They posit that some second-time-around brides have the lustre of the wedding shopping process tarnished by remarriage etiquette uncertainty. It seems there’s often a worry over whether or not white is appropriate for a remarriage.

    But, as they say, browsing for a second wedding dress ought to be as enjoyable as it was for your first. Further, some brides hold a conviction that a second marriage puts white out of the bridal picture. But yet, when Meghan Markle wed Prince Harry, a second marriage for her, she wore white.  And wonderful she looked too. 

    And anyway, the whole white wedding thing has nothing to do with purity and everything to do with Queen Victoria deciding to wear white because it complemented the lace on her dress. You can read more about that in our blog, Something Old and Something New that takes a brief look at a few of the classic wedding traditions.

Say I do in glorious colour

White is wonderful yes. But there’s nothing to say you can’t say I do in colour too. Red is a popular choice for a wedding dress – for the first time or for a second marriage. As this Vows Bridal website points out: ‘Coloured wedding gowns are everywhere these days.

Brides are breaking from tradition and going for a unique look that can reflect their personalities. These wedding gowns may have just a little colour, or be completely one colour with absolutely no white or ivory to be found.’ A red gown will sure as heck make a statement! Red is a popular choice for weddings around Valentine’s Day and Christmas.


Second Marriage Dress Etiquette - drawing of red gown




But it’s best to use the colours that suit you as a guide – that way you’ll both look and feel amazing. And, as the Hitched article says, you could always put a twist on traditional white by opting for a super chic white trouser or jumpsuit. 

Put another way, when it comes to second marriage dress etiquette rules – there are none. It’s the 21st century – do whatever you feel!

Incidentally, should you be in the Swindon area and should you not ever have had a colour and style analysis done, then now might be the time. If you’re thinking of going down the coloured wedding gown route for your remarriage then knowing the colours that best complement eyes and your skin tone will give you a head start in your quest for the perfect wedding dress! Ishbel’s Wardrobe, run by Reshma Field is a colour and style analysis business based in Swindon that Fabulous Functions UK is happy to recommend.

If you’re feeling social …

do 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 and see the latest additions to our accessory hire range as well as the fab venue transformations that we produce for our lovely couples.



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
When Plans for a Destination Wedding gets-a rethink due to the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic from Fabulous Functions UK

When Wedding Plans Must Change

Here’s the story of one couples dream of a destination wedding and how their plans may change due to the effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Wedding plans get changed for all sorts of reasons. Some changes are forced upon us and we have to make the best of them. 

Here we tell how one couple are coping with enforced changes to their dream of a destination wedding. 

Lauren and Phil’s Wedding Plans – and when wedding plans must change

Cliff top views of Ponta da Piedade in Portugal  a gorgeous locations for a destination wedding

It was a beautiful day as we stood absorbing the stunning cliff top views at Ponta da Piedade in Portugal when Phil popped the question!  After a heart stopping moment of taking his words in – I said ‘Yes’.

She said 'Yes' to his proposal at Ponta da Piedade in Portugal


After much discussion we decided to start our wedding planning and the idea of a destination wedding took shape. We wanted to recreate this scene from our engagement location for our wedding ceremony but the location had to accommodate our family and friends without the risk of falling over the edge and into the sea. 

Our original plan

We’d planned to travel to Portugal, view venues and wedding planners and start to make decisions about what we wanted for our wedding at the start of April 2020.

The plan, in my head, was to finalise our colour scheme and look at creating & sending out the Save The Dates by the end of April/ May.

But my original wedding timeline is now ALL over the place!

We had planned a wedding reception at the Vale del Rei Hotel. Chilled out atmosphere, good food and time to relax with family  and friends.

Portugal/ COVID-19

Having a wedding in Portugal was going to be about confirming our commitment to each other in the first instance. With celebrations with our family and friends, the guarantee of glorious weather, the views, the chilled-out atmosphere and the fabulous food and drink.

Our destination wedding was to incorporate the wedding and a large family holiday. 

Also, cost was a big factor. We’ve got a budget of €10,000. At the time that meant we could afford to go over budget slightly with the good exchange rates. However, with COVID-19 this could and probably will, all change.

We’ve been in talks with two different wedding planners in Portugal. One has held our potential dates at the ceremony and reception venues up to 15th May. Other than that, we’ve got nothing booked so our wedding plans are currently on hold! But we’ve been assured that we can still organise a wedding for June 2021.

Backup plans

Blog, how the current situation of the Covid-19 has changed her wedding plans. When plans for a Destination Wedding must change-Fabulous Functions UK

I did, course, have a backup plan in case Portugal wasn’t possible. One that encapsulates the theme (beautiful view, outside ceremony, with a focus on food/ drinks) of our Portuguese venue but in the UK.

The Sandy Cove Hotel is beautiful – but much more expensive! And with so many weddings being rescheduled,  most dates are booked up already. We wouldn’t be able to get married on the date we originally wanted and we’d probably have to get married on a Friday. And that would mean further expense.

How am I feeling?

The main thing for me, is the HUGE AMOUNT OF UNCERTAINTY!!!

  • Will I be able to travel after all of this is over?
  • Can I afford a wedding abroad after this is over?
  • Will we be able to view the venues in Portugal?
  • What if the venues aren’t how I imagined?
  • Should I book it all now anyway
  • Will everywhere be booked up by the time I start booking?
  • What if my suppliers go bust by the time this is over?
  • Can we organise a wedding & a post-wedding party in the time given?
  • Will anyone want to go abroad for a wedding after this?

Portugal has beautiful views overlooking to the ocean and really great food. So Phil and I wanted to go for venues with the same kind of feel. The ceremony venue has exactly that with great views of the ocean. And the reception venue contains the best food – or so we’ve been told.

For me, a few things will influence whether we will go with the UK alternative:

The Suites Alba Hotel has stunning sea views and the perfect location destination wedding
  1. If, by August 2020, we’re nowhere near Covid-19 ending for both the UK and Portugal.
  2. The view of the economy and the outcomes (i.e. the recession and the exchange rates) – in other words, if we can afford a UK or Portugal wedding.
  3. Our guests view of the wedding abroad, their safety and if they’d still be able to travel.

I’ve looked into the backup wedding and their available dates for next summer and we’ve found a potential date that we both like. But, a destination wedding remains our main preference. Yet, until we know more we’re not confident in making a decision.

The one thing we know is that we want to get married and build our future together. And Covid-19 won’t stop us doing that!

Destination Wedding plans may change due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Blog by a couple thinking about their plans and how it might change- Fabulous Functions UK

If you enjoyed reading this blog then check out our blog with helpful tips on the questions to ask and things to think about during your wedding venue search. Venue Walk Through Questions

Night Sky with hues of Classic

Putting Pantone into Your Wedding Décor

PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue

Putting Pantone into Your Wedding Décor.

About the Pantone colour system

Pantone Colour is a colour-matching system universally used by many industries, including printing, graphic design, paint and the make-up industry, amongst others.’

Invented in the early 1960s, the Pantone matching system lets designers achieve colour-matching of specific colours no matter what process produced it. Every colour in the Pantone Matching System has its own unique number (PMS number) and that allows for exact matches every time. Pantone attributed to every colour, in all their tones and tints, a classification number. As this Visme blog says: ‘Pantone literally wrote the book on colour matching. For over 40 years, Pantone has been the go-to colour matching system for not only the design industry but also paint, textile and plastic manufacturers.’

The Pantone colour of the year

Back at the turn of the millennium, in 2000, the Pantone Colour Institute created the Pantone Colour of the Year as a trendsetting concept for branding, marketing and creative society as a whole. The introduction of the Pantone Colour of the Year confirmed The Pantone Colour Institute as the front-runner for all things colour related.

So it’s easy to see why and how there is such anticipation and excitement about Pantone’s new colour of the year. It influences everything – including wedding venue décor.

The Pantone colour for 2020

Below you’ll find our blog about Pantone’s colour for 2020. Although it’s dated now you can still get the idea of how the Pantone colours will influence wedding venue decor. Thus, if you’re planning a wedding and you want to be en trend with putting Pantone into your wedding décor then you need to watch what they’re doing.

The 2020 colour of the year: Pantone 19-4052 Classic Blue

Pantone’s own website describes their 2020 colour of the year as: ‘A timeless and enduring blue hue, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue is elegant in its simplicity’. As they say, the colour is suggestive of the sky at dusk. 


They also describe blue as something imprinted in our psyche as a restful colour. A claim supported by this website all about the psychology of colour. The site describes blue as the colour of the mind and one that soothes. Blue affects us mentally whereas red brings about a more physical response. They claim that research often shows blue as a favoured colour across the world.

We’re in turbulent times at the moment, thus Pantone suggests that their classic blue ‘brings a sense of peace and tranquillity to the human spirit, offering refuge.’
 

Putting the Pantone into Your Wedding Décor

See Pantone Classic Blue on YouTube: https://youtu.be/UeTNaba14RI

The wedding websites are ahead of the game of course, and have already written about how to use Pantone Classic Blue in your wedding venue décor.

Here’s a few ideas on how to incorporate blue onto your decor and go about putting Pantone into your wedding décor.

Wedding Florals

Add subtile hints of blues to your wedding florals. Used  here in the mantlepiece decor behind the top table -Fabulous Functions UK - Putting Pantone into Your Wedding Décor
Add hints of subtile blues to your wedding florals.

Adding blue to your florals works beautifully. You can add as much or as little as you want, flowers provide a wonderful variety of blues for you to choose from. So be as wild or as understated as takes your fancy.

Stationery

Add classic blue tones to your stationery then a complementary colour- here gold foil has been added to create a relief effect to these table numbers. Thank you Mat Fox Photography for this fab photo. Putting Pantone into Your Wedding Décor

Add classic blue tones to your stationery then a complementary colour. Here, the addition of gold foil creates a relief effect on these table numbers. Thank you Mat Fox Photography for this fab photo.

Beach Wedding Ideas for Putting Pantone into Your Wedding Décor

Macaroons guest favours for a beach wedding
Photo curtesy of Joseph Dart Photography
  • A beach wedding and Classic Blue are a gift for your ‘something blue’.
  • Bring blue into your table setting. Blue glassware and blue and white china – either matching sets or mismatched – will nod to Pantone’s 2020 colour of the year.

Your Wedding Cake

Goede Cake with a hint of Classic  Blue and a Silk Flower Wall backdrop from Fabulous Functions UK

Edible blue – go for a blue geode wedding cake to bring your cake table bang-up-to-date. 

Table Settings

Add a touch of Classic Blue with a blue napkin arranged on a silver charger plate and add Agate Slices  for your guest place names.

Incorporate blues into your table settings by using napkins in Classic Blue, these blue agate from Fabulous Functions UK slices are the perfect guest name tags and they double up as guest favours too.

Other ways to add classic blue to your celebrations

  • In the summer time when the weather is fine, Classic Blue will look wonderful and fresh paired with white and shots of yellow.  
  • For a winter wedding though, imagine a celestial-theme. Classic Blue will be heavenly for such a scheme. As will our silver, crushed velvet tablecloths available for you to hire. They’re also available in Royal Blue – which will hint at the trend if not hit it head on.
Shades of Pantone blues and greens - Putting the Pantone into Your Wedding Décor

If by now you’re in love with the idea of a blue-toned wedding but need more ideas – don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Ways to add Pantone Classic Blue into you wedding decor. - Fabulous Functions UK

 

Do Suppliers Charge More for Weddings? - bridal bouquet

Do Suppliers Charge More for Weddings?

Do Suppliers Charge More for Weddings?
I once read a post in a forum put there by a prospective bride. She was complaining, with some bitterness, that when suppliers hear the word wedding they see it as a cue to double or triple their prices. A claim that sparked quite some discussion. But is it true? Do caterers, cake-makers, venue dressers and photographers etc hike their prices at the very mention of the wedding word? And if they do – are there any good reasons why suppliers charge more for weddings?

After all, it’s rare that hings are as black and white as they appear. If a cake maker’s charges are higher for wedding cakes than they are for any other kind of cake – might there be a reason for that? Or is it sheer profiteering as the disgruntled bride in that forum felt.

To find out whether suppliers indeed do increase their prices for weddings we took a tour around the wedding industry and here’s what we found:

Registrar Fees and Church Weddings

Of course, the process of getting married incurs many costs. Or at least it can if you want the whole shebang. Though you can have as much or as little of it as you want. So, let’s start with the cost of the most fundamental part: the legal bit. The ceremony.

Church Weddings

church weddings - Do Suppliers Charge More for Weddings?

There is a required legal fee for tying the knot in church. According to this article from Your Church Wedding.Org on the cost of church weddings, the fees for a church wedding are set by the Church of England nationally and are the same for every church.

In 2019 it cost £540 if you married away from where you lived. And £496 if you wed in your home parish. This basic legal fee includes:

  • Paying the vicar
  • Using the church
  • Calling your banns
  • A banns certificate
  • The marriage certificate
  • Heating, lighting and all administration.

This required fee has ancient roots. It ensures your church can maintain essential services like weddings, christenings, funerals and other ministries for the community the church serves.

With the ability to marry in other venues there fewer & fewer church wedding so they have to find funding from other sources.

Registrar fees

The Gov.UK site states the following about registrar costs for civil ceremonies:

  • £46 at a register office
  • £86 at a registered religious building

That sound like a standard fee doesn’t it? Yet, there seems to be wide variations up and down the country. And that for all aspects of the process. The final cost will depend on your guest numbers, hence the size of room used. As the prices differ from local authority to local authority. It’s not hard to get the idea they are making it up as they go along.

Let’s now move on to venue hire.

Venue Hire Charges

Do venue suppliers increase their prices for wedding bookings?

Do Suppliers Charge More for Weddings?  - room set up for a wedding with an all white theme.

It’s true enough that venues charge more on weekends – it’s a simple case of supply and demand. As this Brides.Com article about having a Sunday wedding points out:  Saturday nights are popular for wedding receptions because of their obvious convenience. But of course, there’s only so many Saturday nights in a year – so venues can charge a premium. As a result, Sunday and even weekday weddings are becoming ever-more popular as couples seek to manage their budget but have the wedding of their dreams.

Now we come to the thorny issue of suppliers of all kinds charging more when the word wedding is involved. It’s certain that some buyers feel taken advantage of. But is it fair?

Supplier Charges for Weddings

Fabulous Functions UK team behind the scenes - Do Suppliers Charge More for Weddings?

You might have read about secret shopper investigations. You know the ones. A reporter calls a vendor – a cake maker let’s say – about a birthday party on a certain date and gets quoted a particular price. Then a colleague calls the same vendor to ask for the same product or service but this time it’s for a wedding. And guess what? The quote is much higher.
It’s clear then – they’re seeing pound signs at the merest mention of a wedding, right? Well – no – wrong. Or at least it might be wrong.  As this Huffington Post article about why weddings are so expensive argues – it does in fact depend on many factors, including the amount of work involved.

As the article goes on to explain, what such secret-shopper experiments as the one described above, fail to consider is the sheer amount of time, level of detail and the huge pressure of a once-in-a-lifetime event like a wedding. There’s no comparison between that and something like a corporate event or even a family reunion. Not in either of those are stakes or expectations as sky high as they are for a wedding. And that’s what makes the difference.

A cake for a wedding has so much more invested in it than a cake for a regular party.  Take for instance the number of communications, consultations involved. Before booking their wedding cake, the couple will have met the cake designer several times, had cake tastings, exchanged emails and phone calls regarding the design details.

Then consider the size of the cake, a wedding cake usually has several tiers and possibly many flavours. Consequently the design will be more involved.  Travelling to the venue and setting up the cake display. Depending on the display design, there could be the additional journey to collect accessories used for the cake display.

So you see it’s not a strict comparison of apples for apples but rather oranges to plums.

If you called up the lovely Kim of Kimmis Cakes and asked for the cakes below there will certainly be a difference in price and justifiably so!

Dripped Icing Birthday Cake- Do  suppliers charge more for weddings than for other bookings?
A birthday cake designed by Kimmis Cakes 
3 tiered wedding cake - Would a supplier charge more for a wedding cake than for other types of cakes?
A 3-tiered wedding cake with fresh flowers

Our advice:

  • Decide what’s important to you and find suppliers that you want to work with.
  • When you’re shopping around for venues and suppliers, be clear on what your budget. Indeed, don’t be afraid to tell them your budget, this also helps to set expectations.
  • Request a consultation, get to know them, build a relationship with them and work with them on creating your dream vision.

Most suppliers will tailor their proposals to fit you and to make you happy. Just don’t expect them to work for nothing – or very little.

What do you think?

So what do you think? Do suppliers increase their prices for weddings or do their proposal take into account the additional work involved? If you’ve got any thoughts on it or you’ve got proven experience of it happening to someone you know do let us know.

Should you be planning a wedding or celebrations and want to talk to us about your venue decor or accessory hire then give us a call. Or fill our out our contact form and we will be in touch soon.

You can also have a browse on our website in the sections for Accessory Hire and Treasure Trove. And do check out our other blogs for more wedding related reads such as: How do I decorate my venue chairs for my wedding?

Wedding planning time line - What to do and when for planning your wedding - Fabulous Function UK

A Wedding Planning Timeline

You’re engaged. Congratulations! Enjoy the celebrations because, if you intend to marry within a year or two you’ll need to start plotting and planning now. But fear not! For we have a super helpful wedding planning timeline to help you along, based on an 18-month planning schedule.

Follow this link to Confetti.co.uk for a downloadable wedding planning checklist.

Venue Walkthrough checklist: we have our own downloadable and printable list of venue walkthrough questions. Follow the link below:

Location, Location, Location

We see a lot of couples looking at a wedding date in 18 months to 2 years time. Because of this, many venues get booked well in advance. So, if you’re set on a particular location, it’s worth chatting to the venue early to avoid disappointment.

What to do and when to do it on the wedding planning timeline

12 – 18 months+

1. Set the date. A bit important is this one.

You need to set a date at least 12 months from when you announce your engagement. This way you have a chance of getting your choice of venues and suppliers at good prices.

If you’re on a mission to save money consider booking a mid-week wedding instead of the usual Saturday. This is also a cost-effective way to do the legal stuff if you’re planning an alternative ceremony of some sort – humanist for example.

Wedding Planning Timeline - a calendar with a date marked with a red square

2. Decide now if you’re willing and able to do all the planning yourself

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. In which case, Fabulous Functions UK is here to help!

3. Send out save the date cards

Because you don’t want your guests to have booked their skiing/sun/city break when you plan to make your vows.

4. Set your budget

The key points here are:

  • Be realistic – no wedding is worth going into debt for
  • Add in a bit extra for a contingency – because you never know

5. Draw up the guest list or lists

You’ll need oodles of ompromise and communication here. Do your best to keep it equal and appease both families.

You might find it easier to have a separate evening guest list for work colleagues and family that are close – but not close enough.

6. Book your venue (s)

The sooner you do this the better. It’s almost impossible to plan anything else until this one is sorted out. You’ll need to:

* Book a venue for your ceremony – church, registry office or licensed civil wedding venue.

*Find and book a venue for your reception, your wedding breakfast, disco or whatever after-dinner entertainment you have in mind.

Things to think about are:

1. Seating capacity
2. Room hire costs
3. Catering options
4. Indoor and outdoor settings for photographs

It’s possible to save wads of cash by having your wedding out of season. Plenty of venues have wonderful winter offers.

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

Decide on the role each one is going to play in your wedding planning. Good communications is essential to avoid misunderstandings and upsets during the months ahead.

8. Book your photographer and/or videographer

Our pointers here are:

1. Look for someone who offers you the style of photos you want – traditional, contemporary, reportage or a mix.
2. Meet them in person
3. Ask to see their portfolio and a complete wedding album.

Fabulous Functions UK know several photographers, so if you’d like us to point you in someone’s direction we’d be happy to. Simply give us call.

9. Meet your minister/registrar/celebrants

Go armed with all your questions about the ceremony. They’ll help you find suitable readings and music if you want them too.

10. Book your DJ/Band/dancing girls/chamber quartet – or whatever it might happen to be

Whatever after dinner entertainment you have in mind now is the time to get them booked up.

Book caterers if you need them

It might be that your reception venue isn’t doing your catering. In which case, you’ll need to think about hiring outside caterers. If your budget is super tight then party platters from your supermarket are an option to consider.

Book your cars/bus/horse or whatever mode of transport you want

Assuming your wedding breakfast is going to be somewhere other than the church you’ll need transportation for the wedding party.

Rather than several individual cars a vintage double decker bus would be great fun – and photogenic. Tickets please!

Book your florist

You’ll need to think about how many flowers you want and where you’d like them. For the budget conscious silk flowers are worthy of your consideration. There’s many other factors in their favour too. Read about the benefits of silk flowers and foliage in our blog.

Book a toastmaster or master of ceremonies

Worth thinking about. They’re worth their weight in their gold to make sure everything goes to plan and people are where they should be when they should be.

Book your honeymoon

Book it in your maiden name with your existing passport. Then change all your documents to your new married name when you get back.

Take out wedding insurance

It doesn’t need to cost much and might save you a packet if you’re suddenly let down by a supplier. There’s no price on peace of mind.

11. 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.

6+ Months

A note about DIY

Now is the time to get going if you’re planning any DIY aspects: invitations, table centres, cake or favours. You’ll need practice time as well as production time. So get cracking!

1. Order or get making your wedding invitations. Not forgetting all the other wedding stationery including: orders of service, place cards and thank you cards.
2. Order the wedding cake. Or cupcakes or ‘cheese cake’, or have your wedding cake home-made.
3. Buy your wedding shoes and accessories

You’ll need your shoes in time for the first dress fitting. And your tiara and veil in time for your make-up and hair trial run.

4. Book your make-up artist and hairdresser. Speak to several to find one you feel comfortable with.
5. Buy: bridesmaid’s dresses, suits for the for groom, best man, ushers and flower girls and page boys. Or hire them!
6. Book the honeymoon suite.

3 Months+

  1. Get your wedding dress altered If you need to. Then try not to lose or gain weight!
  2. Kick off a regular facial routine for a glowing wedding day complexion.
  3. Buy the rings. Check that when they arrive they’re the right size  and that your wedding ring sits comfortably alongside your engagement  ring if like most of us, you are going to wear them together.

Send out the invitations

It’s tradition to send them out 6-12 weeks prior to the wedding. But if you prefer – do it sooner. Information to include on them:

  1. Overnight accommodation
  2. Transport
  3. Parking
  4. Dress code if applicable. Include reply cards to make sure you get RSVPs and ask your guests for dietary information.
  5. Order venue décor and table decorations

Buy or hire?

An alternative to buying is hiring.

Do check out our For Hire section or the Treasure Trove section for some fabulous accessories. We also offer a bespoke service  for any accessories you must have but cannot find.

Now is the time to set up your gift list. Make your list available to your guests and have it on your wedding website if you have one.

Also:

  1. Choose readings and music for the ceremony
  2. Buy gifts for the best man, ushers and bridesmaids. If you’re presenting bouquets to the mothers of the bride and groom order them from your florist so they can plan their orders.
  3. Arrange any necessary vaccinations for your honeymoon.
  4. Start planning your hen and stag parties – A job for the Maid of Honor and Bestman!

1 Month to go

  • Arrange a final wedding dress fitting
  • Double check all arrangements are in place with all your suppliers. Be sure to speak to them and get written confirmation of dates, places and times.
  • Finalise your seating plan – and make your seating/table planner
  • Arrange your wedding rehearsal
  • Chase up on guests who’ve not RSVPd
  • Arrange a date to collect any hired suits – making a note of their return by dates. A job for the best man surely?
  • Write the speeches. From the heart – then practice, practice and practice some more.

1 week before – almost there!

  • Have your hair trimmed and/or coloured. This is NOT the time to experiment with a new colour or drastic changes of hair style.
  • Have your wedding rehearsal
  • Pack for your honeymoon
  • Wear in your wedding shoes. Don’t go to Tesco in them but wear them around the house to get used to them.
  • Put together a wedding emergency kit – put your chief bridesmaid in charge of it. Things to include: A compact mirror and powder, lipstick, tissues, stain spot remover.
  • Order your foreign currency for your honeymoon

Make any other last-minute arrangements now. It might rain – this is Britain after all. Make sure there’s lots of brollies.

Have any planned beauty treatments now – Get your eyebrows shaped, fake tan done all in good time.

If you haven’t yet, find your something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’.

Designate someone to look after the contact list of your suppliers.

THEN FORGET ABOUT IT.

The day before the great day itself

Have an RnR day if you can. Surround yourself with people who are going to take care of you and help you enjoy the special moments.

Spend the day with friends or family and don’t do anything more exhausting than a manicure.

Try to get an early night – After all – you’re getting married in the morning!

And finally

Keep in mind that this day is the beginning of your marriage. So if anything goes wrong on the day – best laid plans etc. – focus on your marriage rather than your wedding. That’s the important part – that’s what will make it a day to remember!

We hope you’ve found this useful.

If Fabulous Functions UK can help you with any aspect of your wedding  or you are looking for that must have accessory and cannot find it any where, give us a call on 07511 842 451

We’ll be happy to help.

 A handy timeline to help you plan your wedding. A reminder of when you need to book your suppliers,  order your wedding dress, schedule your make up and hair trial and so much more useful info from Fabulous Functions UK,  the Wiltshire based company specialising in venue styling and accessory hire
Chair decor of blue sequinned taffeta and tulle adornment

Wedding Chair Decoration

A How-To

Your wedding chair decoration is an important feature for your venue decor. Whether you are having a small intimate wedding with close friends and family or a large Do, your guests will notice your chairs.

There are so many ways to decorate your chairs to make them unique to you, rather than a copy and paste of every other wedding you go to.

So here are some ideas to create your fabulous chair decor.

1. Multiple Sashes

Shimmering organza sases are used to dress these wedding chairs. They are perfectly aligned and ready for the ceremony

Here we used oranges and golden brown organza sashes to create a warm autumnal feel for this wedding in Wiltshire.

Lilac taffeta sashes with an overlay of shimmering platinum  organza sashes for this gorgeous venue decor-Fabulous Functions UK

A combination of taffeta and organza sashes are used to create this layered effect chair decor. Using a combination of colours and fabrics can create an interesting effect and add a bit of drama to your decor.

2. Add Flowers

Wedding chairs are decorated with  gorgeous sparkling organza sashes and decorated with a small posy tucked into the back of the bows

Create an interesting scene by adding a small posy tucked into the bows at the back of your venue chairs. Look how beautiful these are. Perfect for most venues.

3. Rustic or Shabby Chic

chair decoration hessian look linen sash embellished with roses and greenery | Fabulous Functions UK | Swindon | Wiltshire

Are you planning a rustic themed wedding decor? Using hessian is a great way to add a little bit of the rustic or shabby chic charm to your venue.

4. Create Your Aisle Decor

Floral curtains: gorgeous pleated white curtains topped with a pelmet of greenery or blossoms.

Adding small posies to your aisle chairs will create a lovely passage to your ceremony table.

6. Feathers and Pearls

30s era venue styling -chair adornments
30s era venue styling -chair adornments composed of a floral and pearl beads decor with a contrast of black feathers.

7. Sequinned Chair Covers

Sequinned Chair covers add to the drama of your vintage styled theme

These bespoke sequinned chair covers are a creative way to add an air of glamour and sophistication to your venue decor

8. Ribbons for a Festival Theme

Ribbons can be used to create a festive feel to your venue decor -Fabulous Functions UK
Image curtesy of Matt Fox Photography

Use ribbons for your wedding chair decoration for a festival or carnival atmosphere to your decor.

9. Fabric

Decorate your wedding chairs with lengths of chiffon and  secure them with sating ribbons- Fabulous Functions UK
Chiffon vertical drapes are used in a sophisticated weaved design to dec orated these chiavri chairs design created by Fabulous Functions UK
Image curtesy of Joseph Dart Photography

You can use lengths of fabric in so many different ways to decorate your chairs. Chiavari chairs are perfect for a draped or weaved decor. Simple elegant, sophisticated.

10. I don’t want to decorate my chairs

You may not want to decorate your chairs because your venue has beautiful chairs and you are happy with them.

You may want to invest in fabulous statement table linen such as this ultra fab gold sequinned table linens. They will lend a glamorous air to your decor for sure.

Awesome ideas for decorating your venue chairs for your wedding and celebrations
Venue Styling Packages from Fabulous Functions UK

Our 4 Venue Styling Packages

Here at Fabulous Functions HQ we often get emails asking us either if we have venue styling packages for our venue dressing services. Or what they are. Well the answer to that first question is ‘Yes – we do’. And in answer to the second question … read on.

You can of course find information on all our venue decorating packages on our website. But here, to make it easy for you, is all you need to know about our venue styling packages in one place.

Venue Styling Packages

Here at Fabulous Functions we have four venue styling packages to choose from. These include three off-the-peg packages designed to suit different budgets. And one bespoke package. This latter one allows you the flexibility to input your own ideas and your budget. And we’ll work with you to realise your dreams to your specified budgets.

Venue Styling Packages from Fabulous Functions UK
  1. The Classic Package

    You gave us feedback. And we listened to you. You told us that you didn’t necessarily want the whole kit and caboodle of having us create table centrepieces and more besides. But yet some assistance is welcomed. Assistance that doesn’t mean you have to go spending precious money on buying chair covers, sashes and table runners to complete the venue styling.

    We thought that was a great suggestion! So, with those needs in mind we created the Classic Package.

    What the Classic Package Includes:
  • 50 Fitted chair covers
  • 50 Sashes – Choose from our range of fabrics including organza, taffeta, satin and lace.
  • 5 matching table runners
  • Top table swag in matching colours
  • Cake table swag
  • Post box for your guests to post their cards.

How much is the Classic Package?

The Classic Venue styling package is a value-for-money £299. This hire cost includes delivery to your venue within a 10-mile radius of Swindon.  Contact us for a quote for setup and delivery outside of the 10-mile radius.

You can of course add other ad-hoc accessories from our treasure trove of accessories to hire. Or you can opt for another of our more comprehensive packages – see below.

2. The A Touch of Glamour Package
This package does what says, as it includes the wonderful silk flower wall backdrop. Comprising silk rosebuds, open roses and peonies, and hydrangeas in luscious shades of white, off-white and blush-pink.

What the Touch of Glamour package includes

  • Flower wall-3m width
  • 50 x Fitted chair covers
  • 50 x sashes – choose from our range of fabrics – organza, taffeta, satin and lace.
  • 5 x matching table runners
  • Top table decoration
  • Top table swag in matching colours
  • Cake table swag in matching colours
  • 5 x Table decorations – e.g. martini glasses, bird cages, crystal globes
  • 50 x place cards
  • 5 x mirrored base plates
  • Tea-lights and candles
  • Scatter crystals
  • Post box for your guests to post their cards.

How much does the Touch of Glamour package cost?

This venue styling package packs a value punch at £599.

As with any of our pre-defined packages you can personalize it by adding other treasure trove accessories.

The hire cost of this package includes delivery to your venue within a 10-mile radius of Swindon. Contact us for a quote for setup and for delivery outside of the 10mile radius.

desert cacti pointing towards the sky

3. The Reach for the Stars Package

The Reach for the Stars venue styling package takes care of every detail leaving you free to relax and enjoy yourself.

Our Reach for the Stars package has dressing your venue all wrapped up, including as it does our luxury silk flower wall backdrop. It’s sure to add a sophisticated and elegant note to your top-table, your cake-cutting ceremony or your photographs.

What the Reach for the Stars package includes:

  • Silk flower wall
  • 1 colour canopy of your choice
  • A pair of bay trees and coordinated pots of flowers
  • A top table silk flower garland or low arrangement
  • 50 x chair covers
  • 50 x sashes
  • 5 x table runners
  • 3 x Tea-lights and candles per table
  • 1 sequinned runner in gold, rose gold, silver or champagne (can be used for the top table, ceremony table or elsewhere if required)
  • 1 sequin tablecloth suitable for the cake table or display table
  • 5 x table centre piece from a choice of: Martini vases with silk flowers and LED pillar candles, gold lanterns with LED pillar candles, tall vase with LED pillar candles in a silk flower ring.
  • 5 x mirrored base plates
  • 50 x Guest favours filled with sweets
  • 1 x post box or wishing well treasure chest for cards
  • Gold, silver or wooden easel for the table plan
  • 50 x guest place cards
  • 5 x table numbers or table names
  • 8 x Personalised wine glass charms for the top table

How much?

The Reach for the Stars venue package is available to you for an inclusive hire cost of £750.

The hire cost of this package includes delivery to your venue within a 10-mile radius of Swindon. Contact us for a quote for setup and for delivery outside of the 10mile radius. Please contact us for a quote for setup and for delivery outside of this area.

NB: The lovely floral backdrop included in this package need not be restricted to weddings. It can equally grace the venue for any celebration or anniversary party. Indeed, it’s a perfect and novel background for events and presentations.

4. The Bespoke Venue Styling Package

We might describe this one as the how long is a piece of string approach.

It happens often, that couples at the start of their wedding planning journey don’t have any fixed ideas of how they want their venue to look. If that sounds like you then an off-the-peg venue styling package is ideal.

On the other hand, you might have a well-defined concept in your head, that isn’t covered by any of our pre-defined packages, fear not. Ask us about our made-to-measure styling service.

We can create for you a bespoke styling package. A package that unites your ideas, your personality and your interests and passions into a cohesive whole. You just tell us what you want and what your budget is and we’ll work with you to make your vision a beautiful reality. 

Pick up the phone and call us on 07511 842 451 to arrange a chat. 

acrylic wedding cake table with sequinned table linen

Floating Wedding Cake Stand


One way to make a big impression on your wedding guests is to have a stand-out, showstopper of a dessert or wedding cake stand or table. There are of course many ways to achieve that depending on your budget, your tastes and your décor theme if you have one.

Whatever you opt to go for, cohesion is key to a wedding cake stand or table that works. Put another way: choose a cake/dessert table that complements the cake or desserts you’re serving. 

Floating Wedding Cake Stand

For a truly stunning way to display your wedding cake, you’d be hard pressed to beat our fabulous, floating wedding cake stand.

Floating flower wedding cake table with sequinned table linen

The stand comprises two x 1 metre diameter, transparent perspex discs that create the illusion of your cake floating above the table. The 20cm gap between the two discs offers decorative opportunities. 

For a unified look, why not opt to fill the space between the discs with flowers that match or complement the blooms in your bouquet and colour scheme? Either keep the blooms between the discs or, for a romantic look, let them spill down the sides of the table.

Or, if you’re hiring our flower wall, why not fill the gap in this stand with matching silk flowers – perhaps interspersed with battery-operated, twinkly fairy lights for a soft and romantic look? Alternatively, garlands of pearls, rose petals, or shiny, translucent glass nuggets that catch the light will all make super effective fillings for the space between the discs. 

We’ve found that the floating wedding cake stand looks super glamorous atop one of our sequinned table cloths. And it’ll look even better if you’re using the sequinned cloths on the rest of the tables too! 

But really, as with anything, the only limits are with your imagination. 

You’ll find hire details for our floating wedding cake stand on the Fabulous Functions website here.