Wiltshire based wedding florist, wedding designer and wedding venue stylist offering a venue design and decoration service and accessory hire. Fabulous Functions UK are a full service wedding venue specialist.
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
Here we used oranges and golden brown organza sashes to create a warm autumnal feel for this wedding in Wiltshire.
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
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
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
Adding small posies to your aisle chairs will create a lovely passage to your ceremony table.
6. Feathers and Pearls
7. Sequinned Chair Covers
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
Use ribbons for your wedding chair decoration for a festival or carnival atmosphere to your decor.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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. In this image the gap is filled with flowers. But you could use fairy lights or small baubles – anything you fancy in fact.
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.
There’s an awful lot of things to think about when you’re planning a wedding. Should you have guests with hearing loss, then planning for them is a priority. You want them to feel included in your celebrations.
Your planning will take in the obvious elements – rings, venue, dress, flowers, music and more. Then there’s the stuff specific to your guests: particular dietary requirements and physical accessibility needs. But you might not have considered that the latter of those extends beyond ramps, handrails, lifts and toilets.
According to Action on Hearing Loss one in six of the population have some form of hearing loss. Which means there’s a good chance that, for at least one member of your wedding party, it’ll be less a case of ‘Hear, hear’ and more one of ‘what, what?’ Someone doesn’t have to be profoundly deaf to struggle to hear the vows and the speeches.
Or of course it might be that one half of the wedding couple has hearing problems.
So, what can be done to make sure that your ceremony is inclusive for all?
Here’s five top tips to make sure guests or wedding party members with hearing problems get to hear you say your vows and take a full part in the ensuing reception.
1. Ask them what their needs are.
Find out if they:
Use a hearing aid
Require a loop system
Have a personal FM system
Can lip read
Can sign. Do they know BSL? If so, a BSL interpreter can be arranged.
Know anyone else in the wedding party well? Seat the person with their friends and family so they’re included in the conversation.
It’s possible to be married now in all sorts of places. Trains, planes and automobiles and pretty much anything you can think of. But if one half of the couple, or a guest has hearing difficulties you might want to consider these factors:
Dos the venue have a public address (PA) system?
Does it have a hearing loop?
What are the acoustics like?
What is the lighting like? Lighting needs to be adequate for a lip reader for example.
3. The photos
Set up a ‘buddy’ system – someone who’ll make sure that the guest doesn’t miss a cue to pose for a photograph. Being made to feel included in the wedding proceedings is so important.
Give written instructions for the same reason.
4. The reception
Whatever form your reception takes there’ll be background noise. And that has great potential to make communication difficult and enjoyment marred for someone with loss of hearing.
Get the seating plan right for them – see above.
Get extra lighting for lip readers.
So nobody misses a good joke in the speeches, make sure there’s a mike and a PA system.
Place your guest in a location with good visibility
If your guest with hearing loss is staying at the wedding venue you’ll not want to worry about them missing an emergency alert.
You can check that it’s deaf-friendly. The UK has a legal requirement on hotels and venues to provide an evacuation plan for people with disabilities.
Did you know that British Sign Language (BSL), the language of the deaf and their families, is classified as Britain’s fourth indigenous language?
Many deaf people that use BSL use a specialist minister to conduct their marriage in BSL. But what if you’re deaf and you want to get married in your own parish church or somewhere where you’ve got strong connections?
In that situation, you can use a BSL interpreter. It doesn’t need explaining that it’s vital that the deaf person understand the minister. And vice versa.
If you use an interpreter you need to consider where they’re positioned. If both bride and groom and some congregation members are deaf then having two interpreters makes sense.
An interpreter will not just turn up on the day and start telling you what is happening. There is a lot of preparation to be done before hand. Learning the ceremonial wordings that are going to be used, the hymns and the speeches, knowing the order the ceremony will take also has to be learnt. This brings a new dimension to the wedding planning.
To find an interpreter who can help you guests with hearing loss in or near your area with the site NRCPD. You can filter your search by your post code and type of interpreter you would like to find.
Do you have any more tips for planning a deaf-friendly wedding? Let us know and we’ll pass it on. You can find us on Instagram,Facebook Or Pinterest, drop us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
And then there are the suppliers that the Fabulous Functions team works with to help us fulfil our role in creating the event concerned. Because magic doesn’t happen all by itself. Here’s a magical tale of some of what went in to creating a winter wonderland wedding.
The Team at Fabulous Functions UK received a call from Tom at Falding Fandangoes Tom had been asked to put on a marquee wedding and called on us to create the decor. We met the bride and groom to be and the brief was “We have this field and want a Winter Wonderland Wedding.”
We put our heads together and came up with a plan which the couple loved so we got to work with the preparations as the timeline was tight. We had just a 6 Weeks lead time to Wedding Day.
And then there are the suppliers that the Fabulous Functions team works with to help us fulfil our role in creating the decor for this winter wedding. Because magic doesn’t happen all by itself. Here’s a magical tale of some of what went in to creating a winter wonderland wedding.
This blog then comprises three snapshots of our role in meeting this brief from the soon-to-be bride and groom: ‘We have a field and we would like to get married in a Winter Wonderland.’ They tell a tale of some of the magic woven in creating this winter wonderland wedding, forming part of a wonderful whole.
Snapshot 1: Sew far so good
Creating a fabulous function takes as much time as the clients give you and collaboration from all the business you encounter as you go. We had roughly six weeks to dress an enchanting, winter wonderland wedding. We succeeded with the help of amazing business who simply said: ‘Yes’, when presented with one of my far-fetched ideas. The cooperation, kindness and patience encountered stirred the Fabulous Function’s heart.
In planning any big event, whether wedding, party, house move etc there’s bound to be hitches and hiccups. As a general rule of thumb, the proportion of aaarghsuch problems incur has a direct link to the time frame one is working in. Now six weeks is no time at all to plan a wedding, even if everything goes to plan. Imagine my horror then, when my sewing machine decided to go on strike. After weeks of hard work, out of the blue not a stitch more would it sew! Time was of the essence, so a hasty Google search followed to find my nearest service point. Joy of joys, it turned out to be my old friend Sewcraft in Swindon.
The times I’ve rung Roger and his team at Sewcraft, with a ‘Do you have …?’ His reply, if not ‘Yes, I have’, is always ‘No, but I’ll get it for you’. To which I say: ‘Great. Please don’t close till I get there, I’m on my way!’
For whom the bell tolls
Returning to the striking sewing machine – off I scooted, machine in tow, to see Roger. He took one look and in a grave voice uttered what I did NOT want to hear: ‘Sorry, I can’t fix it. It needs to return to the manufacturer.’ A how-do-you-do for sure! There I was with 180 fabric lengths to sew and no machine. Taking one look at my stricken face, Roger handed me a machine: ‘No problem. Take this one.’ With a soaring heart I took Sewcraft’s machine home to finish the chair décor for the winter wonderland wedding. Roger saved the day and I can’t thank them enough.
Snapshot 2: Let it snow!
You cannot have a winter wonderland themed wedding without snow. Not the real stuff – that would be messy. As would a snow machine. Not to mention the cost. So what does a smart event designer do in such a situation? She calls Jo Rigden of SED Develoments of course! Jo, a fellow independent business owner, is a whizz with all things 3D printed. I explain what I want and Jo grunts and nods. She then does her thing with her CAD and her 3D printers.
‘Snowflakes’ I say to Jo. ‘No problem’ says she. The next day I find on my mat an envelope. It contains different sized, gorgeous, delicate, lacey snowflakes. Perfect! Exactly what a winter wonderland wedding needs! An authentic, romantic touch minus the slush.
But we didn’t stop with snowflakes. Jo also designed and printed table numbers for me. We had great fun getting them right. No 2 looked rather like a fat and ill-proportioned lady but I thought she had character! Bucket loads of thanks to Jo for her patience and creativity in bringing my ideas to 3D life.
Snapshot 3 – Seeing the wood for the trees
What elements make a winter wonderland setting? Lots of white, lots of lights, something snow-related and lots of trees.
To tackle the trees issue I met up with Rob of Ridgeway Tree Surgery & Countryside Management. I explained my ideas to him and he suggested I visit his yard to see what he had. And oh boy, did he have some beauties?! He had exactly what I needed to create the vision of wooded enchantment that I had in my head. Because the branches were too big for my car, Rob offered to deliver them to me.
Rob was kindness itself and went out of his way to help.
A joint effort
The winter wonderland wedding scene that the Fabulous Functions team together created was as captivating as we’d planned and worked for. It captivated the bride and groom and wowed their guests.
Elmar, of Elmar Rubio Photographydid a sterling job of capturing all the elements comprising this super, splendid, sparkly setting.
To find out more about our services visit our About Uspage. We love to learn about you and your vision for your very special day. Then we transform your venue into your very own wedding world. Call us for a chat today.
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. Follow the links to Instagram , Facebook and Pinterest
6 Guest Seating Plan Tips – Pitfalls and solutions In the best of circumstances, sorting out your seating plan is a logistical nightmare. In some instances, the Dunkirk evacuation of WWII might well have been easier to organise. Your wedding day should be the best day of your life – and not one beset by trouble and strife. But if your background is less than straightforward than that could be what’s in store. But never fear – Fabulous Functions UK is here with a look at 6 common planning pitfalls and possible solutions.
The structure of the family has changed beyond all recognition in the last two or three decades. It’s no longer all about the traditional nuclear family of husband and wife and 2.1 children. When both the bride and bridegroom’s parents enjoy a conventional marriage arrangement, there doesn’t tend to be any problems when it comes to deciding who sits at the top table at a wedding. However, things can get trickier when it comes to dealing with parents who are separated or divorced – if they have new partners in particular.
It’s all too common for families to forget just whose wedding it is and start making demands on who sits where and with whom. So, if you don’t want to run off on your own and get married on a desert island or simply take everyone down the pub after the ceremony what can you do to deal with table planning problems?
Planning Tips for Seating Guests
‘My parents are divorced so the traditional top table layout isn’t good for us.’
If they’re really not amenable to you having one long-top table with everyone on it together – new partners and all – then do something different and have an American-style ‘sweetheart table’ just for the two of you.
Ask your parents to each host their own table while as a couple, you sit on a table with the groomsmen and the bridesmaids.
You and your spouse move around your tables with each course so that you sit with different people.
Seat the disagreeing parties on separate tables but close to the head table and with equally important relatives.
Have a buffet and let everyone sit where they want.
‘One of my friends is coming without a plus 1 and doesn’t know anyone. How should I seat her?’
If you can, place her on a table where there’s a couple of other single guests. But avoid creating a whole ‘singles’ table. It might feel a bit like a speed dating event if that happens. And think about who in your friendship group or family she might get along with and seat her with them.
We’re having a separate children’s table. Where’s the best place to put it and should we have supervisory adults on it?
One tip for your guest seating plan is to put your children’s table close to the door, so troublesome young guests can be whipped out fast if they start misbehaving!
But try to avoid putting adults on it – it’s hardly going to be fun for them is it? Besides, younger children needing help eating should be on a table with their parents. Keep the children’s table for the seven-twelve age group.
Another of our tips for your guest seating plan is to try at all cost to prevent teenagers dying with embarrassment by seating them either on a separate table or with younger adult friends.
You’ve got twelve university friends coming and your tables seat ten.
Don’t, whatever you do, separate two friends out from the fun. Instead split a large, close group (whether family or friends) in two and pair with another group they might have common ground with. Your cousins for example. Then the whole gang can reconvene on the dance floor.
Your parents are paying for the wedding and want to invite a bunch of people you don’t know and have no clue where to seat!
Ask your parents to help! They invited them! – so let them sort that one out.
You’ve already changed the seating plan more times than enough and you’re about to explode.
For moments like this, one of our top tips for your guest seating plan is this: take a deep breath and walk away and take a reality check: This is just one meal. When dinner is done and the speeches are made your guests will be on the dance floor, in the bar and circulating round tables and they’ll have a great time.
Hiring a venue stylist such as ourselves will relieve your stress levels. We have a ton of experience and knowledge and lots of tips for your guest seating plan and so much more. We let you enjoy your wedding planning journey and ultimately your wedding day.
7 Benefits of Silk Flowers: Silk flowers have gained a new lease of life, so whether it’s a gerbera in a jam jar freshening up the kitchen windowsill or a table centrepiece for an elegant dinner party, flowers often form an integral part of decorating. And this is never truer than for a wedding.
So, if you’ve recently become engaged and are embarking on the wedding planning process then the use of silk flowers and foliage in both your bouquet and venue-dressing is well worth considering. They are far more realistic in appearance than they once were. Technology has improved them no end and the good quality ones are almost indistinguishable from the real thing.
What’s more – they have a number of significant advantages over fresh blooms, Here’s our 7 benefits of silk flowers:
1. Cost effectiveness
Fresh blooms are undoubtedly beautiful but they don’t come cheap. With the associated costs of organising a wedding spiralling ever upwards this might be one way in which you can reduce your outlay without having to compromise on style.
As with everything in life you get what you pay for. The lower the price there’s likely to be a corresponding reduction in size, quality and appearance. So aim high – a silk flowers arrangement will usually be more substantial than an equivalent in fresh blooms.
2. Silk Flowers Have No ‘best before’ date
Fresh flowers are prone to wilting and tearing. Not so the silk flower. Durable and sturdy, silk flower bouquets, buttonholes or corsages will survive the ceremony, the reception, the photographs and your first anniversary and beyond. What’s more it will be as fresh as it was on the day you said ‘I do’.
3. Low carbon-footprint
75 percent of fresh cut flowers are imported and transported by airfreight. Silk flowers though, with their infinite shelf life, are typically transported by ship.
4. Easy to transport to your venue
Silk flowers don’t, by their nature, wilt, wither and die as a result of extreme shipping temperatures. That resilience makes them easy to transport to your venue and restyle once there.
5. Unaffected by climate
You need have no concerns about your beautiful blooms wilting in summer heat or becoming too dry or getting petals blown off in winter winds or even summer breezes.
What’s more, if your dream is to have a destination wedding in warmer climes carrying a bouquet of roses in silk flowers can make this unlikely marriage possible. And without the need for expensive air shipping of fresh flowers.
Silk flowers are practically maintenance free. There’re no worries about over or under watering. What’s more they last longer than 5-7 days. And see point
It’s quite possible that some of your guests have allergies to pollen. Now your bouquet and the bridal party’s buttonholes is one thing. But if you want to turn your wedding venue into a floral arbour, be on trend with 2017’s Pantone colour of the year ‘Greenery’ or simply have flowers on every table then there’s a good chance of you getting up more than one person’s nose. Literally. But pollen problems and odour sensitivities are circumnavigated with ease by using silk flowers and foliage.
If by now you’re thinking that you’d like to explore the idea of having a silk flower bouquet when you make your vows then why not get in touch? You can contact us on 07511 842 451 or you’ll find us on the usual social media channels: Facebook,Twitter and Instagram.Or drop us a line on: email@example.com
We’d love to hear about your wedding planning journey, the items you’re looking for and explore ideas for creating your dream day.
Multicultural weddings: A Hindu and BRITISH Fusion Wedding
Read Will’s account of his and Sonam’s beautiful multicultural Hindu & British fusion wedding
A HINDU AND BRITISH FUSION WEDDING In a recent blog about planning a multi-cultural wedding, we highlightd many of the areas to consider when deciding which parts of your cultures to include in the ceremony.
Will has shared his thoughts on his planning journey as he planned his Hindu/British wedding.
After getting engaged to Sonam, I suspected that our initial future would stressful yet exciting. Yet of course, worth it in the end.
Having an inter-racial relationship can bring up some hurdles, with marriage, in all likelihood, the largest one to overcome. I was very fortunate that Sonam‘s family were welcoming. Thus, despite a few roadblocks on the way we made it to a wedding and beyond!
Our Hindu Ceremony
When planning our wedding, I knew that it was important that we honour both our cultures. So we had a religious component as well as the civil ceremony. My wife is Hindu and I respect her beliefs whilst I consider myself to be an atheist/humanist. We agreed straight away that we would have a blessing at the Hare Krishna Temple in Watford. Then a civil ceremony at another venue. Initially we wanted a small wedding with close-knit family/friends.
We were also aware that, as Sonam was the first to be married amongst her siblings, then a fuller, traditional religious ceremony may be in order.
The Hindu ceremony was something that was brand new to me. I had never been to any type of Asian wedding. Therefore I only had ‘the internet’ and the experiences of a couple of friends to help me. In terms of the planning, this was looked after by Sonam‘s family – from the clothes (I wore an indian suit) to the ceremony. I didn’t mind this, as it meant that everything was done in the correct and respectful manner.
I had simple wedding preparation: get dressed and turn up. I didn’t get to see all of Sonam‘s preparation – much more involved over multiple days. One thing we both chose was the venue, which was perfect! The day was an incredible experience that introduce my family to another culture and focused on the joining of our two families.
When planning this part of the wedding the two of us met with a wedding planner. She such a tremendous help in guiding us to customise and design the wedding.
Our civil ceremony
This second day of our wedding comprised a traditional British civil ceremony. We chose our vows, the music, the colour theme, food and entertainment.
We kept our vows traditional, along with wedding speeches by the Father of the Bride, Best Man and Groom.
Our wedding breakfast
For our wedding breakfast we enjoyed a three-course meal that we followed with an evening reception. It was a somewhat one-sided guest list though – with most of the guests being Indian we opted for Indian food from a caterer.
I had more involvement in the arrangements for our second day of celebrations: the civil ceremony. I chose the mens’ suits and the colour scheme. I also chose our wedding songs and spent days planning and rehearsing my speech. I spent a great deal of time thinking about making everything as meaningful as possible. This was very important to me – I’m only going to do this once!
I always knew that co-habiting before we married was never an option. I knew too that I had to be with her for quite some time before I proposed.
I always had great respect for her culture and her family so we never considered living together before we got married. This wasn’t always easy – we had stress, arguments and issues. But our marriage made all that worthwhile.
We took decisions together and did everything with a shared focus on starting a life together.
Planning a multi-cultural wedding: We live in a diverse and ever-blending society. A few decades ago, multi-cultural weddings were almost unheard of. Not so in the 2000s. If you haven’t already attended a cross-culture wedding you’ll be certain to know someone that has. Thus, planning a multi-cultural wedding is something that most wedding planners will encounter.
And if you’re a mixed race/faith/culture couple planning a wedding, or you know a couple in that position, you’ve found the right blog.
A real multi-cultural wedding:
The daughter of a friend of mine married her non-British Indian groom. They got around the potential perils and pitfalls by having not one wedding but two.
Their wedding proceedings kicked off with a traditional British civil wedding, with a registrar officiating to make it legal, in a hotel with a sit-down three-course dinner. This event was attended by relatives from both India and the UK.
Then, a few weeks later, the British contingent flew to India for the full Sikh wedding experience.
That’s one way of doing it – albeit a costly one. Assuming though that there isn’t the budget for two weddings here’s a few options for you to consider when planning a multi-cultural wedding.
It’s complicated enough planning a wedding without throwing different religions and customs and unfamiliar familial formalities into the mix!
Six tips for planning a multi-cultural or interfaith wedding
Talk openly. With each other and with both sides of the family. You’re in love and everything is wonderful. But you must, must, must before you go too far, discuss matters of faith and child rearing and more. In the headiness of romance, it’s an easy job to dismiss such things. But it matters. If not now – then it surely will in the future. As this article from Here comes the Bride says: Pre-marriage counselling will help you both to clarify expectations and prevent future misunderstandings.
Beyond all that it’s best to discuss what traditions each half most wants to incorporate. Though of course everyone has to have a willingness to compromise!
Make the ceremony personal to you both
There are officiants of all religions that are open to conducting a joint ceremony. They’ll help you design one that honours both religious and ethnic traditions. Don’t try to incorporate too much into it though or it’ll be too long. As an alternative – see point 3:
Spread the cultural load
If the contrast is too sharp to allow the ceremony to give equal representation to each culture do it a different way. Reserve the ceremony for the bride’s heritage and the wedding breakfast for the groom’s. Or vice versa. Consider having a mehndi party for your girlfriends. Mehndi ceremonies are brilliant fun and, as they’re traditionally females only, what could be better?
Fend off the faux pas
Make sure no-one puts their size 9s in it. Give each of your families some education on what’s considered appropriate and inappropriate social behaviour and clothing in the other’s social world. Whether they like it or not they’re adults and should be respectful. Ditto the guests.
Going back to the wedding of my friend’s daughter: of those that flew to India, some chose to wear traditional dress and some didn’t. But of those that didn’t – they understood that acres of bare leg and displays of cleavage were not acceptable.
You can add an area to your website or wedding programme with details on what’s expected in all areas and to explain the symbolism of any unusual elements in the ceremony.
Be creative with the wedding breakfast
Super popular these days is fusion food. So surely planning a multi-cultural wedding is the perfect chance to make a gastronomic statement that demonstrates how two cultures can meld and be harmonious?
‘Although the law was relaxed in the 1990s to allow civil weddings to take place in hotels and stately homes instead of simply register offices, only those in specially registered premises are legally binding …
More worryingly, some go through a ceremony without checking whether it is legally recognised and only discover their lack of legal status at the time of relationship breakdown … ‘
It’s clear then that there’s a problem if you’re an interfaith couple. The UK system forces you to choose between a ceremony that reflects the faith of one of you or a ceremony that reflects the faith of neither of you. That leaves you in the predicament of having to have two or more ceremonies to satisfy both the law and your own wishes.
The easiest way to circumnavigate that quicksand is to have a separate civil ceremony to make sure you’re legally wed. Then arrange your interfaith/multi-cultural wedding ceremony and celebration as you see fit.
If you’re looking for further inspiration check out this article from The Knot about multi-cultural wedding tips. It showcases six diverse couples who show how it’s possible to put on a wedding that represents you both in equal measure. Irrespective of cultural and religious differences.
Consider hiring a wedding planner – not only for the great ideas but as a confidante and support.
Sonal J.Shah specializes in Indian weddings. She’s organized more than 650 weddings. Many many have been multi-cultural weddings where she often finds herself acting as an intermediary between the families.
As she says: ‘As a bride, it’s reasurring to have an ally on your side, a credible source. I back up the bride’s ideas and help families to understand why they work.’
If you’ve started to plan your multicultural wedding and you’ve found out already that it’s more work than you thought then we’re here to help.
Call us on 07511 841 451 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get right back to you.
The protocols and pitfalls of having a child free wedding – Deciding whether or not to invite children to your wedding
Having a child free wedding Are you struggling with the dilemma of whether or not to invite children to your wedding? It’s your wedding. So yes. If you want it to be child free wedding then that’s your prerogative. But be aware that in taking such a step you’re disturbing a nest chock full of vipers.
Families are tricky entities. It’s not impossible that insisting on a child free wedding could cause a family rift. Careful treading is advised. So, indulge us while we first play devil’s advocate and look at some reasons why children should be invited.
‘Asking someone you love to be separated from their baby so that they can watch you walk down the aisle? That’s just selfish.’ As she goes on to argue, weddings are a celebration of love and family. So why would you cut out a section of people you love because they’re under eighteen? ‘Weddings aren’t just glorified parties. They’re more than that. I probably wouldn’t invite children to a 21st or a 30th, but birthdays are different. They’re about one person, rather than a family.’ A wedding on the other hand is a different animal. Yes, it’s a party. But it goes much further. A wedding is about cementing your life together in front of family and friends – and their children.
‘For so many couples, a wedding has become, first and foremost, a chance to showcase their highly-refined taste. The results are magazine-worthy events with the emotional warmth of an airport first-class lounge. Sure, the flowers are lovely, and parts of the ceremony are moving, but the overall effect of these elaborately produced nuptials is a sterile one. This is where children can help.’
Put another way: a child free wedding lacks warmth, humility, fun, chaos and unpredictably, joy in imperfection, freedom and abandonment.
And inviting children is a simple way to sidestep the risk of alienating a lot of friends and family members for whom their children’s absence means their absence.
You don’t have to agree but it definitely gives food for thought!
How to tell guests that their children are not invited
After exploring why you should invite children to your wedding , you may still be firm in your resolve – if a child free wedding is what you really, really want we’ll take a look at some tactics for handling the situation. So, let us look at how to go about indicating that children are not invited. Consider these three basic tactics:
Address the wedding invitation to the adults only. Reinforce the names or number of the invitees on the RSVP card. Risk factor: It could be simply too subtle and you might have guests make the assumption that their offspring are part of a package and turn up with them.
2. Telling your guests you would rather have a child free wedding
Being direct is simple and avoids confusion. On your invitations or your RSVP cards use a straight-to-the-point statement to make your intentions clear. Such as:
Strictly no children please
Adult wedding and reception
Please respect our wishes for a child free reception
Adult only affair
This invitation is extended to adults only
Risk factor: Guests of a sensitive disposition are likely to think this is plain rude
3. A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down
Another way to approach the situation is with the delicate touch:
We want all our guests, parents included, to have a relaxing evening. For that reason we’ve chosen for our wedding day to be an occasion for adults only. It’s our hope that this advance notice means you’ll be able to share our big day and enjoy an evening off!
We’d love to have children present at our ceremony. But the reception is for adults only.
Or words to that effect.
Risk factor: A lot of people you’d like at your wedding may decline – at best. At worst – be mortally offended! Besides which, all that explanation will take up a lot of room on your invitations with potential extra printing costs!
… and as this article from The Knot states, if you’ve taken this decision don’t back down! You can be sure that some close friends and family members will push against you. Be sensitive to the issue but don’t back-pedal and allow some guests to bring their children and others not. That’ll make everything worse. As the article says: ‘As long as you’re thoughtful and helpful to the guests with kids, then that’s the best you can do. If parents are still awkward and upset beyond that, then they probably shouldn’t come to your wedding at all’.