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. 

Social media

Do follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get a feel for our work.

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. 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. 

Floating Wedding Cake Stand
Floating Wedding Cake Stand

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

Helping guests with hearing loss to enjoy your celebrations.

Planning for Guests with Hearing Loss

Planning for wedding guests with hearing loss

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.

Hear, hear

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.

There’s more information about these points on the Hearing Like Me website in this article: Accommodating deaf or hard of hearing guests at your wedding.

2. See what the wedding venue offers

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

5. Accommodation

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.

The Hearing Loss Friendly website “http://www.hearinglossfriendly.com/” has information on venues suitable for people with hearing loss. And this blog from Offbeat Bride, Waving the white napkin and 7 other things you see at Deaf weddings, has some great tips too.

Supporting deaf couples and guests in church

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.

There is a cost involved to all of this of course. This article from the Church Support Hub has more information.

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: hello@fabulousfunctionsuk.com

Helping your guests with a hearing loss to be a part of your special day and enjoy your  celebrations
Planning for your guests with a hearing loss to feel included and a part of your celebrations

If you enjoyed this blog then hop over to the blog on things to do during your wedding planning journey. Wedding Planning Timeline 12-18 Months +

Creating a Winter Wonderland Wedding - Scenes from a Winter Wonderland Wedding-Fabulous Functions UK

Creating a Winter Wonderland Wedding

This is the story of turning a field into a winter wonderland wedding venue

A lot goes in to making a function fabulous. It’s a story in and of itself, of co-operation and collaboration with other suppliers.

There are those directly involved in the event concerned. The photographer, the cake supplier, the wedding planner (if it’s a wedding) and more.

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.

Collaboration

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.

Three snapshots

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.

Disaster strikes

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.

A beautiful winter themed table decor for this winter wonderland wedding themed decor.  Decor styling created by Fabulous Functions UK
Gorgeous chiffon drapes adorn the chairs

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.

Birch branches for a winter wonderland forest created by Fabulous Functions UK

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 Photography did a sterling job of capturing all the elements comprising this super, splendid, sparkly setting. 


About us


To find out more about our services visit our About Us page. 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

 

Guest Seating Plan Tips

6 Guest Seating Plan Tips

6 Guest Seating Plan TipsPitfalls 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?

Guest Seating Plan Tips - tables and chairs set for a wedding or party

Planning Tips for Seating Guests

  1. ‘My parents are divorced so the traditional top table layout isn’t good for us.’

Suggested solutions:

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.

Guest Seating Plan Tips - A sweetheart table for two solves many of the top table seating problems.
A sweetheart table allows the couple to enjoy their celebrations while having that all important moment of togetherness. - Guest Seating Plan Tips
American style sweetheart table for two – an alternative to the traditional top table.
  • 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.
  1. ‘One of my friends is coming without a plus 1 and doesn’t know anyone. How should I seat her?’

Suggested solution:

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.

  1. We’re having a separate children’s table. Where’s the best place to put it and should we have supervisory adults on it?

Suggested solution:

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.

  1. You’ve got twelve university friends coming and your tables seat ten.

Suggested solution:

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.

  1. 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!

Suggested solution:

Ask your parents to help! They invited them! – so let them sort that one out.

  1. You’ve already changed the seating plan more times than enough and you’re about to explode.

Suggested solution:

STOP.WHAT.YOU.ARE.DOING.

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.

And so will you.


For more on this topic see this article on 12 tips for designing the ultimate wedding seating chart.

Hiring a venue stylist

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.

Serving your our clients is our focus. Find out a bit more about our services here.

silver toned brooch bouquet | Fabulous Functions UK

7 Benefits of Silk Flowers

7 Benefits of Silk Flowers and Foliage

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

Silk-flowers-Spray-Rose-Buttonhole

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

Springtime-inspired-silk-flowers-bouquet-Fabulous-Functions-UK
A silk flower bouquet inspired by the spring colours

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.

And, should you like the idea of having a flower wall as part of your venue dressing, one made of silk flowers is both affordable to hire and worry-free on the day.

6. Easy-care

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

7. Hypoallergenic  

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.

7 Benefits of Silk Flowers - Silver-toned-brooch-bouquet-
7 Benefits of Silk Flowers – Silver-toned brooch bouquet

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: hello@fabulousfunctionsuk.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.

A HINDU AND BRITISH FUSION WEDDING

A HINDU AND BRITISH FUSION WEDDING

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!

A HINDU AND BRITISH FUSION WEDDING - multi cultural weddings
A HINDU AND BRITISH FUSION WEDDING
Photo credit: Wilde Photography

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.

Hindu wedding ceremony - multicultural weddings
A HINDU AND BRITISH FUSION WEDDING


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.

Wedding Preparation

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.

Sonam and her parents chose The Pinewood Hotel as our venue.

We kept our vows traditional, along with wedding speeches by the Father of the Bride, Best Man and Groom.

Sonam and Will at their civil ceremony

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!

Joint decisions

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

Planning A Multi-Cultural Wedding

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.

PLANNING A MULTI-CULTURAL WEDDING
Planning a multi-cultural wedding

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

  1. Communicate

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!

  1. 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:

  1. Spread the cultural load
PLANNING A MULTI-CULTURAL WEDDING

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? 

  1. 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.

  1. 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?

  1. Make sure your plans are legal!

This 2015 Telegraph article about the inadequacy of UK marriage laws in today’s multi-cultural Britain points out the pitfalls:

‘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.

Legally Wed

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.

Finally, we like this point from the Brides.Com tips for planning a multicultural wedding – it’s a great one:

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 hello@fabulousfunctionsuk.com and we’ll get right back to you.

https://www.fabulousfunctionsuk.com/contact-us/

Having a child free wedding

Having a child free wedding

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.

Having a child free wedding - graphic of wedding invitation

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

According to this article in the Metro, not having kids at your wedding is just selfish. Among many compelling arguments that the writer puts forth is this:

‘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.

It’s not a Pinterest competition

A wedding, above all, is a celebration of your love for each other – not a competition to out-Pinterest Pinterest. On that theme, this article ‘You don’t have to invite kids to your wedding but you should’ has this to say:

‘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:

1. Subtlety

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:

  • No children
  • Adults only
  • 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!

Finally …

… 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’.

Have you seen anything clever or creative on wedding invitations to tackle this issue? If you have let us know via the usual channels:  FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Or drop us a line on: hello@fabulousfunctionsuk.com

We have also published a blog on ways to occupy children at your wedding. Have a read of ‘Ways to keep the little ones happy on your wedding day

Keeping Junior Wedding Guests Happy

Keeping Junior Wedding Guests Happy

Will you be inviting children to your wedding?

Keeping Junior Wedding Guests Happy
Children as wedding guests is a hot topic. I have heard parents say they will decline a wedding invitation if their children are not invited. Others have said they are glad to have an adult only celebration. So at the end of the day it’s down to the personal preferences of the couple. And whether they have their own children or not.

Keeping Junior Wedding Guests Happy - a small boy and girl at a wedding

If you have decided to invite children to your wedding, you may have started wondering how you can keep the younger guests occupied during the various parts of your ceremony. Children can make the best guests at weddings. If they’re courageous enough they’ll make the cutest speeches and the most memorable photo moments.

Children look super cute in their little suits and dresses, and can quickly help break the ice between guests. They can ask the most indiscreet questions at the top of their voices and all without ever batting an eyelid.

If your own children will be coming along, or you have decided to invite youngsters to your nuptials, here are six ways to keep them entertained and out of trouble during your big day – keeping junior wedding guests happy.

1.  Toy Baskets

novel ways to entertain children at your celebrations

If you are getting married in a church then half the work may have been done for you. Often churches have a crèche or toddler group and will have a good range of toys that your young guests can use during the ceremony. You can be certain there won’t be any noisy toys among the choices.

2. Including Children in your ceremony

Children playing an important part in your celebrations

There are the usual bridesmaid or page-boy roles but you can also ask children to help hand out the hymnbooks, order of service, or confetti. They will love to feel responsible and welcoming the guests is an important job.    

If you have several children you want to take part in the ceremony why not let them form a tag team and deliver their reading together. Being up front is a lot less daunting when you have company.

An example of a perfect reading that can be shared is this one from Winnie The Pooh

WINNIE THE POOH

“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.” 

“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?” he whispered.
“Yes, Piglet?”
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. “I just wanted to be sure of you.” 

“We’ll be Friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?’ asked Piglet.
Even longer,’ Pooh answered.” 

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.” 

A.A. Milne

3. Wedding Timings

As parents you know your children best and their hunger needs. Consider what time you have the service and the wedding breakfast.

Food is a important ingredient for a successful celebration

It can be a long time between the wedding ceremony and the meal, so have your emergency rations on hand to pre-empt and satisfy the hunger pangs. Hungry children get restless quickly and restless children get grumpy and fidgety.

If you are having the service around lunchtime, you may prefer to have food before the speeches.

Depending on the age of your little guests you may want to consider a children’s table where they can sit and play together, it could be a lot more fun for them than being stuck on a table full of boring adults.

4. Activity Bags for your children wedding guests

Entertain children with their very own personalised gift bags

Surprise your little princes and princesses with their very own age appropriate activity packs  

Fill the bags with activities that will keep them occupied during the speeches. The children will love these gifts and they can double up as   place name and wedding favours.

5. Wedding Creche/Entertainer

You can hire an entertainer to come along to your wedding and look after children for the reception.

It may be worth speaking to your friends and family to see how popular an entertainer would be. Chances are, they would relish the idea of a little bit of extra help!

Please remember to check the credentials of anyone working with children as they have to hold a DBS certificate

Not forgetting the ever popular photo-booth /photo-station- these usually come with lots of colourful, fun props and children will love taking all sorts of photos with then.

6. Giant Party Games

Party games for your little and not so little guests

Giant party games are a really fun way to keep the little one entertained. I am sure your not so little guests would love a go too. If your venue has the outside space and the weather permits, this is a fun way to occupy a few hours on your wedding afternoon.

You can visit the bargain shops to see what they have in store. There’s sure to be some good buys to be had. Or why not hire giant party games from us? And the bonus is you can return them afterwards. No storage or sorting out for you to bother with. Everyone will join in and you will have some fab photo opportunities!

“Oh no” you think, “I am too busy to take on any extra task!” No Worries! Appoint a coordinator amongst your friends and close family. Someone to organise the children’s activities, you may be surprised at the options they come up with. And the bonus is you will be creating another memorable wedding day moment.

We offer a free consultation to discuss your ideas and vision for your wedding day. You can call us on 07511 842 451 to book your consultation, we’d love to hear from you. Our contact details are here and you’ll find us on Facebook too.

Happy planning!

Keeping-Children-Happy-at-Your-Wedding-Fabulous-Functions-UK