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.
Meeting Lucy and Sam at the Kings Head Hotelwas so much like meeting old friends – because we’d communicated so much in the previous weeks. I had a good grasp of the vision they wanted to create and had with me many samples of the colour tones in the fabric they’d chosen with which to create a gorgeous rose gold wedding theme.
I also had with me many samples of agate slices for them to choose from. They loved the ideas of what the French call “joindre l’utile à l’agréable” – a lovely phrase that translates to “to combine the practical with pleasure.”
In this instance the agate slices would serve as both guest place names and guest favours. Sam and Lucy chose the natural colour agate slice as they were the perfect complement for the rose gold tones of the vertical drops they’d chosen for the chair decor.
Fast forward many months and the much-planned and much-anticipated wedding day arrived. They and we were super excited to see all the planning and preparations come to fruition in the rose gold wedding theme that Sam and Lucy had wanted to create.
Rose gold themed wedding decor
The decor was classically elegant in its simplicity and the rose gold theme suited the venue beautifully.
The personal touches were apparent everywhere in the decor and especially in the personalised post box for the guests to leave their card and gifts. And the table plan continued the rose gold theme of the wedding decor.
And also the section on our blog that has a range of venue styling themes to inspire you. And of course, we’re always happy to chat and bounce ideas around. If you’ve looked through our website and not seen what you’re looking for please don’t go away without talking to us first. If we don’t have it there’s a jolly good chance we can either source it for you or make it for you.
All the occasions we celebrate are riven with traditions. Easter has the eggs and the bunny, Christmas has Father Christmas/ Santa Claus – and more besides – depending on the nation. And, of course, every family puts their own spin on these regular calendar markers. And weddings are no exception.
So here’s a quick tour round some of the classic wedding traditions from horseshoes, to chimney sweeps to the well-known rhyme featuring something old and something new and something borrowed and something blue.
Back in the days when most of us had chimneys, to have a chimney sweep turn up at your wedding was seen as great good fortune. If he wished the couple good luck that was a very good omen indeed.
Remember Dick Van Dyke inn ‘Mary Poppins’?: ‘Good luck will rub off if you shakes hands with me’.
Chimney sweeps had, as Sooty the Sweep explains, this luck dispensing ability invested in them by King George II, when a sweep was the only one brave enough to stop his out-of-control carriage and save the king’s life. As a result the king issued a royal decree declaring chimney sweeps as bringers of luck that one should treat with respect.
Lucky horsehoes and edible traditions
Then there’s horseshoes – an ancient symbol of good luck of course. Since time immemorial we’ve hung them over doorways across the globe to protect the home from evil spirits. The giving of horseshoes to a bride is a tradition of long standing. Well before Christian times people thought that a horseshoe resembled a crescent moon and that made it a very potent fertility charm! But, more recently, in Victorian times the tradition became established as a way of bringing good luck to the newlyweds for the duration of their lives together.
The wedding cake
Steeped in as much tradition as it is in fruit and brandy is the old fashioned wedding cake.
The wedding attire
The traditional white wedding dress is a relatively new one for British brides after Queen Victoria made them fashionable. As this Vanity Fair article explains, Queen Victoria made such a sartorial impression nearly 180 years ago that her example of wearing white is still considered mandatory by many a traditional bride. Further, Victoria’s choice of white bore no relation to any notion of purity. Victoria wore white for no other reason than that it complemented the delicate lace on her dress. Before Queen Victoria caused a sartorial stir women of the lower orders wore their best dress and those with a bit more money married in a colourful dress that they could recycle for other occasions. And IF, before Queen Victoria, a bride wore white, it symbolised wealth rather than purity – they could afford to have the dress cleaned.
A wedding rhyme – Something old and something new
There’s a related tradition that may have its origins much earlier than the white dress:
The origins of the rhyme are not clear but you can find references to it as an ancient custom in an 1876 edition of ‘Notes and Queries’. (Wikipedia) In Britain this old couplet is a direction to the bride on what she should wear. Originating here, the tradition has since spread across the globe.
Tradition holds that the something blue takes the form of a garter – and there’s yet more tradition behind that. In some wedding rites the bride had the garter plucked her. Saucy? Or Chauvinistic?
Additionally, something blue combines with something old as a device to baffle the Evil Eye– feared to render the bride barren. Preventing such an unfortunate occurrence is the wearing of something borrowed. Properly speaking this should be the undergarment of a women blessed with children so as to pass on her fertility to the bride.
When I got married, many moons ago now, I observed this tradition but in my own way. I borrowed a necklace, the new took the form of my dress and shoes and the blue was a garter.
This particular tradition is not ignored by popular culture. It made it into the ‘Friends’ episode: ’The one in Vegas’. Monica tells Chandler she has to have ‘Something old and something new, something borrowed and something blue before they can get married. So, to fulfil the borrowed part of the rhyme they stole a new blue sweater from a shop and for the old they pressed a used condom into service!
How about you? How did you meet the rigours of this something old and something new rhyme at your wedding? If indeed you met them at all. Or if you’re planning to tie the knot soon do you plan to?
“What is a charger plate?” That’s a good question. And, unless you’re in the wedding or events world, or do a lot of entertaining, it’s possible you’ll have no idea what they are.
A charger plate is a simply a very large plate used for decorative purposes. They’re sometimes referred to as service plates or under plates.
Why would you use a charger plate?
We use charger plates to dress a table for special events such as a wedding, vow renewal or special birthday. They dress a table place setting and help to define your theme and style. Charger plates come in a wide range of styles, shapes and materials from glass to china to wood or metal. Or even melamine or plastic. They can be plain or decorated.
When you’re designing the style for your table, consider the look you want to achieve. Is the feel going to be a modern and contemporary one? Or are you aiming for a particular vintage era or something edgy and minimalist. Or maximalist on the other hand? Whatever look and feel you’re aiming to achieve, there’s a charge plate to complement your style and decor aesthetics.
The charger plates form part of the guest place settings. You can have the plates for your various courses set on top in readiness for your guests sitting at their tables. Or you can place the napkins and place cards on the charger plates. Your plated entrée and main courses are then placed on top of the charger during the meal.
Chargers are always removed from the table after all guests are finished eating the main course. They’re taken away with the dinner plate still on top, as this clears the table and leaves it ready for the serving of dessert.
Charger plate hire
You can hire your charger plates from various event organisers or catering companies if you’re organising a large event. If you plan to use charger plates a lot, it may serve you to buy them. Though this may restrict the range of chargers you have at your disposal for each of your events. Each event deserves its own style of charger plates depending on the theme, style and colour palette of your event.
Fabulous Functions UK has a range of beautiful charger plates at your disposal. Do contact us to discuss the range and style of chargers that we offer to find one that will best complement your wedding or event.
And don’t forget our promise: if we don’t have them in stock – we’ll source them for you.
As you can tell, I love using chargers in the design of the tables. They lift the table design and, on a practical note, they protect the table from spills.
I trust this blog has inspired you to want to incorporate chargers in your table-scape designs.
We’d love to have you in our social media family. Why not follow us on social media to keep up to date with our happenings and to see even more of our decor? We have lots of inspirational photographs across all our social media. We have a presence on all three of the platforms you see below so you should find us somewhere that you are.
On August 22nd 2020, it happened at last. My best friend Allen and his lovely partner Rakhee finally got married in an intimate minimony wedding.
I’m Julian and I was Allen’s best man. And here I’m sharing my experience of a wedding in coronavirus times.
The wedding day was a long time coming. Allen and Rakhee had scheduled their nuptials for April 2020. They’d been many months of planning and preparations, right down to the smallest detail.
A Weekend of Celebrations …
At least the couple had intended the event to be that. They’d booked a grand and beautiful venue for a weekend of celebrations. The event would bring together two large families and many friends from across the world – 200 in total. An intimate minimony wedding wasn’t on anyone’s radar.
But then the dreaded C-word came into our lives turning everything upside down. First of all, the wedding was rescheduled by a few months. Then it was a year’s postponement. And then, with a few weeks’ notice, the wedding was back on for the end of August 2020. But in a much different form. This time an intimate minimony wedding. A minimony ceremony usually involves an officiant, a small group of loved ones and a select number of suppliers, ie. your photographer.
The UK guidelines at that time, restricted attendance at weddings to thirty people at the most. In total there were sixteen of us plus the photographer and the two registrars.
I felt so honoured when Allen asked me to be his best man together with Ashley, his brother. So it meant a lot to me to attend this wedding, especially after all the ups and downs of the last month. Yet, being the only guest arriving from outside the UK, I needed to ensure my attendance at Allen’s wedding was both legal and safe.
I was living in Berlin at the time, which had a very low number of cases during the summer. After a lot of thought, I decided that I would do my best to make it to England, but minimising the risks. Easier said than done.
Initially preferring not to fly, I booked three successive modes of transport: Eurostars through France or Belgium was the first plan, but that had to be cancelled a week before the wedding; then a ferry from the Hook of Holland was cancelled a day before my departure. Finally, I settled on flying directly from Berlin to London a few days before the day.
Arriving in the UK, I knew the wedding would be very different from the original conception. From a grand celebration in a sumptuous location, it would now be a much smaller, intimate affair. And in truth, I didn’t quite know what to expect.
Worries soon dispelled
But, on the day itself, any worries I had about this wedding in the present Corona virus times were soon dispelled. The first thing that became clear is this: big or small, the focus of the day remains the same. Celebrating the union of two loving partners.
The legal ceremony at the town hall in Frome was very sweet and tasteful. Despite the hygiene rules in place (1.5 metre distance between the attendants, masks worn indoors and no cheering) it never felt sterile or emotionless. Extended family and friends attended via Zoom to witness the beautiful exchange of vows and rings.
When the newly-married couple looked in each other’s eyes and everyone in attendance started clapping and stomping their feet, I completely forgot that we were only fifteen people in the room. Nor did it matter one bit. We were all here to celebrate and share this special moment.
A Covid-compliant wedding reception
After the official ceremony, the celebrations moved to the decorated marquee in the groom’s parent’s garden. Sandra, the groom’s mother (and Fabulous Functions UK MD) had pulled out all the stops and made it look amazing.
Entering that marquee with a canapé in one hand and a glass of Champagne in the other transported me from suburban England into a different world. That of an Intimate minimony wedding.
From the flower arrangements to the delicious four-course meal, such an intimate minimony wedding at no point felt like it was a Plan B or a last-minute affair. In fact, the setting, with all the guests sitting on one long table, allowed conversations and sharing the moment with the happy couple, in a way not possible at a much larger celebration.
It was the small things that made this day so special. Instead of catering staff taking care of everything, family members shared those tasks. Parents, brother and sisters carried in plates and poured wine.
This was a joyous, celebratory gathering, and every single person played their part in making this intimate minimony such a special occasion.
Now, in an ideal world, the rest of the family and close friends would have been present. Fingers crossed they’ll also have the chance to celebrate with the new married couple sometime in the future in the manner of a sequel wedding. Yet, at no moment, did I feel that this wedding was ‘too small’.
Very different from the original plan yes, but beautiful in its own right.
The focus of the whole day was on the couple and it was truly a shared experience. Even more so than if 200 people had been in attendance.
I know that Rakhee and Allen will cherish this day forever.
And it’s one intimate minimony wedding that I’ll never forget!
Thank you so much Julian, for writing your account of your best friends wedding in these Covid times. This was certainly a wonderful wedding and the memories will be cherished by the couple and the guests a like. It was full love and joy.
Your Marriage or Your Wedding? When you are planning your wedding, you may begin to think they are one and the same thing. Sometimes circumstances makes us take a look at this assumption.
When you got engaged and started planning your wedding, everything in your world was full of love and excitement.
Your wedding prep went into in full swing. You searched Pinterest and other online sources for inspirations for your dress, shoes, veil, venue and venue décor. Then contacted and chatted to suppliers about your dreams and your vision for your big day.
But that was then.
And this is now. And now we’re in the grip of the Covid-19 virus pandemic and your plans have been thrown into disarray.
Your Marriage or Your Wedding? What’s the Important Thing?
You’re going to feel crushed – of course you are. All that careful planning for naught. That IS how it will feel.
So take a step back and ask yourself what’s the more important: your marriage or your wedding?
But now more than ever it’s about getting this perspective on what matters.
So what to do?
Now – as I write this blog, we’re in effective lockdown. The UK Prime Minister has prohibited all ceremonies – funerals excepted. At the moment the restriction is in place for three weeks. After that who knows what may happen?
You need to take action and get a contingency plan it’s clear.
Here we talk about what we can do and how we can help you:
What you can do
If you haven’t already, contact the person conducting your wedding ceremony. They will be reorganising the ceremonies they have already booked.
Talk to your venue. They’ll be following guidelines for the health and safety of their clients and staff. What are they offering you?
If you can, consider continuing with the ceremony with the two of you and your witness. Then organise one hell of a celebration at a later date!
Stream the ceremony to your family and friends who can connect via Facebook or other video link.
Nothing was as planned. The bride bought an off the peg dress and bouquet. They sourced a photographer and they had their day a month early.
Not the wedding they’d planned for. But memorable and moving in its own right. They were able to commit to each other and start their married life together.
5. And your final option is to postpone. Put the whole thing off, till a later date.
You’re not on your own in this
If Covid-19 is one thing, it’s a leveller. Every single one of us is affected one way or another.
Fabulous Functions UK is affected business-wise with couples rescheduling their wedding and celebrations to later in the year, or even to 2021. We’re also affected on a personal level. We were in the final planning stages of a family wedding due to take place mid-April. I have the honour of creating the decor and styling the venue.
They’d met with me and made all the final choices. We’d gone through all the locations for the accessories and chosen the final stands for the centrepieces and design combinations for the floral displays. Confirmed all those little details to add the personalised touches.
Then came the lockdown. But the couple concerned followed the advice above and made a plan!
They’re going to continue with the legal ceremony as planned with only the permitted witness in attendance. And then there’ll be a mega celebration for when we can have the venue again. And it’s going to be ‘just FABULOUS!’.
Cancellations, Postponements and Fingers Tightly Crossed!
From the moment it became apparent to us all that Coronavirus is way more than ‘just another form of flu, I’ve had a mixture of responses from couples booked with me.
Some have postponed until later. Some have weddings set for beyond this initial 3-month social distancing period so are continuing to plan for it – but are forming a contingency plan too.
One couple, who had planned to postpone till 2021, are now rethinking and may decide to go ahead with their ceremony as soon as possible. And have a celebration with family and friends when they can. So they’re looking to have their marriage first and their wedding later!
As challenging as all this is, , it WILL end. And when it does, your wedding or other celebration WILL be fabulous. Fabulous Functions UK will make sure of that.
Don’t fret. Don’t chew your nails. And above all don’t press the panic button! Call us now – let’s schedule a video call and have a good sit down with a coffee and our notebooks. Our number is: 07511 842 451.
Giant garden games for hire. So, you’re planning a wedding or a special celebration and you want something a bit different. Either in place of a modern beat combo or disco – or to bridge the gap between the end of the wedding breakfast and the wedding singer starting their set. Or simply to help keep younger guests amused.
Have you considered giant garden games? They might be just what you’re looking for. Who doesn’t love Connect Four or Jenga? Well they’re even more fun in outsize form! And we have five giant garden games for hire!
Giant Garden Games for Hire – for indoors or Outdoors
Giant garden games are of course fantastic if you’re having an outdoor wedding or party – a big BBQ party for example. But you don’t have to be, to find a use for them – they work as well inside too. Wherever you plan to use them – or have to use them because of unexpected and unwelcome weather conditions – they offer hours of fun for the young or the young at heart.
Giant Garden Games Hire Packages
‘Oh, we’ve got a giant Jengain the garden shed’ – is what you could be thinking now. Great! But if you don’t, don’t panic. Because we’ve got a brilliant giant garden games hire package.
You’re engaged! Congratulations. Your significant other has popped the question. He – or she – has proposed. You’ve said yes and you’re now sporting a gorgeous ring. One that you’ll want to show off to all the world – and why not? This post is full of useful information on caring for your engagement ring.
Now you’ve got that sparkler on the 3rd finger of your left hand you’ll want to keep it in tip-top condition.
So, here’s some top tips for caring for your engagement Ring
It’s easy to think that insurance is unnecessary and that we never use it so why bother? Yet, should your sparkler get lost, damaged or stolen, then having an insurance policy will help to soften the blow and finance the replacement or repair of your ring.
In some cases the excess on your policy can be more that the cost of your ring repair, so it may be worth visiting your jeweller first and getting their advice on whether to claim on your insurance for the repair cost.
Resist removing your ring in public
I’m always terrified of forgetting my rings on the side of a sink or losing them down the drain while washing my hands in a public bathroom. So I never take them off when I wash my hands in public places.
Keeping your rings clean
In our day-to-day activities our rings gather residue from soaps, creams, body oils etc. But a periodic steam clean will remove these residues and return your rings to their former sparkly glory.
Protect your rings from harsh chemicals
Stones such as emeralds and sapphires are porous and harsh chemicals can damage their lustre. Thus, whatever rock you have, wearing gloves when using any chemical products is advisable to protect your ring.
Wear and tear on your ring
Diamonds are one of the hardest natural elements. BUT a cut and polished diamond can get chipped, so do avoid subjecting your diamond to undue stress and hard knocks.
Do try and avoid wearing your ring in the gym, you can accidentally knock it during your training session – the ring band or shank can get cracked leading to a visit to your jeweller.
Health check for your jewellery
The prongs on your rings can become loose with time, so we recommend a regular checkup at your jeweller. This will save you the pain of losing your precious stone.
Ring envy – don’t have it!
Every girl has an idea of what her dream ring will be like. Once you have your sparkler on your finger, don’t compare your ring to others. Therein madness lie. And anyway, whether it costs £5 or £5000, your ring is a symbol of your love. As such it’s precious and priceless and no one else’s ring can surpass it.
Invented in the early 1960s, the Pantone matching system lets designers achieve colour-matching of specific colours no matter what process produced it. Every colour in the Pantone Matching System has its own unique number (PMS number) and that allows for exact matches every time. Pantone attributed to every colour, in all their tones and tints, a classification number. As this Visme blogsays: ‘Pantone literally wrote the book on colour matching. For over 40 years, Pantone has been the go-to colour matching system for not only the design industry but also paint, textile and plastic manufacturers.’
The Pantone colour of the year
Back at the turn of the millennium, in 2000, the Pantone Colour Institute created the Pantone Colour of the Year as a trendsetting concept for branding, marketing and creative society as a whole. The introduction of the Pantone Colour of the Year confirmed The Pantone Colour Institute as the front-runner for all things colour related.
So it’s easy to see why and how there is such anticipation and excitement about Pantone’s new colour of the year. It influences everything – including wedding venue décor.
The Pantone colour for 2020
Below you’ll find our blog about Pantone’s colour for 2020. Although it’s dated now you can still get the idea of how the Pantone colours will influence wedding venue decor. Thus, if you’re planning a wedding and you want to be en trend with putting Pantone into your wedding décor then you need to watch what they’re doing.
The 2020 colour of the year: Pantone 19-4052 Classic Blue
Pantone’s own website describes their 2020 colour of the year as: ‘A timeless and enduring blue hue, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue is elegant in its simplicity’. As they say, the colour is suggestive of the sky at dusk.
They also describe blue as something imprinted in our psyche as a restful colour. A claim supported by this website all about the psychology of colour. The site describes blue as the colour of the mind and one that soothes. Blue affects us mentally whereas red brings about a more physical response. They claim that research often shows blue as a favoured colour across the world.
We’re in turbulent times at the moment, thus Pantone suggests that their classic blue ‘brings a sense of peace and tranquillity to the human spirit, offering refuge.’
The wedding websites are ahead of the game of course, and have already written about how to use Pantone Classic Blue in your wedding venue décor.
Here’s a few ideas on how to incorporate blue onto your decor and go about putting Pantone into your wedding décor.
Adding blue to your florals works beautifully. You can add as much or as little as you want, flowers provide a wonderful variety of blues for you to choose from. So be as wild or as understated as takes your fancy.
Incorporate blues into your table settings by using napkins in Classic Blue, these blue agate from Fabulous Functions UK slices are the perfect guest name tags and they double up as guest favours too.
Other ways to add classic blue to your celebrations
In the summer time when the weather is fine, Classic Blue will look wonderful and fresh paired with white and shots of yellow.
For a winter wedding though, imagine a celestial-theme. Classic Blue will be heavenly for such a scheme. As will our silver, crushed velvet tablecloths available for you to hire. They’re also available in Royal Blue – which will hint at the trend if not hit it head on.
Do Suppliers Charge More for Weddings? I once read a post in a forum put there by a prospective bride. She was complaining, with some bitterness, that when suppliers hear the word wedding they see it as a cue to double or triple their prices. A claim that sparked quite some discussion. But is it true? Do caterers, cake-makers, venue dressers and photographers etc hike their prices at the very mention of the wedding word? And if they do – are there any good reasons why suppliers charge more for weddings?
After all, it’s rare that hings are as black and white as they appear. If a cake maker’s charges are higher for wedding cakes than they are for any other kind of cake – might there be a reason for that? Or is it sheer profiteering as the disgruntled bride in that forum felt.
To find out whether suppliers indeed do increase their prices for weddings we took a tour around the wedding industry and here’s what we found:
Registrar Fees and
Of course, the process of getting married incurs many costs. Or at least it can if you want the whole shebang. Though you can have as much or as little of it as you want. So, let’s start with the cost of the most fundamental part: the legal bit. The ceremony.
That sound like a standard fee doesn’t it? Yet, there seems to be wide variations up and down the country. And that for all aspects of the process. The final cost will depend on your guest numbers, hence the size of room used. As the prices differ from local authority to local authority. It’s not hard to get the idea they are making it up as they go along.
Let’s now move on to venue hire.
Venue Hire Charges
Do venue suppliers increase their prices for wedding bookings?
It’s true enough that venues charge more on weekends – it’s a simple case of supply and demand. As this Brides.Com article about having a Sunday weddingpoints out: Saturday nights are popular for wedding receptions because of their obvious convenience. But of course, there’s only so many Saturday nights in a year – so venues can charge a premium. As a result, Sunday and even weekday weddings are becoming ever-more popular as couples seek to manage their budget but have the wedding of their dreams.
Now we come to the thorny issue of suppliers of all kinds charging more when the word wedding is involved. It’s certain that some buyers feel taken advantage of. But is it fair?
Supplier Charges for Weddings
You might have read about secret shopper investigations. You know the ones. A reporter calls a vendor – a cake maker let’s say – about a birthday party on a certain date and gets quoted a particular price. Then a colleague calls the same vendor to ask for the same product or service but this time it’s for a wedding. And guess what? The quote is much higher. It’s clear then – they’re seeing pound signs at the merest mention of a wedding, right? Well – no – wrong. Or at least it might be wrong. As this Huffington Post article about why weddings are so expensiveargues – it does in fact depend on many factors, including the amount of work involved.
As the article goes on to explain, what such secret-shopper experiments as the one described above, fail to consider is the sheer amount of time, level of detail and the huge pressure of a once-in-a-lifetime event like a wedding. There’s no comparison between that and something like a corporate event or even a family reunion. Not in either of those are stakes or expectations as sky high as they are for a wedding. And that’s what makes the difference.
A cake for a wedding has so much more invested in it than a cake for a regular party. Take for instance the number of communications, consultations involved. Before booking their wedding cake, the couple will have met the cake designer several times, had cake tastings, exchanged emails and phone calls regarding the design details.
Then consider the size of the cake, a wedding cake usually has several tiers and possibly many flavours. Consequently the design will be more involved. Travelling to the venue and setting up the cake display. Depending on the display design, there could be the additional journey to collect accessories used for the cake display.
So you see it’s not a strict comparison of apples for apples but rather oranges to plums.
If you called up the lovely Kim of Kimmis Cakes and asked for the cakes below there will certainly be a difference in price and justifiably so!
A birthday cake designed by Kimmis Cakes
A 3-tiered wedding cake with fresh flowers
Decide what’s important to you and find suppliers that you want to work with.
When you’re shopping around for venues and suppliers, be clear on what your budget. Indeed, don’t be afraid to tell them your budget, this also helps to set expectations.
Request a consultation, get to know them, build a relationship with them and work with them on creating your dream vision.
Most suppliers will tailor their proposals to fit you and to make you happy. Just don’t expect them to work for nothing – or very little.
What do you think?
So what do you think? Do suppliers increase their prices for weddings or do their proposal take into account the additional work involved? If you’ve got any thoughts on it or you’ve got proven experience of it happening to someone you know do let us know.
Should you be planning a wedding or celebrations and want to talk to us about your venue decor or accessory hire then give us a call. Or fill our out our contact form and we will be in touch soon.
A Wedding Planning Timeline. You’re engaged. Congratulations! Enjoy the celebrations because, if you intend to marry within a year or two you’ll need to start plotting and planning now. But fear not! For we have a super helpful wedding planning timeline to help you along, based on an 18-month planning schedule.
We see a lot of couples looking at a wedding date in 18 months to 2 years time. Because of this, many venues get booked well in advance. So, if you’re set on a particular location, it’s worth chatting to the venue early to avoid disappointment.
What to do and when to do it on the wedding planning timeline
12 – 18 months+
1. Set the date. A bit important is this one.
You need to set a date at least 12 months from when you announce your engagement. This way you have a chance of getting your choice of venues and suppliers at good prices.
If you’re on a mission to save money consider booking a mid-week wedding instead of the usual Saturday. This is also a cost-effective way to do the legal stuff if you’re planning an alternative ceremony of some sort – humanist for example.
2. Decide now if you’re willing and able to do all the planning yourself
Because you don’t want your guests to have booked their skiing/sun/city break when you plan to make your vows.
4. Set your budget
The key points here are:
Be realistic – no wedding is worth going into debt for
Add in a bit extra for a contingency – because you never know
5. Draw up the guest list or lists
You’ll need oodles of ompromise and communication here. Do your best to keep it equal and appease both families.
You might find it easier to have a separate evening guest list for work colleagues and family that are close – but not close enough.
6. Book your venue (s)
The sooner you do this the better. It’s almost impossible to plan anything else until this one is sorted out. You’ll need to:
* Book a venue for your ceremony – church, registry office or licensed civil wedding venue.
*Find and book a venue for your reception, your wedding breakfast, disco or whatever after-dinner entertainment you have in mind.
Things to think about are:
1. Seating capacity 2. Room hire costs 3. Catering options 4. Indoor and outdoor settings for photographs
It’s possible to save wads of cash by having your wedding out of season. Plenty of venues have wonderful winter offers.
7. Select your wedding party: bridesmaids, ushers, best man etc.
Decide on the role each one is going to play in your wedding planning. Good communications is essential to avoid misunderstandings and upsets during the months ahead.
8. Book your photographer and/or videographer
Our pointers here are:
1. Look for someone who offers you the style of photos you want – traditional, contemporary, reportage or a mix. 2. Meet them in person 3. Ask to see their portfolio and a complete wedding album.
Fabulous Functions UK know several photographers, so if you’d like us to point you in someone’s direction we’d be happy to. Simply give us call.
9. Meet your minister/registrar/celebrants
Go armed with all your questions about the ceremony. They’ll help you find suitable readings and music if you want them too.
10. Book your DJ/Band/dancing girls/chamber quartet – or whatever it might happen to be
Whatever after dinner entertainment you have in mind now is the time to get them booked up.
Book caterers if you need them
It might be that your reception venue isn’t doing your catering. In which case, you’ll need to think about hiring outside caterers. If your budget is super tight then party platters from your supermarket are an option to consider.
Book your cars/bus/horse or whatever mode of transport you want
Assuming your wedding breakfast is going to be somewhere other than the church you’ll need transportation for the wedding party.
Rather than several individual cars a vintage double decker bus would be great fun – and photogenic. Tickets please!
Book your florist
You’ll need to think about how many flowers you want and where you’d like them. For the budget conscious silk flowers are worthy of your consideration. There’s many other factors in their favour too. Read about the benefits of silk flowers and foliage in our blog.
Book a toastmaster or master of ceremonies
Worth thinking about. They’re worth their weight in their gold to make sure everything goes to plan and people are where they should be when they should be.
Book your honeymoon
Book it in your maiden name with your existing passport. Then change all your documents to your new married name when you get back.
Take out wedding insurance
It doesn’t need to cost much and might save you a packet if you’re suddenly let down by a supplier. There’s no price on peace of mind.
11. The dress
If you haven’t already – start now! If you’re going to have a couture bridal gown made then you must start now. To buy a designer dress allow 6-8 months. For off the peg or second-hand then 6-8 weeks should be sufficient for necessary alterations.
A note about DIY
Now is the time to get going if you’re planning any DIY aspects: invitations, table centres, cake or favours. You’ll need practice time as well as production time. So get cracking!
1. Order or get making your wedding invitations. Not forgetting all the other wedding stationery including: orders of service, place cards and thank you cards. 2. Order the wedding cake. Or cupcakes or ‘cheese cake’, or have your wedding cake home-made. 3. Buy your wedding shoes and accessories
You’ll need your shoes in time for the first dress fitting. And your tiara and veil in time for your make-up and hair trial run.
4. Book your make-up artist and hairdresser. Speak to several to find one you feel comfortable with. 5. Buy: bridesmaid’s dresses, suits for the for groom, best man, ushers and flower girls and page boys. Or hire them! 6. Book the honeymoon suite.
Get your wedding dress altered If you need to. Then try not to lose or gain weight!
Kick off a regular facial routine for a glowing wedding day complexion.
Buy the rings. Check that when they arrive they’re the right size and that your wedding ring sits comfortably alongside your engagement ring if like most of us, you are going to wear them together.
Send out the invitations
It’s tradition to send them out 6-12 weeks prior to the wedding. But if you prefer – do it sooner. Information to include on them:
Dress code if applicable. Include reply cards to make sure you get RSVPs and ask your guests for dietary information.
Now is the time to set up your gift list. Make your list available to your guests and have it on your wedding website if you have one.
Choose readings and music for the ceremony
Buy gifts for the best man, ushers and bridesmaids. If you’re presenting bouquets to the mothers of the bride and groom order them from your florist so they can plan their orders.
Arrange any necessary vaccinations for your honeymoon.
Start planning your hen and stag parties – A job for the Maid of Honor and Bestman!
1 Month to go
Arrange a final wedding dress fitting
Double check all arrangements are in place with all your suppliers. Be sure to speak to them and get written confirmation of dates, places and times.
Finalise your seating plan – and make your seating/table planner
Arrange your wedding rehearsal
Chase up on guests who’ve not RSVPd
Arrange a date to collect any hired suits – making a note of their return by dates. A job for the best man surely?
Write the speeches. From the heart – then practice, practice and practice some more.
1 week before – almost there!
Have your hair trimmed and/or coloured. This is NOT the time to experiment with a new colour or drastic changes of hair style.
Have your wedding rehearsal
Pack for your honeymoon
Wear in your wedding shoes. Don’t go to Tesco in them but wear them around the house to get used to them.
Put together a wedding emergency kit – put your chief bridesmaid in charge of it. Things to include: A compact mirror and powder, lipstick, tissues, stain spot remover.
Order your foreign currency for your honeymoon
Make any other last-minute arrangements now. It might rain – this is Britain after all. Make sure there’s lots of brollies.
Have any planned beauty treatments now – Get your eyebrows shaped, fake tan done all in good time.
If you haven’t yet, find your something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’.
Designate someone to look after the contact list of your suppliers.
THEN FORGET ABOUT IT.
The day before the great day itself
Have an RnR day if you can. Surround yourself with people who are going to take care of you and help you enjoy the special moments.
Spend the day with friends or family and don’t do anything more exhausting than a manicure.
Try to get an early night – After all – you’re getting married in the morning!
Keep in mind that this day is the beginning of your marriage. So if anything goes wrong on the day – best laid plans etc. – focus on your marriage rather than your wedding. That’s the important part – that’s what will make it a day to remember!
We hope you’ve found this useful.
If Fabulous Functions UK can help you with any aspect of your wedding or you are looking for that must have accessory and cannot find it any where, give us a call on 07511 842 451