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

When Wedding Plans Must Change

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

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

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

Lauren and Phil’s Wedding Plansand when wedding plans must change

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

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

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

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

Our original plan

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

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

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

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

Portugal/ COVID-19

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

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

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

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

Backup plans

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

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

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

How am I feeling?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Questions to ask during a wedding venue search. Venue walk through questions -Fabulous Function UK

Venue Walk Through Questions

When you’re choosing your wedding venue there’s lots of stuff you need to know to help you make an informed choice. Because, we know how overwhelming it is – even for the most modest plans -we’ve put this list together.

The venue walk through questions that follow will help you with your venue hunting.

Download a printable PDF of the venue walkthrough questions below:

Before you check your venue out, it’s a good idea to check the venue’s capacity. Is it big enough to accommodate your party? Too big and your party will look a little lost. We recommend that you:

Do some advance research

  1. How many hours is the venue available to you? What are the charges if your celebrations run over?
  2. What staff will they have available on the day? And is there a designated point of contact between them and your wedding contractor?
  3. Rehearsal – With a church wedding, you can arrange a rehearsal. Is it possible to have one in the venue you’re viewing?
  4. Consider noise levels. What time will the reception/party finish? And – what time do they want you to vacate the venue?
  5. Public liability insurance – who will need this? The venue – or you? And what about the vendors you are using? They probably will have their own but check.
  6. Security – is it needed? Does the venue provide any?
  7. Loading zone and parking – is it available to guests and vendors? Can cars be left overnight and what charges might that incur?
  8. Disability access – what is the venue like in terms of bathroom access for walkers and wheelchairs etc.
    1. Also for getting from the car park to the venue.
    2. Are the paths gravel or paved ( important for wheel chair access)
  9. Seasonal concerns – is there somewhere for coats, boots, umbrellas?
  10. Mobile heating – do they have mobile heating for outdoors. If they’re providing a marquee are they providing heating for it?
  11. Getting ready – do they offer anywhere? Is it included in the price or not? Ask to see rooms to assess for suitability.
  12. Lighting – If you do the walkthrough in daylight hours, think how it might look at night. Consider the lighting for a photo booth. backdrop lighting, ceiling lighting, the DJ. Will there be maintenance on the night in case of problems.

Ceremony Layouts

Venue Walk Through Questions - Happy guests at an autumn themed wedding

What follows are some venue walk through questions apropos ceremony layout and venue decorating.

  1. If space is available, consider alternative layouts: circular or semi-circular. Also, if you’re using the same room for both ceremony and wedding breakfast, where will the guests go while the room is being turned around?
  2. How many ceremonies per day happen in the venue that you’re looking at? How do they manage parking?
  3. Clear down after the event – does the venue do this? Or are your suppliers expected to? What are the exit times for vendors and rentals?
  4. Catering – is this on-site only? Does the venue have a list of preferred suppliers Or can you bring in your catering company?
  5. Alcohol and corkage charges – can you provide your own alcohol? What’s the corkage rates and is that per bottle or per person?

Decorating restrictions

Things to think about regarding your venue dressing.

  1. Can you hang decor items on walls or ceilings? If so – how?
  2. Ladders – do they have them on site?
  3. Audio visual equipment – Do they provide everything – speakers and all? Or do you have to source that?

It’s a lot to think about isn’t it? I hope these venue walk through questions helps with your venue search. If you think you’d like help with finding the perfect venue then get in touch with us now and let’s see what we can do.

Wedding Venue Walk through Questions - A helpful list of questions to ask doing your wedding venue search - Fabulous Functions UK
giant garden games - photo collage of games

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. 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!

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 Jenga in 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.

Contact us here to enquire.

giant garden games - photo collage of games

We’ve got FIVE giant garden games for hire. You can choose to hire any four of them for the package price of £50, to delight your guests.

The Five Giant Garden Games

Entertain your wedding guests with this Giant Jenga Garden Games for hire from Fabulous Functions UK
  1. Jenga – our giant Jenga stands 5 feet tall when built. Challenge your guests to build this it as tall as they can before it tumbles.
Giant Noughts and crosses floor game

2. Noughts and crosses – also known as Tic-Tac-Toe – is a classic pen and paper game transformed here into lawn/patio or indoor floor fun.

This one measures 120cms x 120cms, with five noughts & five crosses of 30cms x 30cms each. 

Skittle set on a wooden decking

3. Skittles This forerunner of modern bowling is an old lawn and pub game. Our set contains nine skittles, a king pin and three balls.

Each skittle is 23 cms high.

Connect Four - giant garden games for hire

4. Connect Four – Standing at a mega 100 cms tall and 120cms wide, this giant Connect 4 comes with extra large discs. We don’t guarantee that they’ll help you to win though.

Giant dominoes on wooden decking - giant garden games for hire

5. Giant Dominoes – We wager your grandparents never saw dominoes like these!

The game of dominoes has been around from as early as 1120 CE, in China. Though we suspect not in giant form like these.

photo collage garden games
Are Budget Wedding Backdrops Cost Effective? - Flowers on wire forming a curtain.

Budget Wedding Backdrops

Budget Wedding Backdrops – are they cost effective?

Are Budget Wedding Backdrops Cost Effective?

Are budget wedding backdrops cost effective? Or do they lead you down a rabbit hole of disappointment and frustrations? In this blog, we first ask the questions and then find the answers for you.

We do the research so you don’t have to

Being the fabulous wedding venue dressing service that we are, we spend quite some time doing our research for our clients and sometimes browse the Internet to see what’s new in the wedding and party dressing world.

It’s important to us – and in the end to you – that we’re up to date with the new trends in venue décor.

On a recent web crawl we came across an article about cheap, DIY wedding backdrops. We looked at this article and asked ourselves some questions:

1. Are budget wedding backdrops cost effective?
2. Are these suggestions at all realistic?
3. And what are the costs to you?

Long Years of practice

Bearing in mind that we’ve had years of practice at this, our quick answer to the question ‘Are Budget Wedding Backdrops Cost Effective? is: No. They aren’t. Not really!

Though there is of course ONE exception. IF you’re an arty/crafty type that makes handmade gifts on a regular basis this doesn’t apply to you.

Except for one cost area: time. Time, as they say, is money. So, even if you are capable of threading paper birds or butterflies on to lengths of wire and making it look amazing, will you, in the middle of all the other things to think about, have the time and energy for it?

One of the things we’ve seen touted as a budget alternative to a flower wall is a floral curtain similar to the one in the image below.

Are Budget Wedding Backdrops Cost Effective? - Flowers on wire forming a curtain.
Are Cheap Wedding Backdrops Cheap at all? -Floral curtain created with small florals in a rainbow of colours. A beautiful backdrop but time consuming to make and transport to the venue for installations.
We made this curtain from flowers threaded on wire. In this photo it’s on the door at home when we were making it. 

From personal experience we can tell you that an alternative flower wall or curtain such as this, might be relatively cheap. But  don't be taken in by the idea that its an easy alternative DIY project for your wedding  to make. 

It took ages – and it was tricky to transport to the venue without it getting as tangled as the Christmas fairy lights always seem to.

A Rapid Rethink

A friend of mine tells how, when planning her daughter’s wedding, the pair of them harboured vague money-saving notions and making their own invitations etc. But after spending an hour between them constructing a flat-pack cardboard favour box they had a rapid rethink. And off to the printer’s they went.
What dawned on them was that, even if they had particular skills in this area – which, by their own admission, they didn’t – they had neither the time nor the energy for it.

And that’s a big thing to consider.

Budget wedding backdrops don’t come cheap in practice

Well – most of the time anyway. Okay yes, you can get friends to save coffee jars etc for you. You can tie sting around the top and put a giant tea-light inside and hang them around your venue. A pretty feature for a rustic style décor. Something like this – if you keep them plain – will be cheap in terms of everything except time. Time in getting them made and then time in getting them hung at the venue.

But if you want to decorate or frost them, well the cost soon rises. Have a quick root round somewhere like Hobbycraft. Look at masking tape and spray paint etc – that will give you an idea of how cheap soon turns into not-so-cheap.

Too much to think about

Our feeling is this. Unless you’re Kirsty Allsop (and she has a big support team!) making your own venue décor backdrops, or other décor for that matter, is giving yourself too much to think about. And you’ve got enough – with dresses and suit hire and table plans and planning the honeymoon. To name but a few things you’ll need to tackle. Trust us. You don’t need this.

How to do wedding backdrops without bursting the budget

But there is a way to do it without busting the budget. And that’s to hire not to buy. Have a look at the accessory hire and treasure trove sections of our website. There you’ll find flower walls and other wedding backdrops along with globes, table plan ideas and much, much more. All available to hire.

You don’t see what you have in mind? That’s no problem. Send us a message via our webform or call us on: 00447511842451 and let’s get problem solving.

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 your ring care: Fabulous Functions UK

Caring For Your Engagement Ring

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.

Caring for your engagement ring- ideas on how to keep your engagement ring in perfect condition-Fabulous Functions UK
A square cut diamond engagement ring from the designer Holly Robinson of Holly Robinson Jewelley

Showing off your ring

We’re in a digital world, so that doyenne of the jewellery world, Beaverbrooks, has a useful article about how to take the perfect engagement ring selfie

Caring for your 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

  • Insurance

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
Advice for caring for your engagement ring -  Don't take it off in public places as you risk losing or forgetting it. Read the blog from Fabulous Functions UK

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.

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 be 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.  

Advice for caring for your engagement ring- Give your ring a regular checkup to ensure the claws are not loose. Loose claws can cause your stones to fall out.

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.

Learn how to care for your  beautiful rose gold and diamond engagement ring.  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.
A beautiful rose gold and diamond engagement ring from Holly Robinson Jewellery
Tips on caring for your jewellery

This blog from Goldsmiths has lots of tips on caring for your jewellery – in general – not only caring for your engagement ring.

And finally …

… Once more congratulations on your engagement. It’s a wonderful and exciting time. Now, enjoy planning your wedding and your own special journey to the alter.

This blog about the wedding planning timeline might be useful to you. And of course, we’re help too!

Call us on: 00 44 7511 842 45 or drop an email to: hello@fabulousfunctionsuk.com

Now you are wearing the sparkler from the love of your life, here are some tips on how to take care of  your engagement ring. Visit the blog at https://www.fabulousfunctionsuk.com/caring-for-your-engagement-ring/ 
to read more
Night Sky with hues of Classic

Putting Pantone into Your Wedding Décor

PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue

Putting Pantone into Your Wedding Décor.

About the Pantone colour system

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

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

The Pantone colour of the year

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

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

The Pantone colour for 2020

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

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

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

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

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

Putting the Pantone into Your Wedding Décor

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

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

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

Wedding Florals

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

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


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

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

Beach Wedding Ideas for Putting Pantone into Your Wedding Décor

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

Your Wedding Cake

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

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

Table Settings

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

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

Other ways to add classic blue to your celebrations

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

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

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


Do Suppliers Charge More for Weddings? - bridal bouquet

Do Suppliers Charge More for Weddings?

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

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

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

Registrar Fees and Church Weddings

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

Church Weddings

church weddings - Do Suppliers Charge More for Weddings?

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

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

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

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

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

Registrar fees

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

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

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

Let’s now move on to venue hire.

Venue Hire Charges

Do venue suppliers increase their prices for wedding bookings?

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

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

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

Supplier Charges for Weddings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our advice:

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

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

What do you think?

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

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

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

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

A Wedding Planning Timeline

A Wedding Planning Timeline

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

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

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

Location, Location, Location

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

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

12 – 18 months+

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

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

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

Wedding Planning Timeline - a calendar with a date marked with a red square
A wedding planning timeline

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

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

3. Send out save the date cards

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

4. Set your budget

The key points here are:

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

5. Draw up the guest list or lists

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

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

6. Book your venue (s)

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

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

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

Things to think about are:

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

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

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

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

8. Book your photographer and/or videographer

Our pointers here are:

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

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

9. Meet your minister/registrar/celebrants

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

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

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

Book caterers if you need them

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

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

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

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

Book your florist

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

Book a toastmaster or master of ceremonies

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

Book your honeymoon

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

Take out wedding insurance

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

11. The dress

If you haven’t already – start now! If you’re going to have a couture bridal gown made then you must start now. To buy a designer dress allow 6-8 months. For off the peg or second-hand then 6-8 weeks should be sufficient for necessary alterations.

6+ Months

A note about DIY

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

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

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

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

3 Months+

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

Send out the invitations

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

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

Buy or hire?

An alternative to buying is hiring.

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

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


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

1 Month to go

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

1 week before – almost there!

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

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

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

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

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


The day before the great day itself

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

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

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

And finally

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

We hope you’ve found this useful.

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

We’ll be happy to help.

 A handy timeline to help you plan your wedding. A reminder of when you need to book your suppliers,  order your wedding dress, schedule your make up and hair trial and so much more useful info from Fabulous Functions UK,  the Wiltshire based company specialising in venue styling and accessory hire
Be inspired by an Ombre Themed Wedding Decor

Ombre Themed Wedding Decor Inspiration

An idea for an ombre themed wedding decor was the driver for this incredible collaboration between like minded wedding suppliers

There really is no better way for wedding suppliers to show off their wares. Wedding fairs are an excellent way of giving prospective brides and grooms a sense of what you can offer them. Be it cakes, photography, video or venue dressing. Yet, as we’ve learned from experience, nothing is more effective or more heart-warming than a clutch of complementary wedding suppliers collaborating to recreate a wedding scenario that demonstrates what we can do.

In this post about Fabulous Functions UK in the media, we described our collaboration on a vintage themed photoshoot at Heythrop Park Resort on the edge of the Cotswolds. This time around the photoshoot action took place at The Bear Hotel in Hungerford, Berkshire. 

How it Happened

Earlier this year, Fabulous Functions UK collaborated with a group of wonderful suppliers to stage an open day at Hungerford’s Bear Hotel. Lots of couples came along and enjoyed meeting the suppliers there and booked us for their weddings.

So successful had the day been that the suppliers suggested to the hotel’s event’s manager, that we might use the hotel for a photoshoot. Vee and her term embraced the idea. They offered us the Riverside Suite for the purpose, and were excited about the transformation their gorgeous venue would undergo.

The Fabulous Functions UK team wanted to capture the joy of two people in love and who aren’t afraid to show it.

Our aim was to inspire couples to be more daring in their luxury wedding planning choices, by creating a luxurious and opulent décor that can be adapted to suit most venues. 

A Cascade of Colour

With rich, passionate burgundies and reds, through to coppers and golds to tones of blush pink and cream we created a vibrant colour range from the vibrant and bold to soft and delicate. All of it beautifully captured on camera by Barefoot Photography.

The First Step

The first thing we did was to get together with Louise of Wendy House Flowers. Together we devised a décor to stimulate the senses from the outset. We wanted the senses to dance a jig as they encountered the florals and the banquet style arrangement of guest tables. Louise, based in Lyneham, is a fantastic florist who encourages her clients to be brave in their choices.

For this photoshoot she created a gloriously wild bridal bouquet, full of colours and textures featuring grasses, clematis, wildflowers, roses and more.

The Decor

We decided on an ombre colour scheme, with shades ranging from rich burgundies full of passion, through to coppers and golds, all coming to rest on the sweetheart table with a cascading floral garland in tones of blush pink and cream.
Louise and I used a fabulous marriage of fresh and silk florals to create the centrepieces

Sweetheart table with cascading floral garland - ombre themed wedding decor
Sweetheart table with cascading floral garland in this ombre themed wedding decor inspiration

A flower cloud is such a statement piece! Bringing not a drop of rain but lashing of joy. Creating a golden halo above our couple. The cloud was created with a selection of mellow golden branches and romantic cream roses, pampas grass, ferns, gypsophila, roses, hydrangeas and much much more.

An Ombre Themed Wedding Decor Table Setting

A picture paints a thousand words. The images from our photoshoot at the Bear Hotel in Hungerford did just that. It shows an opulent venue setting created with gold-accented glassware and cutlery from Simon of Event Hire UK.
Even the agate slice details on the little golden glass boxes mirrored the ombre theme of the decor.

An Ombre-themed Wedding with gold edged glass charger platesPhotoshoot - table place setting
cupcakes nibbles for the guests displayed in a glass box with agate slice decor on the lid
Place setting of gold beaded edged glass charger plate with acrylic guest name plates - guest names written in gold coloured font and displayed on a  white folded  napkin.
Ombre themed tablescape featuring a colour range of  burgundy,  copper and gold through to pink and the palest blush pinks at the Bear Hotel in Hungerford
Acrylic guest seating plan featuring white font on a gold painted background.

The Pièce de Résistance

I always advise my brides not to hide their wedding cake, and by extension, the cake cutting ceremony, in a dark corner. Rather make a feature of it. And how better to make a statement to remember than with a Fabulous Functions UK flower wall?

Our fabulous peach and cream-toned flower wall made a wonderful backdrop for this glorious seven-tier crystal cake tower from
Fay’s Fairy Cakes.

Flower wall with crystal seven tier cake tower in front of it. Photoshoot at the Bear Hotel in Hungerford
You can use colour for your wedding  decor in some interesting ways. Here we suggest ways to use colours to created the WOW factor for your venue decor. See our ideas for an ombre themed venue decor

To see more images from the gorgeous photo shoot of this awesome ombre themed wedding decor visit the Mrs P and P blog here.

And to find out how Fabulous Functions UK can make
your wedding venue decor dreams come true, fill out our online form here and we’ll get right back to you. Or, if you prefer, call us on 00 44 7511 842 451.

choosing bridal and venue accessories -Mercury vases and tea light holders

Choosing Bridal and Venue Accessories

 Things to consider when choosing bridal and venue accessories

When you’re planning a wedding there’s a mammoth list of things to think about. Then there’s things to think about the things to think about! Before you do a passable imitation of Gustav Klimt’s ‘Scream’ let me explain:

Just one of the many things on your to-do list is choosing such bridal accessories as bouquets and buttonholes. Then there’s venue accessories such as chair covers, backdrops and of course your colour scheme.

Indeed, before you get even that far, there’s the venue to find and the date to confirm. Then  the process of asking friends and/or relatives to take on special roles in your wedding party begins.

You’ll need to consider the style or theme you have in mind. Then you will start thinking about:

  • Whether you’re happy to shop for ‘off-the-peg’ bridal and venue accessories
  • Or if you want to seek out custom-made/bespoke items

If shopping locally or supporting independent businesses is important to you then you will find may independent suppliers happy to create bespoke items for you.

The facts and figures quoted in this Forbes article ’43 reasons you should support small and independent businesses’ relate to the USA. But the principles it describes, apply as well to the UK as anywhere else. A notable one being this:

“Most independent businesses are run by people – not by boards, not by stockholders, not by algorithms. And so you get a different kind of care and quality in their product because their work is a reflection of themselves. Instead of focusing on the next market they’re expanding into or the next round of funding they’re raising, they’re focusing on the details and being the best they can be.”

Of course, the range of bridal and venue accessories of which you might seek a bespoke or custom-made option, is limited by nothing other than your imagination. Wedding stationary aside, you might well source bespoke suppliers for accessories such as:

  • Bride and bridegroom chair covers
  • Silk bouquets and buttonholes
  • The ‘ask gift’: personalised, bespoke gift boxes for making that request for special wedding party services: best man, groomsman, maid of honour
  • Wedding favours and gift boxes

Fabulous Functions UK is able to provide you with a selection of custom-made wedding items. Some of them, the bride and groom chair covers the floating cake table  arose out of customer requests. Unable to find what they were looking for elsewhere, and having met us at wedding fairs, they came to us and discussed what they wanted. Then we designed the items in question, made them and delighted the client.

One of your venue accessory could be this floating cake table. Perfect for displaying your wedding or celebration cake.
Floating Cake Table

Our tailor-made bride and bridegroom chair covers make plain  the position of the main characters as masters of all they survey!

His and Hers bespoke chair covers created by Fabulous Functions UK - Perfect to decorate the bride and grooms chairs
Bespoke Bride and Groom Chair Covers

Wedding Florals – Silk or Fresh

  • Silk flowers: there’s lots of benefits to choosing silk flowers over fresh. So many in fact that we wrote about them and you can hop over to our blog and have a read  of ‘the benefits of silk flowers’ .
  • We offer a range of silk wedding flowers that includes bouquets and pomanders for the girls and buttonholes for the guys.

Perfect for a vintage themed wedding is our beautiful brooch bouquet.

A gorgeous brooch bouquet with silver toned brooches- Fabulous Functions UK
Brooch Bouquet

But if a dramatic look is what you’re after then take a look at this stunning silk, calla lily bouquet.

Silk bouquet created with Cala lilys and crystals - Fabulous Functions UK
Cala Lily Bouquet

Here at Fabulous Functions UK we pride ourselves on our ability to respond to customer’s needs. So, should you have an idea for something that you’re struggling to find, do talk to us! We may well be able to help you.

You’ll find us on the usual social media channels: FacebookTwitter and Instagram.Or drop us a line on: hello@fabulousfunctionsuk.com