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  • Writer's pictureZoe Giblin

12 Days of Christmas - Advice for Planning your Wedding


CHRISTMAS IS OVER... Are you newly engaged? Or has the New Year inspired you to get cracking on your wedding planning, but you've no idea where to start? We have the '12 Days of Advice' for you here, all in one email! Get your notebook out, and make a list of the things you love, and things you need to get done! And if this fills you with fear or dread that it's just too much to handle, reply back to this email! We are there, on hand, to help you with advice or guidance, or even just get on and plan your wedding for you!

1. Venue!

We love the venues we work with, and we have some special shout-outs to make to Hillside Brewery in Longhope for an unusual and lovely setting, The Wilderness in Plump Hill for a more DIY feel and beautiful scenery, Blagdon Lodge for a simply stunning venue, and Bells Hotel & Country Club in the Forest of Dean for an experienced and helpful team.

2. Wedding Attire If you are looking to save some pennies, you can buy a 2 or 3-piece suit for the boys from Matalan, Burtons or Debenhams. However, your local hire businesses can offer some fantastic prices, and we recommend Bill Child Formal Wear in Hereford. There are some absolutely stunning wedding, bridesmaid and flowergirl dresses at Wed2Be at bargain prices, and it's certainly worth having a look at. If you're looking at a slightly larger budg

et however, we recommend hiring suits from Moss Bros, and we love the Ronald Joyce collection of wedding dresses!

3. Food!

This is quite key when discussing venues, as some can be quite limited in the types of food and menus you can try. If food is important to you, we love some alternative ideas, such as hog roasts (big shoutout to Park Farm Pig Roasts!), BBQs, fish and chip vans, ice cream vans, and pizza vans! We can always help you out with this - we do all kinds of wedding co-ordination and planning. Click for Park Farm Pig Roasts!

4. Cake! The options are totally endless. We highly recommend you to think about some key things: 1. How many guests do you have (therefore how much cake do you need!) 2. What ideas do you love (get a Pinterest board and pin the styles you like the best - you can go classic or novelty, or a bit of both!) and 3. what flavours do you love? If you are having 2-3 tiers, consider different flavours for each tier to appease all guests, and

consider that one might need to be vegan or gluten-free for dietary requirements. A HUGE shout-out to Jenny's Cakes - amazing flavour of cakes, and some very novel and creative designs!

5. Flowers These all depend on the venue that you have, the decor you are planning, and exactly what style you are after... and of course, your budget! Big shout-out to Beq's Bouquets - some absolutely stunning ideas and beautiful work.  Click for Beq's Bouquets

6. Venue Decor. This all comes down to your theme, and your budget. Hint: Come up with your colour of your dresses/ties etc., and then you can decide on chair covers, sashes, table runners, and centrepieces. This is our specialism! Take a look at our facebook page for some of the decor we have done at various venues, and drop us a message for some assistance and inspiration, but we also recommend a Pinterest board to gather ideas! Click here for some photos of inspiration!

7. Stationery By this point, you should have your colours, themes and styles all sorted based on your dress, venue, cake, flowers, centrepieces and chair sashes. This makes it a lot easier to sort out your stationery. For the budget-savvy, there are some fantastic ideas using your own styles on Vistaprint, or eBay, and there are some popular die-cut craftwork which are simply beautiful and elegant. You can go for some alternative ideas such as postcards, fridge magnets, ticket stubs, or even a balloon!  We can help with stationery! Drop us a message here.

8. Photography We love the work of Caz Holbrook, whose ideas are beautiful and thoughtful. For those with a tight budget, a photographer doesn't always have to be necessary, but do consider that these photos will be the best memories you have of one of the most important days of your life... so think wisely. A videographer is more of a luxury, but it certainly is lovely to look back on the nice memories from a video! However, if your budget is tight, consider asking a couple of close friends to put your video together, they would be honoured that you've trusted them with it. Consider using Instagram for hashtags, and we like the app WedPics to ask your friends to share photos with you from the Special Day! The retro idea of disposable cameras can be really lovely, alongside a DIY photobooth with an Instapix Polaroid camera, you should have plenty of fun photos to look back on your day with happiness and laughter!  Click for Caz Holbrook Photography

9. The Extras Don't try to throw everything at your wedding, and feel the need to provide constant entertainment for your guests! However, a few added, thoughtful extras go a long way. Depending on your budget, you could consider (going from cheapest to some pricy items!) a DIY photobooth, fireworks or sparklers, or a candy cart. We actually hire this out but it's been changed into a 'bling up your booze' bar, a prosecco bar, sweet cart, or Henna Bar so far... the ideas can be endless... smores... whisky and cigars bar... waffles, donuts, cocktails, burritos, burgers, gin, popcorn..! Garden games, a magic mirror (we highly recommend Reflect Events Hire), magician's for some table entertainment, caricaturist, live painter, karaoke video booth, casinos depending on your theme, or even a fairground or circus show!!  Click for Reflect Events Photobooth Hire

10. 'Free but Fun' Games that can either be for the whole party or just on the table include Mr and Mrs, Pub Trivia to help your guests get to know each other, table chefs (get one guest on each table to carve the meat), advice cards, date cards, picnics for the al fresco wedding, bake off for dessert (with judges of course), awards ceremony, fancy dress themes, simple karaoke (your DJ can help you with this), Strictly Come Dancing, confetti cannons, talent shows, flash mob, and choreographed routines! If all of this sounds like too much for you and you'd like something more informal, traditional sports day games such as sack races, pinata, welly hurling and three legged racing might suit you much more! Alternatively, you can consider face paints, glitter bars, finger print guest books, treasure hunts, pass the parcel or some origami on the tables. I would suggest perhaps one or two of these ideas - not all of them!! Drop us a message if you need some help with this!

11. Music! Don't forget to organise entrance and entry music for the ceremony, as well as some tunes during the signing of the register. You can keep these cheap by simply plugging in your favourite songs or music to a speaker. Alternatively, live string quartets, pianists, harpists or classical guitarist can be nice (I personally am a wedding flautist, so feel free to drop me an email for any musical advice!) Whilst guests are waiting for all the photos and the 'down time' section before the reception, you might want to consider either some music from a requested playlist (you can get your guests involved in this by requesting some tunes themselves), or getting a live performer - there are some wonderful small choirs such as The Minor Setbacks in Bristol, who provide nice small sets for this type of entertainment. For the evening entertainment, there are some fantastic DJ's (I recommend Ian Mullinger from SO Discos for a very experienced and professional DJ). If you are on a budget, a playlist an an iPhone will do. However, for those that love music, you can certainly consider hiring a jukebox to put the guests in control, bands or tribute bands, (although this can be a little pricy), as well as some alternatives such as Ceilidh, steel pans, drummers, bagpipes (maybe?!) line dancing, or even on trend at the moment, a silent disco!  Click here for Ian Mullinger - SO Discos!

12. Transport. In some venues you have nothing to worry about here, you might stay there the night before, keep the transport budget to an absolute minimum, and therefore you don't need to worry about it! However, to work from the lowest budget to the highest, you could consider simple and elegant wedding cars, something novel such as a tractor and trailer, horse and carriage (we highly recommend Rushmere Farm for the most outstanding and professional service for horse and carriage), to even a princess carriage, or a helicopter service, or a boat trip!! Click here for horse-drawn carriages!

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