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Planning your Engagement, Wedding or Anniversary Party!

By Barry Hopkins

 

Well, firstly, CONGRATULATIONS!!

Engagements & Anniversaries

You’re on the way to Wedded bliss, or are celebrating having done the hard work of getting married, so what better reason to celebrate your nuptials than throwing a Party for all your closest friends and family!

Firstly, decide on who to invite so that you can organise entertainments that are appropriate; if you are inviting children do ensure that there are suitable facilities to keep them entertained. A circus act such as a clown or a juggler would keep them amused! Select your choice of entertainment for the adults; such as a live band, disco or karaoke.

Remember to send invites out as soon as possible to ensure that more guests are able to book your do into their diaries. Book a local hall, function room or restaurant and a caterer and bar.

For your Engagement party, there is no need to go wild with a massive do, as you will need to be saving up for your Wedding, and don’t forget your Stag or Hen party too. Your Anniversaries should be celebrated as often as possible in our eyes!

Stag & Hen

This is where the fun is! Your Stag or Hen party can be as wild, or indeed as tame, as you like.

There are a massive range of activities available, from Bungee Jumping, Paint-balling and Driving Adventures through to relaxing Pamper Days.

Don’t be alarmed by the vast array of 18+ gifts that you will undoubtedly receive from friends, and do join in the fun by wearing L-plates, personalised printed T-shirts or giant chicken outfits so that everyone knows who you all are!

This party, whether it be an evening out in your local town or a weekend in a European Capital, is your chance to let your hair down and do what you really want to do.

If you are bewildered by the choices available, contact a Party Organiser who can help you narrow down your options to find something suitable.

champagne bottle with cork popping 

Wedding

This should be your dream day to be fondly remembered for the rest of your life, so ensure that you don’t settle for second best.

Select a venue (if you wish to have a civil ceremony and reception in the same place, check that the venue is Licensed for Civil Ceremonies).

For your reception party, the choice is endless. It’s up to you whether you choose to celebrate your Wedding on a Riverboat cruise with 50 handpicked companions or hire out the worlds biggest Hotel and invite everyone you have ever met.

Marquees are used more and more frequently; long gone are the days of ratty old smelly tents used by the Scouts, options now include a varied assortment of colours and styles, lighting, with optional furniture, stages and dance-floors.

Don’t forget portable toilets!

classic car If your Ceremony and Reception are in different venues, you will need to decide on transport between the two for yourselves and your guests.

You may wish to use the same vehicle that took you to your ceremony, for example a horse & carriage, vintage car or limousine. You may also wish to consider hiring taxi’s, a mini bus or a coach to ferry your bridesmaids, close family members and elderly or disabled guests.

Capture the day professionally; good photographs and videos may seem expensive but are something that you really will treasure for years to come. And just in case, get Insurance. This doesn’t cover you if your spouse fails to show, but can save the day if one of your suppliers goes bust in the run up to your big day…

The theme of your Wedding is initially shown to your guests by your choice of invites and other stationery.

You should ensure that your venue is suitably decorated to continue your theme, and there is a plethora of ways in which to do this. From magnificent Balloon Arches and Ice Sculptures to Floral Decorations and Favours, there are many many ways of decorating your venue to your taste. Don’t forget that there are Venue Decorators who can book everything for you, giving you one less thing to worry about!

The food you choose to provide will also add to the atmosphere of your Reception; do you wish to have a formal A La Carte sit down meal, or a more relaxed Buffet style supper, or indeed both – one for daytime and one for the evening?

Also consider whether you need to hire additional linens, crockery, cutlery or glassware.

You will need to ensure that there are drinks available for everyone; alcoholic beverages can be supplied by a Mobile Bar if your venue doesn’t provide one. Don’t forget soft drinks for children and designated drivers; you could even provide a Mobile Juice Bar to really impress the kids!

When choosing your Wedding Cake you will need to decide whether you wish to serve it as a dessert. There are many options available as well as the traditional fruit cake, including chocolate cakes, croquembouches (traditional French profiterole towers) and chocolate fountains.

Continue your theme by your choice of Entertainment.

Organise a Crèche for the little ones so that Mums and Dads can enjoy your big day too.

Whilst you’re eating consider having some background music – a soloist, or duet such as harpists or pipers can create a beautiful ambience without being too intrusive.

Wandering Entertainers are a brilliant way of keeping guests entertained during a lull, for example between the day and evening entertainment, whilst the bride and groom get changed or during the meal.

Choose from many many options including caricaturists, hypnotists, mind readers, look-a-likes, magicians, stilt-walkers, fire-eaters, or even tarot or psychic readers.

In the evening, remember that you will be pretty busy chatting to guests, but don’t let that take over. Make sure that some time is spent with your new spouse, not just the first dance! Choose a suitable entertainment such a Country & Western or Celilidh Band to get guests dancing. Remember that if you are having live performers, they will require a rest from singing or playing so you may need a Disco to play all your favourite classic records or another form of entertainment to fill in the interim periods. Jazz or Blues bands are frequently booked to add to atmosphere, and Tribute or Original Bands are brilliant for die-hard music fans.

man playing saxophone

Why not draw the evening to an end with an impressive firework or laser display?

Your Wedding Night suite; if your Reception is at a Hotel, do ask to see if you can book the Bridal Suite and see if they will allow you to book rooms for your guests. You may wish to add Guest Accommodation details, such as local hotels and B&B’s to your Wedding Invitations. If you are spending your Wedding Night away from your reception, you will need to have booked suitable transport, and have contact details of local taxi firms available for your guests.

Consider booking a Toastmaster. As well as adding some glamour to your day, your Toastmaster is also an invaluable source of Wedding Etiquette will help with speech writing and will make the day run smoothly.

If it all looks too daunting, book a Wedding Planner! These guys are brilliant and most will do as little or as much as you require.

 


 

 

 

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