Am I a wedding planner

Essential Plan B

The essential Plan B …

The Essential Plan B

No, not that one! 

The essential Plan B here is all about having options for your wedding to cope with things that might happen. Like bad weather, hot weather or your car breaking down.

I write this on an October Saturday morning with Radio 5 Live talking about storms and flooding. The rain is lashing against our windows.

I don’t have a wedding today. I did last Saturday, the weather was very wet and autumnal, after a beautiful, hot, sunny week. It was a real “blip” in the weather as the sun came back again the next day.

Fortunately we had talked about the possibility of bad weather and made plans for all the various conditions. My final meeting with the couple was a week before the wedding and we already knew the weather might be an issue. They were cool with it. They knew, when they planned an October wedding, that good weather couldn’t be guaranteed.

The venue team made sure everyone had what they needed to cope with the conditions. The photographer had visited the venue before, so he knew all the best places for pictures. The caterers were happy to adjust the serving times to allow for delays caused by the general disruption.

Everything went very smoothly and nobody even realised that we had moved a few things around the timeline. By the end of the reception the weather had cleared and we were able to go ahead with the planned “sparkler exit”.

I consider making the essential plan b part of my role, am I a Wedding Planner … well I’ve already written a post on that topic CLICK HERE 

If you were looking for Plan B the musician CLICK HERE for the iTunes Essential playlist 

THE Dress

THE Dress (another quickie)

A lot is said about finding THE Dress. I’d like to tell you I have never seen a Bride who looked anything but beautiful on her wedding day.

As well as being an wedding MC and DJ I also get involved with planning and a certain amount of “on the day” coordination. Some people tell me I’m a wedding planner but I’m not really able to helping all areas. You’ll have an idea about your dress, but there are thousands of them out there. I’m sure you look amazing in many of them.

Maybe there isn’t a “THE Dress” for everybody. My advices to go to an expert, try on lots and have fun. I recommend Fatma at Sofi Bridal in Basingstoke, it’s where my daughter found her dress (see this post for more information CLICK HERE).

What I WOULD say about THE Dress is remember you’ll be wearing it all day (maybe 12 hours). You’ll need to sit comfortably, dance and … er … go to the powder room. So how easy is it to sit and eat in, how close can you get to the table? When it comes to dancing, can you move freely? I had one couple who had been to dance classes and worked out a special routine, when it came to the day the Bride found she couldn’t move backwards in the dress! Then there are the inevitable trips to the powder room, how that going to work? I’d certainly recommend getting assistance from one of your bridesmaids and the Disabled Toilet if often a good space.

Maybe you should consider more than one dress? I’d certainly recommend more than one pair of shoes … but that’s a topic for another day.

THE Dress




Paul's Autumn Movements

Paul’s Autumn Movements!

Paul’s Autumn Movements … the mind boggles!

Here’s the plan …

Paul's Autumn MovementsThis Sunday, 16th September Winchester Guildhall Wedding Fayre. This is a free to enter event with a free prize draw to win money saving vouchers including £250 off my services. Doors open at 11am through to 3pm. The postcode for The Winchester Guildhall is SO23 9GH. For more information about weddings at Winchester Guildhall click here.

Sunday 7th October Ampfield Golf Club Wedding Fayre. Again, a free to enter event with a free prize draw to win money saving vouchers including £250 off my services. Doors open at 11am through to 3pm

Both of the wedding fayres are organised by The Hampshire Wedding Group (click here). The HWG is a collection of hand picked expert wedding suppliers based in Hampshire. They offer engaged couples a range of services to cater for every aspect of their wedding day.   The group is compiled by recommendation accepting only the very best, highly experienced expert suppliers.

You can get an extra entry for the prize draw by pre-registering CLICK HERE and then attending the event.

Week commencing Monday 15th October “Creating Your WOW Wedding” evening. Another free to enter event with a free prize draw to win … actually, it’s a secret at the moment. The date and venue will be announced very soon.

Paul's Autumn Movements

That’s Paul’s Autumn Movements. Get those dates in your diary and complete this form to reserve your seats at the “Creating Your WOW Wedding” evening.

Paul's Autumn Movements

What to look for in your wedding suppliers

With the Autumn wedding fair season in full flow, I wanted to remind you what to look for in your wedding suppliers.

Here are three basic steps as I pointed out in this video from back in 2015 Choosing Your Team (click here)

1 Make sure they are actually a business and can deliver what they promise

2 Make sure they have any insurances and/or legal certification required

3 Make sure you like them … in fact I want to go one step further. Look for people who LOVE what they do! Yes it’s a business and they need to fulfil the criteria above, but there are some of us who really love what we do and will always try and go above and beyond what is expected of us.

Get out to two or three wedding fairs, meet suppliers, ask questions and listen to the advice they give you. Find out how long they’ve been doing their thing and try to get a sense of how they feel about it. Many wedding fairs have new businesses exhibiting – can they deliver on their promises?

This coming Sunday, 16th September, I’m exhibiting a The Hampshire Wedding Group event at Winchester Guildhall. This is a free event with a free prize draw for discount vouchers with various group members. There’s even one from me worth £250. The doors are open between 11am and 3pm and I can personally recommend all of the exhibitors. We’d love to see you there. You can even preregister and get an extra entry in the draw CLICK HERE

What to look for in your wedding suppliers

What to look for in your wedding suppliers?

People who love what they do!


September weddings

Autumn Wedding Fair Season

Autumn Wedding Fair Season or Autumn Wedding Fayre Season? … Now there’s a question 😉

Next week sees the start of the Autumn Wedding Fair Season. This year I won’t be at as many as I would have attended in previous years but I still recommend you visit a few if you’re looking for ideas and suppliers.

My advice is to try and talk to every supplier exhibiting. Listen to what they have to tell you and you’ll get a feel for what kind of person they are and if you like them. Look for people who really love what they do and who aren’t just trying to sell you stuff. Ask questions – they should have answers. Beware … wedding fairs often attract exhibitors who are new and looking to fill their diaries – look for well established, experienced, professional suppliers.

I will be at The Winchester Guildhall on Sunday 16th September and Ampfield Golf Club on Sunday 7th October. Those are two of the Hampshire Wedding Group Autumn Wedding Fairs. They also have one on Sunday 2nd September but I have a big wedding the day before at The Italian Villa in Bournemouth and so won’t be able to attend. These are FREE to attend events with FREE to enter prize draws! For more information PLEASE CLICK HERE to go to the Hampshire Wedding Group website.

Autumn Wedding Fayre Season

Previously in the Autumn Wedding Fair Season I’ve also attended a number of the excellent events run by PMN Wedding fairs. My brochure will be in the goodie bags at some of their fairs this Autumn.

Obviously if you want any help finding great suppliers to help with your big day I am happy to help – just email

Am I a wedding planner

Hampshire Wedding Planner ~ Am I A Wedding Planner?

Am I A Wedding Planner?

Am I A Wedding Planner? is a question I get fairly often. Some people tell me I am. Actually, over the last five or six years I’ve really struggled to describe exactly WHAT I am! Let me try to explain …

I started out as a DJ, and even back 25 plus years ago I was trying to work out ways I could offer better service. Initially I was one of the first DJ’s to suggest setting up early so that there was no huge disruption bringing in equipment after the meal and before the party. Then I started offering background music for the meal and microphones for the speeches. Next, when civil ceremonies at venues became a thing, I added ceremony music. Then I decided to offer my services as a Master of Ceremonies. Finally I found I was in a unique position to help couples plan their wedding because I’d seen so many great things and heard about quite a few not so good things.

Hampshire Wedding Planner

Am I A Wedding Planner … Well I don’t really think of myself as a planner because I don’t like to plan weddings. I love to help couples create their weddings, offering them ideas and suggestions to make their big day special to them. I supply all my couples with a folder to give them a clear view of what will happen when. Hopefully this means they can make the most of every moment.

I don’t know everything, I’m still learning. When I’m  asked something I don’t know I can usually find a colleague who can help. For example, I’m not an expert on wedding gowns but I know who to recommend. If a couple are looking for a traditional Wedding Planner I have contacts in my diary too.

Conclusion ~

Am I A Wedding Planner? I do help couples plan their weddings from an entertainment perspective. I think I’m just a guy who wants every couple to have a fabulous wedding day – whether they book me to be their MC, DJ, whatever, or not. I’m very lucky to be doing something I love as I think shows in this picture taken by Charlie, a guest at Vikky and Gemma’s wedding this week.

Hampshire Wedding Planner

If you’d like a copy of my “Your WOW Wedding” guide please let me know. You’ll find a preview here CLICK

Merry Christmas from Paul The Party DJ

Planning your wedding? Think of it like Christmas.

Planning your wedding? Think of it like Christmas – that may sound mad but just give me a moment. It’s about people coming together to celebrate on one day. There are decorations, food, drink and entertainment. Hopefully afterwards you remember it as a wonderful time but what do you actually remember … the decorations, the food, the drink, the entertainment?

I suggest what you probably remember is the feeling. You remember if it was a lovely time, or if it wasn’t! Maybe the food was great but the rest was a bit boring. Perhaps the food wasn’t to your taste but you had a great laugh. Can you really remember the decorations?

Planning your wedding? Think of it like Christmas

Just like Christmas your wedding is a day people will be looking forward to.

Also like Christmas, it can be a long day, people will need to feel comfortable and relaxed – have you ever spent Christmas somewhere where there weren’t enough seats?

Again, just like Christmas everyone will want to feel welcomed and entertained.

Oh, and don’t get me started on crackers! What a waste of time and money … and there are plenty of things at Weddings that couples waste time and money on 😉

So I think when you are planning your wedding, think of it like Christmas – concentrate on how you want people to feel because that’s what they’ll remember. What do you think, is “Planning your wedding? Think of it like Christmas” a good idea? If you have any questions or thoughts, please let me know, email

Planning your wedding, think of it like Christmas



They're coming from where

They’re coming from where! (A quickie)

They’re coming from where! This is the first in a possible series of quick tips / thoughts that I’m going to share with you. Generally these will just be things that have flashed through my head, or across my radar, that I think may help you. The first one came from a post I saw on FaceBook from a recent Bride who suggested “if there are a lot of out of town guests, have an event outside of the wedding”.

This resonated with me because at my daughters wedding we welcomed people from, among other places, Panama and China. That’s quite a trip for a one day event where there are a hundred other guests all hoping to spend time with the happy couple! It’s that same at most weddings that I attend, even if the guests live in another part of England it’s a shame if you don’t get a real chance to talk.

As a Bride and Groom to be consider how you can help these guests make the most of their visit. Do you have time to see them either before or after the wedding. In America they frequently have rehearsal diner where the families get together with speeches and other formalities – maybe that would work for you. At our daughters wedding her husbands parents invited us to meet their visiting family for a lovely Chinese restaurant meal a couple of days before the ceremony. Often I hear of family barbecues the following day so that everyone gets time to relax and catch up after the wedding. What could you do?

If they’ve never visited the area before what advice can you give them so they make the most of their visit. Do you have time to show them the New Forest, Stonehenge or take them to your favourite pub or restaurant – maybe if you don’t you could get a member of your wedding party (Bridesmaid or Groomsmen) to act as tour guide and show them around.

Make no mistake, the day will fly by and everything will be a blur unless you plan, delegate and organise in advance. Please don’t leave things to the last minute – get things done well in advance wherever possible.

They’re coming from where … wouldn’t it be great if you found time for them!




Am I a wedding planner

Fortunately I know some great people ~ 3 Wedding Photographer

When you work as a wedding supplier and your daughter asks you for recommendations, the pressure of being the Father of the Bride really clicks up a notch or two. Fortunately I know some amazing people, Antony from ABC Weddings / Lightbox Studios is one of them and the perfect choice as wedding photographer.

Antony was on a short list of photographers I gave to Amy and Sean. I left the final choice to them and I know they agonised, because the standards were so high, before choosing Antony.

Antony encouraged Amy and Sean to have “an engagement shoot” to get used to being photographed, which they had earlier in the year in the snow. This really helped them relax and get used to what was in store for them on the big day.

On the Wedding day Antony, and his second shooter Bob, were on time and ready to capture the day. They were courteous and fun at all times adding to the “wedding buzz”, often just in the background catching candid moments but stepping up to take control when required for the group photos and making sure everybody was photographed.

The morning after the wedding Antony sent a few unedited pictures straight over to the happy couple including this one.

We’ve now had access to the first online gallery with hundreds of beautifully shot images, and I understand there are still more to come.

If you’re looking for a wedding photographer Antony from ABC Weddings / Lightbox Studios is well worth seeking out. You’ll find another post I wrote about Antony CLICK HERE and to find out more and go to his website CLICK HERE

Over 4,000,000 views in under 2 days

How long does it take to plan a wedding?

How long does it take to plan a wedding? This post was prompted by an article in Brides Magazine entitled How To Plan Your Wedding In 30 days (click here to read the article). 30 days seems to be the minimum notice you need to register your wedding. My research leads me to think it’s actually 28 days (Click here) for a civil marriage, but it’s also down to availability of Registrars etc.

I was also thinking about how long does it take to plan a wedding because my couples usually seem to book between a year and 18 months ahead of their wedding. This seems to be fairly normal now. When Ce and I got married a million years ago (that’s a slight exaggeration, keep an eye on this blog for a post about our Anniversary next month) we got engaged on Boxing Day and married the follow August – eight months . As you may have read, our daughter got married back in April following their engagement the July before – just under nine months.

Planning a long time ahead is good because it gives you time to save and think – but is it too long to think? Why do couples often plan so far ahead? I think it may have been down to the fact the “best venues” get booked ages in advance – but now there are lots of great venues and also weddings on any day of the week have become acceptable when it used to just be Saturdays.

So, how long does it take to plan a wedding?  I guess the answer is between 30 days and … years! It’s really up to you how long. There are so many options and things to think about, some couples will just want to be married because they want to commit to each other and start the next chapter of their lives. Others will wait while they save to have their dream wedding – what will you do? How about this Autumn?

If you’d like free advice on the various options and a free copy of my “WOW Wedding Guide” please get in touch – email

One final thought … weddings aren’t about stuff, they are about two people in love – often couples who plan a long engagement seem to add lots of stuff to their wedding day. Beware of adopting too many things you see on Pinterest, sometimes less is more! I’ll write a post on this soon.

Woodlands Lodge Wedding DJ