Am I a wedding planner

Back at The Winchester Guildhall with The Hampshire Wedding Group

This Sunday, 24th February, I’ll be back at The Winchester Guildhall with The Hampshire Wedding Group for our February Fayre and I’ve got FREE STUFF for you!

Winchester Guildhall is a fabulous venue for weddings with many rooms that can be used inside an iconic setting. This Sunday The Hampshire Wedding Group are back there again with another wedding fayre full of great ideas and examples from the best wedding suppliers in the area. Events like this are great places to find out more about what goes into creating a great wedding, remember the exhibitors at this event are all hand-picked experts.

Winchester Guildhall with The Hampshire Wedding Group

For more information about the event and to preregister for an extra chance to win in the free prize draw PLEASE CLICK HERE

I don’t get to Winchester Guildhall as often as I would like to. I’ve probably DJ’d there about ten times over the years. CLICK HERE to see one of my favourite weddings I was blessed to play at there.

I’ll be giving away copies of Wedding Day Secrets on Sunday, but if you want to read it online click the title earlier in this sentence. To pick up your FREE copy of Wedding Day Secrets (SRP £9.95) come and say hello to me this Sunday when I’ll be back at The Winchester Guildhall with The Hampshire Wedding Group.

A Quick Tip ~ Wedding Ceremony Seating

Following on from my recent post on Wedding Chair Covers CLICK HERE, I wanted to give you a quick tip about wedding ceremony seating. Most couples agonise over the seating plan for their wedding breakfast (the big main meal is called the wedding breakfast because it’s the first meal of your marriage), but today I want to talk about wedding ceremony seating.

I’m a great believer in the importance of the wedding ceremony, it sets the tone for the whole day. I actually believe the music the bride enters the ceremony to (the processional) is the most important piece of music at a wedding. Even before that, the welcome the ushers and groomsmen give to the attending family and friends can make a huge difference to the feel of the day.

Traditionally the bridegrooms family would sit behind him on the right (looking from the back of the room as you enter) with the brides family on the right. These days many couples go with the “pick a seat and not a side” and everyone to mix and mingle instead.

Either is absolutely fine with me, what I do want you to think about is wedding ceremony seating as far as making a plan in advance. This post was prompted by a couple of pictures I found today when I was looking through my huge library of photos on my desktop.

These pictures were taken at Charlotte and Sam’s wedding at Marwell a while back. They thought about their wedding ceremony seating and made sure the right number of chairs were reserved for the members of the wedding party. Now this may seem obvious but many couples don’t do this.

Make a plan, find out how many chairs are in a row either side of the aisle and allocate places. If you have people doing readings, singing, or joining you to sign the register, make sure they can get to the front easily. Think about guests in wheelchairs or with pushchairs … how can you make everything work with nobody getting embarrassed because they can’t find a suitable place. Brief your ushers on this and make sure they know what they are doing.

I can talk about this kind of stuff for hours and if you have any questions I’d be glad to answer them.

PLEASE CLICK HERE for my previous post about Charlotte and Sam’s wedding.

So make sure you think about your wedding ceremony seating.

wedding ceremony seating

September weddings

New Place Wedding Fayre ~ Sunday 27th January

I’m delighted to say I’ll be exhibiting at the New Place Wedding Fayre ~ Sunday 27th January ~ next Sunday!

I’ve been fortunate to DJ at New Place on a number of occasions, it’s one of the best venues in the region and seems to be going from strength to strength under new ownership.

CLICK HERE for more information about weddings at New Place.

One of my favourite stories about New Place is of a couple who met and fell in love when they were both working there. The bride was working as the wedding co-ordinator and the groom as a banqueting manager. They had seen literally hundreds of DJs … and they chose me to DJ their wedding.

Come and say hello to me at The New Place Wedding Fayre ~ Sunday 27th January

New Place Wedding

 

 

Am I a wedding planner

Wedding Chair Covers

Rant alert! Wedding chair covers ~ when did they become a thing? Why do people have them? Should you put them in the FIB? What is a FIB?

I will attempt to answer some of these questions, but first let me just say, if you are going to have chair covers do them properly – like this! Make sure they add a real WOW to your wedding.

When did they become a thing? 

I have no idea! What I do think I know is why they became a thing – because of scruffy chairs that needed to be hidden!

Let’s be honest here, weddings are big business for many venues and many venues are a bit shabby with tired carpets and furniture. So, slapping some elegant covers on chairs and using beautiful drapes and fairy lights can improve a room very quickly. The problem, as I see it, is that the venue have found this is great way to charge every couple for the service.

 

Why do people have them? 

The chair covers make everything look clean and uniform. The addition of a sash gives you the opportunity to inject colour and maybe some bling, but that can be at considerable cost. I took the picture below at the recent Chilworth Manor Wedding Fayre and I got really excited because the venue has really good, neutral coloured, comfortable seats that didn’t need covering. That means you might have more to spend on really beautiful things like flowers, the lovely arrangement here was provided by our friend Carole from the Flower Stables.

Wedding chair covers

 

Should you put them in the FIB and what is the FIB?

OK first, the FIB … I’m going to call it the “Forget It Bucket” – but that’s not what the “F” really stands for. I first heard the phrase in the VERY excellent Bridechilla Podcast by Aleisha McCormack. I highly recommend this podcast, in fact I’d go as far as to say it’s essential listening BUT it does come with the warning that Aleisha is not for those who are easily offended by profanities. One of Aliesha’s jingles is “The Bridechilla Podcast, telling chair covers to get f****d since 2014”.  I’ll be posting more about BrideChilla soon but please check it out.

 

In Conclusion

A covered chair with a sash can look really elegant. However, once someones been sat in it for a while the sash often moves and it’s not quite as tidy. Badly tied sashes often come untied and end up being a slip/trip hazard on the floor. I know some venues where the same chairs are used for the ceremony in one room, then moved to another room for the wedding breakfast and then moved around again for the evening party, often the sashes need redoing several times. However they can be a good way of getting your colour theme into the day.

My personal opinion is book a venue with chairs that don’t need covers but if you do want, or need, to have covers do them well, create something special. Here’s a beautiful venue dressed to make it look even more gorgeous. It’s the Hampshire Barn at Norton Park (click here) and it was dressed by my friend Suzanne Tie The Knot Events (click here). The table cloths and sashes really take the room to another level while maintaining a clean, tidy feel.

Wedding Chair Covers

 

September weddings

Choosing Your First Dance

Following my recent post about requests for your wedding party (click here) I promised a blog about Choosing Your First Dance.

Some couples know exactly what they want for their first dance, others haven’t a clue. Either is no problem, I’m always happy to help or just to do my best to make the first dance stress-free and memorable for all the right reasons.

What won’t happen at one of my weddings is a mumbled introduction with nobody knowing what’s going on. I’ll do my best to make sure everyone knows exactly what is happening and that all the important guests (mums etc) are in the room with a good view of what’s about to happen.

These days I often make special edits of songs to reduce the length or sometimes extend them, I’ve also made first dance “mash-up’s” combining several songs together. These are the kinds of services a professional DJ will offer their couples – I’ve also seen other local DJ’s asking if any other DJ’s can do this for them!

Some couples have amazing plans for their first dance, others just want to do a slow rotate for a verse and a chorus before their friends and family are invited to join them. I’ll make sure we make a plan and know exactly what’s going to happen and how to make the most of the opportunity so that the photographer gets some great images.

I mentioned the DJ Event Planner lists (click here) and they produced this one for First Dances based on data from their DJs …

Artist Song Title
1 Ed Sheeran Perfect
2 Kodaline The One
3 John Legend All Of Me
4 Ed Sheeran Thinking Out Loud
5 Elvis Presley Can’t Help Falling In Love
6 James Arthur Say You Won’t Let Go
7 Christina Perri A Thousand Years
8 Etta James At Last
9 Ellie Goulding How Long Will I Love You
10 Ed Sheeran Tenerife Sea
11 Ben E. King Stand By Me
12 Lonestar Amazed
13 Al Green Let’s Stay Together
14 Jason Mraz I Won’t Give Up
15 Lifehouse You And Me
16 Shania Twain From This Moment On
17 Goo Goo Dolls Iris
18 Kenny G Songbird
19 Nathan Sykes Over And Over Again
20 Snow Patrol Chasing Cars

The list is an interesting mix of tracks, many of which have become wedding staples. It may be a good place to start if you don’t already have an “our tune” that you want to use and are looking for inspiration.

Choosing Your First Dance is a very personal thing – every couple are different, I always do my best to make the most of this traditional wedding day highlight.

The first dance is just one of the big moments of the day when music is important … stay tuned for another post about wedding music soon 😉

 

I have so many lovely couples!

I have so many lovely couples!

Last Sunday was my first wedding fayre of the year. I set everything up and then snapped a quick picture to post on FaceBook to “check in”.

The video I run has lots of quotes from real couples like the one you can see in the picture from Kat and Gareth who’s wedding was at Audley’s Wood.

It was a very busy event and I didn’t really get a chance to look at my FB feed again until I was home with a cup of tea.

Imagine my surprise when I logged on and saw this message from Lee who’s wedding to Charlie was held at The Beaulieu Hotel.

“My wife Charlie and I did the same after one meeting we changed our budget so we could have Paul Taylor all day. Paul was amazing he helped us to have the best ever experience for both me and Charlie and all our guests. I would highly recommend Paul”

Then this one from Vicky and Rob who had a party to celebrate their wedding after they held the ceremony in Canada. They chose The Bartley Lodge

“Paul was fantastic he almost Taylor made our evening celebration as we did it slightly different as we had been away . He took charge of the evening and it was perfect with all his extra touches 😀10 months ago now and never will be forgotten thanks Paul !!!!”

As I said above, I use quotes from real couples – no fakes, nothing made up, real people – just like you. I have so many lovely couples, if you want to talk to any of them just let me know.

What a wedding is really about?

What a wedding is really about … what is a wedding all about?

Now there’s a topic we could talk about for days but, to me, it’s a moment in time when we celebrate the fact that two people met, fell in love and want to spend the rest of their lives together.

How they choose to celebrate is surely their choice?

I think it’s fair to say that often guys just want to give the woman of their dreams the day she wants. What if they disagree and what about others like the parents, should their feelings be considered in the planning?

My daughter got married in April last year. It was a beautiful day and her mum and I, and her husbands parents, now have many fantastic memories to cherish. We all had a great day and of course we ‘re still talking about it.

THE Dress

However, I see lots of posts on social media from couples planning their weddings and dealing with all kinds of family agro! It’s often very sad. As a wedding planning expert, I like to offer advice but some of their problems just seem impossible to resolve … and then I saw this …

This is a clip from The Steve TV Show from October last year that came up on my FaceBook feed a few days ago and got me thinking. The Steve Show is an American daytime TV show, it’s been around in various shapes and forms for many years. It often has great insights into human nature.

James Sexton’s thoughts really resonated with me – what do you think?

“Do not let the first time all the people you love be in a room at the same time be your funeral”

James Sexton ~ October 2018

What a wedding is really about … well I stand by the description I gave at the start of this post. If you are planning your big day please keep in mind everybody who’s coming. This will probably be the biggest party you ever throw (unless you win the lottery), so don’t rush into it.

A great place to start is with my Your WOW Wedding Guide. Use this form to request a copy

The picture of us above and this one were both taken in the minute before I walked Amy down the aisle for the ceremony 😉

 

Am I a wedding planner

Requests for your party

I welcome requests for your party. Everyone is different, so I’m keen to know what you love and what you hate. As a an experienced DJ I have extensive knowledge of most of the music that’s likely to be requested – but I don’t know it all. I want to know what YOU want and make your party totally … you!

Some DJ’s don’t like requests, they like to do their thing. I’m not saying they are wrong, I’m saying you should decide what kind of service you want.

Today we have over 60 years of “pop” music, so picking the songs that will make your party unique and special to you isn’t as simple as just playing the most popular songs.

Requests for your party

This is a list compiled by a service called DJ Event Planner of the Top 20 songs played by UK DJ’s using their software in 2018. By the way, DJ Event Planner is an excellent service for DJ’s looking to manage their bookings CLICK HERE for more info.

1 Killers Mr. Brightside
2 Whitney Houston I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)
3 Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars Uptown Funk
4 Bon Jovi Livin’ On A Prayer
5 ABBA Dancing Queen
6 Walk The Moon Shut Up And Dance
7 Bryan Adams Summer Of ’69
8 Kings Of Leon Sex On Fire
9 Pharrell Williams Happy
10 Black Eyed Peas I Gotta Feeling
11 Dexys Midnight Runners Come On Eileen
12 Justin Timberlake Can’t Stop The Feeling!
13 Luis Fonsi feat. Daddy Yankee Despacito
14 Journey Don’t Stop Believin’
15 Queen Don’t Stop Me Now
16 Bruno Mars Marry You
17 Neil Diamond Sweet Caroline
18 Oasis Wonderwall
19 Toploader Dancing In The Moonlight
20 Beyonce feat. Jay-Z Crazy In Love

The Don’t Play List

I’d say I often play 75% of this list, but sometimes I’ve been asked NOT to play some of those songs. For example, at the last wedding I played for in 2018 the Bride didn’t want Whitney’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” played. It was requested by a guest, I explained and they were happy to chose something else instead – everyone was happy.

There’s a fair few songs that you may consider “cheesy”. You might like cheesy – you may hate cheesy. Your idea of cheesy may be different from mine, that’s why it’s good to talk in advance.

Sometimes there may be a song that you makes you sad. Again. knowing this in advance makes sense. The last thing I want is your evening to be ruined by one song that could have been avoided.

So, what would be your requests for your party?

I’ll be doing a post about wedding first dances soon – stay tuned 😉

Sunday 6th January Chilworth Manor

How do you start planning a wedding?

How do you start planning a wedding is a question that I see asked quite often on social media. The answer is … there is no answer. Every couple are different with different experiences and different dreams, so finding a starting point that works for every couple isn’t easy.

BUT … a good place to start is at a wedding fayre/fair/show case. Now I say this with certain reservations because you shouldn’t attend with the expectation that you will find all the answers – you probably don’t even know the questions yet!

What you can do at a wedding fayre is dip a toe into the water and look at some of the services and things on offer which might be of interest to you. You can also talk to people, the exhibitors, and listen to their suggestions. Again this comes with certain reservations because some of these suppliers may well just tell you how great they are and that you should book them! I suggest if they do you move on.

Look for people who are interested in you and are prepared to share their expertise. Look for people you like. I think you’ll like my colleagues from the Hampshire Wedding Group who are exhibiting this Sunday at Chilworth Manor.

Sunday’s event is called a Winter Wonderland Wedding Fayre, but it’s not just about winter weddings, it’s about wonderful weddings with suppliers who are good at what they do and care about their couples.

How do you start planning a wedding

How do you start planning a wedding – just talk to me or follow this blog for lots of great FREE advice whether you are interested in booking me or not. Complete this form to get a link to my Your WOW Wedding booklet where I explain how to start creating a wedding that’s unique, elegant and fun.

Are you going to a wedding in 2019?

So, are you going to a wedding in 2019? Well this post is for you, whether you are an evening-only guest or even the Bride and Bridegroom.

As I finish writing this on New Years Day, 2019 looks like being a testing year for us all with a certain amount of political uncertainty and all that brings. I’m a great believer in committing to what you can influence and affect – I believe we should all be aware of the consequences of our actions and attitudes.

Bartley Lodge Wedding DJ

The bottom line, as far as this blog post is concerned, is that if are you going to a wedding in 2019 you are very lucky. You’re going to be part of a very special day and that carries a responsibility I want you to understand and commit to.

The Wedding Guest 

Whether you are a family member or friend you have been invited to share the biggest party these two people will ever throw. You have been chosen to be part of a day they will remember for the rest of their lives. Enjoy the day but make sure you keep the best interests of the Bride and Bridegroom at heart. Be happy, mingle, make new friends and help create lasting memories for everyone.

A Member of the Wedding Party

Congratulations on being asked to play a role on this incredible occasion. Your support and love for the couple, throughout the planning stages, as well as on the big day, will be critical in the success of the event. Try and keep their best interests at the centre of your intentions and actions. Be aware that they may well be stressed or anxious about the day and be supportive at every opportunity. On the day, stay focused and do everything you can to assist the happy couple and your fellow wedding party members.

Italian Villa Wedding DJ

Parents and Siblings

This day will go down in history – two families coming together and you are a huge part of it. This is a great time to make new friends and catch up with your extended family. Come with a few good, positive stories to share about the stars of the show – be gracious and generous with your time and attention.

The Happy Couple

This is your day. As you will have been told, it will fly by. You will have spent months, possibly years planning the day so make sure you enjoy every second of it. Don’t worry about things going wrong, whatever happens you’ll have a great time. Nobody knows the finer details of what is planned, so don’t let the odd “problem” ruin your day.

Try and plan your wedding so that everyone feels included and not just spectators. I use something I call the WOW Wedding philosophy with stands for Weave yourselves into the day, get Others involved and explain Why. If you want to know more please let me know.

The day after your wedding you’ll be married and looking forward to a brand new future. If you planned well and connected with your guests you’ll have many great memories to cherish.

going to a wedding in 2019

Conclusion

If you are going to a wedding in 2019, or anywhen for that matter, make sure you play your part. Everybody has it in their power to make the day the success it deserves to be. Be kind, be gracious, have a great day!

OK, this was a bit of a rant, but I believe we all have it in our power to help make every wedding very special. CLICK HERE for more free stuff. If you have any questions, or would like my help with anything wedding related, please get in touch.