Am I a wedding planner

Fortunately I know some great places ~ The Beaulieu Hotel

When you work as a wedding supplier and your daughter asks you to recommend a venue for her wedding, the pressure of being the Father of the Bride really clicks up a notch or two. Fortunately I know some great places ~ The Beaulieu Hotel was top of my list.

Amy and Sean needed a venue that satisfied a number of requirements. It had to …

  1. Be big enough (around 100 people for the Ceremony and Wedding Breakfast, with more for the evening party).
  2. Offer great service.
  3. Be suitable for a band as well as a DJ for the party.
  4. Be located fairly close to Southampton.
  5. Have overnight accommodation.

They also wanted a venue where they would feel comfortable and be able to relax. I drew up an initial shortlist of three hotels which we visited together because, as I said before, fortunately I know some great places ~ The Beaulieu Hotel was always top of my list but I didn’t push it. The final decision had to be Amy and Sean’s.

My reasons for recommending The Beaulieu Hotel were based on many visits there to play at weddings over the last few years. The setting is fantastic and the service has always been great and my couples have always been very happy.

Fortunately I know some great places ~ The Beaulieu Hotel

The Weddings and Events Manager, Sophie, was a great help to Amy throughout the booking and planning process and was on hand to coordinate everything for the first part of the wedding day. The afternoon and evening were overseen by the General Manager, Terry, who ran everything with a professional eye and a calm, “nothing was too much trouble” attitude. The whole day ran smoothly throughout and the team at the venue were always helpful and courteous. All special dietary requirements were catered for and I can’t think of anything that I was unhappy or disappointed with.

Many of us stayed overnight after the wedding. The rooms were all excellent, as was the breakfast.

The Beaulieu Hotel was the perfect venue for Amy and Sean’s wedding and I cannot express how grateful I am for the wonderful day they created for us.

To find out more about weddings at The Beaulieu Hotel PLEASE CLICK HERE

The photos here are from those then by our official photographer Antony from LightBox Studios (click here)

If you’d like my opinions on any venues please drop me a line and I’ll be happy to help

Fortunately I know some great places ~ The Beaulieu Hotel

Am I a wedding planner

Fortunately I know some amazing people ~ 1. The Dress

It’s now over two months since my daughters wedding! I did one quick post shortly after the big day CLICK HERE, now it’s time to look back and tell you about our experiences and fortunately I know some amazing people

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 – especially when it comes to THE DRESS. Fortunately I know some amazing people, Fatma from Sofi Designs Bridal is one of them. 

Fortunately I know some amazing people

I’ve know Fatma and her husband Lance for a number of years, they are two of the nicest people you will ever meet, they genuinely care about their customers and love what they do.

Amy, my daughter, actually met them at a wedding fair she helped me with a few years back and so Sofi Bridal was our first choice to help with the dress.

When Amy and Ce, her mum, went to the showroom I had no doubt they were in safe hands and they had a wonderful time. Amy found THE DRESS on that first visit but Fatma insisted that Amy looked elsewhere just to make sure there wasn’t a dress she preferred at another shop. Nowhere else made her so welcome and nowhere else had a dress to top that first one she found at Sofi Designs Bridal.

The dress was ordered and when it arrived Amy went for her fitting. It was perfect, no need for any alterations and she brought it home to be kept safe in her old bedroom. Fatma also picked out and supplied Amy’s veil.

On the day of the wedding I was invited into Amy’s room where she had been getting ready with her bridesmaids to see her in the dress for the first time – there were tears. She looked stunning and I was the proudest dad on the planet as I walked her down the aisle to be married to Sean (pausing just before the ceremony as the bridesmaids entered to take this picture).

Fortunately I know some amazing people

If you’re looking for a great selection wedding dresses and expert advice with no pressure from lovely people who really know what they are doing, Fatma, Lance and their team at Sofi Designs Bridal are well worth seeking out.

Fortunately I know some amazing people ~ if you’d like to find out more about Sofi Designs Bridal PLEASE CLICK HERE.

Here’s one more snap from my phone of Amy with Ce and her Aunties,

Fortunately I know some amazing people


wedding at the Tithe Barn

Katherine & Sinbad’s Real Wedding at The Tithe Barn

Here’s another of this years “Real Weddings” – this time it’s Katherine & Sinbad’s Wedding at The Tithe Barn at Old Ditcham Farm near Petersfield. Their wedding was full of families, fun, love, stars and space ships and it was wonderful to be part of it.

I was delighted to be working alongside two of my favourite suppliers, their photographer and my good friend Antony from Lightbox Studios CLICK HERE and the excellent Brian from Wright Choice Catering CLICK HERE – DJ’d Brian’s 40th party a couple of years ago.

Tithe Barn wedding DJ

Katherine and Sinbad wrote this review of my services for my submission to the Hampshire Wedding Supplier Awards …

Paul was recommended to us by our photographer Antony from LightBox / Weddings by ABC, so we went to meet him at a wedding fair. Soon afterwards we spent 2+ hours on a Skype call and knew at the end that he was the DJ for us! We actually adjusted our budget considerably to ensure that we could book Paul as we liked him so much!

We always knew we wanted our day to be a bit different and Paul had lots of suggestions to help us realise this; from personalised grand entrances for the bridal party into the wedding breakfast to the bridal DJ set to finish off the evening. Paul was always there to support us in making our day perfect. He is clearly passionate about what he does; his love of music is obvious, but also his desire to ensure that his couples have their perfect day came across in every meeting and Skype call. All of our planned “quick” Skype’s ended up being 1-2 hours+!

As we approached D-day we knew that Paul was always there if we had questions or worries. We have 3 daughters who were a bit nervous about their role in the ceremony so he offered to come over the day before for a quick run through. When we arrived at the venue Paul was already there (2 hours earlier than planned) helping to set up tables! He was a great help with moving furniture and advising us on how to set up the aisle most effectively. When it came to the run through he had the girls laughing and enjoying themselves so much that all their nerves had gone and they led the way confidently down the aisle.

Everything on the day went perfectly; the ceremony music was exactly how I’d imagined it, and the day flowed so smoothly due to his expert direction. The guests LOVED the grand entrances during the wedding breakfast and really enjoying getting to know each other over the quizzes that Paul had made for each table. We absolutely loved the Love Story which he told before our first dance, it was so amazing to share our story with our friends and family in a way that captured both of us.

Once the music started everyone had a blast, Paul knew how to read the room and change up the music to suit the guests. When we got back from (even more!) photos it was time for the bride to do a ‘guest DJ’ set! He did tell me that some of my choices were a bit unusual, not much Prodigy played at weddings I suppose, but my guests loved it!! For 20 minutes everyone, young and old, bounced around the dance floor like lunatics and it was amazing. In the 3 weeks since our wedding, I’ve been told so many times what a unique idea it was and how much fun they’d had.

We both agree that we made 100% the right decision in asking Paul to be our DJ. All those little things I would have worried about like timings and making sure everyone was in the right place just weren’t an issue. The entire day ran smoothly due to his expert direction. I’ve already told everyone I know how amazing he is and will continue to recommend him!

Wedding at The Tithe Barn

From their ceremony music to the very last song it was a wonderful day filled with love and fun. After the ceremony we all enjoyed a beautiful afternoon in sunshine with the children dancing and playing like fairies – something to do with all the wings and wands that appeared.

Following on from a receiving line and extended grand entrances they had a table quiz during their wedding breakfast where the answers included “a Giant African Land Snail”, “a red carpet premiere of Narnia Prince Caspian” and “Ali’s Kebab Shop in Portsmouth”!

Their first dance was to Take That’s “Rule The World surrounded by their family and friends. As Katherine mentions above, she did a brilliant DJ set which had everybody on the dance floor.

When it was finally time for them to take their taxi to their hotel they had a sparkler exit – the perfect ending to a perfect day.

That was just a brief glimpse into Katherine & Sinbad’s wedding at The Tithe Barn. I’d like to thank Katherine and Sinbad for choosing me to play a part in their beautiful wedding and for their fantastic support of my entry in the Hampshire Wedding Supplier Awards..

For more information on weddings at The Tithe Barn PLEASE CLICK HERE

wedding at the Tithe Barn

Charlotte & Sam’s Wedding at The Marwell Hotel

Another look at one of this years real weddings, this time it’s Charlotte & Sam’s Wedding at The Marwell Hotel in April.

Charlotte and Sam wanted a relaxed, magical day to remember.

Hampshire Wedding DJ

Here’s the fabulous review Charlotte wrote for my entry to the Hampshire Wedding Supplier Awards …

My husband and I first met Paul at our friends Jenny and Fran’s wedding in 2014. To see first hand how much he had done to make their day special made us want to seek him out for our own. 

We found him again at a wedding fair where we were able to speak to him. Paul gave us all of his contact details and we said that we would be in touch to arrange a meeting. He was flexible with where and when we could meet him. For our first meeting (when we hadn’t booked him yet) he came over to our house. 

Paul gave us a booklet of information that he had put together as well as ideas  on how to make our wedding a “WOW” wedding. We went through the booklet at length discussing any questions we had. This made both of us feel at ease and relax as both being very organised people we didn’t want anything left until the last minute. 

There was no pressure to book from Paul. It was simply left after our meeting that he would either hear from us or he wouldn’t. We could tell he is very passionate about what he does. We contacted him that week to book him and it was one of the best decisions we made. 

We had more meetings with Paul in the run up to our wedding (which he again came to our house). At one of the meetings hubby to be (Sam) mentioned that he does not like public speaking and was really worried about his speech. Paul was very quick with a solution to put Sam at ease and suggest that he came to a grooms workshop. Sam went along to the workshop where there was him and one other. Sam found the workshop very useful and he came away with a pack of useful information. I could tell that he already felt more at ease and was not as worried as he had been. 

We had our last meeting with Paul a month before our wedding where we went over all of the details and time line of the day. Paul again reminded us that if we had any “wedding emergencies” he was at the end of the phone and would do what he could to help. 

Paul was on site early – about 10am ready to set up and our wedding ceremony started at 1.30. He helped keep the timeline of our wedding on track ensuring we were ready for our grand entrances, meal, cake cutting and speeches. He checked in with us throughout the day ensuring we were happy with how our day was going. Our evening reception finished at midnight then meaning he had to pack down all his gear – I’m sure you’ll agree this would have been an incredibly long day for him. 

Paul spoke to us and the bridal party before we went into the reception room about how he was going to introduce us for our grand entrances. He typed up a list of questions that was given out as a quiz for our guests to do while we had our meal. We had a Mr & Mrs shoe game which we have had so many comments on how much our guests enjoyed watching that. I did my “special guest” bride DJ set – even had the white headphones to match my dress. People filled the dance floor all night, everyone felt able to approach him with their requests. 

Paul truly contributed to making our wedding day, a day to remember. He was there to assist with any problems. Nothing was too much to ask. Our day was perfect and exactly the way we wanted it. The mood was perfect and that’s all thanks to him. I would highly recommend him to anyone. 

We would really like to thank Paul again for all that he did for us. Not just on the day itself but on the run up also. Every woman always dreams/plans in their head what they would love their wedding day to be like; Paul really helped make mine come true. 

During their wedding breakfast I circulated with a quiz and we found out what the first gig Charlotte went to was, how many vehicles Sam had owned and what was the total age of the Top Table!

For their first dance they chose Daughtry “Life After You”.

Charlotte did a wicked 80’s DJ set including Lionel Richie “Dancing On The Ceiling”, Belinda Carlisle “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” and Starship “We Built This City”.

That was just a glimpse of Charlotte & Sam’s fabulous real wedding at The Marwell Hotel. I’d like to thank Charlotte and Sam for choosing me to play a part in their wedding and for their fantastic testimonial.

Marwell Wedding DJ

CLICK HERE for more information about weddings at The Marwell Hotel

Real Wedding Bex and Alex

Real Wedding Bex and Alex is the first in a series of posts about real weddings from this year that I’ll add to the Real Wedding book you’ll find in my bookcase.

I was reminded, when I saw this video last week, of so many great memories from a perfect Real Wedding Bex and Alex and all of their family and friends. The very essence of the day is brilliantly captured by Tony and Denise from D & T Wedding Video Services. To find out more about them and their fabulous wedding films PLEASE CLICK HERE. I will simply say they are a joy to work alongside and their videos speak for themselves.

Bex recently wrote this testimonial for me …

“Where to start? I first met Paul at a PMN wedding fayre when I noticed on one of his videos was showing some pictures of my friends wedding, so just said a brief hello and he gave me some details of an evening he was hosting at Southampton Ring Studio, I mentioned it to Alex and we went along for the evening as I remember it there was only us and one other couple, we sat and listened to the first half of the presentation and during the half way break we went outside to have a chat and I think it’s fair to say we were both already wowed by everything Paul offered and agreed that we really wanted him for our wedding, we returned for the second half and were even more impressed, it already we felt like we had found a friend there was no pressure everything was light hearted we went away from the evening to discuss the final details and booked up the next day! 

From that moment we knew we had done something great, Paul was on hand any time with any queries we had he helped massively when we had a supplier cancel on us and found us an alternative within an hour he truly was my guardian angel throughout the planning process, we loved having our own personal folder where we could write down our ideas for music and the Facebook group chat certainly gave us some interesting ideas, I know Alex found the grooms evening really useful attending once with and usher and then again with our best man, everything leading up to our big day was made so much easier by having Paul on board and we would 100% recommend him to all our friends and family. 

On our day everything ran so smoothly timings were kept and our guests were delighted with all the fun things including our love story and Mr & Mrs. And we are sure it would not have been so easy and enjoyable without Paul. 

Thanks a million there really aren’t enough words to say how fantastic you are!”

… such kind words, I am so glad I am able to help couples like Bex and Alex and like YOU!

Real Wedding Bex and Alex

Here are just a few notes from this Real Wedding Bex and Alex

Bex and Alex had a beautiful church ceremony at All Saints in Martin followed by a marquee reception in Damerham.
As Bex said in her testimonial I was very involved in their planning, they attended the “Creating Your WOW Wedding” event twice and Alex and Josh, his best man, came to my “WOW Bridegroom” event too. I provided music at the church alongside the organist and bell ringers, it was stunning ceremony ending with them coming back down the aisle to Take That’s “Greatest Day” with the bell ringers joining in – it was just like something out of a movie!

The whole day was full of breathtaking moments, the speeches really hit the mark and I was honoured to share their love story with everyone before their first dance. Bex and Alex took to the dance floor for their first dance to Ed Sheeran’s “Think Out Loud” and the Bex danced with her dad, Ken, to this wonderful song “Daddy Dance With Me” by Krystal Keith.

I’ll stop there, but I’m sure Bex would be happy to tell you more. 😀
There will be another post like Real Wedding Bex and Alex soon.

It’s Magic with Paul Newton

I’ll start this post with a confession, magicians make me nervous… after all they do “tricks”. One I do trust (I think 😉 ) is my Hampshire Wedding Group colleague and friend Paul Newton.

I’ve known Paul for a few years now and been fortunate to work alongside him a few times and I think he must be an actual wizard because I can’t see how he does what he does. I’ve even been next to him at wedding fairs for hours and watched him do the same trick multiple times and I still can’t work it out!

So when Tarik and Amina asked a while ago for my suggestions for an entertainer at their wedding which was held last weekend I had no hesitation in recommending Paul Newton ~ Magician, Mind Reader, Hypnotist (and all round lovely bloke).

Paul arrived while Tarik and Amina’s guests were enjoying their wedding breakfast and was soon going from table to table amazing their friends and family with his close up magic. After the speeches Paul took a few moments with the newly weds to show everybody that … you know what, I’m not going to tell you. What I will say is that it was magic, it was romantic and Tarik and Amina absolutely loved it and so did their guests!

For more information about Paul Newton PLEASE CLICK HERE

You can meet Paul at this Sunday’s wedding fayre at Winchester Guildhall AND you could win a discount on Paul’s services – it’s one of the prizes in the FREE prize draw. For more information and to preregister and get an extra entry PLEASE CLICK HERE.

Why Shaun’s Conscience Was Shaun’s Conscience

I wanted to follow up on yesterdays post and explain why Shaun’s Conscience was Shaun’s Conscience.

Every couple are different and so every wedding should be different.

Back in 2014 when Shaun and Emma asked me to be their wedding DJ and MC I asked them if they had any ideas they wanted to explore and perhaps develop – that’s how Shaun’s Conscience was born. I had shown them a few video clips and told them about things I had done with other couples but I wanted to find out what THEY wanted to do.

As I said in yesterdays post (CLICK HERE) it was Shaun’s idea, I just helped him make it happen. Since then I’ve shown the clip at my ‘Creating Your WOW Wedding’ events and shared it with a few people always explaining the context and how we put it together.

In our FaceBook messages setting this up for LADbible, Shaun asked “have you seen anyone else do it yet or am I still unique?” – trust me Shaun’s unique (he’s one of the funniest guys I know!) but what I wanted to stress in this post is that, although I showed the clip to other people, I only shared it to demonstrate what could be done with a bit of imagination – never to repeat the formula with anyone else. Other couples have come up with their own ideas have been inspired by ‘Shaun’s Conscience’ but nobody has ever asked “can I do that?”.

Now this video is “out there” I guess it will be copied which is fair enough, I just hope whoever does it creates something that is relevant to them and not just a straight copy. Shaun’s conscience was Shaun’s idea and relevant to Emma, their families and friends, that’s why Shaun’s Conscience Was Shaun’s Conscience!

The internet is a great place for information and ideas but don’t just find things and copy them, create something special, something relevant, something WOW!

Over 4,000,000 views in under 2 days

Over 3,500,000 views in under 2 days for my ‘Shaun’s Conscience’ video!

Over 3,500,000 views in under 2 days for my ‘Shaun’s Conscience’ video clip from 3 years ago – that’s the power of the internet!

On Friday morning just after nine I got a FaceBook message from Shaun, one of my Bridegrooms from 2014. “I want to send off my wedding speach to LADbible. They are very interested in showing it but they need permission from the person whos camera it is”.

The video in question was from Shaun and Emma’s wedding and I show it at my ‘Creating Your WOW Wedding” evenings, in fact I had shown it on Thursday evening at the Gray Manor evening! Ce and I were having a day off and a trip to the beach with my sister-in-law and her husband but I still managed to provide the required permissions and electronic signatures to get things moving. It was published (CLICK HERE) at 3pm and by 6pm on Friday the video had already been viewed over One Million times! ‘Shaun’s Conscience’ had gone viral!

The idea for this was all Shaun’s (actually I think it was his friend Jason’s, but that’s another story). When I met with Emma and Shaun he told me he had a number of ideas for his speech that he wanted to explore and I said I would do everything I could to help him. I did advise him to make it “Disney safe” but he was adamant this was OK and it went down really well.

So with over 3,500,000 views in under 2 days it’s fair to say this video has created a fair amount of interest with thousands of positive and negative comments. I can understand some of the negative comments because it was really written and performed by Shaun for the people in the room, we didn’t get a chance to rehearse it and the quality of my video doesn’t do it justice.

Here’s my original version (and yes that is me at the beginning)

I’ll be posting about this again tomorrow, please check back and read that post.

Meanwhile, I wonder if I’ll ever get over 3,500,000 views in under 2 days for one of my video clips again?

Stunning venue decor by Tie The Knot at Norton Park

Last Saturday was Alex and Hannah’s wedding at the fabulous Norton Park. I’ve been fortunate to be involved at several weddings there and it’s a beautiful setting. Hannah had asked me to recommend a venue stylist and I had no hesitation in suggesting, fellow Hampshire Wedding Group member, Suzanne from Tie The Knot Events.

When I arrived onsite just after 10am I was absolutely blown away by how beautiful the Barn, where their wedding breakfast was to be held, looked. Please remember, I see fabulous rooms beautiful decorated all the time, so when I say I was “blown away” we are talking about something exceptional!

Venue decor by Tie The Knot

Hannah’s colour scheme was based around lilac and champagne and the effect Suzanne had created with florist Judy was absolutely stunning.

As you can see from my snaps the tables had lilac table covers with gorgeous centrepieces which were complimented by more flowers wrapped around the barns beams which were also highlighted with fairly lights.

Tie The Knot Decor

The evening party was held in the Norton Suite where the tables and chairs were covered in black with white table cloths and champagne coloured runners. Suzanne had also added more fairy lights and Chinese Lanterns above the dance floor.  The centre pieces were moved from the barn to finish the tables. I hope to post more about this beautiful wedding in the future so please stay tuned.

This wedding was held on one of the hottest days of the year, possibly the hottest day I’ve every worked, the barn is air-conditioned which obviously helped but the decorations still looked amazing, even after the celebrations had ended and and everyone had gone to bed.

I was so pleased I recommended Suzanne to Hannah and Alex, she really brought Hannah’s dream to life.

I’ve had the pleasure to work alongside Suzanne on many occasions and I can honestly say her attention to detail is second to none. She was onsite at Norton Park on the Friday and Saturday putting this all together and then again on the Sunday to take everything out – it takes a lot of work and planning to bring something like this together.

For more about Tie The Knot PLEASE CLICK HERE.

CLICK HERE to see Suzanne’s Tie The Knot FaceBook page

I was also delighted to recommend SpeedyPix to provide a Photo Booth for Alex and Hannah’s evening reception and they took lots of great pictures and created an amazing guest book.

You’ll find many more great suppliers in The Hampshire Wedding Group CLICK HERE

real weddings

Real Weddings ~ Day 9 WOW Countdown ~ 22 Days To Go

Real Weddings are a great place for inspiration.

Real Weddings

Let’s be honest, when you are single and you are invited to a wedding your focus is generally on meeting your mates and have a drink … or three. Once you’ve found “The One” and perhaps you are engaged, you may look at things a little differently, but maybe you won’t get invited to any weddings in this period so you can’t study what’s going on. Talk to your married friends and family – even your parents, ask them about what they remember – good and not so good. Learn from real weddings.

PLEASE CLICK HERE to see my Real Weddings booklet FULL of great weddings which are all different.

Party DJ Real Weddings

PLEASE CLICK HERE not on the cover picture 😉 to see my Real Weddings booklet FULL of great weddings which are all different.

The focus at my “Creating Your WOW Wedding” evenings is on sharing things I’ve seen that stood out and made the day more special. I’m so lucky to see brilliant weddings all the time, I see plenty of very special ideas put into practice and I do my best to share ideas that you can adopt and adapt to fit your day.

This video is full of feedback from real couples and their real weddings 😀

Remember to book your places at my “Creating Your WOW Wedding” evening at Ampfield where you can hear more about how I put the WOW Wedding principles into real weddings.
Email today and get the date in your diary ~ Tuesday 15th November.

too much